Friday, December 07, 2012

The Moving Hack Writes, Ctd.



And, having writ, moves on.

Nor all thy Piety nor Wit,

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out
A Word of it.

David Brooks is both a man of ritual and routine, and a very lazy and dishonest writer.

Because of these two, convergent personality traits, Mr. Brooks routinely re-writes the same, awful op-ed drivel over and over again, relying heavily on the failing memories and magical thinking of his audience not to notice how obsessively he recycles the same handful of tired, discredited ideas over and over again.

For example, in just about every other column, Mr. Brooks will make a slight tweak to his hoary "Both Sides Are To Blame" scam, reliably locating the fault for the latest Conservative clusterfuck halfway between his fellow Conservatives (who committed the atrocity) and imaginary Liberals (who somehow enabled the atrocity by being insufficiently capitulative, or saying mean things, or being Norman Lear or Noam Chomsky or Al Gore.)

And then hit the "Publish" button.

To mix things up a little, every few months, Mr. Brooks will copy-and-paste some recent social ill or moral failing (often involving a bastion of traditional hierarchy condoning something horrible and then getting caught covering it up) into his Bash The Hippies and Blame The 60s writing template.

And then hit the "Publish" button.

And then, once or twice a year, Mr. Brooks ritually shoves his big, moon head into a Hefty Ultra-Flex bag full of used Ronald Reagan's Underoos, cinches it tight with his "Burkean's Do It Prudently" novelty ascot and huffs and huff until, just before he loses consciousnesses, his asphyxiating brain announces that it just caught sight of a Republican Reasonableness Renaissance juuuust around the corner.

And then he passes out on the "Publish" button.

Here are a couple of excerpts from his latest round of oxygen-starved self-abuse:
The Republican Glasnost 
By DAVID BROOKS 
Published: December 6, 2012 
Senator Marco Rubio won the Jack Kemp Foundation’s Leadership Award earlier this week. In his speech accepting the award, he sketched out his Republican vision. 
...the speech really began to sing toward the end. Rubio made an oblique rebuttal to some of the Republican gaffes during the campaign: “Some say that our problem is that the American people have changed. That too many people want things from government. But I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had: a chance.” 
As he was telling this story, Rubio motioned to some of the service staff at the Kemp dinner. They stopped to listen to him. “It all starts with our people,” Rubio continued. “In the kitchens of our hotels. In the landscaping crews that work in our neighborhoods. In the late-night janitorial shifts that clean our offices... 
People at the dinner say that there was a hushed silence for a second as Rubio concluded with this refrain. Then a roaring ovation swelled and filled the room. The Republican Party has a long way to go before it revives itself as a majority party. But that speech signifies a moment in that revival. And I would say the last month has marked a moment.
Over the past month, the Republican Party has changed far more than I expected. First, the people at the ideological extremes of the party have begun to self-ghettoize... 
Second, politics is being reborn. For a time, Republican candidates like Richard Mourdock of Indiana proudly declared that they didn’t believe in compromise. Political activists spent more time purging deviationists than in trying to attract new converts. But that mania has passed... 
Finally, there has even been some shifting of economic values, or at least in how the party presents those values... 
The obligations to combat poverty, Ryan said, are beyond dispute. “The real debate is how best we can meet them... 
The Republicans may still blow it. If President Obama is flexible and they don’t meet him partway, Republicans would contribute to a recession that would discredit them for a decade. But they are moving in the right direction and moving fast. These are first steps, and encouraging ones.

Extremists are on the verge of being dragged out by their tricorner hats and bounced to the curb!  Compassionate Conservatism reborn!  Everyone's gonna get laid!  All of which sounds super duper nifty except, of course, to those of us with functioning cerebral cortices who remember that not so long ago David Brooks' Great White Hope was a maverick governor from Texas. 

Went by the name of George Dubya Bush Rick Perry, as I recall:


Before that, apparently owing to the severe shortage of White Men in the GOP, Mr. Brooks was forced to do the next best thing and Reformation-pledge-pin a woman named "Whitman":

The Austerity Caucus 
By DAVID BROOKS 
Published: September 30, 2010

If I had as much money as Meg Whitman, I’d probably have a more exuberant house. Hers is perfectly nice. But at a time when other Silicon Valley moguls were installing underground squash courts, arcade-size game rooms and other gewgaws, she stuck with a New England-style colonial. The furniture is traditional. There’s a middle-age Ford in the garage. There are definite signs of WASP parsimony and understatement here, especially compared with the $120 million she’s spent on her campaign to become California’s governor.

Whitman seems to have led a sober, performance-oriented life.

...
But Whitman is representative of an emerging Republican type — what you might call the austerity caucus. Flamboyant performers like Sarah Palin get all the attention, but the governing soul of the party is to be found in statehouses where a loose confederation of ├╝ber-wonks have become militant budget balancers. Just as welfare reformers of the 1990s presaged compassionate conservatism, so the austerity brigades presage the national party’s next chapter.

Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana who I think is most likely to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination in 2012, is the spiritual leader. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the rising star. Jeb Bush is the eminence. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rob Portman, a Senate candidate in Ohio, also fit the mold.  

Before that, John Thune, stole Mr. Brooks' punch-drunk heart with his olive oil voice and Guinea charm down-home, prairie values and manly bilateral symmetry.  Like Ms. Whitman, Mr. Thune was a leading member of the invisible-to-everyone-but-David-Brooks Very Serious Shadow Party that Mr. Brooks is perpetually discovering rumbling around in the "bowels" of the GOP like bad fish tacos.

In this case. Mr. Brooks' reportage on La Thune bordered on the stalkerish.  Or, as one wag put it at the time, a  "...farrago of unattributed, saccharine "everybody knows", "people say" and Third Person Omniscient declaratives." 
Meet John Thune

By DAVID BROOKS
Published: November 12, 2009

Some days the Republican Party seems to be going crazy. Its public image is often shaped by people who appear to have gone into government because they saw it as a steppingstone to talk radio.

But deep in the bowels of the G.O.P., there are serious people having quiet conversations. The people holding these conversations created and admired Bob McDonnell’s perfectly executed Virginia gubernatorial campaign. And now as they look to the future of their party, and who might lead it in 2012, the name John Thune keeps popping up
...
Thune also possesses the favored Republican profile du jour: conservative at the roots but pragmatic at the surface. Like McDonnell, nobody can question Thune’s conservative bona fides. As a result, he doesn’t have to talk about them. Instead, he prefers to talk about what he calls the “economic cluster” of issues: job creation, balanced budgets and small-business-led growth.
...

The first thing everybody knows about him is that he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome...
The second thing people say about him is that he is unfailingly genial, modest and nice.

He grew up in Murdo, S.D., population 612. His father was a Naval aviator in World War II and a genuine war hero.

He was called back home after the war to work in the family hardware store and went on to become an educator, as did his wife.
...

John was a high school basketball star and possesses idyllic small-town manners...

He appears to be untouched by cynicism. 
...he is straightforward, intelligent and earnest. He sometimes seems to have emerged straight into the 21st century from a more wholesome time.

After high school, he attended Biola University, a small Christian college outside of Los Angeles. 
He then got an M.B.A. from the University of South Dakota  
...
He is a gracious and ecumenical legislator...
...nobody can question Thune’s conservative bona fides. 
He says his prairie background has given him a preference for small companies and local government. 
His populism is not angry. 
... a celebration of the small and local over the big and urban.

Republican pros are attracted to Thune because he could rally the hard-core conservatives without scaring away the suburbanites. His weakness is that he’s never really worked outside of government, and he’s almost never shown a maverick side. 
...
Republicans are still going to have to do root-and-branch renovation if they hope to provide compelling answers to issues like middle-class economic anxiety. But in the meantime, people like Thune offer Republicans a way to connect fiscal discipline with traditional small-town values, a way to tap into rising populism in a manner that is optimistic, uplifting and nice.
One could go on with example after example of Mr. Brooks' Party on the Verge of a Virtuous Breakdown fraud indefinitely, but let's save your valuable time and my fragile sanity by jumping directly to the period when Mr. Brooks really got his "It's The Great Republican Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" freak all the way on:  The Age of Bush. 

And while you read (with emphasis added), note Mr. Brooks' con man's confidence in the credulity of his audience.  Knowing that neither his dedicated readers nor his fellow pundits will ever bother to check out what Mr. Brooks has committed to print before today, notice how remarkably little effort Mr. Brooks devotes to updating his scam; how the language he uses over and over again to sucker the rubes never changes.

From August 2000, when George Bush's Republican Party was right on the verge of something something:
Pabulum with a Purpose

Beneath the much-mocked superficiality of the Philadelphia convention is a serious effort to transform the GOP
...

The Philadelphia convention, in other words, was unlike any other in party history. The Democratic view of it is that the Republicans built a Potemkin image of multicultural inclusiveness to mask what is still a white, intolerant party. And it's true that the convention program did not reflect the party as it really exists. The GOP is not intolerant; still, normal party gatherings don't look and feel like this. But the more generous interpretation is that the televised show represented the party of George W. Bush's aspirations. In other words, he's trying to transform the party to make it fit the happy multi-hued image that we saw up on stage.

And if that's true, then this convention was not just a big puddle of pabulum. It was a substantive political act disguised as pabulum. It was an effort to reengineer the party as ambitious as Bill Clinton's earlier effort to transform the Democratic party.
... 
But this transformation amounts to more than atmospherics... 
In George Bush's Republican party, building healthy communities and healthy families becomes the core national mission. Bush put the challenge in generational terms. First he invoked his father's generation, "a generation of Americans who stormed beaches, liberated concentration camps, and delivered us from evil." That was a generation that faced epic challenges. Then he turned to his own generation. He pointed out that his generation was "given the gift of the best education in American history." It is a generation rich in talent, charm, and skill. But under Clinton/Gore all that has been squandered, and he vowed to redeem it.
...

Chris Matthews once observed that the Democratic party is the mommy party and the Republican party is the daddy party. The Democrats are soft and nurturing, while the Republicans are stern and bracing. But George Bush's Republicans are a nurturing party. And who knows, in Los Angeles the Democrats may emerge as the daddy party, the party that lectures us about fiscal rectitude and the imprudence of large tax cuts. Whatever happens in L.A., George Bush has recast the Republican party. Beneath all the Up With People sap, something significant happened in Philadelphia.
From September 1999, when Great Republican Men bestrode the Earth, and Great National Greatness was within their Great Grasp:  

ONE NATION CONSERVATISM 
How George W. Bush and John McCain -- without quite realizing it -- are creating a new Republican philosophy 
SEP 13, 1999, VOL. 4, NO. 48 • BY DAVID BROOKS 
At first blush, the Republican presidential field doesn't exactly overflow with new ideas. Steve Forbes updates the free-market policies and themes of Jack Kemp's 1988 campaign. Gary Bauer's campaign echoes the social conservatism of Pat Robertson's 1988 run. Elizabeth Dole reprises the Main Street Republicanism of Bob Dole's 1988 and 1996 efforts. And Pat Buchanan recycles the working-class populism of his own 1992 and 1996 campaigns.

Nonetheless, alongside these well-established lines of Republican thought, there are two newer approaches struggling to break through. If you listen carefully, you discover George W. Bush and John McCain are running campaigns that sound unlike any others in recent GOP history. The candidates themselves don't seem fully aware of the implications of what they are saying, but together, Bush's Compassionate Conservatism and McCain's New Patriotic Challenge are steps toward a fresh vision for the Republican party. Indeed, if you meld the core messages of the two campaigns, you get a coherent governing philosophy for the post-Clinton age.
... 
...But in the 1990s, liberalism is no longer dominant; the sixties is something that happened a generation ago. This decade has been a period of ideological mush and muddle. So temperamentally, the new conservative approaches are not as confrontational as the old ones.
...
If you follow these two campaigns to their logical conclusion, you arrive at a One Nation Conservatism that marries community goodness with national greatness. It starts with a series of proposals to eliminate the chunks of the modern welfare state that smothered civic activism. It replaces that old system with something else: a burbling civic life. 
...
Then it restores faith in government with an aggressive reform agenda: banning "soft money" from election campaigns, revamping welfare-state programs such as Medicare to give citizens more control over their lives, simplifying the tax code, and cutting corporate pork in order to give citizens the sense that the government works for them, rather than for the corporate titans with the best lobbyists.

It champions a series of measures designed to remind American citizens of their common bonds. It revitalizes our transportation network, which has always bound us together. It nourishes the parks, forests, and preserves that are our common heritage. It reforms the nation's culture policy, so that museums and arts institutions that accept taxpayer dollars are more likely to explore what it means to be American than they are to nourish alienation and multicultural parochialism.

Finally, it promotes an energetic foreign policy -- because Americans will never devote themselves to democratic self-government at home if they do not see themselves ardently championing democratic self-government abroad.

...The Republican party may be...on the verge of absorbing the lessons of its recent mistakes. Out of the present quiet and seemingly nonideological presidential campaign, there may emerge a vigorous One Nation Conservatism that will connect a revived sense of citizenship with the long-standing national greatness Americans hold dear.
...
From 2001, when Bush The Healer finally mended all ideological rifts in the GOP and sent it soaring in the the bright future, while in the "land of the lefties -- among the activists and the pundits -- you find a set of prejudices that have been preserved in amber for three decades or more":
Competent Conservatives, Reactionary Liberals 
JAN 15, 2001, VOL. 6, NO. 17 • BY DAVID BROOKS

We seem to be entering a period of competent conservatism and reactionary liberalism. George W. Bush has put together a cabinet long on management experience and practical skills. But liberal commentators and activists, their imaginations aflame, seem to be caught in a time warp, back in the days when Norman Lear still had hair. They are depicting John Aschroft as if he were George Wallace, Interior nominee Gale Norton as if she were the second coming of James Watt, and Labor nominee Linda Chavez as if she were Phyllis Schlafly with slightly darker skin. We could be in for a series of confrontations in which the two parties don't just hold different views, but live in different centuries.

Bush really has been able to mold an administration in his own image. He is our first president with an MBA, and it's clear that he brings an MBA mentality to the job. There are almost no academics at the top of this administration, but there are plenty of administrators, reflecting a Bush belief that intellectuals are people you can hire; executives are people you can trust. Like Bush, this is a conservative administration, but it is not doctrinaire. It has a chief of staff who supported Hillary Clinton's health care plan, a Treasury secretary who supported higher gas taxes and spurned the supply siders, and a secretary of state who opposed rolling back Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. These are not orthodox conservative positions. 
But Bush has been able to achieve something neither his father nor even Ronald Reagan was able to achieve. He has put together a governing conservative team. He and Dick Cheney have skillfully pleased every clique in the GOP class... 
...
He has also mended an old rift. During the Reagan and Bush years, conservative ideologues battled with Republican pragmatists. The ideologues had great ideas and no clue as to how to game the Washington power structure. The pragmatists were great at playing the system, while lacking principles to guide them. But something has happened to the GOP over the past decade that has been enormously helpful to George Bush. Young people from the ideological wing of the party, like Energy czar Spence Abraham and Labor nominee Linda Chavez, gained administrative experience under Reagan and Bush I. They are much smoother operators than their philosophical predecessors. Meanwhile, the old pragmatists have been Reaganized. Ford hands like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and maybe even Paul O'Neill -- who must have learned something at all those American Enterprise Institute retreats -- have developed conservative convictions to go with their lifelong conservative instincts. 
In short, the Republican elite has evolved over the years, and the Bush administration reflects that. Corporate America now includes many more minorities; so does the Bush cabinet. Conservatism has evolved since Newt Gingrich and is now less strident, less libertarian, and less ambitious; the Bush cabinet reflects that too.

So it's all the more amazing that over in the land of the lefties -- among the activists and the pundits -- you find a set of prejudices that have been preserved in amber for three decades or more. For Jesse Jackson, it will always be Selma. For Anthony Lewis at the New York Times, it will always be the ACLU against the forces of McCarthyism. For abortion lobbyist Kate Michelman, it will always be 1973. They really do see a world populated by the stock characters of a decades-old morality play.

As Bush announced his cabinet picks, different groups within the liberal coalition went into well-rehearsed hysterics. The tactics, the mau-mauing, the apocalyptic warnings are all drawn straight from the 1960s, as if we haven't all heard the same ear-piercing cries thousands of times already...


From 2001, when Mr. Brooks celebrated the shiny new generation of smart, competent compassionate Conservatives who were gonna leave whiny, deficit-obsessed lefty liberal fear-mongers in the dust.


The New Stupid Party 
The Gephardt Democrats' slow, Social Security-induced suicide.
SEP 10, 2001, VOL. 6, NO. 48 • BY DAVID BROOKS
Suffering from Post-Florida Stress Disorder, the leaders of the Democratic party are in no condition for that sort of dialogue. They apparently feel some need to prove that Bush is evil and that his tax cut is the worst crime perpetrated this side of Jack the Ripper. So the Democrats launched a war of bar charts, all designed to show that the Bush administration had blown the deficit in a flurry of greed.

If you closed your eyes last week and listened to the hysterical charges coming from Democratic mouths, and to the sound of the shuffling press conference props, you might have thought that Ross Perot had taken over the Democratic party. But even if he was a little wacky, Perot at least hyperventilated about deficits when the U.S. government was actually running them. Dick Gephardt et al. are hyperventilating about fiscal rectitude in a time of surpluses.

And in working themselves up into a Perotvian lather, the Democrats have emerged as rabid budget hawks. Surpluses are sacred. The higher the better. Anything that reduces the size of the surplus is an immoral money grab. The ranking Democrat on the House Budget committee, John Spratt, actually held a press conference in which he said that the purpose of the budget process is to keep the fiscal balances of the country healthy. The party that once believed that the purpose of government is to help people now believes that the purpose of the people is to help the government hoard cash. The party that once believed in Keynesian pump-priming has now signed on to an agenda that includes building up massive surpluses during a possible recession. 
...
From 2002, when the Right was gonna Rule the School For-Evah!

The Reemerging Republican Majority
Will Bush's popularity transform his party?
FEB 11, 2002, VOL. 7, NO. 21 • BY DAVID BROOKS
 
...
Yet, despite all these caveats, this is clearly a remarkable political moment. At the very least, it presents a huge opportunity to solidify these gains and create a governing Republican majority. And in his State of the Union address Bush demonstrated that he understands, or at least has stumbled into, exactly how to do it.

...
But in the first and final thirds of his State of the Union speech, Bush expanded the Republican message and showed the way toward a new majority. In those sections Bush echoed precisely the aggressive foreign policy and patriotic national service themes that John McCain struck in the 2000 primary season, and which appealed so powerfully to independents.
...
President Bush has broken the libertarian grip on the GOP. (Not only did he call for a grand foreign policy mission, he called for expanding Head Start and liberalizing welfare benefits for immigrants.) But there is still some way to go if he is to win over the independent voters from Purple America (the ones who are halfway between Red and Blue). The final McCainiac initiatives that Bush has not yet co-opted have to do with reform 
...
Bush has already indicated he will sign the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill if it should come to his desk. But an idea that would have a much more positive effect on the country is capital market reform. Enron has the Bush administration acting defensively, but it could spur a great conservative reform agenda that draws on both McCainiac and Bushian impulses. This would involve pushing through accounting and financial disclosure regulations that would make it possible for small stockholders and entrepreneurs to have faith that they can compete fairly in the financial markets. Such reforms, starting with the ones Arthur Levitt has proposed, would give the markets the credibility that is a prerequisite if Social Security privatization is ever to see the light of day. 
If the Bush administration ever wends its way to a reform agenda, if it champions a national service initiative that has both military and faith-based components, if, most important, it prosecutes the war against the axis of evil, then President Bush and his aides will not only have done great things for America, they will have laid the groundwork for a governing Republican majority. And George Bush will have established himself, with FDR and Reagan, as one of the great transformational presidents of the age.
...
From 2003, fresh from our unconditional victory in Iraq.  In your face, doubting losers!
Optimism Rediscovered 
From the April 4, 2003 London Times: Suddenly, things don't look so grim.
10:25 AM, APR 6, 2003 • BY DAVID BROOKS

This defeatist tone in the press simply proved unsustainable day after day as the coalition forces seemed to be bungling their way straight into Baghdad. Iraqi crowds sometimes grew exuberantly pro-American as the Baath secret police vanished. An Iraqi civilian in Najaf exulted, "Democracy! Whiskey! And Sexy!" giving the war its first great slogan. Members of the commentariat began to realize that once again they'd gone off the pessimistic deep end. 
...
In the White House, the mood is further buoyed by the thought that we may be seeing a political realignment. Independent voters are responding to war events, the polls reveal, in exactly the way Republican voters are, and are likely to side with Republicans whenever foreign and security issues come up.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are as divided as any U.S. party has been since Vietnam. Many Democrats support the war, while criticizing Bush's diplomatic tactics. This group includes most of the Clinton foreign policy team and liberals such as Richard Gephardt. But a hard core within the party never did, and never will, support the effort. And this group is getting more alienated, insular and vituperative each day. 
It should be emphasized that these mood swings are occurring at the elite level. Out in l'Amerique profonde there is amazing stability. Eight-five per cent tell pollsters the war is going very or moderately well, and this figure has barely wiggled in the past two weeks. Polls show a willingness to absorb casualties.
In this as in so many ways, President Bush reflects the country better than the beltway. He is not the sort of person who wakes up wondering what the columnists think. He has the advantage of having a mind that does not flit about much. Aides say he is dismissive of the chorus of instant evaluators, and has grown imperious towards those who bring that mentality into the White House. The media mood ebbs and flows, but persistence shapes U.S. policy. ...
I did not have to bribe anyone at the Library of Congress for access to these columns, nor did I have to get someone's secretary drunk or skulk around in a parking garage at 2:00 in the morning to get them.  The staggeringly idiotic written record of American's most powerful and ubiquitous Conservative public intellectual is right there, on the internet, for anyone to see.  To hold up to the light.  To compare with things he has said before and things he is saying now.

Honestly, it does not bother me that American's most powerful and ubiquitous Conservative public intellectual makes his living telling lies and recycling scams.

But it bothers me immensely that, year after year, no one but a rag-tag handful of bloggers ever has the balls to call him out on it.

9 comments:

Bisham said...

Fantastic.

Required reading. This was long overdue and even though I admit I skimmed a lot (too much DfB for one sitting!) I will revisit.

"Democrats launched a war of bar charts, all designed to show that the Bush administration had blown the deficit in a flurry of greed"

Why, how dare they! Liberals and their data and proven economic models, I'm like all, as if.

Bukko Canukko said...

Another magnum opus. Too bad all the sound and fury is spent on DFingB, but you must have a sense that he's more important than I do. I can't believe that anyone who matters takes him srsly, but then again, I can't believe that anyone would choose to drive an SUV, so I obviously do not glom what's motivating the mass of Duhmericans.

marindenver said...

" I can't believe that anyone who matters takes him srsly,"

And yet they do. He is treated as practically a prophet by the Village, Beltway, whatever. So thanks be that the rag-tag handful of bloggers do call him out and do it on a regular basis. It may not change things but it does create a record for the archivists to eventually dig out of the falling porticoes of the ancient intertoobs. ;-) So THANK YOU driftglass for another Herculean effort.

It occurs to me that DfB tells himself these stories each night as he falls asleep then hurries to transcribe them in the morning. Kind of like Moral Hazard saying to himself "yeah, that'd be cool" before settling down to lick his balls.

steeve said...

Although this is a seminal takedown, the thing that should stand out is how completely easy it is to destroy the career of Brooks in 5 minutes. And yet it's never been done in public, and therefore he's important.

Although most people likely don't read Brooks, most people don't know that the media is full of morons. The fact that they can't take down Brooks should be proof enough.

blackdaug said...

Very very well done. Maybe your best effort yet on a subject so deserving of ridicule and constant exposure.
It's just that I am not sure Brooks would suffer any loss of status, or be relegated, as he so rightfully deserves, to the dust bin of forgotten hacks if there were an army of nationally syndicated columnists publishing similar dissections of his work on a daily basis.
After all, Lord Buckley himself, (whose shoes, lets face it, Brooks sees his own feet as amply filling) enjoyed a decades long career spouting volumes of the same repetitive, discredited and often, outright offensive bilge without ever suffering a setback in esteem from the same class of twitdom.
The problem is, there is no bottom anymore.
There is no standard to hold Brooks to in a world of 24 hour news cycles, with Kristols and Limbaughs and Hannities and Coulters.
There are no competing, but fairly equal media giants, with principled yet opposing views, backed by academics, debating which is the best road to take for our common future.
The big influential voices of today, contradict and or repeat themselves (and are forgotten) over the course of the same day, much less the same year.
Fortunately, Brook's voice and influence exist in an ever shrinking part of a terminally ill universe.
The Times is dying, magazines are dying, print is dying.
DFB wont flash out in a blaze of rebuttal to his ever lengthening list of wistful stupidity and revisionist bullshit.
He will be slowly drowned out by the same growing chorus of voices that is rendering his primary medium as obsolete as a horse drawn carriage on an 8 lane interstate.
Because he doesn't have the balls to actually debate anyone on the teevee, or the chops to survive the daily beat downs he would take on an open blog.















Bisham said...


I'll second that call-out: " I can't believe that anyone who matters takes him srsly,"

No Bukko, the people that matter put f on "serious" news programs all the time...e.g., PBS. I hear him on the radio sounding, superficially like a very reasonable conservative. Most people I know are intelligent, but not so cynical about politics and he sounds like he's making sense to them and his hippie thrashing is too subtle. Compared to the "Kristols and Limbaughs and Hannities and Coulters" he is Kenny G. Subversive is what it is, and subversion is the most powerful tool....tricking people to believe in things they actually disagree with.

I used to think Driftglass spent too much effort on this subject, but he's right to do it and the more we rabble rousers rouse the rabble, the more likely the "journos" will eventually call him out on his history of bullcrap positions and predictions.


Neo Tuxedo said...

blackdaug skrev:

Lord Buckley himself, (whose shoes, lets face it, Brooks sees his own feet as amply filling)

...you might want to be careful throwing those titles around, BD. I initially thought that by "Lord Buckley" you meant the genuine article, Sir Richard Myrle Buckley, whose shoes (let's face it) not even the man you actually had in mind, let alone the nearsighted Mr. McBobo, is worthy to tongue-polish, let alone fill. While conceding that the title of "Lord" well fits the elitist aspirations of the not-nearly-late-enough William B. Fuckley, I must still hold its appropriation as a heinous offense against the memory of the most immaculately hip aristocrat ever to have grooved upon this sweet, swingin' sphere.

blackdaug said...

@Neo / Bisham:

Strangely enough, I am actually aware of "the" original Lord Buckley and my mis use of the title is more of an obscure slap at WF himself as being a complete farce. (Back in the 60's, my dad who hated WFB always referred to him sneeringly as "Lord Buckley" in just the same way.)
I never really expect anybody to notice it, and in a comment about Brooks or Kristol in particular, just figure the context lends itself in a fairly obvious way....like say St. Ronnie!
Conservative icons, in my eyes, are always custom built for ridicule on as many levels as possible.
Anyway, I wasn't implying that Mr. Glass should back off in his siege of DFB for one moment. Just doing a little speculation on what would be his eventual downfall...but I do see Brook's real influence as waning.
It's just that conservative pundits at all levels of the food chain, have managed to dull everyone's general level of outrage precisely by being wrong so repeatedly and predictably.
Whenever Mr. Glass does one of these epic take downs, I have a little "Firing Line" fantasy, where he and Brooks face off ala Vidal vs. Buckley on an old black and white set.
After a few pleasantries are exchanged, the dream just dissolves in to a more literal physical beat down, with a cowering and bloodied Bobo admitting his life's work is a complete sham....
Then "American Bandstand" comes on with special guest: Screaming Lord Sutch!

Jack Wibbe said...

I respond in haiku:

None reads Brooks but you.
You are keeping him afloat.
And vice versa too.

Serious man-crush going on here.