Monday, January 21, 2013

David Brooks: Still Fucking That Centrist Chicken

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In case you didn't hear, President Obama gave a very fine speech today.  Muscular, soaring,  annealed with history and moral authority.

And in its shadow, Mr. Brooks couldn't unfurl his "Both Sides Do It" freak flag to full staff. Wouldn't be humble, don'tcha know:
The best Inaugural Addresses make an argument for something. President Obama’s second one, which surely has to rank among the best of the past half-century, makes an argument for a pragmatic and patriotic progressivism. 
His critics have sometimes accused him of being an outsider, but Obama wove his vision from deep strands in the nation’s past. He told an American story that began with the Declaration and then touched upon the railroad legislation, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the highway legislation, the Great Society, Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall.
But since Mr. Brooks' Centrism is like unto Vampirism in that if he does not feed constantly --  if he doesn't wedge some insipid, fact-free Centrist claptrap into every single thing he says and writes every single day -- he will burst into flames and disappear in a puff of Broderian stink, we also get this:
Obama made his case beautifully. He came across as a prudent, nonpopulist progressive. But I’m not sure he rescrambled the debate. We still have one party that talks the language of government and one that talks the language of the market. We have no party that is comfortable with civil society, no party that understands the ways government and the market can both crush and nurture community, no party with new ideas about how these things might blend together.

You can almost hear the tears in Mr. Brooks' voice as he chokes up for the lost opportunity.

Oh if only President Obama had carefully counterbalanced each word eloquently spoken about the power of and critical necessity for collective action with another word about the  merits of individual enterprise and the practical limits of government. 

If only the President had taken the opportunity to say something like this today!

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers. 
If only...
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 
If only...
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune. 
If only...
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society's ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.
If only...


We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
If only...
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

If only.


UPDATE: 

In what will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone outside of Sally Quinn's tight circle of parlor austerity trolls, Dean Baker notes that Mr. Brooks also screws the pooch on basic debt arithmetic "David Brooks Trouble With Arithmetic Leads Him Astray Again "

For those keeping score at home, Mr. Brooks is now failing at history, science, math, current events and foreign languages.  Which, inside Sally Quinn's tight circle of parlor austerity trolls,  will not affect his final grade in the slightest as long as he continues to excel at creative short fiction and apple polishing. 

10 comments:

Sean Riley said...

LOL that picture of Brooks/Palin just made me shoot Mtn Dew out of my nose...

Grant Lewis said...

Your work is not unnoticed, Brooks is being torn down qt every turn, now the msm needs to pay attention.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

I've got the mental image of Mr. Obama making Mr. Brooks President for a month...sort of like Morgan Freeman giving Jim Carrey the powers of God in "Bruce Almighty".

And so President Brooks tries to use his newfound powers to implement his sane, intelligent, moral policies...in the face of the Republicans, the Tea Party, the Villagers, the Rightwing media, the warmongers, the economic vampires, the gun-fetishists, the theocrats...

I'm just not sure how the movie ends.

jtadetroit said...

and will not stop him from teaching at Yale either

gratuitous said...

Isn't it just awful how one political party seems so focused on (ick!) governing? It's like they get into office just to work the levers of government, instead of smoothing out every last bump and pothole for business!

That must be why the stock market has only risen 85% during Obama's first term. Now, if the party that knows the mysterious ways of the market was in power, boy, then we'd see some financial fireworks!

David Brooks get paid a lot of money for this. It is to weep.

marindenver said...

I had the same reaction as Sean when I saw the picture but in my case it was tea. ;-) It's probably too much to expect that Bobo could be drummed out of his "profession" but we can always dream.

blogenfreude said...

please please please let there be one or more of the 20 students in his Yale class who smacks him about the head and face (rhetorically) and calls him out on his lies.

brother yam said...

Drifty, it appears that your diet of locusts and wild honey is about to end. Your 40 years in the Brooksian desert (if I may mix my biblical metaphors) is getting less and less lonely. Your steady drip, drip, drip has started the erosion of this pernicious "public intellectual."

'Bout damn time...

Unknown said...

Even when I was a republican I thought Mr. Brooks was a joke. I can't wait to see his take on what happens in the senate, provided "Dirty Harry" allows something to happen. I know that's a holdover from my dittohead days but it does accurately describe what I feel about the mealy-mouthed little snot. We could have been over the whole problem in the senate 2 years ago but he had to be "collegial". Anyway, that's my little DG soapbox.

Frank Moraes said...

I think it is a mistake to call Brooks a centrist, although you totally nail Obama as one. Brook is what passes for a centrist in modern America: socially sort of liberal and economically very conservative. Consider: Serious Centrist Saletan.

The problem with Brooks (and all supposedly reasonable Republicans) is that what he claims to want is exactly what Obama gives him. As I wrote following his last column, "I don't understand why Brooks is a Republican if he really holds the opinions he implies." And I don't. I think he is still hurting from that debate with Milton Friedman when Brooks was a boy.