Tuesday, December 12, 2017

David Brooks: Both Siderism Is a Farce that Gives Us Meaning

Last week, Mr. David Brooks performed a grand show in the pages of The New York Times of lamenting the loss of a Republican party that never was.

My how he wept.  O Trumpora!  O Moores!  Where are the heroes of the imaginary Republican party of my youth?

And so, of course, today -- right on schedule -- Mr. Brooks reverted to his default setting: a soulless, Conservative Both Siderist algorithm into which his operators simply punch which aspect of the Left they wish to fuck over this week.

The pattern is an easy one to spot if you simply take the trouble to look for it.  For example, last year during the primaries, Mr. Brooks Both Siderist sermonettes were all about "Trump and Sanders" (from February, 16 2016)?
Hillary, for you the whirlwind is Bernie Sanders. For the rest of you it’s Donald Trump...

Trump has no actual policies and Sanders has little chance of getting his passed.

And yet the supporters don’t care. Sanders and Trump...

...the Trump and Sanders phenomena.

In debates Sanders is uninhibited by the constraints of reality, so his answers are always bolder. Trump speaks from the id, not from any policy paper, so his answers are always more vivid.

Many Americans feel like they are the victims of a slow-moving natural disaster. Sanders and Trump...

I’d love to see one of you counter the Trump and Sanders emotional tones with a bold shift in psychology...

Let Trump and Sanders shout, harangue and lecture...

Let them [Trump and Sanders] deliver long, repetitive and uninterrupted lectures...

Let them [Trump and Sanders] stand angry and solitary. You run as part of a team, a band of brothers...

Let them [Trump and Sanders] assert that all our problems can be solved if other people sacrifice...

Let them [Trump and Sanders] emphasize the cold relations of business (Trump) or of the state (Sanders)...

Let them [Trump and Sanders] preach pessimism...

Sanders and Trump have adopted emotional tones that are going to offend and exhaust people over time.
And once we moved to from the primary to the general election -- surprise! -- suddenly the music was the same but the lyrics has changed to suit the needs of the Brooks Both Siderist algorithm (from September 13, 2016):
The two main candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are remarkably distrustful...

They have set the modern standards for withholding information — his not releasing tax and health records, her not holding regular news conferences or quickly disclosing her pneumonia diagnosis...

Both have a problem with spontaneous, reciprocal communication with a hint of vulnerability...

Both ultimately hew to a distrustful, stark, combative, zero-sum view of life...

Trump’s convention speech was the perfect embodiment of the politics of distrust...

Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” riff comes from the same spiritual place...
And now that we are nearly a year into the maladministration of President Stupid (and now that he has made his great, public show of boo-hooing) Mr. David Brooks has dried his tears and is back on the fucking job!
What’s Wrong With Radicalism

There was a striking moment in the focus group that consultant Frank Luntz recently held with a group of Roy Moore supporters in Alabama. One of the voters said that the women who are accusing Moore of harassment are being paid to do so. Luntz asked the group how many people thought the women are being paid. A bunch of hands shot up and voices called out that all of the women are being paid.

That attitude is evident on the pro-Trump right, but also on the left...
The "pro-Trump right" is the entire fucking Republican party, Mr. Brooks.  An entire party which is now predicated on the theory that there is no greater evil in the world than people like me.  An entire party dedicated to demonizing minorities, hating woman, starving the poor because it will make the  Libtards cry.  A depraved, sadistic, mad-dog party.

But please continue.
The woke activists, the angry Sanders socialists and social justice warriors are just as certain that the system is rigged, that rulers are corrupt and that the temple has to be torn down.
90% of Sanders voters voted for Hillary Clinton you sniveling fraud.  And it sure seems like lot of the social justice warriors who occupy such a prominent place in both Sean Hannity's nightmares and yours have legitimate, life-or-death issues.  You might not recognize their grievances as legitimate because they are not "David Brooks life-or-death issues" (example: worrying that your friends will notice you wore the same tie on Meet the Press that you wore to the Aspen Institute gala) but instead fall into the category of "Shit that David Brooks will never in a million years have to put up with".  The issues of people who would consider it a huge victory if, say, cops stopped murdering unarmed black people and LGBT citizens were extended the same civil rights as the rest of us.  

But please continue.
We’re living in an age of radicalism.

But today’s radicalism is unusual. First, we have radical anger without radical policies.

...Trumpian populism screams “blow it up” and “drain the swamp.” But Donald Trump’s actual policies are run-of-the-mill corporatist.
Wow.  Muslim bans.  Playing blind-drunk nuclear chicken with North Korea,  Stripping millions of Americans of their health insurance.  Torching the State Department, and gutting and looting every other cabinet department.  Aiding and abetting actual American Nazis.  Stealing Supreme Court seats.  The worst dog's breakfast of a tax bill in living memory.  Relentless attacks on the free press. 

According to Mr, Brooks, all of these and so much more are just "run-of-the-mill corporatist" policies.

Translation:  Mr. Brooks really, really, really wants his fucking tax cuts.

But please continue.
The left-wing radicals talk a lot against the systems of oppression and an institutionalized injustice. But they are nothing like the radicals of the 1930s or the 1960s.
Those "radicals of the 1930s or the 1960s" fought for basic labor rights and worker safety, civil rights, voting rights and all the rest.  The price for those advances in our civilization has already been paid in blood.

For the last 40 years the fight has been between Mr. Brooks' Republican party -- who have spent billions of dollars in a single-minded campaign to roll every one of those advances back -- and we moderns "left-wing radicals" who are are keen to keep and expand on the New Deal and Great Society advances that our forefathers and foremothers bled and died for.
Both the Trumpian populists and the social justice warriors are more intent on denouncing the people they hate than on addressing the concrete problems before them..
You sir are a fucking liar. 

Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by three million.

But please continue.
The key influence here is Saul Alinsky. His 1971 book, “Rules for Radicals,” has always been popular on the left and recently it has become fashionable with the Tea Party and the alt-right...
Jesus take the wheel.  Before the Cult of Beck sprouted sobbing, hairy, deranged tentacles and hauled itself upright from the toxic waste dump on the Right and declared that “Rules for Radicals" was the grimoire of the Dirty Commie Collectivist Statist Left, virtually no one over on our side had ever heard of it, much less pored over it to glean potent commie majyks to cloud the minds of men.

But because the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It demands it, Mr. David Brooks is now as one with Alex Jones, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck in telling his feeble-minded octogenarians fans that he has Sekrit Insights into the inner workings of the Left.

And off we go...

“The ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means,” Alinsky writes. “Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times,” he adds.

“Ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning.” That sentence could have been uttered by Donald Trump, but it was really written by Saul Alinsky...

What’s needed is reform of our core institutions to address the bad byproducts, not fundamental dismantling.

That sort of renewal means doing the opposite of everything the left/right radicals do...
And what is Mr. Brooks' miracle cure for this terrible death-grip on the American polity being cause by a tiny fraction of a fraction of those on the Left and virtually the entire fucking Republican party?

If you guessed a pastiche of ahistorical, pseudo-rabbinical argle bargle, you guessed right.  
It means believing that life can be more like a conversation than a war if you open by starting a conversation. It means collectively focusing on problems and not divisively destroying people. It means believing that love is a genuine force in human affairs and that you can be effective by appealing to the better angels of human nature.
We have had two, consecutive Democratic administrations who both went far beyond the call of duty to try to reach common ground with Republicans by appealing to the better angels of their nature.

Both times, Democratic have been rewarded for their superhuman patience and benefit-of-the-doubting with slander, sabotage and sedition from Mr. Brooks' Republican party, which has been steadily devolving towards yahoo fascism for 40 years.

No Mr. Brooks.  Your Republican party no longer has an better angels to which decent men and woman can appeal.  It is a shitpile of bigots, imbeciles, con men and lunatics. 

A shitpile which would have collapsed of its own dead weight long ago if it weren't being constantly propped up by the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It promulgated by wormy quislings like you.  

Behold, a Tip Jar!


dinthebeast said...

"...and not divisively destroying people."

Tell that to the 24,000 poor people who were divisively scheduled to be killed each year by your goddamn AHCA, David.

I know you don't like it when people say angry things, but did you ever stop to think about why they might be angry?

Do you think we're angry because we WANT to be angry, or that we don't have better things to do than deal with the emotional fallout of the goddamn Republicans trying to kill us or ruin out lives?

It doesn't seem like you think about much,actually, so perhaps Driftglass is right and you really are an algorithm running on some both-siderist hardware in the bowels of the New York Times building.

-Doug in Oakland

Robt said...

How did we get to a republican Senate candidate telling us, " I am not a molester".

Can we find our way back to, "I am not a witch"?
You know, the good old traditional conservative days.

Maybe further back when men were men and republicans followed George Wallace?

When the president from New York City wasn't allowed in Alabama and cast out like Pecante sauce as an outsider.
Unlike Bannon that goes in to Alabama and tells everyone about the WAPO and George Soros are Muslim Libs coming in to tell the natives what to think.

I was unaware Bannon is a natural born Alabami. But the republican Brotherhood accept NAZI, Putin fans.

Yeah, I think I have a bit of conservative in me that wants to return to the good ole days of, "I am not a witch".

bowtiejack said...

Listen, I'll read the rest of your post in just a minute, but you get a 4-star golden platinum Oscar Emmy Golden Globes Lifetime Achievement Award for that 'O Trumpora! O Moores!'.

Seriously, I bow before your awesomeness. Meanwhile D. Brooks and company are showered with gold for writing Bazooka Bubble Gum inserts.

Andrew Johnston said...

You know, I have this really elaborate exegesis on the nature of Brooks' unspoken ideal society that I could write here, but I can cut out a few thousand words and simply write that Brooks is arguing that the world would be perfect if everyone was David Brooks. Then there would be harmony. Then there would be...well, not "equality" so much, but no one complaining about inequality. It would be a mushy beige Eden.

Tanbark said...

Off topic, sorta-kinda:

Tonight, thousands of republicans crossed over to help elect Doug Jones. :o)

I say; "Rollll, Tide!!!" :o)

Robt said...

My local paper runs the guantlet cycle of self proclaimed Moose and Squirrel word sleuthing. Praised by the Heritage Foundation and Sean Calamity non reading conservative fan club.

It's opinion page has gone through Hewitt (a couple times), Cal Thomas, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Gerson, Br-Br- Bre-Bret Hu-Hume (who stutters even in type),and all the usual conservative coarse fabric softeners.

So it must be time for Dave Brooks to complete his orbit back into my locol paper.
Nothing negative here but when he returns to my opinion page. As I read the blog. It will be as if he never left.

I want you to know. I enjoy reading your reviews of Dave Brooks more than reading him on my own.
But that is because I have read him enough and too often because he is in my paper.
I truly enjoy your endeavor to find remnants of consistent logic article to Brooks article. I admit, I am a failure at your righteous crusade to find collective common sense, opinion direction or find a single rock he would use to step on to cross a stream.

You are a better mind than I for your admirable persistence.

As much as I can be entertained when you review his latest. II enjoy your venture reviews.
I reserve the notion you will ever find an arguable diagnosis to prescribe a cure.
I just wonder,
Instead of a typewriter for Brooks expressions.
What if he was given a musical instrument?

What instrument would suit him? What style of music he might produce?

bowtiejack said...


Robt said...

Interesting choice.

More to him with that instrument than say the Kazoo that I had felt to fit him.

jim said...

"Corporatism is fascism & fascism is corporatism."
- Mussolini

- Bobo

Tom Shefchik said...

GOPers like Bobo always cry how they want a kumbaya when things are headed down the hole. Then when the memory hole has closed they go back to divisiveness and demonization. And yes, his both-siderism comes from him being a greedy whore for paymasters who are bigger greedier whores. But I feel there is at least one additional factor in Bobo's case.

1. He is not very bright. He is not sophisticated in politics or ethics. It's like me with ballet, I quickly fall asleep because I am not schooled in the nuance.

2. He is the opposite of the princess and the pea. His soul is so calloused, so scaled over, he cannot sense the huge differences in morality between the parties. His soul so far outside normal human experience the differences between the GOPers and the Dems are infinitesimal, insignificant.

Likely both.

Unknown said...

Christ, what an asshole.

As painfully ahistorical and unable to honesty grapple with HOW the GOP came to be "rotting", at least his last column stumbled to a largely correct conclusion. He couldn't even let his "solid C- level" masterpiece of unusual candor stand for ONE FUCKING WEEK before he stuck his stupid face back into the trough of both siderist dipshittery and nearly ate himself to death once again.

And DFB's idiocy will no doubt be passed around on the twitters and other intertubes as possessing "keen insight" or some such arglebargle.

Christ, what a fucking asshole.