Friday, January 20, 2017

David Brooks: The Excremental Things Apply As Time Goes By

Having observed Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times over some distance of ground, I can tell you a few things that are utterly consistent about his writing, and therefor are integral to the maintenance of the lies Beltway tells itself all day, every day.

First, when he predicts or speculates on any subject, he is always wrong about pretty much every element of it.  If David Brooks ever writes that chewing gum will be plentiful for the foreseeable future, immediately begin stockpiling Beemans (for your real friends) and Bazooka Joe (for your sham friends.)

Second, from his creepy, relentless priapism for a Grand Bargain to his scheme for a McCain/Lieberman Third Party that will fix everything, all of Mr. Brooks' Grand Plans to undo the catastrophic damage his party has inflicted on this country are uniformly ridiculous.  They remind me of my Dad's Grand Plans to Drive Us All To Disney World or Take A Houseboat Down The Platt River: concocted and explained in hazy but grandiose terms after he'd killed off the better part of a fifth of Wolfschmidt's, and then forgotten the next morning as he staggered back into the land of cause and effect.

And third, as a deacon of the High and Holy Cult of Both Siderism,  Mr. Brooks is contractually and theologically obligated to jam some Both Siderist bullshit sideways into virtually every column he writes.  Compulsively repeating The Big Lie of Both Siderism is such an absolutely consistent and blatantly ludicrous motif with pundits like David Brooks and Matthew Dowd and Ron Fournier and Mike Gerson and on and on and on -- and these Beltway evangelist of this Big Lie are so lavishly rewarded for their service and so thoroughly protected from any consequences of their lying -- that there is clearly a Higher Corporate Power at work.

Which brings us to the little loaf of poo that Mr. Brooks left on The New York Time's editorial page today.

First, a tepid glop-glop-glop of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-sociological flibbertigibbet in which "gemeinschaft and gesellschaft" are ostentatiously mentioned repeatedly --
Many Americans think their families and their neighborhoods are being denuded by the impersonal forces of globalization, finance and technology. All the Republican establishment could offer was abstract paeans to the free market. All the Democrats could offer was Hillary Clinton, the ultimate cautious, remote, calculating, gesellschaft thinker.
-- but the calculated and devastating long-term effects of the Southern Strategy of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party, the effects of naked, leering racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and the effects of 20 relentless years of Fox New and Hate Radio are not mentioned at all.

Also, are you kinda getting the feeling that Mr. Brooks' intern wrote this slop using a "How To Write A David Brooks Column" checklist taped above their keyboard?  And that his intern just finished their Philosophy 101 midterms and wants to show mommy and daddy that their money wasn't wasted?  


Then the Big Prediction:
Some on the left worry that we are seeing the rise of fascism, a new authoritarian age. That gets things exactly backward. The real fear in the Trump era should be that everything will become disorganized, chaotic, degenerate, clownish and incompetent.
Funny thing is, Mr. Brooks' Republican Party has been "degenerate, clownish and incompetent" for his entire adult life.  Kinda weird that he never noticed.  And since he foresees no rise in authoritarianism, I'd definitely start investing in companies that mass produce armbands, bad art and jackboot polish.

And you cannot fail to notice that Mr. Brooks singled out the Left as being worried that we are "seeing the rise of fascism".  This is because the Right isn't worried about such things.  Delighted?  Yes.  Ecstatic?  Yes.  But "worried"? Not one little bit.  

Then comes the Grand Plan:
For America to thrive, people across government will have to cooperate and build arrangements to quarantine and work around the president.

People in the defense, diplomatic and intelligence communities will have to build systems to prevent him from intentionally or unintentionally bumbling into a global crisis. People in his administration and in Congress will have to create systems so his ill-informed verbal spasms don’t derail coherent legislation.
Yes, Mr. David Brooks really is proposing that we solve the problem of The Bastard President by forming a Super Secret Shadow Government -- a clandestine League of Extraordinary Legislators -- which will operate behind the Bastard President's back. So for God's sake don't nobody spill the beans by printing it in America's Newspaper of Record or anything like that!

And after eight years of Benghaaaazi and shutdowns and witchhunts and meaningless Obamacare votes, what the fuck does David Brooks even mean by "coherent legislation"?  (Spoiler: It means massive tax cuts for David Brooks.)

Men like Mr. David Brooks built this gun, loaded it and left it within grabbing distance of The Bastard President.  Now his Grand Plan is that I should link arms with the degenerates and monsters of his party who want to gut my mother's Medicare and Social Security and take my kid's health insurance away and suck up the bullets so that David Brooks can haz his cheezburger.
With Trump it’s not the ideology, it’s the disorder. Containing that could be the patriotic cause that brings us together.
Not in this lifetime, Mr. Brooks.

And, finally comes the obligatory,  loathsome Both Siderist Moment:
If Trump’s opponents behave as clownishly as he does — like the congressmen who are narcissistically boycotting the inaugural — the whole government will get further delegitimized. But if people redouble their commitment to constitutional norms and practices, to substance and dignity, this thing is survivable.
Yes, you read that right: pampered Beltway toadie David Brooks of the New York Times really did just call civil rights icon John Lewis a narcissistic clown.  Because if he didn't, then people might start to get the idea that our brand-new, wall-to-wall wingnut Federal government is a just a shitpile of demagogues, mercenaries, looters, grifters, bigots and inbred idiots who -- with the help of Vladimir Putin and James Comey -- have just installed their Goblin King. 

And we sure wouldn't want people to get that impression would we?  Because then maybe Mr. Davod Brooks can haz no tax-cut cheezburger.

For the record, exactly eight years ago on this very day as we swore in a new president who was facing a country mired in two wars that Mr. Brooks eagerly cheered on...groaning under the load of deficits which Mr. Brooks promised would never occur...and free-falling into an economic abyss which Mr, Brooks said would never happen...the  leaders of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party were busy plotting in secret to destroy the incoming Obama Administration my any means necessary.  

It is known as the Caucus Rooms Conspiracy -- 

-- and in the last eight years Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times has never written a single fucking word about it.  

Because I guess that would have been would be too clownish and narcissistic for Yale's one and only "professor of Humility".


It is helpful to remember (since "Keepers of the National Memory" is our job as Liberals) that from the time he was five  --
My parents were professors in the ’60s, and when I was five years old they took me to a “be-in,” where hippies would go just to “be.”  It was in Central Park in New York City. As part of the be-in, they set a garbage can on fire and threw their wallets into it to demonstrate their liberation from money and material things. I was five years old and I saw a $5 bill on fire in the garbage can; I reached into it and grabbed the money and ran away. That was sort of my first step over to the Right.
until he was a full-grown, highly-paid stooge for the Bush Administration:
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.
-- David Brooks has always demonstrated a reflexive, bone-deep contempt for people who protest the existing power structure.



Except when those people were Teabaggers raving about the Kenyan Usurper.

He loved those guys ((h/t Crooks & Liars):

There are liberals who call conservatives racist as a matter of tactics, too. That happens, as well. Listen, I was out jogging, you wouldn't know it to look at me. I was out jogging (LAUGH) you wouldn’t know it to look at me, I was out jogging on the mall. I was at a Tea Party rally, Tea Party rally. Also there was a group called the Back-- Black Family Reunion, celebration of African American culture. I watched these two groups intermingle. Sitting at the same table, eating-- watching concerts together. Among most of those people, there was a fantastic atmosphere of just getting along on-- on a warm Sunday afternoon.

And so, there are people, but I-- I was struck by a story of progress. A story of progress, that we're making some progress to this. And this whole week, that speech was about progress. We now have a gotcha culture that punishes people that say terrible things. So, I think overall, it's slow, steady--


trgahan said...

Brooks is like the working professionals and skilled labor voters of my "second most loyal Republican" state.

They want what Trump/Ryan/McConnell are going to do economically (most will see an extra $45 bucks in their tax return as "worth it" even if they have to put their kids into private school in two years at $2000 a month a kid and their employer provided health care goes up 20% a year).

But when you talk to them they are pre-distancing themselves so as not need the Bush Off machine again and slathering themselves in Both Siderism to derail liberals critique of their views....and I thought Trump voters were going to be hard to find if he lost....didn't think they'd hide if he won.

Andrew Johnston said...

So I take it that Brooks has already abandoned his prediction of a glorious future in which all the Youngs and Poors start reading Burke and become conservatives because of disaffection?

unclestupidhead said...

I often bail out when you write about this guy but this bit is a hum-dinger!

paul said...

Great clip at the end about the Caucus Room Conspiracy. Thom Hartmann asks why the news media don't talk about it. But why didn't the DEMOCRATS talk about it? Why did Obama never talk about it? Why did Obama never talk about the crazy, hateful sewage that passed for intellectual dialogue on the right, like the Operation Jade Helm conspiracy, Benghazi, the Ebola panick, or Planned Parenthood selling baby parts? Why don't the Democrats ever really take a stand and call out their bull$hit?

bluicebank said...

Am I the only one here in pain?

"Dad's Grand Plans to ..."

Dear old Dad told me a lot of things that were true. But skipped the part where they were temporary truths. Or even the part where the rules were more like guidelines. And the part where he said that the fucking CIA (OSS in his day) were so bitching you would never hear about them in the news, and that his employer North American Rockwell hung its hat on our tip-top guidance systems powered by miniature ball bearings made from a holy site in Maryland, atop the shit.

Like that's supposed to comfort me.

Craig Gooding said...

"I was five years old and I saw a $5 bill on fire in the garbage can; I reached into it and grabbed the money and ran away."

The amount of money is much larger, and it's now the New York Times setting its money on fire, but otherwise, plus ca change...

Paul Coppock said...

Please kill me.