David Brooks: What America needs now is a stronger presidency with “unified authority”

posted at 1:54 pm on December 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

Besides Ross Douthat, is there anyone left on the New York Times op-ed page who doesn’t support benign dictatorship in the name of reducing congressional gridlock? Brooks evidently does. Tom Friedman, who’s been drooling on himself for years over China’s can-do model of government, certainly does. I don’t know if Timothy Egan’s ever squarely addressed the issue but a guy who thinks O’s big problem is that his speeches aren’t flowery enough must be open to persuasion.

As for Dowd, we’re one charming Hollywood romcom about a president with kingly powers away from total commitment.

This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout. It’s important to advocate greater executive branch power in a chastened mood. It’s not that the executive branch is trustworthy; it’s just that we’re better off when the presidency is strong than we are when the rentier groups are strong, or when Congress, which is now completely captured by the rentier groups, is strong.

Here are the advantages. First, it is possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform. It’s nearly impossible for Congress to lead us to a conclusion about anything. Second, executive branch officials are more sheltered from the interest groups than Congressional officials. Third, executive branch officials usually have more specialized knowledge than staffers on Capitol Hill and longer historical memories. Fourth, Congressional deliberations, to the extent they exist at all, are rooted in rigid political frameworks. Some agencies, especially places like the Office of Management and Budget, are reasonably removed from excessive partisanship. Fifth, executive branch officials, if they were liberated from rigid Congressional strictures, would have more discretion to respond to their screw-ups, like the Obamacare implementation. Finally, the nation can take it out on a president’s party when a president’s laws don’t work. That doesn’t happen in Congressional elections, where most have safe seats…

We don’t need bigger government. We need more unified authority. Take power away from the rentier groups who dominate the process. Allow people in those authorities to exercise discretion. Find a president who can both rally a majority, and execute a policy process.

I’m … not sure that we’re necessarily better off when the presidency is strong than when special interests are strong. That depends on two things — first, how much stronger we’re willing to make the former in the name of weakening the latter, and two, whether the president himself is highly susceptible to being influenced by what Brooks calls “rentier groups.” Jay Cost wrote about that last year in his piece on the Democrats’ “clientelist” model of governance:

The problem, though, is that once the door was opened to this brand of clientelism, it could never again be closed. Over the decades, the Democrats have added scores of clients to their operation: trade and industrial unions, African Americans, environmentalists, feminists, government unions, consumer rights advocates, big business, and big city bosses and their lieutenants. All of them are with the Democratic party in part because of the special benefits it promises them when in office, and all have a major say in how the party behaves in government. With more and more clients who needed constant tending, it became harder and harder for subsequent Democratic leaders to focus on the public good. Thus, in the years since FDR’s tenure, the Democratic agenda has looked less like republican liberalism and more like clientele liberalism—big government activism not for the sake of the whole country, but for the sake of the voters whom the Democrats privilege.

And under the Obama administration, clientele liberalism has achieved a kind of apotheosis. The stimulus, the health care bill, cap and trade, and the financial reform package were all designed with heavy input from the party’s clients, and ultimately each reflects their priorities, so much so that any kind of national purpose the legislation might have served was totally undermined.

This isn’t really an “Obama problem.” It’s a bipartisan problem, although more pronounced under Democrats — which, ironically, is the one party of the two that the NYT op-ed section would doubtless prefer to have the “unified authority” that Brooks images. If it were true that the executive was relatively insulated from special interests, that would at least be the makings of an argument for more executive authority. But it’s not true. And it’s a terrible argument even if it was. It’s a rare rentier group that’s so powerful and malevolent that holding it in check is worth gifting new powers to an already increasingly powerful presidency. (Watch Jonathan Turley on that if you haven’t already.) But it’s also typical of the “banal authoritarianism of do-something punditry,” of which Brooks is a leading practitioner, that the idea of gridlock horrifies him more than extending the imbalance of power among the three branches. If only we acquiesced in Obama’s power grabs more than we already do — and we already do, almost entirely! — he might enact immigration reform himself. Which is important because if we’re stuck waiting for John Boehner and the House to do it, we might be waiting … what? Another four, maybe five months? Seems to me if you’re worried about special interests capturing government, you’re better off empowering Congress so that those interests hold each other in check to some extent than you are empowering a single government official who’ll end up serving the particular interests that have captured him.

Say what you want about bad lefty initiatives like McCain/Feingold that seek to rein in “rentier groups,” at least they try to handcuff the groups themselves rather than eliminate some of the few remaining constitutional limits on the presidency. Irony of ironies, 30 members of the House are announcing a resolution today that would direct the leadership to sue Obama for his various unconstitutional ObamaCare power grabs. That’s less than seven percent of all Representatives who are interested in challenging the president on separation of powers. And Brooks thinks the problem is that O doesn’t have enough “unified authority.”


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Schadenfreude on December 13, 2013 at 2:51 PM

…and the next thing you know that ‘unified authority’ wants the Sudetenland…

Say, Brooksie, why don’t you just say you want a tyrant and be honest with yourself? Would that hurt your little ego so much?

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

These people are mentally ill. They’re full of themselves, super-geniuses, incapable of any wrong-doing or flawed thought. Naturally, they should be able to do whatever they want.

The next time you see David Brooks out with his superior-being friends, pile-drive his face into his garlic mashed potatoes — accidentally, of course.

RobertMN on December 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

An elected dictator anyone?

The Roman Republic’s Senate would appoint dictators to deal with military or other crises of the day. These dictators started out with limited terms of a few months or so and could rule by decree during that period of time. Eventually, the temporary dictators of the Roman Republic became lifetime Caesars ruling over the Roman Empire.

What Mr. Brooks advocates is already occurring in the American Republic. The regulatory bureaucracy long ago started imposing by decree more laws than our elected Congress. Now, President Obama and his bureaucracy simply rewrite or decline to enforce the laws of Congress which get in their way. We currently have an effective executive dictatorship with an elected Congress theoretically providing a democratic check.

America fought an armed revolution over far less.

Bart DePalma on December 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Is anyone else noticing the many comments related to Nazi Germany? Lebensraum, Kristallnacht, the ovens, and most recently the Sudetenland as examples.

Just change all democrat and media references to “the rich” with “the Jews,” and I think you’ll see a pattern.

Benghazi and Kristallnacht, in particular, are eerily similar in the explanations. As above, replace “Kristallnacht” with “Benghazi,” and “assassination” with “published video” when you read about it (or remember it) and the comparison becomes equally eery.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

So, to qualify as an NYT columnist, you not only have to be a raging, foaming-at-the-mouth leftist, but also have to be certified as weapons grade stupid?

Right. Got it.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Nice write-up AP.

conservative pilgrim on December 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

PappyD61 on December 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Yellowstone is #1 on my list of geophysical worries… followed closely by a Carrington Event… then the New Madrid Fault Zone… the Cumbre Vieja… heck the Cascadia Fault is peanuts but nasty enough… then a super Big One from LA to SF, which doesn’t sound all that bad compared to the others.

When Toba erupted only a few thousand humans survived.

Yeah we were primitives then.

Yellowstone is much larger than Toba, and surviving it on a planet-wide scale is going to be extremely difficult for our species. Perhaps the Yanamamo or Dani people might make it. Civilized man, no chance.

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Obama already thinks he’s Pharoah, moron.

VorDaj on December 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

(Snip)Civilized man, no chance.

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

So does that mean the people of Detroit and Chicago will be OK?

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Someone mail Brooks a copy of the Constitution, please. He obviously skipped this class.

Let’s attach a note:

Dear David,

Please review the attached copy of the Constitution. There was a reason the framers did not give these powers to the Executive Branch. These reasons are even more important with this idiot in office. You would look like less of a tool if you understood the premise and didn’t act as if the framers were dummies.

Sincerely,
Those of us who care about our country.

goflyers on December 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

So does that mean the people of Detroit and Chicago will be OK?

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Well since they are in the ash cloud shadow of Yellowstone… after you get through a month’s worth of breathing apparatus in a day, you find yourself breathing very fine shards of glass and dust, and that turns to concrete in your lungs.

Most of the uncivilized won’t make it either if Yellowstone goes.

The Yanamamo are in the deep Amazonian rainforest.

The Grand Valley Dani are in New Guinea.

Last time Yellowstone went it deposited 10′ of ash. In Louisiana. Between 3-5′ of ash in the Hudson Bay region of Canada.

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Brooks: Long Live Big Brother Barack!

Did it ever occur to Brooks and his ilk that the Republicans winning the House in 2010 was a reaction BY THE PEOPLE against the unchecked power of the Left, telling Obama to stop, or at least slow down?

Obama was re-elected President in 2012, but the American people also re-elected the Republican House majority. They WANT Obama’s power to be checked!

Steve Z on December 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I make myself feel better about these idiots saying these things by remembering that if a Republican were President they would be thanking their lucky stars that the Executive didn’t have broader powers to “reduce gridlock” and pass one-sided legislation.

Seriously, do these people even know why we have a Congress? If something isn’t getting done in Congress, maybe it’s because it SHOULDN’T be done.

Democrats had a supermajority to pass a budget and never even tried to do it. So this is not a GOP problem. Once this ZeroCare boondoggle passed the country had an “oh sh!t” moment and put Republicans in charge of the House to put a stop to Democrat one-sided legislation. So, yes, the Congress is doing what it should to slow down the freight train to hell we are on.

goflyers on December 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Oh, so the survivors will be both uncivilized and distant. Too bad. I was thinking that the left’s shenanigans may have had some motive other than greed and stupidity. I’ll have to strike “surviving a flood basalt” off the list of possible reasons for their destruction of American civilization.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

The Bard was so wrong. First, we kill the journalists.

jukin3 on December 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Perhaps the Yanamamo or Dani people might make it. Civilized man, no chance.

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Then I’m safe as I’m Yanamamo on my mother’s side and Dani on my father’s. Pretty lucky of me, have to say.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Then I’m safe as I’m Yanamamo on my mother’s side and Dani on my father’s. Pretty lucky of me, have to say.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Your post reminded me of Cartman’s claim that his grandfather was bisexual, making him quarter-bisexual. I think it was on the metrosexual/crab people/Fab 5 episode, but I’m not going to bother looking it up.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

That’s less than seven percent of all Representatives who are interested in challenging the president on separation of powers.

Which is why it’s important not to be purists losing elections, but intelligent voters doing as well as we can whilst simultaneously keeping the GOP in power.

. . . Er

Axe on December 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

The Scablands of WA and OR are the early eruptions of the Yellowstone hotspot, when it had subducted sea crust to melt through before it got to the surface, bringing those lovely flood basalts with it. Those days are long gone, and the granitic stuff it does these days is… well it had some fountain events after that before it went to the mega-caldera stage.

We have a few of them in the continental US, and when you put in the Long Branch volcano in CA and the one just under the Trinity test site (who knew?), things don’t look so cozy in North America. Throw in the Cascadia mega-thrust fault, the NMFZ and the island of La Palma, and you get a doozy set of side-shows that should have nearly everyone thinking about just how they are going to survive any one of those, regionally, and the after-effects economically.

I like the SFX of La Palma with the Cumbre Vieja letting a trillion ton rockslide go into the Atlantic and a tsunami topping the ESB arriving all the way from Nova Scotia down to Nicaragua. And there is NO Atlantic Tsunami Warning Center, either. Imagine how NYC reacts when it finds out it has only a couple of hours to survive. And Boston. Philadelphia. Baltimore. DC. Miami… actually all of Florida with something that size… but that is small beans compared to Yellowstone.

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Then I’m safe as I’m Yanamamo on my mother’s side and Dani on my father’s. Pretty lucky of me, have to say.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM

So how is the satellite uplink holding up today?

Or did you decide to split the difference and go to Tahiti?

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Then a President Ted Cruz could count on their support for a more powerful chief executive…

R Square on December 13, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Is anyone else noticing the many comments related to Nazi Germany? Lebensraum, Kristallnacht, the ovens, and most recently the Sudetenland as examples.

Just change all democrat and media references to “the rich” with “the Jews,” and I think you’ll see a pattern.

Benghazi and Kristallnacht, in particular, are eerily similar in the explanations. As above, replace “Kristallnacht” with “Benghazi,” and “assassination” with “published video” when you read about it (or remember it) and the comparison becomes equally eery.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174965#.UqtwLOI6yV3

davidk on December 13, 2013 at 3:38 PM

And there is NO Atlantic Tsunami Warning Center, either.
ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:28 PM

They can just post it on Facebook.

I’m not any kind of an expert on geology of any kind. I just like watching the Discovery Channel, and usually read every article I find on Yellowstone. I just saw something that said there was like 5 billion cubic miles of magma under it, but I think the article was wrong. Do you know how big the newer “2.5X bigger” chamber is?

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

So how is the satellite uplink holding up today?

Or did you decide to split the difference and go to Tahiti?

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 3:30 PM

I lied, I’m actually the last of the Mohicans.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Then a President Ted Cruz could count on their support for a more powerful chief executive…

R Square on December 13, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I think it would depend on how perfectly his pants are creased.

ziggyville on December 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

The simple retort to this nonsense is to pick the politician from the other extreme that this (and other similar nimrods) detest, and ask if they’d feel the same way if *that* person were in charge.

Say… President Palin, or President Cruz, or President Gingrich, or President Santorum, etc.

Still think your idea is a good one, Herr Brooks? If not, then kindly shut the f*ck up.

Midas on December 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

So, to qualify as an NYT columnist, you not only have to be a raging, foaming-at-the-mouth leftist, but also have to be certified as weapons grade stupid?

eon on December 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

There are times I think the NYT would be happy with just stupid, but then I remember that they try to overachieve….

They are matching the President in terms of narcissism, ego, and hubris – I’ve noticed that the venerable paper, International Herald Tribune is no more. It’s been renamed the International New York Times.

Yeah, ok, you’re right. It’s weapons grade stupid…

Athos on December 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Where’s ‘Old Hickory’ when you need him?

He’d know how to handle shitwits like Mr. Brooks, here.

Midas on December 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Another take: David Brooks is at #10 on the Road to Serfdom:

http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=109504

Thank you.
ColdWarrior
http://precinctproject.us
http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com

Cold Warrior on December 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Who is this kook and why do we care what he says? If he wants to live under tyranny I suggest he move to say, Cuba or Venezuela.

rich8450 on December 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

That 2.5x bigger depends on just how far we can measure down. Remember that volume obeys the square-cube law: take a given volume (say 2) and double it (to 4) and volume goes up from (a start of 8) to (final volume 64). So just 2.5 the volume isn’t that much of a spatial increase, but you get lots of volume for a little spatial increase. The one place we can’t image that well is just under the main chamber and how it is linked to its feeder pipe coming up from some place in the Dakota’s. So an extra mile or two in the bottom part of the chamber gets you a lot of volume, and its hard to image with seismic readings. The probably either had to do some real nasty transforms on the data or get a much wider set of sensors to get lateral seismic data.

Basically as a 3 dimensional structure full of molten magma under pressure, we can’t get a decent handle on it. And because of its size, using smaller chambers from other volcanoes just doesn’t tell you much about what this means for Yellowstone. All we need is good data from 2 or 3 such events and we can characterize them. They are, however, rare, and the first one we see might be our last as a civilization.

As for La Palma, what do you do when most of an island disappears and it can’t send data directly. Neighboring islands should get a good glimpse of it and as the mile high tower of water comes crashing down… you might get some of the ‘Wow, if you could have only seen what I just saw!!!’ deals. Islands dropping out of the ‘net will give good indications as will seismic data, and even ships at sea will experience it. Overhead satellite for sea level should track it, but not in real time. Basically, by the time folks at various geological surveys get the data, crunch the numbers, consult each other… you have eaten up 2-3 hours out of 6 hours maximum. Now imagine that at 1 AM.

I lied, I’m actually the last of the Mohicans.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Next you’ll tell us you are Maria of Romania… and she is a nice gal…

ajacksonian on December 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

goflyers on December 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

You do realize that to those like Brooks, Dowd, Friedman, Krugman, and others, the US Constitution is an obsolete document written by old, white, slave-owning, men who were out-shown in brilliance and vision by Marat, Robespierre, and the other Jacobins who led a ‘proper’ revolution?

Athos on December 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

IS Brooks a fan of Nazi Germany? Afterall, Hitler did make the trains run on time. Which seems to be Brooks’ main concern.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

North Carolina State Rep. Deb McManus was arrested on felony tax charges Wednesday and has subsequently resigned, after posting a $150,000 bond.

McManus, is a first-term Democrat and a longtime member of the Chatham County School board, where she served her term.

She was charged with three felony counts of embezzlement of state money.

The Department of Revenue reports that McManus embezzled $47,000 in state individual income tax withheld between January 2011 and July 2013 at her husband’s medical office, Carolina Family Practice in Siler City.

Typical democrat.

Murphy9 on December 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The real question is whether Brooks has naked pics of Obama. And, what he’s doing with them.

trigon on December 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

could have gone the rest of my life w/o that mental picture ….

conservative tarheel on December 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

IS Brooks a fan of Nazi Germany? Afterall, Hitler did make the trains run on time. Which seems to be Brooks’ main concern.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I think that reference is actually Mussolini in Italy, not that there’s much difference beyond the moustache.

Wino on December 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Maybe, because of all the communist-dictatorial economy-killing polity-condemning, society-erasing monkey-flash demagogic faux-mesmerist drunk-tripping cavalcade of socio-economic disoperation (more like disinformation as opposed to misinformation) through spittle-spouting imperial dictat shouted from balconies and state-extorted media, all too numerous to collate, a humorous romp of kiddy-TV top-hatted villains if it weren’t accompanied by real destruction, deprivation and death, from Nicolas Maduro, the new president and dictator-for-life of a once-pleasant (but no-longer) Venezuela, I have decided perhaps to try to keep a listing of his despicable antics and maybe my thoughts on them.

But first I’ll start with David Brooks, who is, in the midst of unprecedented governmental mismanagement within the US now advocating the very same dictatorial remedy for similarly capitalist-exloitative problems not quite yet in full flower here. “It’s a good idea to be tolerant of executive branch power grabs and to give agencies flexibility.”

Brooks sings in secret: My, my, MYYY Maduro.

flicker on December 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

What America needs is for David Brooks to move back to Canada and take AP’s midget a/h buddy, David Frum, with him.

bw222 on December 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Libtards love calling conservatives fascists, and here their fair haired boys are calling for exactly that. This isn’t a a matter of cognitive dissonance, it’s sheer insanity.

Quartermaster on December 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Why is anyone paying any attention at all to David Brooks?

He has obviously degenerated into a totally mindless facist-loving loon who longs to bring back slavery: this time for ALL races.

Can we declare HotAir a Brooks-free zone?

landlines on December 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM

IS Brooks a fan of Nazi Germany? Afterall, Hitler did make the trains run on time. Which seems to be Brooks’ main concern.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

If Hitler had a nice crease in his pants, Brooks would have been urging his fellow Jews to board the “Buchenwald Express.”

bw222 on December 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

What we need now is less David Brooks – a lot less!

Another Drew on December 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I’ve spent time talking to Brooks..

Brooks is not a nice man. He does not wish Americans well.

CrazyGene on December 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Besides Ross Douthat, is there anyone left on the New York Times op-ed page who doesn’t support benign dictatorship in the name of reducing congressional gridlock?

The ‘times’ has a history you know…

elgeneralisimo on December 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

What America needs now is David Brooks and his NY and DC cocktail party crowd severed bloody heads on top of I-95 mile marker posts from NYC to DC.

Wallythedog on December 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Term freakin’ limits.

Fixed.

twgriff on December 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Um…Brooks? …Did you suddenly forget the last time the world had a more ‘Unified Authority’ Your people barely survived?

Why can’t self-loathing people simply kill *themselves*, and not insist on taking the whole race with them?

a5minmajor on December 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

“We should never trust concentrated power. That is not what the country is based on. It’s based on checks and balances,” —David Brooks

He said this when attacking Syria was on the table earlier this year.

ChrisL on December 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

and then I get to hear liberals say : But conservative David Brooks said this or that…..

Puke.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Meh.

You choose to read David Brooks, don’t blame me for the loss of brain cells which results.

Adjoran on December 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

It is perfectly fine to want a power-grabbing, unified executive, so long as it does things in a way that you happen to agree with.

Progressive/liberal-types think that there will ALWAYS be the right kind of person in charge – one who thinks like they do, had the same ideals, and operates in the way they think they would operate if they were in charge.

Conservative/classical liberal-types think that there will ALWAYS be [the real possibility] of the wrong kind of person in charge – power-hungry, arbitrary, callous, etc.

The attitude difference explains why an powerful government is preferred by progressives while limited government is preferred (more or less) by conservatives. If it is easy to do good then it is also easy to do bad and subsequently stopping the bad is actually hard because the bad don’t behave like the good.

Russ808 on December 13, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Climb down Brooks, and the let the congress get on with its job.

thatsafactjack on December 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Is this guy an American citizen? He sure doesn’t think like one. He thinks like a banana republic dictator. Oh I know, he works for the NYT ( a hot bed of banana republic dictator support) and he went to an IVy league school on affirmative action. They had to set one stupid student in to keep the school IQ from getting too high.

Old Country Boy on December 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Keep in mind… David Brooks admired the crease in Obama’s trousers and suggested he knew when he saw those trousers that Obama would be president.

A crease in a politician’s trousers.

thatsafactjack on December 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Can we declare HotAir a Brooks-free zone?

landlines on December 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM

How about adding Frum to the list?

bw222 on December 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM

This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout.

So we need greater executive power because the executive branch has proven to be totally incompetent?

The village is calling, they want their idiot back.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Ja Ja, Herr Brooks. When does the goose stepping start?

kemojr on December 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Just ask those effete liberal intellegentsia – “What if the president was a conservative?” – and they’d drop all this imperial presidency crap in a heart beat.

GarandFan on December 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM

OR ……

Maybe what all this tells us is there are things government just shouldn’t do ……

BD57 on December 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

That’s right, Davey boy, “unified” authority, just like, say North Korea! You piece of shit…

AcronisF on December 13, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Here are the advantages. First, it is possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform.

Continuous mass non-white immigration plus forced assimilation means a future with no white people, as a matter of government policy. That’s genocide.

It’s also contrary to democracy. That’s why the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 was sold by Ted Kennedy as not changing the ethnic balance of the nation (which was a lie) and why Tony Blair achieved mass immigration by stealth, pretending it wasn’t happening. Whites don’t vote for their own genocide; this gets pushed on them, top-down.

But there’s popular resistance to that, hence the defeat of the Bush / McCain / Kennedy amnesty push.

The solution? A President that’s more like a dictator, the better to impose the unpopular mass immigration and forced assimilation.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

I’ve spent time talking to Brooks..

Brooks is not a nice man. He does not wish Americans well.

CrazyGene on December 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I believe you.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I’m sure he would have said that during the Bush administration, right?

ProfShadow on December 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I’m sure he would have said that during the Bush administration, right?

ProfShadow on December 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Actually I think he might have late in the Bush second term, when it was all about amnesty and big bailouts, with a Democrat obviously likely to be the next President.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 7:32 PM

What America needs, is for David Brooks to disappear. The guy is more irritating than a pimple on the ass.

RdLake on December 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

…David Brooks needs to be kicked in the ba11s……HARD!

KOOLAID2 on December 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

The government just needs to seize the New York Times, sell off its assets, and throw everyone who works there in jail.

malclave on December 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

The government just needs to seize the New York Times, sell off its assets, and throw everyone who works there in jail.

malclave on December 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

That’s China’s “can-do” model of government.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 8:31 PM

…David Brooks needs to be kicked in the ba11s……HARD!

KOOLAID2 on December 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Assumes facts not in evidence – that he has a set to kick.

Gator Country on December 13, 2013 at 8:32 PM

The government just needs to seize the New York Times, sell off its assets, and throw everyone who works there in jail.

malclave on December 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

I despise the New York Times as much as anyone, but what you’re describing is how the left operates. We need to do better.

Gator Country on December 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

This man needs his mouth washed out with 20 Mule Team Borax.

avagreen on December 13, 2013 at 8:39 PM

This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout.

I don’t see the problem… I’ll map out his argument; but it follows a basic logical flow.

1. Obamacare has shown that greater Executive power leads to disaster.
2. Disasters are really good things we need more of more often.
∴ Therefore we should encourage greater Executive power.

The conclusion is entirely supported when the previous two statements are valid. The only reason to oppose this is if you don’t like monstrous disasters and costly boondoggles plaguing our nation on a regular basis.

Oh, that is the reason for your dissent? Ok, carry on then.

gekkobear on December 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

As if the Executive Office isn’t already out of control, lawless, and unaccountable? Check out the latest IRS attack on political enemies, all done by reverse-engineering those disallowed tax exemptions prior to the election:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303932504579254521095034070

onlineanalyst on December 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

The President has too much power. It needs to be reigned in, but no ones challenging the abuse of regulations from executive orders.

One member of the House (with about 20 co-sponsors) is at least trying to stop Obie from taking legislative duties from the House. i.e. ‘fixes’ to Obamacare.

TfromV on December 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

The President has too much power. It needs to be reigned in, but no ones challenging the abuse of regulations from executive orders.

TfromV on December 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Need an opposition party.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 9:21 PM

I despise the New York Times as much as anyone, but what you’re describing is how the left operates. We need to do better.

Gator Country on December 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

End the perpetual government-supported gravy train for big media at the taxpayers’ expense. Start by implementing all Instapundit ideas, such as copyright reform and repealing the Hollywood tax cuts.

Part of what makes the leftist mass media so powerful is that they get a lot of disguised rents from the taxpayers, so they can afford to pay people like David Brooks and Tom Friedman for talking pro-tyrannical nonsense. Other people imagine themselves too getting sweet rewards for nothing, and they are inclined to play along with the well-paid “big boys”, so they toe the New York Times line.

Stop forcing the taxpayer indirectly to subsidize all of this, and the market in ideas will correct.

But that would require an opposition party.

Voting GOP is not part of the solution to all this, as the Bush presidency with control of both federal legislative houses shows.

David Blue on December 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Brooks, you Statist puking snot.

AshleyTKing on December 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM

David Brooks: What America needs now is a stronger (Democrat Party) presidency with “unified authority”

David Brooks somehow forgot those two words. I’m glad to help him.

RJL on December 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Brooks is still dreaming about what is dangling inside of Obama’s “perfectly creased pant leg”.

SpiderMike on December 13, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich (The Enabling Act)
March 24, 1933

Translated from Reichsgesetzblatt I, 1933, p. 141.

The Reichstag has enacted the following law, which has the agreement of the Reichsrat and meets the requirements for a constitutional amendment, which is hereby announced:

Article 1
In addition to the procedure prescribed by the Constitution, laws of the Reich may also be enacted by the Reich Government. This includes laws as referred to by Articles 85, Sentence 2, and Article 87 of the Constitution.

Article 2
Laws enacted by the Reich Government may deviate from the Constitution as long as they do not affect the institutions of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The rights of the President remain undisturbed.

Article 3
Laws enacted by the Reich Government shall be issued by the Chancellor and announced in the Reichsgesetzblatt. They shall take effect on the day following the announcement, unless they prescribe a different date. Articles 68 to 77 of the Constitution do not apply to laws enacted by the Reich Government.

Article 4
Reich treaties with foreign states that affect matters of Reich legislation shall not require the approval of the bodies concerned with legislation. The Reich Government shall issue the regulations required for the execution of such treaties.

Article 5
This law takes effect with the day of its proclamation. It loses force on April 1, 1937, or if the present Reich Government is replaced by another.

Berlin, March 24, 1933

claudius on December 14, 2013 at 12:50 AM

The fascinating thing about pseudo-intellectual columnists like Brooks is that he obviously considers himself to be contributing some significant insight based on a superior perception of a problem, but rarely accomplishes anything more than illustrating his own limitations.

This article grinds on about the problems of getting anything done in Washington, but but misses the point that “getting things done” is not necessarily the goal of government.

And what is this talk of rentier groups? It seems to be a term borrowed from the French to describe groups of people that don’t even exist in this country, but which apparently are meant to be analogous to special interests.

So why not simply identify them as special interest groups? Clear, concise, and easily understood.

Or maybe that’s the problem.

Brooks misdiagnoses the problem as a lack of unified authority, and assumes that special interest groups have undermined the Constitutional checks and balances in a way that the Founding Fathers could never have anticipated.

Which is clearly nonsensical. Checks and balances naturally lead to making it hard to get things done. That is by design. It would appear the Founding Fathers thought a do-nothing Congress was a normal and natural thing.

But I think the real key to understanding Brooks’ urbane rant is that he compares our system of government to a parliamentary system, with the implicit assumption that theirs is better.

Since our executive power really resides in a single person, for whom everyone else in the executive branch works, you would think it would occur to him that making it easier for that single person to do whatever they want just might be the stupidest idea ever for a freedom-loving people.

But that’s just it. As long as that one person is Harvard-educated and elite — translation: progressive — he assumes that he’ll like the results.

Brooks’ bright idea is to make it easier for a president to be a dictator.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 14, 2013 at 12:51 AM

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 14, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Well said. Brooks is the NYT token conservative, but, like the rest of their contributors, a token intellectual. Nice-sounding phraseology with no substance, cogency or credibility.

virgo on December 14, 2013 at 1:24 AM

No substance, cogency or credibility, but, like Tom Friedman and the rest of the New York Times crew, an agenda: anti-white, pro-tyranny, and pro-people like Tom Friedman and David Brooks.

In modern art, you don’t have to be able to draw a human figure or do other elementary things artists should be able to do, but you have to be on the right side politically, and it’s important to be “in” with a crowd that matters. Pontificating for big money is the same.

People respond to incentives. Every inartistic artist and hack pundit knows which side you want be on in order to win a career jackpot and get respect and good pay in return for nothing more than the ability to write incoherent drivel on schedule. So they are all on that side, and in their dreams they win the career lottery.

Meanwhile there is no matching career path on the right.

This needs to change. But for that, you need an opposition party.

David Blue on December 14, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Apologies up front.

If I’m reading the headline appropriately, then Brooks is all in with the Authoritarianism and shit. Good job, Light of the World Brooks.

If I’m wrong about the piece, then, my apologies.

But……………………..

Brooksie, have you ever heard of this little teeny weeny experiment called the U.S.S.R.?

Good God, man.

hillbillyjim on December 14, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Wir müssen den Präsident mehr Macht geben! Eine Nation, eine Partei, eine Ideologie!

Olo_Burrows on December 14, 2013 at 3:29 AM

Brooksie, have you ever heard of this little teeny weeny experiment called the U.S.S.R.?

hillbillyjim on December 14, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Tom Friedman is gung-ho for Red Chinese tyranny.

Of course that, unlike the USSR, hasn’t fallen over yet.

But neither has the anti-white politically correct dictatorship of America.

Until it’s fully constructed, and until it’s fallen over like the USSR, respectable people like Tom Friedman and Tom Friedman will see this as the way of the future.

David Blue on December 14, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Benedict Arnold lives on.

Cylor on December 14, 2013 at 4:56 AM

If there’s a new Ronald Reagan, he won’t be about freeing Russia or Eastern Europe, or China, or North Korea; he’ll be about freeing America. He’ll be about freeing what used to be the free world, but is free no longer.

And by the way, the respectable right will not support him. Respectable opinion will call him a racist.

That’s because we’ve gone from “Workers of the world unite!” (Marx and Engels) to “white folks’ greed runs a world in need!” (Barack Obama). The left has racialized everything totally, so you can’t take on the dogmas of the new political correctness unless you are willing to take on the race issue, which the respectable right is not.

“White folks greed runs a world in need” is not a controversial proposition in the circles David Brooks runs in. They all knew he thought like that when they signed on with him.

And they all knew you can’t talk back against the new leftist lie-book unless you are ready to be called racist, a hater and a white supremacist.

Just as you couldn’t talk back against leftism in Reagan’s day unless you were ready to be called heartless, a warmonger and so on.

Reagan beat these guys. (Except that he failed on amnesty.) The demographics are much worse than in his day, which means the odds are worse, but it can be done.

They’re just liars: Brooks, Friedman and all of them. The tyrannical systems they admire and the lies they recite don’t make sense, never did make sense and never will make sense.

David Blue on December 14, 2013 at 5:18 AM

Typical leftist gibberish.

When I read the phrase “unified authority” I thought he was talking about the co-presidency thing that Biden was gassing over.
Which is just what this country needs!
A man who cannot speak without a teleprompter and a man who cannot speak without stepping in it!

No Brooks what this country needs is an actual leader, not a dictator.

kregg on December 14, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Those who were born thinking they have a natural right to control other people have finally took off their disguises and come out of the Marxist closet full bore.
Say what’s in your foul hearts lefties–”We wont dictators!”

Don L on December 14, 2013 at 7:44 AM

John Hinderraker of powerlineblog has a thread about who funds the Left, specifically Podesta’s Center for American Progress. The government of the Obysmal adminstration is riddled with the influence of special interests.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/12/who-funds-the-far-left-youll-be-surprised.php

onlineanalyst on December 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM

These people are the perfect audience for a viewing of Walter Houston and Franchot Tone in Gabriel Over the White House. The Progressive’s true wet dream.

xkaydet65 on December 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Brooks is considered a conservative at the New York Times and he believes in this garbage? May God help us all.

SC.Charlie on December 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Dear Mr. Chucklehead,

You are a true vulgarian imbecile. Stop pretending to lavish us with profundity.

Thanks

SparkPlug on December 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Drop dead, capo.

S. D. on December 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

If I were President with “unified authority,” one of my first edicts would be to order my Double Secret Police to find David Brooks and stuff a sock in his mouth.

Adjoran on December 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

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