...as those who take a framing hammer to every mirror in their vicinity.
In the future, an exciting if thesis for a social science doctoral candidate to tackle will be a forensic audit of the career of David Underdunk Brooks. Just thing how the the lives of generations yet unborn can be marginally improved by thoroughly documenting the New York Times' accidental, long-duration social experiment that began when the Sulzberger Family decided to find out what would happen when you give a random, mediocre, Conservative hack a huge pile of cash, completely fire-wall him from all feedback and consequences and tell him to write 800 words of whatever the fuck he wants, twice a week, or not, as is suits him.
Because,hey, that might be fun, and third generation rich kids need thrills, and it's a less litigation-prone option than befriending paupers and then hunting them for sport, (see also, "Ritz, The Diamond as Big as The")
After which the entire Sulzberger Family got distracted by a bee...apparently...and then knocked a pile of hot coals over onto their lab notes which , for reasons lost to history, were written on flash paper --
-- the tragicomic, cumulative effect of which was that no one with firing authority remembered that the hiring of David Brooks was part of an elaborate entertainment that was only supposed to last a few weeks.
And so future social science doctoral candidate, here we are, ten years later after the Sulzberger Family forgot it was all a joke, and by now the complete absence of any apex media predators to bring some long, long overdue herd culling to our nation's exotic, inbred Beltway petting zoo has let the weakest and most incompetent of the breed run wild.
Now, thanks to decisions like Sulzberger's Folly, we face a pundit class as morally sightless as cave beetles, unable to perceive the truth that stares them in the face.
Unable to perceive the truth even as they string together words that perfectly describe it.
Because really. who but a Conservative sitting pretty in a 100% critic-proof bunker made of money and strategically non-reflective surfaces could possibly write these (very slightly snipped) words --
The Revolt of the Weak...These problems are medium-size, but the underlying frameworks by which nations operate are being threatened in fairly devastating ways. That is to say, there are certain unconscious habits and norms of restraint that undergird civilization. These habits and norms are now being challenged by a coalition of the unsuccessful.What we’re seeing around the world is a revolt of the weak. There are certain weak movements and nations, beset by internal contradictions, that can’t compete if they play by the normal rules of civilization. Therefore, they are conspiring to blow up the rule book.The first example is Russia. Putin is poor in legitimacy. He is poor in his ability to deliver goods and dignity for his people. But he is rich in brazenness. He is rich in his ability to play by the lawlessness of the jungle, so he wants the whole world to operate by jungle rules.......If Putinism can effectively tear down this norm, more and more we’ll live in a world in which brazenness is rewarded and self-restraint is punished.Then there are the Islamist movements...There has been a norm, developed gradually over the centuries, that politics is not a totalistic spiritual enterprise. Governments try to deliver order and economic benefits to people, but they do not organize their inner spiritual lives....If they succeed... Zealotry will be rewarded, and restraint will be punished.
-- and completely fail to notice that he is writing with almost zoological precision about the primary characteristics of the leaders of his very own Conservative Movement.
Their ultimate aims.
And most especially, their bitter, loser base who have demonstrated over and over again that they are more than willing to smash the norms of democratic governance and blow up the rule book in order get what they want.