Tuesday, September 20, 2011

David Brooks is 'All Out of Love'

Sipping his glass of red wine to go with his Red Lobster takeout meal. David Brooks sits in his study and listens to the soothing sounds of Air Supply's All Out of Love.

"How?" Brooks asks himself. "How can Barack Obama propose tax increases on the rich. I thought he was a centrist Republican. Just like me?"

Brooks shakes with unease that his man-crush has forsaken him for cynical politics. Brooks types painfukl words into his laptop for his New York Times op-ed.

I liked Obama’s payroll tax cut ideas and urged Republicans to play along. But of course I’m a sap. When the president unveiled the second half of his stimulus it became clear that this package has nothing to do with helping people right away or averting a double dip. This is a campaign marker, not a jobs bill.

Brooks suddenly starts crying.

"Good God!," Brooks laments. "I'm crying like Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give"

Brooks thinks back to his visits to the White House. He remembers talking to the President. How the President would put his hand on his shoulder. Brooks remembers how he felt like a school girl when his knees trembles." The best part part of all was when the President looked into his eyes and said he has to go to the bathroom and that the Secret Service would show him out.

"He looked at me," Brooks kept saying to himself as he was led out.

Brooks remembers when the romance between him and the President was in full bloom. The President gave the private insurance industry millions of new customers with the the signing of the Affordable Health Act. Senior White House staffers told Brooks that the President wasn't going to use the Justice Department to after banks that were illegally foreclosing on homeowners. Brooks finally found a Democrat committed to real change. This administration would have less prosecutions on Fortune 500 companies than the Bush administration. Brooks was now feeling cast aside like one of President Clinton's mistresses.

Being a sap, I still believe that the president’s soul would like to do something about the country’s structural problems. I keep thinking he’s a few weeks away from proposing serious tax reform and entitlement reform. But each time he gets close, he rips the football away. He whispered about seriously reforming Medicare but then opted for changes that are worthy but small. He talks about fundamental tax reform, but I keep forgetting that he has promised never to raise taxes on people in the bottom 98 percent of the income scale.

Brooks hits repeat on his Ipod to hear All Out of Love one more time.

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