David Brooks pens an editorial – President Biden’s first day

David Brooks has long been my favorite conservative pundit. I first became aware of him as he teamed with more liberal Mark Shields to do a recap of the week on the Friday show of PBS Newshour. They epitomized the PBS doctrine of civil discourse. I have read two of Brooks’ books – “The Social Animal” and “The Road to Character” – which are excellent reads, and have had the good fortune of hearing him speak.

Like other conservative pundits, George Will, Michael Gerson, Erick Erickson, et al, Brooks is deeply disappointed in the actions, verbiage and temperament of the current US president. So, when he penned the editorial, “President Biden’s first day,” I was intrigued and not surprised. Here are a few quotes that shape the article.

“The first thing you’ll notice is the quiet. If Joe Biden wins this thing, there will be no disgraceful tweets and no furious cable segments reacting to them on Inauguration Day.”

“Republicans will pretend they never heard his (Trump’s) name. Republican politicians are not going to hang around a guy they privately hate and who publicly destroyed their majority.”

“It is very hard for Republicans to demonize Biden because he comes from the sort of background that Trumpian conservatives celebrate.”

“His (Biden’s economic) agenda is more New Deal than New Left. In the two speeches he has delivered so far there are constant references to our manufacturing base – infrastructure, steelworkers, engineers, ironworkers, welders, 500,000 charging stations for electric cars. ‘When I think of climate change, the word I think of is jobs,’ he declared.”

“The agenda pushes enormous resources toward two groups: first, African-Americans, who have been pummeled by deindustrialization for decades; and second, white working class Trump voters.

“Everybody says Biden is a moderate, and in intellectual and temperamental terms that is true. But he has found a way to craft an agenda that could reshape the American economy and the landscape of American politics in fundamental ways.”

The entire piece can be found with the following link. I will not comment on the above here and let Brooks’ thoughts filter in. Let me know your reactions, thoughts, etc.

26 thoughts on “David Brooks pens an editorial – President Biden’s first day

  1. I know the US comes first, and should come first, but I’d like to know Pres. Joe Biden’s foreign policy , as well. After all, the US economy is tied down with the rest of the world’s. And most importantly, as a Filipino-American, would Pres. Biden continue tRump’s policy on China’s blatant aggression on West Philippine Sea aka South China Sea ? Would he let China take almost 90% (with their 9-dash line ) of South China Sea, as their own navigational territory, and not allow anyone else to pass thru their “territory? ” Would he allow China to take Mt. Everest as its own? I’d like to know how Pres. Biden would take on China’s aggression and thievery.

    • All good questions. I do know relationships around the world will improve based on Biden being more trustworthy. It disappointed me to see Trump pull out of the TPP without further consideration. The other ten countries went on without us and that agreement would allow us to put more economic pressure on China. I feel Trump has accelerated an ascendent China. China plays a long game, while Americans are too focused on rhe short term, especially under this president.

      The South China Sea is a delicate matter. China is being too possesive, but that has been their history. I hope a solution presents itself, for everyone’s sake, including Vietnam, Japan and The Philippines.

      Thanks for your comment. Keith

      • ” too possessive”…. They shouldn’t be possessive” of something they don’t own, in the first place. China is taking away ‘freedom of navigation ” on places they don’t even own.

        4 million Filipino -Americans are cheering on tRump’s actions re China. I’m very sure of this. I’ve been reading Fil_American newspapers here in the US. They say it’s about time America takes a second look at China’s activities here in the US and around the world.

        America made China unbelievably rich… and now it’s using its wealth and power to bully and threaten other countries, It’s a good thing so many countries are now seeing the true face of China.

      • Very good comments. Sadly, the rise of China as the dominant country has been predicted for awhile. To me, the current president is using abetting that rise. By weakening the EU and NATO, on top of the TPP, our levers are fewer. And, with the tariffs, China just strengthened its trade ties with others

        China concerns me due to the instability and politicking of the president. They must be dealt with a strong hand, I just feel we have weakened our position.

        My hope is Biden will be smarter about this and listen to advisors. I believe Biden will be able to build a coalition of support. I do share your concern.

  2. I had a feeling you would do this post! He paints a picture of the sort of leadership (Biden) that this country needs if we are to heal from the trauma and chaos of the past 3.5 years. I think it speaks volumes that Brooks, like Gerson & Will, are stepping away from Trump and seeing Biden as a viable option. I especially like the way Brooks points out that Biden’s background is similar to that which “Trumpian conservatives celebrate”. Thanks for posting this … I shall re-blog this afternoon!

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Last week, I posted a column by Michael Gerson, a conservative and Republican, who pointed out the failures of Trump and posited that 2020 will NOT be a repeat of 2016. Today, our friend Keith posted a column by another conservative Republican writer, David Brooks, who paints a comforting picture of what a Biden presidency will look like and why both parties will benefit from such a presidency. Take a look for yourself … thank you, Keith!

  4. I think Brooks has a pretty good handle on Biden, although i wouldn’t use the word “intellectual” in terms of his mentality, or even of “a way to craft an agenda.” But aside from that nitpicking, there is no question that America needs (as much as at any time in our history) a good, decent, capable and empathetic person to replace the current President….and Biden is all of those.

    • Mistermuse, no problems with your quibbles. And, I agree with the need for all those things Biden brings. I saw the presudent is going to restart his COVID-19 daily briefings. Unless he is prepared to tell the truth or add value, those briefings will only be detrimental. Keith

    • David, the Republicans were amply warned, but they chose the sycophant route. They now must deal with the mess they let their boss make. Biden would be a welcome change. Keith

    • Bumba, well said. We are too. These two lead the way on civil discourse, following the lead of Judy, her fellow hosts and predecessors. Guests are usually well informed (except for a few politicians telling a story), but when folks aren’t civil, they usually are not invited back. Their recap show on Friday is my favorite part of the show. Keith

      • I think we simply appreciate news and civil discourse that is intelligent and is not commercial. It’s true that “everything is subjective” and objectivity is an elusive/impossible goal. Still, the marketing of opinionated news that just keeps you watching (usually by playing on your anger) is a sad development. Hurray for Judy and PBS!

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