The indisputable winner of the “Pundit Whopper of the Week” Award has to be David Brooks, who writes in his Friday New York Times column that “The fact that the federal government has not passed major infrastructure legislation is mind-boggling, considering how much support there is from both parties.”
Yes, that’s right. He actually went there.
It did not go unnoticed by his colleague Paul Krugman, who responded in his “Conscience of a Liberal” blog:
Well, the Obama administration would love to spend more on infrastructure; the problem is that a major spending bill has no chance of passing the House. And that’s not a problem of “both parties” — it’s the GOP blocking it. Exactly how many Republicans would be willing to engage in deficit spending to expand bus networks? (Remember, these are the people who consider making rental bicycles available an example of “totalitarian” rule.)
To be fair, the rest of Brooks’s column is not so bad, almost reminiscent of Republicans of yesteryear, back in the day when they actually negotiated in good faith.
Nonetheless P.M. Carpenter piles on in his commentary,
In fact it’s such a stunningly counterfactual claim, I just now violated my day’s Brooks-abstinence and checked his column to see if it was taken out of context by Krugman. It was, in a way. Here’s how Brooks led into his befuddlement over the federal government’s infrastructure inaction: “If you get outside the partisan boxes, there’s a completely obvious agenda to create more middle-class, satisfying jobs.” If you get outside the partisan boxes….
In other words, if one altogether ignores the ruthless, relentless, existing Republican partisanship that is obstructing infrastructure projects, then one’s mind is boggled at the lack of such projects which otherwise enjoy tremendous bipartisan support!
In precisely what sort of Maxwell Smart Cone of Silence walled off from reality does David Brooks write?
Me, I would just ask Brooks to identify GOP supporters of serious infrastructure upgrades, beyond pork projects in their districts only.