Brooks might have reminded readers the "wreckage of the Gingrich revolution" and its Contract With America gave the Clinton administration virtually every success it now claims.
It is worth noting that compassionate conservatism took the form, inter alia, of what the press and fellow Democrats loved to bash as Bush's "charm offensive" before the greater offense perpetrated by Daschle and Gephardt sank their poll numbers, if not their careers.
With regard to domestic policy, Bush has been repeatedly underrated, often pulling off astounding victories when it mattered.
If some now take potshots at certain education or prescription drug programs, it was to be expected in the campaign season. There is nothing Bush could have done that would have pleased Democrats following a strategy of omni-criticism 24/7. Moreover, they can hardly complain about a program that passed with an estimate that was half of the $895 billion Senator Kerry has proposed.
Brooks floated the idea of re-voting the prescription drug benefits, as if that would satisfy Democrats intent on winning an election, and not on resolving the Medicare dilemma. Please recall that when Dole went to Clinton during the 1996 campaign and secured agreement to take Social Security and Medicare off the table so that viable compromises could be reached, the very next thing Clinton did was to call a press conference to announce Republicans planned to gut these entitlement programs.
Brooks thinks Bush could have enlisted the foreign expertise of Biden, Lieberman or Clinton. Has Books been living in a cave? There is nothing on the public record to suggest that these partisan Democrats would have put their country ahead of party politics and demonstrated a loyalty to achieving administration goals more reliably than, say, Paul O'Neill. And one wouldn't have to wait for the Kiss & Tell book to learn how they sought to undercut all Bush successes.
The Big Question, Is Brooks naive, idealistic or just plain delusional, or is he trying not to burn down his new master's house?
That gets my vote for the biggest lie of the year. It's not even a debatable question for anyone who remembers the 1994 midterms.