Saturday, March 03, 2018

David Brooks: The Eternal Sunshine of the Conservative Mind

To those unfamiliar with his work, the headline and a few of the paragraphs in Friday's New York Times op-ed by Mr. David Brooks may make it appear that he is attempting to sue for amnesty in the face of the coming Blue Wave --
How Progressives Win the Culture War

Yet I have to admit that something bigger is going on. It could be that progressives understood something I didn’t. It could be that you can win more important victories through an aggressive cultural crusade than you can through legislation. Progressives could be on the verge of delegitimizing their foes, on guns but also much else, rendering them untouchable for anybody who wants to stay in polite society. That would produce social changes far vaster than limiting assault rifles.
I can promise you neither he nor any of his fellow travelers in the Beltway media he are doing any such thing.

Instead, Mr. Brooks is putting the last few licks of paint on the Both Siderist Lifeboat which he and his Republican colleagues have been building for the last two years and battening down the hatches against whatever is coming.  Because however much progress we on the Left may make over the next few years, according to Mr. Brooks, we're doing it all Terribly Wrong!  And in our Terrible Wrongness, Mr. Brooks find the caulk to hold his lifeboat together.

For one thing, all of us the Left are apparently stifling all dissent and opposition within our ranks, just like those goons on the Right!
The boundaries are being redrawn across society.
Well, OK, not all of us on the Left, but definitely on every college campus in America!

Well, OK, not on every college in America, but on a couple of the elite universities which exist inside Mr. Brooks' stupefyingly insulated bubble.

Or so Mr. Brooks has been told.

Second or third or maybe fourth-hand.
All sorts of formerly legitimate opinions have now been deemed beyond the pale on elite campuses. 
Because some speakers have been shouted down or disinvited.

Oh, the fucking horror.

But Mr. Brooks is not alone in hearing the clip-clop of Liberal jackboots every time Milo Yiannopoulos is told to peddle his neo-nazi merch campus.  So desperate is he to shore up his Both Siderist piffle that he drags Andrew Sullivan into it -- a man whose own career as a cloistered Conservative maker of sweeping cultural pronouncements about that which he does not have the first fucking clue makes David Brooks look like Studs Terkel by comparison.
As Andrew Sullivan noted recently, “workplace codes today read like campus speech codes of a few years ago.” 
You see, with the sound of a Dying Conservatism humming in the wires, Mr. Brooks has no place to go ideologically but back to his original, factory-default settings: 
  1. Lying about how and when his Republican Party became a shitpile of bigots, imbeciles and lunatics, and...
  2. Scolding Liberals about the Terrible Dangers of not being compromise-y enough with the denizens of that shitpile.
Of course, to advance both of those patently ridiculous arguments, Mr. Brooks would have to somehow eradicate the entire history of his Republican Party as it has existed during his entire adult life, especially the extremely recent history of his Republican Party's openly racist and seditious behavior during the Obama Administration. 

Yeah, you're clever.  You can see where this is going.

Because world turns and turns again, and the years pile up into decades.  And as sure as the turning of the world comes yet another David Brooks column in which, yes, the entire modern history of his Republican Party is once again casually wiped away so that Mr. Brooks can collect a New York Times payday pooping out one more iteration of the same shitty column he has been peddling for 20 years.

Just one more chapter of Mr. Brooks' Great Project.  From your's truly, five years ago: is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.

And odds are he'll get away with it too.
And he did get away with it, because political peculators like Brooks always get away with it because if our mainstream media does one thing exceptionally well, it's making sure goofs like Mr. Brooks have privileged media sinecures for life from which to spread their lies and within which they are kept completely insulated from ever having to justify the ongoing fraud that constitutes their body of work.

Yeah, OK, I know that's two things.  Fucking pedants.

And so, following in the long and perverse tradition of media Strategic Forgettery and in exactly the same way that the Right and their media enablers Memory Holed the entire Clinton Administration after Dubya was appointed President...

...and in exactly the same way that the Right and their media enablers Memory Holed the entire Dubya Administration after Barack Obama was elected... now these same old gang of frauds and hacks are colluding to wipe the entire Obama Administration out of existence with a constant barrage of the same old double-talk and alibis which Republicans like David Brooks are once again assembling into an ark on which they once again plan to sail away from the brutal judgment of history.

And so for the umpteenth time, Mr. Brooks cranks Day One of the Common Political Era forward as many years are necessary for the New Big Lie to flourish.  The New Big Lie that virtually every Conservative hack in the media is now hanging onto like grim death.  The New Big Lie that all of the problems with their Republican Party began exactly Two Years Ago.
Two things have fundamentally changed the landscape. First, over the past two years conservatives have self-marginalized. In supporting Donald Trump they have tied themselves to a man whose racial prejudices, sexual behavior and personal morality put him beyond the pale of decent society.

While becoming the movement of Dinesh D’Souza, Sean Hannity and Franklin Graham, they have essentially expelled the leaders and thinkers who have purchase in mainstream culture...
And now, with this New Big Lie is bolted in place, Mr. Brooks is free to pretend that the eight-year-long racist Republican freakout over the election of Barack Obama -- eight-years of hate-mongering, sabotage and Brooks-enabled lies which began with Birtherism and ended with the theft of a Supreme Court seat -- somehow just never fucking happened.  Instead, we Libtards should proceed with caution because:
The only thing I’d say to my progressive friends is, be careful how you win your victories. It is one thing to win by persuasion and another thing to win by elite cultural intimidation. Illiberalism breeds illiberalism. Using elite power, whether economic or cultural, to silence less educated foes usually produces a backlash.

...If you exile 40 percent of the country from respectable society they will mount a political backlash that will make Donald Trump look like Adlai Stevenson.
First of all, Mr. Brooks, you have no progressive friends.

Second, 40 percent of the country -- the Tribe That Ribs Shit In Their Hair -- has worked very, very hard to make themselves repellent to "respectable society" and I see no reason why their hard work should not be recognized.

Third, as Mr, Brooks damn well knows, at no point in our history has a malignant, brainwashed and rage-drunk minority ever been "persuaded" to grow opposable thumbs and climb down out of the Stupid Tree.  Every time progress has been made it has been in spite of them.  By eventually pushing them out of the way, sometimes using federal troops.

And fourth, Obama was the compromise you asshole.  The Obama Administration was an extended, eight-year real-world experiment in what happens when you treat the racist, hysterical, Fox-drunk Republican Party with a nearly-superhuman level of respect, patience, calm persuasion and merciful restraint.

What happened was Donald Trump.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


Tanbark said...

Brooks always has a wet digit lifted to detect the slightest breath of a sea-change, and with those Florida kids kicking ass so hard that the NRA will have to take off it's shirt to shit, and with Trump's administration imploding before our eyes, David is feverishly hedging his "really, he's not so bad!" bets. I heard him on NPR yesterday, and for a moment, I thought I was listening to some good lefty psychiatrist, as he laid into Trump for his loony tunes presidency. Of course, he has to leave open the possibility that Trump could rebound and drag us into another mid-east war. Since Brooks was SO enamored of Bush's Churchillian wisdom on Iraq, he knows where the jingo road is, and how successful Bush was in leading us down it.

On the other hand, this morning, the Country Music Association was forced by a substantial part of it's adherents, both corporate and grass-roots, to walk back the appointment of former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, to it's board of directors.

Huckabee has made a career out of gay-bashing and sucking up to the bible zombies and the NRA, and watching the CMA have to eat his selection, within 24 hours of making it, is downright heartening.

Onward! :o)

Tanbark said...

I mean, it's just too, too, fucking precious, for David Brooks to be warning us to NOT take full cultural and political advantage of the fact that so many people, of nearly all stripes, are becoming ever more frightened and nauseous at what's going on with our government.

Where was David when Trump and his minions were peddling 1934 Nurenburg hate like it was apples at a fruit stand?

BEFORE that, did Brooks write an outraged essay when the republicans were hosing Merritt Garland and the democrats out of that fairly earned Supreme Court seat? If so, I missed it.

As this minority-vote administration has been going about the business of monkey-wrenching every manifestation of government "by, for, and of, the people", did Brooks write ONE. FUCKING. PARAGRAPH. taking them to task for it?

The republicans' hypocrisy has always been there, but with this administration and congress, they have climbed up on the dining room table and taken a big, steaming, shit of it.

That David Brooks has been so sanguine about it, should leave he and his enablers with zero credibility.

Yastreblyansky said...

Drifty, surely you heard about how Goldman Sachs only allows certified leftist speakers nowadays because of their lockstep ideological rigor. No?

Tanbark, thanks so much for the good news from Nashville!

dinthebeast said...

"It could be that you can win more important victories through an aggressive cultural crusade than you can through legislation."

It could be? You mean the goddamn phony-ass Tea Party wasn't a figment of anyone's imagination?
And when the Democrats were in the majority you were singing an altogether different tune about "important victories" as I recall.

-Doug in Oakland

Davis Statton said...

Yes, it's true: homophobia & racism were formerly legitimate. Milo what's-his-name and Ann Coulter are shouted down and can't express their formerly legitimate opinions.

Ed Smart said...

I agree, he has no liberal or progressive friends.
Recently, in the barf he wrote about how gays are ruining their chances for equal rights by actually bringing the "cake" case to the supreme court, he mentioned his gay friends. I've been trying to picture who these people might be, and what they really think of him, ever since.

Len Boatman said...

Just For You;

WLS Channel 7 - AM Chicago - "Mike Royko" (Part 1, 1982)