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March 06, 2009

David Brooks: I'm Soooo Sorry Mr. Obama, Please Don't Be Mad At Me

3 days after reaching the concussion that Obama might actually be a big spending liberal our man Davey has backtracked and decided that Obama is in fact, still pretty damn dreamy.

All it took was a series of calls from "four senior members of the administration" (no mere junior aides for our man Brooksy!) and Hope and Change is restored to it's rightful place in the firmament.

I didn’t finish these conversations feeling chastened exactly. The fact is, after years of economic growth, the White House still projects perpetual deficits of more than $500 billion a year. That’s way too much, especially with the boomers’ retirements looming. Moreover, Congress will likely pass the spending parts of the budget and kill the revenue parts, like the cap-and-trade energy tax and the limits on itemized deductions, thus producing much, much bigger deficits.

Plus, I’m still convinced the administration is trying to do too much too fast and that the hasty planning and execution of these complex policies will lead to untold problems down the road.

Nonetheless, the White House made a case that was sophisticated and fact-based. These people know how to lead a discussion and set a tone of friendly cooperation. I’m more optimistic that if Senate moderates can get their act together and come up with their own proactive plan, they can help shape a budget that allays their anxieties while meeting the president’s goals.

Ah well, it was a 'sophisticated' case they made and that's what really counts. All those messy taxes, gigantic spending increases and intrusions into the private sector? As long as it's done in a sophisticated way, it's all good.

Oh by the way, if you are really banking on Obama's wildly optimistic growth figures and Senate 'moderates' to constrain spending, I have a few bridges in NY I'd like you to buy from me.

Snark aside, if Brooks is backtracking so far, so fast, what exactly was his earlier column based on? You can say it takes a big man to admit a mistake but just three days ago Brooks wrote this.

Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice.

And now it's all good? Really?

It's almost as if the "four senior members of the administration" each waved their hand in front of Mr. Brooks and said, "these are not the massive government programs you think they are, move along". And he moved along. But in a very sophisticated way no doubt.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:16 AM

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