David Brooks: My favorite conservative

David Brooks writes commentary for the New York Times, which may seem like an incongruous match, especially for those who cherish ideological purity.

Brooks is a center-right commentator and columnist. The New York Times opinion section is seen as a liberal-leaning outlet. But Brooks routinely demonstrates his smarts most Friday nights on the PBS NewsHour, where he joins liberal columnist Mark Shields to discuss — and occasionally debate — that week’s hot political topics. (The NewsHour is shown each Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. on KACV-TV.)

This past Sunday, Brooks — appearing on Meet the Press — was in rare form. He made two seemingly diametrically opposed assertions in virtually the same sentence. He said Republicans have developed a “brain freeze” since the Nov. 6 election and then declared that President Obama tends to govern “as if he’s a visitor from a morally superior civilization.”

That may summarize why Brooks has become my favorite conservative, at least for the moment.

I enjoy watching him joust — in a gentlemanly manner, of course — with Shields on the NewsHour. It’s not that he’s right all the time. He can be wrong on occasion. It’s simply that he’s smart about it. He’s a clear thinker with clear ideas and he articulates them cleanly and crisply, such as how he demonstrated on Meet the Press.

But for public TV viewers, Brooks does the same thing on Friday nights sitting next to his pal, Shields.

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