Caught on film at the exact moment the Modern Conservative Movement finally sparked to life.
If only he had read the book instead of skimming the Cliff's Notes and then watching the Mel Brooks version, Bobo might have noticed the Victor Frankenstein's terrible remorse at the Monster he had created:
"Great God! If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth than have consented to this miserable marriage. But, as if possessed of magic powers, the monster had blinded me to his real intentions; and when I thought that I had prepared only my own death, I hastened that of a far dearer victim."
Or the unholy control the Monster began to wield as it discovered its true power:
"You are my creator, but I am your master—obey!
Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful."
Which brings us once again to "This Week in Bobo": yet another fine example of a David Brooks column ("The Ecstasy of Fiscal Policy") which must be read with a clear understanding that it is the product of a man who has come to hate and fear his own creation, while simultaneously being unable or unwilling to abandon it, or even call it by its real name.
So instead of honest reportage, you end up with this weird pastiche on the subject of the Big, Throbbing Debt --
Swept up in the spirit of gratitude, you decide you’d like to give back. You’d like to solve the country’s looming fiscal catastrophe.
The heart of the problem, you figure, is that unlike yourself, Americans have grown complacent and careless. For 200 years, they lived precarious lives. There were boom and bust economic cycles, devastating epidemics and natural disasters that came without warning. These conditions instilled a sense of prudence. The thought of running up excessive debt filled them with moral horror."
-- while conspicuously omitting any reference to any of the following words or phrases:
Bush.Also not mentioned was the fact that the America has been in the thrall of a Conservative ideology which Brooks has spent his adult life energetically championing, and which was built on the foundation that the radical deregulation of everything and ceding of America's fiscal health to the markets and capitalist buccaneers would solve everything. And of course, once the economy was safely in the hands of the Modern Robber Barons and beyond the stifling reach of Evil Gummint, saving stopped being either necessary or advisable, because while the interest rate on your savings account was going to sit at around .0005% until the Second Coming, the value of stocks, your 401K and your house was going continue to rise by double digits.
Ronald Wilson Reagan.
"Reagan proved deficits don't matter." -- Dick Cheney
"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." -- Grover Norquist
Clinton tax increase.
Because that always works out so well:
Also stunningly conspicuous by its absence was any mention of the unhappy fact that, following the worst terrorist attack in American history -- even as we were being stampeded chin-deep into an incredibly ill-planned, illegal and disastrous war -- our National Prime Directive continued to be the Conservative watchword of the previous three decades: spend-spend-spend.
Bobo also makes the following hilariously misleading insinuation regarding the history of America's Debt Problem calibrated to give the impression that it was some kind of steadily rising problem, beginning in the Dark and Dirty Hippie Days of the 1960s, and cresting eleven minutes ago:
"But over the past years, life has become secure. This has eroded the fear of debt, private and public. In 1960, the nation’s personal debt amounted to 55 percent of national income. By 2007, it had risen to 133 percent of national income."
Except, of course, that's not exactly the whole truth and nothing but the true, is it?
American spending habits have always goosed up and down based on a whole host of circumstances, but whole mindset around the idea of spending did not slide from boring to Bedlam until Conservative Reaganomics had firmly and finally sunk its fangs into America's throat:
American didn't lose it's modern fiscal virginity in the mud at Woodstock; we lost it bent over the Supply Side Sawhorse in the basement of the Reagan White House.
And Brooks knows it.
Finally, Bobo continued this long, awkward stab at "humor" (Oh, didn't I mention that this entire 800-word mess was an attempt by a man with no functioning comic limbs to free-climb Mount Funny?) by unloading some sort of off-brand, glancing verbal spitballs on the subject of "moral revival" --
This whole mess, you repeat to yourself, is caused by democracy and moral decay. What’s needed is a moral revival. And who better to lead it than you? God put you on this earth to manipulate voters for the good of the country.-- without any apparent awareness that dropping the "M-word" into another weak, dissembling, Conservative blame-dodging New York Times column might remind people that while deficits and debt were exploding under the Conservative movement's economic voodoo...
...while banks and industries were being looted into the ground under the Conservative movement's deregulatory voodoo...
...and while tens of millions of middle class Americans were being stripped of their pensions while they watched their jobs being shipped overseas under the Conservative movement's trade policy voodoo...
...Conservatives who very openly proclaimed that they spoke directly and exclusively on behalf of Almighty God were busy ripping open the still-warm corpse of the Party of Lincoln and laying their eggs in its belly.
Sometimes I just stand in awe at the sheer enormity of the focus it must take for David Brooks -- a man who as spent the last couple of decades as a dedicated and well-compensated cheerleader and water-boy for the Modern Conservative movement -- to so obdurately and publicly refrain from taking notice of the political pedigree of the people who are killing this country, week after week after week.
So I'll tell you what.
I pledge to start taking this country's fiscal problems a Very, Very Seriously...
...once the buttoned-down bottom feeders who led this country down the Ronald Reagan Supply Side Superhighway to Hell are fighting it out with feral dogs for dumpster mutton and not sailing blissfully along from one cushy gig to another to another to another as every ideological position they have every pimped disintegrates into fire, fraud and failure in the rear view mirror of their failure-proof careers.