Fire David Brooks: Part II

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks

By Matt Barnum

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks likes likes Barack Obama. I’ve whined about it already, but he’s done it again. (Apparently, he doesn’t read our blog!?!)In Brooks’ most recent column he opines: “Barack Obama has won the Iowa caucuses. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to feel moved by this. “I have a heart of stone.Continuing, Brooks says,

An African-American man wins a closely fought campaign in a pivotal state. He beats two strong opponents, including the mighty Clinton machine. He does it in a system that favors rural voters. He does it by getting young voters to come out to the caucuses. This is a huge moment. It’s one of those times when a movement that seemed ethereal and idealistic became a reality and took on political substance

Did a Barack Obama victory ever seem “ethereal”–which according to means “light, airy, or tenuous”–or “idealistic” to anyone? Did Brooks really believe “an African-American man” couldn’t win in rural (read: racist) Iowa?(On a side-note, I’m sick and tired of some in the media reporting Obama’s victory as “stunning.” Anyone who has followed the election at all should not have been too surprised.)Two paragraphs later, Brooks asks, “When an African-American man is leading a juggernaut to the White House, do you want to be the one to stand up and say No?” To answer his question, yes. I do. I disagree with Obama on policy, so I am happy to “stand up and say No.” (And, as a conservative, Brooks should too.)Brooks goes on,

Obama has achieved something remarkable. At first blush, his speeches are abstract, secular sermons of personal uplift — filled with disquisitions on the nature of hope and the contours of change. He talks about erasing old categories like red and blue (and implicitly, black and white) and replacing them with new categories, of which the most important are new and old.

Well this is great. Brooks spends several paragraphs saying how amazing it is that “an African American man”–a phrase he uses twice–could win in Iowa, then turns around and compliments Obama for thinking beyond black and white.It’s to bad Obama’s speechs obviously haven’t had any effect on Brooks.