Tuesday, January 17, 2017

David Brooks Pledges to Go Right on Ignoring America's Problems Until They Go Away

I case you did not know it, Mr. David Brooks, The New York Times' chief Conservative political thinker and America's most tedious moralizing machine, is a very delicate soul.

For example, you might remember that just four years ago he needed to have his personal fainting couch reupholstered with Kevlar because politics was so very mean and awful!

From Mr. Brooks in 2012:
Warfare or Courtship in 2012?
So far this year, both President Obama and Mitt Romney seem more passionate about denying the other side victory than about any plank in their own agendas. Both campaigns have developed contempt for their opponent, justifying their belief that everything, then, is permitted.

In November, the Romney campaign ran a blatantly dishonest ad in which President Obama purportedly admits that if the election is fought on the economy, he will lose. The quote was a distortion, but the effectiveness of the ad was in showing Republican professionals and primary voters that Romney was going to play by gangland rules, that he was tough enough and dishonest enough to do so, too.

Last week, the Obama campaign ran a cheap-shot ad on the death of Osama bin Laden. Part of the ad was Bill Clinton effectively talking about the decision to kill the terrorist. But, in the middle, the Obama people threw in a low-minded attack on Romney. The slam made Clinton look small, it made Obama look small, it turned a moment of genuine accomplishment into a political ploy, but it did follow the rules of gangland: At every second, attack; at every opportunity, drive a shiv between the ribs.

This martial-, gangland-style of campaigning apparently makes the people in the campaigns feel hardheaded, professional and Machiavellian. But it’s not clear that it’s actually the best way to win an election...
Like everything else he has written since the Bush Administration went tits-up, Mr. Brooks' 2012 campaign coverage was pure Both Siderist drivel, but the column in which he rendered his garments and let his inner cossetted, Acela-corridor man-baby hang all the way out --
If they bring a knife, you bring a gun. If they throw a bomb, you throw two. 
Both sides are extraordinarily willing to flout respectability to show that they are tough enough to bare the knuckles.
-- because politicians running for the highest office in the land were engaging in -- shudder! -- politics, was one of the ugliest rodents in the litter (borrowing Michelle Malkin's racist blather equating Obama with Chicago gangsters was just the cherry on top.)

I'm sure that over in Mr. David Brooks' fairy-tale ether-frolic Universe --

-- where human nature is entirely different and everyone thinks just like Mr. David Brooks --
If I were in the campaigns, I’d want to detach from the current rules of engagement and change the nature of the campaign. If I were Obama, I’d play to his personal popularity and run an “American Idol” campaign — likability, balance, safety and talent...
-- President-elect Low Energy and Vice President-elect Little Marco are putting the finishing touches on the Grand Bargain of Mr. Brooks' dreams and Holy Joe Lieberman's Secretary of State confirmation hearings are just wrapping amicably up.

But over in this Universe, The Bastard President-elect -- who Mr. David Brooks categorically refused to take seriously even after he was nominated by Mr. Brooks' party -- is about to become The Bastard President.

And because Mr. Brooks is a very, very delicate creature who thought normal American politics was fucking Thunderdome back in 2012, it should come as no surprise that he finds it unbearable to look The Bastard President -- the beast that his party elected -- straight in the eye.

A beast for whom his party spent the last 30 years making straight the way.

And because The New York Times' chief Conservative political thinker and America's most tedious moralizing machine is an incredibly delicate creature who cannot stand the thought of thinking about this actual political and moral threat to the republic, he has elected to respond in the most David Brooks way imaginable.

First, Mr. Brooks allocates blame to All The Usual Brooksian Subjects for the fact that the country has grown so absurd that it elected The Bastard President.

From Mr. Brooks today:
The Lord of Misrule
You can see where I’m going with this. We live at a time of wide social inequality. The intellectual straitjackets have been getting tighter. The universities have become modern cathedrals, where social hierarchies are defined and reinforced.

We’re living with exactly the kinds of injustices that lead to carnival culture, and we’ve crowned a fool king...
And there it is; the vile, dishonest rot that lies just beneath all of Mr. Brooks' whinging and moralizing and forelock-tugging.  Nothing about race,  Not a word about misogyny.  Or xenophobia.  Or paranoia.  Or pig-ignorance. Or Fox News.  Nothing about Russia or Rush Limbaugh or the pure, malignant "Suck it Libtard!  I drink your tears!" spite that binds Mr. Brooks' Republican party together. Instead all of the madness that is bearing down on us is due to "social inequality" and "intellectual straitjackets" (whoever and whatever the fuck that means) and, of course, those awful Liberal "universities" with their hierarchies and tyrannical speech codes.

And how does The New York Times' chief Conservative political thinker and America's most tedious moralizing machine plan to cope with The Bastard President?

By ignoring everything he says (from Mr. David Brooks today with emphasis added):
Donald Trump exists on two levels: the presidential level and the fool level. On one level he makes personnel and other decisions. On the other he tweets. (I honestly don’t know which level is more important to him.)

His tweets are classic fool behavior. They are raw, ridiculous and frequently self-destructive. He takes on an icon of the official culture and he throws mud at it. The point is not the message of the tweet. It’s to symbolically upend hierarchy, to be oppositional.

The assault on Representative John Lewis was classic. He picked one of the most officially admired people in the country and he leveled the most ridiculous possible charge (all talk and no action). It was a tweet devilishly well crafted to create the maximum official uproar. Anybody who writes for a living knows how to manipulate an outraged response, and Trump is a fool puppet master.

The sad part is that so many people treat Trump’s tweets as if they are arguments when in fact they are carnival...

This is a resolution I’m probably going to break, but I resolve to write about Trump only on the presidential level, not on the carnival level. I’m going to try to respond only to what he does, not what he says or tweets. I really wish some of my media confreres would do the same.

Because really, how important are a president's offhand comments anyway?

And hey look, here is Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times back in 2011 arguing vehemently that while President Obama may be right on the substance of his debt-ceiling deal, the words he was using -- his arrogant, uppity, off-putting tone, as if he's "the only adult in Washington" -- was the real problem:

Ironically, if history manages to survive The Bastard President intact, it will show that President Obama really was (and is) just about the only responsible adult in Washington, and that Mr. Brooks's Republican party really was (and is) a shitpile of bigots, racists, imbeciles, demagogues and con men whose campaign of seditious, lockstep obstructionism and reckless, unhinged, rage-drunk rhetoric led directly to the nomination of the racist, know-nothing lunatic whose raving Mr. David Brooks has pledged to ignore.

Of course that's a mighty big "if"...


dinthebeast said...

"...we’ve crowned a fool king..."

No, DFB, YOU'VE elected a fool president, I didn't do any crowning or electing of the fool in question, and do NOT call him king- he's gonna be hard enough to contain as it is without you giving him any ideas.

-Doug in Oakland

trgahan said...

Brook's resolution reads like someone spending his days by his office phone anxiously waiting the "Come on down to Trump tower for a chat!" call. But then again, I don't pay enough attention to know if he's already gone.

He should have just wrote: "Please Trump! Don't CNN me! I swear I'll be good! Please...my editor is already looking at resumes of people half my salary if I don't get access!"

rickstersherpa@msn.com said...

54% of the country that voted did not vote for your clown DB. But ultimately DB is alright with it because what really united DB with all other conservatives are lower taxes for rich people. (The Koch brothers will likely recoup their 250 million dollars investment in the Republican party in tax cuts in one year.)