Friday, March 18, 2016

David Brooks: The Sword and The Shield

And I beheld Trump's mighty army crossing the wasteland of the American Dream, armed and ready to do Trump's bidding.

In their Right hand they wielded a great Sword called Ignorance, Bigotry and Rage which had been forged in the fires of Fox News and Hate Radio.  With it they mowed down fact and science and history just as they had been taught to do by Rush and Sean and Erik and Greta and Mark and Anne and Bloody Bill and the Other Bill and Dinesh on and on and on.  With it they decapitated their own past and buried it without breaking rank or stride, as they had been taught to do when they burned their Bush Administration team jackets and took up the Tea Party colors.

And on they came.

In their Left hand, they bore a strange Shield inscribed with the most potent Beltway magic conjure words of all: "Both Sides...".  It was thin and frail-looking, but had been so cunningly fitted together by the wealthiest artisans of the Beltway out of bits of "The extremes on the Right and the Left" and "If only Barack Obama would lead" that it easily deflected any payload of reality or reason no matter how powerful or sturdily constructed.  With it they flicked away all criticism , appeals to reason, and general dumbfoundedness at the bullshit they believed, just as they had been taught to do by David and the Other David and the Other Other David and the Other Other Other David and Ron and Good Ol' Joe and the Other Joe and Cokie and Mark and Tom and Pickled Peggy and Ramesh and Kathleen and Chuck and Hugh and Ross and Newt! and Every Single Fucking Mealworm Employed By The No Labels Scam and on and on and on and on and on.

"The Kenyan Usurper is the Divider in Chief and Libruls are the real racists!" they roared, and on they came.

Precisely as predicted here in the more rustic precincts of the despised and rebuked Left, Trump rose from the filthy, fertile breeding ground the Republican party has spend the last 20 years composting with fear and loathing and money.

As predicted, every time the high-dollar con men the ruling class employs to spin fairy tales of Burke and Whigs and sweet, sweet Centrism insisted that Trump would gradually weaken, Trump's army got stronger, thanks to the Sword the Right has given them and the Shield the Center had given them

As predicted, Trump easily sidestepped the ridiculous Maginot Line which the high-dollar, soft-handed, Very Reasonable con men the ruling class employs to spin fairy tales of Burke and Whigs and sweet, sweet Centrism threw together to stop his advance.  Trump's army whittled the Beltway's sputtering volleys of "but...but...but..." to splinters with the great Sword of  Ignorance, Bigotry and Rage Trump's army , and Trump's army effortlessly parried the Beltway's pleading to for fuck's sake come to your senses and quit tearing up our country club by their clever Shield of Both Siderism

"Both Sides are to blame!"  they raved.  "So we must burn it all down!"

And on they came.

And now, that Trump has done all the things David Brooks swore he could never do at the head of an army of fire-eyed Republican meatheads that David Brooks swore could not exist,  Mr. Brooks has written a column so redolent with the stink of begging and fear and schadenfreude that it almost defies analysis.  Suffice it to say, Mr. Brooks really, really, really wants someone to come along and save him from the beast he has been feeding for 20 years.
Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.
A beast he promised over and over again to that small clutch of wealthy men who underwrite his idiocy and protect him from harm was thoroughly saddle-broke and ready to be ridden like Ann Romney's prized Lipizzaner right back into the White House.

A beast that has now kicked the barn door off its hinges and is currently stomping their carefully laid plans for oligarchy to bits.

So today David Brooks wrote a very special column.

It was not a column explaining that the Republican party  -- his Republican party, his Conservative movement -- really is just a festering cesspit of paranoia and bigotry and fury, because he has already written himself into an inescapable corner by writing so many columns over so many years swearing that this was not so.

And it certainly was not a column saying the simplest, and most obvious truth of all -- that the Left was right about the Right all along -- because on that day the small clutch of wealthy men who have subsidized his Whig Fan Fiction Factory for years would cast him down from his high  place and leave him unprotected to the predations of the job market.  Were that to happen, Mr. Brooks would not last a week.

Instead, Mr, Brooks has written a letter of supplication to that small clutch of wealthy men, begging them to let him keep his job as the Greatest Conservative Public Intellectual in Murrica.  Promising to do better next time.
Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.
Ah, but David, when was your job ever to "report accurately on this country"?  You're not a journalist.  You tell lies for a living.  Your lies are not as hot and violent as Trump's, but you and he are basically in the same racket.  You make a princely living trafficking in fairy tales about "real America" that comfort and flatter the thousands of Beltway insiders and cosseted plutocrat rubes you hustle every week, and Trump is paving a path to the White House by telling millions of low-information rubes the flattering, reassuring lies that they want to hear.

Same scam, different chumps, except Trump's chumps are ecstatic, rage-drunk and armed with mighty weapons which you helped to forge, while your chumps are freaking out and terrified because the Plutocrat Potemkin vision of America you sold them is being overrun by hordes of rage-drunk, invincibly-armored visigoths you told them did not exist.

It's not merely that you got this wrong, Mr. Brooks.  It's that you have gotten everything wrong, over and over again, for decades.

And it is long past time for you to go.

...and mention things that Mr. Brooks the past!


Update -- Il Douche responds:


bluicebank said...

I had to kill the engine and drop both anchors when Brooks penned:

"His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out."

It's always projection with these people.

Unknown said...

Outstanding work, as usual.

David f'ing Brooks finally admits that he has not, in fact, spent time at the Applebee's Salad Bar, making sure he is in touch with the flyover Middle Americans that he pretends to admire but quite obviously disdains and wouldn't spit on if they were on fire.

Of course, no one who has paid attention to David f'ing Brooks as he's spewed vast mountains of bullshit is surprised. Maybe he is. He's been at it so long, he may have thought the comforting lies he was telling his paymasters were truly vast passels of earnest wisdom. After all, that's the excuse people use now to wave away the Bush Administration's similarly large pile of lies about WMDs and mushroom clouds: "oh sure, it ended up being bullshit, but the BELIEVED it when they said it, so you know, whatever." George Bush, being a clueless simpleton, may have believed it. His neocon puppetmasters certainly knew they were lying and didn't give a shit as long as they got the war they'd spent years having erotic dreams about.

Perhaps ol' BoBo started believing his bullshit. Years of praise from totebaggers and centrists and (gag!) invitations to rap sessions at the White House from the president from the other party, whom BoBo was constantly undermining with his comforting lies and subtle encouragement to those who saw him as illegitimate if not outright treasonous, may have gone to his head. It happens.

The least he could do at this point is spend the rest of his days reenacting Cersei Lannister/Baratheon-esque walks of shame in the streets of America, sans the nudity (which would punish us more than him, of course). How about just being clothed in a tick-infested poncho. I volunteer to take some shifts as the person walking behind him, yelling "SHAME" and ringing the bell. It would be my honor as a patriotic dirty fucking hippie librul American.

Unknown said...

In an honest film adaptation of Brook's life (HA!) we'd be nearing the final scene:

starting with an extreme CU of his face, contorted in fear, glistening with sweat, twitching uncontrollably and mumbling, then slowly pan out to reveal a pathetic heap, curled into a fetal postion on a bare cot in a small padded cell and we'd realize that for the last two hours of our lives we'd been watching the hallucinations of a deranged madman....

and M. NIght Shayamalan would stand up in the audience and scream "Come ON! All that bothsiders was all a BAD ACID TRIP??? I want my money back!"

Unknown said...

And I wrote my comment BEFORE I read Charley's piece!

HenryFTP said...

For the time being, Brooks is soothing the understandably wounded sensibilities of his upscale suburban readers (and their employers who have been masterminding our national and global train wreck for so long) who had been very happy to lap up his oh-so-reasonable-sounding perspective which is really a warped alternate reality where the catastrophic Bush-Cheney presidency did not destabilize the Middle East and South Central Asia, nearly break the US Army, trash America's hard-won international reputation (diminishing both America's hard power and soft power), erode the fiscal foundation of the United States, undermine cherished principles of justice dating back to the Revolution, criminally neglect the destruction of an iconic major American city, and culminate in fostering the worst global financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. As usual, the Democrats cleaned up the mess, but the Right Sort of People have been waiting in the wings to take up their rightful place at the head of our affairs now that the hired help has finished clearing away the wreckage. So Brooks says all those things his suburban readers have been wanting to say about the lager louts who have crashed the decorous donor cocktail party where the GOP presidential nomination should have been sewn up. My schadenfreude is muted, however, by the prospect of Brooks and others of his ilk getting their new instructions from our Masters and Betters at some point this summer and assuring their well-educated but subservient upper managerial class readers that Trump's experience on the campaign trail has "matured" him as a politician so that he has "grown in stature" and is consequently much to be preferred to the "morally challenged" Hillary Clinton or to "dangerously divisive class warrior" Bernie Sanders. At which point we'll all be admonished to adhere to Blue Gal's dictum on lapping up what Brooks says this week and ignoring whatever he said last week.

The Fool said...

Well said driftglass. And so so true.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

ONE: I’d advise copying Mr. Brooks’ column onto your computer, then doing a find/replace…changing all references from “Trump” to “the Republican Party.” Good times.
TWO: since you’re one of the people who got me into Babylon 5 in the first place, here’s an analogy that might be worth pondering: the Republican Party as Londo Mollari. Wanted power. Made a deal with the space devils to achieve it. Found out too late that the price to be paid for getting what he wanted was possession by something he couldn’t stand, and would try to fight against. David Brooks is the alcohol designed to create the illusion that Londo is still in control.

Be seeing you.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Since you've seemed to settle on Mr. Trump as leader of an evil circus, and I know you have a Batman thing, I thought I'd remind you that Penguin both did the evil circus and ran for political office in "Batman Returns."

Mr XD said...

Dang Drift-that was EPIC !!!

bowtiejack said...

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Unknown said...

Y'know, it's not as if all them Visigoths actually ever even read the body of Brooks' smarmy twaddle, and yet, they come for him, come for him....O double-sided mouthpiece of sneering scorn and ass-kissing! Thy globular smirky kisser on a pike!

e.a.f. said...

after all the things which were said and done by the Republicans and their press supporters, they now have the party they created and they don't like it. In an attempt to deal with what they don't like, they now want to subvert democracy and get rid of Trump. They can't have it both ways.

Good read.

Anna Gaw said...

And yet how long will it take for Brooks to forget about this column and start rationalizing Trumpism? We've already seen it begun with many of the money-grubbing-I-want-to-be-first-in-line sleezeballs like Christie and Gingrich. It won't take long for the Oligarch class to embrace him, especially if they think he could win. Because it's really all about preserving their own positions, wealth and power.

Mark Anthony said...

Don't know if comment went thru but...
Brooks said
"....Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country."
WTF!! Now EGOR is trying to catch Dr. Frankenstein's (sorry, Dr. Lee Atwater-Rove's) monster? The villagers are on side of the monster.

Ufotofu9 said...

A stopped clock is right twice a day. I'm referring to Trump's Tweet.