A good question, although there are others I’d rather hear him answer. One, obviously: How sharp does the crease in a man’s pants have to be to qualify him for the presidency? And two: Does he not see that Hopenchange is guilty of some the same demagogic sins he observes in the tea party? Patterico wrote an epic guest post about that a few months ago; do read it now if you missed it before. That’s not to suggest that Brooks has no issues with The One — even here, he scolds him in (too-polite) terms for his failure of leadership on our looming fiscal catastrophe — but rather that he seems to prefer him to tea partiers notwithstanding the reality of that looming catastrophe. A telling quote from one of his columns dated March 2, 2009, shortly after O was inaugurated and before the tea party got rolling:

Moderates now find themselves betwixt and between. On the left, there is a president who appears to be, as Crook says, “a conviction politician, a bold progressive liberal.” On the right, there are the Rush Limbaugh brigades. The only thing more scary than Obama’s experiment is the thought that it might fail and the political power will swing over to a Republican Party that is currently unfit to wield it.

Does he still believe that in light of our new $223 billion monthly deficit? I’m curious to know, especially given the closing paragraph of his column last month about Obama’s insane new budget.

Exit question: You’ll hear him say here that he thinks Obama’s not hard left but “a more pragmatic type of liberal.” But in the 2009 column linked above, he acknowledged that moderates were wrong about O and that his “actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice.” Which is it?