Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Today In Both Sides Do It: David Brooks of the New York Times

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
-- Edmund Burke*
I never really understood how fascism could have come to Europe...

-- David Brooks, writer of Sweeping Opinions,
America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual,
University of Chicago history baccalaureate,
and yooooge Edmund Burke fan boy

Empires may fall, oceans may rise and the human race may skip a high-tech, four-ton stone across the face of Jupiter just to see why that big, red eye keeps staring at us, but the Both Siderism of David Brooks is forever.

Because even after spending five paragraphs explaining that, up until today, he had spent his entire professional life in a state of pure, blissful ignorance of political history and how fascism works (that is rivaled only by his state of pure, blissful ignorance about the American working-class) --
They begin to base their sense of self-worth on their tribe, not their behavior. They become mired in their resentments, spiraling deeper into the addiction of their own victimology. They fall for politicians who lie about the source of their problems and about how they can surmount them. Facts lose their meaning. Entertainment replaces reality.

Once facts are unmoored, everything else is unmoored, too. People who value humility and kindness in private life abandon those traits when they select leaders in the common sphere. Hardened by a corrosive cynicism, they fall for morally deranged little showmen...
-- Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times simply could not allow his column ("Are We on the Path to National Ruin?") to expire without once again diving for cover behind the Beltway's biggest and most formidably indestructible lie of all:
Blood was in the streets last week — victims of police violence in two cities and slain cops in another. America’s leadership crisis looked dire. The F.B.I. director’s statements reminded us that Hillary Clinton is willing to blatantly lie to preserve her career. Donald Trump, of course, lies continually and without compunction. It’s very easy to see this country on a nightmare trajectory.

How can America answer a set of generational challenges when the leadership class is dysfunctional, political conversation has entered a post-fact era and the political parties are divided on racial lines — set to blow at a moment’s notice?
See, the leadership class is the problem, not the Republican party elite.

Post-fact political conversation is the problem, not a mob of brainwashed Conservative myrmidons who live and die at Rush Limbaugh's command.

Political parties...divided on racial lines, are the problem, not the plain and irrefutable fact that David Brooks' Republican party has spent 40 years deliberately turning itself in the Party of Jefferson Davis in order to win elections.  

Oh, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both equally awful.

Over in the Better Universe, this column would have been a firing offense. 

Instead, over in this universe, Mr. David Brooks, who has spent his entire professional career as Conservatism's own Vladimir Pozner --
Pozner worked as chief commentator for the North American service of the Radio Moscow network. In the early 1970s, he was a regular guest on Ray Briem's talk show on KABC in Los Angeles. During the 1980s, he was a favourite guest on Ted Koppel's Nightline.[11] Pozner was the host of Moscow Meridian, an English-language current affairs program focusing on the Soviet Union; the show was produced by Gosteleradio, the Soviet State Committee for Television and Radio and broadcast on the Satellite Program Network.[12] He also often appeared on The Phil Donahue Show.
In his Western media appearances Pozner was a charismatic and articulate apologist of some of the Soviet Union's most controversial foreign and domestic policy decisions. A master of tu quoque, he would frequently draw parallels and point out similarities between Soviet and Western policies as well as candidly admitting the existence of certain problems in the USSR. However, while stopping short of unequivocal endorsement and support, he nevertheless rationalized, among others, the arrest and exiling of Andrei Sakharov, the invasion of Afghanistan and shooting down of KAL 007,
-- will go right on commanding a princely salary for peddling the Beltway's most dangerously arrant lie long, long after that lie has become ridiculous.

Mr. Brooks claims to be worried that -- 
There’s a cavity beneath what we thought was the floor of national life, and there are demons there.
-- but can't quite seem to grok how things got this way.

Look in the mirror, Brooks.

Look in the fucking mirror.

*Thanks for the catch.  These quotes are mixed up all over the web,


Kia said...

Santayana, not Burke. Unless there's a gag in there that I missed.

bowtiejack said...

As I recently posted over at Yastreblyansky:

1. Get dichotomy frame from supplies
2. Decorate with 800 words of BS.
3. Turn in to editor.

Jimbo said...

I thought it was George Santayana rather than Edmund Burke who said that first quote (or maybe they both said it). But seriously, this guy was a Univ. of Chicago history major? The roots of fascism go much farther back than WW I and the Treaty of Versailles. Gawd, this man is so shallow!
Also, he has now decided to go right down to equating Hillary and Trump as equally bad and unable to lead. I knew that sooner or later he was going to go there after his fake journey to real Murrica bombed out. Sorry, DFB, I know you have to continue paying your dues to the GOP but that equivalency is just not flying at all with the majority of the people. The only ones buying it are people who were never, ever going to vote for her anyway.

bowtiejack said...

"Are We on the Path to National Ruin?"

It certainly must have seemed that way to the people in Hitler's bunker in 1944 projecting their own imminent demise onto the greater world outside. Seems to me to explain the reaction of Brooks and his cohort to the wheels starting to come off The Great Conservative Project.

duquesnepdx said...

Which blatant lies regarding the emails were supposed to get Hillary indicted by the FBI, exactly? As opposed to the not-blatant lies that Trump and his enablers spew damn near every time they open their mouths.

Five bucks says Bobo weasels his way around to supporting Drumpf shortly after the Donald is officially nominated, and Bobo's dreams of the GOP resurrecting Reagan's corpse are dashed to pieces.

Thanks for the sanity checks, Driftglass. Keep up the fight. And for FSM's sake, stop being so damn strident.

Robt said...

What I want to know. What I need most to know. Is, what David Brooks cab driver of the day says? No matter if it be Guido, Ashmud, or Louie Gohmert.

I mean who cares what green stuff oozes out of Brook's mental head injury.

Shouldn't David Brooks simply report on what his cab driver of the day says and let us decide?

dinthebeast said...

Do you suppose DFB reflects in a mirror? Or was that your point?

-Doug in Oakland

bowtiejack said...

What Doug in Oakland said.

And about those emails. I had some experience with security classification in both the military and the DOJ.

Two GOP congressional mooks now want Hillary investigated for perjury about 2 or 3 emails [out of 30,000] that might have been marked [in code, of course] "confidential".

Excuse me "confidential" is the security equivalent of the door marked "Employees Only". What could they be hiding back there? Uh, nothing? No one in the bidness thinks that anything marked "confidential" is actually secure. It is to security classification what vanilla is to ice cream - the default choice.

dinthebeast said...

OK, you probably already read this, but here's a link to it just in case you didn't:


-Doug in Oakland

The Kraken said...

Billo the clown has a degree in history too. Doesn't mean he knows a damn thing about it.

Roger said...

@bowtiejack -- thanks for that. Confidential nowadays, with the enormous inflation of security classification, what used to be FOUO (For Official Use Only), which got slapped on nearly everything even though it wasn't supposed to be considered "classification." Actually, I think that Secret is the new Confidential. So much of it is banal trivia. And then there's the practice of calling classified any public discussion of topics that are actually classified, unless you happen to be an administration spokesman whose "leaks" are approved. So we have email comments on a Washington Post story called "classified" because the drone program is classified.

Robt said...

Gee, what happened to Turd Blossom's email that he was supposed to cough up?

What does HRC emails have to do with 4 people that died in Benghazi?

Am radio screams that 4 people died. More serious than how many died and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They adored Comey up until he found nothing to indict. We all see the egotistical
anger when the House GOP calls Comey to their theater for a drama class.

For Speaker Ryan to place his face on TV and say he is going to stop HRC from getting the security briefings as presidential candidate.

For a fiscal conservative, Ryan wrote another check his mouth cannot cash.

They are desperate and need to keep the conspiracy alive to feed their base more false promises until the election. Old faithful works on their base. Keep them fed.!
That is why Chaffez wants to open another committee to investigate.

One thing for sure, America will never be able to afford infrastructure when they continue to fund these quill expeditions.

trgahan said...

"The F.B.I. director’s statements reminded us that Hillary Clinton is willing to blatantly lie to preserve her career."

This sentence is proof Brooks et al. got marching orders sometime last week that the Email/FBI thing will be the "thinking conservative" talking point to attack Hillary, ignore Trump, and allow them to paint the coming 60-40 (or more) Clinton win as voters "holding their noises and picking the lesser evil."

The media will definitely NOT be allowed to say it is a national electoral majority preference toward Democratic policy over Republican policy for the THIRD straight presidential election. Exit polling showing double digit gaps in key voting blocks be damned!

keith gargus said...

Good point on Bobo as the rights Pozner. Except Poz was talented, well trained, professional propagandist, and Bobo is a patrician dilletante that fancies himself as a man of letters.

bowtiejack said...

". . . a patrician dilettante that fancies himself as a man of letters."

Exactly. I'm so inured to what a lightweight this guy is, I forget people take him seriously prancing around in his toga as a "public intellectual". However, he's about as patrician as Jay Gatsby.

DavidG said...

I had forgotten all about Pozner. Great analogy. I saw him run rings around poor overmatched Phil Donahue one weekday. Very reminiscent of MSMs onability to handle GOP de deptionsm.