Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama's impressive team

Danny Shays quotes David Brooks as saying:
...although he found Obama to be "a very mediocre senator," he was is surrounded by what Brooks called "by far the most impressive people in the Democratic party." "He's phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team," Brooks said. "I disagree with them on most issues, but I am given a lot of comfort by the fact that the people he's chosen are exactly the people I think most of us would want to choose if we were in his shoes. So again, I have doubts about him just because he was such a mediocre senator, but his capacity to pick staff is impressive."

Why would any conservative be impressed by this? As an analogy, if you wanted to, you could assemble the 2008 Olympic Redeem Team as your team, but you shouldn't expect to win the MLB World Series with that team. Similarly, why would David Brooks be impressed with Obama's ability to assemble a team that he feels is intellectual, but ideologically wrong on issue after issue? If his team was so impressive, shouldn't David Brooks feel that they are ideologically right on issue after issue? The two following possibilities exist:
  • Obama's team is ideologically right, and David Brooks lacks the intellectual insight to understand why his ideological thinking is flawed.
  • David Brooks is ideologically right, and Obama's team lacks the intellectual insight to understand why their ideological thinking is flawed.
If David Brooks is ideologically right, why is he impressed with the Obama's team inability to understand the flaws in their ideological thinking? I presume that David Brooks is convinced that he is ideologically right, so there is no point in asking the converse. Furthermore, why is David Brooks impressed rather than horrified by Obama's ability to assemble such an impressive staff? Isn't it logical to assume that Obama's impressive staff means that Obama is going to be spectacularly successful at advancing "flawed" ideological ideas and policies? Why would any conservative be comforted by that thought?

Until David Brooks can offer a coherent response to explain his fondness for the team Obama in spite of the ideological threat they pose, I am going to view David Brooks and not Sarah Palin as the "fatal cancer to the Republican party".