Tuesday, June 26, 2018

David Brooks' Flea Circus

Do you know the first attraction I ever built when I first came here from the Wall Street Journal? It was a Conservative flea circus. It was quite spectacular. Spared no expense. There were miniature think-tanks and a wee Respected Journal and op-ed columns in major newspapers...and a seat on PBS.  It was all bullshit of course, but people would swear they could see the policies saving Murrica from the Libtard hordes. "Oh, I can see the Laffer Curve, mummy, can't you see the tax cuts working?" Clown Conservatives  and high-wire Conservatives and Conservatives on parade...

-- David Brooks, Didactic Park
As a vituperative foul-mouthed blogger of the Left once wrote several thousand posts ago:
...it 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.
Over the course of many, many years, this really has proved to be David Brooks' Great Project.  A project which  The New York Times has underwritten at heavy expense and to which the elite men and women of the Beltway media have lent their credibility.

World without end.


And the reason the establishment has backed Mr. Brooks to the fucking hilt, no matter what, is that he is the perfect Beltway Man.  A man of no fixed beliefs or principles, who glides through this life on dirigible of undeserved wealth and unearned privilege, far above the petty problems of real people living in the real world.

Unfortunately for Mr. Brooks what he really wants to do with his power is to issue sweeping Beltway dicta to the teeming masses below about specific, tangible, measurable problems down here in the real world -- pronouncements which not only invariably prove to be hilariously wrong in every way imaginable --
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. (David Brooks, November 2014)
-- but also always serve to underscore what a willfully-myopic prig --
It's going to be Rubio. I'm telling you, it's going to be Rubio. (David Brooks, January 2016)
-- Mr. Brooks really is.

That's the bad news for Mr. Brooks.

The good new for Mr. Brooks is that, clearly, none of this matters in the slightest to his employers at The New York Times, NPR, PBS or NBC.   So what if the most revered Beltway Conservative observer of America politics and culture doesn't know shit-all about America politics or culture and proves it over and over again in the most public ways imaginable?  For Mr. Brooks, the only adjustment his failures ever require is that he has to lightly tweak the propaganda he hands down from his Mighty Gas Bag Of Truth to the little people down on planet Earth.  Rather than gassing on about all the tricksie Liberal subjects that trip him up so easily -- things like math or history or causality or what he himself wrote last year -- Mr. Brooks now uses his column to drizzle saccharine pseudo-scriptural argle bargle down to the masses.

Pious myths of the Glorious Conservatism Of Old (from Mr. Brooks today):
The practical upshot is that conservatives have always placed tremendous emphasis on the sacred space where individuals are formed. This space is populated by institutions like the family, religion, the local community, the local culture, the arts, the schools, literature and the manners that govern everyday life...

Over the centuries conservatives have resisted anything that threatened this sacred space...
And fairy tales of the Glories of Conservatism Yet To Come:
The next conservatism will be built on the back of these real-life communities, and the way they nurture good citizens and healthy attachments. It will be based on new alliances, which have little to do with your father’s G.O.P.
But what of the Conservatism which Mr. Brooks has spent his entire adult life relentlessly pimping?  The here-and-now Conservatism and its bestial offspring, the Republican party, which Mr. Brooks assured his readers less than four years ago had completely detoxed itself of racism and crazy?

Well very much like White Queen's rules of jam in Through the Looking Glass --
"The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today."
-- the promise of tomorrow's Conservatism never actually arrives.  And it has certainly never resembled either Mr. Brooks' Glorious Conservatism Of Old or the Glories of the Conservatism Yet To Come: a fact that he skips very lightly past, pausing only to lie his ass off about the central reality of  his ideology:
Conservatives fought big government not because they hated the state, per se, but because they loved the sacred space. The last attempts to build a conservatism around the sacred space were George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” and, in Britain, David Cameron’s Big Society conservatism.

They both fizzled because over the last 30 years the parties of the right drifted from conservatism. The Republican Party became the party of market fundamentalism...
No, Mr. Brooks, Conservatism fought Big Gummint because Big Gummint wanted to take its money and give it to shiftless brown people and the mooching poors.  I know this because when he was campaigning on the hustings of the Old Confederacy, Ronald Reagan wasn't quoting Burke or Niebuhr.  Instead he was talking energetically about "welfare queens" and "young bucks".

Because Reagan knew perfectly well that racism was the beating heart of the Right.

I know this because when George H.W. Bush was running behind in his 1988 campaign to succeed Ronald Reagan, he didn't turn to Russell Kirk or William Buckley.  Instead turned to one of the nastiest racist thugs in politics.  

Because Bush knew perfectly well that racism was the beating heart of the Right.

And 30 years ago, The Republican Party did not "became the party of market fundamentalism". 30 years ago, the Republican Party became the party of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich.  I know this because the Republican's threw big fucking party a quarter of a century to brag about it.

Because Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich know perfectly well that racism was the beating heart of the Right.  As does every other sentient being in the solar system except, apparently, David Fucking Brooks.  Which is why, over the past 20 years, Mr. Brooks has announced that a Renaissance of the Right had either just happened or was right around the corner more times than I can count.  

And every time has has been spectacularly wrong.

But at this late hour, it is no longer professionally or psychologically possible for Mr. Brooks to face the fact that his Conservatism has always been a fake.  A flea circus.  And it always will be.   And that is why working for an outfit like The New York Times where none of this matters in the slightest works out so well for Mr. Brooks.  

Because however many times the latest iteration of his Conservative flea circus shits the bed in public, Mr. Brooks will always assert, with the perfect, imbecile confident of someone who can never be fired, that next time it will be flawless:

Behold, a Tip Jar!

PS.  For extra credit, you are free to peruse this vituperative, foul-mouthed snippet from a piece I wrote back in March.

Of 2006.
Like a week-old-dead-clown, Bobo manages to be both amusing and nauseating at the same time.

No, Mr. Brooks, the anthracite soul of your Party hasn’t fundamentally moved one inch in the last three decades, it's just gotten more and more brutally proficient at implementing and capitalizing on the same, loathsome strategy year after year.

Your Southern Strategy Party welcomes, waters, fertilizes and then cross-breeds new generations racists, Bobo…as a matter of policy.

Your Lee Atwater/Karl Rove-addiction keeps the air full of bile, the communal well of culture full of poison, and the nation at each other’s throats for no other reason than partisan gain…as a matter of policy.

Maybe in whatever fart-propaganda-rebreathing Bell Jar you call home, Mr. Brooks, your ravings sound reasonable. But out here in the Real World you simply sound insane.

Your “analysis” bears no relationship to any country, party or movement I have ever heard of outside of, oh, maybe, lurid "Shocking True Collectivist Sex Slave Stories!!" in the yellowing pages of "The Objectivist" magazine circa 1961.

Out here in the Real World, even your own Party’s founders flinch in horror at the irrefutable fact that your Party is now owned an operated by an raving mad cult of anti-Enlightenment/pro-Dark Ages freaks who think of the End of the World as an action plan.

To the left them are the racists, and to the right, the “Fuck ‘Em All” libertarians.

That’s your Party, Mr. Brooks.

Your Party, your movement and your dogma, which have now shown themselves to be so spectacularly corrupt, and on a scale so massive, it’s hard to gauge how deep the cancer goes.

What is clear is that Republican Conservativism has failed.

Republican Conservativism has failed because when given a chance to express itself fully, cities die.

Republican Conservativism has failed because once it gets its stinking paws on the helm of the Ship of State, it rams the nation into reckless and incompetent war.

Republican Conservativism has failed because it would rather the world perish than pay to save it.

But like the Commies before you, Bobo, you are almost congentially incapable of facing up to the idea that your Holy Writ is toxic, intoxicating, theoretical drivel that will always come to tears when applied to the Real World.

And so, like the Commies, you comfort yourself by whimpering that the Plan was perfect; it was the People that failed.

The Dear Leader was Great; it was the Peasants that let him down.

That there is nothing wrong with the disaster Republican Conservatives have wrought that a steaming load of More Republican Conservativism can’t fix.

With is why, in the end, the likes of David Brooks and Pat Roberts will always find their way into each other’s arms out behind the barn where no one looks.

Because men like Roberts wants the change the law to make Bush’s criminality retroactively licit, and men like Brooks wants to change the subject to make Reality the criminal and Dubya the victim.

Whores both, and the price men like these exact in American blood and treasure for their wretched social experiment is far to high to bear any longer.


dinthebeast said...

"The next conservatism will be built on the back of these real-life communities, and the way they nurture good citizens and healthy attachments."

Oh, David, it's already up there on their backs, just buggering away at any chance they might have had at nurturing those good citizens and healthy attachments with its tax cuts, demagoguery, deregulation and fetishization of guns and the 1950s.

-Doug in Oakland

Andrew Johnston said...

Oh, it's another piece weeping about "institutions." Pick a new key, Dave, they've heard this one.

So the roots of the latest new conservatism are "family, religion, the local community, the local culture, the arts, the schools, literature and the manners that govern everyday life." By extension, I suppose this means that liberals don't value these things (Schools? Literature? Really, Dave?) or even have them. Presumably, we're all biological automata spawned in the basements of Upper West Side homes, lacking the ability to do anything but reflexively fuck and yell slogans.

I'm at a loss as to whether this is better or worse than his 2016 prediction for the great conservative revival - you know, the one where the bigots would disappear into the woods and never be heard from again and all the Youngs would become paleocons because they were "disaffected." That was special.

keith gargus said...

Good one DG. I wonder at the career of Bobo, how someone reaches the apex of punditry filing bags of shit for columns. Then I look at the field of knuckledraggers that the MSM has to select from in their quest for 'fair and balanced'. Nuff said.