There's a slim possibility that David Brooks may not be the debased shill I often accuse him of being. On the contrary, what if Brooks is the ultimate Charlie Brown to the Bush administration's Lucy with the football? Hoping, just one last time, that G2 will take a real stab at running the kind of sensible, compassionate, cutting edge conservative revolution of Brooks' fantasies.

For instance, today he transforms the domestic agenda portion of Bush's speech from the same tired list of proposals he trots out every year into a bold new vision of "government as a positive tool" (gasp). I have no doubt that Brooks realizes that Bush and team have had the patience for exactly one piece of big compromise driven legislation (NCLB) so far, and that otherwise they have been content to fake it (Medicare) or just blindly push a starve the government agenda (when they are not selling it off piece by piece, that is). Even if he believes the Cato math on all of these things (which leaves a lot to be desired), he has to know they are going way more time, energy, and compromise than Bush can muster.

And yet there he is, all wide eyed and trusting, not quite grasping that a) the other major intellectual current in his party (which arguably has a lot more pull than his blue state appeal garners) wants to DESTROY the federal government by any means necessary; and b) everyone of these proposals would be sacrificed to tax cuts. Brooks even mentions the latter problem, but thinks it is still up for debate.


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