Monday, October 13, 2014

The Most David Brooks Thing

The algorithm which generates David Brooks "columns" has extruded in a long time:
Over the past few years, liberals and conservatives have been arguing over which growth model is best. But, of course, there’s no need to choose. Both models are more or less working.

Washington is not the cause of polarization; America is. The irony is that something good about America (economic pluralism) is contributing to something bad (segmentation and political trench warfare).

The 2014 campaign has been the most boring and uncreative campaign I can remember. Democrats cry, “My Republican opponent is an extremist loon!” Republicans cry, “My Democratic opponent once shook hands with President Obama!” There’s not even a Contract With America, nor many policy suggestions of any sort. Most campaigns just remind preconvinced voters how bad the other party is.
Because Both Sides, Bitches!

Wanna a little taste of the economic advice the Sage of the Acela Corridor was doling out 13 years ago?
The Democratic party proceeded to work itself up into a collective aneurysm. Dick Gephardt—who, when given the chance to play the demagogue, never goes halfway—said that the United States now faces "an alarming fiscal crisis." Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe said on Face the Nation that it had taken Bill Clinton eight years to build up the surplus, but Bush was able to "blow it in eight months." Other Democrats rose up en masse to declare that the Bush administration was going to bankrupt Social Security/the federal government/western civilization because the administration was going to have to "raid the Social Security trust fund."
At the time, Mr. Brooks never concealed his ugly, Conservative Liberal-stomping glee as he referred to any suggestion by Democrats that surpluses would ever end as "stupid", "brainless" and "self-destructive" behavior at a level "that will be unsurpassed in our lifetime."

Want a little more?   Here is Mr. Brooks again in 2001, positively wallowing in Conservatism's post-causality economic fad du jour:
Yes, There Is a New Economy

Thanks to once-in-a lifetime productivity gains, Bush's plans are easily affordable
MAR 19, 2001

This year's tax and budget debate really comes down to one essential question: Is the money going to be there? The Congressional Budget Office projects surpluses of about $ 5.6 trillion over the next 10 years. The Republicans insist that those projections are conservative, so the government can afford to return $ 1.6 trillion to the taxpayers and still have money left over for Social Security, Medicare, and an $ 800 billion contingency fund. The Democrats cry that projections are notoriously inaccurate, that the tax cuts will blow a hole in the budget, and that the Bush administration's risky scheme (which sailed through the House last week) would cast us back into the days of piling debt.

In other words, if you wade through the economic literature, it's hard not to agree with the Cleveland Fed's Jerry Jordan: We are living at a once-in-a-generation moment of economic opportunity. As productivity grows, the economy will grow. As the economy grows, revenues will grow, maybe beyond what the CBO projects. The real question about the Bush tax cuts, then, is not, Can we afford them? The real question is, Why are they so small?
In case you were looking for a link to Mr. Brooks' abashed columns recanting his many, many stupid economic prognostication, his aggressive cheer-leading of Bush's disastrous Iraq Fiasco, his endless columns mocking and sneering at those stupid, craven, hateful, insane Liberals who refused to climb on the Dubya Bandwagon and so forth...well, I don't have any such links to give you because Mr. Brooks has never recanted -- or even acknowledged -- any of the horrid things he wrote.

Why do I keep bringing him up?

Because Mr. Brooks has built an entire, ridiculously lucrative career slandering and lying about people like me.

Because Mr. Brooks remains a Conservative in the most important Conservative traits of all: compulsive dishonesty, unalloyed cowardice and a pathological refusal to ever apologize or even admit error.

Because Mr. Brooks' obsessive Both Siderism remains the Big Lie that enables all the rest of Conservatism's little lies.

And because by now it is painfully clear no one else in the entire constellation of mainstream media heavies is ever going to hold Mr. Brooks accountable for anything he says or does, no matter how absurd or appalling,

There's just me, and a few of others, piling up our leaky little sandbags against a massive, pulverizing tide of such bullshit, while Mr. Brooks goes about the business of moving forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!


Paul said...

Just had to login to say two things:

1) The fact that they have never had to apologize, or even been called to apologize by their employers, is indeed a great injustice.

2) Killer Simpsons reference.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robt said...

Come close, I do not want to say this loud enough for others to hear.

I know a slew of republicans/conservatives, Give-me-tarians,Tea Potters (encompassing the GOP). Not a single one knows who David Brooks actually is. They do not read his fantasies. Even though some are very capable of reading.
Do you think Brooks writes to the conscienceless Id of the republican elite and powerful?
To ease their conscience. To enable their desires. To publically provide justifications to arouse their ego's?

This would resolve the question of why he is in the club.
HBrooks polishes their shoes (ego) and they keep him around by tipping him.

n1ck said...

Republicans are crazy!

Democrats are Democrats!


Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

[She suffers from a mysterious curse, and must continually weave images on her loom without ever looking directly out at the world. Instead, she looks into a mirror, which reflects the busy road and the people of Camelot that pass by her island.

"She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott."]

Except I suspect, if Mr. Brooks looked out the window, he'd see you glaring at him, copies of his old columns in your hands.

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger

John said...


You're on to something there. Real conservatives don't read the New York Times.

Brooks really is there to give absolution to those conservatives who know what's really happening and retain enough conscience to have regrets and those liberals who, for career reasons, don't want to acknowledge how extreme the Republicans have become. His writing is more in the realm of priestly hocus-pocus than it is in the realm of logic and facts, so it doesn't have to be coherent.

(That being said, it is a sad statement about the state of our polity that the New York Times is claimed to be liberal. On a few points it is; on many it is not--and the NYT Magazine and Book Review are swamps of conservatism. I think it's considered liberal primarily because it does have some respect to, you know, facts....)

Redhand said...

@ John

(That being said, it is a sad statement about the state of our polity that the New York Times is claimed to be liberal. On a few points it is; on many it is not--and the NYT Magazine and Book Review are swamps of conservatism. I think it's considered liberal primarily because it does have some respect to, you know, facts....)

I think there's a lot of truth to this statement. It's very hard for me to see the NYT as a "liberal" newspaper any longer. Under Pinch's inspired leadership, it's become of pale shadow of what it was in the 60s and 70s.

I've come to the conclusion that Pinch tolerates hacks like DFB and Freedman because he a hopeless, hedge-your-bets-both-sider hack himself, indistinguishable from some of the video media hos who are on the air.

Lets look at who's left the NYT vs. the two aforementioned hacks who have remained, i.e. Bob Herbert and Frank Rich. That they are gone while DFB and The Mustache of Understanding have stayed sort of says it all. Pinch is as much a member of "The Courtier Press" as anyone on the teevee.

Kind of reminds me of Dan Froomlin getting bilged from the Wapo while Neocon fossils like George Will and Charles Krauthammer stay on.

Maybe what we're witnessing is that the liberal establishment press in America is dead, except that we haven't fully processed the truth of it yet.

As for Bobo, maybe hypocrisy isn't the touchstone of his motivations. He may be not only an intellectual lightweight but also a soulless careerist into the bargain. If he lost his gigs at the NYT and PBS (need I say more about the extent of the rot there?) who's to say he wouldn't effortlessly transit back to slinging the same old, right wing, short order sh*t he slung at "The Weekly Standard?"

steeve said...

Democrats cry, “My Republican opponent is an extremist loon!” Republicans cry, “My Democratic opponent once shook hands with President Obama!”

Wow. If Brooks worshippers would popularize this, it might save democracy.

First, the reader must be informed that both statements are true. And neither is a strawman - each represents the fullest real argument of each party against the other.

Once this is clear, the reader doesn't even need additional information to figure out that one of those statements is a big deal and one of them is not.

bowtiejack said...

". . . the most important Conservative traits of all: compulsive dishonesty, unalloyed cowardice and a pathological refusal to ever apologize or even admit error."

Nailed it, DG. Absolutely nailed it. Thank you.

bowtiejack said...

While driving today, I heard Leon Panetta being interviewed about his new book urging Obama to man up and show some leadership.

The fault is all on Obama apparently, because in answer to call-in questions, Leon could not utter the words "Republican" or "GOP".

It appears an undifferentiated, generically general "Congress" that is messing things up (due to no leadership from Obama) and not the GOP loon caucus of free-range wingnuts. Leon is a very serious man, don't you know, very concerned about our children's future.

Robt said...

Good points. I agree that repubs do not read the NYT.
Yet Cheney read the NYT when Valerie Plames Husband wrote a short story referring to the lack of WMD.
So they have staff that does it for them I imagine. We probably pay for that monitoring through our taxes.

Then as Redhand suggests, of the "liberal media" being dead.
It was in fact the NYT that published Judeth Miller's outing of a CIA agent named, Valerie Plame. As prosecutor Fitzagerald put it, "there is a cloud over V.P. Cheney".
WI came to pass that J. Miller did in fact write that outing in retaliation of Plame's Husband's article of NO WMD evidence!
I would question the editors of the NYT for printing this Miller "story" in regards to an the statement article of NO WMD.
One would think the editor would consider Miller's sources? Miller's attacked article and outing of an undercover person with the CIA.
I believe (without proof) that the NYT printed Miller's attack article (authored by Cheney,delivered by Scooter to Miller. That the NYT may provide equal time, government pressured time, unbiased indifference time in their paper.
Perhaps the V.P. called the NYT and told them how he would deliver his demand to print directly to the NYT editor (or above).
Face it, the NYT had much money to make through all this and the war coverage.
Back to monied interest, where eventually we arrive at. Not necessarily is this train on time.
There was a day when newspapers had a section on labor. In the new Ron Reagan era, there is only the Business section.
This was a omen of things to come.
Besides why read when you can't trust the papers?
When you can listen to Glenn Beck on FOX, or Palin on FOX or a Krauthammer article in the Wall Street Journal or Rush Limp-paw on the FOX radio.

This way one would not have to be burdoned with the lies of the "main Stream Media". As FOX brags to its conservative viewers how large and dominating they believe FOX is over all those other media (librul media).
FOX isn't main Stream?
Insane, unfactual yes.
mainstream amongst the other medias,,,yes.

Batocchio said...

Thanks for continuing to bring up his McCarthyism for Reaganomics.

The quoted passage is also telling. Even though Brooks is an experienced political hack, he tries to equate "extremist loon" with "shook the hand of the President of the United States." No discussion of whether the first charge is true, of course, or why the second charge should matter. That his party is batshit is too obvious to be denied, but that's his usual planned concession to pivot to his usual false equivalence. And these policy discussions! It's all so boring. It's not entertaining. It's not the right tone.

(C'mon, Brooksie, where's the bold bullshittery of "the tone is the substance"?)