In which I play a little game with myself trying to predict what piffle David Fucking Brooks will be trafficking tomorrow on MTP as Rachael Maddow puts her Keds up his ass.
I'm guessing Bobo will be Speaking With Authority about "Independents"; after all he wrote a whole, dumb column about it on Thursday, and has been dining out on that dumb column on radio and teevee for the last two days, so why not make a Sunday brunch out of the leftovers too?
In case you are unfamiliar with David Fucking Brooks' œuvre, for as long as anyone can remember he has made a very fine living purporting to Speak With Authority on a variety of subjects about which he was either wrong, or about which no one has any business speaking with authority in the first place. In the past, some of his favorites topics have been the Awesomeness of the Coming Republican Majority, the Secret Genius of George W. Bush, Scooter Libby's honor bona fides [apparently based mostly on the fact that A) he actually paid!for!his!own!lunch! with Bobo, and B) He didn't say "fuck" even once or wipe his treasonous nose on his shirtsleeve], the smashing victory over Existential Evil which was always juuuust around the next corner in beautiful, downtown Baghdad, and how scary women can be when they get all educated and uppity.
Bobo is one of the MSM's last remaining "Reasonable Conservatives" whose face doesn't give children nightmares and whose voice doesn't stun dogs into comas for six blocks in every direction. And being a man who is chronically short on original thinking to begin with, to keep up with the demand, Bobo is notorious for double- and triple-dipping the same shopworn topic for 2-3 different paydays a week as shamelessly as any Chicago alderman selling insurance out of the back of his neighborhood office.
And since his schtick depends on squeezing a few extra drops out of the same old lemons week after week, Bobo is never happier or more in his element than when he is curled up in his NYT Snuggie, sipping cocoa from his David Fucking Broder commemorative mug in front of a big, roaring fire of Conventional Washington Wisdom, and repeating in well-modulated tones what everyone else in D.C. is thinking. Which is why he let his Villager spurs all the way out as he rode the subject of the "independent" voter into the ground, opining in great, farty word-pillows about the mores and folkways of a group of people who -- by definition -- have no, definable commonality.
So after stitching together a couple of snippets from a couple of polls into a big, floppy sack, Bobo dumped every loose button and paper-clip of his own privileged, white, suburban, middle-aged, Boomer Burkean bourgeoisie terror into it and called it analysis...
What Independents WantSurprise! By making a tasty tossed salad out of a grab-bag of different polls and "trends" that are a scant seven months long, Bobo desperately wants you to infer that the country is being driven by "independents", and independents have made some massive leap to the Right. He then sucker-punches the same, wingnut strawmen -- unions, abortion, "too much Gummint"
By DAVID BROOKS
Liberals and conservatives each have their own intellectual food chains. They have their own think tanks to provide arguments, politicians and pundits to amplify them, and news media outlets to deliver streams of prejudice-affirming stories.
Independents, who are the largest group in the electorate, don’t have any of this. They don’t have institutional affiliations. They don’t look to certain activist lobbies for guidance. There aren’t many commentators who come from an independent perspective.
The most telling races this year were the suburban rebellions across the country. For example, in Westchester and Nassau counties in New York, Republican candidates came from nowhere to defeat entrenched Democratic county officials. In blue Pennsylvania, the G.O.P. won six out of seven statewide offices.
Why? What do these voters want?
According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who believe that there is too much government regulation rose from 38 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2009. The percentage of Americans who want unions to have less influence rose from 32 percent to a record 42 percent.
Americans have moved to the right on abortion, immigration and global warming. Over the past seven months, the number of people who say government is doing too many things better left to business has jumped from 40 percent to 48 percent, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
(and as a brief aside, I've always been dying to know by exactly how much the "too much Gummint" crowd thinks Gummint should be decreased? By by seven percent? By three feet? By four fathoms? 90 angstroms? 135 degrees? 44 pounds? 23 Hamiltons per square Addams? They seem to have a very definite number in mind, but are mysteriously unwilling to share it with the rest of the class, so I have to wonder, is this a secret number? Is there a conspiracy to keep the secret "Decreasing Gummint By This Amount Will Solve All Our Problems" number from us? And, if so, who are these conspirators? And why do the hate America so much that they're conspiring to keep the all-important "Decreasing Gummint By This Amount Will Solve All Our Problems" number from us?)-- in the crotch before leaving us with meaningless burbles of eternal Bobo wisdom like this:
If I were a politician trying to win back independents, I’d say something like this: When I was a kid, I had a jigsaw puzzle of the U.S....and
Independents support the party that seems most likely to establish a frame of stability and order...Feh.
Nobody knows what “independents” want, because “independent” as a modern political category is a textbook example of what Kurt Vonnegut defined in "Cat's Cradle" as a "granfalloon":
"...a proud and meaningless association of human beings"Because “independent” can mean any-damn-thing, or nothing at all.
Consider that if you defined “independent” as someone who, broadly speaking, supported a Liberal agenda (not the imaginary, shadow-puppets-made-out-of-Rush-Limbaugh-stool-samples “Liberal agenda” that Conservatives have been using to scare stupid people into committing economic suicide for 30 years, but the real Liberal agenda) but was not welded to a particular candidate, or even to a particular party, then that would describe me pretty well.
But I'm also quite sure that a fair chunk of the the 5% of the voting public which -- just 24 hours before the 2004 Presidential elections -- still couldn't quite make up their minds whether to vote for Kerry/Edwards, or the lying, feeble-minded frat boy (and his homicidal regent) who had fucked up everything he had ever touched ...consider themselves "independents".
Rebel nuns who might just think that letting a rape victim have access to abortion services would not be the end of the world?
Snake-handling queer-hating Leviticans who think the GOP is too gutless because it won’t advocate rounding up Teh Gay and putting them in camps?
Pimple-faced 30-something John Galt wannabees who masturbate themselves blind to “Atlas Shrugged” because that hot chick in accounting won’t give them a second look, but won’t she be sorry when Objectivists stop the engine of the world and people like her will have to stand in line to offer their vajay-jays to the alpha studs wealth producers!
Klansmen who want to smoke a little weed?
America's compulsive political middle-children who have been taught so thoroughly to compromise their way out of any conflict that they will travel a 1,000 miles just to find a fence to straddle?
The opinionless little ciphers who just want to make sure they line up with a winner?
The moral cowards wouldn’t pick a side with a gun pressed to their heads, because of the terror of then being committed to actually doing something instead of snarking their way through life declaring "Well, ya know, bote sides are juss a buncha crooks anyway!" about every situation regardless of context and circumstances?
If asked, I guarantee you all virtually of those people would tell you that they think of themselves as “independent”.
And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?
Those fucknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshit their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fucking day, that's who.
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their lives and futures.
Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.
But they fool no one.
Except, apparently, David Fucking Brooks.