Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Famous Conservative Political Writer Does Not Want To Write About Conservatism Or Politics Anymore

Future historians who want to get a good bead on what things were like during the inmates-running-the-asylum madhouse of American politics in the Year of our Lord 2017 could do worse than study Mr. David Brooks' column in The New York Times today in some detail.

For those future historians who are unfamiliar with his work (or think that, based on his work, he surely must have been some sort of bizarre, early 21st century parody/in-joke) I can assure you that Mr. David Brooks was a real human person.  He was the distilled quintessence of Elite Myopic White Male Privilege, and for many decades he was paid ridiculous sums of money and granted virtually unconditional deference and respect by the American mainstream media in order to advance the Conservative Movement and the fortunes of the Republican Party.

It is no exaggeration to say that Mr. Brooks spent every hour of his professional career boosting Republicans and Conservatism, mocking Democrats and Liberals, and relentlessly positioning himself as America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual.  And yet, in 2017 during the Republican Party's Year of Jubilee -- the year when Mr. Brooks' Republican Party owned every branch of the federal government and Mr. Brooks' Conservative Movement had effectively conquered the media both through direct propaganda efforts (Fox News/Hate Radio/etc.) and by bludgeoning the "mainstream media" into a state of meek complicity -- Mr. Brooks announced that he was suddenly sick and tired writing about Conservatism or politics.

Getting Trump Out of My Brain

Last week The Washington Post published transcripts of Donald Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders. A dear friend sent me an email suggesting I read them because they reveal how Trump’s mind works. But as I tried to click the link a Bartleby-like voice in my head said, “I would prefer not to.” I tried to click again and the voice said: “No thanks. I’m full.”

For the past two years Trump has taken up an amazing amount of my brain space. My brain has apparently decided that it’s not interested in devoting more neurons to that guy. There’s nothing more to be learned about Trump’s mixture of ignorance, insecurity and narcissism. Every second spent on his bluster is more degrading than informative...
Oh no, Mr. Brooks.  No, no, no.

To borrow from (forgive me) Ayn Rand for one minute:
You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues.
As I have written on this tiny blog out here in the middle of Middle America countless times, President Stupid and the Party which bore him to power are not black swan events; they are the products of years and years of richly remunerated labor by people like you.  They are your whelplings, Mr. Brooks.  Your bastards.

So, future historians, how is it that Mr. Brooks has once again scammed The New York Times into paying him to slink away from yet another fiasco that he helped to create?


You see, although he is a real human person and although his job at The New York Times is to write about politics and culture, as a Conservative, during most of the 14 years he has been employed by the NYT (and during his previous stint as Managing Editor of The Weekly Standard) Mr. Brooks has rarely ever written about the actual politics and culture of the United States as they exist here-and-now.  This is because during his many decades as a Conservative/Republican columnist, much of the politics of the United States has been a long, steep downhill plunge from disaster to disaster due almost entirely to the seditious barbarism of the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement.

Which means that, other than the brief "Jewels of Nuance" period during the Age of Bush when Mr. Brooks (and every other Conservative writer) felt it was finally safe to let their inner Sean Hannity completely out and use their public platforms to heap unalloyed contempt and slander on the Dirty Libtards, Mr. Brooks has spent most of his career assiduously avoiding any actual, honest reportage on the state of Conservative politics and culture.

Instead, Mr. Brooks has been in the business of delighting his employers and media colleagues by spinning elaborate fairy tales about how cool the GOP used to be, or how terrific the GOP was going to be in the very near future, or how awesome it would be if we had a third party because both the Republicans and the Democrats sucked so hard.  It didn't really matter to his employers and colleagues in what order Mr. Brooks told his three basic lies, and it didn't really matter how quickly reality would overtake them and smash them to bits every single time.  All that mattered was that, whatever five-alarm shitfire the Republican Party was dancing nekkind around today shrieking about Kenyan Death Panels and Emails and Benghaaazi...Mr. Brooks' could be counted on to deliver 800 words of tapioca explaining that, somehow, Both Sides were always to blame.

And that is the sum and substance of Mr. Brooks' breakup letter to the Dirty Business of Politics in The New York Times today.  With one, little act of prestidigitation, Mr. Brooks transforms Donald Trump from the end-product of the degeneracy of the Republican Party --
For a time, we lived off the moral capital of the past. But the election of Trump shows just how desiccated the mainline code has become. A nation guided by that ethic would not have elected a guy who is a daily affront to it, a guy who nakedly loves money, who boasts, who objectifies women, who is incapable of hypocrisy because he acknowledges no standard of propriety other than that which he feels like doing at any given moment.
-- into a disaster which"we" as a "nation" all bear collective responsibility.

Well fuck that.

And with another wave of his magic wand, Mr. Brooks neatly divides Everyone Who Is Not David Brooks into three specious categories  --
Donald Trump has smashed through the behavior standards that once governed public life. His election demonstrates that as the unifying glue of the mainline culture receded, the country divided into at least three blocks: white evangelical Protestantism that at least in its public face seems to care more about eros than caritas; secular progressivism that is spiritually formed by feminism, environmentalism and the quest for individual rights; and realist nationalism that gets its manners from reality TV and its spiritual succor from in-group/out-group solidarity.
-- none of which, Mr. Brooks asserts, has the moral gumption to clean up the mess that President Stupid will leave behind.

Well fuck that too.

Because Democrats nominated and elected this man twice --

-- which caused Mr. Brooks' Republican Party to lose what little was left of its mind.

Then the Democrats nominated this woman --

-- which caused Mr. Brooks' Republican Party to freak out so hard they gleefully threw themselves into the arms of an unhinged racist con man and sexual predator (and she still won the popular vote by three million.)

You see, future historians, it's not that there was no evil in our politics.  There was.  There was also depravity.  And cravenness.  And cowardice.  And racism.  And misogyny.  And greed.  It got very bad and it nearly broke us, because for many, many years, one side of the American political spectrum -- the Conservative side -- was allowed to get away with actively cultivating and rewarding paranoia and rage and racism and contempt for facts because it won them votes and it was good for ratings.

But of all of those who profited personally, politically and professionally from debasing our media and corroding our politics, the worst of them were those who knew better.  Those like Mr. David Brooks, who made a whole career out of building a monster, and then frantically scuttled away and blamed everyone but themselves when the monster they made kicked the laboratory door off its hinges and then ran amok, nearly destroying the country.

And of this writing, the David Brooks' of our world are once again doing what they did after the Fall of Bush: washing their hands (and heads) of any responsibility for the ruin they helped to create --
One way or another I’m gonna wash that man [Trump] right outta what’s left of my hair.
-- and running for the first class cabins on the Beltway media lifeboats.

All that remains to be seen is whether they will once again be allowed to get away with it...

...or not.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


Jason said...

Is this it from Brooks? Is he hanging up his conservative 'values' over Trump? As usual you nail it DG. Using that Ayn Rand quote was extra special deliciousness. I can only hope this post falls under the eyes of David f-cking Brooks...not that it would matter much. Me thinks if he were to actually have a moment of clarity about his role in this sh-t sandwich he'd go insane from the cold harsh truth.

John said...

I agree with your points. I, too, loathe Brooks.

But, you know, I have a nagging fear that the deep issues are not ones of ideology. That is, that all our ideas, Brooks' included, are like corks bobbing on an ocean of economic, political, and tribal currents.

Ultimately, Brooks is a superficial manifestation of crazy historical forces somewhat beyond our power. How is it that suddenly, simultaneously, around the world, populist nationalisms are on the ascendancy? Something deep and historical is going on here. And it's not starting from the NYTimes editorial page and exercising some malign downward dominion.

If Brooks did not do what he does, someone very similar would take his place in the same whirling eddy that is his momentarily stable niche.

I'm at a loss how to deal with the current crisis.

I predict a return to monasticism among people of good will.

Robt said...

When Brooks says self centered superior dregs of disdain on others, like,

[ -- into a disaster which "we" as a "nation" all bear collective responsibility. ]

Yes in a microscopic way I bear some responsibility in the Brooks' mental bird cage. If only I was born inheriting billions I could of funneled money against the GOP vulgarian. Instead of talking to Trump supporters to the brink of insanity to reconsider their vote to no avail, I should have hit them smack on the noggin with a led pipe as Moe would council Larry and Curly. I could have became powerful enough (and willing to commit crime) and rigged the election.

Brooks and his sorry self centered ass tries to pull off the economic collapse during the Obama Adm of 2007 and 2008. You know, before he was president. His party could not have been responsible for that because of ever elusive Sasquatch (the Fiscal Conservative).

As Brooks asks his doctor for Movantic and tries to get his health insurance to pay the prescription tab from the Opioid induced conservative fantasy back up. He makes a police report that Liberals secretly got him addicted to the conservative drug. To hide his own failures . Because his pay check allows him to live a grievous life of guilt so very insulated and comfortable from his republican brotherhood.

Beware of what lies down in the farm club to be brought up to the show in Brooks' place. Oh, and the Ides of March.

Belvoir said...

To jason- No, Brooks is not giving up his "conservative values", he has done this feint and dance many, many times before. Whenever his Republican Party truly shows its actual colors, like that time our Republican president lied and destroyed Irag with a million dead and the fires still raging, Brooks runs the other way. That's not HIS conservatism, you see. Now Trump, who is a maximal supporter of every crackpot and inhuman Republican idea to punish the poor and give more to the very very rich, the perfect distillation of Republican ideology- Trump is their dream come true, and of course it is already a flaming disaster. And of course Brooks is running away again. But sure as shit, he'll be back again, to kick around those dirty mythical hippies of his cult's imagination.

So sick and tired od DFB's stale 80s vision of the world, and the privileged overpaid perch where he gets to spout his exhausted dead ideas.

Frank McCormick said...

Leave it to David effing Brooks to succinctly state what I've been trying to say for months!

"who is incapable of hypocrisy because he acknowledges no standard of propriety"

He said this about Donald Trump, but from what I can see it's his entire administration, Republican Senators and Representatives, and their media enablers.

Unfortunately, David effing Brooks cannot make such a claim about himself as he continually reminds us of the high moral standards that somehow do not apply to his weekly scribblings.

(cross posted in the Book of Faces)

Dave McCarthy said...

Wow. The Rand quote was a true stroke of genius (you prolly get that a lot, DG :-D ), delivering the perfect bitch-slap of Brooks by quoting from a perfect bitch.

RUKidding said...

Brooks & his ilk, like Frum & Dowd, fancy themselves as fancy boys who drift about the Elysian realms reserved for the high-falutin' class. As such, they envision themselves as high above the lowly, gauche, boorish, deplorable, teaming, fetid masses that they've so lovingly cultivated and encouraged in their racist, despicable, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, bullying, loutish tendences. After all, that's what they're highly compensated to do.

Then - just when the Grand Bargain comes to pass - they shriek, wimper and clutch their pearls on their fainting couches, along with fellow travlers like Lindsay Graham. All exclaiming: "But, but, but... THESE low-life scum bullies are NOT what we MEANT."

Eh? No?? Then WTF DID you mean?? A nicer, high-born version of white supremacist, who wasn't quite so gauche??

One the teeniest, tiniest, infinitesimal things that I kinda sorts "like" about Trump IS the fact that he's just so "out there." I mean, seriously (and bear with me), there is NO MISTAKING exactly WHO and WHAT Trump is, is there?

Dunno about the rest a yas, but I'm pretty darn sick and tired of these polished, vainglorious turd CROOKS, like Mittens RMoney, who HIDE their despicableness AND racism AND sexism AND homophobia AND their criminal theiving ways behind a smokescreen of ersatz "respectability" that could lull one into believing RMoney is somehow "decent" or "worthy" or "presidential."

So, eh? Bring on vulgar, disgusting Trump. At least we ALL know exactly WHO and WHAT he is.

Yeah, too bad Trump's fans either don't get it OR they revel in Trump's deplorability. Either way, those fans got to this state of being and believing via the auspicies of all those who sold the snake oil to the conservative rubes. And one of the Snake Oil Salesmen was David Effing Brooks, who can go eat the proverbial bag of salted dicks and STFU about what an effete snob he is and how he's now, somehow, "too good" to sully his fine self with - gasp! shriek! pearl clutch! - any "association" with Trump and his droogies.

Please! GFY.

June Butler said...

So what's Brooks gonna write about now? He could stop writing altogether and save the NYT a shitload of money, and who among us would care? Driftglass maybe. Brooks has some damned nerve talking about the damage Trump's done to his brain when each time I read one of his columns my brain gets mushier.

dinthebeast said...

"A nation guided by that ethic would not have elected a guy who is a daily affront to it, a guy who nakedly loves money, who boasts, who objectifies women, who is incapable of hypocrisy because he acknowledges no standard of propriety other than that which he feels like doing at any given moment."

The fact that they did exposes a certain flaw in your logic...

-Doug in Oakland

Peter Mikkelsen said...

I say fuck all of them lousy, goddamned, motherfucking, holier-than-thou, cocksucking, sheepherding, no-good, rat-bastard, "conservative" opinion writers for "looking the other way" and even "carrying the water" for the gd Republicans while they opened their arms and nurtured the looniest fringes of racism and patriarchal religious fundamentalism and absolutely cruel batshit crazy economic greed, to become the hard core of the party's voting base. Again: Fuck them all. It's too fucking late for them to be admitted to polite company. If they had stood up and spoken out for "what's right" back in the day, we would not now all be suffering so because of all the fools the gd Republicans --and the gd motherfucking Kochs-- have gotten voted into office.

MCPlanck said...

In any sane or just world, the NYT would give you Brooks' column for the next ten years, so that you might begin to clean up a smidgen of the filth Brooks has created.

How is it that no one at the NYT realizes that this column by Brooks invalidates everything he has ever written before? Can we get our f*****g money back now?

I think I might hate the editorial staff at the NYT even more than I hate Brooks. And I hate Brooks with the heat of a thousand suns. He is Leni Refienstahl, but without the talent.