Tuesday, September 27, 2016

David Brooks: The Great Project Continues

While everyone else was busy gaping at the sight of Hillary and The Great Orange Clusterfuck, David Brooks snuck out behind the bushes to poop out another deplorable chapter of his Great Project:
...it is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.
Today's Exciting Episode:  Fake Conservatism, now.  Fake Conservatism, tomorrow.  Fake Conservatism, forever.

First, the Bad Guys, who are miraculously distributed evenly across both sides of the American political spectrum, but are completely absent from the Acela Corridor Quiet Car which whisks Mr. Brooks from one end of the bubble in which he lives to the other, and back again, in silent, sleek, 21st Century climate-controlled comfort:
Reactionaries, whether angry white Trumpians, European nationalists, radical Islamists or left-wing anti-globalists, are loud, self-confident and on the march...

Soon, they believe, a false and decadent consciousness descended upon the land...
"Decadent" is one of Mr, Brooks' cuddle-words, like "on stilts" and "luxuriate" -- apparently the meanest things anyone at The Weekly Standard cool kid's table could ever think up.  In Mr. Brooks' world, bad people are bad people, but really bad people are always decadently so.  For example, some of you might remember way back when Mr. Brooks thought that merely standing athwart the Bush Administration's mad rush to send our kids off to die in the wrong war and saying "No"  was the lowest kind of decadence (from The Weekly Standard, 2002 emphasis added):
For example, on September 19, a group of peaceniks took out a full-page ad in the New York Times opposing the campaign in Afghanistan and a possible campaign in Iraq. Signatories included all the usual suspects: Jane Fonda, Edward Said, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Hayden, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, and on and on. ... The entire exercise is a picture perfect example of moral exhibitionism, by a group of people decadently refusing even to acknowledge the difficulties and tradeoffs that confront those who actually have to make decisions about policy.

Wow.  I can definitely see why the New York Times snapped him up and handed him a job-for-life.

And speaking of the NYT, lets get back to the Bad Guys in Mr. Brooks' little fable...
“Reactionaries are not conservatives,” [Mark] Lilla continues. “They are, in their way, just as radical as revolutionaries...

Reactionaries are marked by a militant, apocalyptic mind-set, a crisis mentality. They are willing to take extreme, violent action to turn back the clock. In their narcissism, they think they alone understand the crisis and are in a position to reverse the trends.

The paranoid style of conspiracy-mongering has become the lingua franca of the internet...
God damn you, internet!!!

"Conspiracy" is another Brooks cuddle-word.  Of course, conspiracy-mongering does exist and these days is the major export of Conservative America, but in this context, Mr. Brooks is trying to draw a sharp contrast between those who are in Mr. Brooks' Very Serious Beltway Persons club and those who are not.  For example, thoughtful, well-reasoned opinions such as "The Iraqi War is over and we kicked ass!" and "Ignore that idiot Trump, because Marco Rubio will definitely be the Republican presidential nominee" are the province of Very Serious Beltway Persons such as Mr. David Brooks.

"Peaceniks" and other Liberal degenerates, on the other hand, know only from conspiracies.  Dark and dire delusions, based on nothing but their own, oh, let's say "decadent" impulses. Like for example back when "peaceniks" and other Liberal degenerates were standing athwart the Bush Administration's various derangements and saying "No",  Mr. Brooks was describing us like this:
Finally, there is the dream palace of the American Bush haters. In this dream palace, there is so much contempt for Bush that none is left over for Saddam or for tyranny. Whatever the question, the answer is that Bush and his cronies are evil. What to do about Iraq? Bush is evil. What to do about the economy? Bush is venal. What to do about North Korea? Bush is a hypocrite.

In this dream palace, Bush, Cheney, and a junta of corporate oligarchs stole the presidential election, then declared war on Iraq to seize its oil and hand out the spoils to Halliburton and Bechtel. In this dream palace, the warmongering Likudniks in the administration sit around dreaming of conquests in Syria, Iran, and beyond. In this dream palace, the boy genius Karl Rove hatches schemes to use the Confederate flag issue to win more elections, John Ashcroft wages holy war on American liberties, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and his cabal of neoconservatives long for global empire. In this dream palace, every story of Republican villainy is believed, and all the windows are shuttered with hate...
Except, as it turned out, Rove really was a monster.  

And Conservatives bigots rallying to the Stars-n-Bars really is a thing.  

And Haliburton really did loot the treasury. 

 And Dick Cheney really did get glut himself decadently on Iraq War blood money,  

And Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and that whole "cabal of neoconservatives" scumbags really did long for global hegemony.

Also opposition to Bush Administration policies was not "brainless and self-destructive" because -- surprise! -- those policies really did wipe out the Clinton surplus, run up a gargantuan deficit and put Social Security under the gun.

And so forth.  And so on.  And so forth.

But enough about the inconvenient past, because here comes the glorious future!  And wouldn't you know it, all the Good Guys are Conservative!
The best weapon against the reactionary is not bubbly, blind optimism. It is, frankly, temperamental conservatism.

The conservative looks fondly to the past not as a paradise to return to but as a treasure trove of experience to borrow from...

The conservative seeks to revive, restore and reconstruct — to use the gifts of the dead to make the present a little sweeter and deeper...
Actually, Mr. Brooks, the "best weapon against the reactionary"  is not one more dose of the toxic Imaginary Conservative patent medicine you have been peddling for decades.  

The best weapon against the reactionary would be an honest accounting of our actual history. 

The best weapon against the reactionary would be an honest reckoning of who was right, who was wrong, who was faithful to the nation, and who was a fraud who sold that nation out to advance his career.  

In other words, the best weapon against the reactionary would be just the sort of blunt and honest performance evaluation which you could not possibly survive.  

Jesus Is Not His Co-Pilot

Last night, somewhere beneath the unsanctified ground, curled into a fetal position in his True Conservative crypt and weeping scalding loser tears, the next-to-least qualified lying lunatic to run for the Republican nomination in 2016 rethought his last-minute Come-to-Wormwood decision to lash his political fortunes to the Trump Hindenburg.

The "soul's midnight" must be weird for someone who has no soul. 

However this morning, Lyin' Ted dried those tears and got right back to work as most nakedly depraved hobgoblin in American politics. From Politico:
Cruz: Trump had 'the strongest debate performance' yet

By POLITICO STAFF 09/27/16 10:39 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton “did not have a good performance,” according to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump had “the strongest debate performance he’s had in this election cycle.”

Cruz, who recently endorsed the man who beat him in the Republican primary after months of refusing to do so, embraced his new role as a Trump surrogate in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, dinging Clinton as “tired” and “formulaic” while praising Trump for drawing “strong contrast.”

#DebateNight -- Back To Zero

Spin, Beltway monkeys!

Spin, spin, spin!

#DebateNight: The Toreador

Some of my tweets from debate night, which I delivered to you the consumer until it became such a comprehensive beat-down that I had to just sit back and marvel:
Check, check.  Mike check.  "Forget it Jake, it's...Chinatown". Check, check.

Too many "H"-sounds in your first sentence, Holt.  Watch it!

Hillary sneezing into her hand before shaking was a nice touch

Hillary Clinton talks Sensible Policy.  OMG, this is the most boringest debate ever!

Donald Trump:  China.  Mexico.  Winning fight.  So many of them.  I have a friend.  He has a plant and is taking Ford with him.

 Donald Trump:  They're stealing our jobzes!  I'm going to cut taxes like mad.

Hillary Clinton:  I believe in helping the middle class.

Donald Trump has the sniffles.  Bad. Like glue-sniffing bad. Uh oh.

Hillary busts out The Maths.  No fair!

Donald Trump: Solar power is a disaster.  The Sun is a lie!  Coal, bitches!  Coal and whale oil!

Hillary drops the "F"-bomb.  "Facts".  How dare she.

Donald Trump: Hillary's tax program gives ISIS all our secret plans!  She has been supporting ISIS her whole life.

Trump:  Nobody ever learned nuttin' from tax returns.  Many friends of mine say so.  Many.  Tremendous.  Friends.

Tax returns, schmax returns!  You tell 'em Donald!  -- Al Capone

Trump: We need law and order.  I love Charlotte.  I have a lot of money there. Also that other city where that other thing happened.

Trump: Gangs of roving bands of armed immigrants.  Cops are refusing to enforce the law.  Cats and dogs living together!

Trump: In Chicago, Barack Obama is stalking the streets.  With Hispanics.  And I have a lot of money there!

That thing on Donald Trump's head looks unhappy.  Very unhappy.  Wants out of there.  Now.  Big time.

 Donald Trump rode this racist birther pony all the way to this stage tonight & now he wants to shoot it & move on.  Hey, fuck you, scumbag

How big a racist meathead do you have to be to looking at this lying lunatic and say "Yeah!  This guy!"

Trump: Curtis LeMay loves me.  Loves.  Me.

Trump: My son loves his computers.  What with the internet and the cybers and such.

Trump: ISIS uses the internet.  Damn you, Obama!!!!!!!

"Take the oil."  This shit again?  Really?

Finally someone mentions the Bush Admin SOFA that set the rules for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Trump: For fuck's sake why won't anyone call Trusted Newsman Sean Hannity.  He was there.  He helped me bury that hooker!!!

Donald Trump just said that blowing an Iranian ship out of the water in a fit of pique wouldn't start a war.  Jesus.

Trump:  I was almost a giant asshole.  Almost.  But I decided not to.  Because I am a great man.  Possibly the greatest.

If you were taking a shot every time this lying POS bracketed his lies with "Believe me" you'd h/b dead an hour ago.

Trump kept showering himself in napalm.  Hillary kept handing him matches.

The media lowered the bar into the dirt for Trump and he still garroted himself on it and burst into flames.

Random typing chimp nearly generates single coherent sentence.  Media swoons.

Over in Fox, Howard Kurtz's verdict was that Trump went "90 minutes without any major gaffes".   Mistah Kurtz knows damn well who signs his checks.

Soon-to-be indicted human compost heap Chris Christie is spinning for Trump on MSNBC.  Because apparently there are no other humans left on Earth to talk to.

Trump won't lose any votes because Trump voters are infinitely reprogrammable meatheads.

Time to shift the discussion to the fundamental incompetence of the Trump voter to participate in our democracy.

Trump:  Lester, I'm gonna use one of my lifelines and call Sean Hannity.

It is long past time to shift the discussion to the fundamental incompetence of the Trump voter to participate in our democracy.

So with NATO, suddenly Don the Con gets fussy about people honoring their contracts.

Waiting for the Hugh Hewitt spin on the Trump sharting himself to death in from of 100 million people.

If you were taking a shot every time this lying POS bracketed his lies with "Believe me" you'd have been dead an hour ago.

Trump die-hard on MSNBC typical of the breed -- just repeating "Benghazi!" because that's how these racist morons live with themselves.

Has anyone ever completely immolated himself in front of more people than Donald Trump is doing right now?  #askingforafriend

A merciful referee would have stopped this after the third round.

Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Hugh Hewitt:

Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Chuck Todd:

Monday, September 26, 2016

#DebateNight: We're Are, By God, Gonna Have This Fucking Narrative People!

In other words, batshit glue-sniffing chimp nearly random-types a single coherent sentence.

Media swoons.

One more reason why Liberals are never, ever allowed within "Are you fucking kidding me!" distance of the lords and ladies of the Beltway.

#DebateNight -- The New Journalism

At The Presidential #DebateNight

I was wondering what graphic would be best suited for tonight's nadir of modern democracy.

And then Alert Reader "t.s." sent this along and I wondered no more.

Our National Conversation About Race Has Finally Arrived

Just not the way we wanted or hoped for.  Because instead of a high-minded exchange about history, economic, public policy and culture, out NCAR has arrived as a zombie horde of raving, "post truth" Trumpshirts who are openly bigoted, immune to reason and damn proud of it.  

The boundaries of our NCAR are a little ragged and, since this is the United States of Loud Opinions, any conversation about anything will inevitably be alloyed with a hundred other issues.  But for the first time since the 1860s and the 1960s, we are squared off into two, clearly defined, irreconcilable and diametrically-opposed camps: Conservative bigots, morons (and the exploiters of bigots and morons) marching under the banner of a florescent orange liar and con man...

...and everybody else.

There is no Sensible Center here anymore -- no "Both Sides".  

There is no longer any meaningful category of "American people" except geographically.  As I wrote ten long years ago:

No “We” in America – Part I

For a long time now, the casual invocation of the term “the American people” when explaining what we as a nation do or do not believe, or will or won’t stand for -- especially by the Right, but also by the Left -- has been pissing me right off.

Because at the moment, there is no more “We” in this country.

It breaks my heart but I believe the strategic and relentless poisoning of the public well by the likes of Republican Lee Atwater, Republican Newt Gingrich, Republican Rush Limbaugh and Republican Karl Rove has done its work. And other that geographical, there are no more categories in this country to which we can apply the term "Americans" any longer...
Once the rage-drunk bigots and imbeciles and their collaborators in the media are defeated yet again by the rest of us, maybe we'll get back to having intelligent debates over other important matters, but  I doubt it.  I doubt that anything short of a comprehensive rollback of anything that remotely smacks of "Republican" will give us back our national adulthood and equilibrium and get us back to having grown-up arguments over reasonable marginal tax rates, structural racism, expanding national health care, demilitarizing our cops, disentangling ourselves from ill-advised alliances an commitments around the world, global climate change, and so forth.

And I would love that.

I would love it if I could box this blog up and get back to meaningful public policy debates without being smothered under the dead weight of 30 million screeching Republican idiots being whipped into targetable mobs by domestic enemies like Fox News, Hate Radio and The Breitbart Collective.

But we're not there.  Not by a damn site.

Right now we're just barely holding Little Round Top by our nails.

Right now we're marching towards the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

And you cannot, cannot, cannot be on both sides of that conflict.

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

Norris: Are you attempting to tell me my duties, sir?

Philip Marlowe: No, just having fun trying to guess what they are.

-- The Big Sleep, 1946

I don't know what Hugh Hewitt's duties are, but I do know they don't come within a city block of any definition of "journalism" that would stand up in court.

Here is Comcast employee and Trump myrmidon, Hugh Hewitt expressing his horror at the thought of someone fact-checking Donald Trump because something something Hillary Clinton wouldn't like it very much if Lester Holt called her a liar too, now would she, hmm??

Because "facts" in the Hughniverse (yes, that's a real thing) are "subjective things" once again proving that the sentient roaches of the 28th Century who programmed Hugh Hewitt and sent him back to destroy America do not have a firm grasp of the meaning of English words.

He then goes on to actually cite Cardinal Ross "Chunky Bobo" Douthat (stop laughing!) who spent his 800 contractually obligated New York Time's words this week inveighing against oppressive Leftism and Samantha Bee and whateverthefuck, once again proving that, Jesus Christ of Sunnybrook Farm, Conservatism literally cannot beg, borrow or buy a decent brain for all the money in the Fox News sexual harassment settlement war chest:

Later on the Hugh Hewitt channel, Hugh Hewitt stopped by (what are the odds!?!) to stink up Joy Ann Reid's little corner of human decency.  There was the name-checking of Benghazi (in his telling, Secretary Clinton "fled" the State Department because Benghazi), fretting about the "hard Left" Supreme Court that would last 1,000 years under a Clinton dictatorship, and a Dire Warning that Iran already has Hillary Clinton's number ... because they have copies of her emails ... because some caller on his radio show told him so.

In fact, the answer to every single question about Donald Trump's lying and belligerent idiocy was a robotic "But Hillary Clinton..." because as we have already established with expert testimony, Hugh Hewitt is an android sent from the future to destroy America:

Finally, on the Hugh Hewitt channel's Very Special Episode of "Meet the Android Sent From the Future to Destroy America", when Hugh Hewitt is asked the following, very straightforward question by Mr. Chuck Todd:
CHUCK TODD:  Yeah, his transparency issue though, Hugh, you can see the Charlotte police chief has been grappling with this. On one hand the investigation, but they didn't release the full video and so it didn't erase the skepticism.
What we get by way of a response is another long, rambling, discursive "But Hillary Clinton..." answer that -- Jesus Christ and the Velveteen Rabbit! -- once again trots out Ross Douthat's NYT droppings about the suffocating Leftism of Samantha Bee or whatever --
HUGH HEWITT: No and it won't be gone for a long time. I think it's unfortunate that we're not spending more time on the first lady embracing the former President yesterday and we are spending more time on transparency as we have to. I think that for many in the country that's all one event. Charlotte, Tulsa and the presidential race and the national anthem are all one event. But for a lot of the country the national anthem is a different event. And I would recommend Ross Douthat's column this week: Hillary Clinton's Samantha Bee problem. A lot of people are feeling suffocated by the cultural left and they don't associate it with race, they associate it with being overwhelmed by change. And I think it's the most important column that's been written this week.
-- as if it were the most insightful flare set off against the dark night of the human condition since William Faulkner's 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.
I have no idea what Hugh Hewitt's duties actually are.  Nor do I know the duties of the men who hire such reeking frauds as Hugh Hewitt and prop them up on teevee over and over again trying to pass them of as credible.  But I do know those duties don't come within a country mile of any definitions of "honorable", "decent" or "patriotic" that can stand up to the withering and righteous judgement of history.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016