Tuesday, June 19, 2018

David Brooks and the Triumphant Return of "Conservatism Cannot Fail"

A well-placed poisoner inside the castle is worth 10,000 troops outside the castle.
-- driftglass

File under: "Know your internet traditions".

This morning, after glancing at the latest godawful dreck extruded by Mr. David Brooks for the titillation of the House of Sulzberger, I went on a brief but rewarding sojourn to that undiscovered country from whose bourn, no Conservative returns.

The Past.

Conservative, you see, are absolutely terrified of the Past, which is objectively hilarious because the Past is the place into which Conservatives dream of dragging the country, kicking and screaming if necessary.  And the reason Conservative are terrified of the Past is because, for them, it's all just one big, untraversable  minefield of their own making.

The Past is packed to the gunnels with Conservatives saying colossally stupid shit over and over again with perfect confidence and telling big, whopping lies over and over again...and then pretending that none of it happened or none of it mattered when it blows up in their faces over and over again.

The Past is also stacked to the rafters with smirking Conservatives using the media to rain an unremitting barrage of unhinged slanders on the Left with  over and over again (Liberals are the real racists!)...and then scuttling back into the safety of their False Equivalence fortress when it all comes roaring back at them over and over again  (Can't we all agree that Both Sides are equally wrong and that politics is a competition between partial truths.)

For its part, the mainstream media is equally terrified of the Past, because the Past is a long and damning record of their steady capitulation to the escalating madness of Right in the name of balance and objectivity.

(And for the record, the Past is fraught for Liberals too, but mostly because it's where our high school pictures are lurking.)

Anyway, I was inspired to go spelunking around in the Past this morning thanks to the utterly predictable No True Scotsman turd which Mr. David Brooks was paid real American money to shit into the op-ed page of The New York Times today. A column in which Mr. Brooks declares that the Trump Administration is definitely not Conservative because, well, because David Brooks says so damn it!
This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.
In fact, True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here because they are the ones who have been warning us about the rise of someone like Trump all along!
What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against.
And just how long have True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks been the real heroes here? 

For centuries!
For centuries, conservatives have repeated a specific critique against state power...
And if True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here, take a wild guess who the real villains must be (emphasis added):
People like Stephen Miller are not steeped in conservative thinking and do not operate with a conservative disposition. They were formed by their rebellion against the stifling conformity they found at liberal universities. Their primary orientation is not to conservative governance but to owning the libs.
So I went rooting around the Past this morning, looking for the earliest example of some stifling, Miller-monster-making Liberal blogger turning the old Bolshevik adage on it's head and coining the now-famous adage "Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed", and of course it was Digby.

And what is most infuriating and tragic is the context in which Digby was writing at the time. 

It was 2006, and after six years of blind, rabid loyalty to the Bush Administration, Conservatives were watching all going to shit right before their eyes.  And their response was this mad, Orwellian scramble -- aided and abetted every step of the way by the mainstream media -- to transform Dubya from tax-cutting hero, military genius and the savior of the Republican party into an unperson as fast as possible:
George W Bush has won two elections with the unquestioning support of conservatives. In his first term he made it quite obvious that he was not a conservative in any sense that I understood conservative. From out of control spending to federalizing education to nation building and messianic foreign policy, he has simply not been conservative by any common definition of the term. None of that stopped conservatives from virtually worshipping the man. It is only now that he has become unpopular and his policies are failing that his brand of conservatism is being criticized on the right. And he's being criticized for being

George W. Bush will not achieve a place in the Republican pantheon. Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. (And a conservative can only fail because he is too liberal.)
And who does Digby name-check as being in the vanguard of that frantic Conservative "It Wasn't Our Fault" propaganda campaign that might as well have been called #NeverDubya?   At  moment in history when Conservatives controlled all three branches of government, just like they do now?

None other than loyal Bush stooges and respected Conservative public intellectuals, Andrew Sullivan --
Following up on my earlier post, I just realized that Andrew Sullivan entitled his piece "Religious Left" which is very interesting. This latest dialog began with Glenn Greenwald's great post earlier this week in which he proclaimed modern Republicanism a Bush cult. It was widely read and discussed on the right as well as the left blogopshere. I disagreed a little bit with Glenn's analysis and called it a Republican Authoritarian Cult because I can already see beginning to detach from Bush and prepare the ground for whoever the next object of their authoritarian passion turns out to be.
and David Brooks:
David Brooks says that the left is Stalinist. I assume that's what Sullivan's title refers to as well. Communism is often considered a secular religion, although that clearly underestimates the huge power of state coercion. If the American left is Stalinist, it certainly has been extremely ineffective. After all, conservatism now dominates all three branches of government. And I can't help but find this argument amusing considering that the primary critique of Democrats is that we have no convictions and are constantly fighting amongst ourselves. We are remarkably undisciplined totalitarians.
And in 2006, what was Mr. Brooks' weapon of choice when it came to weaseling out of taking any responsibility for the Republican catastrophe he had helped to author? 

Well thanks to delicious bit of video I found way in the back the the Crooks & Liars archives, you can watch David Brooks from February of 2006 doing exactly what the Sulzberger family has been paying him a king's ransom do twice a week, every week, in the pages of The New York Times:  deploying the mighty hammer of "Both Sides Do It, But Liberals Are Worse!"

While Chris Matthews laughs and laughs and laughs.

PS.  The "tell" with every David Brooks column in which he lies about the state of his Republican party is that the crises is never here and now and it is never the fault of men like David Brooks.  All Republican crises are always at some point in the future (from Mr. Brooks today) -- 
“Amnesty” has become a club the trolls use in their attempt to stamp a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.
-- or have passed -- whew! -- and now everything is fucking awesome and it's clear sailing ahead as far as the eye can see! (From Mr. Brooks, November 5, 2014 -- less than one year before Donald J. Trump oozed down the Escalator of Doom and into the hearts of the base of Mr. Brooks' Republican party with emphasis added):
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 

Behold, a Tip Jar!


starskeptic said...

"extruded" sounds like a lot of effort for Mr Brooks...

barney said...

Tom Cotton phase...ewwww!

Larcana said...

All of their hideous chickens have come home to roost. But, Sadly, this will not end.
They will go on, even if we defeat them in the fall...they have the ability to rehabilitate themselves with their lies. My anxiety grows. I am saddened for our land. I will continue to resist.

dinthebeast said...

"I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase."

So you've gone from the garden variety moron phase and entered the full-blown traitorous moron-in-office phase.

Is this supposed to be some sort of upgrade?

-Doug in Oakland

rickstersherpa@msn.com said...

Tom Cotton twitted a particularly ugly twit today referring to asylum seeking parents as child traffickers & kids as MS-13 wannabes. David Brooks Beau ideal of modern Republicanism.

Robt said...

As for the (conservative ) Past. I define it more of not just the hey day of the Great Pharaohs of American 1930 and 40's. Carnegie, Rockefeller. The Old money. Cheapest labor to build the pyramids.

Today their images of the good old days are within the pages of the Ayn Rand novels. Brought into the conservative ideological belif system by todays egocentric billionaires. Who believe they are the superior race. Chosen by God.
Kochs, Adelson, Mercers to name a few.
They buy slaves to do their bidding. From Brooks, Bannon to owning the Freedon caucus of the republicans in the Houe of Reps.. They inserted SCOTUS justice Gorsuch with their wealth making conservatives obey their will by wealth.The want to rewrite the Constitution. The people are so damn pesky for such superior wealthy individuals.
Brooks is a low cost resource. Owned and operated to amuse the wealthy by filling in spaces in the media which praises them and always writes word pictures of the feeble and unworthy, (us)..

I notice Brooks is never quite uplifting the spirit or providing heart warmth. He always leaves his readers asking, What the Fuck? What an idiot? Who is he talking to? What is he talking about?
---This, Brooks is good at. Brooks is your blessed gift in written media from the very wealthy who in their superior jest. Provide the welfare he requires to provide us with this (agh) worsd smithing.

Tom said...

Great as always, but proof it a couple of more times!

jim said...

What they work toward is a version of a McPast where Debs didn't get a million votes running from a jail cell, & unions weren't robust enough to get workers a real living wage & basic benefits.

Counterpoint: They just want to turn the clock back to the 50's.
The 1850s, to be precise.

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