David Brooks has really been on a roll lately, if by “on a roll” one means “consistently regurgitating Republican talking points.” The other day, he explained that Libby indictment proves that the Plame scandal was much ado about nothing. And today, a wacky, wacky column about Harry Reid, tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorist! Because, you see, Harry Reid wants to know if the Bushies ginned up the evidence for war. As of course they did–at this point, the only way to believe otherwise is to ignore everything we’ve learned over the past few years. And as I believe Brooks himself noted recently, wishing for a thing does not make it so.
The thing is, Brooks likes to think of himself as a trendspotter. And in this case, the trend is bearing down on him like a freight train on a long open stretch of flat prairie land. There’s a deafening roar coming up fast, and Mr. McBobo thinks it’s the cheers of an adoring crowd whose support for the Republican party is unwavering. To put it another way, it’s 1972, and Brooks is assuring us that the Watergate break in was just a random burglary. And on some level, he must know. He’s not Sean Hannity or Michelle Malkin–give him that much. He must know that he’s going to look like such a pathetic apologist in a month, or five months, or a year–and certainly to posterity. And you just know he’s the sort of person who worries about things like that. My guess is, he has an angel on one shoulder, whispering comforting talking points and conventional wisdom softly into his ear, and a devil on the other muttering about his undeserved reputation for prescience. And he’s caught in the middle, wanting desperately to be ahead of the curve, but terrified of standing out there alone.
Then again, he may just be a tool.