Note that I didn't use "conservative" to modify "columnist" or "David Brooks," though the Times and other mainstream media outlets routinely bill Brooks as conservative. Featuring a left-leaning moderate and depicting him as a conservative is a clever technique the liberal media employ to discredit conservative ideas.
Not to mention any names, but we see this technique in practice daily on NBC's deranged stepchild, MSNBC, where a former Republican congressman habitually impugns conservatives in the name of conservatism.
But let's not dwell too much on whether these liberal-enough-to-be-hired-by-bigshot-liberal-media-outlets-as-conversative-commentators are bona fide conservatives.
Instead, let's take a look at what Brooks is asserting. Does it have validity? It's important to quote a substantial segment to get the thrust of Brooks' remarks and his accompanying attitude.
Brooks said: "What's going on in the House and a bit in the Senate, too, is what you might call the rise of Ted Cruz-ism. And Ted Cruz, the senator from Canada through Texas, is basically not a legislator in the normal sense, does not have an idea that he's going to Congress to create coalitions, make alliances, and he's going to pass a lot of legislation. He's going in more as a media-protest person. And a lot of the House Republicans are in the same mode. They're not normal members of Congress. They're not legislators. They want to stop things. And so they're just being -- they just want to obstruct."
Perhaps you can detect the dripping contempt Brooks has for Cruz? But what's worse is Brooks' complete misunderstanding of what motivates Cruz and like-minded conservatives.
Yes, I assume Brooks is correct that Cruz's lifelong goal is not to be a pro forma, obedient little junior legislator who aspires to acquire prestigious committee assignments, to become besties with powerful legislators and to see his name affixed to monumental pieces of legislation irrespective of whether they are beneficial or destructive for America. A conservative would find this refreshing rather than indicting.
But going in as a media-protest person? What does that mean? Sure, Cruz disagrees with the mainstream media worldview, but to say that he sought political office mainly to protest the media -- as if he is just on some kind of power trip -- is just bizarre.