Hoisted from 2007: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another New York Times Edition) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/01/why_oh_why_cant_3.html: David Brooks says Nanci Pelosi is some kind of hereditary plutocrat, like George W. Bush:
I have a dream that [Nancy] Pelosi, who was chauffeured to school as a child.... a great harmonic convergence among the obscenely rich.... This week, witness Pelosi going on her all-about-me inauguration tour, which is designed to rebrand her as a regular Catholic grandma from Baltimore. Members of the middle classes never have to mount campaign swings to prove how regular they are, but these upper-bracket types can't help themselves, and they always lay it on too thick...
Here is a photo of Nancy Pelosi's childhood home in Baltimore:
Here's a photo of the Bushes' summer house on Walker Point:
Daughters of ethnic Democratic mayors in the 1950s did get driven to school. But hereditary plutocrats they were not.
As one colleague said on Friday apropos of another issue: "David Brooks? You're using a tenured Harvard statistician to refute David Brooks?! You don't use a tenured statistician, you use a fly-swatter!"
Can the New York Times survive a decade with columns of this low quality?
UPDATE 2017: It has survived. But as I look back at this, I can only conclude that it really should not have survived.