Tuesday, October 02, 2012


A lot of people have said recently that Mitt Romney has lost David Brooks; they point to the mocking Romney biography Brooks wrote in August, and to Brooks's seemingly genuine outrage at Romney's "47%" comments.

But I guarantee you that David Brooks will vote for Mitt Romney. Yes, he's dissatisfied with the Mitt Romney who actually exists, but he's compensating for that by inventing the Mitt Romney he'd prefer (and wrirting today's column in that fantasy-Romney's voice):
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to use the opening minutes of this debate a little differently. I'd like to say that I wish everybody could have known my father, George Romney. He was a great public servant and I've always tried to live up to his example. The problem is that you get caught up in the competitiveness of a campaign and all the consultants want to make you something you're not.

I've allowed that to happen to me. I'm a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and I've been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. I'm a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. I've ended up dumbing myself down.

It hasn't even worked. I'm behind. So I've decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself.
Brooks toggles between "I, Mitt Romney, allowed myself to become this person" and "evil people held me down and forced me to be this person" -- either of which, as far as I'm concerned, would be a disqualification for the presidency, a sign that you have no spine. But for Brooks, it's a sign that there's a real Romney lurking inside that fake Romney who was, alas, created for the tea party era -- never mind the fact that Mitt Romney started remaking himself long before the end of his gubernatorial term.

And the real Romney not only has a solid centrist core, he has mad political skillz:
[One] reason there's been no budget compromise is that Republicans have been too rigid, refusing to put revenue on the table. I've been part of the problem. But, globally, the nations that successfully trim debt have raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. I will bring Republicans around to that position.
"I will bring Republicans around to that position"? Seriously? David, you you spend the entire column depicting a Romney who's so round-heeled he'll do whatever a wingnut asks him to do, then you say he's going to bring the congressional crazies around, rather than the opposite?

But Brooks is going to vote for this fantasy Romney. Brooks doesn't think this dream-Romney is the one who's running, but he's sure dream-Romney is in there somewhere.


Victor said...

Brooks' dream Romney looks a lot like Noonan's dreamily-remembered Reagan in that neither one ever existed in real life.

And yes, Brooks will surely vote for Romney - if for no other reason, than the fact that he still has a stiffie for Paulie-boy.

Brooks will now spend the next 4 years polishing Paulie's turd - amongst others. Mansions need upkeep, a boy's gotta eat, and fois gras and lobster don't grow on trees.

Palli said...

Romney isn't going to work that hard, Mr. Brooks.

Danp said...

Brooks' fantasy Romney translated: I have no core values, and I can't sell this nonsense because I'm too smart to believe it. But if you vote for me, I'll start being honest about it for the first time in my life, because I really want Dad to be proud. Now if only I can figure out what the Europeans are doing.

Ugh! I pass.

Steve M. said...

Brooks will now spend the next 4 years polishing Paulie's turd - amongst others.

I can't tell which Republican he'll have Bieber fever for in '16. I'm guessing Jeb or Christie.

Ms. L.B. said...

I had friends sending me glowing reviews of Insipid Brooks' satirical column on Romney's bio. They said he had finally seen the light. I told them Brooks wouldn't see the light if the Rapture shone full-on in his face.

Unknown said...

"But Brooks is going to vote for this fantasy Romney. Brooks doesn't think this dream-Romney is the one who's running, but he's sure dream-Romney is in there somewhere."

But even if he isn't, Brooks doesn't care. Because Democrats are icky with their numbers and facts and being-right-about-every-major-issue-of-the-past-30-years-ness.


White Hat said...

"I will bring Republicans around to that position"

Romney has been the GOP's #1 presidential candidate for 4 years. That makes him a long established big-time playah, not some groveling supplicant. He had leverage within the party that no one else enjoyed - if only he had chosen to use it.

Romney chose not to lead his party, but to pander to the kooks instead. That makes him perhaps the one person in the world MOST to blame for the GOP's asinine platform.

Brooks is delusional, and thinks his readers are too. "Poor" Mitt saddled the nation with a nutso party by not leading when he could and should have.

Steve M. said...

Well, if he'd deviated too much from conservative Correct Thinking, he'd have been exiled like Jon Huntsman ... but you're right, if leadership could have brought this lunatics into line, he's had ample time to demonstrate such leadership.

White Hat said...

Romney didn't just have the time, he should have been highly motivated. A competent businessman would have wanted to assemble a package with the broadest possible appeal, not one that could sell only to a minority marketplace.

Even as late as the party convention, Romney had the opportunity to ameliorate some of the more goofy stuff. The fact that he didn't ban sharia law, the gold standard and the various conspiracy theories embedded in the GOP platform demonstrates how religiously Romney avoids leadership. It's one more factor disqualifying him for the presidency, and it's one that even David Brooks recognizes, though he refuses to say so directly.

White Hat said...

Another related point about the propellerheads needs to be made: The GOP has cultivated and funded each and every nutso represented in the GOP party platform. Running a Tea Party chapter, promoting a conspiracy theory, birtherism - GOP funding has made promoting nonsense a career opportunity for many, many people.

Romney and the GOP aren't victims of their base's stupidity, they bought and paid for the stupidity. It was their strategy.