Guys, it’s like you don’t even listen to David Brooks anymore! After trying to explain to you that America was ever so much more civilized when run by the Protestant Ascendancy, he now lays out a list of nine reasons (David Brooks is not a prisoner of your HuffPostian tyranny of “round numbers” for his listicles) why the 2012 election is the Dullest Campaign Ever. The saddest part of this patrician jeremiad is that most of it is 100% true, but since we are in the depths of the part of the campaign season where you are either with us or against us, we must parse the Brooksian whinging to determine if our hero has abandoned Mitt Romney to his fate. OUR ANALYSIS: Yes, probably!
David Brooks’s reasons why the 2012 election is so tiring to him start with “Intellectual stagnation” (snob), “Lack of intellectual innovation” (unfortunate borrowing of overused corporate buzzword), and “Increased focus on the uninformed” (snob), and then we get to #4:
Fourth, lack of serious policy proposals. Has there ever been a campaign with so few major plans on the table? President Obama’s proposals are small and medium-size retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.
So, we … guess Obama comes out ahead, in terms of being on the receiving end of less withering Brooksian contempt? Sure, his proposals are small and “retreads” (maybe because he has to keep proposing the same things over and over because Congress won’t pass any of them, hmm), but at least he has them! Mitt Romney won’t endorse any policies! “Republicans” are really working hard on some sensible policies for Romney to champion, and he won’t do it! WHY WON’T MITT ROMNEY LISTEN TO THE SOBER ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS THAT DAVID BROOKS RESPECTS?
So, there you have it: the sensible center has abandoned Mitt Romney and he will lose now, the end, because David Brooks is the secret puppetmaster running all of American political life. Feel free to read the rest of this article if you want to feel gross for vaguely agreeing with David Brooks. [NYT]