Tuesday, July 5, 2011

David Brooks Says Compromise. I Say Bollocks!! Alternate Title: In Praise of North Korea.

I like David Brooks.  He's gone a little squishy in the past few years, but I still like him.  He's an honest and principled debater.  He argues based on the facts as he sees them.  He eschews hyperbole, straw men, and insult.  But in this, his latest article, he's just wrong.  Too much time rubbing elbows with colleagues at the NYT,  perhaps.  The gist of this article is that the Republicans should compromise with the Democrats on the current budget/debt ceiling crisis while the D's are willing.  Brooks believes they should take what he thinks is a good deal.  It sounds like David has been drawn over to the dark side.   He's outed himself, though, with the inadvertent use of the phrase "eliminate tax expenditures", which is liberal code for raising taxes by eliminating loopholes.  Make no mistake, I support eliminating loopholes, but I think it merits its own debate so that it is comprehensive, thereby simplifying the tax code in the process.  I also feel it needs to be accompanied by lower rates to keep it revenue neutral.  As far as compromise is concerned, I wrote a blog in Oct 2009 explaining how I feel about that.  It features a recipe for a certain ice cream treat using dog s**t as one of the ingredients.  Please read it if you have the time.  

I see the R's current strategy as similar to North Korea's negotiating strategy.  Take no prisoners.  It's brutal.  It is unyielding.  It assumes they have all the advantage even when they don't.  It is willing to ignore threats of great pain if it fails.  But North Korea never fails.  They win.  Say what you like about North Korea.  They know how to negotiate.

Republicans:  I don't know how the more traditional elements of the GOP will react if you cave on this budget/debt ceiling opportunity, but the Tea Party wing of your party and those of us in the liberty movement aren't interested in compromise.  You need to man up, grow a pair, and get in touch with your inner Kim Jong Il.  This is your last chance.  We mean it this time.