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Friday, October 08, 2004

Brooks-to-Cheney or Cheney-to-Brooks?

Squeaks from the Squirrel Cage - A cube with a view has an interesting find. In Tuesday's Veep Debate, Dick Cheney repeated a story from a recent David Brooks column in the New York Times.

I won't put the entire thing here (read it), but basically Cheney's reference to "terrorists" in El Salvador attempting to disrupt their election 20 years ago also appeared in a Brooks column on September 28th. Both the Vice President and Brooks conclude that elections can take the air out of insurgencies -- and both look forward to elections in Afghanistan and Iraq to prove their point.

We'll see, eh?

According to Squirrel:
There are a few possible explanations for this apparent coincidence. First, Cheney could have gotten the idea from Brooks' column. Second, Brooks could have gotten the idea from Cheney, or from a Cheney surrogate. Third, they both could have gotten the same idea from a third party. Fourth, it could be pure coincidence, not-so-great minds thinking alike.

Cheney puts himself at the scene of the Salvadoran elections (who knew?), so I'm betting, at least provisionally, on #2, Cheney gave the idea to Brooks. If that's so, it raises another question: is David Brooks registered as a 527?
Since the Brooks column includes at least 9 paragraphs on the El Salvador anecdote, it is interesting that he might merely be repeating a White House talking point -- on the New York Times op-ed page (and in wide syndication).

Who needs Judith Miller now?

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