Saturday, March 14, 2009

The re-education of David Brooks

P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters has the story of how the White House dispatched a team of four operatives to persuade David Brooks to back off his threat to lead an army of moderates to oppose the Obama agenda. Gladnick observes:
So either the four overseers of the White House were masters of manipulation or they had extremely pliable material to work with . . .
Indeed. And now the useless idiot has returned with a new column singing paeans to Obama's education "reform" plan. The Toady-in-Chief's latest column includes this:
Thanks in part to No Child Left Behind, we're a lot better at measuring each student's progress. . . .
Most districts don't use data to reward good teachers. States have watered down their proficiency standards so parents think their own schools are much better than they are.
As Education Secretary Arne Duncan told me, "We've seen a race to the bottom. States are lying to children. They are lying to parents. They're ignoring failure, and that's unacceptable. We have to be fierce."
Oh, those "fierce" reformers! Like President Clinton before him, President Obama sends his kids to private schools. Public schools are for Other People's Children, and the endless promises of "reform" have never been fulfilled, nor will they ever. America's schools are arguably worse now than they were when No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001, and they are certainly no better.

Obama's "reform" plan will not improve the schools, either. To a Democrat, the policy object of school "reform" is full employment and higher pay for members of the teachers' unions. Hire more teachers, pay them more money -- it's a constituent-service model of policy. The Democrat who says anything else is lying, and yet Brooks takes Obama's professions of "caring" at face value:
The Obama approach would make it more likely that young Americans grow up in relationships with teaching adults. It would expand nurse visits to disorganized homes. It would improve early education. It would extend the school year. Most important, it would increase merit pay for good teachers (the ones who develop emotional bonds with students) and dismiss bad teachers (the ones who treat students like cattle to be processed).
Of course, "merit pay for good teachers" is just code meaning, "higher pay, period." Whatever standards are used to measure "merit" will be manipulated by administrators to reward their favorites. Just as the chief result of the student-testing requirements of No Child Left Behind was wholesale fraud in standardized testing, so will the lure of "merit pay" result in bogus attempts to fake "merit."

One wonders if the White House's favorite columnist even believes what he writes anymore. Certainly no one familiar with the bureaucratic reality of how American schools actually operate can believe Obama's plan will produce genuine "reform."

Becoming one of The Republicans Who Really Matter -- of whom Brooks is a leading example -- requires acceptance of a fundamentally false premise, namely, that Democratic politicians act in good faith. This is the Big Lie to which all other liberal lies are ancillary.

The Democratic Party is a conspiracy whereby liars advance the cause of evil with the assistance of fools. Republicans who "reach across the aisle" to cooperate in the implementation of the Democratic agenda are therefore agents of evil. (Whether Republican enthusiasts for "bipartisan compromise" are conscious of their agency in the cause of evil is moot, but they don't call them The Stupid Party for nothing.)

The reason David Brooks is the White House's favorite columnist is because, by the fraudulent pretense that he is a "conservative," Brooks provides key assistance in the Democrats' most essential mission: Obscuring truth.

Hit the tip jar.

UPDATE: Let's have a contest: Describe the Democratic Party in 20 Words or Less.

UPDATE II: A 'Lanche this way comes. Thank you, Professor, and welcome Instapundit readers. While you're here, feel free to poke around and check out the links -- it's Full Metal Jacket Saturday, and Monique Stuart would appreciate your traffic. You can also add me on Twitter or Facebook or your RSS feed. And, of course, your generous contributions to the David Brooks Fisking Fund are deeply appreciated. (It's For The Children!)

UPDATE III: When it rains, it pours: Also linked at RedState RedHot, Liberty Papers, Right, Wing Nut, Tom Maguire at Just One Minute, Ed Drisoll, Little Miss Attila and Moe Lane. Welcome all! And please give generously to the David Brooks Fisking Fund, because I don't know how much longer the ACORN protesters can keep the repo man away from my 2004 KIA.


  1. Another home run.

    I've noticed an odd thing when it comes to "bi-partisan compromise". When Dems do it, they reach out to liberals like Specter, Snowe, or Collins. (I.E. they work Repubs who most resemble Dems.) For the GOP, however, they always want to work with Kennedy or Frank or Rangel-- Dems who share no GOP principles.

  2. "army of moderates"
    Isn't that a Bruce Campbell flick?

  3. Spot on, R. S.! I know your angnst is against Mr. Brooks, but I think David Frum (what is it with so-called conservatives with the first name David?!) is more obnoxious. His one-man Jihad against Rush Limbaugh is disgusting. He has taken it to a personal level. At least Mr. Brooks is just lost and lapping up the Obama "magic". Frum is a fifth columnist for the left. And, he is too dumb to get it. For Craig, if you want to see what happens when a so-called moderate Republican seeks "bipartisanship" look no further than Gov. Benedict Arnold of California. He is truly a girly man.

  4. Perhaps the WH goon squad reminded Brooks that Obama reads--and understands!--Niebuhr. You know how that sends a tingle down his leg. You want to see public education improve? Give it some meaningful competition.

  5. excellent piece. One minor quibble -- the private school Obama's kids are at is better situated to accommodate the special security necessary for any President's kids. A better measure of hypocrisy on this is whether his kids were in public or private schools before becoming President. Everything else was spot-on!

  6. re: Anon

    Yes, Obama DID send his children to private school in Chicago:

    Despite his work to improve Chicago’s public schools, the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee sends his two daughters to the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School, a prestigious private school in Chicago – and he opposes school vouchers, which would allow parents to send their kids to the school of their choice.

  7. So either the four overseers of the White House were masters of manipulation or they had extremely pliable material to work with

    Or they blackmailed him. If the President wants to find (or place) dirt on someone, what could stop him?

  8. I'd be happy to get the smirk wiped off of that face, but I'd settle for the lipstick.

  9. "...fundamentally false premise, namely, that Democratic politicians act in good faith. This is the Big Lie to which all other liberal lies are ancillary."

    Preach.On.Brother. The day Republicans accept the overwhelming historical evidence for this proposition is the day they free themselves from the self-imposed shackles which hamper them terribly in every election or legislative debate. They need to quit pretending the Democrats are "just like us", or that the Dems "want the same things for the country we do", because they're not, and they don't. If Republicans could free themselves from the self-defeating behavior caused by their obsession with whether the Democrats "like" them, then the country as a whole could begin the long journey back to the principles of governance upon which the country was founded.

    For over 30 years I have been dumbfounded at the common trait consistently shared by members of that wing of the Republican Party which could best be described as peopled by Washington Insiders, Eastern Establishment GOPers and Fiscal Conservative/Social Liberals: an unseemly hunger to be "liked" by the well as by the traditional media.

    It astounds me that the "Seven-figure Republicans" are so apparently untroubled at how emotionally needy and psychologically weak they appear when they abandon their party's principles and accept some meaningless "compromise" without a fight on issue after issue. I find it most unfortunate that the new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, seems to be one of those who seek the favor of the Democrats over struggle for victory for what are supposed to be his party's principle beliefs.

  10. The term "Useful Idiots" comes to mind. And your description of the public school system in this country is completely accurate. Teachers who try to teach a harassed until they fall into line. The unions do nothing for the individual members and are not the least bit concerned with their problems.

    If all politicians were required to send their kids to public schools, the schools would be a lot better.

  11. I loved reading this article all of these comments. Keep on bashing anyone who doesn't believe ultra-conservative orthodoxy. Pretty soon the Repugnican party will consist of a holdouts in the south and the mormon west. "Boo moderate republicans! Boo anyone who has known a gay person and didn't bash their head in! Boo the entire northeast, the west coast, and all of the great lake states! Boo anyone who has ever even considered trying to improve their wages by joining a union! Boo women!" etc etc Hehehe I love it.... Keep going guys.

  12. @David,
    Here is a favorite quote:
    History tells all of us that nobody gets a pass. Your [country's] perpetual existence is not guaranteed. If you do not believe in yourself, and believe that you're better than the alternative, and have the educational skills to come to that empirical judgment, then there is no reason for you to continue, and often you won't. --Victor Davis Hanson

    Why not realize that conservatives are arguing for what is proven, whereas the liberals and their moderate sycophants are tinkering with the proven and producing crap.
    Arguably, all you nitwits should be given plenty of space to destroy yourselves. It's your nihilistic desire to drag the rest of the country with you that is raising all of the hackles.
    To France with you!

  13. Wrong craig! Do you follow Congress...? Apparently not all too closely. Remember the 2005 inaction over Federal judicial nominees? It was Dems like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, and Reps like Lindsay Graham, John Warner, and dare I say, John McCain, in the so-called "Gang of 14" who worked through the logjam. While it may be easy to try to lump in moderate and liberal members of Congress as "bi-partisan", your argument will hold up as much as a prophilatic with puncture holes!

  14. As a Conservative named David, I have some obligation to apologize for these other squishes named David.

  15. The Republican party is retreating into reaction, revenge and ridiculousness. If I had a heart condition, I would thank you for doing a world of good by continuing to shoot at one another.

    By continuing to wear the mantle of crackpots, you make yourselves silly. By attacking one another you fail in your signal duty, which is to provide a 'loyal opposition' to the government of the day.

    And by allowing yourselves to be led by well-fed blowhards like Limbaugh, you doom yourselves to irrelevance, and reward us with laughter.

    Well done!

  16. Wow, the site of the Nazi Party in America...Cool...

  17. As for TFQ, Dems in <=20 words:

  18. I am sure Brooks was visited by Chicago type thugs and threatened with who knows what! Just like TV stations were threaten with loss of license during the campaign for running certain ads! Obama acts like a Mafioso with his buddy Rahm. Obama is threat to all of America! He needs to be removed from office!!!

  19. "The Democratic Party is a conspiracy whereby liars advance the cause of evil with the assistance of fools."

    So true; so true; so true; so true.

    In other words - that is the main truth about Democrats and their party.

    That not enough good decent Americans are willing to say out loud this obvious truth is absolutely our number one main problem right now.

    Period. Our main problem is not what you said about Democrats. They are evil and deserve no more attention than evil gets.

    Our main problem is that good people refuse to first admit and then to state the fact out loud.


    The very day that good decent Americans begin to do so - that very day exactly - is the day we are free from the tyranny and oppression of the Dem bas%*&ds.

  20. Yeah, because we all know how those Nazis were definitely small-government types. Sheesh.

    Is it me, or does David Brooks have an inexhaustible appetite for Obama's statist claptrap?

  21. Ever watch Brooks on PBS when he and the fat Democrat with a goiter talk politics? That please-love-me smile Brooks wears tells you why he's a patsy for Obama.

  22. smitty1e, do you have a link to support that alleged quote from Victor Davis Hanson?

    I like it, but it's no good to me if it's just 'someone online once said in a blog comment that Victor Davis Hansen once said, in some unknown context..."

  23. To France with you!

    But don't go there unless you want a medical system with a lower rate of infant mortality, a higher rate of cure for treatable diseases, and that costs a much smaller portion of the country's GDP.

    France has its problems, but its reactionaries seem to hover mainly on the near side of psychosis, unlike ours, who whisper to each other all day long about the Black Helicopters full of Obama clones.

  24. Enjoyed your blog post, followed an Instapundit link to get there. Just have a tiny quibble, really, so small you might barely see it before it comes and goes.

    I spend a decent amount of time on liberal and left-learning blogs, reading articles and also discussing issues with the readers of said blogs via the comments feature.

    One thing that always gets me is the overheated rhetoric. Comparing opponents to Nazis, that's a big one. Claiming that your opponents wish to destroy America, that's another.

    I notice in your blog post you employ this same tactic. You reference Democrats as "evil". The truth is, they are not evil, as a whole. You probably know some democrats, and I doubt very much they are sitting in the parlor, twirling their handlebar mustaches and cackling snidely at the thought of dispossessing orphans of their homes and shelters.

    Just a thought, but we might all be better off leaving out the overheated rhetoric when discussing politics. In the end, it does no one any good, and simply ensures that we can find no common ground with those that oppose us politically. Am I the only one who sees the inherent danger of casting those that might oppose me politically into the role of villainous evil doers?