Thursday, December 08, 2011

Full Massage...

...but no Happy Ending

This was David Brooks nine months ago, back when Newton Leroy Gingrich's stock was not so much "rising" as it was "laughing":
"I wouldn't let [Newt Gingrich] run a, you know, 7-Eleven, let alone a country.
And now that Newt is within striking distance of being the nominee of Mr. Brooks' Loony Party?

David Brooks today:
"Of all the major Republicans, the one who comes closest to my worldview is Newt Gingrich."
Of course, Our Mr. Brooks has not yet completely reversed himself --
So why am I not more excited by the Gingrich surge?

In the first place, Gingrich loves government more than I do.
-- as history has shown, that will take at least 1,600 more words and special ointments. But now that Baron Grifthausen

bids fair to put himself in a position where he can stomp very hard on Mr. Brooks' balls, Bobo has scampered back to his files and -- presto! -- suddenly found enough Gingrich plaudits to fill fully half of his New York Times column:
Though his ideas stray, his most common theme is that government should intervene in crucial ways to create a dynamic, decentralized, low-tax society.
And even delivers his criticisms in Tiffany boxes:
He seems to have understood that a moderate Republican like himself can win so long as he adopts a bombastic style when taking on the liberal elites. Most people just want somebody who can articulate their hatreds, and Gingrich is demagogically happy to play the role.
That's Newt alright: just another "moderate" forced to lob Molotov cocktails in the cause of beating those damned Liberal Elites.

Still, in the end, Mr. Brooks must reluctantly demure -- "It’s really too bad" -- and stand by his Steady Eddie robot pleasure unit.

Has Our Mr. Brooks' been terminally off-put by Gingrich's racism? His casual, profligate and monstrous lies? His distinction as the founding father of mass-produced virulent political hate-speech?

His visible lack of a soul?

Oh goodness no: Mr. Brooks learned long ago to cauterize his gag reflex and tunnel his vision against the many, unpleasantly ugly, fascistic aspects of his Conservative movement. Instead, after oh-so gently faulting Gingrich for his "unconservative faith in his own innocence" and his "rhetorical style", Mr. Brooks' objections apparently boil down to Gingrich's weakness for big NASA projects:
For example, he has called for “a massive new program to build a permanent lunar colony to exploit the Moon’s resources.” He has suggested that “a mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways.”

I’m for national greatness conservatism, but this is a little too great.
And -- I kid you not -- Gingrich's Dirty Fucking Hippie excesses:
In the two main Republican contenders, we have one man, Romney, who seems to have walked straight out of the 1950s, and another, Gingrich, who seems to have walked straight out of the 1960s. He has every negative character trait that conservatives associate with ’60s excess: narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and intemperance. He just has those traits in Republican form.
(Brooks finds a way to take completely false, gratuitous shots at "the 1960s" so often that I have come to believe that the estate of William Buckley pays him a bounty every time he does it.)

So what, in the end, is Mr. Brooks' real fear?

That Newt Gingrich
"...would severely damage conservatism and the Republican Party if nominated."
Which is certainly true, in exactly the same sense that carrion beetles might be characterized as threatening to "severely damage" the long dead horses that Mr. Brooks makes a fabulous living beating.


And over.

And over again.

(And yes, in response to emailer "JR", I did crank the bulk of this column out 90 minutes after after Mr. Brooks' column appeared in the NYT. Crown molding and a 2nd coat of semi-gloss around the window sills were added early this AM.)


Anonymous said...


jurassicpork said...

Tiffany boxes. Nice reference. Heh heh.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've been waiting a long time, and looking for it....

And basically, what we hear from you about Occupy Wall Street, driftglass, is:


Well, I did hear you say once on a podcast, "the folks know what I think about OWS". You then went on to say that David Fucking Brooks has no words for it, and then you trailed off yourself with no words, saying essentially nothing about it....

Or once, when you compared it to The Masque of the Red Death, where the 1% are the dancers (and the 99%, presumably, the plague...)

Now I can't remember every single thing you've written (though I've read most of it) or said (I still have a few podcasts in the queue)[OK, a little from the and-October podcast which I just got around to...], but you have to admit you've been pretty silent on the subject, for all your posts and pods. Reading between the lines, though, I'd say you didn't think the tactic was very effective, or was in some way "incorrect" (perhaps in bad taste?)

Now well before OWS, you did express that opinion quite explicitly. To wit, in the comments section:

of "Only Nixon can go to Nixonland":

(on July 26, 2011, 2 1/2 months before Occypy Wall St.)

I said...

We need a Tax the Rich rally.

[I bet] we could get a million people....

and you, driftglass said...

Yeah dude. Because that would totally blow
their fucking minds! In 1967! But see, I
live in 2011....

Now I never did get the apology I requested for the belittling tone of your remarks, but that's ok, really.No, I'm not living in the 60s, but I did learn a hell of a lot in the 60s. (It's almost worth gettin' old to have had that.... ;-) And you know what? -- We've been Takin' Shit for Being Right Since Before You Were Born, kiddo.

Seriously, don't think you owe it to your readers, your listeners and your precious 1% of donors (I happen to be all 3) to at least Have The Conversation? I mean, to let us know what you really think about OWS? And to keep an open mind, perhaps be willing to change it in the face of evidence, even to admit that you might have been wrong? I mean not just in a general, palinesque, "oh, I'm wrong all the time" kind of way, as you are wont to do, but about this specific thing: the effectiveness of OWS.

Now I could agree, e.g., that it's difficult to see the exact path from grass-roots protest to effective politics and legislation (although I think efforts like the OCUPIED amendment to end corporate campaign bribery are on the right track <- the most important single issue, imo) But I believe that just seeing the conversation change on the corporate media makes OWS one of the most effective things that's happened in decades. It can cause change in many difficult-to-predict ways (as the vietnam protests did.)

So, how about it? Can we have the conversation? (Perhaps a few column-inches stolen from telling us how bad Bobo is over and over and over...?)

(Still love y'all, in case it doesn't show. Best holiday wishes.)

Distributorcap said...

flip flopping is buried deep in the DNA of all these deranged critters on the right. Brooks is just more erudite about it - but no less creepy.

at least Sarah Palin is consisently insane....

between Brooks and his twin - Kristol - they are simply right ourt of Horsefeathers

Bustednuckles said...

Ya know, a while back I asked you why you wasted your time on this fucking asshole and you had a very

Pertinent answer.

Why this fucker has a nationally syndicated column is beyond me but if good folks like you keep swinging the big hammer, dumb twats like him might just go away.

Happy holidays from me and the new Mrs., my new family, sincerely to you and yours.

A hug and a kiss to Fran and her babies too.

Being a new daddy gives ya a new appreciation of life.
Especially when they are teenagers..

Iron fist baby and understanding what the thought process is.

Smart mouth shit and size twelve shoes don't get ya a pass yet,even at thirteen years old and damn near six foot tall.

Happy Holidays, game on.

Anonymous said...

for the record, I am not Anonymous