David Brooks Failure Thread

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by JohnR, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Every column provides ample new material.

    Today we learn that Rick Santorum stands for working Americans. He's not one of those effete Harvard men, he's an everyday American who believes in everyday Americans. So it's very good that he's doing well.

    The evidence that Santorum stands for everyday, working Americans?

    1) His economic proposal slashes the top marginal rate.

    2) His economic proposal cuts capital-gains and dividend tax rates, so that they are barely above that of the lowest marginal income tax rate.

    3) His economic proposal cuts corporate taxes in half.

    Yeah. Working man. Alright.

    Brooks also neglects the following extreme Santorum beliefs (or maybe glides over them quickly, I can't quite remember and article is not at hand). By extreme I mean that most Americans, and an even larger percentage of people in the developed world, do not share these views -

    1) Climate change is "junk science" (Rick is not an elitist, but he's a Ph.D. climatologist in his spare time)

    2) Intelligent design, not evolution (Rick is not an elitist, but he's a Ph.D. biologist in his spare time)

    3) Liberals caused Catholic priests to go bad and abuse children, that's why so many cases happen in Boston (Rick is not an elitist, but he's a Ph.D. sociologist in his spare time)

    4) His energy policy is "drill everywhere"

    5) He is exceptionally militaristic, stating that the U.S. is "at war with Islamic fascists," he criticized even W for being too pacific

    6) Against gay rights

    7) His budget proposal creates a massive deficit, because it slashes revenues, boosts military spending, and has no concrete proposal to reduce costs

    Nope doesn't matter. Santorum is not from Harvard. We don't need two candidates from Harvard.

    Wow that was a stupid article.


  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    Here's a link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/opinion/workers-of-the-world-unite.html?_r=2&hp



    The Republican Party is the party of the white working class. This group — whites with high school degrees and maybe some college — is still the largest block in the electorate. They overwhelmingly favor Republicans.

    It’s a diverse group, obviously, but its members generally share certain beliefs and experiences. The economy has been moving away from them. The ethnic makeup of the country is shifting away from them. They sense that the nation has gone astray: marriage is in crisis; the work ethic is eroding; living standards are in danger; the elites have failed; the news media sends out messages that make it harder to raise decent kids. They face greater challenges, and they’re on their own. ​


    I give him credit for the next paragraph, though:

    The Republicans harvest their votes but have done a poor job responding to their needs. The leading lights of the party tend to be former College Republicans who have a more individualistic and even Randian worldview than most members of the working class. Most Republican presidential candidates, from George H.W. Bush to John McCain to Mitt Romney, emerge from an entirely different set of experiences. ​


    Unfortunately, he goes off the rails from "Enter Rick Santorum" on.

    Finally, I wish my Italian-American (and devoutly Catholic) mother in law was still alive to read this paragraph:

    Santorum does not have a secular worldview. This is not just a matter of going to church and home-schooling his children. When his baby Gabriel died at childbirth, he and his wife, a neonatal nurse, spent the night in a hospital bed with the body and then took it home — praying over it and welcoming it, with their other kids, into the family. This story tends to be deeply creepy to many secular people but inspiring to many of the more devout​


    She had two stillborn children. She also had one child die at five. She would be the first to tell you that this is not in fact devout, but is indeed very, very creepy.
  3. Mr. Warmth

    Mr. Warmth BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    No, it's creepy to the devout as well.
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  4. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    The problem with Brooks and his life experience thing. There's no connection between a candidate's background and economic policies. FDR was born rich and helped the poor. W was born rich and helped the rich. Reagan was born poorish and helped the rich. LBJ was born poor and helped the poor.

    It's a cult-of-personality thing, like I'm supposed to vote for W because he's man you can have a beer with. Which I'm guessing Brooks probably wrote, now that I think of it.


  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    Salon.com agrees with you!

    I think you HAVE to be out-of-touch, arrogant, and excessively self-regarding to be a pundit. I think it's part of the job description.

    But yeah--he's a piece of work.
  6. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Thanks for the link. I didn't know about Brooks's Penn State comments. They echo Santorum on the Catholic priests -- it's not the fault of the conservative institution that boys got butt raped. It's because of the decline in values caused by modern liberals.

    Apparently, personal responsibility is a liberal notion as well.

    Oh and Santorum campaigns against birth control. So ... the working man was better off when he had 7 children? Really?
  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    He's one of those guys who manages to get something right in most of his articles: like the line in the passages I excerpted above where he wrote "The Republicans harvest {the white working class's} votes but have done a poor job responding to their needs." Very true. But then he gets it way way way wrong.

    I remember reading his book that about the phenomenon he called "Bourgeois bohemianism." He'd say one or two bright things, but for the most part, watching Brooks deal with ideas is like watching The Coyote deal with the Road Runner.
  8. Knave

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    There's a breed of pseudo-intellectual who hold ideas in great esteem, and at times become rapturously enamored with them, largely because they have no ideas of their own. Brooks is that sort of pseudo-intellectual.
  9. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Oh, Santorum trashed President Obama by saying that he has engaged in "absolutely un-American activities." (Whatever they might be.)

    See this is how it works. A Harvard man like President Obama is not allowed to slime his opponents because well, that would be slimy. And elitist slimy at that. But a working man's man can say whatever shit he likes and that's cool, because the working man's man is the salt of the earth.

    Well OK if the working man's man rapes young boys that's a mistake but the liberals made him do it, so we kinda understand.

    Did I get the argument right, David?
  10. GiuseppeSignori

    GiuseppeSignori Member

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    Enjoyed this recap of his 2011 columns...

    Top 20 David Brooks False Equivalencies of 2011

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  11. Mr. Warmth

    Mr. Warmth BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Well, he's going to make the Bush era cuts permanent, so that's a 7K tax credit
  12. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    This is a good one from the same article -

    See, President Obama and Republicans and Occupiers are all the same because they all take pledges. Except that only Republicans actually signed a pledge. President Obama didn't. The Occupiers didn't.

    In a way, it must be comforting to be in The Brooks World. You can lie, cheat, steal and fornicate, your neighbor can work 70 hours per week, volunteer for the homeless, and feed milk to stray cats, and when it comes time to be judged Brooks will say that you're both about the same, that it would be unreasonable to say that your neighbor was more virtuous than you are, because you know the world is not black-and-white like that.
  13. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    Does anyone else find the "Upmarket Jeff Foxworthy" tag to be too kind to Brooks?
  14. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know. I read that differently like him calling out all three groups as infelxible assholes.

    I'm neutral on Brooks but I am saddened he really is one of the 'thinkers' on the conservative side. It really shows the brain drain on the right. Dude is not fit to sniff Bill Buckley's rotting jock.
  15. Barbara

    Barbara Where is Rickon?

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    It's creepy as shit to me. Between what I like to call the Dead Baby Field Trip and santorum in the Dan Savage sense, I get a serious case of the willies whenever that man shows up on my teevee.
  16. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Agree with all that. On the other, Brooks talks about pledges. The Republican Party members signed a pledge. The other two groups didn't. He got it wrong. Now, if he wants to say that they are equally inflexible, well that's a different matter. He'd be wrong there too but at least we could talk about that for a while, it wouldn't be an instant wrong.
  17. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't interpret it as a physical paper pledge but rather a promise. I can see how you can interpret it that way since the word has multiple meanings and the definition you are using is just as correct.

    I think this one goes to the booth an the ruling on the field would have to stand for lack of irrefutable evidence.
  18. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    That's OK it's easy to find material for Brooks.

    Buckley was a different matter, of course. Heck George Will is much better, although he was no Buckley. The Reep intellectuals are rapidly de-evolving. In a couple of more generations they will be the Geico Caveman, and a couple of generations after that the Gecko.
  19. Deep Wilcox

    Deep Wilcox BigSoccer Supporter

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    Bobo is one of the sharpest knives in the Republican drawer. Compared to Rick Perry, Santorum, Ron and Rand, Michelle Backman, etc.... Bobo is f'ing Einstein.

    A guy like Bill Buckley would be a Democrat today. He could make a cogent argument, and think things through. I can't see Buckley ranting on about gay marriage for example.
  20. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    It's gotten to the point where David Frum can create a cottage industry out of writing pieces that basically say, "Look at me, I'm a Republican who's not stupid! And the right wing hates me!"
  21. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Yeah but I don't give Frum credit for being Republican any more. If you disagree with everybody in the party on everything, you're not a member of that party even if you say you are.

    I hadn't realized how rich the Iowa caucus voters are. Per today's NYT, 27% of Iowa caucus voters make more than $100,000 per year. And only 14% who make less than $30,000 per year. Halve the first figure and double the second to hit the national averages.

    But I'm sure Brooks will still go with Santorum being the man of the people.
  22. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

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    Frum is a conservative, not a Republican. The Republicans have strayed so far from reality at this point, I don't think I can point to a single legitimate Republican thinker that isn't a morally bankrupt liar.

    Why Iowa Caucus voters make a lot of money right now:

    http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_ne...-in-iowa-real-estate-prices-soar-for-farmland
  23. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    No Failure today. The column was peculiar. I don't get the Rick Santorum love-in whereby Brooks writes Rick is over the top on gays, defends pedophiles, has this thing about birth control, but he's a man of values.

    But whatever, I've seen a lot worse.
  24. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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  25. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Wait a moment, just last week Rick Santorum was the best Republican candidate because his humble background helps him understand the working man.

    Those columns must be very easy to write, few facts required mostly just heavy dollops of pop psychology, and no worries about consistency.

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