Government Spending

David Brooks Fighting GOP 'Freedomism' to the Death

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Meet the progressive centrists!

My Twitter feed is a-flurry with praise (sometimes backhanded) for today's David Brooks New York Times column, which imagineers building "a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast," populated by people "who don't share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P."

"A must-read column from David Brooks," writes National Review's valuable Capitol Hill reporter Robert Costa. "I think Brooks' column is spot-on and a rare example of something perfect at op-ed length," seconds Slate's Matthew Yglesias. David Frum gives another hi-five. And cartoonist Tom Tomorrow gives the back of his hand: "Poor David Brooks. Finally realizing his entire life/career aligned with party of nutjobs and psychos,starts fantasizing about 3rd party."

Tomorrow is wrong about the "finally." David Brooks has been railing against the GOP's "antigovernment story" and dreaming up fantastical new political coalitions since at least 1997, back when federal spending was about $1.7 trillion in today's dollars, or less than half of what it is now. He was railing against the "Goldwater-Reagan ideological message" and dreaming up fantastical new John McCain-led coalitions back in 2000. When McCain lost, Brooks was railing against the GOP's libertarianism and flirting openly with a fantastical Bull Moose-style third party in 2001.

September 11's workfare for neoconservatives gave Brooks the opportunity to go from opposition "rebel" to establishmentarian enforcer in the blink of an eye. "President Bush has broken the libertarian grip on the GOP," he exulted in 2002. Two years later he celebrated "the death of small-government conservatism," maintaining that "progressive conservatism" was the GOP's secret weapon "to become the majority party for the next few decades."

No wonder I'm not a Republican--I've never been to either.

Yet there he was in 2008, as if the big-government Bush administration had ignored his interventionist advice, railing against both the conservative and libertarian (!) establishments, announcing that "official conservatism slipped into decrepitude," to be eventually replaced by a fantastical new political coalition personified by Sam's Club shoppers (you had to be there, I guess). The year 2010 saw more Goldwater-hatin' progressive conservatism and tirades against "vehement libertarianism." And when Commentary magazine recently asked Brooks to contribute to its recent "Future of Conservatism" symposium (see my contribution here), he–wait for it–complained about conservatism becoming "estranged" from its roots, dreamed up a fantastical new coalition (the "Rhino Wing," he cheekily dubbed it), and blamed the party's woes on antigovernment types:

Today's conservatism is more properly called Freedomism. It is the elevation of freedom as the ultimate political good. […]

Freedomism tramples epistemological modesty. It has become an all-explaining and unbending ideology: Whatever the problem, the answer is less government. […]

Anti-Freedomist

The Rhino Wing would reject the Freedomist equation that more government necessarily equals more dependency. It would reject the entire Big Government vs. Small Government frame. What matters is not the size of government but the nature of its citizenry. It would embrace any government program that stokes ambition, energy, and industriousness–the Hamiltonian virtues. It would reject any policy that stifles these things.

That vague little hand-wave about policy (Embrace the good ones! Reject the bad! Just don't be ideological!) is baked right into the design of Brooks-style, do-something punditry. As tellingly, his uninterrupted, 16-year crusade against Freedomism (or Goldwaterism, or libertarianism) has not coincided with anything that could be confused for Freedomist policies in action. If antigovernment ideology is so strong, how come government doubles in cost every decade? It's a question worth asking anti-Freedomists of all political stripes. 

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  1. What a vivid fantasy life he has, battling against the “the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.” and “the elevation of freedom as the ultimate political good” and the “vehement libertarianism” of the GOP.

    1. Yes, even Brooks is in the GOP anti-reality Bubble.

      Amazing.

  2. “Today’s conservatism is more properly called Freedomism. It is the elevation of freedom as the ultimate political good.”

    Hey dip shit, it is THE ONLY purpose of government.

    1. The only other option is collectivism.

    2. Hey dip shit, it is THE ONLY purpose of government.

      THE ONLY purpose of government is to place restrictions on individual freedoms in such a way that the greatest number of people have the greatest number of freedoms. If you want real freedom, ditch the government.

      1. No, just restrict people from infringing on other’s rights.

        1. Sure, that’s what I said. In order to restrict people from infringing on other’s rights you have to restrict their individual freedoms, right?

          1. Government’s only purpose is to provide an impartial resolution of the collisions arising from people exercising their freedom. Governments have no business limiting any freedom before it has collided with another freedom.

            1. Seems like people like to repeat my point just using different words.

              Governments have no business limiting any freedom before it has collided with another freedom.

              And when they do collide, the government has to restrict the freedoms of one or both of the individuals. That is their purpose.

              1. Your wording left open the possibility that government should restrict freedom before a collision happens. They need to make the consequences clear, but restriction before the collision actually happens is a no-no.

                1. Your wording left open the possibility that government should restrict freedom before a collision happens.

                  It does that too, that’s what laws are. In general, laws are made to prevent future conflicts because they have already happened once.

                  1. Prior restraint is different from restraint after the fact.

      2. The ONLY purpose of government is to control the people, and sap them of their earnings and will and capability to rebel, without sapping them of so much of the will to live and work that they refuse to continue supporting the parasites.

    3. Silly, government has no purpose. It is the great I AM.

  3. David Brooks has been a wanna-be Leftist/statist in Republican clothing for a good long while now. If he had an honest molecule in his body he’d switch parties.

    1. Leftist/statist in Republican clothing

      But I repeat myself.

  4. If the worst thing someone could say about me was that I valued freedom too highly, I’d take that as praise.

    1. You Freedomist! You should be ashamed!!

  5. “a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast,”

    Let me guess: “Cosmopublicans of the World, Unite!”

    Nice use of “imagineer” btw.

    1. He stole that word from Disney, so he’s a plagiarist, as well.

    2. And can’t compete anywhere else. I guess I’m just missing his brilliant point.

  6. The Rhino Wing would reject the Freedomist equation that more government necessarily equals more dependency. It would reject the entire Big Government vs. Small Government frame. What matters is not the size of government but the nature of its citizenry.

    Lets make the citizens worthy of their government. And to think he writes that shit without irony. Where is Bertolt Brecht when we need him?

    1. Brooks would make a good Mother Courage.

    2. Admittedly, I think he’s right insofar as what matters most is the nature of the citizenry. Where he’s patently wrong is thinking that you can have a robust and active state that does not whittle away at whatever virtues the citizenry would otherwise have. The nature of the citizenry will be strengthened when they have to depend upon themselves and will be weakened when the moral hazard of govt promises to tend to their needs in trying times.

    3. You know who else wanted to shape the citizenry to fit the ideals of the government?

  7. I truly hope that Brooks and his ilk – neoconservative warmongers and progressive fascists alike – finally work up the nerve to just come out and say it: “Down with freedom!” You’re almost there, Brooks.

    1. Almost?

      He just flat out said it.

      1. He tried to cover it up by putting “ism” on the end, but yep, that’s exactly what he just said.

    2. Neoconservatives are a false flag operation. Socialist elites dressed up as “conservatives” to hijack the more liberal party. Tell me, how many regular people do you know that are neoconservative? None? That’s because there are none.

      And yet the control essentially every major policy the Republican party introduces.

      1. Good point. I have never met a neocon.

        I’ve met real-live greens, liberals, libertarians, and conservatives. Some are batshit, but they actually do exist. I have never actually met a neocon.

        1. Talk to some seniors. Everyone seems to turn into a crazy neo-con in their 60s.

  8. See, he discredits himself from the first by describing the GOP as anti-government.

    The closest the GOP gets to being anti-government is certain members calling for more limited government when it comes to tax rates. These same members are veritable fascists when it comes to the “War on Terror,” and the “War on Drugs.”

    Who is this guy writing to? He sounds like a well-paid troll. I’m sure that the chuckleheads over at Hotair.com are (rightly) excoriating him right now.

    1. Since when is the party that only wants to increase the government by 5%, anti government?

      There isn’t a single “anti government” party in this country. Hell Gary Johnson pledged to save medicare and social security. Its true, you can look it up.

  9. We’re fucked.

        1. -reach around

  10. It would embrace any government program that stokes ambition, energy, and industriousness–the Hamiltonian virtues. It would reject any policy that stifles these things.

    Notice he doesn’t say what these policies are. He can’t give a single example of just what the hell a Hamiltonian virtue is or what kind of actual government program “stokes ambition, energy and industriousness”. That is of course because no such thing exists. And since when are people not industrious or ambitious if the government doesn’t tell them how? In Brooks world, the people didn’t even know what a toilet was until Uncle Sam showed them. He really does defy satire.

    1. Since the expansion of government, pretty much by definition, stifles “ambition, energy, and industriousness”, well, the whole thing just collapses into a black hole of self-contradictory stupidity.

      I wonder what he gets paid for writing this stuff.

      1. He gets paid precisely because he writes that stuff. Libs need a few house Negroes claiming that “even they” think some aspects of slavery are worth retaining.

    2. Hamilton was anti-freedom, anti-liberty, pro-spending, pro-deficits and remarked that there was “an excessive concern for liberty in public men.” – aka David Brooks incarnate.

      1. I think Hamilton was not that. He was not anti-liberty. He just wanted a national government and didn’t want the states trampling people’s rights. It is not his fault that later generations took said national government and turned it into something he never intended anymore than it is Jefferson’s fault that the states created Jim Crow.

        1. He was all in favor of protectionism and fascist involvement in industry.

          1. No he wanted a national market, as opposed individual state markets. He gave us our national economy.

            The libertarian hatred of Hamilton is Rothbard level stupid.

            1. Wheeeeeee!!! Now that the spin-master is here we can really get this party started!

            2. Random internet tough guy calls father of modern libertarianism stupid.

              Continue, please.

        2. I’m sorry; you think that the FedGov is the institution that best defends individual liberty?

          1. It often has been. You don’t think the states ever take rights? The idea that a central government can never defend rights is a total fallacy. That is where central governments came from, the save the people from the local thugs. It wasn’t the barons and the aristocracy who were monarchists, it was the middle class who was because they wanted protection from the aristocracy.

            1. Haven’t you complained about federal courts “shoving freedom down the throats of states”? Which is it?

              1. There is a time where it is appropriate for the Federal Government to abrogate State authority. It’s right there in the Constitution.

            2. That is where central governments came from, the save the people from the local thugs.

              WTF? More likely they came from one local thug killing off his competition and taking over their territories.

              1. Well, in the case of the US, that is not where it came from.

              2. WTF? More likely they came from one local thug killing off his competition and taking over their territories.

                Nope. Read the history of the rise of nation states in Europe from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

          2. I’d say that one of the good things the Federal Government has done, and one of the few things it should be doing, is to defend individual rights against the states. I think that the Federal system is a good idea, but there is nothing magic about states rights and nothing to make the states less oppressive.

            1. *…but there is nothing magic about states rights and nothing to make the states less oppressive.*

              Except, of course, for the ability to saturate the place with your absence.

  11. Tom Tomorrow is a hack. He is yesterday.

  12. *When McCain lost, Brooks was railing against the GOP’s libertarianism and flirting openly with a fantastical Bull Moose-style third party in 2001.*

    I certainly detect some bull.

  13. It is the elevation of freedom as the ultimate political good.

    First thing I have ever agreed with Brooks on, I think.

    Oh wait, he is opposing that?

    the Hamiltonian virtues

    America’s Founding Statist. We should build a giant fucking statue of Aaron Burr.

    1. That is bullshit. I would take the government Hamilton built over what we have now in a nanosecond. If you want to blame the rise of government, blame it on the right people, Wilson, both Roosevelts, and the scumbag slave holding South who gave us things like the Fugitive Slave Act, Dred Scott and the Slaughter House cases.

      1. Plenty of room for Hamilton, that cunt.

        1. Why because he paid off the debts and prevented the stats from having trade wars with each other. Nothing says liberty like states restraining trade.

          1. You can be a federalist without being a hamiltonian federalist.

          2. He may have had a couple of hits, but he was a pure statist in most regards. Fuck him.

            1. So we will forgive Jefferson for slavery but we will hate Hamilton for wanting a central bank.

              Yeah Hamilton was the fascist, not those people who owned slaves and believed in the White man’s burden as the reason for doing so.

              1. I dont forgive Jefferson for slavery. But he also championed in his political writings anti-slavery statements, that if passed would have ended the practice. The fact that he was a hypocrite doesnt really bother me.

                1. It bothers me, but not in the “OMG Jefferson owned slaves way,” rather in the “oh, well, that’s disappointing though understandable” sort of way. He had the guts to advocate publicly against something from which he benefited, and even to say that slavery corrupted the slaveholder, knowing that this criticism would be bound to boomerang on himself. And he supported antislavery laws (Northwest Ordinance, ban on African slaver trade). Of course it would be nice if he had been totally pure and self-sacrificing (just as no doubt we ourselves would have been!).

      2. The Anti-federalists were far more right than Hamilton.

        The federalists at least had Madison who was willing to bend, and supported the Bill of Rights to win election to the House (and then followed thru on his promise, which may have been the last time that happened in American history).

        Hamilton also supported the First Bank of the United States, aka the pre-Fed.

        As much as Jackson was a racist, genocidal fuck, he more than made up for it by killing the 2nd bank.

        1. And making war on the bank caused the single worst depression in US history. I don’t think your example means what you think it does.

          1. Im pretty sure the single worst depression was under FDR and the Fed.

            wikipedias list of recessions and depressions doesnt list a single depression after the end of the 2nd bank until 1873.

            Hard to blame that on Jackson.

            The 2nd Bank was chartered in 1816, it failed to end the depression of 1815-1821.

            1. The panic of 1837 was the worst, even worst than 1873. And it was the direct result of Jackson destroying the 2nd Bank of the United States.

              1. Not even close to the worst.

                It lasted ~2 years and while it led to a large drop in business activity, many of the later ones were larger.

                1. Both 1873 and 1837 were much worse than 1929. They just didn’t last as long. And to the extent that 1973 was worse, it was only because it was a world wide depression, started ironically enough by a mortgage collapse in Austria and the 1837 was a strictly domestic event.

                  1. When it comes to recessions/depressions, length is much more important than depth.

                    Depth is just a sign of a good schumpeterian cleaning of the chaff.

                    Chaff built up, in 1837, because of the existence of the 2nd bank.

                    Short and deep and strong growth after is the sign of the market doing its job. The Bank stands in the way.

                  2. 1973?

                    3.2% GDP decline. Its not even in the ballpark.

                    1. I think John mistyped 1873.

                  3. “They just didn’t last as long.”

                    Uh, that’s pretty much the whole thing. Having a collapse of a corrupted capital structure followed by a quick rebound is about the best you could want from the business cycle.

              2. Or maybe it was the fault of Hamilton seeding the banks as a sort of entitlement, and Jackson only freed people from some of the dependency on it by making them take the medicine they deserved. Just like what needs to happen today.

                1. If we hadnt bailed out the banks, the recent recession would have been much deeper and much shorter.

                  But John thinks that is a bad thing, probably.

                  For one thing, he hasnt yet established that depressions are bad things to begin with.

              3. I was initially on John’s side regarding Hamilton but John is persuading me away.

                America’s bank panics of 18XX were due to bank regulations that 1) severely restricted inter-state banking and 2) forced banks to back (I think) their deposits with scarce US treasuries. This made banks fragile and deposits unstable. It was a huge factor in the crash leading to the depression. Canada did not have these regulations and not a single Canadian bank went under during the onset of the Depression. Canada did not have a central bank until decades after America did.

          2. And making war on the bank caused the single worst depression in US history.

            At what point is John, reason‘s spin-master, treated the same way as Tulpa, dunphy, Palin’s BP, or T o n y, in the sense of how often he moves the goalposts? I see all of you give John a lot of credit when it seems all he really does is walk back comments when he oversteps.

            I don’t want this place to be an echo chamber, but damn. At least back up statements.

            1. all of you

              Sorry for the collectivism there… but he gets away with quite a bit of goalpost shifting.

              1. That’s John’s thing. He makes a statement and then defends it to the death regardless. If you show him to be wrong somehow he modifies the intention of his initial statement so that he’s not wrong.

            2. I treat Tulpa and John the same.

              The other 3 are trolls. Two of which have posts I never see, and I wish you fucks would stop responding to them since reasonable doesnt filter replies like INCIF did.

            3. I am not spinning anything. I like Hamilton and think Libertarian hate of him is totally misplaced. I also have no patience for the ahistocial confederate wing of Libertarians.

              I love to argue about history more than really anything else.

              1. John, accept the antifederalists were almost entirely right and move on.

                1. They were totally wrong Rob. Had they won out the US economy would have never gotten to be the most powerful in the world. Thanks to Hamilton and the national market, we became the richest country in human history. Never has a group of people been so proven wrong by subsequent events.

                  The problem is that people take an argument that happened in the lat 18th Century and continue it into an argument that happened in the late 19th Century. The federalists were only wrong if you confuse them with the progressives. And they are two completely different groups.

                  1. They were totally wrong Rob

                    Bullshit. They predicted the government we would have today.

                    You want me to pull laughable Hamilton quotes from The Federalist Papers about what the constitution will never allow the government to do? Because he was flat out wrong.

                    Look, want to take the Madisonian Federalist side? They were still wrong about things, but at least they werent fucking big government statists like Hamilton.

                    The anti-federalist mistake was wanting to stick with the AoC. Those had to go. They did a good job of getting the BoR added on as a compromise position.

                    You want to try to defend gun rights today if Hamilton had won on the BoR?

                2. John, accept the antifederalists were almost entirely right and move on.

                  Proof.

                  1. In this scheme of energetic Government, the people will find two sets of tax-gatherers — the State and the Federal Sheriffs. This it seems to me will produce such dreadful oppression, as the people cannot possibly bear: The Federal Sheriff may commit what oppression, make what distresses he pleases, and ruin you with impunity: For how are you to tie his hands? Have you any sufficiently decided means of preventing him from sucking your blood by speculations, commissions and fees? Thus thousands of your people will be most shamefully robbed: Our State Sheriffs, those unfeeling blood-suckers, have, under the watchful eye of our Legislature, committed the most horrid and barbarous ravages on our people: It has required the most constant vigilance of the Legislature to keep them from totally ruining the people: A repeated succession of laws has been made to suppress their iniquitous speculations and cruel extortions; and as often has their nefarious ingenuity devised methods of evading the force of those laws: In the struggle they have generally triumphed over the Legislature. It is a fact that lands have been sold for five shillings, which were worth one hundred pounds: If Sheriffs thus immediately under the eye of our State Legislature and Judiciary, have dared to commit these outrages, what would they not have done if their masters had been at Philadelphia or New York?

                    Patrick Henry knew his shit.

              2. Well then don’t treat a few people’s dislike of Hamilton as “libertarian hate of him”. One of the main tenets of libertarianism is the individualism, so stop thinking there is a collectivist hate against your sacred cows, whether it be Hamilton, drone wars, or Republican politicians who by all objective observations are just as despicable as their Democrat counterparts.

                1. Generic Brand,

                  Rob and Drax are calling Hamilton a fascist responsible for most or all of the country’s ills. If that is not hate, what is. And even their dislike of him is just wrong.

                  1. But are they calling him “a fascist responsible for most or all of the country’s ills”?

                    I saw that they said there is more than enough room with all the Jim Crow lawmakers, and FDR, and Wilson, and any number of other freedom-hating villains to include Hamilton. But that is not the same as saying he is responsible for every present-day woe.

                  2. Liar.

                    I have never called Hamilton a fascist. I called him a statist.

                    1. I called him a fascist. Because he was in the economic sense. He was totally a statist, which rounds up the paternalism, the fascism, and his collectivist thinking.

                    2. Statis either mean fascist or it doesn’t mean antying. Hell Jefferson believed in a state.

                      And no I wouldn’t want Jefferson’s government. Jefferson had no clue about what was coming and had completely whacked out ideas about everyone being small landholders. That wasn’t the world that was coming. We had to have a national market and we had to have an industrial state. Jefferson’s view didn’t account for and in fact would have fought that. Had the anti-federalists won, we would be much poorer today.

                    3. I think I am on John’s side here. Libertarians have a bad habit of attributing the absolute worst words, phrases, concepts and ideas to people who weren’t that bad, all things considered. Lincoln is a prime example; Hamilton is another.

                    4. Lincoln was a piece of shit long before the civil war with things not concerning slavery or secession at all. He must have taken lessons from Hamilton in government greatness.

                    5. Lincoln was a piece of shit long before the civil war with things not concerning slavery or secession at all.

                      Hey, at least he took down quite a few Vampires first.

                    6. Right, so you are proving my point. Your hyperventilation and hysteria make me think that you need to get the sand out of your uterus, Sally.

                    7. Lincoln was the high speed rail of his day, and Hamilton of his.

                      Lincoln’s actually was government subsidized rail and “internal improvements” that bankrupted his state.

                      Hamilton’s was more economic regulation and control in favor of specific goals at the expense of economic liberty. His interstate trade achievements were mixed. And his love for manipulative taxation made him a total cunt.

                    8. You’re very articulate. Please go on.

                    9. There tends to be some overgeneralizing at times, but I think the biggest difference (as I said above) is that we are all individuals who weigh things differently.

                      A central bank does not rank as high on the statist pyramid as slavery does for some people, for others it’s equal, etc. The same can be said for Lincoln: I think him actually suspending habeas corpus was terrible, as was his willingness to go to war over secession. But others think it was more important to preserve the union.

                      The key comes in that we shouldn’t get so touchy just because we don’t agree on all of the same policies. Argue from facts, not opinions, and try to actually point out why said policy, decision, or person was statist and bad for liberty.

                    10. The South started the Civil War.

                    11. The South started the Civil War.

                      Yes it did. And it drives me nuts to listen to people who claim otherwise. The South were a bunch assholes who tried to shove slavery down the country’s throat. States rights my ass.

                    12. Naw, Lincoln started the Civil War by trying to garrison Ft. Sumter so that he could collect the tariff in South Carolina.

                      Read his first inaugural, and you’ll have all the information you need about why there was a war.

                      In that address, he stated:
                      1. He was fine with secession, as long as the seceding states paid the tariff
                      2. He was in favor of a Constitution Amendment that would prohibit emancipation forever
                      3. There would be no need for bloodshed, except to collect the tariff.

                      Secession was about protecting slavery, the war was about preserving the FedGov’s hegemony.

                    13. Statist can mean fascist. It can also mean other collectivist economic thoughts that are not exactly the same as fascism, but still suck the same.

                    14. This reminds me of the geekosphere going full retard as pro-Teslaites and anti-Edisonites. Neither man was as bad or good as the geekoids insisted they were, but nuance doesn’t make for easy thinking, does it?

                    15. All fascists are statists, not all statists are fascists.

                    16. We didn’t have to have an industrial economy at the expense of free markets. Industry would have developed fine regardless.

      3. What we have now IS the government that Hamilton built. Mercantilism is a bitch.

      4. Fugitive Slave Act, Dred Scott

        So Hamilton was pro-nullification? Ok. He got something right then.

        I would take the government Hamilton built over what we have now in a nanosecond.

        This is the government that Hamilton built. Public Works. National Greatness. Top Men. National Bank. You and Brooks and Frum should get along great at the cocktail party while laughing at all the scumbag Freedomists.

        1. Fugitive Slave ACt and Dred Scott were gifts of the Antebellum South, you know actual villains in American history. Hamilton had nothing to do with it.

          And our government bears no resemblance to the government Hamilton advocated. The federal government in 1820 looked nothing like the federal government in 1870 much less now. To claim that Hamilton would have supported things like Social Security or the War in Iraq is just weapons grade stupid. It is fucking fantasy projecting all bad things on a designated tar baby. You might as well blame witches or the Jews for such things as Hamilton, all three theories are just as stupid.

          1. So was Hamilton pro-nullification? Or did he agree with the actual villains in American History?

        2. This is the government that Hamilton built. Public Works. National Greatness. Top Men. National Bank. You and Brooks and Frum should get along great at the cocktail party while laughing at all the scumbag Freedomists.

          This is not only a ridiculous ad-hominem (and Cocktail Parties should be added to the Drinking Game) but completely ahistorical.

          1. Ok, National Greatness and Top Men are subjective enough, so that you can disagree with my position that Hamilton advocated for them.

            But I don’t think it’s ahistorical at all to say that Hamilton advocated to Public Works and the National Bank.

            And the cocktail party thing is definitely a worthless throw-away jab. But John here is agreeing with David Brooks that Hamilton doesn’t suck, while insulting “the south” in very broad language as “scumbags”, and “the real villains” in American History. And he actually lives in DC, and works for the government. So it’s more apt than normal. They’d have something to talk about.

            1. I didn’t insult the South. I insulted the Antebellum South. And yes they were scumbags. They perpetuated the greatest evil this country has ever known. And they were not content with just doing that. They were so intent on spreading it to the territories and the West that they launched a coordinated terror campaign in Kansas to tip the elections there. So much for States Rights. They also passed the fugitive slave act with gave the federal government the power to forcibly deputize any person in America to draft them into catching a runaway slave. So much for them giving a shit about personal freedom. And they were responsible for Dred Scott, which said in so many words that no state could effectively ban slavery and every black man in America was liable to be made a slave by any white man who choose to do so.

              Yeah, the antebellum southerners were so pro freedom.

              And what Hamilton thought about the issues of 1799 say little or nothing about the issues we face today. Just because you think that a national market and national finance is a good idea doesn’t mean you endorse the government we have today. To say that it is, is to say there is no difference between today’s government and the one in 1820, which is ridiculous.

              1. I’m pretty sure that murdering 50 million plus Americans in the womb outweighs slavery on the “evil scale.”

    2. We should build a giant fucking statue of Aaron Burr.

      Hear, hear.

    3. It’s a pity that he wasn’t caught and then hung during the Whiskey Rebellion to send a message to generations of scallywags after him.

      1. The Whiskey Rebellion: When America Jumped The Shark

    4. Let’s build the statue AND legalize dueling. How cool would it be for the families of murdered Americans to be able to challenge the POTUS to a duel. Even if they had to wait until he left office, I bet he would be much more selective on who he murders via drone if the families could defend their honor. Oh, shit, that just means he’d have to wipe out entire bloodlines. Maybe not such a swell idea.

      Free bonus is the Internets would become much nicer.

      1. “How cool would it be for the families of murdered Americans to be able to challenge the POTUS to a duel.”

        Given that if Obama had his way, citizens wouldn’t have guns and he’d have drones, I’d guess it would be rather uncool.

        1. “Drones at 2000 paces, sirrah!”

    5. Jefferson was the founding statist. Worst. Founder. Ever.

  14. Today’s conservatism is more properly called Freedomism. It is the elevation of freedom as the ultimate political good.

    The HORROR!

    The horror.

    Also

    Maybe I’m standing in the wrong place, but I don’t exactly perceive “today’s conservatism” as dripping with freedom.

    1. That warm, damp feeling coming down on you from above is simply the soothing warmth of liberty.

  15. It’s the establishment Republicans vs. the TEA Party radical libertarians for the soul of the conservative movement!

    Brooks has gone beyond being a joke. At this point it’s just kinda sad.

    1. Retarded isn’t sad, it’s retarded.

      1. Why can’t it be both?

        1. DERPLARIOUS!

  16. Lacking epistomological modesty? What the Holy Hell Fuck, man!?!?! Compared to the ideology of Washington DC that supported trillions of dollars of bailouts and stimulus on pure theoretical whimsy? Study after study after study showed those things don’t work until the consensus in economics departments across the nation came to the conclusion they don’t work, only to be overturned by one mad season of extreme progressivism in action. Brooks is nuttier than an elephant dung sandwich.

    1. See Libertarians and Tea Party types “lack epistemological modesty”. But Brooks is sure that a group of enlightened few can successfully run a multi trillion dollar government.

      1. So you agree with the local conventional wisdom that Hamilton was wrong to advocate a National Bank? Surely if a group of enlightened few can’t run a multi trillion dollar government, then a group of enlighted few is even less qualified to “steer” the entire economy.

        1. No one ever said the national bank would “manage the economy” nor did it when it existed.

          Try again with less straw.

          1. Some ante-bellum slaveholder said this, I think:

            If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

            So somebody said it.

            1. The problem with that above quote (and so many internet quotes) is that it is not a real quote by Jefferson.

              If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered

              This portion of the quote is not found in any of Jefferson’s writings, whereas the latter sections are paraphrases of quotes from two others letters.

              1. who said anything about Thomas Jefferson?

                it’s just a paraphrase from some slaveholder.

                For Thomas Jefferson in particular on the National Bank:

                http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18t…..ank-tj.asp

                http://books.google.com/books?…..q&f;=false

                although this part seems legit:

                letter to John Taylor in 1816. He wrote, “And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

                or

                Jefferson’s comment to John Wayles Eppes, “Bank-paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs.

                1. also see

                  http://www.rapidtrends.com/quo…..ry-policy/

                  if there is some doubt that TJ was making merely a constitutional argument or didn’t know what was up

  17. I don’t get something (I don’t get a lot but in the case am just talking about 1 thing). I have been fortunate enough to be around TRUE red-neck poverty level country bumpkins, inner city downtrodden minorities, and upper crust very wealthy (even mega rich sometimes). A large number of the same club/wal-mart crowd are democrats. A large number of the country club wealthy elite are democrats. The only people who in my experience are often not democrats are suburban folk…and not by much. Where are the monocle wearing Rs…I just find all of them to be liberal douchebags.

  18. It would embrace any government program that stokes ambition, energy, and industriousness–the Hamiltonian virtues.

    The sole Hamiltonian virtue I would really like to see this country embrace is duelling.

    1. Paying off our debts would be another.

      1. Actually, he wasnt in favor of paying off the debts. His virtue was in the US living up to its debts, which is different.

        Jefferson wanted to PAY OFF debts, even if he didnt achieve it.

        Jackson actually achieved it (well, close enough for government work).

  19. “I think Brooks’ column is spot-on and a rare example of something perfect at op-ed length,” seconds Slate’s Matthew Yglesias.

    Anyone who even pretends to be conservative should retch at the notion of Yglesias’ endorsement. The only thing more of negative indicator is Ezra Klein approaching you in a bathroom offering a blowjob.

    1. Maybe Brooks and Yggie can get meet up in Dupont Circle and go find some boots to lick together.

      -jcr

      1. What are the odds that Yglesias has ever given a woman a moment of authentic pleasure? All-the-grains-of-sand-on-all-the-beaches
        -in-the-entire-world to 1? or higher?

        1. Would it be a violation of the non aggression treaty for a libertarian, or a quorum of conspiring libertarians, flush with resources to hire a dozen South Beach gigolos to go around the country as well as critical spots like Davos and seduce the wives of mainstream media columnist?

          1. I don’t see coercion. You don’t have to take what’s offered to you.

          2. Treaty?!?! Think ‘principles’, man! I’m shedding those eight pounds I packed on during the holidays with a strict diet. No beer for the next two weeks. And my workday flask is merely gin and not Drambuie. Sob.

            1. Are you actually talking to yourself?

              1. I think he is volunteering for the gigolo squad?!

  20. Once again, I submit as caption for that bottom photo:

    “Eat your heart out, Ezra Klein!”

  21. Somehow I don’t think “Freedom is Bad!” is ever going to have any sort of populist appeal.

    It’s something libertarians should take comfort in. We’re the ones who are on the side of liberty, which is always going to appeal to people. Everyone else has the job of trying to sell “Yay government!” and “Freedom sucks!” as popular hip ideas. Which never works outside a small circle of establishment wonks.

    Even leftist hippies try to couch their ideas in the language of liberty. Trying to sell distain for the very concept of freedom isn’t going to work with anyone except the editorial staff at the NY Times.

    1. You seem to find the idea of restricting religious freedom pretty appealing Hazel. Making “freedom is bad” appealing is actually quite easy. The appeal is always about restricting someone else, preferably someone you don’t like, freedom.

      1. If you want to proselytize, open your own damn school. Nobody is stopping you.

        1. close the government schools.

          1. And get rid of school taxes and let people with kids just pay the tuition to the private school that meets their needs…

        2. Someone sure as hell is making me pay for said school. And if my money goes to building it, I should have the right to say whatever they want in that school just like every other tax payer.

          Thanks for proving my point. You don’t like religious people. And restricting their freedom is pretty appealing isn’t it?

          1. I should have the right to say whatever they want in that school just like every other tax payer

            No.

            1. Why not? So you get to come and forcibly take my money to build this school but then I don’t get any say in how it is run and get little totalitarians like Hazel to tell me what I can and cannot say in said school.

              Yeah, that is a real libertarian pro freedom view of the world.

              1. So I guess I can do whatever I want in your military base then John eh?

                1. Sure, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the mission. Since when can’t people proselytize on military bases? They have an entire chaplain corps in the Army. Soldiers are free to worship and practice whatever religion they want and even talk to each other about said religion provided it doesn’t impact that work they do.

                  And schools should not be the same?

      2. Libertarians are the one group that realize we’re all somebody else in the final analysis. Sooner or later, they’re coming for you.

  22. How did we get to the point where “Freedomist” is a slander in ‘Murka?

    1. Ever since the prevailing ‘Murkan ideology became freelunchism.

  23. Oh yes, and this fits neatly in one of the 17 ways we argue with eachother.

    “Everything would be fine if my opponents simply abandoned this principle, which incidentally would negate their very reason for eisting”.

  24. Somehow I don’t think “Freedom is Bad!” is ever going to have any sort of populist appeal.

    The thing is, it won’t be phrased that way. It will be something most people won’t kick at, like “we’re all in this together” and “everyone must do his part.”

    1. That’s true, but it’s always attached creepily to some sort of faceless government “system”.

      “We’re all in this together”, “so go to the DMV and fill out some paperwork.”
      “Everyone must do his part”, “by standing in line and processing food stamps.”

      What appeals to people about communitarian ideas is generally this feeling that they’ll be directly helping people. They have a fuzzy picture in their mind of being involved in a barn-raising in a small town community. They don’t think “oh this helping people is going to involve paying taxes anonymously into a vast undifferentiated pool of cash and then having faith that our benevolent leaders will do the right thing”.

      1. Altruism has suckered more people into folly than any kind of greed.

        1. True, but statism has always failed against liberty. People want freedom everywhere. Even under “real existing socialism”.

          1. True, but statism has always failed against liberty. People want freedom everywhere. Even under “real existing socialism”.

            Uh, have you been living in this world? I’m not quite sure how we got to this point with statism constantly failing against liberty.

          2. Liberty never beats statism. But liberty – again and again and again – is the last man standing after whatever vogue statism eats itself.

            1. Sometimes people start eating each other first.

  25. I don’t think “Freedom is Bad!” is ever going to have any sort of populist appeal.

    I’m pretty sure David Brooks is unconcerned with the rabble’s opinion.

    1. Indeed, and that is why nothing he says matters.

  26. David Brooks is honky Uncle Tom licking the boots of his New York Times masters. What a token!

  27. In fairness, to David Brooks, it’s not like reason has ever dreamt up fantastical new coalitions, right? Right?

    1. I don’t think anyone is criticizing Brooks for proposing a third party. Just for the other amazingly awful stuff he said.

  28. Incidentally …

    “If we don’t raise taxes, the freedomists win!” should be our new slogan.

  29. “Freedomism tramples epistemological modesty. It has become an all-explaining and unbending ideology: Whatever the problem, the answer is less government. […]”

    To be fair, this is the natural assumption since the problem was probably created by government in the first place.

    Freedom is a desirable end unto itself.

  30. Based on my imperfect recollection of what I was taught about Hamilton, I think a lot of people see him as the quintessential proto-technocrat Top Man, whom they have been idolizing and emulating for centuries.

    1. There’s one very specific way I’d like Brooks to emulate Hamilton.

  31. the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.

    What is Brooks smoking and why is he bogarting it?

  32. In related, “NYT Douchebag Columnist”-news,

    Krugman: Yes, We Have To Fix The Deficit Eventually?But Not Now

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs…..25z;_ylv=3

    …and, the opinion of people who put their *money* where their mouth is?

    Wall Street to DC: Cut Deficit & Spending **Now**

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/…..13157.html

    i.e. “Fuck You: Cut Spending”

  33. I do not always agree with Michelle Malkin but she wrote a great article about David Brooks here it is for anyone that would like to read it.

    Eddie Haskell Brooks http://townhall.com/columnists…..page/full/

    Also Jack Hunter did a great video on David Brooks and other Neocons called David Brooks and his friends

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xssh4WCEdfY

    1. “chin-pulling tool”

      Hahaha! That’s awesome.

  34. populated by people “who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current G.O.P.”

    This is a progressive unsuccessfully pretending to be a conservative.

  35. Methinks Brooks got it backwards. It’s the socially conservative part of the Republican Party that is keeping it from being competitive, not the libertarian-leaning part. If the Repubs want to compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest and the West Coast, they need to embrace freedom, not run from it. Well, all except the Midwest maybe, but Ron Paul did pretty well in Iowa and Minnesota.

  36. As far as hearts and minds go, anti-corruption might sell better. Power corrupts. Freedom checks power, particularly freedom of speech and freedom for the people to remain a threat to their rulers. But checks and balances, due process, federalism, and so on are also a big part of that.

    The word anti-federalist seems to be cropping up more and more. I wonder if a revived anti-federalist party could supplant the GOP where other third parties failed.

  37. I would guess that the average Republican voter has little idea who “David Brooks” is (as the average Democratic voter has little idea who “Paul Krugman” is)

    So Brooks’s column is obviously for the elites (as befits a NYT column) but Brooks holds little sway over the mindshare of the GOP elites either.

    So who is this column actually _for_? Is this all an effort to maintain on the list for the correct cocktail parties? To get his children into the right schools?

    Perhaps this is why the assembled Reason commentariat was moved to rather engage on the very important issue of the Second Bank of the United States.

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