Brooks Realizes Obama is a Politician

David Brooks has long struck me as one of those serious people who don’t really deserve to be taken seriously at all. Take how he’s reacted to Barack Obama. At least since last September, he’s been flirting around the edges of praise and admiration for Obama, with free flowing praise. But somewhere around mid-Februaryish, or right about the time Obama’s nomination became likely, Brooks shifted tone. Now today, he’s out with this piece of sheer hackery in the New York Times:

Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.

Dr. Barack said he could no more disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than disown his own grandmother. Then the political costs of Rev. Wright escalated and Fast Eddie Obama threw Wright under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have been a workhorse senator. But primary candidates don’t do tough votes, so Fast Eddie Obama threw the workhorse duties under the truck.

Hoo boy, where to start. I guess the most obvious is the first. Obama’s “present” votes haven’t changed since at least 2005. They were every bit as much there when Brooks was near smitten with Obama as they are now, so to suddenly become worried about them now is a bit, well, absurd.

As far as the others, my repsonse would be simple; and McCain is…? David Brooks has long been a fan of John McCain, fashioned in the same self-fancied center-right formulations. But if Obama is to be lamented for casting off Rev. Wright, what does Brooks have to say about McCain jetisoning John Hagee after holding on as long as possible, up until the impossible to defend comments about Hitler came to light? For Senate votes, what about John McCain? Remember that National Journal survey that found Obama to be the most liberal member of the Senate? Well McCain wasn’t even rated, because he didn’t make enough votes to qualify. Brooks then predictably goes on to mention Obama’s public financing opt out as the high point of cynicism, with nary a mention of the fact that McCain is blatantly breaking the law he championed.

Frankly, I share Ezra’s estimation of this flip-flop from Brooks; way back when, Obama wasn’t The Democrat. Now he is. Brooks is a Republican. Ipso facto, he doesn’t particularly find much appealing about Barack The Democrat Obama.

And one other thing, are David Brooks and Bill Kristol really the best the Times can do for right leaning voices? If I were more inclined to conspiracies, I might think they were trying to make the right look downright dim witted by association.