But after that, folks in the Obama camp hope to create a Grand Bargain. That would mean building on a culture of cohesion and tackling the issues that require joint sacrifice — like reducing deficits, fixing Medicare and Social Security and reforming health care. These problems were insoluble during the era of division and distrust. In the climactic season of his presidency, the winter of 2010, Obama would seek to fundamentally restore balance to the force American government. (David Brooks)
This is what I often dislike about David Brooks’ columns–mechanism matters. At least when people carelessly refer to Nixon going to China,” it’s understood what they’re trying to say. Overall, the NY Times op-ed pages favor so called ‘ideas’ over details.
If you ask me why things might be different now, I’ll point to Obama’s approval ratings and his Democratic majorities first (keeping the first Clinton term in the back of my mind). A new and less divided era will be far down the list.