Given a choice between dishonest hacks and dirty lobbyists, I guess I'll side with the former, but only barely. Look, I'm glad David Brooks finally flared his nostrils and took a whiff of the ol' stench o' corruption wafting out of the Republican-controlled House. But his much-beloved op-ed
today is an utter hack job, chalking all that GOP sleaze up to a small "cadre of daring and original thinkers": Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist.
Uh-huh. No doubt Brooks is now scratching his head wondering how a few "bad apples" could possibly
have hijacked a party that, left to its own devices, would otherwise be pursuing noble aims like the "ownership society" and "national greatness." No doubt Brooks is already casting an agon
in his head that pits the above-the-fray White House against the rogue "cadre" of money-grubbing lobbyists who—say it ain't so!—sullied the conservative movement. And no doubt, a few years hence—long after DeLay has been ousted and Abramoff sacked—we'll see Brooks once more writing the exact same damn column
, wondering how a party so obsessed with making sweet love to big business keeps finding itself steeped in scandal and corruption. Yeah, I wonder.