The Power and The Glory.
About every nine columns, David Brooks goes absolutely off-the-monorail monkeyshit over some slight against one of his pet Conservative causes or peeves and violently embraces his inner Limbaugh.
For the other eight he tamps down his seething rage against Reality and maunders on about the woes of flying in aer-o-planes, or waxes mush-headed nostalgic for the sporting days of his youth, or just copy/pastes in other people's research on brain chemistry and says "hmmmm" -- confining his howls of outrage to a muffled, pillow-biting, hrrrrmph.
And in that you can see the pasty hand of intentionality and design.
After all, as long as Our Mr. Brooks can wheel his great, moon face from the NYT, to PBS, the Chuckles Rose Show, or the Sunday Mouse Circus, and softly expound wingnut talking points, then the pig people have some soft, pink, “respectable” upright-walking spokesman from whom they can draw sustenance for their execrable ideas.
But about every ninth time he puts pen to paper, Bobo suddenly decides he is instead some kind of wingnut warrior/poet. On those occasions Tom Friedman helps him shave from head to toe, then he oils himself up, squeaks “Prepare For Glory!” into his makeup mirror and leaps into his cracker-dry little column looking for blood.
Which, first and foremost, considering that Brooks is not so much a boil on the ass of journalism, but an ingrown zit just inside the rim of journalism’s right nostril, is terribly, terribly funny.
Because this pathetic little fraction of a journalist has one and only one schtick: Defender of the Faith.
If Limbaugh, Dobson, Rove and the rest are the Inquisition of the Church of Reagan, creatures like Bobo are supposed to be its Jesuits. Supposed to be able to rise to the defense of the Cause with some veneer of intellectual rigor, as Fox and Hate Radio work the mobs and torches.
And let’s face it, his Faith is dead. His dogma blown to atoms by an unbroken string of unmitigated failures.
He is an empty, pastel sack, stuffed with smaller, emptier sacks, lint and Bush/Cheney ’04 bumper stickers, because at the root of his problems are the simple truths that:
1. Bobo’s “Secret Genius” of a president lied us into Iraq. Deliberately and with premeditation.This is what Bobo is now stuck defending.
2. Compounding the morale bankruptcy of duping a grieving nation into an unnecessary war is the fact that Bobo’s “Secret Genius” of a president has prosecuted his war as if unparalleled incompetence were a virtue and unwavering pigheadedness in the face of one’s own unprecedented incompetence was something for which they gave out shiny, new dimes.
3. It turns out the only consistent through-line of this Administration is the ruinous pattern of loony-ideology-based decisions, executed by incompetents, profiteered by cronies and ultimately covered up by thugs. It is the Bush Administration DNA.
So, like all Neocon Regime Dead-enders, Bobo longs for the glorious days of old.
He dreams of loping again over great, wide swaths of issues in his Seven League Conservative Boots. Longs for the bygone era of big, empty rhetoric about the Conservative Utopia to come once the Dirty Hippes are swept away. Yearns to be able smother honest debate by hurling terms like “Conservative Compassion”, “Conservative Competent”, “Conservative Honor”, “Conservative Pragmatism”, “Small Gummint”, “Stand behind the Commander-in-Chief” down from the heights of his NYT aerie.
After all, what good is it to have napalmed and conquered Mount Olympus if you can’t use it to rain lighting bolts down on the Evil Liberals?
But of course, Bobo can’t lope anywhere.
He, like all of his ilk, now huddle together on a vast, rubble-strewn plain, unable to move in any measurable way except for the slow tumble of their own fucktard Brownian motion, having stranded themselves in a minefield they themselves laid.
A millimeter to their left, Katrina.
A little to the right, the unfolding horror of the Department of Justice.
Ahead of them, filling the entire horizon, the vast, lie-studded catastrophe that is their Excellent Iraqi Adventure.
To the rear, a million lines of shrill, self-righteous prose from the Clinton years about the need for Presidents to be held to the most rigorous possible standards, investigated constantly no matter how trivial the reason, and impeached for any infraction. Prose now stacked beneath the Republican Party like ancient dynamite: lethal, volatile, and liable to go “Boom!’ at any moment.
Behind every yelp they want to make about how awful and mean everyone is now, leers the demon rictus of Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, and Jerry Falwell.
Over every fake protestation they want to register over how terrible the partisanship has become, Conservative Kingmaker Grover Glenn “bipartisanship is just another word for date rape” Norquist looms.
Rumbling just below the surface of every reckless demand for “More War!” when we have no more troops to send anywhere is the conspicuous absence of Republican cowards ages 18-45 that are staying away from the war they demanded in their millions.
And ringing in the air are the voices of millions of Dirty Hippies. Those who have spent the last 30 years begging, pleading, warning and lecturing the Party of God to please-please-please don't tear down our vital institutions and erect a labyrinth of barbed wire, nitroglycerine and hate.
That the day would come when you may actually need to solve genuine problems, and the machinery you are giddily smashing today for narrow, short-term, partisan gain is the very machinery you will need to solve those problems tomorrow.
Well, that day has now come.
What was foretold has come to pass, and the very best regime dead-enders like Bobo can do now is mill around, take the occasional potshot at a Clinton, and every so often freak out at their confinement and beat their faces against the invisible bars of this prison of their own making.
As he did yesterday in his column, “Ending the Farce” and about which much has already been written.
The low points in this oozing mashup of lies and doctrine were:
“The drama opened, as these dark comedies are wont to do, with a strutting little peacock who went by the unimaginative name of Joe Wilson."Shorter Bobo: How come Dirty Hippies get all the chicks!?
Slightly Longer Bobo: That sumbitch Joe Wilson has better plumage than me. His hair: fertile and luxuriant. His “take” on this Administration’s perfidy: dead on. His wife: hot and smart. And here I sit, a balding hack on the wrong side of history who must make do pleasuring myself into a tube sock while leafing through the National Review and dreaming of Maggie Thatcher.
Where’s the fucking Justice!
Joe Wilson is then variously described as “P.T. Barnum of the National Security set” and “an inveterate huckster”.
He and his missus were “creepy”.
Those who think poorly of a White House willing to sanction burning an undercover agent as part of a larger, pre-cooked plot to panic America into the war Neocons wanted all along are full of "fevered vapors and gleeful rage”.
The Plame Story “pretended to be about the outing of an undercover C.I.A. agent.”
Anyone in the media who was genuinely pissed at how far into the cesspit the Bush Regime had sunk was merely “artificially appalled”. Fitzgerald was “throwing journalists in jail” and the whole of it was “like watching a city of Ahabs getting deliriously close to the great white whale.”
"the only normal person in the asylum.”
“People who knew him thought him discreet, honest and admirable.”Translation: I knew him. We had lunch, and he paid for his own salmon! And such a sweet-sweet smell of English Leather coming off of that man! This is not some swarthy cutpurse; Libby is a friend to inbred D.C. establishmentarians, and a dog-loyal thrall to his demon master. What higher virtues can there be?
“Fitzgerald, having lost all perspective, demanded Libby get a harsh sentence as punishment for crimes he had not been convicted of. The judge, casting himself as David against Goliath, demonstrated an impressive capacity for talking about himself.”Translation: The Republican-appointed prosecutor asked the Republican-appointed judge to use the Republican-approved sentencing guidelines to determine the amount of time Libby would do in Club Fed. But jail is for little people, brown people and Democrats.
And those who are outraged are simple acting out their “assigned posture in this drama.”
So let’s cut through the fog and the moss and the carnival mirrors, and to the marrow.
As sure as the shitty Greek place that goes up in convenient a fireball one night, what happened to gin up a war with Iraq is case of arson.
A case of something destroyed by bad men for criminal ends, that has now leaped far past the original boundaries envisioned by the match-flicking, gas-spreading Neocon sociopaths.
Something that has grown from an insurance scam to a Dresden, but however complex the story, it is still a group of conspirators acting in secret to the detriment of society. Still a crime to be solved.
And if the crime of lying the nation into a war and discrediting anyone who stood in the way is arson, Patrick Fitzgerald’s team are the firemen,
trying first to put the conflagration out, then trying to sift the crime scene for evidence of who did this and why.
Libby, then, was the faithful rat, in charge of blocking the hydrants
and slitting the hoses so that the firemen could not do their jobs.
And what appalls Bobo is the simple fact that Libby -- a loyal “Cheney’s Cheney” Conservative -- was actually tried, convicted and sentenced in open court.
The terrifying reality that, however weakly, oversight has returned, and the reckless, arrogant, treasonous activities of his friends and sponsors in this Administration may now actually start coming with price-tags that cannot be ducked, dodged, draft-deferred or bribed away. (Pardoned and commuted, yes.)
And the worst nightmare of members of the Party of Personal Responsibility is actually being held personally responsible for the monstrous things they say and do.