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 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.But Mr. Brooks is no longer down to clown:
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.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Just quickly, David, Republicans, how — are they hurt by this or do they just move on?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...
DAVID BROOKS: Not really. I don’t think they’re really hurt. I don’t take the broad indictment.It only took 10 days for the Beltway to car-crush Mr. Brooks' embarrassing truthblurt and drop it straight down the memory hole.
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.
And so it goes.