David Brooks Versus The Hippies: Chapter Eleventy-Zillion
Everyone but a very few of us on the raggedy, disreputable Left has agreed to forget that ten short years ago, Mr. Brooks was busy making a very good living at Bloody Bill Kristol's neocon chop shop cranking out partisan tracts mocking antiwar protesters for being posturing, self-absorbed kooks with no respect for the Real World of Serious People like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Donald Rumsfeld.
Everyone but a very few of us on the raggedy, disreputable Left has also agreed to forget that while making that very good living at "The Weekly Standard", America's Foremost Irony-Deficient Future Yale Professor of Humility never had the slightest qualm about cheerfully heaping terms like "decadent" and "moral exhibitionism" onto the opponents of George Bush's Operation Clusterfuck for rudely expressing themselves in whatever small venues the go-along/get-along media would permitted them to use:
The Fog of Peace
The evasions, distractions, and miasma of the anti-war left.
SEP 30, 2002, VOL. 8, NO. 03 • BY DAVID BROOKS...For example, on September 19, a group of peaceniks took out a full-page ad in the New York Times opposing the campaign in Afghanistan and a possible campaign in Iraq. Signatories included all the usual suspects: Jane Fonda, Edward Said, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Hayden, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, and on and on. In the text of the ad, which runs to 15 paragraphs, Saddam Hussein is not mentioned. Weapons of mass destruction are not mentioned. The risks posed by terrorists and terror organizations are not mentioned. Instead there are vague sentiments, ethereally removed from the tensions before us today: "Nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers. . . . In our name, the government has brought down a pall of repression over society. . . . We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name." The entire exercise is a picture perfect example of moral exhibitionism, by a group of people decadently refusing even to acknowledge the difficulties and tradeoffs that confront those who actually have to make decisions about policy....That is exactly what you see in the writings of the peace camp generally--not only in Chomsky's work but also in the writings of people who are actually tethered to reality. Their supposed demons--Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, and company--occupy their entire field of vision, so that there is no room for analysis of anything beyond, such as what is happening in the world. For the peace camp, all foreign affairs is local; contempt for and opposition to Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, et al. is the driving passion...You begin to realize that they are not arguing about Iraq. They are not arguing at all. They are just repeating the hatreds they cultivated in the 1960s, and during the Reagan years, and during the Florida imbroglio after the last presidential election. They are playing culture war, and they are disguising their eruptions as position-taking on Iraq, a country about which they haven't even taken the trouble to inform themselves....For most in the peace camp, there is only the fog. The debate is dominated by people who don't seem to know about Iraq and don't care. Their positions are not influenced by the facts of world affairs....When you get deep enough into the peace camp you find fog about the fog. You find a generation of academic and literary intellectuals who have so devoted themselves to questioning meanings, deconstructing texts, decoding signifiers, and unmasking perspectives...
Ten years later we find Mr. Brooks has leveraged his rancid record of hippie punching and staunch support for the worst foreign policy disaster in modern American history into an even more lucrative gig cranking out drab globules of Centrist piffle for the New York Times.
Ten years later we also find Mr. Brooks still loathing antiwar protesters and still hectoring them about the proper protocol for registering their objections from high atop his absolutely unearned and undeserved pile of media privilege (via NPR):
May 24, 2013BROOKS: Yeah. First, let me say I think Code Pink are reprehensible narcissists, by the way. They interrupt these events continually. This is not the proper [way] to have protest.DIONNE: It's free speech, David. It's a free country.BROOKS: Well, and there's also such a thing as civility and respect.
After a solid decade of being horribly, unimpeachably wrong about just about everything David Brooks remains a cosseted media insider whose opinions are still solemnly and deferentially sought.
And after a solid decade of being tragically right, the Left remains exiled to the disreputable media wastelands, shouting just to be heard over the deafening roar of Mr. Brooks' humility.