"Now it’s evident that if you want to understand the future of the Democratic Party you can learn almost nothing from the bloggers, billionaires and activists on the left who make up the 'netroots.'"
For serious, that is a weighty load of crap. It tells us a lot more about Brooks and the Beltway mindset than it does politics now and from now on.
The argument is that because Hillary Clinton's centrist campaign is doing quite well here in September 2007, the game is done. The whole subject -- "the future of the Democratic party" -- is defined by one presidential race, analyzed to the depth of about one inch.
It gets worse. Brooks lazily conflates the netroots with the far left, which kind of misses a point grasped even by many conservative bloggers. He ignores the role of the web in pushing issues like health care to the fore, ignores the movement toward increased transparency across politics and governance, ignores the growing role of small donors, ignores state and local campaigns, and argues that a new movement has failed if it has gained only a seat at the table and not the whole table.
It must be scary to be a David Brooks these days. In that context, reassuring bedtime stories like this one make some sense. Otherwise, not.