Friday, September 09, 2016

The 2020 Vision of Mr. McBobo

Well, 2024 Vision to be exact...

But first, travel with me back, back, back to the Age of Dubya when a shamelessly self-promoting Iraq War pimp and prophet of false equivalence named David Brooks was already such a human punchline that the inimitable Ton Tomorrow cartoonized him for the benefit of future generation who will never believe that such a creature as David Brooks could ever have existed.

Then oer'leap with me the intervening decade during which I wrote (no kidding) over a thousand essays detailing Mr. Brooks' cartoonishly obvious incompetence and pathological dishonesty -- this was the same decade during which Mr. Brooks was being feverishly praised, paid and feted by every hack in the Beltway for his seriousness, insight and humble wisdom.

Thanks to the protective shield which Mr. Brooks' many confederates and fellow-travelers in the Beltway media have erected around their fraud and failure, people like Mr. Brooks are never in any actual danger of being asked any embarrassing questions about their long history of being wrong about everything.   However the sheer, crushing, accumulated weight of Mr. Brooks' failures as a thinker, writer, predictor-of-things and haver-of-opinions have forced him into a very weird corner.

You see, Mr. Brooks only really has four very dull tools in his op-ed toolbox:  lying about the past, burying the unhappy present under a pile of false equivalence, making up pleasing fairy tales about the bright future that is just around the corner, and pseudo-rabbinical argle bargle about Values and Community and Faith, about which Mr. Brooks may well be sincere, but which are wildly at odds with everything his Republican party has been saying and doing for the last 40 years,

And today, from within the stale ideological coffin where he assembles his columns, you can hear the clank and thud of each of the tools of Mr. Brooks' dishonest trade:

Great, big, whopping lies of omission about the past:
African-Americans were once Republican, but the Great Depression brought economics to the center and F.D.R. lured them the other way. 
The brave and imaginary future:
There’s a good chance many of you will be switching political parties over the next 15 years. You may be a corporate executive who’s voted rock-solid Republican for decades, but you may be a consistent Democrat by 2024. You may be an African-American community activist in Cleveland, but don’t be surprised if you someday call the Republican Party home.
An explanation of the crises of the present-day conjured out of Mr. Brooks favorite straw men:
The Republican Party is now a coalition of globalization-loving business executives and globalization-hating white workers. That’s untenable...

The Democratic Party is currently a coalition of the upscale urban professionals who make up the ruling class and less-affluent members of minorities who feel betrayed by it. That’s untenable, too...

Just as the Trump G.O.P. is crushing the Chamber G.O.P., the Clinton Democrats will eventually repel the Sanders Democrats. Their economic interests are just different. Moreover, their levels of social trust are vastly different.
And of course, Values and Mores, which exist for Mr. Brooks in a parallel universe completely divorced from the policies and propaganda of his Republican party for last 40 years:
...the most important social divide today is between a well-educated America that is marked by economic openness, traditional family structures, high social capital and high trust in institutions, and a less-educated America that is marked by economic insecurity, anarchic family structures, fraying community bonds and a pervasive sense of betrayal and distrust.
And every comma and period of it in the service, once again, of steering the conversation the hell away from any questions about the here-and-now -- about how exactly we ended up with a Republican party packed to the rafters with bigots and imbeciles and the black-hearted con men who exploit them. Because that conversation ends with Mr. Brooks being run out of town on a rail.

Instead, isn't it ever so much more comforting and fun to sit in the Quiet Car on the Acela corridor train and read about the awesome future which, in Mr. Brooks' fairy tales, is always just around the corner?  From me, a few months ago:
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...

Don't forget, for the best damn Liberal podcast in America, check out The Professional Left!


dinthebeast said...

"The Democratic Party is currently a coalition of the upscale urban professionals who make up the ruling class and less-affluent members of minorities who feel betrayed by it. That’s untenable, too..."

Why is it untenable? Because you don't believe we're smart enough to grasp the structure of society, much less make alliances within said society that serve our actual interests, not the ones you're just sure we must have?

-Doug in Oakland

Paul Wartenberg said...

The less-affluent members of minorities know damn well it's not the Democrats betraying them on economic and social issues. They know damn well it's a Republican Party that's been trying to kill off wage laws and social safety nets since Bill Clinton left office.

trgahan said...

Brooks is indeed quite the teller of fairy tales to upper middle and upper class, educated whites who just want their taxes low, investment returns high, and the unpleasant sound, smell, and runoff from the societal meat grinder needed to create their desired low-cost lifestyle the hell away from their part of town.

However, I am shocked to find out that since I am not a Republican, not a minority (by today's social measuring stick anyway), and I work in a city, that means I'm in the "Democratic Parties ruling class"!!!! Why did Brooks wait so long to tell me these things?!?

bowtiejack said...

". . . Mr. Brooks only really has four very dull tools in his op-ed toolbox . . . "

Nailed it.

We're back to a "stupid person's idea of a rich man (Trump) or an intellectual (Brooksie)". It's all very discouraging.
And I agree with trgahan's observation on Brooksie's audience. I know too many of those people who have opined to me on the sagacity of Brooksie's stuff. His market's buying what he puts out there without even a modicum of self-reflection.

Cugel said...

"Great, big, whopping lies of omission about the past:

African-Americans were once Republican, but the Great Depression brought economics to the center and F.D.R. lured them the other way."

Mu-hahahahahahaha! Please stop Driftglas, you're killing me! I'm laughing way too hard. Could a maybe, conceivable reason possibly be a reason why African Americans switched to the Democrats; like, I don't know, maybe this:

"Eleanor Roosevelt firmly believed civil rights to be the real litmus test for American democracy. Thus, she declared over and over again throughout the war, there could be no democracy in the United States that did not include democracy for blacks." Her tireless championing of human rights and racial justice for all; could that conceivably have had something to do with Blacks supporting Roosevelt and the Democrats instead of the GOP?

Inquiring minds like David Brooks definitely do not want to know!

wagonjak said...

And he's still pedaling his insufferable,pious bullshit on week nights along with blubber-head Mark Shields as the wise man of PBS nightly news. Modern politics rewards beltway wisdom no matter how wrong and insipid it is as long as it stays within "safe" parameters and doesn't offend our corporate masters. Which you are definitely guilty of driftglass....that's why he's rich and you're poor! Cheers!

Tano said...

Unfortunately for you, he is a far more coherent writer than you are.

Stentor said...

When I first began reading asshats like David Broder, Ross Douthat & the execrable Mr. Brooks, there was always something about reading them that fucking pissed me off, like I was tasting shit in my soup, or that sickly taste that milk acquires just before it turns bad. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was exactly all of the time, just some of the time, but Driftglass has distilled the haze from the mediocre brew that Bobo distills each week in his laboratory of the mundane composition. Many thanks

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

"Now imagine a Republican Party after Donald Trump, led by a younger candidate without his bigotry and culture war tropes."

Ah, yes. The Aaron Sorkin wing of the Republican Party.

"That party will begin to attract disaffected Sanders people who detest the Trans-Pacific Partnership and possibly some minority voters highly suspicious of the political elite."

No offense to Mr. Sanders, but by the time the GOP finishes bottoming out, I don't think anyone's going to remember who he was. Or for that matter the TPP.

Be seeing you.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Oh, and while I'm here...

1. There was an Adam Sandler movie called "Click" where Christopher Walken gave Mr. Sandler a remote that let him skip over all the unpleasant parts of his life. Sounds like Mr. Walken visited Mr. Brooks as well.
2. "Buck Dodgers and the New American Century" for Mr. Brooks' attempts to hide in the future?


Doug, Doug, Doug...I guess your little diatribe is an example of a little wingnut welfare in action. Paying you are they??? Obviosly if you believe what you just wrote and you are not being paid then yes your being smart enough might be up for grabs after all.

dinthebeast said...

So just to be clear: you believe DFB's bullshit assertion that the Democratic coalition is untenable? My very existence as a white, low income member of it shows the shallowness of the lie, and the sloppiness of the writing.

-Doug in Oakland