I'd just about given up on David Brooks. Often described as the "liberal's favorite conservative," Brooks can both read and write. [That's an obscure T. E. Lawrence reference, actually.]
As a student at the University of Chicago, he wrote a satirical piece for the school newspaper about a William F. Buckley book called "Overdrive." When Buckley later gave a lecture at Chicago, he announced from the podium, "David Brooks, if you're in the audience, I'd like to offer you a job."
I wish Brooks wrote more satire. His satirical pieces are much, much better than his very serious pieces.
Take for example, this biography of The Real Romney:
The whole thing is here.Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired.The Romneys had a special family tradition. The most cherished member got to spend road trips on the roof of the car. Mitt spent many happy hours up there, applying face lotion to combat windburn.The teenage years were more turbulent. He was sent to a private school, where he was saddened to find there are people in America who summer where they winter. He developed a lifelong concern for the second homeless, and organized bake sales with proceeds going to the moderately rich.