Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The Whimper Soldier

If all you knew about David Brooks was what you had gleaned from his almost-continuous appearances on most of America's most popular political talk and public interest programs over the last six or seven years, you may not know that, not very long ago, Mr. Brooks was very busy building his career out of publicly masturbating to the fantasy that a Strong Man on a Red, White and Blue Horse would appear to reshape the global order to David Brooks' specifications.

For years and years he and his fellow neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard constituted a veritable drum circle of pasty-faced, faux-macho, chickenhawk imperialists, all militating night and day for Murrica to man the fuck up and start knocking off countries that needed knocking off.  And if you weren't down with their program for World Reboot starting with Operation Iraqi Cakewalk, you were obviously a stupid, befuddled, cranky, fringe nut hippie who deserved nothing but the jeering ridicule of Very Serious people like David Brooks.

Then, a few years later, this happened (with emphasis added and a big h/t to Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars):


But this is what Putin is counting on. And by the way, he made the same calculation in 2008 about President Bush. But it's interesting. Think about the world when Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait. And that President Bush said, "This will not stand." The international world order was a very different thing. What does it take for the U.S. to singularly use its influence today as opposed to in earlier years?


Well, people might say, "Why do we care? It's far away, it's a country, we don't know much about it." But Rich alludes to the real problem here, which is we had a post-Cold War era, which has not been great, but it's been a lot better than the 19th century. And there have been some undergirding facts of that era.

The first is, you don't have spheres of influence. Russia can't say, "We sort of control everything. We control everywhere where our people are." The second is that you don't go invading other countries, breaking down the laws. It's complicated, but you basically have some stability. And within that stability, you can have global trade, you can have free movement of people.

And Putin is this radioactive individual who wants to create history, large ego, large Russian nationalism, which is whipped up all around him. He is a fundamental threat to this order. And so that's why it matters. It matters to the economy, it matters to the way the world conducts itself for a couple years.
Now if you were a normal human living in a sane world, you might well presume that any reporter -- even the greenest freshman high school newspaper cub still working the sucky-cafeteria-meat-loaf beat -- would use David Brooks' long, slow, fat pitch right up the middle to crank his lying, neocon ass all the way out to Waveland Avenue.  After which, even the merest stripling, lost-dog-found! child-with-a-blog reporter would have the wherewithal to wheel on David Gregory and shove a few lightening bolts up his ass to remind him that, between Gulf War I and Crimea the world actually turned a few times and the United States pissed away irreplaceable blood and treasure and international credibility on the most reckless and ill-conceived military clusterfuck in American history thanks to people like the guy in the bright pink tie
sitting ...
right ...
in ...
front ...
of ...

But you do not live in a sane world.  You live in a world where David Gregory instead chose to summon all of his superhuman powers of anti-journalism to keep himself from asking his very good friend and Torah study-buddy --
"[Jeffrey] Goldberg’s Torah study group in Washington includes David Brooks, David ­Gregory, and former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk..."
-- anything remotely resembling a follow-up question about any major, world event which might have happened in, say, Iraq, in, say, the last decade which may have chastened the American public on the matter of sending our children overseas to fight and die for David Brooks' wet dreams.

Meanwhile, over on The Fox -- where it is always Take an Unreconstructed War Criminal to Work Day -- Paul Wolfowitz got another shot at the spotlight (h/t Crook and Liars) and decided that we can't look in the rear view mirror because Hitler!

And because Paul Wolfowitz is the second luckiest man in America, no Iraq War veteran caught him in the alley behind Fox News HQ and beat him until he couldn't pee straight.

And who is the luckiest man in America?

Well, since you asked so nicely...

I remember back when ABC News had better sense than that.  From the Seattle Times in 1999 (right around the time Mr. Greenberger was learning out how to cope with toddlers at the Jewish Community Center's day camp in Columbus, Ohio):

ABC Dumps Bill Kristol As It Deals With Sagging `This Week'

By Howard Kurtz
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - ABC executives, worried about sinking ratings as Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts fall behind Tim Russert's "Meet the Press" on NBC, are starting to overhaul the once-mighty "This Week."

The first victim is Bill Kristol, a conservative presence for three years on the shoot-the-breeze Sunday round table. The Weekly Standard editor taped his last show Wednesday after being told that his contract would not be renewed.

The axing of Kristol comes three months after the departure of the show's executive producer, Dorrance Smith, who, like Kristol, worked in the Bush White House. Several sources confirmed that contrary to the public announcement at the time, Smith was forced out by ABC News President David Westin, who has had an increasingly strong hand in the program.

Smith said Kristol "added a much-needed different perspective from a conservative viewpoint, which I don't think they have any interest in trying to fill. They're tone-deaf when it comes to political evenhandedness. . . . Rather than being journalistically honest, they're much more comfortable with people who share viewpoints closer to their own," he said of ABC management.

Smith, a friend of Linda Tripp from their days in the Bush White House, has told friends that he believes ABC management was displeased with some of the reporting he helped provide during the Monica Lewinsky scandal...


JerryB said...

Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!

Anonymous said...

In your rush to bash the Sunday shows and the idiot brothers David you left out a bit of information. Oddly enough this information makes the Davids seem less bad. Now were you a conservative I'd say you did it out of malice and you're a liar. But as you are a liberal I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that it was ignorance or perhaps you've been hitting the same sauce that has caused Mr. Pierce to back "vote the Dems out" Greenwald to the hilt and then cry about Democrats not voting.

There were a lot of things wrong with Iraq 2, Cluster Fuck Edition, however Bush did go through the motions of selling the crap on the national stage. Russia and Putin haven't done such a thing and never will. You don't really Russia presenting only evidence that backs it's case to the UN and building a coalition of the bribed and the dull because they don't give a flying fuck about that.

And that difference right there gives Brooks cover to say what he said without a house falling on him and means that Gregory did the right thing by not laughing at him.

So all in all, the Davids on their Sunday shows were perfectly in the clear.

Unknown said...

Somewhere in Manhattan, Moral Hazard waits for Master to come home from the Middle-aged fogies Club to feast on Master's leftover Sweet and Sour chicken.

Master, in the meantime, takes some solace than some young wiz named Nate Silver has given the GOP a better than 50/50 chance of gaining control of the Senate, which means that nothing the Kenyan Usurper proposes will get done in his last two years and there will be at least two Impeachments of a twice-elected President.

Unknown said...

@ anonymous: Really? That's your defense of Gregory's "journalistic" spongebath of Brooks? That Bush, Inc.'s lying to the public and money-dumping to the MIC makes it OK that no ever question anymore anyone who ever supported said clustermuck? REALLY?
Dude, take your near-beer to another party.

Anonymous said...

Wow... today, finally the overnight sensation you ought to be nationally, after slogging away for 10 years, not only getting the recognition you so richly deserve, but the top spot on Sr Pierce's Comments for first story of the week (a spot usually reserved for some Oklahoma OG with a direct line).
Maybe you should get a stipend.....(Oakland guy who draws on envelopes)

Neo Tuxedo said...

While completely naked, anonymous @ 12:08pm spouted the following:

the same sauce that has caused Mr. Pierce to back "vote the Dems out" Greenwald to the hilt and then cry about Democrats not voting.

You're obviously reading Charles Pierce postings from a different universe than the one I get. I second Unknown's advice: "take your near-beer to another party." And also Unknown's mockery of the notion "[t]hat Bush, Inc.'s lying to the public and money-dumping to the MIC makes it OK that no[body] ever question[s] anyone who ever supported said clustermuck".

Marion in Savannah said...


Nate Silver's new site sucks in the high 90s. Krugman devoted a blog post to it yesterday (Tarnished Silver) that's worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should convicted and fried alive, Anony. Or shot.
Along with Cass Sunstein's other fascist trogs.

God go away. You're stupid. Which is both noncontagious and uncurable.

Anonymous said...

d r i f t g l a s s: Smart site. Positive vibration.

I got 10 'matches' (showing those I recently visited) around your blogroll. Another dozen or more I have visited but those are not 'tinted' ... perhaps my visits were past shelf life.

This note is to nominate 2 sites you might roll into your blogability:

First is $30/yr subscription, cheaper than a month of cable TV
more truth than a year of all TV put together -

Second is my newest discovery. Blogger says his blog was idling along since 2007 getting < 1K visits daily mainly friends and acquaintances. Six months ago he started blogging what he knows about Syria, and then about Ukraine, and his Visit Count exploded (his word) because ... Truth. -

I wish his planetwide applause on you (-:

Redhand said...

Two comments:

I never watch MTP: allergic to what an unutterable POS Dancin' Dave is. This clip of him blabbering made my flesh crawl.

Brooks' "you don't go invading other countries, breaking down the laws" is priceless. He has no sense of irony, or must have known that Dancin' Dave would give him a pass while he uttered that whopper. Gawd, it was like watching a geek bite off a chicken's head on live teevee. Who could believe he'd do it?

Cliff said...

you left out a bit of information...however Bush did go through the motions of selling the crap on the national stage

Wait, so...
Driftglass, out of malice, ignorance, or being a Greenwald cultist (?) like Charlie Pierce (?) forgot to mention that at least Bush bothered to lie America into a monstrous war of aggression, unlike those honest (?) Russian bastards?

Did I get the train of logic right, or have I hallucinated the whole thing out of a Dayquil overdose?

Horace Boothroyd III said...

@Anonymous 12:08

I must confess that comments like yours get under my skin, in the way that they run over the facts in hobnailed boots.

The AUMF authorized an attack on two conditions: get UN approval, then come back to certify that Iraq still refused inspections in order to get final approval.

Bush went to the UN and was told to fuck off, so he leapt over the certification bit and sent in the troops in a grand fit of bluster. Given the hysterical atmosphere following our glorious triumph, no one could see a politically viable way to take him to task. And yes, political viability is important despite its vulgar and cynical aspects.

So you are just another in a frustrating chain of alleged liberals who make the baffling argument that because Bush invaded Iraq we can not object to Putin invading The Crimea.

Why is it so difficult to say that Iraq was evil, and a failure of the international system that must be corrected, and the Crimea is evil as well?

Rhetorical question.