offhand, i'm going to say that this is the worst op-ed column ever written: opinion journalism after the end. i think new york times op-ed columnists like bruni are also focus-grouping both their views and their phrases and have conceived their task to be exactly that of the clintonian politician: manipulating people to agree with them. in this case, they're manipulating people who already agree with them to agree with them; that seriously seems to be how the times' opinion operation conceives its mission. it's devoted to enhancing its readers' self-esteem by enhancing the self-esteem of its staff. they speak with the collective, contentless voice of a certain class or demographic, chanting incantations in unison. or they've just been annexed by political consultants. there used to be fierce, independent voices in a lot of newspapers.
i think 'frank bruni' is the nom de rien of the same software that writes katy perry's lyrics.