David Brooks is not a liberal, but the New York Times columnist doesn't hesitate to call himself "a great admirer of Barack Obama and those around him." Yet as the new administration has thrown itself at a dozen staggering problems, from fixing health care and the auto industry to creating jobs and reviving banks, Brooks' conservative "alarm bells" have been ringing. "I fear that in trying to do everything at once, they will do nothing well," he writes.
Conservatives are not opposed to change, says Brooks; rather, they believe that all change must be gradual because "we are strangers to ourselves and society is an immeasurably complex organism." Obama and his team may be smart, but by concentrating so much power in so few, the administration has set liberalism a make-or-break exam. "If they mostly fail," says Brooks, "then liberalism will suffer a grievous blow, and conservatives will be called upon to restore order and sanity."