If nothing else, the rise of Trump provided us all with a massive and very public MRI of our politics and our media. The results are painfully clear and completely consistent with what we on the Left have been saying about the Right for decades: that there is a terrible and dangerous rot at the very heart of the Republican Party. A rot which is the runaway, metastasized result of a series of conscious and deliberate decisions made by Conservative leaders over the last 50 years. A rot which grew unchecked because of the of the cowardice and deception of people like Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times.
Mr. David Brooks -- the multi-millionaire Sage of the Acela Corridor -- who has shown over and over and over again that he knows shit-all about the real condition of the real American, preferring instead to build an entire career out of spinning comforting, toxic fairy tales about the state of our country and the history of his very own Republican party.
Mr. David Brooks (along with Mr. Tom Brokaw, another multi-millionaire professional Both Siderist and co-owner of the state Montana), elected to kill irony outright and bury it in a shallow grave by whipping himself into a high dudgeon and lecture Hillary Clinton on the unseemliness of a rich person such as herself using her fancy-schmancy college-graduate language to tell the plain, hairy. ugly truth about the Trumpkins:
Stephanie Cutter -- clearly dumbfounded by the jaw-dropping denialist dumbassery on display from America's Most Respected Professional Pundits -- attempts to explain to Mr. Brooks and Mr, Brokaw very slowly in veeeeery small words that even someone put off by fancy-schmancy college-graduate language could understand that their umbrageous huffling and puffling was frankly ludicrous in the face of what the kids these days call "observable reality" (h/t Crooks & liars) --
CUTTER: Does anybody around this table, have they not seen Trump's rallies? Have they not seen Trump's own remarks? He is attracting a certain type of voter. She gave a speech on describing them. They're called the alt-right and they Tweet racist sayings. He re-Tweets them. He says it on the stump. From research in this election we know that his own words, calling Mexicans rapists, criticizing a Gold Star family, these are the most potent things against him with independent voters. So, what she said was not wrong. Her only mistake was that she described half of his supporters that way.
-- but it was to absolutely no avail.
DAVID BROOKS: You know, first, it was a terrible week for politics. We've had a race to the bottom before, but this was, like, at speed, like, who's Usain Bolt speed to the bottom, these two. I was struck by another sentence in that quote about the deplorables, that they are "irredeemable."There's a reason no religion believes that. Because if you believe people are irredeemable, you're saying they somehow lack redeemable souls, they are somehow in a lesser category of human beings and that's just a dark, dark world view. And that's always been the risk with Clinton. As President, she can be very hardworking, very effective, very efficient, but there's a dark world view that is semi Nixonian lurking in there....
DAVID BROOKS: People, even the people that say repugnant things at Trump rallies, are complicated and they're driven by complicated fears and anxieties to sometimes do some things, sometimes do beautiful things. And so, the truism that you hate the sin, but don't hate the sinner applies to politics just as well and she was hating the sinner.
See, Mr. Brooks is not furious that the core of his Republican Party are raving bigots. He is not furious that the reason that the core of his Republican Party are raving bigots is because the leaders of his Republican Party built it that way. Nor is he furious that the revelation that the core his Republican Party are raving bigots validates the theory that Mr. Brooks has been willfully lying about his Republican Party for decades.
No, Mr. Brooks is only furious that someone with a bigger megaphone his has finally said out loud that which Mr. Brooks has spent his whole professional life covering up, which is why he had to dip into his pseudo-rabbinical argle bargle trick bag to find the language to try and shut Hillary Clinton up.
But do you wanna know a funny thing? Mr. David Brooks was not always so delicate about the whole "'How dare you call someone irredeemable!' and then flinging himself onto the fainting couch" schtick.
In fact, not so many years ago, back when he was one of George W. Bush's most reliable water-boys, Mr. Brooks was quick to condemn whole groups of people as pretty much irredeemable.
They were people who believed we had been lied into the wrong war by the Bush administration in pursuit of profit and dreams of empire. People who saw the Bush administration as the latest link in a long and despicable chain of Republicans who had been shamelessly pandering and manipulating bigots and lunatics for decades. People who were terribly frightened of where where the Republican strategy of weaponizing fear and hate and paranoia was leading us. People who were horrified that the Bush administration's most deranged and ridiculous supporters were being touted be the American media as wide and insightful...which the Bush administration's most thoughtful critics were muzzled and dismissed out-of-hand.
In other words, people like you and me.
Here is what David Brooks had to say about the irredeemability of people like you and me in April of 2003:
...Finally, there is the dream palace of the American Bush haters. In this dream palace, there is so much contempt for Bush that none is left over for Saddam or for tyranny. Whatever the question, the answer is that Bush and his cronies are evil. What to do about Iraq? Bush is evil. What to do about the economy? Bush is venal. What to do about North Korea? Bush is a hypocrite.
In this dream palace, Bush, Cheney, and a junta of corporate oligarchs stole the presidential election, then declared war on Iraq to seize its oil and hand out the spoils to Halliburton and Bechtel. In this dream palace, the warmongering Likudniks in the administration sit around dreaming of conquests in Syria, Iran, and beyond. In this dream palace, the boy genius Karl Rove hatches schemes to use the Confederate flag issue to win more elections, John Ashcroft wages holy war on American liberties, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and his cabal of neoconservatives long for global empire. In this dream palace, every story of Republican villainy is believed, and all the windows are shuttered with hate....My third guess is that the Bush haters will grow more vociferous as their numbers shrink. Even progress in Iraq will not dampen their anger, because as many people have noted, hatred of Bush and his corporate cronies is all that is left of their leftism. And this hatred is tribal, not ideological. And so they will still have their rallies, their alternative weeklies, and their Gore Vidal polemics. They will still have a huge influence over the Democratic party, perhaps even determining its next presidential nominee. But they will seem increasingly unattractive to most moderate and even many normally Democratic voters who never really adopted outrage as their dominant public emotion.In other words, there will be no magic "Aha!" moment that brings the dream palaces down. Even if Saddam's remains are found, even if weapons of mass destruction are displayed, even if Iraq starts to move along a winding, muddled path toward normalcy, no day will come when the enemies of this endeavor turn around and say, "We were wrong. Bush was right." They will just extend their forebodings into a more distant future. Nevertheless, the frame of the debate will shift. The war's opponents will lose self-confidence and vitality. And they will backtrack. They will claim that they always accepted certain realities, which, in fact, they rejected only months ago....
For the record, Mr. Brooks has never atoned for any of the many craven lies he told back when he was building his career by stooging for the Bush administration. In fact, when asked point-blank about this very subject, Mr. Brooks simply denied ever having written such things and changes the subject.
And yet this same person who now presumes to castigate Hillary Clinton for pointing out that if some not-inconsiderable number of Republican voters have spent the last 20 years years letting Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannnity and Ann Coulter take a dump in their skulls every single fucking day...
...maybe -- just maybe -- it isn't exactly "dark" and "semi Nixonian" to suggest that by now they are simply too fucked-in-the-head to ever make it back to sanity and civility.
Part 1 of this extra-long Sunday Morning post here.