I mean that entirely metaphorically.
I’m not sure what David Brooks is thinking, nor why he continues to have readers that think he’s in some way a moderate as opposed to simply incapable of grasping reality. His latest take on the presidential run is so far beyond laughable that it’s circled back around to be hilarious again.
Essentially, Brooks argues that since Romney is such an opportunist, he’ll see that the extreme partisanship of the last four years won’t work and tack to the middle as president, and since Republicans are less likely to eat their own than a Democrat, a GOP House would be willing to work with him and a Democratically controlled Senate would also be willing to. However, if there’s an Obama presidency for a second term, the GOP House won’t work with him and Republicans in the Senate will filibuster his stuff.
Therefore, suggests Brooks, we should vote Romney because he’ll get things done.
I think this is one of the most idiotic in a stream of intellect-free commentaries from Brooks. Let’s look at the many, many problems with this line of thinking.
1. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Romney will tack to the center. The GOP doesn’t stand division in the ranks well, and since it’s controlled entirely by the far right wing of the party with no room for moderates, Romney will be looking to avoiding a second term primary.
2. As many of the commenters pointed out, this doesn’t speak well of the Republican party. Brooks admits that if they don’t get they’re way, they’ll throw a tantrum and refuse to work with Democrats. The answer to that is not to reward that behavior, it’s to take away their seats in Congress until the party starts putting moderate voices forward again. Basically, he’s saying that when the GOP takes the country hostage, the solution is to give them what they want and hope they don’t ask for more. Because that always works so well. That’s poor policy and indicative of a Republican party more and more convinced that there’s no difference between “not getting everything we want” and “persecution.”
3. After four years of blanket filibusters, what’s to keep the Democratic party from either not bringing up legislation (if they retain control) or filibustering themselves (if they lose control) for four years as well? I’m sorry, but I’m not a fan of being the better person when we’re talking about the rights of millions of people, and if stopping the GOP from further limiting abortions and passing new anti-gay legislation means doing exactly what Republicans have done for four years, then this is the government we’ve created.
4. Brooks seems to think that a President Romney would actually bring down the debt and work on entitlement reform and the like. This is the most hysterically optimistic bit in the whole piece. A Romney presidency would be about a number of things: repealing health care reform (and replacing it with nothing), restricting reproductive rights, loading up the SCOTUS with more Scalias, killing Medicare, starting foreign wars with countries the president can’t locate on a map. None of these things would bring down the debt. History has shown us that nobody spends as much in office as “small government” conservatives. Brooks also assumes that conservatives actually care about those things instead of pretending to care about them so they don’t look like assholes.
I’m not exactly sure what Brooks was thinking. Perhaps he simply wasn’t. But for all the possible reasons you could say to vote to Romney, I think, “his party will make people’s lives worse to deny the opposing party a victory if you don’t” is probably the very worst. Though, I admit, it also might be the most honest.