Five years ago, shortly after the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey set up shop shoveling hundreds of thousands of Republican base voters through their Fabulous, Tea-Baggulous, Bush-Off Machine
your Elite Beltway Media abruptly got very, very excited about a flood of freshly-minted political "independents" who suddenly started showing up at Koch Brothers-sponsored events
to spontaneously parade in front of Fox News cameras wearing tricorner hats and yawping about Freedom! and The Kenyan Usurper!
The dawn of the Both Sider millennium was finally here!
It had arrived heralded by Elite Beltway Media Angels who appeared in the skies to announce the Good News that unto us a New Political Movement was born. Our Centrist Salvation would be neither Left nor Right, neither Too Hot or Too Cold. It would be attended by none but the wisest of the Beltway Wise Man. And five years ago as this monstrous fraud in a "Don't Tread On Me" tee-shirt slouched towards Washington D.C. to be born, none among the heavenly host sang the praises of The New Independents louder than Mr. David Brooks:
If I were a politician trying to win back independents, I’d say something like this: When I was a kid, I had a jigsaw puzzle of the U.S. Each state was a piece, and on it there was a drawing showing what people made there. California might have movies; Washington State, apples; New York, fashion or publishing. That puzzle represented an economy that was diverse and deeply rooted.
We’ve lost that. First Wall Street got disproportionately big, then Washington. It’s time to return to fundamentals. No short-term fixes. Government should do what it’s supposed to do: schools, roads, basic research. It should not be picking C.E.O.’s or setting pay or fizzing up the economy with more debt. It should give people the tools to compete, not rig the competition. Lines of restraint have dissolved, and they need to be restored.
Independents support the party that seems most likely to establish a frame of stability and order, within which they can lead their lives. They can’t always articulate what they want, but they withdraw from any party that threatens turmoil and risk. As always, they’re looking for a safe pair of hands.
Within a few hours of Mr. Brooks posting this very exciting political virgin-birth announcement in the New York Times (there to be read by millions of Times' readers around the world), your humble, disreputable scrivener published a rebuttal to Mr. Brooks' happy horseshit in my blog (there to be read by literally dozens of readers, many of whom are not members of my immediate family) which said, in part:
Five years later a number of people are still trying to maintain carnal relations with that chicken, but even Andrew Sullivan isn't having it anymore. Here is what Mr. Sullivan wrote today, January 9, 2014....since his schtick depends on squeezing a few extra drops out of the same old lemons week after week, Bobo is never happier or more in his element than when he is curled up in his NYT Snuggie, sipping cocoa from his David Fucking Broder commemorative mug in front of a big, roaring fire of Conventional Washington Wisdom, and repeating in well-modulated tones what everyone else in D.C. is thinking. Which is why he let his Villager spurs all the way out as he rode the subject of the "independent" voter into the ground, opining in great, farty word-pillows about the mores and folkways of a group of people who -- by definition -- have no, definable commonality....Surprise! By making a tasty tossed salad out of a grab-bag of different polls and "trends" that are a scant seven months long, Bobo desperately wants you to infer that the country is being driven by "independents", and independents have made some massive leap to the Right. He then sucker-punches the same, wingnut strawmen -- unions, abortion, "too much Gummint" in the crotch before leaving us with meaningless burbles of eternal Bobo wisdom...Nobody knows what “independents” want, because “independent” as a modern political category is a textbook example of what Kurt Vonnegut defined in "Cat's Cradle" as a "granfalloon":"...a proud and meaningless association of human beings"...And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?Those fucknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshit their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fucking day, that's who.Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.But they fool no one.Except, apparently, David Fucking Brooks.
What I see is a bunch of formerly Republican voters/leaners being too embarrassed to admit it any more.Here is what yours truly wrote in June of 2006, back when virtually all common Beltway wisdom was running hard in the opposite direction:
In five years, having voted for Bush will have become the parachute pants of this decade.So what can we learn from this?
It will become the “Oh my GOD. What the fuck was I thinking?” shameful secret people will occasionally and elliptically allude to by piping up with, “well, he did good after 9/11” as schoolchildren are taught what a disaster on every front and by every measure he was, and as adults who now have to pay and pay dearly for the myriad lies and crimes and follies of George W. Bush recount his Top 100 Fuckups and bitterly laugh and laugh and laugh.
First, in the pundit biz being repeatedly right too early is a one-way ticket to Coventry.
Second, the New York Times' David Brooks really has been wrong about everything since forever.
Third, if you just wait long enough Andrew Sullivan will eventually purloin every Liberal opinion extant and re-market it as "real Conservatism."