Wednesday, April 01, 2015

10 Years After: 2006 -- Sometimes I Write About David Brooks

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm using the occasion of my 10th blogiversary to bring some stuff out of the archives -- probably a few representational samples from each year. 

In 2006, I wrote a lot of columns on the subject of David Brooks' duplicity.  Which, at the time, was somewhat like writing for the comics or science fiction magazines during the time of the pulps: it paid nothing and was widely considered a rude and disreputable literary slum by almost all of The Important People Who Decide Such Things,

So picking just one David Fucking Brooks column from the litter for the 2006 chapter of this project was tricky, but I settled on this one from August because it captures a snapshot of a period of genuine transitional evolution.  An interval after Katrina, after Terri Schiavo and after the individual acts of madness and corruption in Iraq had begun to crossbreed and multiply exponentially when amoral opportunists like David Brooks decided the only way to hang on to their jobs at the ippy-tippy-top of the media food chain was to immediately and radically change their shape and form.

Almost overnight, it was goodbye to the "Isn't it shame the Liberals are stupid and deranged!" David Brooks 1.0 of The Weekly Standard and his first few years at the New York Time -
What on earth has gotten into the liberals and the media? Perhaps affected by some sort of post-Palm Beach stress disorder, reporters and activists on the left have depicted George W. Bush as the leader of some sort of arch-conservative jihad. They've portrayed his tax plan as dangerously radical, some of his nominees as Confederacy-loving loons, and his voucher plan as a menace to the future of public education. To put it bluntly, this is all deranged. You get the impression that the left has actually started believing its own direct-mail fund-raising letters.  
-- and hello to the "Isn't it a shame Both Sides are so mean and disrespectful!" David Brooks 2.0 which we know today.

This is the period during which David Brooks wandered the wilderness, looked deep within his bank account and decided to unceremoniously shed the Big Lie which had made him rich and influential and instead wrap himself forever in a Much Bigger Lie which would bring him unimaginably more wealth and power and come to define the entire Beltway media ethos from that day until this.

Of course Mr. Brooks has upgrade and reupholstered his Much Bigger Lie many times over the last decade.  He has also repeatedly and radically rewritten the history of Conservatism in America to suit his moods, and then flat-out lied about his own past and his own writing on the rare occasions when some daring soul asked him a direct question about all terrible things he has written over the year.

But this was the time when David Brooks was tested as a man and as a citizen.

And failed.  Spectacularly.

This was a period when he really might have saved his soul and made a clean breast of things by using his column to, for once, tell his vast, international audience the simple, unvarnished truth about this country's past, present and future. But Mr. Brooks is weak and Mr. Brooks is a coward and Mr. Brooks likes living well, so rather that using his position of privilege and influence to tell his readers the truth, he and the rest of his colleagues conspired to betray their professional and their country for money.

And that is why this story is a tragedy.

(For the record, it is also one of the earliest posts where your humble scrivener directs your attention to a certain Senator Barack Obama from Illinois...)

Wretched Mole Rat

Suffocates on own dick.

Film at 11:00

If Bobo is going to do nothing but recycle his old beerfarts over and over again into new column inches, then I may resort to rerunning old refutations and save my secret, new adjectives for new arguments. Because in his Thursday column, Bobo just retreads the tired, discredited "Tyranny of False Bisection" dodge and runs it around the block.


You know the joke (driftglass tm):
So Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.

What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?

“But the Democrats!”
Here’s a snip from his column entitled “Party No. 3”, mercifully walled up like Fortunato behind the subscription-only fortification of the NYT
There are two major parties on the ballot, but there are three major parties in America. There is the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the McCain-Lieberman Party.

All were on display Tuesday night.

The Democratic Party was represented by its rising force — Ned Lamont on a victory platform with the net roots exulting before him and Al Sharpton smiling just behind.

The Republican Party was represented by its collapsing old guard — scandal-tainted Tom DeLay trying to get his name removed from the November ballot. And the McCain-Lieberman Party was represented by Joe Lieberman himself, giving a concession speech that explained why polarized primary voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics.

The McCain-Lieberman Party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism, and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency.

The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess.

But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people.

The McCain-Lieberman Party counters with constant reminders that country comes before party, that in politics a little passion energizes but unmarshaled passion corrupts, and that more people want to vote for civility than for venom.
The “net roots” was the Democratic House Majority Leader? Man, I must’ve slept right through that.

And casting Al Sharpton as the scary Black pivot on which the entire Democratic party turns, while amusing, is gonna come as one helluva shock to one Senator Barack Obama.

So where was the acid-belching Democratic equivalent of Rush Limbaugh in 1985?












Where was mile-high, bandwidth-bestriding Thug Left that matched the Hate Radio of the Thug Right for the last twenty years?

Where is the Democratic Gingrich who runs a Democratic GOPAC that methodically and deliberately instructs his entire Party to scream “Traitor!” at the opposition at every press opportunity as routine, tactical matter?

Where are the army of Special Prosecutors sifting through every Kleenex George Bush ever used? Over a bad land deal? And a blowjob?

When is the impeachment hearing of George Bush scheduled to begin?

Where is the Democratic Southern Strategy that nurtures and harvests racists for votes?

Name me the Commies in the Democratic Party? Anywhere? Where are the Bolsheviks that hold elected office? How many Socialists in Congress? How many raging, Green Party Governors? How many hard-line Naderite federal judges?

Now, compare that list to the list of how many Wingnut Evangelicals holding public office in the GOP? How many of them pull the strings as powerbrokers?

It is, of course, an absurd exercise, and at some level Brooks knows it.

The Democratic Party has been, for the last 30 years, conspicuously free of bomb-throwers, while the GOP has been the worlds leading producer of napalm-and-poo-flinging Christopaths and lunatics in print, on radio, on teevee, in the press, the punditocracy, the Congress, the courts and the White House.

As opposed to the 40-60% of the GOP that are hard Right Authoritarian/Theocrat, there simply isn’t any “fringe Left” that is statistically visible. They are the Imaginary Straw Man Enemy Within – the all-purpose Orwellian Emmanuel Goldstein Boogeyman – that has been invented out of whole cloth by the fascist Right and its lying enablers like Brooks to give their pig people someone to hate and blame for their fear and desperation.

For most of that time, Democrats have counseled compromise...and lost. (And the most abject capitulator of the bunch -- Joseph Lieberman -- is -- surprise! -- the shining example of what the future of politics should look like according to Bobo.)

For most of that time Republicans have cried Havoc! and let slip the Coulters of Culture War...and won.

The GOP has been a party of almost unalloyed, aggressively ends-endlessly-justifying-the-means cozenage, blissfully unaware of their steep downward spiral because in the Republican Party consulting an ethical altimeter is considered disloyalty bordering on sedition.

They have been a Party that has courted and cultivated lies of every vintage and sown every seed of division it could lay its paws on. They have built a Mighty Hate Machine and, laughing all the way, bulldozed it to power over the broken bodies of those who are still damnedfool enough to pretend that you can compromise with beasts drunk on blood and power.

Note this if you note nothing else: while the “flames” were all coming from Right, while the Left continues to play by the Marquess of Queensberry, you never heard a fucking peep out of slouches like Brooks: It is only when the Left begins to counterfire – and do it effectively, targeting those who have been pouring poison into the well of public discourse year after year – that Bobo suddenly becomes hysterically concerned about the partisanship “on both sides” and then, with great, fake reluctance, pulls an imaginary 3rd party out his rectum and Pronounces It Good.

The day that the GOP stops kicking gays in the teeth, recruiting klansmen, demonizing muslims, lionizing monsters who blame 9/11 of feminists and the ACLU and calling people like me traitor for opposing my government...that’s the day I will be happy to beat my pronouns into plowshares and talk peace and compromise.

But of course, they can’t let the crazies go. First and foremost -- as Barry Goldwater prophetically warned -- because the crazies now run their fucking party, from crotch to crown. The gargoyles have taken the cathedral, and Falwell and Dobson sits upon the Throne, while the Hagels and the Grahams are now the “fringe”.

And second, if they ever did kick the freaks out, they wouldn’t win another election. Ever. Anywhere. Seriously. As I’ve said before, without their Christopath Legions and assorted other reprogrammable golem shock troops, the GOP would be the Constitution Law Party, squatting impotently in the swamps of Mississippi, muttering angrily about Negroes.

And at heart, Quislings like Brooks would much rather have a police state with theocrats, deficits, endless war and tax cuts than a democracy with incrementally higher marginal tax rates and his Party out of power.

Brooks threw his weak, flabby shoulder into the Republican Revolution with a will, and it has come a murderous cropper on a scale that will hobble us for generations to come. And the only way that Brooks can live with the horror of his present is to lie about the past.

Brooks is a Conservative. An unreconstructed, unapologetic GOP stooge, now reduced – like all of his breed – to desperately trying to hide the massive bulk of his of complicity, lying and just fucking God Awful mawkish creative typing that is to “writing” as owl-pellets are to Vosges Chocolate Truffles (in that if you were robbed of all senses and cerebral function except for the ability to loosely gauge size and weight, you might mistake one for the other. In the dark. Underwater.)

Because for Brooks here is no cover left to scurry behind.

As the Floyd said:
“It’s too late the lose
The weight you used to
Need to throw around.

So have a good drown
As you go down
All alone."
Behind the melting sliver of his now- obviously bankrupt ideology, Bobo continues to try to hide the morbid moral obesity he cannot lose. And his position affords him no opportunity for a cozy, windowless cinderblock bunker bar into which he can disappear with skinhead pals for consolation and to bolster each other’s flagging belief in the imminent victory of the White Christian Race with cheap whiskey, dead sand n*gger-and-or-kike-and-or-fag jokes, and manly reacharounds.

Instead he invents a tony nest of ridiculous delusion out of ink and pulp, stocks it with a wholly fictional alternative political history wherein men like him are not cast down as the scoundrels they are, and then lives in it.

And lives well.

The massive dishonesty that pervades his words and his soul stands out like a psychic pillar of tumor growing straight out of his heart.

But instead of recognizing his disease for what it is, twice a week -- for a princely sum -- he carves off a little of his carcinoma and serves it up with a side of badly written treacle on the pages of the fucking New York Times.

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