David Brooks has been so bad, so off-track, for so long that many of us continue to wonder why the New York Times still keeps him on as an editorial writer. Today Jonathan Chait takes him on for his contention that the two sides of the political debate are equally to blame. Demonstrably not true.
Chait uses the matter of Obama's birth certificate as an example of how tenaciously the right holds on to its deliberate ignorance.
David Brooks today devotes his column to upholding the known truths of BipartisanThink. He lashes out at the obstinacy of the Republican Party and its refusal to compromise on the deficit. But he has to balance it out by asserting that President Obama, too, lacks any such plan:
Under the Permanent Campaign Shimmy, the president identifies a problem. Then he declines to come up with a proposal to address the problem. Then he comes up with a vague-but-politically-convenient concept that doesn’t address the problem (let’s raise taxes on the rich)…
The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration, let alone one that is politically plausible.
He does have a vague and politically convenient concept. (Tax increases on the rich!).
This is demonstrably false. Whatever you think about the substantive merits of Obama’s plan, it does exist. Obama has a proposal to replace sequestration with long-term deficit reduction that includes a mix of entitlement spending cuts and higher revenue. He talks about it all the time. Here is the plan. Yesterday the administration reiterated that it continues to stand behind this offer. ...Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel
Aside from anything else, Brooks is just plain lazy.
Steve Benen has the same complaint.
... It's puzzling that Brooks based his entire column today on an easily-checked error. The conservative pundit insists President Obama "declines to come up with a proposal to address" next week's sequester mess, adding, "The president hasn't actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration."
I'll never understand how conservative media personalities get factual claims like this so very wrong. If Brooks doesn't like Obama's sequester alternative, fine; he can write a column explaining his concerns. But why pretend the president's detailed, already published plan, built on mutual concessions from both sides, doesn't exist? If you're David Brooks, why don't you just pick up the phone, call the West Wing, and say, "Do you folks have a proposal to address the sequester or not?" I'm certain an administration official would help him by sending him exactly what he's looking for, and then he wouldn't have to publish claims that are demonstrably wrong. ...Steve Benen, MaddowBlog