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Shields and Brooks on the Week in Politics

By The NewsHour, The NewsHour - April 29, 2011

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JEFFREY BROWN: And that, of course, brings us to the royal analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome.

We have to start with the royal wedding.

Mark, are you a royalist, a small-R republican? What did you make of all that?

MARK SHIELDS: I'm a small-D Democrat.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS: And as an Irish-American, I was not raised, I didn't regard myself as an uncritical admirer of the British royal family.

However, at a time of economic trouble and sort of down spirits, I thought this was a good-news story with wonderful visuals today and a very appealing couple. And let's hope the happy ever after works.

And just one positive thing I do want to say, Prince William is in military service. He's a rescue pilot. And he wants to go to Afghanistan. His brother did go to Afghanistan, as did -- his three uncles all served. And it really is an admirable tradition for those of privilege and power to do so. And I wish it was something that prevailed on this side of the pond as well.

JEFFREY BROWN: David.

DAVID BROOKS: I was raised in a culture of, think Yiddish, act British.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS: So, we are big Anglophiles in my family. And not since Alistair Cooke dined alone have we had have as much Anglophilia.

JEFFREY BROWN: ... watch it on PBS, right?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, right. Exactly.  

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS: And, so, I'm not only intellectually, but a believer in the monarchy, especially for Britain. I have covered British politics a bit.

And we have Gettysburg. We have Lincoln. We have a Constitution. British identity is interwoven with the royal family. For most Britons, it is part of their identity. It's part of what holds the country together. They don't have a constitution. So, I'm for it.

And you see all the joy on the streets, and I think that exemplifies it.

JEFFREY BROWN: But what is it about royalty, and particularly British royalty, that grabs so many people, so many Americans?

JEFFREY BROWN: Didn't we throw them off...

DAVID BROOKS: Well, yes. That was a mistake, maybe.

(LAUGHTER)

JEFFREY BROWN: OK.

DAVID BROOKS: No. I mean, there are a couple of things.

First of all, this is a wedding of really good-looking, really rich people with great real estate. And so people tend to like those things.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS: Donald Trump's next nuptials.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. No, he wouldn't have had a gown that nice.

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