Tuesday, November 22, 2016

David Brooks: They Blinded Him With Equivalence

"Good heavens, Mrs. Mussolini! You're beautiful!"

As longtime readers know, for Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times, there is no external event of any kind -- no matter how immediate or catastrophic -- which can ever be allowed to interfere with his Great Project:
...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.
And corollarily (it's a word. look it up.), no barrage of objective factual realities delivered at planet-cracking velocity can ever be sufficient to put a dent in the all-occasion Big Lie of Both Sides Do It that Mr. Brooks relentlessly deploys to prop up his Great Project.

And so, in today's New York Times, we find Mr. David Brooks quietly offering his specialized skill set to the incoming Trump Administration -- the same specialized skills he has been providing to the Republican  Party at a handsome profit for the last 20 years.  Specifically,  using his privileged position in the media to completely ignore the actual Republican Party as it actually exists in the real world, and instead spin for his benefactors a comforting and concealing fairy tale about some non-existent idealized Republican Party where many, many people just like Mr, David Brooks of the New York Times sit around in quiet, well-appointed rooms in comfortable chairs debating the finer points of Edmund Burke.

A "Meet the Press"-friendly, useful lie about the Republican Party as the party elites wished it to be, instead of the absolute shitpile of ignorance and paranoia and racism which it has actually grown into under their care and feeding.

And so today Mr. Brooks meekly submits his resume to the incoming Fascist Party by showing that he can spin just as proficiently for Trump as he used to spin for Dubya.

Right off the bat, Mr. Brooks tells his readers to completely ignore the tens of millions of actual Trump supporters, and what they actually think and say and do, and instead... (From the NYT):
I’ve been thinking a lot about the best imaginable Trump voter. This is the Trump supporter who wasn’t motivated by racism or bigotry. This is the one who cringed every time Donald Trump did something cruel, vulgar or misogynistic.

But this voter needed somebody to change the systems that are failing her...
And just like that we're all mounted up and ready to go for another of Mr. David Brooks' famous Unicorn Safaris.  But this year, instead of hunting for the elusive "Reasonable Republican" or the wily "Late Blooming Independent", Mr. Brooks will be leading his band of wealthy deluded shut-ins even deeper up his own ass in In Search Of...

...the Noble Trump Voter.
She needed somebody to change the public school system that serves the suburban children of professors, journalists and lawyers but has left her kids under-skilled and underpaid...

She needed some way to protect herself from the tech executives who give exciting speeches about disruption but don’t know anything about the people actually being disrupted...

She...admires rich people but disdains professionals — the teachers who condescend to her, the doctors who don’t make time for her...
And shockingly, according to Mr. Brooks, the Empty Vessel which he is now filling up with his own, Acela-corridor fortune cookie wisdom just so happens to also disdain Dirty Hippies, Black Lives Matter and all those other...
...activists whose definition of social justice never seems to include the suffering people like her experience.
Because really, isn't protesting and all of that at this juncture really just empty narcissism anyway?
Many of my fellow Trump critics are expressing outrage, depression, bewilderment or disgust. They’re marching or writing essays: Should we normalize Trump or fight the normalizers?

It all seems so useless during this transition moment. It’s all a series of narcissistic displays and discussions about our own emotional states...
You know, I have a feeling that if we ever do locate Mr. Brooks' idealize Trump Voter, she will look a lot like this --


-- sans the tiara and furs.

And her imaginary kids will probably look a lot like this:

And I'll bet her imaginary gay cousin in Oregon who thinks Trump has some "interesting ideas" looks like this:

And you just know the imaginary guy who manages the local Taco Bell (and is sick of all the damn illegals) with whom she's kinda on-again-off-again looks like this:

And then there is just enough time for a fast round of Both Siderism --
Finally, surely a little universal humility is in order. Orthodox Republicans spent the last 30 years talking grandly about entrepreneurialism...

The Democratic Party is losing badly on the local, state and national levels. If you were a football team you’d be 2-8. Maybe you can do better than responding with the sentiment: Sadly, the country isn’t good enough for us.

Those of us in the opinion class have been complaining that Trump voters are post-truth, that they don’t have a respect for expertise. Well, the experts created a school system that doesn’t produce skilled graduates. The experts designed Obamacare exchanges that are failing...
-- and finger-wagging from America's Leading Moral Scold:
...It’s tempting to get so caught up in his outrage du jour that you never have to do any self-examination. But let’s be honest: It wouldn’t kill us Trump critics to take a break from our never-ending umbrage to engage in a little listening.
-- before signing off.

And then, inevitably...


Robert Muir said...

We listened - and we heard Trump voters saying Hail Trump and giving the Nazi salute.
got to hell David.

Redshift said...

Weird how he can simultaneously crow about how Republicans control state governments and insist that problems with public schools, which are almost entirely a state issue, are entirely the Democrats' fault.

Jimbo said...

Bobo thinks we have a national school system and that it has failed. We have a national system of local school systems mostly financed by local property taxes and largely still segregated. I and my children had good educations from mostly good teachers because the different school systems we attended had serious financial and human support and taught critical thinking. If there are bad schools and bad school systems out there it's because the local constituents want them to be like that or are too poor/discriminated against to effect change.

John said...

Is it mean to say that I want to hear Tom Brokaw or Barbara Walters say "corollarily."

Yes, it is. Sorry.

dinthebeast said...

Remember W's "ownership society"? In a new twist on it, DFB and his Republican party are gonna OWN the carnage they have loosed upon the country. Whether it makes any difference or not is something we'll just have to find out.

-Doug in Oakland

trgahan said...

So the Noble Trump Voter is someone whose primary concern is that anyone who offends must be put in their place?

How are we supposed to take Brook's character sketch as NOT equitable to voter's desire for strong man authoritarianism over democratic governance?

Does Mr. Brooks realize that his Noble Trump Voter IS exactly what liberals are talking about?

bowtiejack said...

Pardon me, but I have noticed GOPers/"conservatives"/Brooksie and the like are distinguished by NEVER engaging in self-reflection

Tanbark said...

"What's going on" is a bunch of ignorant amurkans with a now-out-of-the-closet lusting for 1932 Nuremburg.

Lawrence said...

Alright, David. Let's take one of the central grievances of the Trump campaign and of the Trump voter: Political Correctness.
Explain in detail what it is, and how it is "killing" "us".

I'm listening.

D. said...

Yanno, I feel just a tiny bit sorry for Mr. Brooks. Somewhere in him, his soul (if it still exists) is absolutely writhing in pain at this construction of a fantasy world in which the last forty or so years did not happen, in which news was uncommodified and no one ever, for any reason, condescended to anyone or decided that experience was irrelevant. Deep down he knows he is a smug arrogant hack who is where he is only because his purveying of lies (and he may believe in them sincerely, but they are still lies) appeals to wealthy men with conservative bents.

All right, that's over. Thrash him hard!

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good evening, Mr. Glass.

Cute column, Mr. Brooks. But what about the people who have to pay the price for the Noble Trump Voter's America?

Let's see, does the word "alt-right" appear in this column? No. "Muslim?" Negatory. "Jew?" Noperoony.

The Noble Trump Voter is someone who didn't walk away from Omelas...


Be seeing you.

bluicebank said...

Despite Brooks' efforts, I get the feeling they will come up short (for his psychological/philosophical/cognitive dissonance state of mind).

I only posit this hypothesis because not even a pretend-intellectual like DFB can withstand the G-forces produced by The Donald, who is now a flip-flopping tornado producing its own weather system. David Brooks can't rewrite history that fast. Eventually the wind-shear will force him to forget what he typed in the prior paragraph, until his universe rips at the atomic level wherein the words in a single sentence of his will feast upon each others' quarks.

tony in san diego said...

Yeah, lady, like Donald Trump cares about your fucking public school.

keith gargus said...

Brookies imaginary Drumpf voter admires the wealthy but not professionals. Hey, let's name names. Does she admire the Walton spawn? or the horrific Mercers? How about everybody's favorite the Koch's. And compare these pirates to doctors, nurses, social workers, engineers and find this class wanting versus the lottery winners of the gene pool. Jaysus Christ, get your head out of your ass. the only people that admire the wealthy are pols, standing in a long line, hat in hand, begging to be adopted. You fucking smug prick.

Unknown said...

"Those of us in the opinion class...."

Wow, if that's not a disqualifier right there, I don't know what is.

There are doers and then there are talkers aka bullshitters. We know which one he is.

And that's no disrespect to you DG. We know you DO. And we know you'd never talk out of your ass the way Brooks.

He's as ignorant as Trump. And so ignorant that he will never recognize the similarity.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

- lifeat45rpm