By what stretch of the imagination is David Brooks a "liberal?" He isn't, by his own admission. But for the media, he counts. That is, he's to the left of Scalia on a couple of issues ergo he is a liberal in the contemporary political/media landscape. His tired schtick of pretending he's Objective and Serious and Just Being Realistic, qualifiers that immediately precede an argument of the unassailability of neocon talking points, has enabled him to carve out a nice little career. See, America? Here's a guy who's not a Republican – he's just an honest, Serious guy who's able to transcend partisan hackery to act like a grown-up and realize that neoconservatism is the only way. Anyone who's willing to be Mature and Serious has to admit that The Surge has been the most resounding success since the 1985 Chicago Bears. God are we lucky to have President Bush!
He's not the only person selling this ration of shit. Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, Bob Shrum, Zell Miller, Alan Colmes, and many others have made quite a living out of playing the "Liberal who just happens to agree with everything the Republican Party says" game. The American "left" is littered with these people, the kind who don't understand why the rest of us have to be Troublemakers when we could have such a sweet deal if we surrender to the enemy we can't possibly defeat. Conservatism is just too powerful, too right, too infallible. If we all admit that, drop to our knees, and suck enthusiastically enough, they might even let us be their house slaves. Just look at the sweet gigs they have – major newspaper columns, TV shows, $20k-per-hour speaking engagements. The life of the ideological Quisling is a good one. Very profitable, this pétainisme.
Every word that comes out of Lieberman's or Brooks' mouth sounds the same – "Gosh, I just can't figure out why liberals won't admit that these people are always right. I do everything the right says, and look how well they treat me!" Surrender, and you too could live to be patronized as the token "liberal." You could be used as scenery, trotted before the cameras to create the illusion of ideological competition. All it costs is your soul, your dignity, and your credibility.
Consider Bob Shrum kissing the establishment media's ass when Hillary Clinton says those nasty things about them, or Joe Lieberman getting hard over his status as the right's favorite liberal, or David Brooks talking about how he's not a conservative but just happens to have a lot of concerns about every fucking thing the Democrats do that doesn't mimic the GOP. This behavior is little different from those French who, convinced of the inevitability of defeat at German hands, tripped over themselves to surrender as fast and as convincingly as possible.
It is a matter of historical fact that some of Hitler's most rabid, dead-end troops were from the nations conquered by the German Army during the course of WWII. France, Belgium, and Eastern Europe had plenty of people who were psychologically incapable of fighting and turned to accomodation. They figured that if they killed enthusiastically enough for the Nazis, turning in or butchering their own neighbors, they could earn the favored treatment of their new masters. The Vichy French, the Quisling government of occupied Norway, and the Jews that were employed to beat down and round up other Jews all operated under this theory. And it was not a new phenomenon in the 1940s. The American Civil War had Copperheads and Doughfaces. The American Revolution had Tory sympathizers. The French Revolution had feuillants. The Russian Revolution had Whites.
Brooks et al would do well to read a little bit of history. Appeasement worked for the Vichy French, of course. Their willingness to slit the throats of their own friends and neighbors spared them the brutality of the Nazi regime…until its ultimate defeat. I don't recall things working out very well for Pétain or Quisling once the Nazis were crushed by the people they used such puppets to oppress.