David Brooks is going to be one of the best critics the Obama Administration will have, because his reservations and attacks are based on a world view that’s not only viable and thoughtful but almost always proved right: the view that we human beings overrate our ability to solve problems through the application of reason. The return of liberals to power has driven Brooks back down to his philosophical roots in Burkean caution toward rapid change based on abstract principles (he had lost touch with this inner self during the early Bush years, especially around the invasion of Iraq). Today’s column is just one of many recent examples, prompted by the fact that the Obama White House is taking on massive challenges in the economy, housing, banking, health care, energy, and education—all at once. It is, Brooks writes, “the biggest political experiment of our lifetimes.” Obama should do what Bush never did and make sure he talks to a critic like Brooks at least once every few months.
Why do these guys have to jerk each other off so much? It’s worse than a British boarding school.
I know, Assassin’s Gate was a brilliant book, George Packer is a serious guy, and blah blah blah blah. I don’t care.