Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Which I Just Start Re-posting Paul Krugman

while pointing to my own archives and awaiting that sweet offer from Salon or Atlantic or the New Yorker or Vanity Fair or Slate or Boy's Life or, hell, Juggs :-)

From the NYT today:
Thing Falls Apart

And the center not only did not hold, it couldn’t seem to get any attention whatsoever. Americans Elect, a lavishly funded “centrist” group that was supposed to provide an alternative to traditional political parties, has been a ridiculous flop. Basically, about seven people were actually excited about the venture — all of them political pundits. Actual voters couldn’t care less.

What went wrong? Well, there actually is a large constituency in America for a political leader who is willing to take responsible positions — to call for more investment in the nation’s education and infrastructure, to propose bringing down the long-run deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. And there is in fact a political leader ready and willing (maybe too willing) to play that role; his name is Barack Obama.

So why Americans Elect? Because there exists in America a small class of professional centrists, whose stock in trade is denouncing the extremists in both parties and calling for a middle ground. And this class cannot, as a professional matter, admit that there already is a centrist party in America, the Democrats — that the extremism they decry is all coming from one side of the political fence. Because if they admitted that, they’d just be moderate Democrats, with no holier-than-thou pedestal to stand on. 

From me in 2005:

But they’re cousins, identical cousins all the way.

I pulled this up out of a reply to specific comments, because the question of why bother with Brooks at all, and who reads the NYT anymore anyway comes up here and elsewhere, and I think it deserves an answer.

It seem very clear to me that BoBo is many laughably obtuse things, but BoBo Don't Surf. He isn't simply misguided and there is little chance that he's ever going to see the light and change his mind: he reasons backwards from his ideology into his limp diatribes, instead of forward from the facts to a reasonable conclusion.

Instead (and in answer to those questions) I believe Brooks is a serious, committed Wingnut middleman -- sort of the Fundamentalist's pet PBS Mennonite -- which IMHO is much more dangerous than a fully outed DeLay.

Brooks' job is to sell the poison to the Center: to reassure the Moderates and “Reagan Democrats” and to coax the Undecideds into the Windowless Fundy Panel Truck by dandying their evil up in perfumed NYT-speak, and since the battle for the future of the country takes places in the middle, these wingnuts-in-sheeps-clothing are the ones that deserve extra-special beatings.

The good news is, BoBo obviously doesn't know he's an idjit. Instead, he thinks he's tricksey, which is why he keeps obligingly waddling into the thresher blades.
Since 2005, in the course of selling his Centrist poison, Our Mr. Brooks has waddled into that same thresher blades literally hundreds of time.

For his sins, Mr. Brooks now has an unassailable penthouse high atop American journalism and a four million dollar mansion around which he can now wander in his Reagan underoos pooping out little 800 word wonders like the steaming miracle he left in the NYT today.  (And in case you're keeping score at home, Mr. Thomas Friedman -- who already had a massive mansion -- also shares with Mr. Brooks' a larcenist's contempt for the fact, an impregnable sinecure at the New York Times and the unstinting deference of the rest of the Villager Media.)

Somewhere in there is a lesson for you kids.


Wayne Dickson said...

Revelations 3:16

"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold [that is, because you are a 'centrist'], I will spit you out of my mouth."

StonyPillow said...

You're in line for a Nobel prize. Can they use PayPal, or should they send it to the P.O. box?

Jado said...

The only lesson I am getting is that if I want a $4 million dollar mansion, the easiest route is through writing lies for a mythical center.

Okay. I'll get my laptop...

Comrade Physioprof said...

I wasn't aware that Juggs had an editorial page.

Jado said...

Oh, and BTW,

"...awaiting that sweet offer from Salon or Atlantic or the New Yorker or Vanity Fair or Slate or Boy's Life or, hell, Juggs :-)"

Yeah, keep waiting. They will be right with you.