Tuesday, January 26, 2016

David Brooks: Waiting For The Miracle



The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase.

-- David Brooks, November 5, 2014.
Of course, Cotton is a lunatic in his own right, but the larger lesson remains that David Brooks Is Always Wrong.

Always, always, always.

Which brings us to today's column in which, for the 1,000th time, Mr. Brooks takes what is obviously an exclusively Republican problem -- the off-the-charts demagogic toxicity of the Republicans running for president -- and desperately tries like Hell to pound it... (emphasis added)
In January of 2017 someone will stand at the U.S. Capitol and deliver an Inaugural Address. This is roughly the place where Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan once stood. I am going to spend every single day between now and then believing that neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Bernie Sanders will be standing on that podium.
...and pound it...
...I know what the polling evidence is telling us about Trump, Sanders and Cruz, but there are good reasons to cling to my disbelief.
...and pound it...
But that candidate has to be broadly acceptable to all parts of the party. Trump, Cruz and Sanders are not.
...and pound it...
...the Trump and Sanders turnout problems are real.
...and pound it...
...America has never elected a candidate maximally extreme from the political center, the way Sanders and Cruz are.
...and pound it...
Not Trump, Cruz or Sanders has any remote chance of turning his ideas, such as they are, into actual laws.
...into a big, sad, misshapen lump of Both Siderism.  Which -- surprise! -- also happens to serve as yet another unpaid campaign ad for Republican wind-up talking-point dispenser, Marco Rubio:
...sooner or later the candidates from the governing wing of their parties will get their acts together. Marco Rubio has had a bad month, darkening his tone and trying to sound like a cut-rate version of Trump and Cruz.

Before too long Rubio will realize his first task is to rally the voters who detest or fear those men...
But for the first time in memory, the potent boiler-maker combination of Mr, Brooks' natural cowardice and the very public collapse of his entire shitty ideology has pushed him to the point of actually admitting that what his job as a New York Times columnist is to spin comforting fairy tales for a handful of wealthy Beltway idiots who have used their money and power to wall themselves off from the reality they have created:
...neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Bernie Sanders will be standing on that podium. One of them could win the election, take the oath, give the speech and be riding down Pennsylvania Avenue. I will still refuse to believe it.
...

In every recent presidential election American voters have selected the candidate with the most secure pair of hands. They’ve elected the person who would be a stable presence and companion for the next four years. I believe they’re going to do that again. And if they’re not, please allow me a few more months of denial.
You mean decades of denial, Mr. Brooks.  Decades.  Because as I have documented in at-times-stultifying detail on this blog over the last 11 years, Mr. Brooks'  business is denial.

And a very profitable business it has been, too.  An business which depends entirely on every one of his colleagues to keep right on genially pretending that he is a brilliant yet 'umble sage whose insights are worth noting and whose good opinion is worth courting.

We are long past the point where the mere fact of Mr. Brooks' very public and ongoing failure at the basic task of not-making-shit-up-and-fucking-up-constantly should be surprising to anyone.  Rather, it is the sheer size and scope of the confederacy of complicity and denial which must exist in order to keep frauds like him propped up and prosperous that I find intriguing.

Who know?  Maybe some dark evening I'll run into one of Mr. Brooks' sidekicks like Mark Shields or E.J. Dionne at a bar or on the street.  And I can invited them to have a lively discussion about the role of the media, journalistic ethics, the history of fonts or some other interesting thing...




Update: Yastreblyansky (a noble and constant watcher on the Brooks Wall) does a fine job of cutting down the tree from a different angle:
The difference is that the Democrats have a candidate who can gather a majority, though there are no doubt a lot of people who don't like her very much (Brooks doesn't mention Clinton's name in the column, since even hinting at her existence would fundamentally wreck the argument he's stitching together), and the Republicans don't. Though Brooksy continues to hope he can personally take care of that (strictly speaking he's past denial and anger and into bargaining by now) by making Cuban Heels Rubio his Mini-Me...

16 comments:

Fonscy said...

You will love this.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-conservative-intelligentsia/

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

Photoshop idea if you want it: That Daily News cover reading "God isn't fixing this" from a few months back? Go with "The reasonable Republicans aren't fixing this" in response to Mr. Brooks' eternal hope for a Reagan Ex Machina.

While I'm here, remember when Time Magazine called Mr. Rubio the "Republican savior?"

https://www.google.com/search?q=marco+rubio+time+savior+gop&btnG=Search&hl=en&gbv=1&tbm=isch

Be seeing you.

OBS said...

neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Bernie Sanders will be standing on that podium.

We now know that one of those guys is guaranteed the presidency.

trgahan said...

"Before too long Rubio will realize his first task is to rally the voters who detest or fear those men..."

Note to David: those voters are called liberals/Democrats/or just not Republicans (or whatever bullshit "Don't call me a Republican!" party Republicans made up after the Nixon and/or Bush (both daddy and son) Presidencies).

Is David suggesting Rubio switch parties mid primary to get voters?

bowtiejack said...

"And a very profitable business it has been, too."

It seems to me that it's as if 'umble David and Butcher Bill Kristol are Division Managers in a company where their divisions sell tainted food items and they are still promoted and outlandishly bonused because their customers and employers like the TASTE.

Same principle applies to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. The fact that all of their products are bad for you (i.e stupid and wrong) doesn't matter because the customers like the TASTE.

It's the first rule of propaganda redux -
"Avoid abstract ideas - appeal to the emotions."
[Abstract ideas including things like facts, grammar, syntax, metaphor and logic at which, alas, you excel.]

Or to paraphrase Duke Lester from the film version of Tobacco Road as he repeatedly damages a new car in accidents, "Being wrong don't affect the running!"

Robt said...


"In every recent presidential election American voters have selected the candidate with the most secure pair of hands. They’ve elected the person who would be a stable presence and companion for the next four years."
**********************************

Now Brooks has me on the edge of denial. For I do not perceive Brooks'
as endorsing 3 recent Dem. candidates as Obama or Bill Clinton.

O have this nasty naty fly buzz in my ears that Brooks means GW Bush was the most stable hands? That he did not promote Clinton nor Obama as the "stabilizing force" before, during or after elected.

How does Brooks come to reality terms when his inherited elite perceived relevance of steady ship captain was not accepted by Americans when it came to McCain or Romney?
Brooks will contend that GOP voter suppression had to be done to provide his version of the (Stable hands shoveling horse shit for the superior race).

The delusional phenomenon of denial Brooks will endure until time runs out perhaps will repent as so many before him. Only when it is too late.

As Paul Weyrich is a great role model for Brooks.

Lit3Bolt said...

What David Brooks needs to have repeated to him daily, every minute, of every day, for every year of the rest of his miserable sybaritic life, is this:

The Republicans tarnished their own brand nationally so badly that the United States of America voted for a bastard son of a Kenyan immigrant

not once,

but TWICE.

And now it looks like they will insure the election of either the first female President or first self-declared socialist as well,

not once,

but TWICE.

So while David Brooks imagines himself as standing over the destroyed Bridge Over the River Kwai, mumbling "Madness! Madness!"....

...everyone knows that the true anthem he and the Republican Establishment are singing is this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Gd4BkJFDQ

Unstoppable mystical societal forces summoned from The Great Dark Beyond are always responsible,

but not David Brooks.

Lonnie Harris said...

Brooks merely throws Sanders in to keep his desperate hopes of a Jeb comeback alive. He just wants you to close your eyes and chant along with him.

rickstersherpa@msn.com said...

First, George W. Bush Mr. Brooks? Oh, I forgot you are right, Al Gore got the most votes.

Second, Martin Longman (a/k/a Booman), goes full Driftglass on he Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog. See http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2016_01/why_silver_was_wrong_about_tru059403.php

Finally, I give up on people reading things with nuance. TNC pointed out Hilary's unthinking acceptance of the Neo-Confederate "Dunning" school, which dominated the teaching of the Civil War and Reconstruction for most of the 20th century. However, he did not say no true liberal or Black man or woman could vote for Hilary or Bernie because of their gaffes and blindspots, but rather vote for these imperfect human beings over the much worse alternative while pressing them to be better.

Jimbo said...

We can't do anything about the Red States and their tendency to vote awful people to Congress. Their state legislatures make sure that Democrats are at a severe voting disadvantage and then Democrats don't vote for Blue Dog candidates so the GOP get elected. But the Presidency is a much bigger deal and has been a big deal since WW II. So, the broader electorate finally realizes that electing madmen and extremists as Presidents with the current and foreseeable Congress is essentially the destruction of the country. (Okay we can hope for a marginally Democratic Senate but that is too much of a risk to bet on a Gooper President. Secretly, Bobo understands that and probably understands that even sad sack JEB! Would be a very dangerous President in a outr as complex as ours.

Chris G said...

If Brooks pounds it any harder he'll go blind.

Frank Shannon said...

Apropos of this http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/qotd-nate-silver.html I think it is possible you may be wrong about how well the Republican elites know their chumps. Maybe they believe those chumps are so stupid that Donald Trump cannot do any lasting damage to the brand. Frighteningly they might be right.

Kevin S said...

Nobody makes my skin crawl as much as Brooks. His stuttering, pompous Mr. Magoo voice, the stupid annoying constant smirk on his doughboy face, his little round, intellectual eyeglasses. His babbling nonsense. Did I mention his ugly, begging for a punch face?


I've noticed in my local paper that he's coming to my city to give a little breakfast speech, "offering witty and insightful observations" and the "need for character and commitment". All for the bargain low price of $125.00, yes that's right $125.00! And I'm sure it will be sold out too.

Robt said...

Think Brooks sees Scott Walker, Jindal, Ms. Lindsey and sees the unsteady hands of cold turkey.?
The wobbling hands of the Dr. Carson while withdrawing from Sominex.


After reading some of Brooks LSD tripping on religion.

When it comes to both siderism (duel trifecta)

Does God and Satan both do it?

bluicebank said...

"One of them could win the election, take the oath, give the speech and be riding down Pennsylvania Avenue. I will still refuse to believe it."

By DFB standards, a psychologist would call this progress. Only fifteen thousand sessions left to go.

New_Damage said...

In every recent presidential election American voters have selected the candidate with the most secure pair of hands. They’ve elected the person who would be a stable presence and companion for the next four years.

Thus defining "recent presidential election" as being every one held since and including 2008.