FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Strange Romance of Hillary and David Brooks

A day after the annual festival of hearts and roses, cupid’s arrow was still lodged in the back of David Brooks, the conservative columnist of the New York Times. Only his punch-drunk love was directed at a most unlikely candidate: Hillary Clinton.

In a piece for yesterday’s Times entitled “No Apology Needed,” Brooks sought to defend Clinton from “the liberal wing of the Democratic Party,” which continually, and in his view, mistakenly, seek the Senator’s apology for voting in favor of the Iraq war. The article came one paragraph short of becoming an official endorsement of Hillary’s presidential aspirations.

You may ask why someone who has William Kristol’s “The Weekly Standard Reader” on his “What I’m Reading” list would stick his bespectacled head out for Clinton. Well, if you’re to believe Brooks, the change of heart came after he went back and “investigated” some “public comments” Clinton made prior to the war. And, having done so, Brooks has now come to see the Senator, not as a “classic war supporter,” but as “a person who [in the run up to the war] was trying to seek balance between opposing arguments” (in other words, an opportunist), “a person who deferred to the office of the presidency” (like Congress had not ceded enough power to the president post-9/11), and “a person who, as president, would be fox to Bush’s hedgehog” (she, along with the American and Iraqi people, became the real hedgehogs after Bush unilaterally launched his catastrophic war).

But something far more pernicious is at work here. As it turns out, Brooks, in his half-hearted defense of Clinton, is less concerned with shielding a public figure from unjustified attack than he is with installing a like-minded politico to the presidency of the United States. At its core, this moment-of-revelation-turned-love-fest is nothing but insurgent political warfare at its best and, when exposed, should be seen for what it really is: a cry of distress by a Republican who, barring a significant shift in the political winds, can’t bear to see his party evicted from the White House in 2008. Thus, to cure the Bible belt blues, Brooks has resorted to a rather unique cure: jumping ship and getting on the Hillary for 2008 bandwagon, the next-best alternative to a Republican presidency.

Instead of relying on political and historical sophistry to ease his pain, however, Brooks should ask his now departed Times colleague, William Safire, about the Senator’s real stance on the Iraq war from which he will learn facts truly comforting to a conservative. In a column titled “Hillary, Congenital Hawk,” written during less turbulent times for the Republican party (December 8, 2003), Safire described, accurately, the former First Lady’s Bush-like positions on America’s burgeoning military conquest in Central Asia, i.e., stay the course, failure is not an option, more troops. As Safire recounted in his article, when asked by Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” whether she felt she had been misled into voting for the war, Clinton flashed her true hawk-like colors, answering that “There was certainly adequate intelligence without it being gilded and exaggerated by the administration to raise questions about chemical and biological programs and a continuing effort to obtain nuclear power.” At that point, even the White House, perhaps with the exception of Vice President Cheney, started to back-peddle from employing WMD-related propaganda.

In seeking to quell the many calls for yet another Clinton apology, Brooks himself should seek absolution in his attempt at a bit of revisionist history. More importantly, however, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, should recognize Clinton for what she really is, not for what’s most pleasing to the partisan eye. To that end, one thing is for certain: Hillary won’t apologize anytime soon.

ALBERT WAN, a lifelong New York, is a lawyer currently clerking for a federal judge. He can be reached at: albertkwan@mac.com

 

More articles by:

March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
Kenn Orphan
Grieving in the Anthropocene
Jeffrey Kaye
On the Death of Guantanamo Detainee 10028
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
In Salinas, Puerto Rico, Vulnerable Americans Are Still Trapped in the Ruins Left by Hurricane Maria
Ben Debney
Christchurch, the White Victim Complex and Savage Capitalism
Eric Draitser
Did Dallas Police and Local Media Collude to Cover Up Terrorist Threats against Journalist Barrett Brown?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Straighten Up and Fly Right
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s $34 Trillion Deficit and Debt Bomb
David Rosen
America’s Puppet: Meet Juan Guaidó
Jason Hirthler
Annexing the Stars: Walcott, Rhodes, and Venezuela
Samantha M. - Angelica Perkins
Our Green New Deal
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s Nightmare Budget
Steven Colatrella
The 18th Brumaire of Just About Everybody: the Rise of Authoritarian Strongmen and How to Prevent and Reverse It
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Riding the Wild Bull of Nuclear Power
Michael K. Smith
Thirty Years Gone: Remembering “Cactus Ed”
Dean Baker
In Praise of Budget Deficits
Howard Lisnoff
Want Your Kids to Make it Big in the World of Elite Education in the U.S.?
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Foreign Policy is Based on Confrontation and Malevolence
John W. Whitehead
Pity the Nation: War Spending is Bankrupting America
Priti Gulati Cox
“Maria! Maria! It Was Maria That Destroyed Us!” The Human Story
Missy Comley Beattie
On Our Knees
Mike Garrity – Carole King
A Landscape Lewis and Clark Would Recognize is Under Threat
Robert Fantina
The Media-Created Front Runners
Tom Clifford
Bloody Sunday and the Charging of Soldier F
Ron Jacobs
All the Livelong Day      
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail