I don’t often agree with Brooks, and he’s fundamentally an Obama opponent while I’m enthusiastically an Obama supporter. Brooks seems the same reality I do: a serious, pragmatic, tenacious center-left President trying to optimize over a difficult set of constraints.
In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed. But we don’t live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.