Uh-oh. David Brooks is offering the President advice again. Since we're told that Brooks is one of President Obama's favorite columnists, there's always the chance that his latest idea will gain traction in the White House. Brooks is smart, and he's a good salesman, so his ideas may resonate with a lot of other powerful Democrats, too.
That would be a very, very bad thing indeed. He's using new catchphrases to dress up some very bad, very old, and very unpopular ideas.
Two old paradigms ain't worth forty cents.
The Brooks proposal may sound fresh, but it's really only a mash-up of two stale notions: That "bipartisanship" happens whenever well-heeled Democratic and Republican politicians cut a deal, and that "transformation" is always exciting and positive - no matter what you're transforming from or to.
Brooks is still thinking in clichéd, outmoded "left" vs. "right" terms. Like so many others in Washington, he doesn't realize that the world has changed. The Grand Compromise he's offering isn't between "liberals" and "conservatives," but between most Americans - Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, Tea Partiers as well as progressives - and the tiny band of Washington insiders that have hijacked that city's thinking with ideas they continue to peddle as "bipartisan."
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