David Brooks, on deadline, produces paper-thin wing-nut theory

Obama is single-handedly destroying U.S. management culture by creating a “revolution in values” that will replace the steady, detail-obsessed, “dull” CEOs that have made our nation great.

The long-shot theory of a wing-nut marginal blogger?

No, it’s the incredible stretch penned today by top conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, whose editor allowed him to write 15 paragraphs surveying research on the most effective CEO personalities and to then tie it all up with a far-flung out-of-nowhere cherry bomb of a conclusion aimed straight at the president.

“…Until recently, corporate culture has been free to thrive in such unlikely places as Bentonville, Omaha and Redmond,” he writes.

And then the fantastic conclusion:

Of course, that’s changing. [“of course”?] We now have an administration freely interposing itself in the management culture of industry after industry. It won’t be the regulations that will be costly, but the revolution in values. When Washington is a profit center, C.E.O.’s are forced to adopt the traits of politicians. That is the insidious way that other nations have lost their competitive edge.

One of our top national conservative pundits, faced with a fractured world economy and consensus formed around the idea that lack of regulation and bad regulation fueled the catastrophe, concludes after years of championing market magic that regulations aren’t really the problem. No. It’s the way Obama wants to make CEOs flamboyant touchy-feely communicators, just like Beltway politicians, and that in doing so he’s turning the U.S. into some “other country” — like France, no doubt.


Yesterday Maureen Dowd was revealed a plagiarist. Today David Brooks delivers a dud column worthy of a third-rate hack. Who’s running the show over there at the New York Times editorial page? This is clearly a crisis of management. It must be Obama’s fault.

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