That Crocodile Is Still Hungry -- UPDATE
Today, America's Most Famous Conservative Public Intellectual heaved the Humility 101 curriculum guide right out the window and pitched an honest-to-Pete fit (with exclamation points and everything "Pass the Bill!") over the fact that Conservatives are now doing exactly the kind of things they have been gearing up to do since before Mr. Brooks was in long pants.
I must admit I am called to wonder how much of this is "Don't you know who I am!?" blowback for Raoul Labradoodle breaking sacred Beltway protocol and calling Mr. Brooks an assface to his ass face on this issue on "Meet the Press", but whatever the motive and however transient the impulse, even though Mr. Brooks automatic wingnut rectification software compels him to throw in a slap at an imaginary "reactionary left" --
The second conservative complaint is that the bill would flood the country with more low-skilled workers, driving down wages. This is an argument borrowed from the reactionary left, and it shows.
-- overall twas enormously entertaining too see Mr. Brooks first yell at his Conservative "friends" for being stupid --
...It’s beginning to look as though we’re not going to get an immigration reform law this year. House Republicans are moving in a direction that will probably be unacceptable to the Senate majority and the White House. Conservative commentators like my friends Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry are arguing that the status quo is better than the comprehensive approach passed by the Senate. The whole effort is in peril.This could be a tragedy for the country and political suicide for Republicans, especially because the conservative arguments against the comprehensive approach are not compelling.After all, the Senate bill fulfills the four biggest conservative objectives. Conservatives say they want economic growth. The Senate immigration bill is the biggest pro-growth item on the agenda today. Based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would increase the gross domestic product by 3.3 percent by 2023 and by 5.4 percent by 2033. A separate study by the American Action Forum found that it would increase per capita income by $1,700 after 10 years.Conservatives say they want to bring down debt. According to government estimates, the Senate bill would reduce federal deficits by up to $850 billion over the next 20 years. The Senate bill reduces the 75-year Social Security fund shortfall by half-a-trillion dollars.Conservatives say they want to reduce illegal immigration...Conservatives say they want to avoid a European-style demographic collapse...These are all gigantic benefits. They are like Himalayan peaks compared with the foothill-size complaints conservatives are lodging...
-- and then follow that up with by a full, fingerwagging lecture on what what Conservatives are supposed to be and what the are supposed to do:
...conservatives are not supposed to take a static, protectionist view of economics. They’re not supposed to believe that growth can be created or even preserved if government protects favored groups from competition. Conservatives are supposed to believe in the logic of capitalism...
Of course, this is not the first time Mr. Brooks contempt for the fruits of the movement he helped create have boiled over in public ("Well into their 117th Trimesters, David Brooks and David Frum both suddenly decide they really don't want to keep Reagan's baby".)
And of course since every remaining rank-and-file Conservative long ago stopped regarding Mr. Brooks as a serious Conservative thinker and started looking at him as little more than a repulsive Beltway RINO carnival curiosity (think Bradbury's creepy, mesmerizing, pale thing "drifting in alcohol plasma...its peeled, dead eyes staring out at you" in "The Jar"
but with with a pastel tie) in the long run, no matter how hard he tries to ingratiate himself to them by obediently punching out imaginary hippies to prove he's one a da guys, this will amount to nothing since they are never going to listen to him.
In the short run, I would predict that once this particular tantrum has run its course some helpful person with many very large offices and many very nice houses will remind him that, to restore the balance and good order of The Beltway, the publication of this column means that Mr. Brooks is now obligated to write some equally intemperate thing about the some imaginary travesty being committed by some damn dirty hippie somewhere.
Countdown to one more column on nonexistent Democratic intransigence over something or other or President Obama's failure to hypnotize asshole, nihilist Republicans into not being asshole, nihilist Republicans begins...now.
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."UPDATE:
-- Winston Churchill
It is just adorable to see Real Conservative Andrew Sullivan standing shoulder to shoulder with Real Conservative David Brooks...
David Brooks proffers the most succinct rebuttal to the nihilist partisanship – and civic cowardice – of Lowry and Kristol. He’s right on the substance, but also, critically, on the politics.
...But, alas, we are not dealing with actual conservatives, prepared to negotiate or reform the bill for the better. We are dealing with what Richard Hofstadter called “pseudoconservatives” – alienated, paranoid, visceral loathers of any concession to the party that just won popular vote majorities for House, Senate and the presidency.You cannot reason people out of something they did not reason into. But I admire Brooks for trying...
...as they heist language straight from the central Liberal critique of Conservatism...to lecture the Conservative Movement that they both helped spawn and which now completely repudiates and ignores them...on what Real Conservatives should say and do...all without acknowledging that any such thing as "Liberals" even exist...that Liberals were right about Conservatism all along...or that a central pillar of the Conservative Movement that they both helped spawn is a reflexive and pathological contempt of the very Liberals whose vocabulary and analysis they now so freely pilfer.