Shorter David Brooks: "IOKIYAR-AG."
In abandoning the ancient, Clinton-era G.O.P. wisdom that the nation's Attorney General should be a politically impartial enforcer of the federal rule of law, David Brooks upends his usual trope of exaltating the "common man" over "elites." Here are the money grafs:
These days, anti-establishment sentiment comes in many flavors and everybody bashes Washington. There is left-wing establishment-bashing, descended from the ’60s. And there is a right-wing version, exemplified by the common Bush administration belief that Washington is inherently polluted and that virtue and good governance can be best provided by outsiders with a Texas twang.Elites making sense? Antiestablishmentarianism reaching absurdity? "[P]retensions of the anti-Washington outsider" exposed? Have I missed the punch line or is this Bobo's resignation letter?
Anti-establishment sentiment once had merit, but it has reached the point of absurdity, and Alberto Gonzales represented many of its failings. He lacked the experience, the professional stature and the insider knowledge required of a good attorney general. He was part of an administration that was unthinkingly hostile to elite opinion, even when the elites were making sense.
Now he is out, almost like in Little League, by mercy rule. And perhaps it’s part of a pattern. Vietnam discredited the old establishment of the Wise Men and the Best and the Brightest. The events of the past few years have exposed the pretensions of the anti-Washington outsider.