Friday, March 17, 2023

Nostradumbass Returns to Form: The Ongoing Adventures of David Brooks.


It's gonna be Rubio!  



I mean, it's gonna be Youngkin!  

Or maybe Sununu!

Or maybe Cocaine Bear, who, let's face it, is only polling a point or two below any of the ciphers and misfit toys Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times has identified this time around the harbingers of the upcoming Awesome Republican Renaissance in his latest biannual column predicting an Awesome Republican Renaissance which is forever just around the corner but never actually arrives.

In fact here is Mr. Brooks just yesterday swearing by God and Emile Durkheim that a Bright Republican Future is Just Around The Corner...
The Post-Trump Era  
As awful as Donald Trump is, it will be exciting to witness the coming re-creation of the Republican Party. 

Oops!  Stop everything.  Stop the presses.  My mistake.  My deepest apologies.  

This is not the headline of Mr Brooks' column from yesterday.  

This was the headline of Mr Brooks' column from almost exactly seven years ago.  From March 25, 2016.

This is the headline from yesterday:

Trump and DeSantis Could Both Lose

I can assure you that I will not make this mistake again.

So with what powerful evidence does Mr. Brooks' fortify his bold assertion?  With his unique, insider access to the power centers of the Republican party, of course.  Rest assured that the "governing wing" of the Republican Party will soon step and set things aright:

This is going to go on for a long time.  This is the Iran/Iraq War.  I want them both to lose.  And I think that's gonna happen!  ... This is going to go on for months and months and months.  Right now you have a conflict with the Conservative -- the philosophical Conservative wing -- and the rogue wing.  So it's interesting to see how that breaks down.  Right now Trump has the advantage in that because the Conservative movement is less Conservative than it was 10 years ago.  But Republican establishment, do not panic...

Damn it!  Damn my ancient eyes and rowdy, troublemaking fingers!  Once again, I must apologize and even more humbly than before.  Because once again that is not a quote from David  Brooks' column from yesterday.  

It was instead a quote from his appearance on Meet the Press from more than seven long years ago, in January of 2016.

These are the relevant quotes from his column of 12 hours ago: 

The conclusion I draw is that the Trump-DeSantis duopoly is unstable and represents a wing of the party many people are getting sick of.

Furthermore, the conservative managerial wing of the party is not some small offshoot of the Tucker Carlson universe... 

The Republican donor class is mobilizing to try to prevent a Trump nomination, and DeSantis is overpriced...

So since the Sulzberger family continues to pay Mr. David Brooks an obscene amount of money to extrude the same steaming logs of Beltway insider claptrap over and over again, decades after decade, I see no reason why we shouldn't amuse ourselves by repurposing some of it to create an equally plausible and much more satisfying fairy tale about how the Republican primary Cocaine Bear Lane is wide open and how one of several, promising American  Cocaine Bears could jump into that lane and perhaps ride it all the way to the Republican nomination!

There are two different narratives running through the Republican Party right now. The first is the Trumpian populist narrative we’re all familiar with: American carnage … the elites have betrayed us … the left is destroying us … I am your retribution.

On the other hand, Cocaine Bears from places like Georgia, Virginia and New Hampshire often have a different story to tell.  They are living their best, cocaine-fueled lives in growing, prospering states.  
So their stories are not about the left behind; they can tell stories about the amazing amounts of cocaine that are locally available. Their most appealing narrative is: I'm a bear, and I have done an unsettling amount of cocaine, and yet I'm still strong and bitey.  Vote for me!

These different narratives yield different political messages. The bellicose populists put culture war issues front and center. Cocaine Bears certainly play the values card, especially when schools try to usurp the role of parents, but they are strongest when they talk about how amazing cocaine is, and how much they enjoy it.

One Cocaine Bear, for example, is making Georgia a hub for green cocaine production. It has vowed to make Georgia “the clean energy cocaine capital of America.” As Alexander Burns noted in Politico, Georgia Cocaine Bear doesn’t sell this as climate change activism; it’s jobs and prosperity.

The two narratives also produce radically different emotional vibes. The Donald Trump/Tucker Carlson orbit is rife with indignation and fury. The Cocaine Bear of New Hampshire, Virginia’s Cocaine Bear and the previous Arizona Cocaine Bear, are warm, upbeat Cocaine Bears who actually enjoy their cocaine.

The former resemble the combative populism of Huey Long; the latter are more likely to reflect the populaism of F.D.R.

If American politics worked as it should, then the Republican primaries would be contests between these two different narratives and governing styles — between populism and Cocaine Bears.

But that’s not happening so far. The first reason is that Trump’s supporters are so many and so loyal, and his political style is so brutal, he may be deterring Cocaine Bears from entering the campaign. My educated guess is that Virginia Cocaine Bear will not run for president in 2024; he wants to focus on cocaine. And Arizona Cocaine Bear may not either. Arizona Cocaine Bear has taken on Trump in the past, but who wants to get into a gutter brawl with a front-runner when you already have a fantastic job doing cocaine in Arizona? It could be that the G.O.P. presidential field will be much smaller than many of us thought a couple of months ago.

The second reason we’re not seeing the two narratives face off is Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor should be the ultimate optimistic, businesslike conservative. His state is growing faster than any other in the country. But instead, he’s running as a dour, humorless culture war populist — presumably because that’s what he is.

So right now the G.O.P. has two leading candidates with similar views, and the same ever-present anti-woke combativeness. The race is between populist Tweedledum and populist Tweedledee. 

Do we really think [Ron DeSantis] with a small, insular circle of advisers and limited personal skills is going to do well in the intimate contests in Iowa and New Hampshire? As voters focus on the economy, DeSantis massively erred in playing culture war issues so hard.

The conclusion I draw is that the Trump-DeSantis duopoly is unstable and represents a wing of the party many people are getting sick of.

What does that mean? Maybe one of the Cocaine Bears can be coaxed into running. Maybe eyes turn to a South Carolina  Cocaine Bear.   Or maybe a New Jersey Cocaine Bear enters the race and takes a sledgehammer to Trump in a way that doesn’t help his own candidacy but shakes up the status quo.

The elemental truth is that the Republican Party is like a baseball team that has a lot of talent dong a lot of cocaine in the minor leagues and a star pitcher who can’t throw strikes or do his job. Sooner or later, there’s going to be a change.

Unless, of course, the Cocaine Bears hook up with the Forward Party or No Labels.  

If that happens, all bets are off.  

No Half Measures


CardinalJedi said...

Mr. Glass:

One of your best columns ever. Brooks is such a waste of protoplasm.

Robt said...

Sorry, I think it is going to be Herman Cain.

Don't give MAGA that liberal deep state Woke lie that he is dead.
Tucker told us Herman Cain presently is in Venezuela With Hugo Chavez working on the voting machines.
So don't even try that liberal democrat Woke line that Hugo Chavez is dead.
He couldn't be dead for I heard on the FOX he was not dead. If he was, wouldn't Brooks, Tucker, Bannon , Tucker, Brooks or Alex Jones be talking about it?

It has the makings of one of those , "Day of the Dead" movie scripts doesn't it?

dinthebeast said...

Cocaine bears? Pffft! My friend Everett (kind of a strange dude, a Republican Deadhead with a poly-sci masters from Stanford who was a top notch delivery driver and a good friend) went camping in Yosemite and took some liquid LSD dropped on salad croutons so they could trip in nature. They bundled their food and hung it from a tree branch with a rope, just as the park rangers suggested, and while they slept, bears pulled their food down and ate it all.
They went home the next day, disappointed, but uneaten...

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Robt said...

Well, rethinking it.

I think for 2034 it is going to be the Governor NY, Kari Lake.

Oh, you deny she is NT governor? She is governor of at least three states right now all at once.

Don't believe me. Just ask her.

So Kari Lake with VOP Donny Jr. verse Marj Freeney with vp Bobert for the last standing choice for GOP primaries.

There is always the moderate Tucker/ Victor Orban ticket?

The campaign promise,, Ball tanning for every Americana. Including Laura Ingraham and Jennine Pirro

Jon Sitzman said...

Greetings BlueGal and Driftglass! :)

The current pundit "wisdom" (for pundits who are not named David Brooks, apparently) is that Trump wins the primary and loses the GE. With much hesitation at believing anything is predictable in American politics any more, I lean that way myself. Of course, the Trump indictment (if it happens at all - I am far less than certain) may change the balance.

In any case, I do hope, slightly, for some bitter amusement at watching Brooks contort himself into knots insisting that Trump won't win the primary, only to watch Trump win the primary. Bitter amusement indeed.

You've stated that Brooks' superpower is that he looks like a milquetoasty NPR nebbish in his suit and specs, while poisoning the American political discourse with his lies. I disagree. Brooks doesn't have any superpowers. What he has, is backers with bottomless wallets.

Brooks lies no less than Fox News, and for anyone actually observing recent history, the lies are no less blatant. Brooks will never be held to account, because the NYT's imprimatur still holds some sway (as it shouldn't).

I hope I live long enough to read a history book (preferably more than one) which denounces Brooks for the huckster, liar, and poisoner he is. He is a stain on this country and a polluter in more ways than one. And the NYT needs to get the same treatment. They're an openly conservative rag, not a reputable and honest broker. Not for a while.

Also, Republicans just admitted what most of us already strongly guessed, that they overtly cheated (with American hostages as bargaining chips) to deny President Carter re-election. Nice times! Way to stay classy, Repubs!

I hope more Americans are beginning to see Republicans for what they are, and what they have been for a long, long time now. They lie. They cheat. Promises are nothing but word-sounds to them. Integrity, morality, probity, honesty, humility - more word-sounds, ephemeral, devoid of meaning. Nothing but tools in a toolbox, levers and pulleys to manipulate their rabid base. Newt Gingrich will say literally anything to get ahead, and deny it 5 minutes later. There's no solidity in them, no final truth. Gingrich is among the most blatant examples (as is Trump), but they're of a type. Others just hide it better (sort of).

I hope more Americans are willing to see these realities and act on them. It's long, long past time.

Thanks for all you do.