David Brooks, conservative columnist and former Bush sycophant, yesterday:
[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.
Gee, who would scorn ideas? Maybe the David Brooks, court flatterer of Bush's Versailles era [October 2, 2004]:
When John Kerry was asked how he would prevent another attack like 9/11, he reeled off a list of nine concrete policy areas, ranging from intelligence reform to training Iraqi troops, but his answer had no thematic summation. If you glance down a transcript of the debate and you see one set of answers that talks about “logistical capacity” or “a plan that I’ve laid out in four points,” or “a long list” of proposals or “a strict series of things” that need to be done, you know that’s Kerry speaking. [emphasis added]
If, on the other hand, you see an answer that says, “When we give our word, we will keep our word,” you know that is Bush. When you see someone talking about crying with a war widow, you know that’s Bush.
Bush had no ideas then either, and it seems Brooks knew it. But then it was a virtue. Now it obviously isn't. My only question is why it took Brooks so long to learn this.
In a related matter, I'm happy to be wrong about the right wing pundit army marching lockstep with their guy, however bad his arguments. This was true with Bush until just recently. The only disagreements (uttered sotto voce) were that he was not conservative enough. Now to the growing chorus of right wing pundits who reject McCain for reasons other than sufficient rightwardness, a group which includes George Will, Kathleen Parker, and to some extent Charles Krauthammer, one can perhaps now definitively add David Brooks.