The press is distinguishing itself really well right now . . . The courts are doing a really good job.”
Only a D.C. elite could have uttered that statement. And that elite is none other than . . . Arthur Brooks, the departing president of the American Enterprise Institute.
In a long interview with Tim Alberta of Politico, Brooks ruminates on current day politics and argues that our country would be flying high again if, like the Tin Man at the end of The Wizard of Oz, politicians found their hearts.
But anyone with a passing familiarity with what’s going on in the swamp understands that the problem is not because politicians don’t listen to their hearts. Emotivism in politics is rampant. “That’s not who we are,” moralistic grandstanding (I’m talking to you, David French), and prideful screeds inveighing against the 47% or the deplorables have consumed our politics. Instead, the problem is one the Scarecrow was all too familiar with: the lack of a brain.
To return to Brooks’ ramblings, he goes full bitter clinger in rejecting the idea that high immigration or bad trade deals could be doing actual harm to the country:
But it turns out it’s easier in the political process when people are suffering a lot to say somebody came and got your stuff. Whether it’s immigrants or whether it’s trading partners or whether it’s bankers or whatever.
And he admits his view of politicians has actually improved since coming to Washington, D.C.:
I think that the politicians that come to Washington are not morons and they’re really good, hardworking people, too. I didn’t know that before I came here. When I came here I thought they were creeps.
Brooks isn’t the only one showing his ruling class bona fides. In the introduction, Alberta writes, “Brooks employs scholars from across the ideological spectrum, including Never-Trumpers…” as if being a NeverTrumper is somehow foreign to elite conservatism in D.C..
Arthur Brooks, bon voyage. Paul Ryan, start measuring the drapes. You just know it’s going to happen. Conservative intellectuals just can’t help themselves.