Sunday, February 16, 2014

He's A Bird

And he's walking away.

This is Mr. David Brooks.

He is a Professional Holder of Conservative Opinions.

No kidding. That's literally all he does: sit down at a keyboard twice a week and squeeze out two, sour, little, 800-word turds of Conservative  POV.

For this he is paid enough to buy a multi-million dollar mansion.

For this, he is invited into the innermost circles of his fellow influential Professional Holders of Opinions where he basically reads aloud from his latest 800-word opinion turd.

One tiny flaw in Mr. Brooks' career plan is that, being Professional Holder of Conservative Opinions, Mr. Brooks' conjectures are almost uniformly awful and dumb and wrong, which means that, sooner or later, the real world comes a'knockin' to take a big, wet dump on them.

So, being a very, very well-paid Professional Holder of Conservative Opinions, Mr. Brooks had to figure out an ingenuous way to deal with being shivved by Reality again and again and again,

Here, in sum, is his grand strategy:

Since 2010 -- a year after millions of wingnuts first started frantically scraping off their Bush/Cheney '04 bumper stickers and showing up at Ramada Inns wearing tr-corner hats -- Mr. Brooks' has averred over and over again with Perfect Beltway Certainty that the "Tea Party" was definitely a Brand New Righteous Independent Thing.  And not (as one disreputable and long-forgotten loser once put it)
...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.

In November of 2009.

Here is what Mr. Brooks wrote two months later, in January 2010, about this very same group of rompin', stompin', and inexplicably-well-funded angry old white people whose sudden, shoutycracker appearance on the American political media scene certainly seemed to coincide exactly with the inauguration of America's first African-American president:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply. A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity. The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy — with bloated government, unsustainable deficits, high taxes and intrusive regulation.

The tea party movement is mostly famous for its flamboyant fringe. But it is now more popular than either major party. According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent of Americans have a positive view of the tea party movement. Only 35 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Democrats and only 28 percent have a positive view of the Republican Party.

The movement is especially popular among independents. The Rasmussen organization asked independent voters whom they would support in a generic election between a Democrat, a Republican and a tea party candidate. The tea party candidate won, with 33 percent of independents. Undecided came in second with 30 percent. The Democrats came in third with 25 percent and the Republicans fourth with 12 percent.

Over the course of this year, the tea party movement will probably be transformed. Right now, it is an amateurish movement with mediocre leadership. But several bright and polished politicians, like Marco Rubio of Florida and Gary Johnson of New Mexico, are unofficially competing to become its de facto leader. If they succeed, their movement is likely to outgrow its crude beginnings and become a major force in American politics. After all, it represents arguments that are deeply rooted in American history...
A month later, in February of 2010, on the Charlie Rose show, Mr. Brooks was even more emphatic that the Tea Party (like David Brooks himself) was NOT just a rump battalion of the Republican Party's base desperately trying to rebrand itself the Hell away from its own, disastrous and very public support of the Worst President in American History, but was instead a total new and different thing: Neither Republican nor Democrat, but perfect, sui generis, Brooksian Independents, untainted and untouched by recent history and beamed in from some alternate reality where they were never involved politics at all (h/t Tengrain):

That same month, February of 2010, I wrote a long, angry, open-letter to the Chicago PBS affiliate that was peddling teabagger bilge as the Pure Quill.  I explained to anchor Phil Ponce just how ridiculously easy it was for anyone who was not a complete Beltway media marionette to ferret out the real roots of this allegedly Brand!New!Movement!:
Mike Royko Leaps From Grave; Cockpunches Phil Ponce. 
Look, Phil. I’m not a Highly Paid Chicago TeeVee News Host. I don’t have a research department. I don’t have staff.

Not one lone administrative assistant to chase round my desk do I have, nor have I a single intern to get me my fucking latte.

I’m just some poor, civilian goof who can recognize a plague when it's at his door, who is sick of watching paid teevee journalism die of spine-rot, and who does this in his spare time. And yet even I – with about 30 minutes of clicking a fucking mouse on my wheezing, old laptop – was able to find out all sorts of fascinating stuff about your skeevy guests and their mendacious claims that were, for some reason, utterly beyond the collective ability of the mighty WTTW to ferret out.

But first, let us pause for a moment to prefigure the results of my massive research project by coldly gloating over the fact some of us were warning you years ago that these douchbags were on their way. I myself had “2011” in the “George W. Who?” revisionist history pool when I wrote in 2006 ("Christopaths of Glory”) that…
In five years, having voted for Bush will have become the parachute pants of this decade.

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.
Missed it by 12 months. Damn. Well, I guess with that kind of batting average I won't be getting that sweet, sweet column in the Washington Post again this year.

As to that "Teabaggers are just one, big, multipartisan bunch of angry, politically-independent patriots" claptrap, Ed Kilgore has a whole bucket-full of wingnut buzzkill here...
Since then, I have wasted my time writing  Jesus God Alone knows how many futile posts that were either entitled or sub-referenced as --
"There.  Is.  No.  Tea.  Party" 
 -- including a now-almost-forgotten post on the real function of the "Tea Party" that I am rather proud of entitled "The Bush Belly Sneetches".

Then time passed.

Pages flew from the calendar.

And suddenly it was the Year of Our Lord 2014 -- far enough from the scene of the crime so that Mr. Brooks could quietly and safely admit what we on the Left have known and have said over and over again from the start:

There.  Is.  No.  Tea.  Party. (h/t Heather at Crooks and Liars):
David Brooks Finally Admits That There Is No 'Tea Party'
And what will the professional consequence be for David Brooks for first aggressively brandishing and now jettisoning yet another Conservative lie?

 None, of course.

None whatsoever.

Or haven't you been paying attention?


Pinkybum said...

That Charlie Rose interview is an amazing historical record. We know David Brooks is always wrong but he is so very wrong here. Here are a few I came up with while viewing the video:

1. 60 percent have distrust of government and these are the independents and Tea Party followers!!

2. Someone from Tea Party field will emerge as the Presidential candidate and it will NOT be Mitt Romney.

3. The candidate will be a "saner" Ross Perot. As if the Tea Party are the sane wing of the Republican Party!

It's almost like David Brooks is paid to shill for policies that just so happen to favor the massively wealthy and to give those policies an extremely thin veneer of respectability.

Anonymous said...


I'd say policies that favor the wealthy are fine, provided they are backed by social liberalism. Policies that favor the wealthy favor the coastal power centers, by default we should approve of this and concentrate on enriching our major cities and stop bothering with flyover... or better yet extract it's wealth and move that wealth to the coast.

Make no mistake this is regional warfare more than class warfare. And as that benefits socially liberal urban centers at the expensive of bible thumpers in rural areas, I'm all for it.

When they stop bible thumping and give up their religion we can talk about potentially caring that they are getting fucked. But they need to pick, an economic future or their culture and Jesus, they can't have both.

marindenver said...

@anonymous 12:17 pm - that comment is filled with fucking stupid I don't even know where to begin dissecting it. It would explode with stupid puss anywhere I tried.

Roger said...

The thing about David Brooks is that every time he writes a new column the left blogosphere lights up and hundreds, maybe thousands, of people click on the New York Times web site to read the original, or clock through on the links. I'm pretty fond of my occasional shot of adrenalin, my righteous rage, but it would be a lot better to just recognize that David brooks is irrelevant and ignore him. It would ge like a boycott. "Brooks? New column? Stupid? Wrong? Yeah, well, you know..." and then go smell the roses or something. What the heck, it worked with Glenn Beck.

steeve said...

"Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year."

He somehow forgot to toss of a sentence mentioning that the educated class is right on all those ideas. It's as if being educated is better than not being educated.

Even back then, he was so immune to being wrong that he wasn't even dimly aware that it's possible to ask if an idea is correct or not.

Habitat Vic said...

@anonymous 12:17 pm By God, you've shined a light upon the darkness!

Of course, this is more about regionalism rather than class. And here I foolishly thought Chicagoan Sam Zell (or DeVos of MI, Menard of WI)was a billionaire asshole who had everything in common with Perkins of Silicon Valley, or the MOTU hedge fund managers in NYC. Hah!

Its now clear that Zell is much more aligned with poor Iowa farmers, rural Louisiana rednecks, or the downtrodden in Chicago's ghettos. Similarly Tom Perkins stands shoulder to shoulder with migrant farm workers just down the 101 from Palo Alto.

Tengrain said...

Drifty -

Thanks for the shout-out the last couple of days.

It's been such a Bill Kristallnacht these past few days, so to speak.



Redhand said...

it would be a lot better to just recognize that David [B]rooks is irrelevant and ignore him. It would ge like a boycott. "Brooks? New column? Stupid? Wrong? Yeah, well, you know.

I tend to agree with this, at least insofar as Brooks' irrelevancy is concerned. Who takes him seriously? Certainly not the wingnuts in flyover country. He has no real influence in Congress, and is widely reviled, and regarded, as a bad joke. That he is a shameless prevaricator and alternate (conservative) history-maker is a given.

Of course, what is infuriating is that he has a platform in the NYT that also results in him getting a perch in "The Newshour" with that fool Mark Shields, who is Coombs to Brooks' Hannity.

I for one never click the NYT to read his dreck direct. It's more instructive tp see others shredding him after his most recent bad H.S. essay posing as "thoughtful conservatism" (an oxymoron if ever there was one).

Even though I agree his ideas aren't serious, I still think it's important that mockery be used to cut him out of the heart of the Courtier Press. He really doesn't belong there.

Anonymous said...


There is a punchline to this madness though. Remember that the fools believed this myth with such earnestness that they were convinced Mitt Romney was going to win the presidency in 2012 because he was doing so well with "independents".

--Nonny Mouse

steeve said...

"hundreds, maybe thousands, of people click on the New York Times web site to read the original"

I happily accept the attacker's view of any oligarch without verifying it for myself, and I recommend others do the same. If the attacks end up being unfair, too bad. I'll be careful again after the republicans are removed from public life.

It's their fault that our problems are so serious that fairness is deep, deep down the list of solutions.

D. said...

The difference between rabbit excrement and Mr. Brooks' columns is that rabbit pellets at least can be used as fertilizer.

(Not to say that Mr. Brooks' essays don't generate a certain level of pushback, refutation, and snark. Just that one can't eat pushback, refutation, and snark, nor admire their flowers.)

CM said...

Why can't Charlie Rose (or anyone who interviews Brooks) see through Brooks' mediocrity? Does he just pretend to not notice it to keep the illusion going? Or is just that Mr. Rose is mediocre too?