Here are the two opening paragraphs of the David Brooks essay of April 5,2012:
"President Obama is an intelligent, judicious man who can see all sides of an issue. But every once in a while he tries to get politically cute, and he puts on his Keith Olbermann mask. I suppose it’s to his credit that he’s most inept when he tries to take the low road. He resorts to hoary, brain-dead clichés. He wanders so far from his true nature that he makes Mitt Romney look like Mr. Authenticity."
Keith Olberman mask, low road, hoary,brain dead cliches and Mitt Romney as Mr. Authenticity, a list that is pregnant with possibilities. Keith Olberman as the 'left wing' Glenn Beck (i.e. destructive political nihilist)? Hoary and brain dead cliche, descriptive of himself as collector and chief launderer of the Conservative lexicon and the auxiliary jargon of the Tea Party? Mr. Brooks is careless, even cavalier, in his treatment of Mitt Romney/Mr. Authenticity who apparently will be the Republican nominee. Just a momentary strategic feint, as an in order to, in service to the pointed critique of the veracity of President Obama? The questions ramify.
That President Obama had the temerity to criticism Mr. Paul Ryan and his budget and to dignify the contemporary Republican reactionary political nostalgia as Social Darwinism, too much for Mr. Brooks. His conscience was pricked. It was the spur that drove him to his rhetorical strategy of first and last resort, his usual hortatory, nearly intemperate tone, in defense of Mr. Ryan as Republican Economic Guru and Social Darwinism as a one dimensional racialist ideology. One needn’t be an historian of ideas to know that Social Darwinism was a multifaceted ideological expression wedded to very real and active practices of social stratification,hierarchy and active prejudices against the 'lower orders': hardly new concepts in American political and social life. And at its most virulent in the Modern Republican Party since Ronald Reagan.
Again Mr. Brooks:
"As I say, I have my own problems with Ryan’s plan, which Obama identified. But Ryan has at least taken a big step toward an eventual fiscal solution. He’s proposed necessary structural entitlement reforms, which the Democrats are unwilling to do. He’s proposed real tax reform, which the Democrats are also unwilling to do."
Necessary structural entitlement reform and real tax reform enter as the next stock players to enter the dramatic menage.
"The first truth is that we will have to do these big things to avoid a fiscal calamity. The second truth is there is no one party solution; there has to be a merger of respectable ideas. The third truth is that gimmicky speeches obscure the president’s best character and make it seem as if he doesn’t understand the scope of the calamity looming in front of us.
Obama shouldn’t be sniping at Ryan. He should be topping him with something bigger and better."
Fiscal calamity is Mr. Brooks final dramatis personae to enter; but it has been present since the economic crisis of 2008. Most of us dwell in the fiscal calamity of the collapse of the Free Market Delusion, while Mr. Brooks contemplates the failure of it's successor Austerity, as the only real solution. And what if Austerity fails to deliver as the Free Market failed?