Mr. Brooks in his column of March 15,2012 is at his comic best, describing the ‘cagey’ President Obama. But it isn’t so much a moment of political revelation, as perhaps, a parable about how the president will lose the election of 2012, as narrated by Mr. Brooks. He describes the political journey of President Obama in the most self-serving cynical terms. And all the usual rhetorical actors assume their places in a narrative that is always consistent, even predictable: tax reform, entitlement reform, debt reduction,grand project,government reform,debt crisis. And just to indicate that he isn’t exactly duplicating or recycling his past essays he injects a telling bit of prescriptive political analysis:
“Leading the country through this will require the intelligence, balance and craftiness that Obama has demonstrated. But it will also require indomitable inner conviction and an aggressive drive to push change. It will require a fearless champion who will fight all the interests that love the tax code the way it is. It will require a fervent crusader to rally the country behind shared sacrifice. It will take an impervious leader willing to spread spending cuts everywhere and offend everybody all at once. There will have to be a clearly defined vision of what government will look like at the end.”
Mr. Brooks can’t help himself, he inflates his commentary with overblown melodrama and heavy moralizing, two more mainstays of his thought. But the patient regular reader of his commentaries is rewarded near the end of this essay by the appearance of the notion of ‘All In’. This astounding metaphor is defined quite glibly by our writer:
“He has never displayed an inner passion, a sense that these projects are his life mission, or a willingness to bear the pain that taking on these challenges necessarily entails.”
Surely Mr. Brooks qualifies as the Agnes Nixon of American punditry.