Wednesday, July 02, 2014

David Brooks: Sekrit Liberal

Because No True Conservative...

Even though I'm one of the Liberal blogosphere's informal "David Brooks guys", I had no intention of weighing in on Mr. Brooks' awful, sweeping, unsupported, revisionist codswallop of a column from last Friday.

It wasn't just that I was very, very busy and juggling a hundred other things.  And it wasn't the labor involved: seeing as how it consisted of almost nothing but a retread of his and Bill Kristol's Neocon "National Greatness Conservatism" claptrap from the 90s (tarted up in Whig attire and dumbed down for convenient consumption by modern, memory-impaired and Iraqtose-intolerant Conservatives by simply omitting the actual, inconvenient history of the last 20 years) everything I would have needed to properly carve it up and bury it at the crossroads with a stake through its heart were already at my fingertips.

It was that I have already penned over a thousand Brooksian vivisections in the last ten years and seeing as how exactly none of them -- no matter how thorough or well-written or clever or upscaled with cool graphics -- have ever achieved escape velocity and broken out of the Liberal blogosphere, and it has gotten a little hard a on my somewhat-dinged-up soul to keep futilely banging my head on that particular mile-high iron wall.

So I really had not planned to Sysiphus that particular stone up that hill again...

...until I read this by Mr. Andrew Sullivan.
Which is why, when push comes to shove, David Brooks is a liberal.
That is, no kidding, the actual diagnosis made by America's Second-Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual -- Andrew Sullivan -- of the secret political proclivities and deviated preversions of America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual, David Brooks.

And completely unbidden, this guy showed up in my head...

...and I once more made that long walk back to the keyboard.

"So what exactly makes David Brooks a Liberal," you ask?   "His unswerving passion for sending other people's children off to conquer and subdue other countries in the name what he used to call National Greatness Conservatism," Mr. Sullivan replies:
If we don’t have that faith, we are somehow reduced. I guess I’m just being an atomized individual, but my own “counter-weight to rampant materialism”, for example, is Christianity. But this faith is, for David, insufficient. It doesn’t strengthen the nation! I must join some collective, secular spiritual mission to complete my life and one, moreover, that goes out into the wider world to find monsters to destroy or countries to civilize. The fact that this ideological mission is deeply out of step with this moment in world history and has just been discredited on a massive, comprehensive scale sails past the need for it to exist in Brooks’ mind. Which is my best read on the cognitive dissonance in the column.
And what is the only thing that can save us from the mad, global hegemonic schemes of Liberals like David Brooks?

Well...conservatism.  Duh!
What Mark is saying, it seems to me, is that only conservatism, properly understood, can rise to the challenge of governance in this post-ideological age.
But, of course, only brand-name True Conservatism will do so ask for it by name.

Sadly, not a single, solitary one of us po', dumbfuck colonists actually understands True Conservatism, which is why we need  Andrew Sullivan to explain it to us.  Veeeery slowly:
And conservatism in America is, alas, as widely misunderstood as it is routinely ignored.
Well, post-Bush-glory-days Andrew Sullivan, anyway.  Because, as you all no doubt recall, at the very apex of Bush's days of blood and thunder and shock and awe, that Andrew Sullivan was busy-busy-busy enthusiastically ratifying the global hegemonic schemes of David Brooks and George Bush as the ne plus ultra of True Conservatism, going so far as to deploy no less than his hero -- Michael Oakeshott -- as the source of his True Conservative moral authority.

Those were the days when Liberals were cheerfully bashed around the clock as the dupes of foreign powers and enemies of freedom. 

As contemptible terrorist-lovers.  

As scheming fifth-columnists.

Liberals bore all of this from every fucking quarter for doing exactly what Andrew Sullivan -- the self-appointed Chairman of the Department of True Conservatism Weights and Measures -- now insists is the true measure of the True Conservative: standing athwart the global hegemonic schemes of David Brooks and George Bush and Andrew Sullivan and shouting "Stop!"

Happily, no actual Liberals were harmed in the making of Mr. Sullivan's farce -- Mr. Sullivan wouldn't recognize an actual American Liberal if one of us took his slap-dash Tinker Toy ideology apart, right in front of him, live at the Madison Square Garden.

Also no ideological stars have started from their celestial spheres.  

In his cited column, David Brooks was doing nothing more than continuing to do what David Brooks has been doing all along: plodding doggedly towards his mirage of Whig Valhalla while instantly unremembering all the wreckage his terrible ideas  leave in their wake.

And for his part, Andrew Sullivan was was doing nothing more than continuing to do what Andrew Sullivan has been doing all along: interminably recalibrating his definition of True Conservative to suit whatever his passions and fancies happen to be this month and (even more importantly) to keep himself well outside of what one disreputable wag once referred to as that "impoverishing political ghetto" know as Liberalism "that afflicts losers who do not get invited to spout their views on teevee."

Unless, of course, you're one 'a them Sekrit Liberals.

Like David Brooks.


JerryB said...

When I read the part about only conservatism can rise to the challenge of governance I laughed out loud. Anyone that could write that line at this time in American history should never be taken seriously again.

Misunderstood and ignored. Almost brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

Dan said...

I suppose it was inevitable that the Dementors would turn on each other.
Brooks is such a whiny butthole he makes a perfect target for the knuckle draggers.
"He's over at that commie Jew York Timess smoking pot with DFWs!"
Sullivan is a shit nosed asswipe, but that's not a secret.

Yastreblyansky said...

That's great on Sullivan's definition of conservative. You're also right about the awfulness of the Tuesday Brooks, giving it the full treatment would just be bad for your health. But I thought it was worth a shorter. I also learned last week why they love Oakeshott; because he, like Sully, apparently thought it was stupid and even philosophically incorrect to make an attempt to live according to moral principles.

Anonymous said...

thought you would love this

casimir said...

And Brooks' sinecure of ubiquity on the teevee and in the pennypapers is the trouncing proof of the liberal bias in the media.

Anonymous said...

As the years roll onwards, I grow increasingly embarrassed that I used to read Andrew Sullivan's blog. Has his shtick degenerated simply to a game of *traits I abhor belong to groups I scorn/traits I admire belong to my group* updated yearly? More proof that a sufficiently creative person can conjure endless hollow theories to don as blinders.

--Nonny Mouse

Robt said...

You can talk up Brooks all you want,
But it was David Gregory that was selected to grace the nation with his monumental inquisitive mind to interview Bill Clinton.
All Brooks is left with is to write a twisted fiction of the fundamental consequences that the Clinton's inflict which differs from the FOX News interpretation of the evils of liberalism.

Anonymous said...

"He's a useless shite, that boy. Hurt him for me, Eroll." A fitting quote from "Snatch", as regards the Sullivan traveling fetch, grovel and pomposity act.

Anonymous said...

Opps! It was supposed to be "Punish" not "Hurt". Either way, I really wouldn't want any harm to befall Sullivan, that useless shite.

Anon @ 6:24

Cliff said...

Jesus Fucking Christ, Sully.

That should be tattooed on his forehead.

I was tempted to type up an argument about how German militarists in the 1880s thought war was a counterpart to materialism, and how they probably weren't liberals.

But I had to remind myself that that would get me nowhere.

Because if Andrew Fatbeard Sullivan can write something like this as Iraq melts down from the bungled neocon war that he championed then there's no point trying to argue.

Because the man is clearly intoxicated from his own farts, bottled and labelled "Oakshotte Conservatism."

Potomacker said...

It seems that Brooks has a new pimp by the name Uri Friedman now that Sullivan has kicked Brooks from the club. Friedman is whoring out Brooks as a how-to philosopher. His first trick is making people deep.