Tuesday, July 05, 2011

David Brooks' Blind Faith

The David Brooks column that everyone is clucking about today—on the Republican tantrum over the debt limit--strikes me as an odd mixture of principle and pragmatism, with a soupçon of blind faith. Principle, insofar as he sees that the GOP “has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.” Pragmatism, insofar as he cautions them that their strategy won't work. And blind faith insofar as they don't really —ignoring, I suspect, the hard core of GOP radicals who understand perfectly well that they risk bringing down the very fabric of responsible government and just don't have a problem with that. Brooks says that proponents of the GOP strategy “somehow believe” that we can retain the fabric of governance with their apocalyptic program. Maybe some Republicans, but some, I suspect—the architects—I suspect believe nothing of the sort: rather, they simply do not give a damn whether the fabric of government persists or not as long as they get to keep their money.

[Who, exactly? Oh, I'm not certain. Grover Norquist, probably. Dick Armey. Dick Cheney, Phil Gramm, others whose indifference to ordinary governance is deep-seated and long-lasting. I could be wrong in any individual case here, and if any individual case wants to speak up and endorse Brooks' belated conversation to sanity, they're welcome to do so.]

No comments: