In the world of The Walking Dead, one fairly reliable method for slipping through a herd of walkers without being torn to pieces is, first, to brain-kill a zombie, gut it and smear it's rotting remains all over yourself. Then, affect a slow, undead shamble and join the party. Sure, you'll probably puke and, sure, a random cloudburst can ruin your disguise and turn you into lunch for a dozen biters. But with a little luck, for a few critical minutes, you will look and smell enough like one of the undead to make your way through the herd and away to safety.
Well, we know who America's political zombies are these days --
-- which brings us to America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual and pillar of The New York Times editorial page, Mr. David Fucking Brooks. Because Mr. Brooks has written what is certain to go down among Brooksologists as one of his most nakedly rancidly NYT offerings and which, of course, delighted Bill Kristol's halfwit son-in-law and future Conservative Media Baron, Matthew Continetti.
Great David Brooks today. He should write humorously more often! https://t.co/k1wAj9VGL3— Matthew Continetti (@continetti) January 23, 2018
See, to Mr. Brooks, what happened over the weekend is just a funny little joke.
All of this has left those of us in the pundit class with a frustrating problem. Obviously, the Democrats were going to find some way to screw this up. But no matter how much we pulled and stretched our imaginations, we couldn’t quite figure out how exactly they were going to do it.
In just one short week the Democrats have succeeded in failing with a brilliant five-part plan...
But that isn't what was happening at all.
Instead, Mitch McConnell played the role he loves best -- The Joker -- holding two groups of vulnerable, young people hostage and demanding that the Democrats pick one and let the other one burn. Poor innocent children or hardworking, innocent young immigrants.
Because holding children hostage is what Republicans do.
Threatening to let the weak and helpless die is what Republicans do.
And their base fucking loves it.
Of course, as the very apex of cossetted, undeserving white male Conservative privilege, it was inevitable that ghouls like Matthew Continetti or David Brooks would inevitably find this calculated Republican sadism hilarious, play it for laughs and try to whittle into a sharp stick with which to poke Democrats --
When Democrats get all excited, they go into a hypnotic trance and think the entire country is the Middlebury College faculty lounge.
-- because the calculated sadism which is routinely meted out to the defenseless populations by their Republican Party does not affect them in the slightest.
No one is going to strip David Brooks' family of their health insurance and no one is going haul Matthew Continetti's kids off at gunpoint from the only home they have ever known, so it's funny, see?
So very, very funny.
But the entertainment doesn't stop there! Oh my no! After laughing himself sick at the thought of his Republican Party using their absolute control over the entire federal government to torture the families of helpless kids, Mr. Brooks then shows us his serious, policy side. See, he really does care about the DACA kids. he just does not care enough to be mildly inconvenienced in any way.
It’s not that people don’t like DACA. They do. It’s that they just don’t recognize themselves in a party that thinks it’s worth closing the government, destabilizing the economy and straining the military for it.
Of course, as Lawrence O'Donnell spent 20 minutes explaining last night, it was not the Democrats who threatened to "strain" the military. It was Mr. Brooks' dear friend and the leader of his Republican Party in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who immediately blocked the Clare McCaskill's proposal to make sure the military did not lose a single dime during the shutdown.
WATCH: On Friday night, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill proposed fast-tracking a bill that would ensure military members were paid during the shutdown.— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) January 23, 2018
That's when Mitch McConnell said "I object," hoping, as @Lawrence says, that the news media would forget about it. #LastWord pic.twitter.com/8JGLxAVL0P
However David Brooks has never let actual facts get in the way of one of his funny little, Beltway-comforting fairy tales, so not a word of this made it into his column.
And as if that weren't enough, Mr. Brooks then just went full-tilt, country-club racist Republican asshole, complete the soft, diffuse language of appeasers and cowards everywhere, served with the inevitable side of gagging Both Siderism:
It’s fitting that we had a government shutdown over the issue of immigration. Racially tinged conflict has been the defining feature of the Trump era. Most of the outrage has been caused by the president picking at the nation’s wounds. But by now both parties have racial identity wings, which believe that political life is inevitably a power competition between identity groups. Both parties build their coalitions by magnifying racial identity and exploiting racial difference.
But there are some of us who are uncomfortable with the whole identity-politics drill. We believe that while racism is the central stain on American history, racial conflict is not inevitable. By reducing inequalities, by integrating daily life, we can eventually make our common humanity more salient and our racial difference less so. We believe that America has already made strides in this direction and that it’s everyone’s responsibility to make racial diversity a creative spark and not a source of permanent hostility.
One of these days some party should pay attention to us folks.
I mean, what the fuck has the mainstream media done for the past 30 years but pay obsessive attention to "folks" like you?
Which raises the much larger and more damning question -- after all this time, why is anyone heeding anything which "folks" like you say at all?
I mean, look where it has gotten us?
Over the last few decades, Mr, Brooks has compiled a nearly flawless record of being completely wrong about virtually every single topic which The New York Times pays him to muse and fuss and forelock-tug about. Race? Sex? The state of American Youth? The noble past, stable present and bright future of his Republican Party? The military brilliance of George W. Bush? The demise of the Sarah Palin wing of the GOP? The complete absence of racism in the opposition to Barack Obama? The unstoppable rise of Carly Fiorina? The inevitability of President Marco Rubio? The Southern Strategy? Mr. Brooks has racked up a massive public record of being completely wrong about all of this and so very much more, so how (we ask ourselves at least once a week) does this myopic fop still get paid by anyone to speak with sweeping authority about anything?
Well, the answer is surprisingly simple. It is because Mr. Brooks is a myopic Conservative fop. And in an corporate media ecosystem obsessively devoted to fence-straddling every issue and Both Sidering every Republican atrocity, finding a Conservative who will not vomit at the thought of defending Donald Trump (Jennifer Rubin) and not roll on the floor, foaming at the mouth and speaking in Alex Jones conspiracy glossolalia (pretty much everyone else on the Right) has become damn near impossible.
It is also Mr. Brooks' sweet spot.
For a long time, the only view from the window of Mr. Brooks' seat on the Acela Corridor express has been the sight of his Republican Party giddily capitulating to the forces of barbarism, racism and yahoo pig-ignorance. This makes for very poor grist for Mr. Brooks' Both Siderist mill so of course he was going to leap at any chance to spend an entire column bashing the shit out of the supposed shortcomings of Democrats as they strained against overwhelming odds to stop Mr. Brooks' Republican Party from torturing the families of the poor and the vulnerable.
And so to once again walk among the wingnuts and help them laugh it up at the sight of silly Democrats trying to stop them from stomping the shit out of the weak and helpless, Mr. Brooks spent a whole column apparently slathering himself with the rotting remains of happier days -- back when he was Bill Kristol's reliable stooge at The Weekly Standard. Back when he could wave away the idea of Republican racism and his own, cloying white privilege as the delusions of "stupid" and "crazy" Liberals. Back when Conservatives were free to snipe at the America-hating Left by hiding behind their counterfeit concern for the military. Back when his cult of Both Siderism was a rising power instead of collapsing farce.
But that get's it exactly backward.
But that get's it exactly backward.
Today was Mr. Brooks as he truly is. As he has always been.
You see. Mr. Brooks is not one of the living masquerading as one of the undead.
Mr. Brooks is one of the undead masquerading as one of the living.
Behold, a Tip Jar!