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David Brooks (NYT): A very good week for Obama and Democrats

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TeamJordan23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:10 AM
Original message
David Brooks (NYT): A very good week for Obama and Democrats
Obamas Very Good Week
By DAVID BROOKS

Over the past week weve seen the big differences between cluster liberals and network liberals. Cluster liberals (like cluster conservatives) view politics as a battle between implacable opponents. As a result, they believe victory is achieved through maximum unity. Psychologically, they tend to value loyalty and solidarity. They tend to angle toward situations in which philosophical lines are clearly drawn and partisan might can be bluntly applied.

Network liberals share the same goals and emerge from the same movement. But they tend to believe the nation being as diverse as it is and the Constitution saying what it does that politics is a complex jockeying of ideas and interests. They believe progress is achieved by leaders savvy enough to build coalitions. Psychologically, network liberals are comfortable with weak ties; they are comfortable building relationships with people they disagree with.

This contrast is not between lefties and moderates. Its a contrast between different theories of how politics is done. Ted Kennedy was a network liberal, willing to stray from his preferences in negotiation with George W. Bush or John McCain. Most House Democrats, by contrast, are cluster liberals. They come from safe seats, have a poor feel for the wider electorate and work in an institution where politics is a war of all against all.

Barack Obama ran for president as a network liberal, and entranced a Facebook nation. But in office, Obama, like George W. Bush before him, narrowed his networks. To get things done quickly, he governed like a cluster liberal, relying on partisan leaders.

The results were predictable: insularity, alienation and defeat. So now we are headed toward divided government. But there is a whiff of coalition-building in the air. Dick Durbin and Tom Coburn boldly embraced the bipartisan fiscal commission process. Obama opened up a comprehensive set of negotiations with Republican leaders to handle the Bush tax cuts.

The big story of the week is that Obama is returning to first principles, re-establishing himself as a network liberal. This isnt a move to the center or triangulation. Its not the Clinton model or the Truman model or any of the other stale categories people are trying to impose on him. Its standing at one spot in the political universe and trying to build temporarily alliances with people at other spots in the political universe.

You dont have to abandon your principles to cut a deal. You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world and even a president doesnt get to stamp his foot and have his way.

Continue Reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/opinion/10brooks.html...
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. The GOP loves Obama
a bit too much for this to be a good deal!
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. They want the tax cut portion for the rich......
there's no denying that.

Hence, the need for a compromise...
or else, a family of 4 making $70,000 would have to pay
$3,000 in additional taxes come 2011.
Our economy is weak,
and folks wouldn't be able to afford it....

Letting tax cut expire (since we couldn't pass anything else)
would be great for the government coffers and reducing the deficit,
but it would really hurt people at a time when they least can afford it.

Top tax bracket goes up for top tax bracket from 35% to 39.5%, which is a 13% increase.

The 33% bracket rises to 36%, which is a 9% increase

The 28% bracket rises to 31%, which is a 11% increase

The 25% bracket rises to 28%, which is a 12% increase

The bottom tax rate for those in the 10% tax bracket goes up to 15%, which is a 50% increase.




2011 tax brakets

----------Married Filing jointly----------Single
15% Bracket $0 $70,040 ----------$0 $35,020
28% Bracket $70,040 $141,419 ----$35,020 $84,872
31% Bracket $141,419 $215,528 ---$84,872 $177,006
36% Bracket $215,528 $384,860--- $177,006 $384,860
39.6% Bracket Over $384,860 --------Over $384,860
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. thank you for that important clarification, FrenchieCat! nt
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. yes, good info /
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Steve_I_Am Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
18. No We Can't, No We Can't!
Ya know, I don't think I would have voted for THAT in 2008.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. And now the bill is being laden with pork and earmarks to please progressives.
Ethanol and corn subsidies? Really? Because the bill wasn't fat enough. It's probably over a $1 trillion now and the extentions for the rich are still there? Nice job progressives.
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
45. One man, one vote
You apparently fail to grasp this underlying bedrock principle of our democracy. Why should the 98% of us compromise with the 2% holding our economy hostage? In fact the economic meltdown can be directly laid at the feet of the 2% of the electorate that rigged the mortgage/derivative market to implode in a deliberate fraud.

If we have a democracy, than the President should be able to present the case to the 98% of the people who didn't cause this problem and deserve the tax breaks while allowing the tax rates on the top 2% to snap back to Clinton levels.

Yet the President chooses to side with the 2%, hoping not to piss off the 98% whose votes he will need to get reelected. The president didn't HAVE to compromise-- he simply chose to sell himself and the country out to those with the money, rather than going with the majority vote and the majority societal benefit.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
23. So do the rational Dems. n/t
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
29. Brooks is not part of the hardcore TeaPublican right wing.
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
46. nothing I've seen on cable news or heard on talk radio
or seen in a thousand angry racist signs at teaparty rallies convinces me that the GOP loves Obama.

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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. You don't have to abandon your principles...
but it helps...
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. If your principles include the plight of 98% of working Americans,
it's something to consider.

If all one cares about is the top 2%,
guess it makes it easier to stick to one's gun,
or even hold one's breath.
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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. I care about all Americans, not just taxpayers.
A lot of them don't work, through no fault of their own. They are the ones who will really suffer if this goes through, because it sets the table for a full scale assault on "entitlements".
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. In a country this divided, I'm kind of glad Obama says he's the Prez of all citizens.

Sure, I'd like to have seen a few blowouts on issues like health care, but things are getting done -- although not one sided. And, yes, I realize the despicable Republicons would not be -- and have been -- so fair.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. k&r thank you for posting this, TeamJordan23! nt
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. Very interesting perspective. k&r n/t
-Laelth
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BlueMTexpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
11. I really hate - ever - to agree even slightly with David Brooks.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 07:02 AM by BlueMTexpat
But frankly, I am not sure that he is completely wrong here.
Do I believe that the WH and Dems generally mishandled this whole issue, and badly? Yes, absolutely.
Do I believe that they got the best deal that they could have? I am not sure, given that they mishandled things badly and left this so late before bringing it to a vote. But there are vulnerable hostages to fortune here because of the mishandling and no rhetoric now wlll change that.
Do I believe that they could have gotten a better deal in January? Absolutely not.

But I really do take issue with this comment:
"You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world and even a president doesnt get to stamp his foot and have his way."
Where was Brooks during the Bush years when that is exactly what the cabal did - stamped its foot and had its way to the detriment of the most vulnerable?



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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
12. "a president doesnt get to stamp his foot and have his way."
ha! cute
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Actually when it comes to the legislative process
that is rather inaccurate. The president in fact does get to stamp his foot and dictate legislation out of existence. Done right, the veto can result in the president 'hav his way'.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. I like how Clinton waved veto pen in the air over his health care bill..
.... that was HIGHLY effective. :sarcasm:
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. different situation
in this case the republicans want the legislation - in order to secure their beloved Bush Tax Cuts - so Obama was in a position of strength until he decided to once again give it all away up front in exchange for next to nothing.
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truthspeak Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
34. Next to nothing?!?!?
Good grief. :wtf:
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
13. If Brooks is cheering Obama then something is very wrong.
network liberal? Oh that is the new term for Abject Capitulationism. Nah, that meme don't fly.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
37. The right is trying to claim a win for Obama for two reasons
1. it makes it sound like it is a done deal
2. to play victim

Krautheimer (sp?) wrote an article late in the week claiming that Obama had won. Goldberg countered saying ....well who knows what that douchebag says. One of the Heritage Foundation minions tried say Krautheimer was wrong but that it WAS an Obama win.

I heard this on Rush at lunch. That wasn't the funniest part, them not having a single story to hammer home, Rush would not issue his opinion in it and his callers were beside themselves. One lady said, "People listen to your show to hear your opinion". I was cracking up because what they were really saying was that they listen to his show to get THEIR opinion.

The right is all over the place on this. But the Tea Partiers are no longer mentioned. In fact that might be what is going on here- they were so used to their Tea Bag outrage that they aren't sure how to handle things now.
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elizm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
15. I'm a network liberal! :) And proud of it! nt
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
19. Is Bill Clinton a "network liberal"?
He made some very unwise decisions. They looked great in the short term but caused great harm to all of us. Is that what we are talking about??
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
20. First Andrew Sullivan, Charles Krauthammer and Richard "Silent Majority" Nixon
are brought in to defend Obama, and now David Brooks.

There is a definite pattern here, and a disturbing one, when one must enlist a string of right wing Republicans to defend a Democrat.
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TeamJordan23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Sullivan and Brooks both seemed to support Obama in 2008 election too.
I would not put them in the same class as Krauthammer, who is clearly an ideologue.
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CakeGrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
21. "You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world"
...and that there is a significant number of Rs in Congress and there are going to be more.

Too bad the Congressional Dems couldn't find their voice on the tax cut issue until the President made a move. There's no time to sit back and be a cozy "cluster" any longer.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. But you don't have to acknowledge they are right.
If you passionately feel they are wrong. And when you have history and the facts to back you up.
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CakeGrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. You may have history and facts, but Congress has the votes.
Argue that your opposition is wrong.

But when policy is decided, it's decided by voting on it.

The President never acknowledged that the Republicans were right about tax cuts for upper incomes. He's never wanted them and STILL doesn't want them.

And if he had a RELIABLE bloc of Dems in the House and Senate like LBJ's supermajority, he wouldn't have had to DEAL with Republicans.

But because there are too many of them willing to oppose a policy, however right it may be, they HAVE to be dealt with or nothing gets done.

If we don't want to keep doing that, someone has to figure out how to get a filibuster-proof, solidly Democratic Senate.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. Is there anything we don't compromise on?
Do we bring the Klan and Fred Phelps to the table, too?

They are "other people" also.
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
27. It's Bad Enough That We Have A Weak President.

I'll be damned if I'll accept any attempts by David Brooks to label me as one sort of liberal or another.....
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Explain how to undo the middle class only bill that ALREADY FAILED.
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. Brooks is an "old style" relatively moderate conservative, and he makes many good points here. If
only some could see through their ideological fog long enough to find the sense he makes. Sad if they can't.
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PM Martin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
31. This is a bad deal.
The GOP wants this "payroll tax holiday" as a means to defund the social security program.
Don't fall for it. I am not.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
32. Excellent observations on "network" vs "cluster" liberals.
And as long as we don't have filibuster proof progressive majorities in the Senate, being of the the network brand is the only way we are going to be able to make anything out of the next few years.
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LawnLover Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
33. This:
"You dont have to abandon your principles to cut a deal. You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world"

No truer words.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
36. And if you can't take Brooks seriously than who can you?
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 04:41 PM by Forkboy
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
38. Translation of Brooks soliloquy:
Obama moves so we don't have to.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
39. what a fucking load of horseshit
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
40. OMG Now Dems are supposed to be influenced by positions taken by David Brooks.
No, NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:grr: :grr: :grr: :grr: :grr: :grr:
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budkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
41. The fact that Brooks is saying it was good means it was awful.
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
42. David Brooks is such a jackass
This has to be one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read. It amazes me how guys like him can write these very intellectual sounding, self-important pieces, yet be so painfully out of touch with anyone who doesn't live inside the DC bubble. Its the same exact thing you hear from all these corporatist, DLC freaks, that we have to work within the system, and we cant fight back because that makes you a "cluster" partisan and everyone hates that.

This absurd, made-up, bullshit distinction that he literally just creates for the sake of sounding like some sort of political guru is so nonsensical I dont even know where to begin. Obama ran as a "network" liberal and governed as a "cluster" liberal? Really? What fucking country is Brooks living in? The guy who ran on fundamentally changing the system and on an extremely liberal agenda was actually running as someone who wanted to waste huge amounts of time "networking" with assholes? Then when that same guy came into Washington and started actually being a "network" liberal, he was actually being a "cluster" liberal? There is no basis in reality for this retarded thesis of his.



"You dont have to abandon your principles to cut a deal. You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world and even a president doesnt get to stamp his foot and have his way. "



This is it in a nutshell. We have a president like George Bush who stamps his feet and gets almost everything he wants for 8 years straight. Now on an issue where about 70% of the public is on the democrats side, David Brooks thinks it would be unbecoming of a president to "stamp his feet" and try to fight for his beliefs. This explains it all. When republicans stand up for their beliefs, they look presidential, when a democrat does it on an issue where he has full support of the American people and also happens to be right on the substance, he is being a "cluster" liberal and too partisan. Fuck David Brooks, fuck him up his stupid ass.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
43. Enjoy the winter holidays, you cheap hack. nt
Edited on Sun Dec-12-10 04:09 AM by BlueIris
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 04:15 AM
Response to Original message
44. LOLOL - he's not ANY kind of LIBERAL
I mean, PLEASE
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
47. All the more irritating because it is accurate
dead on target here:

"even a president doesnt get to stamp his foot and have his way."

No one is obligated to like the truth, but it is helpful to recognize it for what it is.

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