David Brooks’s Times column today is a condemnation of the Tea Party (although he doesn’t name it as such) for refusing Obama’s debt ceiling offer to trim entitlements because it includes tax hikes. As Tim Carney notes, though, that offer exists only in Brooks’s brain. It’s likely, too, that the Obama team planted it there — Brooks, famously, is always getting background information from the Obama folks. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Obama administration is not on the same page as the Tea Party.
By the way, one of Brooks’s complaints about the Tea Party is that “The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities.” Certainly anti-intellectualism is problematic, although it’s not obvious how that’s a problem specific to the Tea Party. But the legitimacy of “scholars and intellectual authorities” comes from the value of their work, same as in all other professions.