So suggests David Brooks:
Moderates now find themselves betwixt and between. On the left, there is a president who appears to be, as (Clive) 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.
Those of us in the moderate tradition — the Hamiltonian tradition that believes in limited but energetic government — thus find ourselves facing a void. We moderates are going to have to assert ourselves. We’re going to have to take a centrist tendency that has been politically feckless and intellectually vapid and turn it into an influential force.
Bravo, Mr. Brooks. As I responded last week, to an email from Obama’s “Organizing for America” team re: the President’s proposed budget:
This budget is NOT the change I worked for. It’s loaded with deficit spending. I generally don’t oppose the programs recommended, but we can’t do all of it with debt financing. Before I and many other Obama supporters can support this budget, the President and his team need to reduce the amount of deficit spending, and show a way out of it, including how we’ll pay down the mounting debt.
Perhaps Mr. Obama and his team don’t care if I doubt them and take exception to their budget. Perhaps they dismiss Mr. Brooks, as well, who stands exponentially higher on the punditry ladder than I do. That’s fine. I just hope they’re not too terribly surprised when the Senate returns to Republican control in 2010. Know this much: Mr. Brooks and I are not alone.