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Posts Tagged ‘David Brooks’

Polisphiliac David Brooks:

Here’s a way to make money off of other people’s misery. Short house prices in Northern Virginia. Starting with sequestration and then continuing over the next several years, the Defense Department is going to be hammered. All the big defense contractors in Northern Virginia are going to be hit. It’s already happening. I don’t know if you were thinking of buying a McMansion in McLean or not, but I’d hold off for five years.

Would any of you bet your hard-earned money that the government is going to shrink enough in the DC area to significantly impact Northern Virginia housing prices?  I’m skeptical to say the least.  Betting on the long-term (budgetary) health of the state is usually – unfortunately – a winner.

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Was going to put this in the comments to my 1964 post but it got long enough to add as a new post.  Caveat: it should be read in the spirit of someone very much sympathetic to Paul and many of his policy preferences (especially on foreign policy).

The only scenario for Ron Paul becoming President – which I touched on in the previous post – would be him somehow getting the nomination and then something going absolutely wrong in the country/world such that the public votes him in out of desperation as a vote for change.  FDR was mainstream in 1932 but almost anyone the Democrats ran against Hoover was going to win and have the opportunity to reshape American politics during the crisis.  Paul would need a similar atmosphere in order to prevail against a still personally popular President Obama.

Absent that, I just don’t see Paul’s philosophy and policy views appealing to a plurality of the country.  And while I’ve previously discussed the utter importance of macrovariables, I just don’t see those things (as currently constituted) overcoming the problems that would confront a real outlier like Paul.  Obama will have millions and millions of dollars to throw at Paul, and the liberal press will have a field day with his views/past associations once he is seen as a real threat to their views rather than a curiosity (and a curiosity that could derail real Republican threats to their guy).  Together the administration and the media will be able to scare moderate voters away from Paul and into the warm comfort of the status quo.

Moreover, even in the scenario where Paul gets the nomination, don’t the powers that be in Washington Republicanland run a 3rd party challenge that throws the election to Obama no matter what?  Can we really imagine that neocons and the liberal Republicans wouldn’t try to mount such a campaign?  Rudy or Bloomberg, for example?  Heck, guys like David Brooks have been quite positive about Obama anyway, so it wouldn’t take that much to push “moderates” like him into his court as the “prudential” and “conservative” alternative to the “dangerous” “radicalism” and “isolationism” of Paul.

I just see a Paul Presidency as a libertarian fantasy.  But I’d love to be proven wrong given the current possibility of a Newt Romney presidency or Obama the Sequel (with bonus Supreme Court nominees).  But count me as someone who wishes that Paul had pushed his supporters and political oxygen towards someone like Huntsman (who isn’t perfect either).

Of course, Daniels was the real opportunity for liberty-loving Republicans.  So sad…

UPDATE: By the way, since strategic voting isn’t really possible in large-scale elections, don’t feel bad about voting expressively for Paul or any other candidate who “can’t win”
since you won’t be the marginal voter anyway.

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An interesting and scary fact from David Brooks’ interesting column on the future of ObamaCare:

More seriously, cost projections are way off. For example, New Hampshire’s plan has only about 80 members, but the state has already burned through nearly double the $650,000 that the federal government allotted to help run the program. If other projections are off by this much, the results will be disastrous.

I’d love to hear from our reader who is a New Hampshire State Rep about what he thinks is going on in his state and what this might portend for ObamaCare.

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See here.

This column is not going to end up in the journalism Hall of Fame (the “Big Shaggy” thing is pretty lame), but Brooks does make one decent point here about the value of the humanities:

It’s probably dangerous to enter exclusively into this realm and risk being caught in a cloister, removed from the market and its accountability. But doesn’t it make sense to spend some time in the company of these languages — learning to feel different emotions, rehearsing different passions, experiencing different sacred rituals and learning to see in different ways?

And given that Thomas Friedman, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich, and Maureen Dowd still write columns for the New York Times, one decent point puts him one up on the competition and might be all we can hope for from the opinion page of our paper of record.

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David Brooks is so smitten with President Obama I’m starting to wonder what color roses he’ll send the White House on Valentine’s Day.  So, is Brooks becoming the Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. of our age?

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Most conservatives/libertarians I know are not fans of David Brooks.  I must admit that I am a big fan, though I disagree often.  In a recent post I classified him as a centrist.  In his column today, he says he is a centrist.

My question is this:  Are  he and I are right?  Is it useful to think of him at the center of American politics?  The MSM thinks of him as a conservative, which reveals more about the MSM that it does about Brooks.

More generally, many people don’t find common political labels very informative.  They can, however, be useful heuristics in the public debate, and they certainly are not going away.

One of my political philosopher colleagues likes to argue that in terms of ideology, there aren’t really any American conservatives; we are just different types of liberals.  He is right, in a sense, but not very helpful (unfortunately, this is often true of philosophers–and I apologize in advance for maligning philosophers yet again!).

I call myself a libertarian, but the  label I prefer is “true liberal.”  And I refuse to use the “progressive” or “liberal” labels to describe the political left.  “Welfare State Authoritarians” is a better term.

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