Saturday, October 24, 2015

David Brooks Returns To The Fold



Ten days ago, David Brooks made a grim discovery.  It turns out that his Republican Party is full of -- horrors! -- Republicans.  And Republicans are vicious, destructive, nihilistic assholes:  
The House Republican caucus is close to ungovernable these days. How did this situation come about?

...Basically, the party abandoned traditional conservatism for right-wing radicalism. Republicans came to see themselves as insurgents and revolutionaries, and every revolution tends toward anarchy and ends up devouring its own.

...Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced. Public figures are prisoners of their own prose styles, and Republicans from Newt Gingrich through Ben Carson have become addicted to a crisis mentality. Civilization was always on the brink of collapse. Every setback, like the passage of Obamacare, became the ruination of the republic. Comparisons to Nazi Germany became a staple.

...Really, have we ever seen bumbling on this scale, people at once so cynical and so naïve, so willfully ignorant in using levers of power to produce some tangible if incremental good? These insurgents can’t even acknowledge democracy’s legitimacy — if you can’t persuade a majority of your colleagues, maybe you should accept their position. You might be wrong!

...These figures are masters at destruction but incompetent at construction.

...These insurgents are incompetent at governing and unwilling to be governed

But since David Brooks is David Brooks, he did not bother to indulge in any of that sweet, sweet character-building soul-searching and self-reflection about which has he has written an entire book.

And lectured.

And sermonizing in front of large audiences audiences around the world.

Instead (and as predicted) Mr. Brooks sort of passed the painful truth about his Republicans Party like a kidney stone.

Sure it hurt like hell for a bit, but after recuperating briefly at the Villager Nervous Hospital for the Temporarily Forthright he put all that "truth" stuff behind him and got right back to the important job of pretending that the GOP isn't really that bad at all.

How do we know this?

Because Mr. Brooks very helpfully tells us!

On The News Hour, during the post-fiasco coverage of the complete, public collapse of the Republican Hate Machine, Mark Shields hands back to his pal David Brooks exactly the same critique of the GOP which Brooks made in the pages of the New York Times just 10 days before (emphasis added):
MARK SHIELDS: The Republicans looked bad.  Hillary Clinton looked disciplined. She showed remarkable stamina. She showed thorough preparation. And she never went for the bait. The bait was to get her to do what she had done in the previous hearing, to show exasperation, to display temper.

And she just — she came off it, to use an adjective, presidential. And I just think — I just think that the Republicans ought to drop this and move on, but I think it is — I think it is symptomatic of a party that is incapable of accepting its governing responsibility.
But Mr. Brooks is no longer down to clown:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Just quickly, David, Republicans, how — are they hurt by this or do they just move on?

DAVID BROOKS: Not really. I don’t think they’re really hurt. I don’t take the broad indictment...
Instead, floating out in space and not attached to any particular party or political philosophy, there is a "scandal cottage industry" which gets started somehow and then just runs on and on and no one really knows why:
DAVID BROOKS: Not really. I don’t think they’re really hurt. I don’t take the broad indictment.

Sometimes, a scandal cottage industry gets started, and it’s fed by people who get expertise, and then the talk radio get into it, and they get into the weeds. And they imagine something that big is about to happen, and the scandal cottage industries just go on forever.
It only took 10 days for the Beltway to car-crush Mr. Brooks' embarrassing truthblurt and drop it straight down the memory hole.

And so it goes.

5 comments:

Niccki said...

Pass the koolaid, the looney tune brigade rides again!

Robt said...

There are moments I reflect on what Americans might accomplish if ,
-a partisan investigation was simply limited and over.
-The time and money expended on AM radio born conspiracies were applied
instead to productive needs.
-Introducing a route to identify the paid political hacks (as Breibart was)
and their charlatan undisclosed secret financiers.
-Do a better job at educating our future to the conspiracy impaired.

Understanding the "propagandizing" that has and continues to foment and birth
Glenn Beck'ers. The illness symptoms are greater in cost than the cure would ever be.
One suggestion would be to make all political campaign donations taxable.
Giving money to a 501c(4) that provides assistance to women fighting breast cancer is not the same as a Tea Party group that wants to so called educate
voters.
Educating voters and propagandizing them, last time I looked, are entirely different.
While we are stuck with citizens united,
Why not tax every political donation. Yes of course the billionaires would decry communism and taxing their free speech.
What they are marketing and selling is different :how" to Coke and Pepsi paying taxes on advertising dollars for their product.
Convincing me to purchase a soda because it "tastes great" does not resemble the (so called) educating voters via untruths and redacted truths.
So taxing campaign donations might skim off my $20 or $50 donation. The $millions billionaires spend will be taxed as well. More funds available for the V.A., Infrastructure etc. Perhaps less squabble and grandstanding over financial accountability.

As for Brooks, he is one of the advertising firms that relies on thismarketing scheme which provides him his status no matter the incompetence he displays. It is the sound bites and opposition to sanity that must be obstructed at all costs or our economic pyramid scheme may need defended.

dinthebeast said...

David, David, David, my sweet little prisoner of his own prose style (or lack thereof), could you please repeat after you three times (clicking your heels is optional): You might be wrong!

-Doug in Oakland

Theo said...

Wow, Marks Shields is still on? I used to like him until The News Hour's panel discussion after Bush's January 2002 State of the Union, when Shields spoke admiringly of 9/11 as Bush's "Profile in Courage moment". I nearly threw up.

Batocchio said...

It was only a matter of time. Really, we should have started a betting pool.