From The New York Times:
Cory Booker Finds His MomentYou see, from Mr. Brooks' cloistered, privileged little perch deep inside the Beltway Bubble, he is literally incapable to seeing any difference between fascism and fighting fascist. Between racism and fighting racism.
Do Democrats want the fist or the open hand?
Some people believe that fire can be fought only with fire. We’ve got to face the world as it is. If the other side is going after you with full viciousness, you’ve got to find a leader who can do the same to them. This is a knife fight. We need a brawler.
This is the argument white evangelicals made in deciding to back Donald Trump. We’re under siege. He’ll fight for us.
And this is the argument many of the Democratic campaigns are already making. Republicans are irredeemable. Racism is ubiquitous. Capitalist greed is ubiquitous. We need someone who can match Trump blow for blow...
Between one side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge --
-- and the other.
All Mr. Brooks ever knows about such matters is that Both Bides are making Loud Noises when they should be Hugging It Out, so obviously Both Sides are to blame for whatever it is they are fighting over.
This is why Mr. Brooks' poor ol' Both Siderist wankin' sock has to weigh at least a ten thousand pounds by now, with a crust as thick as Arctic permafrost.
There are mastodons and saber tooth tigers buried in there. The ruins of ancient civilizations are trapped in there too, like insects in amber.
You know what else is sealed away in there? Lost and forgotten under layers and layers of desiccated Both Siderist splooge?
The entire fucking Obama administration.
Yep. Damn thing never happened. Which is why Mr. Brooks can write this with a straight face:
But I’d say that [Corey] Booker has a fuller and more realistic view of our situation. Fanaticism is not the normal human state. Fanaticism is a disease that grows out of existential anxiety. It grows when people fear that they are being delegitimized. It grows when people are isolated and insulated from one another. It grows when you have leaders, like our president, who reduce everything to us/them stereotypes and so poison the public mind.
The disease is in our context and not in our souls. And that context can be changed with better leadership...Golly, if only Democrats would elect a president who is calm and humane. Formidably intelligent and fundamentally decent. A president who would reach out to Republicans to a fault, no matter how ruthlessly they slander him, how scurrilously they attack his family and no matter how relentlessly they sabotage anything he tries to accomplish, even if it means filibustering their own bills.
But of course Democrats did try that, didn't we?
I remember it like it was yesterday. I'm sure you do too, as do billions of human beings around the world. How very, very strange it is, therefor, that quite possibly the only adult human on the planet who doesn't remember a single thing about the Obama administration is the senior Conservative political/cultural columnist for The New York Times.
So since I know Mr. Brooks (or his minions) read this blog, let us take them by the hand and travel up the road a few blocks to the offices of New York Magazine where Jonathan Chait is testing Mr. Brooks' idiotic theory that Republicans aren't really aggressively ignorant racist zombies who would rather see the country burn that let a Democrat govern it -- it's just that they need "better leadership" to change their "context" -- against what actually happened when Democrats elected a good and decent president:
The Most Unrealistic Promise Democrats Are Making Is to Restore Bipartisanship
...The Obama presidency was an eight-year experiment in the possibility of obtaining Republican support for major initiatives. It is impossible to imagine a more conclusive result. Despite having jacked up the deficit during the entirety of the presidencies both before and after Obama’s, Republicans spent the entire time insisting on massive fiscal austerity despite facing objectively the most favorable conditions for stimulus spending since World War II. Obama’s offer to support John McCain’s cap-and-trade plan and Mitt Romney’s health-care plan drew almost zero Democratic and zero Republican votes, respectively. Republicans wouldn’t even accept a deal to trim Medicare spending in return for tax reform.
McConnell publicly stated his logic at the time: putting the bipartisan imprimatur on Obama’s policies would make the policies popular. More than mere strategy was at work. By waging partisan war against any of Obama’s initiatives, Republicans helped persuade their voters that his ideas — even those with a solid moderate Republican pedigree — were dangerous socialism. And the more fearful Republican voters became, the harder it was for Republicans to negotiate anything with Obama.”...So given that we have already tried the "Perfect Brooksian Candidate" experiment ... and given that it not only failed spectacularly to change the attitude or trajectory of the Republican base in any appreciable way, but actually amped up their preexisting racism and paranoia so high that they nominated and elected the King of the Birthers ... and given that Donald Trump now enjoys the solid and enthusiastic support of 90% of Republican voters ... you might be asking yourself from the bottom of what pop-skull whiskey bottle is David Brooks divining that the Republican base really are just good folks who have been cruelly misrepresented and are in need of nothing more than hug and a handkerchief from a black, Ivy League-educated Democratic senator.
Well like any big-league journalist, cracking a major story like this, he sussed it out by by having a lunch with some "locals" --
I write this to you from Nebraska City, Neb., just over the Iowa line. I just had lunch with 15 locals...-- at which none of the piercing insights into Trump or Republicans or human nature with which Mr. Brooks has festooned his column were in any way discussed:
...many probably Trump supporters and some probably not. But it didn’t come up.You see, the special value Mr. Brooks bring to The New York Times -- the special skill set for which the House of Sulzberger pays him such a princely sum -- is that he has transcended mere journalism and no longer requires "facts" or "quotes" to confirm his opinions. All Mr. Brooks needs to do is observe how these hardy Nebraska natives wrangled their fajitas over lunch while talking football and cattle prices to know that all of them were the very best of people. That, in fact, all people are the very best people, That evil is an illusion and that anyone who thinks otherwise is deranged:
The idea that any of these good people are “downright evil” because of some political affiliation is ridiculous and a sign of how deranged our discourse has become.Like most of his Beltway media fellow travelers, Mr. Brooks is desperate for his readers to believe all kinds of contradictory claptrap all at once, and not ask him any questions about any of it.
For instance, he wants his readers to believe that the monster that is Donald Trump is somehow completely unrelated to the Republican monster factory that spawned him and nourishes him.
However he also wants his readers to believe that reversing and repairing the damage done by the decades of Limbaugh and Gingrich and rage and racism rotting out his Republican Party is somehow entirely the responsibility of the next Democratic president, while at the same time believing that the only acceptable way for any Democratic president to fix everything that is wrong with our politics is to rerun the Obama Experiment exactly as before while also simultaneously pretending that the Obama Experiment never happened.
But in the end, what Mr. Brooks needs above all else it to convince his readers to refuse to recognize evil when they see it. To train them look for evil only when it comes stomping up to their doors with cloven hooves, wearing a name tag...
...but never recognize it when it takes the form of a banal little mediocrity who dispenses toxic little lies cloaked in the language of piety for The New York Times.
Behold, a Tip Jar!