Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This Column is a Trick -- Part II



Just like last time. see if you can spot it.  Without Googling.  I'm serious.  I will pull this blog over.

From David Brooks in The New York Times, November 4, 2017:
The Values-Vote Myth

Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put Donald Trump over the top.

This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong...
...
It's ridiculous to say, as some liberals have this week, that we are perpetually refighting the Scopes trial, with the metro forces of enlightenment and reason arrayed against the retro forces of dogma and reaction.

In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.

But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Trump. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?

What we are seeing is a diverse but stable Republican coalition gradually eclipsing a diverse and stable Democratic coalition. Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story. Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man.
Did you spot it?

Yes, it is from The New York Times.

And, yes, it is from Mr. David Brooks

And, yes, it is from November 4.

But it's from November 4, 2004.

A little over 13 years ago.

And the subject of the article is not Donald J. Trump, but George W. Bush.  And literally all I did in the excerpts I reprinted was swap one name --
The Values-Vote Myth

Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.

This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong...
-- for the other.  

My point being, Mr. David Brooks has made an entire career out of being America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual.  Made himself rich off of his reputation as the guy who can speak on NPR and PBS and Meet the Press and from the high pulpit of The New York Times' editorial page with sweeping, unimpeachable, ex cathedra authority about the true nature and trajectory of his Republican Party.

And yet, in all that time, it is brutally obvious that Mr. Brooks has never once summoned the nerve or the initiative to actually look and see what sort of people actually make up the rank and file of his Republican Party.  Never once dared to open the access panel of the Pretty Hate Machine that has made him a very rich man to check out how that machine really works and who it really serves.

In 2003, Jason Blair was cashiered from The New York Times for fabricating or plagiarizing details in a half dozen stories he had written for the Times.  And rightly so.  So given that well-established New York Times standard, what do you suppose the penalty would be for someone who fabricated an entire Imaginary Republican Party out of thin air,  populated it with a menagerie of non-existent voters and leaders, and imbued it with a fictional past, a fake present, and wholly preposterous future?  Someone who has -- despite overwhelming and ongoing evidence to the contrary -- continued to write in-depth about his entirely Imaginary Republican Party as if it were the Pure Quill, twice a week, nearly every week, for the past thirteen years?

If you guessed that the penalty for such a monstrous crime against journalism would be a job-for-life at the same corporation that fired Blair and the respect and deference of his professional colleagues, you would be correct.

Funny old world.


Behold, a Tip Jar!


6 comments:

WV 1st District DNC Delegate said...

Failing upward

bowtiejack said...

Kudos. Nailed it.
Stalin used to refer to Politburo members who were unaware he had signed their death warrants as "dead men walking".
I'm getting that feeling about a lot of Brooksie's GOP, not just the Trump crowd.
Of course, he'll be shocked, shocked, but he can recycle some "Dying Democrats" screed so it's all good.

trgahan said...

"...to actually look and see what sort of people actually make up the rank and file of his Republican Party."

Or, as we've seen from the ENDLESS profiles and fluff pieces, when Brook's et al. make a foray into the morass of Economically-Anxious-Working-Class-Abandoned-By-Democrats (That framing alone gives away the game) their conclusions are typically:

"They believe in speaking their minds, but hold strong values of (insert bullshit values they NEVER held)"
"They don't actually believe the things they say, they only say these things because Clinton signed NAFTA (or insert any Democratic legislation since 1970)"
"Obama's elitist tone and academic aloofness frustrated them"
"It's all because Democrat's sold out to Identity Politics in the 1960's"

As you've noted before, if we really want to know WHY we're here at this moment, someone needs to interrogate the Values Vote like a hostile witness, stop tossing softballs to people AM Radio/FoxNews taught to lie about their beliefs to people who don't really care what the truth is in the first place.

Davis Statton said...

"Democrats keep losing elections,"

Let's see: since 1992, the popular vote was won by Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Obama, Obama, and Clinton. But yes, Mr. Brooks, Bush won the popular vote in 2004. QED

Robt said...

Most everyone has been given the opportunity to watch video and hear the "value Voters summit" prior to every election.
I can't say I ever saw Brooks attend. I can say I have no recollection of him opinionated a column of any of them. If you have wasted much segments of your life in viewing or attending, you might understand why Brooks bothsiderisms are physically negated by these spit swap meets.

DG,
I appreciate your scrutinizing of Brooks and many of his wannabe cohorts , I had decided Brooks has some billionaire funding (as you eluded to at times) to float the rock heavier than water petrified turd.

As to why some are disciplined or fired and others continue on. It is in part corporate work place policies and corporate politics.

I have finished reading Brooks some time ago and have others strains to analyze. When I read your critiques, analysis of Brooks. It merely certifies my comprehension conclusion . It is like you are certifying my analyzed conclusion via your certified peer review of his (achem) writings.

Now I used to read him some, trying to find some logic or reason he was gifted with the NYT column to ascertain that "other" point of view? Not that I like conflict. But if conflict discovered. Find resolve at least within myself.

I wanted to ask,
(Besides yourself). Who are the people that loyally read Brooks' columns of Mumbo values both sider Jumbo? The rationalization downward of standards for normalizing miscreants?
I still read Krugman off and on (their is so much out there that we cannot get it all). And sure, Krugman has made mistakes, I find when he does he makes the public corrections accordingly. Not that every word Kugman writes is gospel to be foretold to generations though folklore.

I am most curious if you have categories of Brooks reader fan club.
I pondered this at times. While you critique and analyze (what he would call) his assessment ed point of view.
I mean, after reading several columns. Providing one comprehends and retains what they read. following his columns.
"At what point does these Brooks readers stop peeing on the electric fence?
Realize that is what is causing the electric shock to the penis? The pain?

Don't take any of this wrong. The need to confront such characters employed with such an exposing slice of such a wide circulated news Paper does and should have more responsibility than simply entertain other monkeys. As you hav put it numerous times, by "rubbing shit in their hair" as if it was achieving some sort of goal in life. Spreading the betterment to mankind.

So, Could you describe to me the variable types of people fall into the readers of Brooks and follow his column a(as if it holds some meaning in life's necessity?

I do not think Bloody Bill, Coulter, Sarah Palin, Newt, Speaker Ryan, anyone in the Breitbart or Infowar dregs of society, nor the Rusho or Calamity- Hannity. I don't picture the Manuchen, Wilber-r-r-r Rosses, Jamie Diamond, David Duke'rs, Cal Thomas, Dowd or anyone at the Heritage Foundation. The Gun and Bible clutching crowd nor the Evangelicals, Farmers or forgotten Coal miners.
I haven't been able to make any conclusions to the segment of people he reaches? have you?
Clearly he gets booked on shows. His agent gets him on when he has a book to sell. Business but no avid believers. Because he holds his NYT's column. It comes with the promotion prestige of business advertising for the NYT to have him on. You can tell when this occurs the nonsense that is discussed that reacches no point of a conclusin worth wile.
Always leaves the viewers brain numb enough to dull the senses that they cannot smell the shit rubbed in their hair and on their nose.

I know, a long way around simply asking. Very curious how you would describe Brooks' fans.




jim said...

Gotta admit Metro versus Retro is pretty catchy - which means BoBo probably stole it.

In other breaking news:
"Joe: 'Any Self-Aware POTUS Would Be Very Concerning' | Morning Joe | MSNBC"

This Freudian Slit™ brought to you courtesy of youtube.com

On said show, after Squint & the Meat Puppet yucked it up over GOP "secret society" gibberish, Bill Kristol said "I hold Roger (Ailes) a little responsible for this" government by chronic Kreutzfeld-Jakob Disease.

#stoppedclock #babysteps #lifecomesatyoufast