Nov
06
2009

David Brooks' Special Suburbanites

In his New York Times column, David Brooks cheers the rise of suburban independent voters in this week's midterms elections, crediting them with Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia. Brooks has made a career out of singing thepraises of suburban Americans,all the while suggestingthat they are somewhat ignored. While liberals and conservatives have their own media machines and think tanks, Brooks writes: Independents, who are the largest group in the electorate, don't have any of this. They don't have institutional affiliations. They don't look to certain activist lobbies for guidance. There aren't many commentators who come from an independent […]

Jul
23
2009

NYT's David Brooks Scares Up More False Figures

Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 7/21/09) has synopsized the latest fiasco of a David Brooks column under the headline "David Brooks Wanted Tax Increases to Pay for Stimulus"–since, Baker writes, "that is presumably the implication of his complaint that the Democrats paid for the stimulus package 'with borrowed money.'" Predictably, "this is not the only peculiar item in his column. He also claims that only 11 percent of the stimulus will be spent in the first seven months of the program." Even though, as economist Baker explains, the "Congressional Budget Office puts the figure at 20 percent, which doesn't seem […]

Mar
13
2009

David Brooks Loves Data–When It Gives the Right Results

In a typically half-empty David Brooks piece (3/13/09), the columnist praises Barack Obama for embracing "rigor" in education policy, for endorsing "testing and accountability," for "mak[ing] sure results have consequences." He complains about the "education establishment's ability to evade the consequences of data" and that watered-down proficiency standards mean that "parents think their own schools are much better than they are." He commends Obama's commitment to "use data to make decisions," and Education Secretary opposition to "ignoring failure." But Brooks says many doubt whether Obama "has the courage to follow through" on these principles, and point to "the way the […]

Feb
15
2009

Brooks Renames Indispensable 'Lobbyists: Experts'

Salon critic Glenn Greenwald's look (2/14/09, ad-viewing required) at the journalistic powerhouse that was a recent New York Times David Brooks-Gail Collins Internet "conversation" yields the Greenwald observation that "Brooks did an excellent job of explicitly demonstrating most everything that is relevant–and destructive–about the mentality of the standard Beltway journalist." Greenwald quotes Brooks being "really annoyed by… the withdrawal of Tom Daschle" and providing an alternate "word for lobbyists: experts. Some are sleazy and many are quite admirable, but the idea of trying to run Washington without them is absurd." Greenwald's response: To David Brooks, lobbyists are nothing more than […]

Nov
07
2008

Getting Serious About Getting Serious About Bipartisanship

You see some absurd standards being set for how far President-elect Barack Obama should tip his cabinet to the right. Al Kamen in the Washington Post (11/7/07) writes that if "he's serious about this bipartisan thing…then he's going to have to do better than his predecessors, probably putting at least three non-D's in the cabinet ranks, or it will look much like same-old, same-old." He then suggests turning over the departments of State, Defense and Energy to Republicans–because nothing spells "change" like allowing the party in power to keep setting foreign, military and energy policy, does it? Conservative New York […]