Today, he took on David Brooks and managed a total take-down for misstating Obama's position on the sequestration deal. In his New York Times column, Brooks said that Obama didn't have a plan, when in fact he does -- or, Brooks then said, if he does have a plan, it's nothing but tax the rich, which is not true. It includes some entitlement reforms and cuts in spending.
Ezra Klein called Brooks to discuss it. Brooks admitted that his column was "a bit over the top," that the president does have a plan but that the Congressional Budget Office has not scored it. Klein pointed out that the CBO doesn't score negotiating proposals, which is the stage they're at.
Then Klein challenged him for the position that, if the president puts forth a plan that the Republican's won't pass, that doesn't count as a plan. Even a moderate Republican like Brooks wants to blame Republican intransigence on Obama. Brooks then said Obama should propose a centrist plan, such as Robert Rubin would advance. (Rubin was Clinton's Treasury Secretary.)
Here's Ezra Klein's response:
But I’ve read Robert Rubin’s tax plan. He wants $1.8 trillion in new revenues. The White House, these days, is down to $1.2 trillion [meaning that the White House plan is more centrist than Rubin's, a complete undercutting of Brooks' argument.]You've got to get up early to keep up with this well-informed young man. You'll be hearing more about him here on ShrinkRap. To get the better of such an exalted pundit as David Brooks by correcting his facts is quite a feat.
Both Ezra Klein and Rachel Maddow are exactly what has been missing in journalism lately. I predict a bright future for this young man. Two years ago, GQ Magazine named him one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington -- at age 26? That's impressive.