David Brooks "has been working tirelessly to understand the spirit of the American capital," and he lays out three main themes in the New York Times:
- This isn't so much a transition as a "season of rebirth.” The impending inauguration feels like an "ancient tribal rite—the purging of sin, the elevation of the pure, the moral regeneration of the nation’s soul." Maybe they’ll sacrifice a goat.
- “Second, there is a feeling of audacity sweeping the ruling circles.” America’s powerful treat $300 billion as they once did $3 billion. Health care and energy reform, once giant obstacles, are now mere "subplots" folded in to the economic stimulus.
- “And this leads, sad to say, to the third layer of emotion: anxiety.” No really knows if the premises of such dramatic action are sound, and perhaps “some unholiness is being unwittingly and rashly created.”