And I thought I was winning this debate. I really did. But Donald played the trump card that undermined my entire argument: He quoted conservative columnist David Brooks. And that can only mean that the jig is up and I might as well surrender. Once Brooks is evoked in a debate, you better pray he's on your side or you might as well just slit your wrists and call it a life. And sure enough, Republican David Brooks asserted that Obama's tax plan is class warfare. Damn. That's game, set, and match.
And here's the money quote Douglas provided:
The U.S. has never been a society riven by class resentment. Yet the Obama budget is predicated on a class divide. The president issued a read-my-lips pledge that no new burdens will fall on 95 percent of the American people. All the costs will be borne by the rich and all benefits redistributed downward.
So I guess that's it. With a moderate conservative like Brooks against me, I must be wrong. This debate is over.
The Great and Powerful Brooks
And sure, it could be pointed out that Brooks is merely reciting the same tired assumption that I had already exposed as fraudulent from the start. Or it could be argued that folks who make less than $250k also pay federal taxes, which would obviously mean that Brooks was wrong when he suggested that "all the costs will be borne by the rich." And it could also be argued that the rich also benefit greatly from the budget, which would refute the idea that "all benefits are redistributed downward." And maybe I could point out that Brooks already believes that the rich should pay more than the poor, which would mean that either he's engaging in class warfare or he's wrong for suggesting such tax theories are class warfare.
And it could even be argued that this is the exact tax plan Obama used as a key platform during an election that he handily won; which would suggest that people agree with it. Or in fact, it could be pointed out that Obama is doing exactly what he said he'd do, involving policies that Brooks says he supports; and that Brooks never explains specifically what Obama is doing wrong, but instead relies upon meaningless accusations of "unchecked liberalism." And without further explanation, it could be argued that Brooks is a total sap whose attack on Obama consists of little more than the need to attack Obama.
But what'd be the point? It's obvious I've lost. Not because Donald refuted my point. But merely because he was able to quote yet another conservative who was making the same stupid assumption he was making, and that conservative was David Brooks. As Douglas points out, Brooks isn't a far-rightie like Rush Limbaugh, but rather is a moderate "intellectual" conservative. So there's no possible way I could claim this is "wingnuttery." And gee, I was planning to pin my whole argument on this exact ad hominem attack.
So I guess this is it. I lost the debate. Merely because he can quote David Brooks making the same empty assertion that every other conservative relies upon, and which I had been attacking. And there's just no way I can possibly argue against such a heavyweight moderate like David Brooks. If only David Brooks was a liberal, we might finally win an argument.
UPDATE: I was just informed by a very reliable source that David Brooks is not, in fact, God; and therefore his assertions are not superior to anyone else's. And that means that, rather than irreparably refuting my point, Donald Douglas has yet again helped establish my initial premise that conservatives don't even understand what class warfare is.
Perhaps if he'd bother explaining his point rather than asserting that it is too self-evident to explain, he might score a point. Or if he'd even address any point I actually made, rather than relying entirely on an argument I had already destroyed. But until then, my argument stands and I win.
Honestly, I keep waiting for Douglas to make some valid point, as I'd like to take this debate out of neutral and really put my brains to the test. But it appears the best he can do is perform victory laps from the sidelines; never having touched my argument. How disappointing.