Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Imaginary Whigs Assemble! -- Update

David Brooks' Whig Fan Fiction alternate history project just went from bed-wetting pathetic to completely unhinged in one spectacular jump.
Time for a Republican Conspiracy!

Reality-based conservatives should mobilize against the hijacking of our party.

Members of the Republican governing class are like cowering freshmen at halftime of a high school football game. Some are part of the Surrender Caucus, sitting sullenly on their stools resigned to the likelihood that their team is going to get crushed. Some are thinking of jumping ship to the Trump campaign with an alacrity that would make rats admire and applaud.

Rarely has a party so passively accepted its own self-destruction...

The idea that most women, independents or mainstream order-craving suburbanites would back a guy who declares his admiration for Vladimir Putin is a mirage. The idea that the G.O.P. can march into the 21st century intentionally alienating every person of color is borderline insane.

Worse is the prospect that one of them might somehow win...
Shorter David Brooks:  Oh my holy stars and bars!  When did the Republican Party fill up with all these...Republicans!


And so in an act of bravery rarely seen outside of "Beetle Bailey" cartoons, Mr. Brooks has taken up the Horn of Whig Clammyhand to sound the alarm




Mr. Brooks continues:
So maybe it’s time for governing Republicans to actually do something. Yes, I’m talking to you state legislators, or local committeepersons, or members of Congress and all your networks of donors and supporters. If MoveOn can organize, if the Tea Party can organize, if Justin Bieber can build a gigantic social media movement, why are you incapable of any collective action at all?

What’s needed is a grass-roots movement that stands for governing conservatism, built both online and through rallies, and gets behind a single candidate sometime in mid- to late February...
That's right Councilman Jamm

And Councilman Dexhart

It is up to you and all of your fellow imaginary Reasonable Republican alderpersons and state senators and mosquito abatement district directors to immediately drop whatever the hell you are doing, get off your asses and form a sophisticated 50-state, web-based, grass-roots movement Right Now!  A movement so formidable, well-financed, well-managed and laser-focused that it will not only blow Cruz and Trump completely out of the water (without somehow alienating their millions of  loyal followers), but will also simultaneously transform a 98 pound electoral weakling like, say, John Kasich overnight into a sustainable political firestorm so mightily thewed that he can jump to the front of the Republican line and stay there.

And it all has to get done within the next month and a half.


Everyone who has ever worked in I.T. has had users like this.  They tear into your office at long past the 11th hour, asking/demanding/threatening that you use the Sorcery Powers of Technology to immediately and completely solve a problem that they created and that they have been blown off and let fester for months or years.  

Which is why every I.T. shop I ever worked in had some variation of this sign hanging up somewhere where the troops could see it:

But it gets better,

Mr. Brooks continues:
This new movement must come to grips with two realities. First, the electorate has changed. Less-educated voters are in the middle of a tidal wave of trauma...

Second, the Republican Party is not as antigovernment as its elites think it is. Its members no longer fit into the same old ideological categories...
Actually, this new movement must come to grips with three realities, the third of which is that this new movement will never exist except as the desperate, masturbatory projection of the stunted imagination of the one of the worst hacks in American journalism.

One of the worst hacks in American journalism continues:
Years ago, reform conservatives were proposing a Sam’s Club Republicanism, which would actually provide concrete policy ideas to help the working class, like wage subsidies, a higher earned-Income tax credit, increased child tax credits, subsidies for people who wanted to move in search of work and exemption of the first $20,000 in earnings from the Medicaid payroll tax. This would be a conservatism that emphasized social mobility at the bottom, not cutting taxes at the top.

Maybe it’s time a center-right movement actually offered that agenda...
Actually,  such a center-right movement already exists and has already been trying for years to improve the lives and opportunities of the poor and the working class.  It's called "The Democratic Party" and -- spoiler alert! -- they could have made so much more progress in helping the poor and the working class had Mr. Brooks' Republican Party not made an absolute fetish out of blocking them at any cost every single fucking time they tried.

You know, as America's leading Brooksologist, after Mr. Brooks tipped his hand with a SparkNotes version of this hysteria on The New Hour on Friday, I had a pretty good idea that this was the long, crazy corridor down which he would be caroming today.

And so, to be honest, at the moment I have nothing much to add to the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of essays I have already pissed away into the abyss over the last 11 years, accurately deconstructing the descent of the GOP into raving barbarianism and the accompanying simpering, willful denialism and craven careerism which Mr. Brooks and his wealthy collaborators in the mainstream press have tarted up to look like Very Serious Conservative Public Intellectualism.

People like David Brooks got rich building this party, step by step, column by column.  Their movement crippled  this country and immiserated its weakest and most helpless citizens, and now that the madness they helped unleash has turned on them, I have no tears left for poor David Brooks, sniveling safely behind the wall of money which his career as a Conservative propagandist has provided.  

Instead, I'll laugh my ass off for another few minutes, finish up this post, and then get back to what I have been doing almost every day for the last seven years: gleaning the want-ads and the online job-boards to find any job that will help me and my family work our way back into the working class.

Update:  The American Conservative underscores the yawning chasm between the wishful thinking of Mr. Brooks' pathetic Whig fan fiction and the hard and ugly realities roiling at the heart of the Republican party:

...Even if there were enough time over the next few weeks to do what Brooks suggests, there is no agreement on which “establishment” candidate such a “movement” ought to back. What Brooks proposes would be the very definition of an “astroturf” movement designed to stymie and thwart the two leading candidates for the nomination. It would be seen for exactly what it is: a last-minute attempt by the people that have presided over decades of poor Republican leadership to retain control of a party whose members are sick of them. It would fail, and it should.
Near the end of his column, Brooks asserts:
There’s a silent majority of hopeful, practical, programmatic Republicans.
That seems to be wrong as a matter of fact. Trump and Cruz supporters account for more than 50% of Republicans nationally. Throw in Carson supporters, and you’re getting close to two-thirds. The majority of Republicans isn’t interested in what Brooks is selling, and an eleventh-hour “conspiracy” against the voters isn’t going to change that.

Or, as I wrote five long years ago...

Well Into Their 117th Trimesters 
David Brooks and David Frum both suddenly decide they really don't want to keep Reagan's baby...


Benjamin Feddersen said...

"Actually, such a center-right movement already exists and has already been trying for years to improve the lives and opportunities of the poor and the working class. It's called 'The Democratic Party'."

David Brooks, closeted Clinton Democrat.

Jerry B said...

I see chickens...and a roost.

Jonathan Bonanno said...

Closeted for sure. Perhaps if he ever got out he would be a Clinton Democrat.

bowtiejack said...

Brilliant stuff. Really just brilliant.
I don't know how you do it but you just keep getting better. Practice I guess.

And on the subject of Brooks, D., and the large posse of similar "journalists" -
Do you remember that Monty Python sketch about "The Twit of the Year Competition"? People without a clue about anything firmly upholstered and protected from reality by their sense of entitlement whilst making fools of themselves?

I wonder, if like Petya Rostov in War and Peace, they will only realize at the end that people with real bullets are now shooting at them - they whom everybody loves and ass kisses and asks on all the talk shows. How did it come to this they may wonder. But on the other hand that would require insight and awareness, so naw, probably not.

Davis Statton said...

He somehow thinks that Republican state legislatures are where the moderate Republicans are. Wow.

trgahan said...

Wow, David...that Upper East Side holiday cocktail party season must have been BRUTAL this past year. Probably nothing worse than wealthy/connected liberals being able to laugh at you in front of the people that pay your salary.

Habitat Vic said...

Davis Statton,

Wow indeed, as to DFB thinking state-level Repubs are the moderates. Sheesh. As much as it pains me, I must say the Repubs took the effective long view wrt getting political power. All those right wing true-believing men/women who got elected to school boards and small town councils back in the late 80s (along with Dem dismissal of their elections with eye-rolling and "well, its just another conservative crazy at the local level"), eventually moved up to State Reps and even Governors, with some moving on to the US Congress.

I've had friends ask me where on earth the Conservative crazies came from in Wisconsin (Gov Walker, Rep Grothman, Paul Ryan, etc). Part of the answer is they've been there all along, but the other part of the answer is that they've been coming up strongly from the grass roots local level for decades.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Where was Mr. Brooks when moderates like me were driven from the Republican Party in the first place? During the purity RINO purges of the 1990s and Dubya years?


keith gargus said...

Behind Bobo's ludicrous column (grass roots moderates? jumbo shrimp?) is the sudden recognition that the Trump/Cruz neofascist remake of the GOP has no place for him. Like Grima Wormtongue, he'll be cast out with no place to go. I'd like to say it was nice knowing you Brooks, but that would be a lie.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Like Grima Wormtongue, he'll be cast out with no place to go.

"Stabbed him in his sleep, I believe. Buried him, I hope, though Worm has been very hungry lately."

John MacCuish said...

I just can't wait for those silent majority rallies -- they'll be so quiet.

Robt said...

Amen from an Atheist.

Brooks facing the Trump and Cruz era of GOP insanity must see his replacement.
A Breitbart Tea Potter or perhaps Sarah Palin's (hold virginity for marriage) daughter. Writing with crayons and in the Real Murikan speak. Writing in the language of the duck mudder.
It makes you wonder if the NYT Op ed Brooks to put on display the conservative Bellevue mental patient escapee, Koch Bros puppet neurosis.

Even if the Ghost of Molly Ivins showed Brooks a path to sanity, the schizophrenia that possesses his feet would deny any first step. Brooks is simply auditioning to the Big GOP donors that are besides themselves for not being able to control their Rush Mind numbed Robots. They paid long and well to nurture these mushroom republican voters

The Gremlin was fed after midnight and now afoot.!

islandmike said...

DB should have checked in the with Koch brothers about 20+ years ago and asked them (and their assorted minions) to please not impregnate as many local governments (at all levels) as possible with their caustic thought-semen as the offspring would turn out to be tempestuous punks who would take the Republican family car out and drunk-drive down the interstate at 90 miles an hour on the wrong side of the road...

Dave McCarthy said...

Just a minor quibble: I think Brooks is one of the BEST hacks in American journalism....

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I fear I will bankrupt myself buying the brain bleach I need every time I see that David & David pregnancy pic. *vomits*

Anonymous said...

Brooks' grip on reality is getting more and more tentative lately. May be time for him to have a little reality check visit with his shrink.

Another great read dg. Thank you.