David Brooks In 15 Words

Yes, I'm high. What's it to you?From David Brooks' latest column:

nearly every problem with the Republican Party today could be cured by a neocon revival

There's more, but that's really all you need, isn't it?

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  • Fluffy||

    Nearly every problem in American punditry today could be partially ameliorated by a David Brooks suicide.

  • JW||

    If only. There's an army of yammering, slack-jawed fuckwits, all with their own Solution to Everything, waiting behind him.

    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    US suicide rates for 35-64 year olds increased 30% between 1999-2010. The rate for men in their 50's increased by 50% during the same period. Sooo, yeah, it could happen.

  • sarcasmic||

    Huckabee 2016!

  • ||

    Huckabee/Bachman 2016!

  • some guy||

    Kill me/Now 2016!

  • SugarFree||

    No, no. It needs to be someone with TEA Party support. Which is every Republican. Or no Republican. Or just no Republican that did something libertarians don't like.

    Sorry, I forgot what the narrative for the week was...

  • sarcasmic||

    Got, gays, and guns!

    Got, gays, and guns!

    Got, gays, and guns!

  • JW||

    Sorry, I forgot what the narrative for the week was...

    It's the same one every week: shut up and let us drive.

  • SugarFree||

    Big talk from someone that got stood up on his date last night with a dude. NTTATWWT

  • JW||

    It was a masculine public meeting!

  • SugarFree||

    Don't give up, big guy. There's someone hairy and sweaty waiting out there for you.

  • JW||

    :::relieved exhale:::

  • Fluffy||

    Many other conservatives want to go back to the 1890s. They think Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and the other Progressives set us on that course....

    The kind of conservatism that Irving Kristol embodied was cheerful and at peace with modern America...

    Were there ever worse Americans than Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson?

    Seriously. Andrew Jackson had some redeeming moral qualities. The slaveholders among the Founders did, too.

    But other than John C. Calhoun, it's hard to think of anyone who ever summed up all the worst aspects of the American character than Teddy Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson.

    Everything the post-colonialist left accuses white people of being? Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson actually were those things. When the narrator in Heart of Darkness reaches Colonel Kurtz and stares into the blackness of his soul, Teddy Roosevelt is smiling back at him from there. He was a vain and domineering oaf, more than a little crazy, completely without reflection or self-awareness, utterly convinced of his own superiority, who blundered about destroying the lives, fortunes and rights of others for no better reason than his own desire to engage in a performance. Everything about him was a vaudeville routine, and if you had to be trampled to let him do his shtick that was just your tough luck. TR was the American Caligula.

  • Ted S.||

    On the bright side, TR lost his mother and first wife on the same day.

  • Brian D||

    But all the history books speak so well of him...

  • some guy||

    Tells you something about who writes history books, doesn't it?

  • some guy||

    I think Wilson was worse. He had that self-awareness that TR lacked, and yet he still did the things he did. He gets my vote for worst American ever. He was the criminal mastermind to TR's thug.

  • Timon 19||

    That's one hell of a paragraph. I might lift that one day.

  • JW||

    TR was the American Caligula.

    I was forced to sit through some play at the Kennedy Center that centered around TR and the White House at Christmas, so that my spawn could be "exposed to the arts." It was a sloppy, fawning revisionist telling of TR, sanitized for the tots, so they can have a new generation of slobbering sycophants to power.

    It was all I could do to not leap on stage and strangle every one of the actors.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Personality-wise, TR was a great man and a great American. He represented the American ability that Rand admired so much: the power to face any challenge with determination and reshape the world. He could have done a lot of good for the world if he had never sought public office.

    Unfortunately, the progressive impulse he helped pioneer couldn't distinguish between harnessing science and nature, and harnessing the American people.

  • JW||

    He was a preening psychopath, never content on on the magnitude of his latest calamity in the name of American imperialist actions and advancing his brand.

    Fuck going back in time and killing Hitler. TR would be my #1 target.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    I don't disagree that he was terrible for the country, and psychopath might be the right word. He was the supervillain equivalent of a Randian hero: great intelligence, great drive, great leadership, no respect for others' choices, and in place of a morality of freedom, a morality of slavery.

    If he hadn't existed, some other progressive would have done the same job. But because he was such a great man, and represented so many of the best qualities of the American spirit, he was MUCH more destructive.

    I don't know about killing him instead of Hitler, but TR probably did as much as any single human to destroy classical liberalism in the USA.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    "He was the supervillain equivalent of a Randian hero: great intelligence, great drive, great leadership, no respect for others' choices, and in place of a morality of freedom, a morality of slavery."

    Randian heroes respect other's choices (or their right to make them), they just don't give blanket sanction to whatever people "feel like doing." I don't actively "respect" your choices in the sense of giving them the thumbs up. You make 'em; you live with 'em. But you can't escape judgement by me or others.

    This is NOT the Randian equivelant of TR's statist thuggery or narcissistic remaking of the world.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    That was my point. He has all the strengths of a Randian hero, but the opposite morality.

  • Juice||

    Every time you go back and kill Hitler the result is global thermonuclear war no matter how you cut it. Hitler is there for a reason.

  • creech||

    Kill TR and he never runs against Taft, who then beats Wilson and if U.S. never enters WWI, then GB, France and Germany
    figure out how to end WWI without humiliating Treaty and Hitler probably goes back to doing schlocky sidewalk watercolors for tourists in Vienna.

  • SIV||

    TR was a pretty good outdoors writer. If only he stuck to hunting, fishing, camping and exploring.

  • datcv||

    The dream of the 1890's is alive in Portland!

  • Raven Nation||

    "He was a vain and domineering oaf, more than a little crazy, completely without reflection or self-awareness, utterly convinced of his own superiority, who blundered about destroying the lives, fortunes and rights of others for no better reason than his own desire to engage in a performance."

    Yeah, and his peers knew it. That's why they had him run for veep, to try and get rid of him. That's one thing you can blame the anarchists for.

    BTW: +1 for the "Heart of Darkness" ref.

  • ||

    that's really all you need

    Yes. And at least it's honest. If you're going to continually trumpet Neocon positions, it's at least fair if you're upfront about it.

  • Raven Nation||

    How does promoting a neocon revival make sense even from a purely utilitarian "let's-get-elected" perspective. Wasn't the neocon position rejected in 2008 and, to a large extent, in 2012?

  • SugarFree||

    I managed to read the whole thing. The whole thing. Wow.

    If he didn't get fucked up on PCP and write this in a trance, he needs to go to a hospital. He's got a tumor in his frontal lobe the size of a walnut.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It can't be good when the tumor is larger than the host organ.

  • SugarFree||

    Maybe it's his brain that's the tumor. If he got therapy for the eruption of intelligent-like symptoms, he could go back to quietly metastasizing in a pond somewhere.

  • SIV||

    Read the comments. Nobody does prog derp like NYTs commenters.

  • JW||

    I managed to read the whole thing.

    Herein lies the magic to the madness that we refer to as SugarFree.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Alt-text: Nice glasses. Do they come in men's styles as well?

  • datcv||

    Alternative Alt-Text: "Sally Jessy Raphael, I loved your talk show in the 1990s!"

  • Robert||

    Favorite sentence:

    Neocons opposed government programs that undermined personal responsibility and community cohesion, but they supported those programs that reinforced them or which had no effect.
  • robc||

    supported those programs ... which had no effect.

    Bragging about wasting my money?

    Fuck you.

    Can we just start always referring to neocons as Trotskyites at all times until the rest of the GOP gets a clue?

  • Rich||

    The solution is ... to imagine what kind of values Americans should have, and what kind of limited but energetic government can reinforce those values.

    A *lot* have people have done just that, David. But, incredibly, still FUBAR.

  • R C Dean||

    Once you say that government should energetically reinforce the values that your imagine Americans should have, you have revealed yourself as a totalitarian psychopath.

  • Ebriosa||

    I remember one time when I was a teen arguing with a super team Democrat and saying Brooks was just like her. I was utterly convinced he was a Progressive. I'm still confused about the dude.

  • robc||

    Trotskyite. Probably not that far off from progressive.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Hair of the dog, eh? When we're recovering from neo-con-ism, what could be better than another dose of neocon?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The crucial issue for the health of the nation, in this view, is not the size of government; it is the character of the people. Neocons opposed government programs that undermined personal responsibility and community cohesion, but they supported those programs that reinforced them or which had no effect....

    "How would they know if programs induced virtue? Empirically. “Neoconservatives, accordingly, place a lot of stock in applied social science research, especially the sort that evaluates old programs and tests new ones,” Wilson added."

    I suppose it's space limitations which keep Brooks from enumerating programs which undermine virtue, and programs which reinforce virtue or are morally-neutral.

    Get rid of virtue-undermining programs, and you will have reduced the scope of government - not to zero, but to a smaller size than we have now.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Wilson" here is the sociologist, not the President.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    He was a vain and domineering oaf, more than a little crazy, completely without reflection or self-awareness, utterly convinced of his own superiority, who blundered about destroying the lives, fortunes and rights of others for no better reason than his own desire to engage in a performance.

    Who are we talking about, again?

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