Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Even The Police Began To Sit Up And Take Notice -- UPDATE

The Party's Over.

For decades, David Brooks has been getting rich by getting drunk with the rest of the Conservative Brain Caste in the opulently appointed, member-only clubs at the very pinnacle of the Beltway media.

His job -- which he performed magnificently -- was to be the best goddamn groveler in the room and to energetically defend the Republican Party regardless of external realities.

When Dubya was in the White House, Mr. Brooks performed his function (and kept his seat at the Beltway money trough) by writing long paeans to the awesome competence of the GOP --
Competent Conservatives, Reactionary Liberals

JAN 15, 2001
We seem to be entering a period of competent conservatism and reactionary liberalism. George W. Bush has put together a cabinet long on management experience and practical skills. But liberal commentators and activists, their imaginations aflame, seem to be caught in a time warp, back in the days when Norman Lear still had hair.
Bush, as Advertised

FEB 5, 2001
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.
These were not one-offs: this was Mr. Brooks' consistent theme for years.  Slandering people like you and me was how Mr. Brooks made his living...

At which point, Mr. Brooks quickly went out of the "Competent Conservatives, Reactionary Liberals" business and opened up a high-end boutique at the corner of Both and Sides streets, where he went right on making a fabulous living aggressively whiting-out all the "icky" parts of Modern Conservatism (his Great Project) and selling Whig Fan Fiction to millions of political cowards,  "No Labels" con men, Joe Scarborough, terrified Upper East Side millionaire shut-ins, Mark Halperin, PBS, NPR, "Meet the Press" and various interchangeable iterations of Ron Fournier.

Mr. Brooks was able to accomplish this massive fraud because every one of those millions of political cowards,  "No Labels" con men, Joe Scarboroughs, terrified Upper East Side millionaire shut-ins, Mark Halperins, PBS', NPRs, Meet the Presses and various interchangeable iterations of Ron Fournier were his eager collaborators.  Following Mr. Brooks' lead, they all agreed to just write themselves out of their own history and pretend the past 20 years had never happened.

In other words, they all conspired to lie to you and about you -- to pretend the Hate Radio/Fox News GOP base monster they had all had a hand in creating simply did not exist -- because it was profitable to do so.

Which -- surprise! --  was also exactly what the Hate Radio/Fox News GOP base was doing at the same time (pathological denialism about their own past being the one, absolutely consistent characteristic of modern Conservatives wherever they exist on the True Conservative spectrum.)

They all held hands and scampered through Mr. Brooks' own, high-end version of the Bush Off Machine together and Mr. Brooks went right on making himself a wealthy man by mocking every attempt to bring the Republican monster to book with long, windy columns on the nonexistence the Republican monster and anyway isn't the real problem the 1960s, poor people having unapproved sexytime and Barack Obama's Failure to Lead?

And since they regulated access to the microphones, the teevee cameras and the pages of America's most prominent newspapers, they got away with it.  Of course they had to move their party into an opulently appointed, member-only reality-proof bunker, but as long as they controlled the conversation, what had they to fear?

After all, if worse came to worse, Army Group Steiner would save them!  (From the late Steven Gilliard):
Army Group Steiner

How many doors? How many patrols? Will this ever end?

In Hitler's bunker, he repeatedly said that Army Group Steiner would rescue Berlin. The fact that Army Group Steiner was a ramshackle group of units and unable to save itself was of no concern to Hitler. In his mind, Army Group Steiner was the solution to the desperate straits of the German Army.
But once again, mighty Reality has rolled right over all of Mr. Brooks' pretty words and is closing in on him from all sides, the thud of its artillery close enough to dishevel Mr. Brooks' extensive lecture notes on humility and knock over his crates of unsold copies of "The Road to Character". 

And so once again we find Brooks the coward, Brooks the craven, Brooks the opportunist absenting himself from his own history and slinking away from the scene of a catastrophe he got rich helping to create.

But this time he is trying to do it by festooning his getaway car with Professional Left decals and hoping no one notices the layers of "Bush/Cheney" and "No Labels" bumper stickers underneath.

Which is hilarious.

Mr. Brooks in today's NYT:

The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus
OCT. 13, 2015

The House Republican caucus is close to ungovernable these days. How did this situation come about?

This was not just the work of the Freedom Caucus or Ted Cruz or one month’s activity. The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals. 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.

Welcome to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and the Freedom Caucus.

Really, have we ever seen bumbling on this scale, people at once so cynical and so na├»ve, 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!

People who don’t accept democracy will be bad at conversation. They won’t respect tradition, institutions or precedent. These figures are masters at destruction but incompetent at construction.

These insurgents are incompetent at governing and unwilling to be governed. But they are not a spontaneous growth. It took a thousand small betrayals of conservatism to get to the dysfunction we see all around.
In the +10 years I have spent documenting the various lies and denials of Mr. Brooks, never before has the Beltway Iron Rule of David Brooks been more true than it is today.

If I had to speculate about where Mr. Brooks and his entourage are headed next, I would guess he will, for a time, seek safe harbor in the space recently vacated by Andrew Sullivan (as explained by some Liberal blogger of ill repute):

Step 1:  Get a byline on a Big Media Platform.

Step 2:  Write a post repeating what Liberals have been saying for decades.
How Rush Limbaugh Decides What Is True
The talk-radio star explains his epistemology: True conservatives are always right.
Step 3:  Have your friends link to it.
Every now and again, a particularly rigid ideologue struts across the public stage. He may merely start out as a brawler or a comic or just a partisan, but eventually, as his awareness of his own ideological purity suffuses him, as the beauty of the eternal truth surrounds him, he doesn’t ever need to look beyond his own head for reality. He knows it all already. He knows it all instantly – in advance. He is the man Edmund Burke warned us about. His name is Rush Limbaugh and Conor Friedersdorf is his faithful, devastating scribe.
 Or, as one long-forgotten reprobate once put it...
Dear Future Generations,

You want to know what life was like for Liberals in America during my lifetime?
First they ignored you.
Then they laughed at you.
Then they fought you.
Then they got gigs in national magazines repeating as breathless epiphany things you had been saying for thirty years.

Steve M. over at "No More Mr. Nice Blog" adds several logs to the bonfire, including a very important reminder that, as recently as 2009, Mr. Brooks was pooh-poohing the whole idea that Rush Limbaugh had any influence on the Republican party, and warning that "cynical Democrats" would use this "myth" to cast aspersions and suchlike other ungentlemanly behaviors:
So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche -- even in the Republican Party....

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again.

... no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P.


Lawrence said...

And now Drudge is calling Paul Ryan a liberal. Better call Nancy, Speaker Boehner, while there's still time.

bowtiejack said...

Dead on.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

I don't think it's so much that the police finally noticed as it is that Mr. Brooks' World of Whigcraft needs a software patch. Once it's installed, we should be right back to hearing about the upcoming reasonable Republican restoration of righteousness.

Be seeing you.

keith gargus said...

Vindication for Driftglass and all the writers of the left. Unfortunately, I am sure Bobo will squirm out of his uncomfortable place, and be back, as right as rain, a few columns from now.

Robt said...

As the board game "Monopoly" as played gave insight to Ayn Rand without reading the books.
When does "Both-Sider-Bingo get released?
I recall your, Brooks get mugged and tries to report it story.

I have experienced some of this Bothsiderisn in the local paper opinion page.
Calling Benghazi Select Committee as, "Jockeying" as both sides are doing.
I think when the wealthy guy who bought the Republican rehab medicine and raise the price to from $10.00 to $4,000.00 a pill has allowed mental illness to grow out of control and is still in the infectious stage.
As the GOP ignore mental illness and defund most of its care. It is in fear they will end up in it's system as infected.
Same goes for mental illness regulations for guns. They are afraid they will be found mentally ill (as they seeem to be) and might have their gun taken away.

Unknown said...

Fantastic stuff here.

Bobo definitely owes Sully some royalties for this column - particularly the "butbutbut REAL CONSERVATISM (as defined by me and only me) is [boilerplate boring bullshit that self-described conservatives haven't consistently adhered to since at least the 50s] and these jerks are RUINING IT FOR ME!

But I don't see him ever totally breaking free from the Wurlitzer. Sullivan always had a toehold on the outside. Frum was cast aside like a trophy wife who lost her looks and would probably go right back in if invited. Brooks is too devoted to his ideology of sucking up to the powerful and castrating himself before the elites, and he threw his lot in with the GOP and won't easily accept that its higher brain functions are gone for good.

Bobo keeps his Reasonable Conservative membership current with the occasional column like this or by going after low hanging fruit like the Grifta from Wasilla, but the very moment the GOP shows even a hint of getting its shit together, he'll dive right back into the Kool-Aid pool and start lobbing spitballs at hippies again as if none of this unpleasantness ever happened. Like, if an establishment-acceptable candidate wins any of the early primaries, he'll immediately proudly declare that the True Conservatives have won the war and the GOP is again the party of ideas, while throwing some mendacious shade at Hillary. Just watch.

bowtiejack said...

Maybe history is really about repeatedly watching free-range sociopaths take way more than their fair share, whether we call them kings. dictators, hedge fund operators, Koch brothers, pharaohs, captains of industry, Walmart heirs, or whatever. To service these reptiles (for that is what they truly are, bereft of empathy), there always seems to an unlimited supply of sycophant rabbits ready to put people in ovens, cheat them out of their homes, or just loudly sing the praises of their patrons.
I won't feel the world has reached a proper balance until I see them all digging thru trash cans hunting for discarded pizza.

Redhand said...

Maybe "the Police" have started to notice, but in the Freedumb Cawcus the "Tea Party" goes on as per normal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipSZYgFVJvI

chrome agnomen said...

no true scotsman

Unknown said...

Steve M. goes full Driftglass here,


Getting pretty fashionable.



steeve said...

"The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals."

Intolerable. Not one bit of that made it into Brooks's columns. And it had every chance to, since it was SLOW. He basically fired himself in print and he still has a fucking job.

gedde@trope-a-dope.com said...

Ok, Drifty.

I've been a silent (so to speak) reader for years, and you've always been my David Brooks "go-to guy".

I don't think hell has frozen over quite yet, but it's getting damned chilly.

You and Blue Gal have a couple of well deserved adult beverages, on me.


Fritz Strand said...

BTW, there is a real club and David Brooks really is in it - The Chevy Chase Country Club.

Sam said...

Mr Brooks, this is just an automated call from you friendly neighborhood pharmacy to let you know that your Rx for the large economy size jar of Paxil is ready for pickup.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Tune in next week, when Bobo will assure us that Marco Rubio is just the kind of good old-fashioned competent conservative intellectual we have been waiting for, so it's alright now and you can go on voting for the GOP with a clear conscience, don't you worry!

New_Damage said...


New_Damage said...

Follow up: My stepdaughter recently purchased a hedgehog. It is a female. I have suggested the name "Spiny Norma," but there has been no decision yet.

Theo said...

Wow! I didn't realize Steve Gilliard's blog was still on-line!