The Brooks Riots

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David Brooks, after the Iowa caucuses, Jan. 4, 2008:

The old guard threw everything they had at [Huckabee], and their diminished power is now exposed.

David Brooks (with Bill Kristol), after the New Hampshire primary, Feb. 14, 2000:

John McCain is taking on the Republican establishment. In New Hampshire, he crushed it.

2008:

While Romney embodies the leadership class, Huckabee went after it. He criticized Wall Street and K Street.

2000:

McCain makes the corporate and lobbyist types nervous. The corporate elites have invested heavily in George W. Bush.

2008:

Most importantly, he sensed that conservatives do not believe their own movement is well led.

2000:

[He] attacks a Republican establishment that has already rotted from within[.]

2008:

Huckabee's victory is not a step into the past. It opens up the way for a new coalition.

2000:

[T]he McCain Independents […] topple the old establishment by bringing in new people. They create new alliances within the party.

2008:

A conservatism that loves capitalism but distrusts capitalists is not hard to imagine either.

2000:

[C]ampaign finance reform, special interests, and shaking up Washington … can be understood as part of a more comprehensive ambition to reinvigorate citizenship.

Tells us more about David Brooks than the direction of the Republican party, no? As do the columns' respective conclusions. 2008:

My guess is Republicans will now swing behind McCain in order to stop Mike.

2000:

[T]he McCain insurgency is not just a fundamental challenge to the Republican party but a political phenomenon with potential appeal to the country as a whole.

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  1. Nothing about the Ron Paul revolution?? Did Brooks just fall off a cabbage truck or what?
    Is he unaware that Ron Paul came in fifth in Iowa and may pull it off again in NH? Hasn’t he heard the news from Wyoming…oops.

  2. Matt, you rock! Thanks for the quotes. I can’t understand why David Brooks has this reputation as some sort of sage when it comes to American culture and politics. Iowa, if anything, is a victory for big government and destructive populism at least in Iowa. 🙂 The only good thing to come out of that caucus is Ron Raul kicking Benito Giuliani’s butt.

  3. Yeah, fifth place really gave sixth place a drubbing. That’s what revolution is all about!

  4. while i reserve some minor contempt for brooks for a variety of reasons, this same little quote-minus-context exercise could be run on virtually all pundits with the same basic result = columnists always use the same basic “story” when talking about political candidates and dont generally veer far from the particular angle (economy? foreign affairs? culture? partisan gossip hogs?) they tend to focus on. In brooks case he does tend to be more zeitgeit focused, kind of like a GOP Tom friedman, where he makes these kind of cultural-paradigm-shift pronouncements that are often reusable with any different cast of characters.

    Brooks weakness is that he’s a dinosaur in way. he is one of the few semi conservative writers who comes from the private school/country-club republican culture (economically conservative, socially sorta uptight but dont freak out about gays or abortions or saying “god” every five seconds)

    anyway, whatever. I think political commentators are easy prey for mocking because they tend to these pronouncements. Weigel tends to grate on the ears here in the same way.

    Oh yeah, i forgot… RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL and did i mention RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL

  5. edward doesn’t appear to understand the importance of comparisons made on a continuous scale of measure as opposed to an ordinal scale of measure

  6. What a worthless post. Who is this Matt Welch clown?

  7. When I was a stockbroker, I would get the question: “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”
    Does David Brooks get the question: “If you’re a columnist for the NYT, why are you dumb?”
    I hope so.

    Ruthless

  8. Yes finally some perspective. Its amazing how people are constantly shocked to find history repeat itself perpetually through complete ignorance.

  9. Edward:

    You’re funnier if you wait for other people to mention Ron Paul in a thread rather than mocking his supporters in a total vacuum.

  10. culture (economically conservative, socially sorta uptight but dont freak out about gays or abortions or saying “god” every five seconds)

    Brooks is economically conservative? I see no evidence to back up this claim.

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