Tuesday, February 20, 2018

David Brooks: Moral Idiocy Incarnate


David Brooks' "How To Negotiate With Monsters" as it works in the real world. 
(Caution:  Contains a major Breaking Bad spoiler)


As America's Leading Brooksologist, after 13 years and the hundreds of thousands of words I have published on the subject, I take it as my job to tell you true things about Mr. David Brooks and, by extension, the mainstream media power structure which created Mr. Brooks and protects him like a glutton protecting his lunch.

So here is a true thing:  The Sulzberger family has been paying Mr. Brooks to write slight variations of the same, ridiculous Both Siderist claptrap for 15 years.  This has made Mr. Brooks a wealthy and influential Washington D.C. power player.  It has brought him professional respectability and a life of extraordinary privilege which Mr. Brooks has lived exactly where Mr. Brooks has always wanted to live -- detached from human concerns and floating dirigibly as far above the Real World as humanly possible.

Here is another true thing:   Mr. Brooks' wealth and influence flow directly from his ability to bullshit other wealthy and powerful individuals who also live lives as far removed from the Real World as possible that he, Mr. David Brooks, is possessed of a keen and accurate insight into what is really going on in the grubby Real World far below.  He doesn't, of course -- Mr. Brooks knows shit-all about this country and has a long and well-documented record of being completely wrong all the time about everything. But none of that matters, because his audience of clueless titans of industry, Beltway-media moguls, and TED-Talk jet-setting university presidents are even more clueless than he is.

Here is another true thing:  The cloistered plutocrats who are Mr. Brooks' primary audience do not want to hear that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party has gone mad and is killing the country because that would impose a moral burden on these parasites that they have no interest in shouldering.  They do not want to hear that the lowest of the low -- those dirty, disrespectful hippies who say "fuck" all the time -- have been right about the Right all along, because that, too, would require some kind of action on their part, and they have paid a shit-ton of money to buy their way into the cloud city of High Above It All where the brochure promised that the problems of the Little People would not harsh their beautiful minds.

Here is another true thing:  Thus in order to maintain his position of wealth and influences, Mr. Brooks' must perform one task over and over and over again, perfectly and without fail.  That task is to tell his cloistered plutocrat audience the lies they want to hear. Lies about squabbling Tribes of Red and Blue peasants who are Both Equally Wrong About Everything All The Time.

And today Mr. Brooks glided right over the bodies of 17 murdered Americans to deliver the latest iteration of that Big Lie -- hot and fresh -- to his employer.
We have one big tribal conflict, and policy fights are just proxy battles as each side tries to establish moral superiority. But just as the tribal mentality has been turned on, it can be turned off. Then and only then can we go back to normal politics and take reasonable measures to keep our children safe.
Yes, Mr. David Brooks, who has never in his entire professional life had the first fucking clue about what goes on out here in the Real World, nonetheless has some very definite ideas about how we who do live in the Real World should be conducting our gun control debate.  Specifically, that we as a nation cannot lift one fucking finger to stop mass shootings until the paranoid madness of America's NRA thugs and ammosexual ghouls is heeded -- humbly and respectfully -- by everyone else.

I'm not kidding:

Because then apparently, God Almighty will pass a fucking miracle the likes of which has never happened before in American history when a fanatical minority held the majority hostage:

Here is another true thing:  Within living memory, there has never been any conflict over any public policy where Mr. Brooks has not warned the Left that our only reasonable course of action was to cave, capitulate or otherwise cede ground to the madmen who run his Republican Party.  And as a matter of historical fact, there has never been any case of concession or capitulation to the madmen who run Mr. Brooks' Republican Party which was not immediately followed by those same madmen taking even more hostages and demanding even greater concessions.

But of course, those hostages are never anyone that Mr. Brooks actually knows.

The families whose health care Mr. Brooks' Republican Party wants to strip away are no one Mr. Brooks knows.

Robbing poor senior citizens of fuel assistance won't kill any old people of Mr. Brooks' acquaintance.

Shredding the social safety net to pay for Mr. Brooks' tax cuts will not inconvenience anyone in Mr. Brooks' social circle.

The kids who were slaughtered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were not Mr. Brooks' kids.

So you can certainly be appalled by Mr. Brooks' column today -- I know I am -- but no one has any business being shocked by it.

Mr. Brooks has spent his entire adult life clawing his way to a position of professional respectability and privilege which permits him the luxury of not having to give a shit about the actual life and death struggles of the poor and the elderly and the kids who live here in the Real World.  And the way he gets to keep that very valuable seat in Beltway Elysium is by continuing to feed his cloistered, plutocrat patrons the happy horseshit they wish to believe.  By reducing the very real misery and ruin which Mr. Brooks' Republican Party visits on real people in the Real World every day to fairy tales about the faraway yammering of tribes of equally unreasonable Red and Blue peasants:
The discussions reveal other sensitivities. Some Blues didn’t want to enter a venue that had a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on the wall. To Reds that was a neutral flag from American history, but to Blues it carried all sorts of nasty associations. Reds were offended by the lawn signs that said, “Hate Has No Home Here.” The implication: Hate has no home in my house, but it does in yours.

In another exercise, Reds and Blues ask each other honest, nonleading questions. Blues may ask Reds, “Name a safety-net program you can support.” Reds may ask Blues, “How do you balance having a heart with keeping health care costs under control?”
Here is one last true thing:  Mr. Brooks will go right on gliding over as many dead and suffering Americans as it takes to keep his place in the clouds until his employers kick him out. So how does one go about getting the Sulzberger Family to take some action? Any action at all?

Well, as of this writing, Mr. Brooks has been trending on Twitter all day because of the sheer perversity of today's column, and he is being eviscerated on social media and in the blogosphere.
Examples include:
From Splinter News:  David Brooks: Please 'Show Respect to Gun Owners' During This Difficult Time  
From Brother Charlie Pierce: Our 'National Gun Conversation' Is Now the Worst of American Discourse 
Media Matters:  David Brooks needs to shut up 
This Space Reserved For Yastreblyansky 
All of which is right and good, but none of which will make the slightest difference because Mr. Brooks is protected from on high.  And Mr,. Brooks will go right on being immune to the forces of both merit and morality as long as he keeps delivering that sweet, sweet Both Side Are To Blame (But Mostly Liberals) sugar to his premium clientele.

In fact, according to Mr. David Brooks, the only way to finally get the Sulzberger Family to pass common-sense restrictions on David Brooks' morally bankrupt columns is to listen to David Brooks.

To really listen to him.  Humbly and respectfully.  Decade after fucking decade.

To stop shaming David Brooks.

To stop calling David Brooks potty-mouth names.

To stop pointing out that he lies flagrantly and constantly in order to prop up his morally bankrupt cult of Both Siderism.

Then and only then will David Brooks lead the way to common sense restrictions on David Brooks' toxic bullshit.

Wait, where have we seen this movie before?

Oh yeah...




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Now Is The Time. Right Now.



From The Washington Post:
Don’t blame ‘Washington.’ Blame the GOP.

Dysfunctional Washington refuses to work out its differences to solve problems that matter to Americans.

So say pundits and policy activists, perhaps hoping that diffuse criticism, rather than finger-pointing, will yield a government willing to govern.

But the problem isn’t “Washington.” It isn’t “Congress,” either. The problem is elected officials from a single political party: the GOP...

We saw this during the final collapse of the Bush Administrations, as the crimes and criminal incompetence of that clusterfuck administration multiplied beyond the media's ability to cover up.  A "Holy shit, maybe those Libtards have a point"inflection point in the media that came when all that they had spent years defending and excusing finally became publicly indefensible and inexcusable.

That moment has come again, and now is the time to bring down the Fake Center.  Right now.

Push hard enough, and the Fake Center will collapse.

Take down the Fake Center and the Depraved Right will fall.

I guarantee it.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Sunday Morning Comin' Down



I used to devote more time and viscera deconstructing the Weekend Gasbag Cavalcade back when there was a glimmer of hope that if enough of us documented and published the catastrophic failures of our political media over and over and over again, it might change their collective behavior.

I no longer believe that.

Clearly, their contemptable collective behavior is an organizational feature and not a bug, and therefore unfixable until it becomes unbearably more painful for the men and women who control our corporate media to change their ways than to maintain the status quo.  I still take note of the weekly crimes against journalism and the vipers and pettyfoggers who commit them, but now it is more with an eye towards the future.  Just a dime-store Josephus documenting who we are and why this is happening to us as our country is systematically gutted by forces beyond my control.  And I think I write a pretty honest stick, but this Sunday I can't sum things up any better than @51Renee on the Twitter machine:
Trump having a meltdown today.

Jill Stein having a meltdown today.

Bernie snapping at Chuck Todd today.

Hillary Clinton is laughing her ass off.

She tried to tell you.

#StillWithHer
Yeah, that's about where we're at.

Also a few, very special Presidents' Day Fuck Yous going out to a few very special Beltway media collaborators who never, ever want to find themselves across the table from me with a camera rolling.

First, Fuck You, John Kasich  Y'know, the "Good" Republican who is running so fucking scared from the degenerates who own his Party and their enablers who own the media that he cannot form his mouth the say the word "Republicans" when asked a direct question about who exactly is blocking any meaningful progress on gun control legislation of any kind:
BASH: But when it comes to Congress, you were a member of Congress. Do you think that it's just dysfunction and ineptitude, or do you think it's because they're actually scared of the political consequences from important groups like the NRA?
Instead, he gasses on about the goll durn "Congress" up there in goll durn "Washington D.C." and advises people to just give up on the federal government entirely because of the goll durn "politicians" and do what he did: get a lil' group together with a friend of his and his friend's cousin and then there's Floyd and some of the boys down ta' the barber shop who's always up for whatever, and ya get together and maybe propose somethin' to the town council!
KASICH: ... Where we have to effect this, I believe, is at the local level and the statehouse, because you can have greater access to politicians who serve in the state legislature, in -- a county commissioner, in a city council.
Before ending up exactly where every one of these sniveling Republican cowards always ends up.
KASICH: ... And, look, I'm not calling for some outright ban. I'm talking about small steps that can be taken that can be effective. And the Congress ought to do it.
I just don't -- I -- I don't have any confidence in them. I don't think most Americans do. Nobody's supporting them any more on both sides. They're both broken.
Then Fuck You Maureen Dowd, who took the same "Both Sides/All Sides/Everyone is to blame" playbook and ran with it --
Then I gave up. If the sight of slaughtered angels did not dent the nation’s conscience, could anything?...

But we didn’t care...

In our ongoing angst about our national identity — if we weren’t John Wayne anymore, who were we? — there had been a terrible tacit judgment made: America would accept periodic human sacrifices to the trigger gods in the interest of upholding this bizarre notion that the Second Amendment is inviolate or even really threatened.

We can’t even summon the energy to break the chokehold that the N.R.A. has on Republicans in Congress.

When societies try to protect a malevolent status quo, they become warped.

The most chilling sign of this is when people look the other way as the most vulnerable members of society are preyed on.

America shrugs.
-- pausing only briefly to pat herself on the back for that time she blamed Barack Obama. 
And I wrote in disgust about President Barack Obama failing to marshal the L.B.J. mojo to push through a gun control bill after Sandy Hook even though he had 90 percent of Americans on his side and a Democratic Senate.
Because, see, President Obama didn't use his Magic Green Lantern powers to change the cold, dead hearts of Republican scumbags like Maureen Dowd's brother

Republicans who are are "meh" about all those "slaughtered angels" because Freedumb!  

Republicans who are delighted with the permanent damage President Stupid is doing to this country.  

Republicans who elected the seditious thugs who dynamited everything the Obama Administration tried to do just because they fucking hated the first black president.   From Time Magazine, August of 2012:
TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” 
And finally, a Very Special Presidents' Day Fuck You to Respected NBC Contributor and America's Most Lubricated Conservative Barfly, Peggy Noonan --


-- for very nearly making it to the bathroom before vomiting half-digested wingnut talking points about school shootings all over the sink, the walls, the rug and the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal:
The family blew up—divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent videogames, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen. (The Columbine shooters loved and might have been addicted to “Doom.”) The abortion regime settled in, with its fierce, endless yet somehow casual talk about the right to end a life. An increasingly violent entertainment culture—low, hypersexualized, full of anomie and weirdness, allergic to meaning and depth. The old longing for integration gave way to a culture of accusation—you are a supremacist, a misogynist, you are guilty of privilege and defined by your color and class, we don’t let your sort speak here.
Poor Peggers.  Other than the Wall Street Journal...and The New York Times...and MSNBC...and NBC...and ABC...and the lecture circuit...and book deals..and putting words in the mouths of Republican presidents...and myriad radio appearances...and a standing invitation on the now-defunct Charlie Rose Show...

...no one will let her sort speak here!

Have another drink, Peggy.

Hell, have a thousand.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #428


"No puppet, no puppet. You're the puppet."
-- President Puppet
Don't forget to visit our new website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


Links:


The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" -- 







-- and real listeners like you!




Eva Braun-Nose





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Both Sides Don't Versus Both Sides Dent


Both Sides Don't


Vs.


Both Sides Dent



One of these positions -- the Big Lie that somehow the blood-drunk barbarism, racism, and seditious insanity of the Republican Party which Mr. Dent and Mr., Scarborough have spent their lives serving is the fault of everyone or no one or Both Sides -- has been and remains the near-universal dogma of the Beltway Media for decades.

It seems that anyone, no matter how clownish they may be --


-- can mount an impressive TED-Talk/New York Times/NBC career by simply repeating this Big Lie over and over and over again.



While those of us who take the opposite position -- that it is self-evidently true that the Republican Party is killing this country, that they have been working on their Kill This Country project in plain sight for decades and that media Both Siderists are their enabling henchmen -- continue waging our lonely War on Pronouns as outcasts, held in Coventry by a corporate media system which would rather see the country burn than admit we have been right all along and then do something about it.

UPDATE:  Reader Andrew Johnston suggests that b/c I did not include every Tweet by Mr. Giridharadas I am misrepresenting his position.  Maybe so.  The Morning Joe video of him was not available when I wrote this up so I used his Tweets to convey the gist of what I though he was saying.

But now the video is available. So let's all jump to the 6:00 mark and let Mr. Giridharadas speak for himself outside of the constraints of Twitter.

You're clever people so I'll leave it for you to decide for yourselves.  



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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Paul Krugman Calls For David Brooks To Be Fired


This all sounds eerily familiar.

From Paul Krugman in the NYT.

Budgets, Bad Faith and ‘Balance’

...
Looking at all of this should make you very angry; it certainly infuriates me. But my anger isn’t mostly directed at Republicans; it’s directed at their enablers, the professional centrists, both-sides pundits, and news organizations that spent years refusing to acknowledge that the modern G.O.P. is what it so clearly is.
...

Why have Republicans become so overwhelmingly the party of bad faith? (And not just about budgets, of course; remember when Republicans cared deeply about a president’s sexual morality?) The main answer is probably that the party’s true agenda, dictated by the interests of a handful of super-wealthy donors, would be very unpopular if the public understood it. So the party must consistently lie about its priorities and intentions.

Whatever the reasons for G.O.P. bad faith, however, its reality has been apparent for a long time...

Yet the gatekeepers of our public discourse spent years being willfully blind to this reality.

Meanwhile, many news organizations — which, by the way, gave Ryan years of adoring coverage — treat recent G.O.P. actions as if they are some kind of aberration, a departure from previous principles. They aren’t. Republicans are what they always were...

Now, there’s no mystery about why many people won’t face up to the reality of Republican bad faith. Washington is full of professional centrists, whose public personas are built around a carefully cultivated image of standing above the partisan fray, which means that they can’t admit that while there are dishonest politicians everywhere, one party basically lies about everything. News organizations are intimidated by accusations of liberal bias, which means that they try desperately to show “balance” by blaming both parties equally for all problems...

It is wrong to put a "Donate" button at the end of a post which basically just reprints Paul Krugman from today?

You might very well say that.



I could not possibly comment.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

David Brooks is Sean Hannity. Really.



I have been writing about Mr. David Brooks since I started blogging.  Almost 13 years now.  And I can tell you one thing that is absolutely true:  David Brooks and Sean Hannity are in the exactly same business.

Seriously.  Exactly the same business.

Of course, Sean Hannity's customers are more "inbred trailer trash" --


-- while David Brooks' clientele are more Bert Cooper  --


-- but Mr. Brooks and Mr. Hannity are most assuredly in the same business.

The business of lying to groups of terrified Conservative mental shut-ins.

And business is good.

Really good.

And really profitable.

And really easy, because when you make your living lying to groups of terrified Conservative mental shut-ins, you never have to actually get better at your job.  You can just tell the same lies over and over again, no matter how tattered and ridiculous they get.  Sure, Terrifying Reality will come crashing into your Reality Denial Pup Tent every few days and expose you as the liar and fraud you are, but so what?  At this point, the terrified Conservative mental shut-ins inside your cult are so completely invested in your lies that they will actually help you reestablish the structural integrity of your Reality Denial Pup Tent after each collision with Terrifying Reality.

And as for critics who live outside of your Reality Denial Pup Tent?  Ha!  Fuck those guys!   By definition no one outside the cult matters because outside the cult is where Terrifying Reality lurks and obviously, anyone who is native to that strange and terrible place cannot be trusted.

What brings us to this place today is Mr. David Brooks writing an op-ed column in The New York Times that is so fucking perfect in its unalloyed David Brooksness that the Rise and Fall of American Journalism textbooks of tomorrow will reprint and dissect it over and over again.

So to set the scene I will borrow from my own archives yet, this time from the Year of Our Lord 2007.  Eleven years ago.

Or maybe it was a thousand years ago.

The fuck if I can tell anymore.

The Big Lie

...
Whatever explicitly Republican high crimes, scandals, lie or treasons are under discussion, Something Very Bad will happen to me if I don’t automatically and doctrinally butt in with no evidence whatsoever and assert that, somehow, Democrats are equally bad.

This is GOP Talking Point Number One, repeated so incessantly and so ubiquitously that it has reached the point of reflex.

Everyone is equally partisan.

Equally to blame.

Equally unreasonable.

Everybody knows that…except for some mysterious reason no one can lay hands on a single metric that shows this to be true.

And why? Why this persistent, voluntary blindness?

Well, for the GOP the answer is obvious. I mean, since they can now force the bar to be lowered and the ire to be raised uniformly and robotically for everyone every time they and only they are caught naked, in the apse, fisting the Easter Bunny, they can start every national race no worse than dead-even with any competitor.

But with others – with those who do not follow anything political very closely at all – I think the answer is really very simple. They want to believe it because to believe otherwise is terrifying...

And now we are faced with another grim reality with frightening implications: That millions of our fellow citizens are either hateful morons or clinically insane and that they are almost all packed into the same political Party.

A Party/Media/Corporate Empire which now survives solely by keeping its base ignorant, frightened and berserk with rage.

And the implications that flow from this unhappy revelation that we are two, distinct Americas now -- and that while one is certainly flawed and squabbling and timorous, the other America – the Red/Fox America -- has become so existentially monstrous that it is now inimical to every value we claim to cherish -- are so terrifying to normal citizens that they will not accept it.

And so with the eager help of Hate Radio, Fox News and the Mainstream Media, they invent a bedtime story to help them hide the ugly truth. An opium dream that is now faithfully parroted by every Broder and Brooks and Friedman and Neal Conan in the land. This lie that no matter how low the GOP sinks, somehow, some way the Democrats are equally and oppositely terrible.

Equally steeped in sin and intolerance.

Equally to blame for every bad thing...

Well, it's now eleven years later a million miles further down the road to Republican fascism than we were even in the depths of the Age of Bush.

Eleven years since Mr. David Brooks wished a mighty wish for a "Party No. 3" -- a "McCain-Lieberman Party" -- to comfort his terrified Conservative mental shut-in readers after he had thrilled them with lurid tales of the terrible threats to American Democracy coming from...

...Both Sides!
The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess.

But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people.
Then, yadda yadda Barack Obama.

Yadda yadda Tea Party bigots.

Yadda yadda Birtherism!

Yadda yadda Death Panels!

Yadda yadda the Kenyan Usurper Is Coming For Your Guns!

Yadda yadda BenghaziBengazhiBanghazi!

And yadda yadda a thousand other direct, frontal assaults to our democracy by Mr. Brooks' Republican Party of bigots, traitors, and imbeciles, all of which has now been excised from the collective memory of the Right.  

And now it is eleven years later, and what was once a frightening implication of "...millions of our fellow citizens are either hateful morons or clinically insane and that they are almost all packed into the same political Party" has metastasized into the horrifying reality of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party nominating and electing President Stupid.

Eleven years later but Mr. David Brooks hasn't changed the basic motifs of the toxic fairy tale one iota.  Eleven years later and he is still selling the same ludicrous bullshit to the same privileged cloistered fence-straddling man-babies except this time around the track ("The End of the Two-Party System")  Mr. Brooks offers the Great Recession as his excuse du jour for why his Republican Party is fucked-in-the-head.
Today, after the financial crisis, the shrinking of the middle class, the partisan warfare, a scarcity mind-set is dominant...
An excuse which Martin Longman notes here, is utterly absurd even for the barrel-scrapings of David Brooks.

But from my long perspective on the Big Lie which The New York Times pays Mr. Brooks to repeat over and over again, decade after decade, the villain of any given iteration of that Big Lie is almost beside the point. Over the years Mr. Brooks has grabbed virtually every passing headline to use as the inciting incident to kick start this week's episode of Both Sides Do It. 

Examples of inciting incidents are:
One of Joe Mannix's buddies from Vietnam drops by unexpectedly.  Trouble follows.  

A race-horse disappears right off the track.  Can Thomas Banacek figure out what happened and collect the reward from Amalgamated Insurance, Ltd.?

A student's father is accused of murder.  Can master illusionist Tony "The Magician" Blake use the flying dollar bill trick to clear his name?

Ned Lamont beats David Brooks' spirit animal, Holy Joe Lieberman, in the Connecticut Democratic primary.  Is this the end of American democracy as we know it?
As with any predictable, long-running series, the inciting incident for any David Brooks Both Sides Do It column is never more than a cardboard villain which exists solely to set in motion the umpteenth enactment of the same Big Lie Mr. Brooks repeats to his readers every week.

First, there must be The Flagrant Denial Of History.  Specifically, that everything was jim fucking dandy with Mr. Brooks' Republican Party until the Very Recent Bad Thing happened:
[Trump] insists on perpetual warfare -- against all comers. Stuck fighting his wars with him, Republican politicians have had to say goodbye to most of the pillars of conservatism: rule of law, fiscal discipline, global engagement, moral decency, the idea that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

In theory, the G.O.P. restrictionist position on immigration is perfectly legitimate. But Trump has fatally entwined it with his constant race baiting. Republican politicians could have denounced the race baiting but remained silent. They allowed themselves to become fellow travelers to bigotry, and spoiled their own cause...
During my entire adult life the Republican Party -- the Party of Whitewater witch-hunts and Willie Horton and Birtherism and Death Panels and Jerry Falwell and Lying Us Into The Iraq War --  has never shown the slightest fucking interest in to rule of law or fiscal discipline or sane global engagement or moral decency or the idea that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.  But Mr. Brooks' privileged cloistered fence-straddling man-baby readers desperately want to believe that it has been all of these things -- desperately want to believe that they have not been complicit in the ruin and madness they see all around them -- and they are willing to pay premium prices to hire shit-spinners like Mr. Brooks to tell them soothing nostalgic nonsense about an imaginary noble Republican past which never was.

And so Trump and Trump alone becomes Patient Zero of the wingnut plague.  Trump becomes the Original Sin.  And Mr. Brooks' Republican Party which nominated and elected Trump and solidly supports him to this day somehow had very little to do with Trump.  They're simply "stuck" with him now.  Tainted by his racism.  Swept away from their noble mission in the wake of his bigotry.

Well shit, then it seems pretty obvious what anyone in their right mind should do, right?  Run like hell towards the Democrats.  I mean, whatever your beef with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, they weren't lunatics leading a mob of unhinged bigots and looters and freaks, right?

Wrong.  Because you're thinking like a rational human being and not one of the Conservative mental shut-ins who pay Mr. Brooks to keep their Reality Denial Pup Tent inflated.  For them, no matter what is going on out here in the Real World, no matter how indisputable the nation's problems can be laid at the feet of Mr. Brooks' irredeemably fucked-in-the-head Republican Party, no episode of  Mr. Brooks shitty, long-running soap opera can end without Mr. Brooks definitively declaring that the threats to American Democracy are coming from the inevitable Second Act of this Nauseating Farce.

From...

...Both Sides!  (with emphasis added):
Under the influence of this mentality, evangelicalism turns from a faith into a siege-mentality interest group that reveres a pagan immoralist. Under the influence of this mentality, liberalism goes from a creed that values individual rights and deliberation to one that values group separatism and intellectual intolerance...

 Moreover, the warrior mentality builds on itself. As the right pulverizes the left, the left feels the need to pulverize back, and on and on. This is a generational challenge. Trump will be succeeded by some other warrior.

Eventually, conservatives will realize: If we want to preserve conservatism, we can’t be in the same party as the clan warriors. Liberals will realize: If we want to preserve liberalism, we can’t be in the same party as the clan warriors...
And just like that, to service the pusillanimous fantasies of his privileged cloistered fence-straddling man-baby readers, Mr. Brooks makes the entire Clinton Administration disappear.

The Obama Administration disappear

The entire Democratic Party disappear.

Well fuck you, you sniveling little shit.  The Left Remembers!

But our drama is not yet over.  Because having dismissed everyone who is not David Brooks (and his privileged cloistered fence-straddling man-baby readers) as politically and morally unfit to govern the United States, as his Final Act Mr. Brooks must conjure a brand-new, multi-party political establishment into existence out of whole cloth, populated by the citizens of Mr. Brooks' Imaginary Reasonable Center.  

Like so:
Eventually, those who cherish the democratic way of life will realize they have to make a much more radical break than any they ever imagined. When this realization dawns the realignment begins. Even with all the structural barriers, we could end up with a European-style multiparty system.

The scarcity mentality is eventually incompatible with the philosophies that have come down through the centuries. Decent liberals and conservatives will eventually decide they need to break from it structurally. They will realize it’s time to start something new.
Except there are no decent Conservatives anymore, Mr. Brooks.

Thanks to the hard work and billions of dollars spent by Mr. Brooks' Republican Party and Conservative Movement over the past 50 years to engineer a political machine that could not only nominate and elect a degenerate monster like Donald Trump but cheer him on, there are now only two kinds of Conservatives.

Those who pay Sean Hannity to lie to them.

And those who pay David Brooks to lie to them.



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Monday, February 12, 2018

David Brooks' Latest Both Siderist Abomination Is Currently Being Processed



Please stand by.

Mind Like a Steele Trap



Former RNC chair Michael Steele nine years ago:
Steele to Rush: I'm sorry

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”...

Former RNC chair Michael Steele today:
‘I don’t know what the hell happened’: Michael Steele on the GOP under Trump

By Jonathan Capehart*

Given the state of American politics and the Republican Party, I had one question for Michael Steele: Why shouldn’t we blame him for the current condition of the country? After all, he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee who helped the tea party revolution take over the House in 2010.

“That’s right, baby, I built that bad boy out of steel,” Steele told me in the latest episode of “Cape Up.” “Now, having done that, I can’t help it if they went inside and started tearing up the floorboards and knocking out the windows, and crapping all over the house.”...
Mr. Steele's second career as a David Brooks imitator on various teevee, radio and print media outlets is working out very well for him.

Behold, a Tip Jar!



*In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that Mr. Capehart blocked me on Twitter a few years ago for pointing out to him (pointedly) that Both Siderism is bullshit.