Barack Obama

For a Man Called Reasonable

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What do you think his favorite Springsteen album is?

Want a window into both David Brooks and the dominant media framing devices that political outliers have to live with every day? Don't read New York magazine's full profile of the Nationally Great New York Times columnist; just take in the first two paragraphs:

David Brooks is angry—for David Brooks, at least. "This is a damn outrage, to be honest," he tells David Gregory on Meet the Press. The signs of fury are there—if you know where to look. He is blinking faster than usual. His head is bobbing around a little. He raises his eyebrows, but not his voice. This is Brooks at his most fuming.

The outrage in question is the ouster of Utah senator Bob Bennett, who after eighteen years in the U.S. Senate has lost a bid for the Republican nomination thanks in part to strong opposition from the tea-partyers. Bennett's offense: He joined the Democrats in voting for the bailouts and co-sponsored a health-care bill that would require everyone to buy insurance. In other words, he was too reasonable.

Unflappable!

Want a window into the world of boats beating ceaselessly against this particular current? Check out the comments to this post.

Some bonus barfbaggery:

It sometimes seems as if Barack Obama and David Brooks share the same rational, unflappable DNA. Every Monday and Thursday, as his deadline approaches, Brooks gets a call from someone in the White House—"I'm not going to say who," he says, which means Rahm—asking if tomorrow is going to be a good day. […]

[T]he special relationship is as much about style as politics. Temperamentally, Brooks and Obama could be twins. They address crises with an almost inhuman calm—an asset at times, but also a liability when the only proper response is emotional.

Reason on Brooks here.

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  1. The David Brooks alt-text is just vicious in an awesomely bitchy way.

    1. Is Blood Brothers the joke here, or is there some Seeger Sessions reference I am missing?

  2. Jesus Christ, it’s only 11:30 and already I’ve had my fill of douchbaggery. Usually I can hold out much longer…

    Thanks a lot, Reason!

    /snark

  3. David Brooks’ favorite Springsteen song is “The Heart of Rock and Roll.”

    1. Now that was very funny and very clever.

    2. I thought it was “Fast Car”…

    3. Mistah State Trooper, please don’t you stop me.

      I can totally see MNG playing Nebraska while reading a bio on Woody Guthrie back in the mid 80’s because truth be told that was what I was doing.

      I have a feeling Brooks was an Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan. Pictures at an Exhibition, and then he went on to Debussy and learning the difference between a Merlot and a Zinfandel.

      1. Don’t disparage ELP. Brooks sucks. Don’t take it out on one of the greatest progressive rock acts. Brooks sucks. He probably listens to Devo.

    4. His favorite song is “Born in the U.S.A. and Not Kenya You Deranged TeaBagger (all rights reserved by Keith Olbermann) Lunatics!”

  4. separated at birth?

  5. “They address crises with an almost inhuman calm?an asset at times, but also a liability when the only proper response is emotional.”

    *barf*

    1. Don’t you know, their greatest strength is their greatest weakness? They are just too damn reasonable. It marks it hard for them to communicate with all us rabble.

    2. Kenyan? Hell, according to this hagiographic asshole, Obama’s (and Brook’s) father must’ve been Vulcan.

  6. That’s a particularly fetching shade of lipstick he’s wearing.

    1. He’s going to a rainbow party with Schumer later.

      1. That’s the most punchable face I’ve seen today.

        1. The term is “backpfeifengesicht.”

  7. I got some nice letters from Brooks’ grandfather in my day, urging me to moderation in the reordering of Soviet society and praising my haberdashery. He believed that only starving half of the kulaks was warranted, and suggested that a nice pinot noir be served with the gruel at the Vorkuta and Kolyma camps. A true moderate and reasonable fellow, he. I can see the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

  8. Rules inquiry:

    When the drinking game is invoked in the headline, does that mean that everyone reading the article must drink, or do we go beyond that and compel everyone visiting the H&R homepage to drink?

    1. Your primitive drinking games amuse me.
      You will be assimilated.

      Hitler!

    2. When the drinking game is invoked in the headline, does that mean that everyone reading the article must drink, or do we go beyond that and compel everyone visiting the H&R homepage to drink?
      It would be un-libertarian to compel them to drink. That being said, if you assent to playing the game and following the rules, simply reading the headline is cause. Drink!

  9. It sometimes seems as if Barack Obama and David Brooks share the same rational, unflappable DNA.

    I’m pretty sure this must be wrong. David Brooks doesn’t look like he was born in Kenya.

    1. “It sometimes seems as if Barack Obama and David Brooks share the same rational, unflappable DNA.”

      I’m sure David and Obama share DNA – just not in the way the author of this piece envisioned.

      1. Can David Brooks digest DNA? That is the question.

  10. For a Man Called Reasonable…

    Drink!

  11. Every Monday and Thursday, as his deadline approaches, Brooks gets a call from someone in the White House

    They just want to make sure his tongue is all limbered up.

    1. Possibly, that call is to provide him with “proof of life” for whoever he cares about that the Daley-Machine-in-Chief has locked up somewhere.

      1. You can’t force the willing.

  12. Caption:
    “Once you get the plug in, you just kind of rotate it a little, like this.”

  13. “They address crises with an almost inhuman calm?an asset at times, but also a liability when the only proper response is emotional.”

    It’s called doing nothing and just talking about it. That isn’t calm, it’s stupidity.

    1. Inhuman calm may also be a sign of sociopathy.

      1. too much credit.

  14. “The special relationship is as much about style fellatio as politics buggery.”

  15. Something’s gotta give with this cult of anti-ideological “reasonableness”, “seriousness”, and bipartisanship. Is there anything bad that would happen to these people if they just shed their human skins to reveal their lizardness to the world and pronounced “Yeah, and I’m a commie too. Get over it.” Why all the pretenses? How would it affect their power? If anything, the stock market would probably have a nice little bump up.

    On another note, I once dreamed that I found Sasquatch poop. It was a deep turquoise. Weird.

    1. STEVE SMITH LIKE BLUE RASPBERRY DRINK.

  16. You just have to wonder what Obama would have to do to incur Brooks’ opprobium. Have lunch with Sarah Palin?

    1. More like eat Sarah Palin during lunch.

  17. Every Monday and Thursday, as his deadline approaches, Brooks gets a call from someone in the White House?”I’m not going to say who,” he says, which means Rahm?asking if tomorrow is going to be a good day.

    How is a person who is that cosy with a White House insider considered anything but a flack or a lapdog? No “reporter” or “commenter” should be acting as a government flack when they are working for a supposedly independent news organization.

    1. The relationship is certainly incestuous, and not even the good kind.

    2. When a thug like Rahm asks you if tomorrow is going to be a good day, it has a . . . special . . . meaning.

    3. What “independent news organization” does he work for?!? He works for the NEW YORK TIMES, for chrissakes! How has that ever been anything more than a mouthpiece for the libtards?

  18. Seizure! That gif is giving me a seizure! That’s it, I’m suing.

    1. Don’t you DARE speak ill of the picture of Obama, you racist!

  19. How is a person who is that cosy with a White House insider considered anything but a flack or a lapdog?

    Don’t be silly. They just *happen* to both be totally focused on the best interests of the nation.

  20. Every Monday and Thursday, as his deadline approaches, Brooks gets a call from someone in the White House?”I’m not going to say who,” he says, which means Rahm?asking if tomorrow is going to be a good day.

    The JournoList was for amateurs…

  21. New York Magazine has gone to shit lately, hasn’t it?

    Bennett’s offense: He joined the Democrats in voting for the bailouts and co-sponsored a health-care bill that would require everyone to buy insurance. In other words, he was too reasonable.

    And people like Brooks wonder why the Bennett’s of the world are running scared. Sooner or later more people start paying attention, and when a so-called conservative Republican from UTAH votes with democrats on almost everything, his days are numbered.

    A decent journalist would say this was inevitable instead of “a damn outrage”. But then, this is David Brooks we’re talking about.

  22. What do you think his favorite Springsteen album is?

    Trick question? No one really has a favorite Springsteen album, except Nebraska, and most people who say that’s their favorite are just saying it is, because they’re that kind of asshole. “Favorite Springsteen album” is how assholes self-categorize, and Brooks is every kind.

    I think he’d say his favorite is Born in the USA, because it comes with that “Republicans don’t understand art, maaaaan” anecdote attached, and he loves those. Everyone would understand that it’s not really his favorite (or anyone’s); the point of the choice is the anecdote, how it identifies him as not a Real American?. That accomplished, he’d probably say “It’s either that one or Nebraska.”

    1. No love for Greetings from Ashbury Park? Or Tunnel of Love and its strange I’m-getting-divorced-but-falling-in-love bipolarism?

    2. A person that picks Born In The USA listens only to top40 radio and is unaware that da boss made other records. That’s why they’d pick it.

      1. Or you really like Glory Days. Me, I stick to the old standards: Born to Run.

        1. Gotta agree with this one. Honorable mention for Darkness on the Edge of Town.

    3. My favorite Bruce album is The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle. And if that makes me an asshole, well, there are plenty of better reasons to label me an asshole.

    4. The problem is that Nebraska actually is the best album. So you are saying that people who give the right answer are automatically assholes because they give the right answer, which means that you should be forced to join the Green Party and march in their damn parades.

      MARCH, DAMN YOU!

      Well they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly Last Night
      Now they blew up his house too
      Down on the boardwork they’re gettin ready for a fight
      Gonna see what them racket boys can do

      1. It is the best one. But since Springsteen is the most overrated rock musician in history, that is a pretty back handed compliment. The non-asshole answer is that you don’t have a particular favorite and looking at things 30 years on, Tom Petty has had the better career even though Springsteen gotten more aclaim.

        1. Tom Petty has had the better career

          Is this your revenge for the time I claimed that Ringo had a better solo career than John?

          Springsteen is the most overrated rock musician in history

          The entire genre of Americana only exists because of Springsteen.

          That means that a very large number of college girls experimenting with alternate sexuality would have nothing to listen to except ambient music if it wasn’t for Springsteen.

          You really can’t discount that kind of influence.

          1. Ringo had a better solo career than John because you can actually sing along with him. No one even in a shower in the remotest woods would ever sing “Ma-maaaaaaaaaaaaaa, you had meeeeeeee, but I never had yew-oo-ooooh,”

            Springsteen is just Bob Seger without First Officer Riker’s beard.

            1. While I’m constantly walking around singing The No No song, and Oh My My.

              1. I’ll go sing “Photograph,” and you sing “Woman Is the Nigger of the World,” and let’s see who gets more votes on karaoke night.

                Sing Imagine anywhere, and you will quickly realize that doing so is the wussiest thing you have ever done in your life.

          2. The Mudcrutch album was a pretty good effort by Petty, and his new one with the Heartbreakers isn’t bad, compared to his old stuff.

            But I’d take a Dire Straits reunion over it any day.

            Speaking of:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RojRPQq2-Q

          3. “The entire genre of Americana only exists because of Springsteen.”

            Zombie Johnny Cash gonna kick yer ass, son.

            Seriously, I can trace a nice line of “Americana” that goes through Hank Sr. and the aforementioned Man in Black, then down to John Hiatt and Willie Nelson and Tom Petty, then around in various ways to folks like Mike Ness and George Thorogood, then back around to Johnny again in his last years. Needs never comes close to Springsteen.

            1. “The entire genre of Americana only exists because of Springsteen.”

              Dude, that is so wrong. Even if you’re talking about the self-aware Americana that blended multiple influences (as opposed to the true roots of American music in blues and country), Bob Dylan and the Band were in this territory a decade before Springsteen showed up.

              Springsteen had some good songs, but only in critic-land is he any sort of landmark performer.

  23. Re-run image gets a re-run caption:

    SugarFree|9.1.09 @ 10:54AM|#
    “Eleanor Clift lets me tune her nipples like a radio.”

  24. i bet you write something like that they give you a free pair of kneepads.

    1. Nah, writing something like that is proof that your knees have developed their own form of protection.

  25. CC:

    David Brooks demonstrates his own version of the shocker. By using the index and middle fingers, he leaves his ring finger and pinky free to massage his own testicles.

  26. Okay, so apparently Brooks is speaking at my college early next year. Do my fellow Reasonoids have any suggestions on questions to ask if 1) I get a ticket and 2) there’s a Q&A session?

    1. “Mr. Brooks, I was wondering if you ever had a soul, or if you had one and then sold it? Also, if you sold it, when, to who, and for how much?”

    2. “Are your tits fake?”

    3. “Mr. Brooks, do you like gladiator movies?”

    4. Mr. Brooks, how can you tell if a brown towel is clean?

    5. Mr. Brooks, are you more or less sociopathic than the title character played by Kevin Costner from the movie of the same name?

    6. Mr. Brooks, is your real last name Einstein?

      1. Me: Dave, I’d like to ask –

        Him: ‘David’. Go ahead.

    7. “Mr. Brooks, what is the air-speed velocity of you swallowing Obama?”

      1. Is that an African swallow or an Eastern European swallow?

        I know… raaaacist! Damn.

      2. Hahaha. Excellent.

    8. Mr Brooks, what should I study to also learn how to become an Establishmentarian Apologist? And what is the starting salary?

    9. Ask him why he doesn’t just join the Democratic party and find peace and happiness among his progressive brethren. His primary object of disgust seems to be when populism and libertarianism merge, and he could easily avoid these noxious stimuli with a perch among the liberal elites.

    10. Mr. Brooks, why aren’t you as funny as Albert or Mel?

  27. Mr. Brooks, is your maiden name Douchehammer?

    1. Hey, that was a cool Peter Gabriel so- uh, wait… oh, fuck off, you Christofags.

  28. “Bennett’s offense: He joined the Democrats in voting for the bailouts and co-sponsored a health-care bill that would require everyone to buy insurance. In other words, he was too reasonable.”

    Yeah – acting just like a Democrat is always oh so reasonable.

    Lets see Brooks actually come up with some empirical proof that either of those positions are warranted.

  29. I do have to give Brooksie a bit of credit: in his latest column, he rips Alfred E. Krugman a new one without mentioning him by name.

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