Friday, October 30, 2009

David Brooks calling out Barack Obama

That most manly of commentators, David Brooks, lets his neocon slip show in today's essay.  He's consulted all the other manly men, the retired officers, analysts who have written books about counterinsurgency warfare, etc., those "who follow the war for a living, who spend their days in military circles both here and in Afghanistan,"  to solicit their views on the president's handling of Afghanistan policy.  Says Mr. Brooks, they all admire the president's intellect, but
they do not know if he possesses the trait that is more important than intellectual sophistication and, in fact, stands in tension with it. They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexity and confusion. They do not know if he possesses the obstinacy that guided Lincoln and Churchill, and which must guide all war presidents to some degree.

Why don't you just say it, Brooksie?  What you're really asking Obama to do is show that he has balls. 

So that's what this is really about?  Guts?  Determination?  Not letting that oh-so-slippery intellect get in the way of real manliness?

I've never been a huge fan of David Brooks, but I'd always hoped that he felt this kind of stuff to be beneath him.  Disappointing.

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