Friday, November 07, 2014

David Brooks: The Great Project Continues, Ctd.

Longtime readers know of my crazy theory that Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times does not write editorial columns twice a week per se, but is instead engaged in a massive, long-range project to assemble an entire, fictional alternate history of Modern Conservationism, which is being created right before our eyes by the slow, steady accretion of one godawful Whig Fan Fiction column at at time.

I make mention of it every now and then --
To David Brooks' ongoing, long-range project of radically revising modern history by removing all the Republican treasony bits, you may now add this little gem of falsification which was partially buried under his woozy praise for Hillary Clinton's "muscular" ideas about foreign policy...
-- not because I am under any illusion that I can do anything to stop it --
These stories are not about the world as it actually exists, but the world as Mr. Brooks wishes it to be.  And since he is not a very good fiction writer, there are many, many points where the gears of the real world and his fake Whig World grind and howl, forcing Mr. Brooks to apply gallons of fictive lubricant to keep the keening noise of the real world ripping Whig World off its hinges from drowning out the tepid drone of his writing.

When Mr. Brooks needs an imaginary moral high ground of Centrism on which to stand, he conjures an imaginary army of Dirty Fucking Hippies on the Left that exactly counterpoises the very real mob of Pig People on the Right. 

When he wants to redress what he believes to be the immorality of the deficit, he wishes away the entire, debt-drunk Bush Era and instead pounds away at naughty people having sexy sex time in ways Mr. Brooks does not approve of and invents Whig FanFic "grand bargain" and "austerity" sub-genres wherein he expounds his on his rustic theories about money and cutting social programs.  After which he regularly has his ass absolutely sawed off and served up on the fine china by people like Dean Baker and Paul Krugman and myriad others who actually know what they're talking about.
-- but simply because it is sickening to see such a brazen slow-motion theft and mutilation of history --
University of Chicago history baccalaureate David "Even David Brooks" Brooks has written a genuinely remarkable and revealing column about the rise and fall of American Conservatism.

What makes it remarkable and revealing it is not its scholarly depth or historical breadth or scathing, confessional honesty, but rather that it is a work of almost pure fiction being passed off as fact in America's Newspaper of Record

In his fairy tale, Mr. Brooks describes and eulogizes a fictional Conservatism built from a tense but harmonious fusion between what Mr. Brooks refers to as "economic conservatives" and "traditional conservatives" -- 
The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure base — a society in which families are intact, self-discipline is the rule, children are secure and government provides a subtle hand.
-- that never existed in the real world...

...whereas the real American Conservatism that has blighted this land for +30 years -- the Conservatism  of Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schlafly, Newt Gingrich, Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy -- is to be found nowhere at all in Mr. Brooks' telling.

-- taking place in broad daylight, with no one else saying or doing a damn thing about it.

And today Mr. Brooks began a new chapter in his sprawling saga of The Conservatism That Never Was with "The Governing Party".

It today's installment we learn that while the Republicans may have spent a year or two vacationing on on Shit-House Rat Island, this is something which every political party does when it is out of power.

You know -- Both Sides!
Every party in opposition goes a little crazy. 
And while, yes, the GOP went a little funny in the head there for a bit,

it was really only a brief and perfectly natural "Sarah Palin spasm" -- a bout of 24 hour crazy which pretty much began and ended during the "early Obama era":
Every party in opposition goes a little crazy. For Republicans in the early Obama era, insanity took the form of the Sarah Palin spasm. Veteran politicos took the former Alaska governor seriously as a national figure. Republican primary voters nominated the likes of Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle. Glenn Beck seemed important enough to hold a big rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
But that's all over, see?  Everything is just fine now.  Just fine.  No, seriously officer, my husband is not a violent man,  Sure he gets a little stressed every now and then, but what party out of power doesn't?  Those bruises?  That's really kind of a funny story.  See, I had just hit my head...on the door jamb, and then, uh, when I went to to get some ice, I tripped over the cat and broke my ankle and -- Ha! Ha! -- wouldn't you know it, clumsy me, I broke my arm in three places when I tried to get up.  See, this is all just a merry mix-up.  Ha, Ha, Ha,  Because we're all just fine now.. Honestly.  Just fine.  
Fortunately, serious parties eventually pull back from the fever swamps. That’s what’s happening to the Republican Party.
I will not bore you with yet another recitation of how the last time the GOP was a "serious party" they lied us into the wrong war, botched that war, lost an entire American city, added "Gitmo" and "Abu Gharib" to our nation vocabulary, blew the deficit higher that Reagan and Bush I combined, presided over the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression and So!Much!More!...while David Fucking Brooks cheered them on every inch of the way.

I will also not bore you with yet another recitation of how the last time the Democrats were the opposition party, it was the Liberal Wing of the Democratic Party who opposed both that ruinous war and virtually every one of Bush's ruinous domestic policies ...all while David Fucking Brooks burnished his resume by calling us stupid and crazy and worse.  

But I will say this.

Which of us gets to write the story of our past is still very much up in the air.  But when it comes to the future, I am serenely confident -- as has happened with every single one of David Brooks' ludicrous predictions to date -- when this prophesy of the GOP leaving "the fever swamps" and becoming a responsible governing party goes completely tits up, not one of his Very Serious colleagues will have the guts to bring this embarrassing fact up in his presence.

Which will once again leave Mr. Brooks free to continue moving forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! 

And that is what's killing us.


Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

"Fortunately, serious parties eventually pull back from the fever swamps. That’s what’s happening to the Republican Party."

I don't know if you've ever seen "The Descent"...

...but it's a pretty good analogy for Mr. Brooks' state. A group of women go cave-diving, get trapped in said cave, encounter monsters that kill most of them off, and then...

"Sarah falls down a hole and is knocked unconscious. She apparently awakens, scrambles up a huge pile of bones towards daylight, squeezes through a narrow opening onto the surface, runs to her vehicle and speeds off. She pulls over to vomit and sees Juno sitting next to her, her face streaked with blood. Sarah screams and reawakens to find herself still in the cavern, revealing the events since her previous awakening were a dream. She sees her smiling daughter close by and a birthday cake between them. The field of view widens to reveal that Sarah is hallucinating and she is actually staring at a torch. The calls of the crawlers grow louder, but Sarah is oblivious."

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger

bowtiejack said...

My god, DG.

I followed the link to Brooksie's column (I never actually bother to read the damn thing myself). It's the fantasy world you described.

I am reminded again that these days journalism school grads go for the real money in PR jobs, not that stupid ink stained fact reporting stuff. Goebbels and Edward Bernays would both nod approvingly at Brooksie's "work".

Anonymous said...

I generally agree with the points about fan fiction, and stopping, stuffing and cramming the inconvenient decade(s) down the memory hole.

I tend, however, to take it a bit further. The false equivalencies of High Broder/Brooks is a great sledge by which the great public body is bludgeoned into apathy. Brooks is not writing to you. He is not writing to me, nor is he writing to Crazy Uncle Liberty.
He is writing to the people who pay attention to, and every bienniem participate the great political tradition of voting; but are otherwise distracted by the day-to-day, do not see themselves as particularly partisan - and his twice-weekly drumming, once to the small of the back, the other between the shoulder blades, argues effectively against engaging, caring, believing or hoping that they could change anything. The system is broken.
The system is broken. In 200 times in 800 words, twice a week. In the Grey Lady. Our Newspaper of Record.
And, when the system is so broken, we get election results which come down to single digits per precinct, in aggregate, that decide our elections.
This is the lesson of Nixon-Kennedy 1960. I read somewhere that Nixon lost by one voter per precint. THAT is the lesson of Nixon, Atwater and the Southern Strategy. That is the lesson of Reagan and Hate Radio. That is what I have learned from David Brooks and 2014.

Yours, In Solidary (albeit in Norway)

CM said...

Atleast Krugman wrote something reasonable today.

Anonymous said...

What's killing us?

David Brooks? He's just a eunuch in a whorehouse.

Wanna know what's [i]REALLY[/i] killing us? Read the new article at Rolling Stone written by Matt Taibbi.

snabby said...

Two questions Mistah Brooks will not answer:

What examples of teh crazee can he give us of Democrats out of power?

Why does he never acknowledge teh Republican crazee when it happens?

It's also worth nothing that when he talks about the worthy incoming class, he forgets people like Joni Ernst. Hmmm, how could that be?

steeve said...

"Veteran politicos took the former Alaska governor seriously as a national figure"

Brooks might not have revered Palin in real time when it mattered, but he sure as hell didn't portray her as an empty joke of a politician who's stupid and wrong about everything.

So I guess Brooks, not just in reality but also in his own fictional world, went insane in 2008. How strange that he never once said so. Seems kind of important. If a NYT columnist is crazy, and knows that he's crazy, it's news.

n1ck said...


I won't want to make you suffocate on your own vomit, but given your expertise on David Brooks' Bullshitese™, you could probably come up with a post using just David Brooks opinion piece titles, and I bet it'd be fucking hilarious. Or tragic.

Anonymous said...

Nailed it with the Simpsons ref. well done sir!

Jado said...

Shorter DFB

wagonjak said...

"And since he is not a very good fiction writer, there are many, many points where the gears of the real world and his fake Whig World grind and howl, forcing Mr. Brooks to apply gallons of fictive lubricant to keep the keening noise of the real world ripping Whig World off its hinges from drowning out the tepid drone of his writing."

What kind of drugs do you take to think up miracles of phrasing like this dg? "fictive lubricant!" Just WOW!

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