Friday, July 16, 2021

David Brooks and the Suborbital Right

Weekly Standard cover, October 2001

From Space.Com
Suborbital flight, in contrast [to orbital flight], requires much lower speeds. A suborbital rocket doesn't have the power to achieve orbit. Instead, it will fly up to a certain height that depends on its speed, and then come back down once its engines are shut off... At the top of their flight arc, passengers in a suborbital vehicle will still achieve a few minutes of weightlessness. They are, in fact, falling back toward Earth, but they are experiencing freefall, similar to an airplane completing parabolic maneuvers to simulate zero gravity.

During the Trump Years, altogether too many people who should have known better -- should have learned from the rapid Conservative recovery and retrenchment after the collapse of the Bush Administration -- became possessed of the belief that some of the more genteel, respectable, mainstream peddlers of Conservative drivel might have at last figured out that it was the flaws of American Conservatism itself that paved the way for Trump.  That without the diligent work of decades belt-feeding red meat to bigots and imbeciles (because that was the only way to whip up enough of an electoral mob to enact the Conservative agenda) --

-- there would never have been the rich soil of paranoia and rage on the Right from which a Trump could grow.  

That without the diligent work of decades relentlessly demonizing the Left for warning that playing footsie with fascism and white supremacy would lead to disaster, the malignant trajectory of the Right might have been diagnosed and arrested long before it became depraved enough to nominate, elect, and then re-nominated a monster like Trump. 

But that never happened, because even the most genteel, respectable, mainstream peddlers of Conservative drivel are still Conservatives and are incapable of facing the terrible truth that all that they have always held to be true is false, and that those shiftless, mooching, woke, America-hating, terrorist-loving Liberals were right about the Right all along.  

And because facing this terrible truth is beyond them, they take refuge in their own versions of what I referred to as David Brooks' Great Project several thousand posts ago:: 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.

Sure, the Trump administration was depraved and grotesque and many respectable, mainstream peddlers of Conservative drivel said so out loud.  And, yes, for a few, giddy years they called a Republican president a shithead, and rendered their garments and crushed their pearls demanding to know when the "real" Republicans and the "real" Conservatives would show up to save them.

But all that amounted to was a few, fleeting moments of ideological weightlessness before they began falling back to Earth.  Because in the end no Republican calamity will ever terrifying enough or crushing enough to lift them out of the deep gravity well of their own ideology.  

And so, this week in my local paper, we saw an avatar of the far-right Illinois Policy Institute named Scott Reeder, being given column inches to preach the gospel of the Evils of the Extremes on Both Sides, with nary a mention of Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell or the 01/06 Republican Insurrection or the Big Lie or the history of the GOP ("It's Brookses All The Way Down").

At the national level, this week we also saw Andrew Sullivan returning to exactly where he was 20 years ago -- ranting that the real danger to America was the decadent coastal elitist Left.  This time around, Mr. Sullivan's rant took the form of a Wake Up White People! Substack screed that was first reprinted in The New York Post and then re-reprinted on the Fox News site.  And once again, in Mr. Sullivan's telling, Donald Trump, the Insurrection, the Big Lie and the entire history of the GOP have simply vanished.  Instead, starting in 2015, all of our nation's problems have been caused by the ruthless and all-powerful woke Left forcing decent, God-fearing', real Murricans into a corner ("Stupid Shit Andrew Sullivan Says: The Adventure Continues").

And today we find confirmation Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times has fully returned to pre-Trump status as the Pope of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Brooks was back to preaching that The Extremes on Both Sides were destoyin The Truth.  As I wrote then ("Every Weary River of David Brooks' Prose..."):

[David Brooks has returned to his] decaying cathedral of empty platitudes and false equivalence where, somehow, the Donald Trump and the entire Republican base, and "Some students at elite schools" are both such equally  dangerous threats to democracy that they need to be presented side-by-side in the same paragraph:

But Donald Trump doesn’t get away with lies because his followers flunked Epistemology 101. He gets away with his lies because he tells stories of dispossession that feel true to many of them. Some students at elite schools aren’t censorious and intolerant because they lack analytic skills. They feel entrapped by moral order that feels unsafe and unjust.

Where Conservatives and Progressives are just two equally poisonous sides of the same America-smashing cudgel:

Part of the blame goes to conservatives who try to whitewash history. Part goes to progressives who tell such a negative version of history that it destroys patriotism. 

This week he's in the same pulpit, preaching the same sermon, but this time has decided to wade straight into the one subject above all others that he should be barred for life from ever mentioning again.  From The New York Times:

For most of the past century, human dignity had a friend — the United States of America. We are a deeply flawed and error-prone nation, like any other, but America helped defeat fascism and communism and helped set the context for European peace, Asian prosperity and the spread of democracy.

Then came Iraq and Afghanistan, and America lost faith in itself and its global role — like a pitcher who has been shelled and no longer has confidence in his own stuff...

Yeah, you read that right.

This guy.

This fucking guy -- who was the Managing Editor of this now-defunct hippy-punching and war-porn rag when they ran this cover 19 years ago --

-- is actually gearing up to lecture Americans on the importance of staying in Afghanistan forever.  

But first comes the obligatory detour to you-know-where (emphasis added):

On the left, many now reject the idea that America can be or is a global champion of democracy, and they find phrases like “the indispensable nation” or the “last best hope of the earth” ridiculous.  On the right the wall-building caucus has given up on the idea that the rest of the world is even worth engaging...

What follows is just, well, wow.  Brooks' Great Project on stilts.  Inconvenient history rewritten.  American foreign policy reduced to single stupid and dangerously wrong baseball analogy.  And a profession of befuddlement that the Left has no appetite for Republican foreign policy debacles that men like David Brooks are always eager to champion, but not so eager to put their children on the firing line.  

I guess what befuddles me most is the behavior of the American left. I get why Donald Trump and other American authoritarians would be ambivalent about America’s role in the world. They were always suspicious of the progressive package that America has helped to promote.

But every day I see progressives defending women’s rights, L.G.B.T.Q. rights and racial justice at home and yet championing a foreign policy that cedes power to the Taliban, Hamas and other reactionary forces abroad.

I'm not sure, but I think David Brooks just told Joe Biden that he should not just roll out the full might of armed forces of the United States to "defend women's rights L.G.B.T.Q. rights and racial justice" here in the Land of the Free, but that we should keep the military on that task for as many decades as are necessary, at whatever cost in blood and treasure that may be required, to completely destroy the Republican party and establish a working democracy here in American.

 As the kids on the internet say, shocking if true.

But I suspect that Mr. Brooks isn't saying that at all.  I suspect that since his Republican party is now a   of bigots and imbeciles that no longer cares what David Brooks says about anything, he is actually trying, in his own painfully hamfisted way, to guilt us Liberals -- the same people he spent the bulk of his career slagging as decadent America-hating children, scheming academics, parochial morons and deluded hippies -- into backing his stillborn Neocon dreams of global American military hegemony. 

The good news is that, as of this writing Mr. Brooks is being thoroughly dragged, ass-backwards through the cactus patch that is Twitter.  

The disheartening news is that what wrote about Mr. Brooks more than 16 years ago --

It seem very clear to me that BoBo is many laughably obtuse things, but BoBo Don't Surf. He isn't simply misguided and there is little chance that he's ever going to see the light and change his mind: he reasons backwards from his ideology into his limp diatribes, instead of forward from the facts to a reasonable conclusion.

Instead (and in answer to those questions) I believe Brooks is a serious, committed Wingnut middleman -- sort of the Fundamentalist's pet PBS Mennonite -- which IMHO is much more dangerous than a fully outed DeLay.

Brooks' job is to sell the poison to the Center: to reassure the Moderates and “Reagan Democrats” and to coax the Undecideds into the Windowless Fundy Panel Truck by dandying their evil up in perfumed NYT-speak, and since the battle for the future of the country takes places in the middle, these wingnuts-in-sheeps-clothing are the ones that deserve extra-special beatings.

The good news is, BoBo obviously doesn't know he's an idjit. Instead, he thinks he's tricksey, which is why he keeps obligingly waddling into the thresher blades.

-- I could have written today with just a minor tweak or two.  

Because, except in a few, rare cases, Conservatives are fundamentally incapable of change.

Burn The Lifeboats


Robt said...

I can be grateful if a person identifies as "Never Trumper" who was a long time / life long republican who kept driving the GOP agenda car off the road into a oak tree. Got back into the car and began swerving down the GOP ideological agenda road (off the road) again.

If they did not vote for Trump , they did not do that for me but it does advance something other than GOP/Trump.

But they tell us, while being Never Trump, They remain to hold dear and close their republican conservative ideology. The same barrel of toxic waste that spilled and mutated their party into the Fourth Reich. Folding on to the same beliefs that brought them to Trump as their Chosen one. With all the incompetence and mayhem along the way.

So the next election do Never Trumpers exist if their is no Trump presidential candidate?

Does Josh Hawley, Christy Noam, Tommy Cotton, Ted Cruz rise to the top of the pile of Bulb Shit GOP mountain? Is this who they bring us?
Where are the Never Kevin McCarthy republicans?

I have no data to analyze if these Never Trumpers ae making a difference to their own terrorist republican base. I have no idea why republicans do not come out in primaries more to squash the insane NAZI base in primaries.

Would the general GOP voters vote the same as the primary GOP voters.

I suspect they would. But would like to fid out because I hear all the time of GOP elated official s being afraid of their base primary voters and if more general GOP voters participated. Could they , would they cancel out the established cray GOP primary vase voters.

Lawrence said...

"...more dangerous than a fully outed DeLay."

But not as dangerous as a NetRoots Tom DeLay.

pagan in repose said...

Oh, my freaking god, Fred Barnes! That should be spelled Fwed Barneies. DFB's adopted brother. I haven't seen or heard of that sniffy fart sniffer of his brother DFB's school of mamby pamby pablum dripping scum sucking...well, you get the idea.

Yeah, that Fred fucking Barnes of the past. A McLaughlin Group ass sucker from way the hell back there in the conservative hell-scape.

All of them the bastard step children of that lizard lip licking suck face William F. freaking Buckley Jr.

A last quick Wikipedia history of the conservative progression to trumpsville usa from the 1930's to the current dismantling of our Democracy in outline form.

Driftglass, you have been on fire as of late and I'm loving it. You are one of the best at keeping the history alive and some of us informed.

Both you and BlueGal have my thanks and gratitude for all that you both do. A check to an envelope to you both, soon to be in the mail. Love and kisses.

Kevin Hayden said...

Without David Brooks and Andy Sullivan, I'm pretty sure I'd be forced to renew all my affiliations with the Marx Brothers, double my subscription to the Berzerkeley Barb and renounce my Katholic vows before shipping out to join the Vee-Et-Kongz. Just to prove my undying love of that Shining City on the Hill, East Havana.

Instead those two stalwarts have restored my faith in corduroy knickers and Junket Rennet Custard.

Science Fiction University Episode 8 -- Save The Timeline/Destroy The Timeline

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