By David Brooks, New York Times, September 19, 2011
The White House has clearly decided that in a town of intransigent Republicans and mean ideologues, it has to be mean and intransigent too. The president was stung by the liberal charge that he was outmaneuvered during the debt-ceiling fight. So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach.
Mr. Brooks is referring in this piece to the Obama insistence on taxing the wealthy, and closing the loopholes on corporate tax breaks, as part of the method of paying for the jobs bill. In fact Brooks goes so far as to say, 'this is not a jobs bill, it is a campaign marker'...for 2012.
But Mr. Brooks, in each of your examples citing Obama for not going far enough in his "change the politics of Washington," he has been thwarted by that "intransigent and mean" bunch of ideologues you yourself call the Republicans.
Your disappointment, Sir, is misdirected. It needs to take on those very members of your party who have held the country, and its capacity to confront its serious problems, hostage for too long.
You are not a "sap" for holding out hope for the kind of fundamental change that Obama promised in 2008, and the country overwhelmingly voted for. It is the country who has been taken in and sabotaged by your "intransigent and mean" ideologues...and finally the president, with his promise to veto any bill that does not increase taxes, has decided that enough is more than enough.
For you to continue to paint the president as the "bad guy" in the scenario of the last nearly three years is simply to cling to your "moderate Republican" heritage too tightly. You see the glass as half empty, whereas, given the odds he has had to fight, it is more accurate to see the glass as half-full...in the honourable American tradition of perceiving and pursuing plenty and not scarcity.
Perhaps, even you will find it in you to cast a vote for the moderate, mature and as unconventional as the situation permits incumbent when you go to the polls in 2012. And may there be millions of your party who see the wisdom of that vote for the health of your proud country.