Tuesday, February 28, 2017

David Brooks: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Pretend The Civil War Never Happened

After a long and profitable career spent slandering and ignoring Liberals who were warning that the real Conservative agenda has always been a rollback of the Enlightenment itself, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times has finally come to that place where most ideologically-bankrupt Beltway Conservatives eventually arrive: bootlegging our entire critique of his depraved movement -- from soup to nuts -- and reprinted it as their own Breathless Epiphany without mentioning us dirty hippies at all.  
The Enlightenment Project
David Brooks

Hill didn’t say it, but I’d add that anti-Enlightenment thinking is also back in the form of Donald Trump, racial separatists and the world’s other populist ethnic nationalist movements.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project...
Of course, "Repeating as Breathless Epiphany stuff that thoughtful Liberals have been saying for the last 30 years" used to be Mr. Andrew Sullivan's job back when he was a "blogger" (as you might have heard me mention once or twice) -- 

-- but now that Mr. Sullivan is busy not-blogging at New York Magazine about how we Liberal sons-of-bitches are responsible for spawning Conservatism's worst hate-mongers,  I guess Mr. David Brooks now has the duty.

(Heh.  He said "doodie")

If you would like to read whole books on the subject by respectable people who were saying all of this a long time ago, you could pick up a copy of "Bush's Fringe Government" by  Garry Wills (2006) or anything by Frank Schaeffer.

If you would like to read articles in respectable magazines that were saying all of this a long time ago, you could do worse than "America Rapture" from Vanity Fair in December, 2005:
Best-selling author and evangelical leader Tim LaHaye has contacts that extend to the White House. That could spell trouble, since his theology espouses a bloody apocalypse in Israel.

“LaHaye writes as if there’s a humanist brain trust sitting around reading [American philosopher and educational reformer] John Dewey, trying to figure out ways to destroy Christianity,” says Chip Berlet, a senior analyst with Political Research Associates and the co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.

“In LaHaye’s world, there are the godly people who are on their way to the Rapture,” says Berlet. “And the rest of the world is either complicit with the Antichrist or, worse, actively assisting him. If you really believe in End Times, you are constantly looking for agents of Satan.… [And if] political conflicts are rooted in the idea that your opponent is an agent of the Devil, there is no compromise possible. What decent person would compromise with evil? So that removes it from the democratic process.

“Conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation want to roll back the New Deal. LaHaye wants to roll back the Enlightenment.”
Or, if you prefer taking your drams of "We Fucking Told You So" on the less reputable side of town, you could always stop by the Liberal blogosphere, where the glasses are dirty, but the pours are generous

From me back in 2006) ...
Like Colonial Williamsburg or South Dakota, Americans had manufactured another wholly fake community for some socially intriguing reason that our descendants (or the descendants of the people we speak to when we call the 800-number on the back of our major appliances when they flake out) will theorize cleverly about. 

That rather than efficiently generically engineering the incapacitating disease of conservative fundamentalism out of our blood, we humanely gave them their own s-l-o-w children’s camp. It was a dim-but-cheery place with its own, comforting fake history of the planet, its own cartoon God, and even its own news network that told the stupid people that God loved them better than anyone else. That they didn’t need sense enough to pound sand or as much compassion as God gave a Pitcher plant, as long as they were “Saved”. 

And anyway, they weren’t really stupid. 

The “elites” were stupid.

And maybe these “Flowers For AlgernonLand” designers even had a few chuckles at the expense of their devolved fellow citizens; perhaps once in a while laughing themselves to tears as the dense denizens of the place scared themselves over and over again scampering down “The dimly lit Corruption galleries, by comparison, will feature videos of pain and suffering, noxious odors and the heat, literally, turned up.”

Dumbing down by several orders of magnitude a complex allegory about the inherency of pain and loss in a dualistic Universe within the field of Time…into God’s own a Pull-My-Finger joke. 

At least I hope that’s the tale they’ll tell themselves, because the truth is so much simpler and sadder. 

The truth is that for all of its think tanks, fake media and Small Gummint bluster, the Republican Party would evaporate tomorrow like dew in a firestorm if it were not kept lavishly stocked with bigots and idiots. Without its bumper crop of racists yielded from the Southern Strategy, its millions of fanatically anti-Enlightenment Christopaths and the millions of garden variety stupids, the GOP would be one dead fucking parrot…and the people running the Party like a Long Con damned well know it.
From me, again, back in 2006:
...the Battle of Tours took place on a particular date and no other, within a particular context. 

Hannibal was not defeated by Tomahawk missiles. 

The atomic weight of Selenium is 78.96. 

You cannot poke the Moon with a stick, no matter how high a roof you find to perch on and how much on ippy-tippy-toes you stand.

Even if you stand on your brother’s shoulders on that very same roof and he stands on ippy-tippy-toes.

Even if you throw the stick. Unless you throw it at upwards of 25,000 miles per hour. And have VERY good aim.

So literality has its uses, but it becomes a cultural disaster when you try to crush faith into that frame, and it is at this point at which these so-called Christians fail Christianity; at which Fundamentalist try to mortar-and-pestle the poetry and parable of religion onto their tiny skulls. This is the precise mile-marker at which millions upon millions of American’s have decided to abandon the Enlightenment and flee pell-mell back into darkness.
Hey look!  It's me back in 2007!
And since today's GOP will always put Party ahead of Nation, and will never risk it’s long-term project oblivion by eradicating the Wingnuts who win it’s elections, staff its phone banks, stuff its envelopes and define it’s dogmatic parameters, they will keep this country stuck in a religious-hypocrisy-stasis in the exactly the same way we were was stuck in a civil-rights-stasis when we castigated the USSR for human rights abuses abroad while tolerating segregation and lynching here at home.

I mean, who in their right mind is going to believe that we stand for Enlightenment and Democracy as long as preening demagogues and raging fascists like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity continue to be the faces and voices of one of our two main political Parties?...

So there's that.

But sadly, dear reader, I feel I must inflict one more reprint on you to make a larger and very creepy point. Specifically, that in order to keep their High and Holy Church of Both Siderism from collapsing completely, Beltway Conservatives are now resorting to pretending that the American Civil War never happened.

Allow me to repeat that.

Beltway Conservatives are now resorting to pretending that the American Civil War never happened.

ABC News' chief political analysis -- Mr. Matthew Dowd -- did so just last week: imploring The Bastard President to look to Mount Rushmore  to understand what makes leader's great.  As examples of great leaders who "unify the country and build up the bonds that linked all Americans to each other."

Here is part of what I wrote in reply:
Yeah, the monkey-wrench in this evergreen Beltway Both Siderist fairy unity tale is always Lincoln. The man who, along with George Washington, bookends the faces on Mount Rushmore.   Who launched his political career about two miles of my little house right here in the middle of Middle America, and whose tomb is my town's most famous and revered site.

Lincoln -- America's first Republican president -- did, in fact, attempt to "unify the country and build up the bonds that linked all Americans to each other".  But the slave-holding South would have none of it: their fervent belief their "peculiar institution" was both sanctioned by Almighty God and critical to their economic future made unity or compromise so unthinkable that they seceded from the Union and turned their guns on the federal government rather than discuss the matter any further. Convinced that they were fighting with the Lord on their side against an implacable and existentially evil enemy, they launched a civil war that ended only after their cities were burned, their ships sunk, their armies destroyed and their Confederacy blown to bits at the cost of over 600,000 dead.

And even after America paid this terrible price to settle the question of slavery once and for all, the minute the Union army's boot was taken off of their collective throats, the states of the former Confederacy immediately went back to their old ways and Jim Crow was born.

So "unity" my shiny metal ass...
Which brings us back to Mr. David Brooks in The New York Times today:
When anti-Enlightenment movements arose in the past, Enlightenment heroes rose to combat them. Lincoln was no soulless technocrat. He fought fanaticism by doubling down on Enlightenment methods, with charity, reason and patience. He worked tirelessly for unity over division. He was a hopeful pessimist who knew the struggle would be long but he had faith in providence and ultimate justice.
And again, "unity" my shiny metal ass.

In the face of such blatant and radical revisionism marshaled in defense of a lifetime of fraud and incompetence, what can one say but, Holy Fuck, David!  Literally the only earned credential you have to your name is a bachelors degree in history from the University of Chicago, David, and you forgot the fucking Civil War.

How, David?

How the fuck do you forget the fucking Civil War?


mjs said...

A healthy reminder! Thanks! Oh, and fuck David Brooks with a limp head wag!

Lit3Bolt said...

David Brooks is alarmed. He's alarmed there's a Education Secretary saying the quiet parts loud, that ICE agents will soon start killing and raping their captives, that Jewish-Americans will conclude the Republican Party has gone full Nazi. He's alarmed that his illegal immigrant household help will be deported, and his stocks of corporations that rely on immigrant labor or tourism or business travel or importing cheap tech workers will be adversely affected. He's afraid that Donald Trump is racist and is too stupid to deny it, and that he's so committed to racism it will affect free trade.

But here's the problem. Years ago, David Brooks decided, along with his Beltway Buddies(tm), that racism no longer exists and has been solved for all time.


Hence the squeals of "Enlightenment" and the shrieks for a "Lincoln" in today's column to come save them. Brooks can't take a stand against Trump...not one that would put him at the slightest risk. He wants a daddy to save him, as usual. A daddy to make the bad Trump go away. Daddy, this bad Trump followed me home after I fed him everything in my school lunchbox, help me! Liberals, make this bad Trump go away so I can go back to hating you! This is all your fault for being so mean to us that people voted for Trump!

As usual, accountability, integrity, responsibility, and principle remain the kryptonite of the Beltway conservative. All that's left is a squid-ink-cloud of pleading and whining.

gmoke said...

Saw Our Mr Brooks a couple of years ago when he came to Harvard to tout his then latest book. With the possible exception of David Frum, who's looking a little haggard these days, he's the most supercilious person I've ever met.

trgahan said...

David also forgot to mention that all Lincoln got for his fight was a lead slug in the back of the head from a "State's Rights!" advocate.

Never mind that by 1876 the fanatics Lincoln fought against were right back in the state houses/governor's mansions/judicial seats they had left behind in 1861.

That's a whole 15 year hiatus from the influence of anti-Enlightenment movements that required the hundreds of thousands of Union bayonets to maintain and it only ended when they got one of their own back in the Oval Office.

dinthebeast said...

He forgot the civil war because it's inconvenient to admit in print that his side lost.

-Doug in Oakland

Robt said...

President Lincoln was a secret socialist Muslim and wasn't born in America.

Like that leftist Leaf Erickson that was born in some foreign land.

I mean really A republican President expanding the Constitution with Amendments. Defying the Federalists who assure us all that the constitution was only to be the bill of rights. (except for incorporating rights, banking rights, eminent domain use by wealthy entities) etc.

Lincoln used big government to impose it whimsical views on the patriots of America like the Knights of the white pointed hods..
As Brooks's ideology pal Jonah Goldberg once wrote in his famous coming out of the Heritage Foundation to enlighten Americans.
"If only the North would have just purchased the slaves from the South. The Civil War needed not to occur."

Now Brooks and his republican. conservative. T-potter and now Trump-servatives. Find themselves embracing publically their Alternative facts.
Gallileo be damned.
Buying slaves from the south prevents slavery. Because as in the Ivory business, if you purchase the ivory already taken from the live streaming animal that is on the market. I am sure the Ivory business will not supply more ivory to the market.

Defending tax cuts to the filthiest wealthy who can create jobs with a 0,1 percent of their billions. Actually require tax breaks to create jobs.

After the racist clamouring by the GOP with Obama. The not American anal itch and hatred bestowed on us by the gentiles. The very crowd that erupted over political correctness as a weapon (somehow). Brooks wallows in tears of PC. Struggling as usual to find a way to accept the alternative facts him. His ideology. His deceptive republican brotherhood in arms desperately devote themselves to the endeavor of convincing the unbelievers.
Convince them like Pat Robertson does. "If you send me (pat) enough money with a prayer in writing. he will repeat this prayer on his TV show. Which Jesus watches intensely. (Like Trump watches the FOX Friendzy. And those prayers will be answered to Pat from jesus. But if they don't heal you or what ever you ask in your prayer. Pat will let you know clearly. It was your fault for not believing strong enough..

Has Brooks tried sending in a big donation to Robertson with his latest article, to be presented to Jesus in from of all the TV viewers of that show?

I say, Brooks should give it a go and advertise on Pat's show to Jesus. In front of the camera. A career move in the making that could separate Brooks from the pack. And the NYT may feel better about replacing him since he has a new gig to take care of him.
One nice article on Trump by Brooks might be all it takes to lock Brooks in to a whole new audience and lifestyle support gig with R/T/
I am sure a flattered Donald would put in a good word for Brooks with Putin.........

moeman said...

Nice takedown, again.

Another 'earned credential you have to your name is a bachelors degree' he just got from his now ex-wife.

eddie blake said...

...because he's PAID to?

proverbialleadballoon said...

Lit3Bolt with another blue-ribbon comment. The ownership of the mess is the trouble for the republicans, this time the democrats aren't there to simultaneously fix the mess, and be blamed for it. Brooks' problem isn't that the republican party is destructive and insane, it's that it looks like they are going to catch the blame for it.

Robt said...

Which leaves Brooks to spread the fertilizer and flower up the GOP fascist demise or victory depending on how crosseyed one might be.

I can hear Brooks now, If those Democrats would have just compromised with the GOP......Things might be....

Donald showed this avenue as Commander in Chief making a poor decision, providing little effort to it and deciding at a dinner engagement the Yemen mission. It was Obama's fault...............

So Brooks has his 5 degrees of Kevin Bacon angle for stories of conservative greatness on what they meant to do. so do not notice the nuclear holocaust waste land he put you in. It was those other peoples fault.

Dad!!! I got drunk on power and drove the car smack into a building. Only after I ran over a lot of people that do not count for anything.

This is a problem that is going to linger since we told the Bush Adm we would not pursue an investigation and let the facts lead the way of any crimes committed.
Russian ties;;Need to move on nothing to see here.
Benghazi--investigate forever and lock her up.

Allowing a political party to use investigative congressional funding and powers to campaign, after the Citizens United Ruling is bewildering if not only to save their donors some money.

Lit3Bolt said...



Next week's David Brooks column "George W. Bush or Mitt Romney doesn't look so bad now, huh libtards" coming in 3...2...1...

As usual, the quislings will find a way to blame the Clintons and Obama, and their voters, for the Republican Party going full Nazi.

"You voted for a black man and a woman! You HAD to know that would simply antagonize us! Why oh why is the Democratic party full of people who only vote based on gender and race?" - says David Brooks, before the singularity of Ignorance inside of him explodes in a new Big Bang of Unselfawareness

eVille Mike said...

The only thing the Daddy State fears more than sunshine is somebody with a functioning memory.

Don't stop reminding us, driftglass. You're doin' good.

Robt said...

So the left wouldn't vote for the Cruz.

So it is the lefts fault Trump was elected even though the GOP allowed him to run as a republican. Voted him passed the primary.

Like the vietnam 4 deferment war hero that does not pay taxes to fund our military or V.A.
Approves a military mission as president while dining with his in law.

Very strategically planned and thought out.

The mission was a complete success he banters.

hey he new his life was on the line *hello police in the nation).
The Osprey price tag is a loss and reports of little to nil info gathered can't be.
The greatest Clown show on earth is not responsible for any preconceived mission taken for granted he puts is signature on.

Perhaps Brooks might find getting with Hugh Hewitt and training on listening to Trump in an "Alternative manner".
DFB might find his new conservative spiritual calling.
Otherwise, DFB may find himself on a list of the"enemies" Only to find the "enemy" as I would be uncomfortable with a NAZI sympathizer.

As being called the enemy by Trump, There was this dictator in Iraq with his "Republican Guard" that called me the enemy.

Now that the war on terror is over. Yes, Trup was victorious last night when he spoke the enchanted magical words of El Rushbo. That the GOP demanded Obama speak in Public to thwart terrorism forever (but never did). But the Brave 4 deferment war hero spoke unleashed the force of magic to annihilate ISIS and terror from the Muslim world for eternity.

He spoke the enchantment tree time before the Cuck drank a sip of his latte.
Islamo Fascist-Islamo_fascist- Islamo terrorist......

And POOF....Isis is gone.

We are so great again. I am so tired of winning. Lets let Putin win for a while just to break the boredom of winning so much.