Wednesday, January 30, 2008
How Not to Sound Conservative
How anyone in their right mind can consider Brooks a conservative commentator is beyond me, even for the leftward tilting Times. This bit of rhetorical heavy breathing, whether inspired more by Obama than the aged artifact Kennedy, should be too embarrassing even for the Gray Lady.
Consider this purple prose:
Then, in the speech’s most striking passage, he set Bill Clinton afloat on the receding tide of memory. “There was another time,” Kennedy said, “when another young candidate was running for president and challenging America to cross a New Frontier.” But, he continued, another former Democratic president, Harry Truman, said he should have patience. He said he lacked experience. John Kennedy replied: “The world is changing. The old ways will not do!”You would have thought, that if in any sense a Kennedy Mystique, or some Mantle of Enlightened Progressivism, could in any sense by "passed on" from an Elder to the Younger, the Elder would have had to possess it in the first place.
The audience at American University roared. It was mostly young people, and to them, the Clintons are as old as the Trumans were in 1960. And in the students’ rapture for Kennedy’s message, you began to see the folding over of generations, the service generation of John and Robert Kennedy united with the service generation of the One Campaign. The grandparents and children united against the parents.
I don't know anyone, Republican or Democrat, who thinks that about Ted Kennedy. News flash to David Brooks, the reason Kennedy never attempted the nomination again was NOT that the excesses of his "callow youth" prevented it, but the disdain and revulsion of majorities in his own party.
Brooks also made the rather astonishing claim:
But life did ask him to be a senator, and he has embraced that role and served that institution with more distinction than anyone else now living — as any of his colleagues, Republican or Democrat, will tell you.Who's he kidding? Many in his own party give him lip service, sure, and some Republicans too, and much of it can be fawning, when somebody wants something from the old beast. In the opposition, he was callous and strident. In opposition to the war in Iraq, he fomented outrageous slanders and was a major force in escalating the "hyperpartisan style of politics" Brooks appears to decry and believes Obama (and Kennedy?!) rejects.
(Via Real Clear Politics)
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