While the huge ad campaign for Kristen Welker's disastrous interview with Trump was depriving every other "God damn, the mainstream media sucks!" story of oxygen, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times slipped this over the transom and ran away.
I shall not ask you to suffer a line-by-line Fisking of his dreck, but instead hold in your mind that, after decades of bringing nothing but shame on the profession, Brooks still fancies himself some kind of "journalist". Someone who, in theory, exists to climb inside the mighty machines of politics, industry and government, and come out with important information for the rest of us peons about what's really going on among all those powerful men and women behind all those closed doors.
So first, bear that in mind as you read this quote from Brooks' "Mitt Romney Has Given Us a Gift", column. it's is not an interview with Romney, but a book report on what someone else has written about Romney.
"Romney puts on the record what so many of us have been hearing for years off the record — that the Republican Party has become a party of fakers, that its congressional leaders laugh at Donald Trump contemptuously behind his back while swooning over him before the cameras."
This is Brooks confessing that he and his comrades in the mainstream media damn well knew that the saltiest, sweariest Liberal critiques of the GOP were true...but he and his cronies elected not to share that vital information with the rest of us -- to keep it all "off the record" -- for ... reasons.
And, second, bear in mind that Brooks is about to begin a huge promotional tour for the launch of his upcoming book, "How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen." Bear in mind that sole justification for Brooks' job-for-life at The New York Times has been his alleged ability to take his readers deep inside to corridors of power and tell them what was really going -- in other words, his capacity to see the Republican party and its elected official "deeply" and report back to New York Times subscribers what he saw.
And yet during his decades-long runs at both the Times and the Weekly Standard (and now The Atlantic) Brooks has gotten every single fucking thing wrong.
Hold in your mind Brooks' nearly superhuman skill at getting every single fucking thing wrong alongside his upcoming media blitz to sell his book on The Art of Seeing Others Deeply as you read his diagnosis of one of the most vile, most cold-bloodedly reptilian human beings extant: Mitch McConnell (emphasis added):
Mitch McConnell is the tragic figure in Romney’s tale. He comes across as — and I believe actually is — a decent man who is trying to mitigate the worst of Trump’s effect on his party. But we see the daily corrosions that McConnell must endure to keep up this front — turning a blind eye to Trump’s crimes, turning a blind eye to the threats that were coming in the lead-up to Jan 6.
At one point, McConnell resorts to the rationalization we’ve heard a thousand times — that if Trump loses and the Democrats win, they will pass a hard-left agenda that will ruin America forever. McConnell has to exaggerate how radical Joe Biden is, and what the electorate will support, in order to justify supporting his own party’s lamentable leader.
McConnell’s core problem is that you can’t negotiate with narcissism.
No, McConnell’s core problem is that he doesn't have a conscience and he doesn't have a soul: preexisting conditions which predate the rise of Trump by several decades.
Next, Brooks has this to say about scuttlefish Paul Ryan. He...
...makes a sad appearance in this story. Romney tells Coppins that Ryan called him during the first impeachment trial, seemingly lobbying Romney to acquit. Preserve your viability with Republicans, Ryan advises; preserve your ability to do good.
It’s advice that once seemed plausible and that guided many upright people to enter the Trump administration as voices of sanity.
The rest of it is a victory lap taken of old glories long gone to rust and ashes --
...the Republican Party that once featured people like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and more recently George Romney, Mitt’s father, and George H.W. Bush..
-- and a lamentation that Brooks' Grand Old Party fell, not because men like Brooks spend the last 30 years pretending to "see deeply" into the Republican party and, instead of sounding honest alarms about the monsters his party was incubating inside the chrysalis of the memories of Lincoln and TR, men like Brooks chose to lie to his readers. To sound the "all clear" and reassure them that everything was going great, and was only going to get better.
And now that those monsters are loose and breeding even more toxic offspring of their own, all Brooks has to left to offer is the pretence that all of this came to pass because of the hoodoo wielded against "decent" men like McConnell by a single, loud, orange, racist madman.