In the first Presidential debate Mitt Romney finally invoked the etch-a-sketch that his advisers said he would do and abandoned the hard right positions he took in the primaries to adopt a center/right position. This calculated move was an obvious attempt to fool some of the people, and one of the greatest fools turns out to be New York Times columnist David Brooks.
Mr. Brooks is the attempt by the NYT to put a thoughtful conservative on its editorial pages. Instead, they got the King’s Fool. Far from being skeptical of Mr. Romney’s pre-election conversion, Mr. Brooks has gushed about how the real Romney has now appeared, the one who will not lower taxes on the wealthy, gut social programs, destroy Medicare or preside over a massive budget deficit from cutting taxes and increasing defense spending.
on Wednesday night, Romney finally emerged from the fog. He broke with the stereotypes of his party and, at long last, began the process of offering a more authentic version of himself.
And what is the authentic version of Mitt? It is this, at least according to Mr. Brooks.
Far from being a lackey to the rich, Romney vowed that rich people will not see tax bills go down under a Romney administration. . . . .
Far from being an individualistic, social Darwinist, Romney spoke comfortably about compassion and shared destinies: . . . . .
Far from wanting to eviscerate government and railing about government dependency, Romney talked about how to make government programs work better. “I’m not going to cut education funding,” he vowed. . . . .
Far from being an unthinking deregulator, Romney declared, “Regulation is essential. ... I mean, you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work.” Instead of championing unfettered capitalism, he said he wanted predictable and workable rules.
Now a normal person would question how anyone could believe this version of Mitt, when it is in total opposition to the previous version of Mitt. Exactly why does one believe a person who has consistently changed his positions over time to fit his audience and his goals. But since Mr. Romney is now spouting what Mr. Brooks believes, Mr. Brooks buys the entire outfit, hook, line and sinker.
What is the proof that Mr. Romney is only making this stuff up to appeal to the David Brooks’s of the world and the swing independent voters. It is this. Mr. Romney’s debate performance is being highly praised by hard line conservatives. What is it they know? They know that is just all an act, that Mr. Romney is just pretending, and that in the end he will renounce any moderate views just as he has renounced his progressive views and has renounced his conservative views and so forth.
Mr. Brooks even recognizes that conservatives are cheering this version of Mr. Romney.
Conservatives loved it! They loved that it was effective, and it was effective because Romney could more authentically be the man who (I think) he truly is.
but is so incredibly naïve that he fails to recognize this for what it is, an attempt to fool voters into believing Mr. Romney is something he is not just to get their votes. If conservatives really thought Mr. Romney was sincere they would be attacking him in droves. The don’t because they know that if he is elected he will sign off on every radical conservative legislation put before him.
The hard line conservatives are stupid and ignorant, but they are not fools. They know what Mr. Romney is doing, poor foolish Mr. Brooks does not. In the words of my people, what a smuck.