We have been taught since, well, since the days of Camelot to admire a particular sort of politician: the epic, charismatic Mount Rushmore candidate who sits atop his charger leading transformational change.
But the founders of this country designed the Constitution to frustrate that kind of leader. The Constitution diffuses power, requires compromise and encourages incrementalism. The founders created a government that was cautious so that society might be dynamic.
Brooks goes on to suggest that the late Sen. Kennedy, born to be an “epic,” “transformational” agent of change, constructed a legacy as “the great gradualist.” Some might consider that an insult. Brooks clearly intends it as a compliment.