DAVID BROOKS: POSSIBLY THE WORST JUDGE OF CHARACTER WHO EVER WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH
Whether you agree with him or not, [Joe Lieberman] is transparently the most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of men.
--David Brooks in today's New York Times
...I am planning to vote for George W. Bush because he is a nice guy. As a nice guy he will attract and retain the loyalty of outstanding administration officials, and together they will promote policies that are smarter and bolder than we ever would expect, just from looking at Bush himself. As a nice man, he will prove remarkably adept at working with Congress, with Democrats, with the media and with all the other different people you need to handle as president. He will set a tone of bonhomie that will grease the machinery of government; things will actually get done in Washington again.
--David Brooks in Salon, August 2, 2000
(By the way, that's only a very small part of what's wrong with today's appalling Brooks column, which you can read free at the first link. Brooks says, "What's happening to Lieberman can only be described as a liberal inquisition." That should have been penciled out by Brooks's editor as an absurdity -- Brooks is saying that experiencing a contested election is, for an incumbent, the equivalent of being tortured on the rack -- but when it wasn't, it should have been flagged by his copy editor. Did "only" stop meaning "only" while I was on vacation? Brooks is saying that there's literally no other expression available in the English language to describe Lieberman's situation. None? No other word or phrase applies? Not "ordeal," or perhaps "nuisance"? Not "sign of the democratic process in action" or "pesky hurdle to overcome" or "stumbling block on the way to getting buildings named after him in Hartford"? Words mean things, David, even little words like "only." I thought, as a great defender of tweedy, clubby traditional values, you'd know that. Guess not.)