David Brooks is not happy about the way the negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff" have been going so far and expressed some of that discontent on this Friday's PBS Newshour. Brooks apparently has President Obama mixed up with House Speaker John Boehner when it comes to who has been "thumping" their chest during these negotiations.
He also accused President Obama of over-reading his mandate and attempted to link what's going on now to George W. Bush going out there and pushing his extremely unpopular views on privatizing Social Security, which Brooks called "reform" (a.k.a. privatizing) during this segment on PBS. Brooks now claims that it was a mistake for Bush to have done that back in 2004.
I looked around for any columns by Brooks after Bush made his statement that he had a mandate and didn't have any luck finding any. If any of our readers happen to come across commenting on the "mandate" remarks by Bush, I'd love to see what he was saying back then compared to now and if he's done a 180 on whether he thought actually thought Bush was wrong at the time, as he's saying he believes now.
I hate to bread it do David Brooks, but raising taxes on the wealthy is very popular with Americans. President Obama does actually have a mandate to do something about the income disparity in America, unlike Bush, where the more he talked about his plans for Social Security, and how wrong Al Gore was about the "lock box," and how the trust fund was nothing but a bunch of worthless I.O.U.s that those like him that borrowed against for wars and tax cuts should never have to pay back, the less popular his ideas became.
And I don't recall Bush campaigning on privatizing Social Security. So Brooks' analogy here is completely ridiculous, but that's about what I'd expect from someone who has spent his entire career trying to make Republican policies palatable to those they can con into voting against their own economic interests.
Here's more from Driftglass, who also flagged this segment and who thought as little of Brooks' remarks as I did:
Only in the precious, punch-drunk imagination of the Apostate Conservative is actually learning from your previous confrontations with vicious, reckless assholes considered an insulting affront to magnanimity.
Only measured by the dissolute sensibilities of the Apostate Conservative is opening negotiations by saying that you intend to do what you were just re-elected a stick in the eye.
Go read the rest for more on David Brooks' fellow Republican turd polisher, Andrew Sullivan's similar remarks.
Full transcript below the fold.