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David Brooks Fisks Himself?

21 September 2011 @ 14:46

Could it be that Obama-crease-loving milquetoast from Manhattan has engaged in a useful exercise of self-reflection?

I’m a sap, a specific kind of sap. I’m an Obama Sap.

When the president said the unemployed couldn’t wait 14 more months for help and we had to do something right away, I believed him. When administration officials called around saying that the possibility of a double-dip recession was horrifyingly real and that it would be irresponsible not to come up with a package that could pass right away, I believed them.

I liked Obama’s payroll tax cut ideas and urged Republicans to play along. But of course I’m a sap. When the president unveiled the second half of his stimulus it became clear that this package has nothing to do with helping people right away or averting a double dip. This is a campaign marker, not a jobs bill.

It recycles ideas that couldn’t get passed even when Democrats controlled Congress. In his remarks Monday the president didn’t try to win Republicans to even some parts of his measures. He repeated the populist cries that fire up liberals but are designed to enrage moderates and conservatives.

He claimed we can afford future Medicare costs if we raise taxes on the rich. He repeated the old half-truth about millionaires not paying as much in taxes as their secretaries. (In reality, the top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes, according to the I.R.S. People in the richest 1 percent pay 31 percent of their income to the federal government while the average worker pays less than 14 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.)

This wasn’t a speech to get something done. This was the sort of speech that sounded better when Ted Kennedy was delivering it. The result is that we will get neither short-term stimulus nor long-term debt reduction anytime soon, and I’m a sap for thinking it was possible.

Yes, I’m a sap. I believed Obama when he said he wanted to move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country. I always believe that Obama is on the verge of breaking out of the conventional categories and embracing one of the many bipartisan reform packages that are floating around.

But remember, I’m a sap. The White House has clearly decided that in a town of intransigent Republicans and mean ideologues, it has to be mean and intransigent too. The president was stung by the liberal charge that he was outmaneuvered during the debt-ceiling fight. So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach.

In answer to my question above: Nope, it’s more like a case of self-abuse, IYKWIMAITYD ― time to get thicker glasses Brooksy.

One more paragraph, if you can stand it:

The president believes the press corps imposes a false equivalency on American politics. We assign equal blame to both parties for the dysfunctional politics when in reality the Republicans are more rigid and extreme. There’s a lot of truth to that, but at least Republicans respect Americans enough to tell us what they really think. The White House gives moderates little morsels of hope, and then rips them from our mouths. To be an Obama admirer is to toggle from being uplifted to feeling used.

Seems that Brooksy’s been figuratively buggered! Well…what do you expect, lad, when you’ve spent the last decades of your life being a whore for the Left? We told you to straighten-up and pull your fly tight, but you insisted on hanging around with the wrong crowd. Ah, well, a stiff crease has no conscience.

I know, I know: I should have known better than to believe this fop, this dainty dandy, would actually look deep into what’s left of his soul and realize that he’d made a mistake when he decided to let function follow form in the shaping of his philosophy.

Ace captures this truth very well in this sentence [emphasis his]:

…you’re a member of the comfortable upper middle class with virtually no fear of economic dislocation. While you may have opinionsabout economics, you can afford to prioritize such matters below worries about "tone," because you are

altogether immune from economic misery.

Your job is set, guaranteed for life (virtually), with few competitors for it. You’re a one-man operation, an employee; your only interaction with the realities of business life is cashing a check, meeting with investment advisers, and occasionally pitching a book to a publisher.

You do not particularly fear a reduction of wages or an increase in taxes, because you’re already making as much money as a writer could reasonably expect to make. Plus, there is not (yet) any way to tax the non-pecuniary benefits of your job — influence, fame, respect, easiness of it all — which far outstrip the pecuniary ones you have to give the government a piece of.

In short, you are someone whose interest in politics is chiefly a theoretical matter. You have no skin in the game…

While Ace doesn’t Fisk Brooksy The Chump, he does eviscerate him with a gentle surgeon’s hand ― too gentle, in fact, but Ace is, after all, not a classic conservative. He’s a bit of squish, with an affection for RINOS. But, it must be said, he has the gift of insight into people’s motivations. I do wish Ace would heed the conservative wisdom of philosopher William Claude Dukenfield:

Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.

We await your great awakening, Mr. Spades.

Sadly, Stacy McCain decided not to compose one of his classic Fisks of David Chauncey Gardiner Brooks, but he, at least, gave us a taste of what might have been:

And here is why you’re a sap, Brooks: You looked at the long era of Republican ascendance (1981-2006) and decided that the cause of GOP policy failure was that Republicans were too conservative. Ergo, you reasoned, some sort of “moderate” bipartisan compromise was the solution. But the failures of the GOP are due to other reasons entirely — including the constant stream of disinformation flowing from the media — and so the bipartisan compromise approach you recommend only leads to Democrat victories.

TWB, proprietor of The POH Diaries, has somehow, someway, secured a brand-spanking-new picture of Brooksy in all his non-glory.

David Chauncey Gardiner Brooks: Go Fisk Yourself.

  1. 21 September 2011 @ 15:08 15:08

    In yesterday’s Commentary Magazine, Peter Wehner opines about this and how Obama admirers Brooks and Ross Douthat are “first-rate” thinkers.

    Anyone exited by the crease in a politician’s pants leg deserves all the ridicule he can stand.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      22 September 2011 @ 16:53 16:53

      Pete Wehner is part of the cocktail circuit. I think he’s a first-rate thinker, but you have to read his works knowing that, like with Charles The Kraut Hammer, sometimes what he writes is going to be absolutely inane.

      As for the other two: if they’re first-rate thinkers, I demand a new ratings system.

      Brooksy should be ridiculed and often by someone who knows what he’s doing – like Stacy McCain.

  2. M. Thompson permalink
    21 September 2011 @ 15:19 15:19

    Remaining an Obama supporter is like staying with a psycho should be-ex. What ever happens, you’re going to get a beating or be disappointed.

    Get smart, ditch Barry!

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      22 September 2011 @ 16:54 16:54

      Trouble is, MT, some people like being in that situation. I know couples like that.

  3. 21 September 2011 @ 15:27 15:27

    Hey Bob, thanks for the link. It was tough to get ol’ Dave to sit still for that picture, but I think it get’s the point across.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      22 September 2011 @ 16:56 16:56

      I thought your idea of showing Brooksy a slideshow of pants being creased at the local cleaners was magnificent!

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