David Brooks, Reporter,Historian, Ideologue? by Political Observer

In reading David Brooks’ essay of March 28, 2012 titled A Moderate Conservative Dilemma should the attentive reader ask some pertinent questions as to the rhetorical stance he takes to his subjects? In this context does he present himself as an objective reporter of historical actualities or as a partisan in the ideological disputes within the Party? The political career of Nathan Fletcher is an instructive and revelatory subject for exposition, but is Mr. Brooks the right ‘reporter’ for the job, or is Mr. Brooks constructing a modern political parable as a demonstration of a presumptive political prescience, exploiting to the full the notion of pundit? Mr. Brooks is one of the guardians of the ethos of Modern Conservatism and one of it’s foremost interpreters. Mr. Fletcher left the Republican Party to become an Independent in the face of the Republican Party’s unwillingness to engage in compromise, the very definition of the political, as a strategy to defeat the Democrats. In other words the Republican Party has become the party of no. How can government and administration function without political compromise? Unless you are Grover Norquist and your ‘political philosophy’ is the active subversion of the idea of governance through intransigence, i.e. non-cooperation. Mr. Brooks is the natural inheritor of the purge of the Moderates (Eisenhower Republicans) from the Republican Party that commenced in 1964, so his rhetorical stance as ‘reporter’, as ‘historian’ rather than self-interested ideologue resides in the realm of the dubious, except as an instance of self-exculpatory apologetics.

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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