Friday, March 25, 2016

David Brooks: The Great Project, Volume II -- The Panglossing

Pangloss gave instruction in metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology. He proved admirably that there cannot possibly be an effect without a cause and that in this best of all possible worlds the baron’s castle was the most beautiful of all castles and his wife the best of all possible baronesses. —It is clear, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end. Observe: noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breeched, and so we have breeches. . . . Consequently, those who say everything is well are uttering mere stupidities; they should say everything is for the best. 
-- Voltaire,  Candide
Longtime readers of this blog know of my ridiculously well-documented hypothesis that Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times has never practiced what the kids call "journalism" in any sense of the word, nor does he really write whatchacall "op-ed" columns.

Instead, the New York Times has employed Mr. David Brooks at heavy expense for the sole purpose of spinning comforting and imaginative fairy tales about a wholly imaginary "Republican Party" which exists as a collective hallucination in the minds of Mr. David Brooks, a few hundred other, lesser confidence men who live off of the same grift, a handful of extremely wealthy idiots who desperately want to believe what Mr. Brooks writes, and many thousands of cultural cowards who want to feign political sagacity while hiding out in the safe confines of the seemingly-indestructible Both Siderist bunker which Mr. Brooks has built for them.

Or, as one 100% unemployable Liberal degenerate once put it several thousand posts ago: is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.
You see, Mr. Brooks' relationship with the actual here-and-now here in America has always been a lot like Mr. Brooks' marriage:  a disaster Mr. Brooks which has been trying to get as far away from as humanly possible, because it is the graveyard of all his ridiculous postulating and pontificating about Man and God and Culture.  This is why Mr. Brooks has always reserved his biggest, gassiest lies for long paeans on the subject of Conservatism's amazing imaginary past -- which is always juuust out of sight in the Republican rear-view mirror -- and Conservatism's awesome imaginary future -- which is always juuust over the Republican horizon.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling Republican voters...

...who showed all of the wealthy chumps who have underwritten Mr. Brooks' Great Project exactly what Conservatism's awesome future actually looks like:

But Mr. Brooks is a resourceful parasite who learned long ago that by using the right combination of lies he can keep a profitable scam going long after it is readily apparent to virtually everyone (except the chumps) that he is full of shit.  This is because, however freaked out the wealthy chumps who have underwritten his claptrap for all these years may be by the utter collapse of everything David Brooks has ever promised them about the Bright Conservative Future That Is Just Around The Corner --
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.
-- they are so completely hostage to the Sunk Cost Fallacy that they have no choice but to go right on buying what David Brooks is selling:

And what gallon-jugs of high-end wingnut rotgut is David Brooks peddling to his desperate, Whig-drunk clientele today?

What else but another gargantuan time-jump in which we fly-fly-fly right over the inconveniently incriminating here-and-now and into that Bright Conservative Future which David Brooks swears, by God and Emile Durkheim, is still Just Around The Corner...
The Post-Trump Era  
As awful as Donald Trump is, it will be exciting to witness the coming re-creation of the Republican Party. 
Yes, you too can get in on the ground floor of this Exciting!Investment!Opportunity! made possible by the complete immolation of the last Exciting!Investment!Opportunity! Mr. Brooks conned you into buying:
This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete.
Really?  Decades you say?  Wow.  That sure is a long time.  Funny that, after all this time, no one but David Brooks has noticed this.
Now along comes Donald Trump, an angel of destruction, to blow it all to smithereens. He represents not only a rejection of the existing Reaganite establishment, but also a rejection of Reaganite foreign policy (he is less globalist) and Reaganite domestic policy (he is friendlier to the state).

Trumpism will not replace Reaganism, though. Trump is prompting what Thomas Kuhn, in his theory of scientific revolutions, called a model crisis.
Honestly, I thought a "model crisis" was when one candidate's team posts semi-nude photos of another candidate's wife from her modeling days and then the other candidate insults the first candidate's wife. and then the first candidate gets all puffy about how wives and kids are off limits you "sniveling coward" and it becomes the lead story in every fucking newspaper and cable teevee show in America which is fucking hilarious when you consider that unhinged racist slandering of Michelle Obama every day for the last seven fucking years has been the basic wingnut vocabulary of the Conservative movement which David Brooks continues to assures his wealthy marks is definitely not racist and is definitely gonna turn that corner any day now!

But what do I know?  I'm just a dumb ol' Libtard.

Mr. Brooks continues explaining what awesome amenities the Bright Conservative Future will have if we don't go doing anything stupid now, like firing David Brooks for fraud and rank incompetence:
The second step is probably embedding: going out and seeing America again with fresh eyes and listening to American voices with fresh ears...
Sure, the last time David Brooks managed to carve out a few weeks between TED talks and book leaves to walk the Earth on the New York Time's dime, he elected to hook up with a $120,000 globetrotting cultural dilettante tour among the 1% where he enduring the privations of the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet by stoically looking out of his balcony and musing about the plight of the "pathological dualist" who "can’t reconcile his humiliated place in the world with his own moral superiority."

But this time, David Brooks swears that if you don't fire him, at least once a year he will fly out to Iowa or Idaho or Illinois or some other godforsaken post-Atlas Shrugged wasteland and actually ask some shit-kicking peasant living in the rubble of a Ford assembly plant what he thinks of Edmund Burke.  That is a solemn promise.
That’s where the G.O.P. is heading. So this is a moment of anticipation. The great question is not, Should I vote for Hillary or sit out this campaign? The great question is, How do I prepare now for the post-Trump era?

The first step clearly is mental purging: casting aside many existing mental categories and presuppositions, to shift your identity from one with a fixed mind-set to one in which you are a seeker and open to anything... 
This is a moment for honesty. Valuably, Trump has exposed the rottenness of the consultant culture, and the squirrelly way politicians now talk to us...

This is also a moment for redefined compassion...

...Somehow the Republican Party will have to rediscover a language of loving thy neighbor, which is a primary ideal in our culture, and a primary longing of the heart.

It might be time to invest in Émile Durkheim neckties, because today’s problems relate to binding a fragmenting society, reweaving family and social connections...
Translation:  David Brooks wants to go on being your cult leader.  He has your new uniform all picked out.
We’re going to have two parties in this country. One will be a Democratic Party that is moving left. The other will be a Republican Party. Nobody knows what it will be, but it’s exciting to be present at the re-creation.
Because when you are as rich and permanently insulated from all the disasters you have helped create as David Brooks, then everything really is always for the best, in this best of all possible worlds:


Mister Roboto said...

A very pedestrian attempt at polishing a turd on the part of Our Mr. Brooks.

marindenver said...

Brooks has entered the delusional phase of his dementia.

Unknown said...

When I saw Bobo's latest pile of word vomit excerpted at Pierce's place and elsewhere, I immediately started anticipating the driftglass treatment it would receive. This does not disappoint.

Of course, all Bobo is really saying, buried in all that earnest word salad, is:

"Attention Frank Luntz. Paging Frank Luntz. You are needed in the control room. The dissembling propaganda needs an update, STAT."

All Bobo and his benefactors and wannabes want is for the GOP to figure out a new thesaurus of empty talking points and platitudes it can deploy to keep conning the rubes and yokels into voting for the "starve the poor and shower the rich with additional yachts" economic policies. Which are not going to change, Trumpocalypse be damned.

Patricia said...

Something tells me Mr. Brooks spends a LOT of time with his dick in his palm.

Unknown said...

I knew you'd like David's latest column.

I think it actually is the most deluded one he's ever written.

He's already post-Trump. His time machine is growing more powerful.

Redhand said...

Great post Driftglass. It is rather remarkable that DFB is giving up the GOP ghost months before the convention, much less the election. It's sort of like looking at the books of a company and even as a layperson being able to see that the business is totally bankrupt.

(No worries: DFB has a solution. "Let's just buy the rights to the name, and create a completely new entity that we can still call the company. It'll be really exciting! Pay no attention to the fact that we have nothing to sell.)

What I'm now about to say is a little "off" but appropriate, at least to me. I was searching for a theme song to Die Trump Bewegung, and settled on one where you only have to invert the polarity of the politics and substitute "Donald Trump" for "Mao Tse Tung" (and the Rev. Jim Jones!) to grasp fully the madness that is the sovereign citizen, Second Amendment lovin', anarchistic and racist right wing in this country.

Sample Mao Tse Tung Said by Alabama 3, the folks who brought us the Theme from The Sopranos. It's even better live, where the crowd reminds me of a Trump "rally." Yeeeee Haw!

Not to be missed is the little speech at the end of the live clip, where the sarcasm of the song is revealed. Of course, the pig people at the Trump rallies are deadly serious.

Robt said...

The Brooks virus;

Contagious to only certain portions of the population.
Symptoms of short term memory, Shameful denial, Remorseful ignorance and imagined high levels of disorientated hate. Are typical and all symptoms left untreated progresses into aggressive blaming and urges to punish others for relief of conscience.

As stated;

".it is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks."

The brooks Illness delusion of fever;
The infection in Kansas has reached epidemic proportions under Gov. Brownback. As reported. Yet, ignored by the Brooks disease infected.

--"Conservatives assured the cuts would somehow generate $323 million in new revenue, but in actuality, they produced a $688 million loss. In desperation, the state tried to close the gap by selling adult industry toys, seized from a business that owed back taxes to the state. “Just boxes and boxes of dildos,” emphasized Meyers.---

The Brooks disease also attacks the morality of the vulnerable selected weak immune system of certain vulnerable humans. It causes a mental superiority complex that relieves a imagined pain when abusive power displays are followed through resulting in the glee of punishing others. Like a sociopathic child that tortures frogs and other animals to their death.

The Bothsiderism becomes an excuse that the disease infected seems to accept where the healthy non infected do not.
Case examples;

Republican exemptions,
---Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley admitted Wednesday he made “inappropriate” comments to his chief advisor.

---Michigan Gov. displays symptoms of Brooks disease over Flint.

Why the President doesn't declare a state of emergency nationwide by calling out the CDC is beyond negligent and may be attributed to being under the Grooks infection, himself. For not taking stronger actions.

DrBB said...

today’s problems relate to binding a fragmenting society, reweaving family and social connections

In other words--and as always and ever with David Fucking Brooks--our real problems are all things off in the vague and fuzzy realm of moral suasion and stuff, not stuff we can use our political system and government to correct, but susceptible only to moral suasion and stern pontification. Nothing to do with the corrosive effects of unfettered darwininian capitalism and massively underfunded social goods like, I dunno, schools, public transportation and the like.

RUKidding said...

So this column sounds like DFB is wandering between the Bargaining stage of grieving and the Acceptance stage of grieving.

Or perhaps it could just be called: the GOP is Dead! Long live the GOP!

Nice how neatly DFB determines that the GOP phoenix will arise mightily out of the ashes of the great debacle that has been the building of this monstrosity called "conservatism" in the Yew Ess Aaay, although what's truly "conservative" about the GOP is anyone's guess, including the guess of DFB.

It does appear, though, that DFB's future plans are to continue to remain as firmly unhinged from reality as he is now.

Another way to look at this column is that it is a resume that he's pitching to his next prospective sponsor-patrons. It's all: lookee here! I can sell your sh*t, too, as if it's really shinola! Great experience. Inquire within. I'm for hire just like those hook.. er women down the street there. Just a little higher priced is all, but still a cheap date if you'll invite me to your cocktail parties.

bluicebank said...

Shorter David Brooks: "It's going to be one hell of a fire sale."

Or, "Crazy Eddie's prices are insane!"

Eventually the fraud is investigated by ... no one.

Eileen Gunn said...

Why do I think this column is fallout from a counseling session in which DFB whined about how his personal life has turned to shit, and the counselor tried to cheer him up, saying he was turning the corner to a glorious new era of freedom? -- Oh, right: because that's clearly been the source of his columns for the last 18 months.

trgahan said...

"...going out and seeing America again with fresh eyes and listening to American voices with fresh ears..."

As long as he uses his NTY expense account for gas, food, and tolls, I will personally drive David across this great nation of ours in January 2017 so he can live up to his promise and see conservative voters with a networth under $5 million "...rediscover a language of loving thy neighbor..." when faced with four more years of a Democratic President.

How contemptuously dismissive David is toward actual conservative voters. His article equates Trump's ascendance as some ex-martial tryst by Republican voters that they will work out of their system after November and they will come back home, hat in hand, and ask their reasonable, intellectual conservative wife to take them back.

Robt said...

How long can Brooks hold out until he crosses over to the Trump conservatism conversion?

You know it is coming? Brooks is placing pebbles on a path to walk to Trumpism as we speak.

kilo50 said...

Its Friday and here in Pac Time I am already half drunk, but even in this state I can tell that whole vomit of column that DG so eloquently and bravely parses, is a clear example that while David fucking Brooks is self-aware he sure can't let on that he knows just how fucked up and fucked the GOP is. His previous Job-like lament is now not forgotten, just polished up a bit. His philosophy is still a turd. Just with a little shine to it.

MCPlanck said...

Spot on, DG.

Fiddlin Bill said...

Didn't I see this column in The Big Short the other night? "This is not my beautiful wife..."

Gib Primeau said...

Hahaha that is awesome and probably so spot-on.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning and Happy Easter, Mr. Glass.

Okay, you surprised me with this one. I admit it. I don't think I've ever seen Buck (Brooks?) Rogers INTENTIONALLY go into suspended animation as a means of entering the future.


Be seeing you.