Friday, October 2, 2009

David Brooks hates you

Just in case you didn't know it before, his snooty just-so story about talk-radio hosts raging in "spittle-flecked furor" ought to tell you what profound contempt David Brook has for conservatives. Here's his walk-off:
The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.
Speaking of mythology, Brooks' history of the 2008 primary campaign is spectacularly wrong. John McCain got just 33% of the South Carolina GOP primary vote. In that winner-take-all primary, McCain barely beat the evangelical populist Huckabee (30%). And that was only because:
  1. McCain had name ID and had been organizing non-stop in the state since 2001;
  2. The "Anybody But McCain" vote was badly divided;
  3. Southerners respect military service;
  4. Romney was hurt by his Mormonism and "flipflopper" reputation; and
  5. Republican primary voters tend to be older, and McCain owned the Clueless GOP Geezer Vote.
None of this had anything to do with Rush Limbaugh, and had everything to do with the failure of Republican Party leadership. This was why, on Election Night 2008, I wrote "You Did Not Lose," attempting to explain to conservative voters that the defeat of John McCain was not a failure of conservatism. McCain finished with only 47% of the total GOP primary vote, and was never the choice of the party's conservative grassroots core:
While the Democratic struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton captured all the headlines during the primary season, few pundits noticed the massive Republican resistance to McCain's nomination.
For example, on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, McCain got 33 percent of the primary vote in Missouri, 32 percent in Tennessee and Georgia; in caucuses that day, he got 22 percent in Minnesota and 19 percent in Colorado. McCain's share of the total Republican primary vote through Super Tuesday was only 39 percent.
Nor did the resistance end after McCain's most formidable rival, Mitt Romney, called it quits Feb. 7. As late as May 20 -- by which time McCain had been the de facto nominee for more than two months -- 28 percent of voters in the Kentucky GOP primary cast their ballots for other candidates or voted "uncommitted."
Nov. 4, 2008, was Crazy Cousin John's personal defeat, as well as a decisive repudiation of the Republican Party's leaders, who had utterly abandoned the legacy of Ronald Reagan in favor of the "compassionate conservative" agenda of Bushism, which was nothing but Brooksian "National Greatness" in evangelical drag with a Texas drawl.

If I weren't working on a long article about my Kentucky trip, I could write 5,000 words about this perverse classic of Brooksian myth-making:
For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.
"Slightly educated snobs" -- exactly which graduate of Jacksonville (Ala.) State University do you have in mind there, Mr. Brooks?

This endless anti-"populist" crusade for Big Government Republicanism has been a constant of Brooksianism since the neurasthenic geek first started pushing his disastrously influential "National Greatness" idiocy in 1997. That blunderheaded misconception of misinformed thumbsucking earned Brooks membership in The Republicans Who Really Matter, and he's been toiling diligently to destroy the Party of Reagan ever since.

Read my lips: David Brooks is not a conservative! He never has been and never will be. His entire career has been devoted to using his influence over the Republican Party elite to prevent conservatives from exercising influence over the party's direction.

Meanwhile, speaking of Republicans who have never been conservative, Politico reports that "Sen. John McCain is working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image." And it ain't going to happen.

If the GOP moves leftward -- which is what the phrase "center-right" means -- it will implode or become irrelevant as an electoral force, because a majority of Americans still want what Phyllis Schlafly described so eloquently in 1964: A Choice, Not an Echo.


  1. Hence why we are in a Multi-front war.

  2. Amen! David Brooks is no more of a conservative than the despicable Andrew Sullivan. Though they claim to be conservative, both back same-sex "marriage," big government, and amnesty for illegal aliens. "National greatness" requires what Brooks calls "energetic government," which real conservatives call "tyranny."

    And of course, the real giveaway is their contempt for Southerners, something else they share with other Neocons.

  3. Brooks' revisionist history forgets that among those "weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney." was the supposedly non-"spittle flecked" National Review as well. And Romney's *real* record was Brooksian thus his credibility was always in question and still is. He also forgets that the great New York hope Rudy Giuliani who received the backing and provided the employment for the likes of David Frum got hammered and got less results than even Ron Paul.

    Brooks should also note that McCain and Huckabee ran as far away as they could from their records during the primary. How many times did John McCain profess himself a "foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution"? Would Brooks endorse such a passe notion as the Reagan Revolution now? And does Brooks realize the influence of the evangelical base that propelled Huckabee? Is that the direction Brooks wants the party to go? Somehow I doubt it.

    Sure the influence of talk radio isn't the be all and end all. But I think the point is that none of the chattering classes from NYT to National Review to radio have the influence they think they have.

    As for Brooks' "influence over the Republican Party elite to prevent conservatives from exercising influence over the party's direction". It mostly works the other way around. Brooks tends to weave apologias for whoever is in power after they take an action. He can't go too far left though then he becomes redundant even for the NYT. Brooks has no influence. Politicians do what they can get away with and seek good press for it afterward.

  4. Let me give make one other point concerning McCain:

    He also stood up for the Surge and the war when it was unpopular and stood behind the president on that one. I think that made a difference as well.

    McCain reminds me of Norton Anti-Virus, when it is working right it is VERY effective. When it is going wrong it goes wrong SPECTACULARLY!

    (that's why I don't use Norton)

  5. I just suggested on Twitter that Sulzberger send David Brooks to Clay County, Ky. It would be a short, inexpensive trip, since Brooks would only need a one-way ticket . . .

  6. Slightly educated snobs?

    And he is calling someone else a snob?

    Big Government Republicans can go to hell.

  7. Hates me?

    Well, the feeling is mutual...

    Mrs. Peperium

  8. David Brooks is not a conservative in the American sense. Have pity for the poor lad: he's a British Etonian conservative--the kind that is in control of Tory Party right now--and here he is stranded amongst those tacky, loud, and noisy barbarians in America. Poor boy must have felt he had nowhere to run in the 80's when The Raygun and The Iron Lady were striding across the scene.

  9. To repeat a comment I've made elsewhere, Brooks' plan for GOP success is the same as the local department store's, when it decides to compete with WalMart by offering slightly less stuff at a slightly higher price.

    Not a formula for success.

  10. "Big Government Republicans"

    So say that as if there were some other kind.

  11. I have no sympathy for Brooks at all.

    He's working for a paper whose hard-circulation has been cratering for over a decade, whose share price is ~15% what it was in 2002.

    From this rarified vantage point, he's lecturing national figures on delusions of influence. The credibility of his targets is contained in their listenership, and in their results.

    It's the dinner-party conservative worldview, backwashed in a highball glass. Whether hypocrisy or self-delusion remains to be seen.

    I wonder if he ever looks in a mirror?

  12. Perhaps the highly-educated Mr. Brooks would write a tome demonstrating the Obviously Innate and Irreconcilable Conflict between 'populism' and the 'National Interest.'

    It's clear to us untermensch that neither the (R) nor (D) establishment has the National Interest in mind.....

  13. Neocons are blaming everyone for the mess they made of the Republican party and conservative movement. Neocons love no-win wars so they gave us two of them. Neocons love amnesty for illegal aliens, so they gave us several pushes for that, plus the lovely multi-cultural emphasis that follows (alien flag waving etc.).

    Notice how virtually every high profile Neocon is attacking Beck: Bernie Goldberg; Mark Levin; Brooks; David Frum; Lindsay Grahmnesty and more. Those guys are losers and leftists in sheep’s clothing.

    Reject the Neocon agenda of:

    Wars to promote “democracy”

    Illegal and mass legal immigration

    Free trade and massive debt and transfer of wealth to China and the third world

  14. Anonymous 3:37 wrote: ". . . Mark Levin; Brooks; David Frum . . ."

    I'd protest the inclusion of Levin in any list of "neocons." And while Frum is arguably a neocon, and has been guilty of egregious errors of judgement, I would point out that Frum isn't for amnesty and open borders, as are the true neocons (e.g., Tamar Jacoby, Wall Street Journal).

    I nearly didn't approve your comment, Anonymous, but figured it would be better to publish it and argue with your nomenclature than to reject the comment and leave the argument unmade.

    Especially with the White House under Democratic control, there is no reason for conservatives to let themselves be fatally divided over foreign-policy concerns. Let's concentrate now on building effective grassroots opposition to the Obama/Reid/Pelosi domestic policy agenda -- which is clearly leading us toward Weimar America -- and leave considerations of foreign policy for the presidential campaign in 2012.

    I'd give the same advice to religious conservatives, BTW. No need to pick fights now with potential allies over abortion and gays, when we can unite the Reagan coalition against the Obama agenda on so many other fronts.

  15. Mr. Other McCain:

    Anonymous here….

    Neocons aren’t my allies, as they have demonstrated time and time again. I could’ve told you that when I was in high school years ago. Get a clue.

    Mark Levin attacked Beck and he misstates the nature of Neocon foreign policy as “for a strong national defense.” That is wrong as Neocons are for open borders and war for reasons other than national self interest. Promoting “democracy” by war isn’t conservative, it is Jacobin. Are you throwing Edmund Burke under the Bus?

    Frum came to his position on immigration late to the game as an opportunist. Prior to the defeat of the amnesty attempts under Bush, Frum was attacking those engaged in patriotic immigration reform. Frum worked for the Open Borders Wall Street Journal; the Open Borders Weekly Standard and the National Review, which used to oppose the immigration invasion (under John O’Sullivan) but then changed only to jump on the bandwagon of amnesty opposition. Frum isn’t an honest opponent of mass immigration. He never objected to the Open Borders positions of his employers because he agreed with them.

    There is no point in having a movement aimed at loyalty to our native land and our traditional ways if it includes those opposed to same. As a Southerner I think you ought to understand that, even if you must be reminded of that truth by a Yankee (and Son of the American Revolution).

  16. With unemployment at a 26 year high, the New York Times has revealed that immigration authorities at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have undertaken preparations for issuing visas to 11-18 millions (?) My guess over 20 million + illegal aliens who would be granted--BLANKET AMNESTY--if Congress is--able--to pass immigration reform legislation. Now is the time to remind your Senators and Representatives at 202-224-3121, that we demand they do NOT enroll on to this ill conceived abomination. Into our country at least a million law abiding newcomers come annually, clutching their entry visas; many waiting for years for a chance at the American dream. But the thrall of lobotomized Democrats are in for a hard lesson, including some Republican business enthusiasts, who think it's--going to be a simple solution approving this financial calamity.

    This illegal alien mess has been methodically created by both parties for decades. But monumental amounts of the US population do not agree with this outcome. LaRaza, a radical anti-Sovereignty organization, will transform the US into a third world dumping ground yet?

    All we need is mandatory E-Verify to remove from every honest business, workers who came here illegally; those who don't will suffer severe penalties. This is a murky back-door way for hard-line Liberal Democrats to sneak past all verification measures, which would approve a path to citizenship for lawbreakers thus giving them access to--YOUR--health care? All Americans GOOGLE--NUMBERSUSA, to uncover the deceitful way they plan to cheat all legal workers and citizens? America is already on the road to irreversible OVERPOPULATION. Do all the people out their who are suffering from a compassion syndrome, believe--ALL--Americans want to pay even higher taxes to support corporate welfare, for the millions they have already hired? I don't think so?

    This is one of the cloaked agendas of The Council of Foreign Relations to intensify the unfettered inflow of destitute peoples into North America. We already spend more money across the globe, than anyone else? Yet the United Nations is never satisfied. We already have a negative-dollar free trade treaty, which has seen the disappearance of our manufacturing industries. To me Globalism and internationalism are dirty words, and when Americans open their eyes it might be too late? Our country is being emasculated by the illegal immigration and the financial support poured out by unaware taxpayers. America is like the Greek god "Atlas" supporting the world and its issues? That is exactly what we are doing--SUPPORTING THE WORLD? For the record 15 Democrats are already discussing your fate, as they strife to undermine immigration enforcement amendment.

    1. To permanently reauthorize E-Verify? 2. To complete the 700 miles of border fencing? 3. To continue and not rescind the No-match-letter program, that HS Napolitano has closed down. 4. Grassley’s amendment to allow all businesses that use E-Verify to run all of their current employees through the E-Verify system. Go see who the traitors are to our protection of the border at NUMBERSUSA.

  17. Do you know what the state of our highways or underground utilities? Each state has 30 year underground causeways of irreparable water and sewage pipes that our government has ignored. Again I say watch "The Crumbling of America" on the History channel. Each year our bridges and dams are deteriorating, so they do hasty repairs, but many are seeing deployable erosion that cannot be fixed, because the state has not enough money? Yet the Democrats want to cause an avalanche of impoverished people, who will want to bring in even more family members. Who’s going to recompense for them? Then even more will break through the fence, enter as a tourist or slip into America via the Caribbean? The onslaught will never end and our reservoir of cash is finally exhausted.

    I have a hard time paying my taxes, without paying more for the impecunious, uneducated who slip into our sovereign country bring the criminals, the handicapped and elderly immigrants. Who pays for my family and kids, the house payment, health care and car? NOT THE BLOODY TRAITORS IN WASHINGTON ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO KEEP PILING ON HIDDEN TAXES TO SUBSIDIZE ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS AND FAMILIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. I'LL EVEN GO FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SKILLED JOBS AND SOMETHING TO OFFER, BUT NOT FOR JUST ANYBODY WHO TAXPAYERS HAVE TO SUPPORT? Learn more about corruption at JUDICIAL WATCH. Learn about POPULATION GROWTH at CAPSWEB.

  18. I never realized how frigging short Brooks is. Dorf on politics.

  19. The only Republican that had any chance of beating Obama/Hillary was Ron Paul. Which is precisely why the libs mocked him, until after McCain was the nominee...and why the GOP establishment treated him like utter crap...he is the only candidate with any integrity, consistency and principles. He is also the only one to have anything in common with either Reagan or Goldwater.

    Right now, the party does not need Conservatives---the party needs "counter-revolutionaries" to kick what's left of the neo-cons and the "big government conservatives" back to the Democratic party where they belong.

    BTW...Am I the only one among the commenters to vote for Chuck Baldwin?

  20. "All we need is mandatory E-Verify"

    Naw, you'd need more than mandatory E-Verify to turn the US into a perfect clone of the Third Reich.

    Not much more, but more.

  21. "The only Republican that had any chance of beating Obama/Hillary was Ron Paul."

    Um, not at all. McCain was a poor nominee, but the electoral landslide would have been just as large, perhaps larger, with Paul, a guy the lib-media would have cast as a nut, racist, gold bug extremist, yadda yadda. Not that it wouldnt have made a more clarifying election, but 1964 was a clear choice election too.

    "why the GOP establishment treated him like utter crap...he is the only candidate with any integrity, consistency and principles. He is also the only one to have anything in common with either Reagan or Goldwater." - this is an insult to Duncan Hunter for one, and several others as well, like Fred Thompson.

    Please consider all "The GOP needs to do X" proposals in the context of an electorate that went 53% for Obama in 2008. We cannot throw voters away, but have to win over voters foolish enough to fall for Obama last time... while holding on to principle. Easy? NO!

  22. Quoted from and linked to Stacy's posting and Dark Horse's comments at: COME ON BABY, LET'S DO THE FISK