In the Examiner today, Douglas McKinnon calls New York Times columnist David Brooks a "useful idiot" for being all buddy-buddy with the Obama administration:
Brooks has unabashedly become a cheerleader for Obama. Again, that is his right. What is not his right is to color the facts, nor to arbitrarily assign intelligence and station in life to others. With regard to the Obama White House, Brooks says, "I feel like I can call anybody. With Bush, there were months when I was in favor, and months when I was out of favor. Here, you can write whatever you want; you don't notice any diminution. If I call Rahm or Orszag or Axelrod, they're happy to talk."
I take it McKinnon means that, like the leftist Soviet sympathizers of America and Western Europe during the Cold War, Brooks is cozying up to a political entity that is doing harm to the ideals Brooks himself actually supports.
But his friendly relationship with the administration has not stopped Brooks from decrying the policy mistakes he thinks Obama is making. From a recent Brooks column:
The administration hasn’t been able to pull it off. From the stimulus to health care, it has joined itself at the hip to the liberal leadership in Congress. The White House has failed to veto measures, like the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, that would have demonstrated independence and fiscal restraint. By force of circumstances and by design, the president has promoted one policy after another that increases spending and centralizes power in Washington.
But to many people on the right, it seems like respectfully disagreeing with someone of different ideology isn't enough. You can't just point out substantive issues where you think the other party has it wrong. You have to treat them like enemies. You can't admit that they have intelligent opinions, even if you happen to disagree with those opinions.
It's that mentality of politics as warfare that has led to the enormously unproductive town hall debate culture, where every disagreement turns into a screaming match with the mention of Hitler one breath away.
I'd take an "elitist," Ivy-league attitude over that any day.