Sorry for the harsh title. "Everyone gets one."
In his latest column, while articulating the reasons David Brooks <3's Barack Obama, he lets us in on this little tidbit which, I think, says a lot about both men:</p>
Obama’s great skill is his ability to perceive and forge bonds with other people. Everybody who’s dealt with him has a story about a time when they felt Obama profoundly listened to them and understood them. One of mine came a few years ago.
I was writing columns criticizing the Republican Congress, but each time I’d throw in a few sentences slamming the Democrats, subconsciously trying to make myself feel good. One morning I got an e-mail message from Obama that roughly said: David, if you want to critique us, fine. But you’re just throwing in those stray sentences to make yourself feel good.
I felt like a bug pinned down in a display case.
So now, can we please let all of this Obama <3's The Broderite Class stuff go? I mean, I think it should be obvious by now to most here that this is a one way relationship.</p>
People like David Brooks respect Obama because he shows them respect: He treats them pleasantly, but has no problem calling them on their shit.
I think this gives them a certain respect for him while at the same time understand very clearly the relationship. Barack Obama will be cordial, and he will not attack you unless you deserve it. But if you're pulling bullshit, he will call you on it, clearly and forcefully.
Also, not to give Brooks too much credit, he is still a complete ass:
His weakness is that he never breaks from his own group. In policy terms, he is an orthodox liberal. He never tells audiences anything that might make them uncomfortable. In the Senate, he didn’t join the Gang of 14, which created a bipartisan consensus on judges, because it would have meant deviating from liberal orthodoxy and coming to the center.
Maybe it's actually because allowing bad judges to have a higher court than they already have is a BAD FUCKING IDEA.
So yes, I still hate David Brooks. But I'm glad that he let that little tidbit slip, as further proof that Barack Obama is exactly the kind of man I've seen him to be throughout his campaign.