I have certainly not been shy in past blogs about trashing David Brooks when I thought he deserved it, so I shouldn't omit to praise him for showing a bit more of that above-the-partisan-fray spirit that I had been hoping for when he started writing for the Times.
A couple of days ago, he pretty clearly called Tom DeLay (or at least his aides), along with Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, "sleazo-cons" whose outrageous lobbying scams constitute "sleaze of a high order" that rank with the worst deeds of "Tammany Hall grafters and Chicago ward heelers."
Perhaps I am making Brooks' column sound more uninhibited than it actually is, as much of the above language is directed in particular at lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
But Brooks pretty clearly, as the record justifies, associates Norquist, Reed, and DeLay's people with the Abramoff-style operations. So I would have to say he is coming down pretty hard on these guys, and doing better than William Safire ever did at showing a genuine willingness to call things honestly.
Let's hope it's catching.