NSA

David Brooks' Analysis of Edward Snowden Tells Us a Lot…About David Brooks

The New York Times columnist can't distinguish a challenge to authority from a challenge to civil society.

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The rising tide of distrust.
U.S. Army

In The New York Times this morning, David Brooks does the old Take A Few Facts About Somebody, Extrapolate An Entire Psychological Profile, Then Plug It Into One Of My Standard Columns trick. The small handful of facts involve NSA leaker Edward Snowden; the psychological profile claims that Snowden was a loner cut off from social bonds; the standard column claims that this is a sign of "the atomization of society," that this alleged dissolution of civil society fuels the "distinct strands of libertarianism" which may have inspired Snowden, and, of course, that

Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.

Just to be clear: He's talking about Snowden here. Brooks doesn't discuss whether the surveillance state is built on distrust, whether deceiving Americans about its activities spreads cynicism, whether its intrusions into civil society fray the social fabric, and whether the officials who run it are really working toward the common good. As usual, virtually all of Brooks' criticisms are directed at people who challenge authority, not people in authority.

But this time the columnist takes that habit to absurd new heights. Snowden, he writes,

betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.

That's the special genius of David Brooks. While other pundits argue about whether the PRISM program violates the Fourth Amendment, Brooks sees the real part of the Constitution that's being battered here: the little-known anti-whistleblowing clause. And then he tut-tuts at the supposed self-indulgence of a man who just put everything he has at risk for the sake of his country.

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  1. Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.

    I bet I have sacrificed more for the common good that David Brooks ever ill. When the fuck has he ever done anything for the common good? That paragraph is so insulting. Basically, Brooks is telling me that if at some point in my government service find something I find morally offensive and blow the whistle, I am doing so because I just am not willing to sacrifice for the common good. What a piece of shit Brooks is. I used to think he was just stupid. Now I realize, he is just a really bad guy.

    1. You can practically feel the frowny, pouty lip that he’s sticking out, nostrils flaring in a fit of pique, when he’s writing that room-temperature drek.

    2. I used to think he was just stupid. Now I realize, he is just a really bad guy.

      There’s no reason he can’t be both. It can always be incompetence AND malice for ol’ Brooksie.

    3. Hey! He goes on TV every Friday night and licks boots like a fucking champ! Do not underestimate all that David Brooks has done to uphold our fragile civilization.

    4. Even Mark Shields has been more disdainful of the snooping than Brooks. Brooks is a true statist, a lover of authority.

      1. hells bells, Krugnuts thought it went too far. Krugman!

    5. Sacrifice for the common good = personally suffer for David Brooks benefit.

  2. His girlfriend can bake me cupcakes anytime.
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/06…..nd-photos/

    1. He risked going to jail or being forced to live in exile while tapping that? Hero doesn’t go far enough to describe this guy.

      1. Hero or dumbass?

        1. It is a fine line between the two.

        2. Heroic dumbass?

      2. Wow, just wow. Now that’s putting your morals ahead of your desires.

      3. Maybe she’s batshit crazy and this was his best way out.

        1. I could put up with some serious crazy to tap that every night.

          1. I could put up with some serious crazy to tap that every night.

            Meh. Her face is only good from the right angle, and she has a serious case of man-back.

            1. Dude. You’re not fucking her back.

        2. No maybe about it. She’s a ballerina. They’re all bughouse nuts.

          1. Hey. I’m married to one. YOU LEAVE BALLERINAS ALONE!

          2. “The Daily Mail identified Snowden’s lady friend as Lindsay Mills, an acrobat…she calls herself a “world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero,”

            Uh, yeah “acrobat”, riiight.

  3. David Brooks appears to be one of those guys whose view of society gelled in elementary school; the government is the school administration/teachers, the pupils are the citizenry and instead of grades you get money for doing what the teachers ask you…

    1. Well it is among the first of the gentle gradations of authority, after all.

    2. It’s like he saw some news story showing our ugly ruling class (60s-70s version – god they were uglier back then if that is possible) and came to the decision that when he grew up, he’d felate those people.
      Not just comfort the comfortable.
      Not just be a errand boy for grocery clerks.
      He wanted to suck Dick Nixon’s dick.
      That’s what he does.
      That’s all he does.
      He can’t be bargained with.
      He can’t be stopped.
      He will suck the rulers’ dicks.

    3. Brooks was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal in college until he had his ass torn apart by Milton Friedman in a video-recorded debate.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRXEk7su62w

      Since then he has pretended to be a conservative or whatever, I believe out of an interest to appear on the same intellectual level as Friedman, but without really ever having grasped the concepts leveled at him in that debate.

  4. Brooks sees the real part of the Constitution that’s being battered here: the little-known anti-whistleblowing clause.

    That’s the first time in a while that I’ve literally LOL’d at a Reason article. Usually I just LOL figuratively.

      1. I love you, Hugh. Anyone who brings Doofenshmirtz in to a conversation is good by me.

        1. Brooks really is the biggest fuqtard in the entire tri state area!

  5. Snowden betrayed the Constitution?

    That’s so twisted I’m left speechless.

    1. David Brooks has won a victory over himself. He’s crying because he loves Big Brother.

      1. Twisting like that can also make him cry when his testicles get in a knot and cut off the blood flow, making his favorite toy fall off.

    2. Little know historical fact: The Constitution was written specifically to allow the Federal Government to spy on Americans. Denial = Treason.

  6. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.

    Snowden has blatantly betrayed the Founders’ vision of a pervasive surveillance state and secret laws with secret courts to administer them. If there’s one thing the Founders valued, it is the unquestioning loyalty to a distant and unilateral authority that constitutes true commitment to community.

    1. I actually lol’d at this one. Loud enough to have to actually work for a couple of minutes to cover my tracks.

      1. Watch out, working at work can become habit forming.

    2. Of course, the outrage that sparked the revolution was that we weren’t being taxed enough unilaterally for the good of king and country and that the redcoats weren’t opening enough mail. It makes perfect sense now.

  7. Goddamned individuals, hellbent on fraying the social fabric! Go to hell, freedom lovers!

  8. When you’re good, you’re good. No need for modesty.

    Hyperion predicts Snowdens most likely destination, first:

    Snowden to Russia?

    And for the win…

  9. I pointed this out to someone the other day about one of the (many) other scandals: As Americans, we like to mock the “they were just following orders” defense, but other than with certain Germans, we have accepted it as a valid defense pretty much every other time it was used over the last 100 years. This article is simply the continuation of that line of logic: following orders isn’t just a valid defense, it’s the only defensible position.

    1. Sovereign immunity and classified information are just tweaks of the superior orders defense: what the state does can never be illegal because the state is above the law.

    2. And the bastards who gave those unconstitutional or criminal orders usually get a free ride, too.

  10. If Snowden had not leaked this then who would have? Is it Brooks’ opinion that the American public should have no say in whether and how much their government should spy on them? You can’t have a public debate about a program whose existence is unknown to the public. To say that this should not have been leaked is to say that the public should have no say in the question of its scope and existence. That would seem to me at least to be a bit contrary to what the founders intended.

    1. I’m guessing it’s his position that elections provide us with all the say we need. Someone (may have even been you) had a great comment yesterday: for people like Brooks, democracy == freedom.

      1. It is a bit hard to vote based on information you don’t have. Elections only give us a say if we know where the candidates stand.

    2. It is Brook’s opinion that our betters should make the decisions and that he should be the distributor of wisdom collected via the DC party circuit and related thru federally subsidized propaganda broadcasts.

  11. The Bill of Rights was specifically designed to protect the state from an overreaching public.

    1. Well, aren’t the People the government, so wouldn’t an intitution like the state need protection from them?

    2. They’re So. Fucking. Pushy.

  12. It speaks volumes that progressives fear an open society.

    Embrace the tyranny, for it is the mechanism that will allow our Team to win.

    1. Not only that, but a tyrannical surveillance state can finally bring about a tolerant society by rooting out and punishing those intolerant people who disagree with progressives. Finally there can be equality as those inferior people who disagree with progressives are rounded up and put into camps. We can celebrate inclusiveness as we exclude from society those who disagree with progressive ideals.

      Progressives are lusting for tyranny.

    2. Brooks isn’t even a progressive. I am not sure what he is to be honest. He doesn’t for the most part support liberal policies. But he has an absolute unshakable faith in government.

      1. Yeah, he is just a pure, unadulterated statist.

      2. Power fellator. An acolyte of the Civil Religion, ever ready for holy ejaculation from his deity, the government.

        1. Yeah, that describes most of the major media. They are the worst jockstrap sniffers around power. Look at how they fall over themselves around George W. Bush these days. They hated him for 8 years. But now that he is no longer a political issue, they love him. Why? Because they can’t help but love him for once being such a powerful man.

          1. NOW you got it, John. The worst aspect of the media is not that it’s mostly Team Blue, although it is. Most, reporters, I suggest, at least attempt to put that aside.
            But the media loves Team Power/Celebrity even more, and understands no compelling reason why that needs to be put aside.

            1. The tongue bath they gave Bush a few weeks ago was terrible. And I like Bush. But what made it horrible was the contrast between now and when he was in office. Take away the politics and they still just love the power. God they are pathetic.

      3. But he has an absolute unshakable faith in government.

        The liberal half of morning radio show was saying he’s glad that this spying is going on because it keeps us safe. Thing is, he was going off the rails when the Bush admin was wiretapping. Principles? Fuck that. It’s much easier to follow principals.

      4. I’m gonna go with repressed sexual submissive. He really really wants to be on his knees polishing a latex bootheel with his tongue.

      5. There will be no unlicked boots of the powerful, as long as Brooksie has something to say about it.

      6. Progressives don’t support liberal policies either.

        1. I’d love to see the Dems split along progressive/liberal lines (as the GOP simultaneously splits along conservative/libertarian lines, of course).

          1. Come to think of it, where are all the pundits writing about the coming great Democratic progressive/liberal split?

  13. Brooks really is a horrid human being, isn’t he? And his readers commenting on it are lapping it up and asking for more.

    As much as the revelations in the past week have pissed me off, the reactions from most people have just depressed me.

    1. the reactions from most people have just depressed me.

      ^^this^^

    2. I saw a Yahoo poll that had 55% supporting him, 45% attacking him. So, at least, it could be worse.

      1. Supporting Snowden, that is.

  14. Why can’t you people just trust your betters? What is so hard about that!? There’s honor in following your betters! It’s for YOUR OWN good!! GOD DAMN IT, SHUT UP AND FOLLOW!

  15. There are two columnists in the SF Chron who have long ago capsized to port; there is no rethuglican who is worthy of consideration as a human being and there is no lefty dem who has ever done wrong!
    Both are now on record as disagreeing with Obama on this, both stating that Snowden is no traitor, but in fact a hero, and one going so far as to say he doesn’t trust the government, and that this issue is not going away anytime soon!
    Almost spit out my coffee this morning…

    1. Bizarro SF has landed?

      1. I wouldn’t go that far; the editor’s letters are all about how KORPARASHUNS are ‘spying’ on us, and the editor hasn’t found it necessary to point out that those things can’t toss you in the hoosegow.

        1. Most people have a hard time making that distinction. For some reason, they don’t understand the difference between voluntary transactions and the threats of imprisonment. It’s aggravating as all hell.

          In their minds, the corporations are making, no… forcing the poor little politicians to do their evil bidding and abuse the electorate.

          1. On one of the MSNBC programs yesterday Ambinder from the Atlantic was taking the vaguely anti-state position by noting that kkkorpurahuns can’t put you in jail and kill you like Obama’s government can.

            To which the lefty responded …. but, but they’re (kkkorpurashuns) spying on us to sell us stuff … to make PROFITS off of us.

            So there it is. Making money is worse to the douchebag than imprisoning and killing people.

            1. Makes sense; prison is really just the logical extension of societal infantilization. In prison, everything is single payer and you don’t have to be a wage slave forced to make decisions between oppressively many choices all the time. FREEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMM!!

              1. Prison is educational. Falls right in line with Stalin’s theory on the topic.

              2. Sadly, I have a co-worker who I’d characterize as asking for a prison cell for the protection it offers from the dangers of freedom outside the walls. Mostly from his expressed opinions regarding firearms and this leak.

                1. It takes a special kind of perversion to imagine freedom and owning your decisions, scarier than a cage filled with irritated people, some of them physically dangerous.

  16. Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.

    I believe we’ve had exhaustive conversations about confusing government with society. So I’ll just tell Brooksie to get back in the flock with the other sheep and wait for Barack to fuck him, if it is true that Barack is into that sort of thing, which I am not saying is true or false.

    The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.

    As opposed to some narcissistic 49 year old who makes unilateral decisions about not only what should be exposed, but who should live or die and calls his unilateralism due process? The ultimate structure of democratic accountability is the informed electorate, but how can the electorate hold the government accountable if they don’t know what the government is doing?

    1. The ageism is almost as fun as the high-school-dropout bashing.

      1. Aqua Buddha forbid you should waste your life like those uncredentialled losers Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

      2. …the dropout making $112,000 a year, like most HS dropouts.

    2. “Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.”

      Darn that guy for acting as a moral individual!

  17. This lens makes you more likely to share the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme.

    So Brooks is still pissed off at those damn hippies protesting the War in Vietnam? It’s been half a century now they’ve been urging us to question authority, David. (Some day people from that generation will come to power in Washington and then we’ll by-god see some changes in the way Washington works!)

  18. I wish people would stop talking about Snowden. I really don’t care who he is or why he did what he did. The important debate is this program. If Snowden hadn’t leaked it, someone else would have eventually. So his motivations, sanity or anything else is irrelevant.

    If people think this program is a good idea and ought to be continued, they need to make that argument. Anyone who doesn’t make an argument on that issue and instead concentrates on the nobility or lack thereof of Snowden is being disingenuous. The same goes for the people who call him a hero. So what? The important thing is not to beatify Snowden but to figure out what to do with the information he has given us.

    1. No, John, they’re not being disingenuous, they just realize smearing him is easier than arguing for a program most people are probably not super psyched about.

    2. Yep. Some fascist on the right wing radio last night was popping his authority boner over the chances of a black ops team snatching back the “traitor” to be punished by the Leader.

      Best part was his whining puzzlement that his whole audience was calling in to disagree with him. But no worries, he did find one caller who was willing to bleat “TERRORIST!” along with him.

      1. Anyone who says the existence of this program should not have leaked is saying that the American people should have no say in what its government does. What did Snowden leak? The existence of the program. So what? That doesn’t prevent the program from continuing or in any way diminish its effectiveness as far as I can see. If anything, the leak might be beneficial because maybe terrorist cells are having to adjust their operations to not use any form of electronic communications. Doing that would make operations much more difficult. Frankly, I think there is a decent case to be made that we are safer for this program being public. We just told the terrorists “we hear everything”.

        Beyond that, it has to be known to be debated. This is a debate that needs to happen. If these guys think it is a great idea, then they should welcome this debate and the public validation that comes with it, assuming they are right and the public agrees with them.

        1. What did Snowden leak? The existence of the program. So what?

          I’ve been asking the pussy hawks that for the last couple of days, and getting nothing more than the occasional ad hominem response.

    3. They’ve been making an argument. Or what they think is an argument. The old fallback “OOGA BOOGA TERRORISTS BE SCARED BE SCARED BE SCARED!” argument.

      And I don’t mean to beatify Snowden, though I do consider him to be a hero. But it’s needed to counteract the people calling him a traitor, especially those in the government (like my esteemed senior senator Bill Nelson)

      1. Eh, I don’t really like calling people heroes for doing things that don’t involve risk to life or limb. I applaud what he did, but I don’t consider it heroic per se.

        Unless he ends up drone bombed.

        1. He had to flee the country and leave behind everything he had, including his family. Not many of us would leave behind a $200k job and everything else for our principles. If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is.

          1. Not to mention the distinct liklihood that the rest of his life is spent looking over his shoulder from exile, or in prison. I’m going with heroic, too.

            1. He made a conscious choice to sacrifice his welfare for the betterment of society, even when a lot of that society hates him for it. I’d call it heroic.

              1. I will suspend judgment but I am not outraged by “heroic”, ballsy being the fall back position.

    4. You forget that in lefty-world, fallacies win arguments.

      They don’t need to make a case in favor of the program to win, they just need to personally attack Snowden or personally attack anyone who criticizes the program.

      Then, in their minds anyway, the argument is over.

  19. Not to be outdone by Brooksie, Jeffrey Toobin made sure that he grabbed a big wad of sand and shoved it into his vagina, over Snowden.

    He is, rather, a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.

    1. Again, even if Snowden is a serial killer who prays on 7 year old girls, what does that fact have to do with the legality and morality of this program? The fact that Brooks and Toobin are so concerned about who Snowden is tells me that they really can’t defend this program. So they hope to change the subject and make the issue about Snowden so that people don’t actually look at the program.

      1. HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!

        Toobin is especially scummy:

        But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistle-blower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this.

        Riiiiight. Toobin is somehow unware that the Obama administration has prosecuted more whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined.

        1. They don’t play around with classified information. They will throw your ass in jail for leaking it. Or they will just summarily take your security clearance and fire you. All those great due process protections you get as a fed go out the window if you lose your clearance. I don’t care if you have 40 years of spotless service. If you are in a position that requires a clearance and you lose it, you are gone, no appeal to the merit service protection board.

          There are no avenues available when the issue involves classified materials. You can’t tell the IG, they have no need to know. And even if you did, who are they going to tell?

          And how is telling it to a Congressman who then leaks it any better than telling it to a newspaper?

          1. Unless of course you are high government official and are leaking classified information that helps the administration in power, then its ok.

          2. And how is telling it to a Congressman who then leaks it any better than telling it to a newspaper?

            Especially when you know that at least a few congressmen already know and don’t feel that they can leak it.

            1. Because almost all of them are inherently cowards. Their only concern is re-election.

    2. I absolutely agree. I didn’t read the article — he was talking about the President, right?

  20. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.

    Because the democratic structures of accountability can only work when the demos doesn’t actually know what’s going on. The most recent election was obviously a referendum on practices that no one knew about.

  21. “Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability”

    Which is what?

  22. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

  23. Brooks doesn’t discuss whether the surveillance state is built on distrust, whether deceiving Americans about its activities spreads cynicism, whether its intrusions into civil society fray the social fabric, and whether the officials who run it are really working toward the common good.

    Government is us.

    Loving the government is a sophisticated form of self-love.

    1. So what if you’re self-loathing? Should I continue to ahte the government in addition to thinking that I’m an evil person?

  24. the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme.

    Hot damn, where is this society? I’m packing up to move there right now!

    1. In a Joss Whedon production??

  25. According to NPR, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks span the entire span of political opinion in this great land.

    1. Well… they span the entirety of political opinion available on NPR, especially since Tony Blankley died.

      1. Zach – You know, racism spans the globe. From Howard Beach to Crown Heights, we witness acts of hatred.

        Max – What does that mean, “from Howard Beach to Crown Heights”? That’s like from the living room to the dining room we witness acts of hatred.

        Max – Racism spans from here to the dance floor.

    2. The radical center who not only never see a reason why the Federal government should not expand, they actually think that expanding government is the solution to any problems..

    3. “Span the entire span”? And you call yourself a writer?

      1. And you call yourself a writer?

        No, I call myself a newspaperman. Big difference.

    4. “According to NPR, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks span the entire span of political opinion in this great land.”

      Well, you must admit that anyone with views outside that range is an obvious wingnut!

  26. Jesus this is worse that moron Dionne. Do he and Brooks still do bits on NPR pretending to be a sort of civilized left/right roundtable. It’s like Dumb and Dumber but more depressing and without the artistic merit.

    1. Damn, CN. I owe you a coke.

      1. Hammy, you know who else knows what you’re posting as you post it?

        1. Santa Claus?

          Or are you saying that PRISM is now the ultimate in commenting cock-blocking? WHO ARE YOU REALLY CN?

  27. What the hell can you expect from a servile bootlicker who gets woozy over the crease in Obama’s pantleg.

  28. Don’t miss the comments.

    renoladyreno, nv.
    People of Mr. Snowden’s ilk scare me more than the actions of a government trying to protect its’ citizens. The Congress and the intelligence agencies certainly have a lot more information about terrorist activities than Mr. Snowden. And for the average citizen to say that they should be consulted about counter-terrorism decisions and strategies is simply bizarre. I consider Mr. Snowden to be a traitor and I hope he is condemned as he should be. In my view, he is comparable to the Rosenbergs and others who have betrayed their nation.
    June 11, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.RECOMMENDED3

    1. Yeah it’s always fun when I get told that fearing, mistrusting, and loathing your government is unAmerican.

      There isn’t anything more American.

      1. There isn’t anything more American.

        Not anymore. Remember that we’re at war with terrorism. Anyone who fears, mistrusts or loathes the government is a potential terrorist who should be reported immediately. Only government can save us from terrorism, and only if any and all political dissent is reported to authority. Give it a few more years and the old Soviet Union will look politically free compared to the United States.

      2. No shit. I swear to Zod, they must schedule a “future progressives” conference during the week they teach the founding of the nation in American history.

    2. And for the average citizen to say that they should be consulted about counter-terrorism decisions and strategies is simply bizarre.

      Nothing says Republic, and Democracy, like saying average citizens have no right to be consulted about matters affecting their privacy. I am not sure which scares me more, that this guy exists or that three people recommended his comment.

      1. Nothing says Republic, and Democracy, like saying average citizens have no right to be consulted about matters affecting their privacy or security.

        Felt that needed to be added.

      2. Remember, us common folk aren’t qualified to interpret the Constitution either. These things must be left to our betters, as long as those betters are Team Blue.

        1. It’s, like, a hundred years old and stuff.

    3. This is the consequence of expanding government at every opportunity. The commenter is right in that we abdicate a certain amount of decision making and power to elected representatives and the people they appoint, but what they fail to to realize (or choose to ignore) is that the power we give them is supposed to be specific and limited. We actually have a system for expanding that power (amendments) but its “hard” and requires “too much” consensus. So instead people just twist the Constitution to justify ever more government power and slap the democracy label on it. Given how accepted this is, it isn’t surprising to hear someone say that it’s “bizarre” for the average citizen to get upset over this.

  29. David Brooks is the guy who, when the wolf finally comes for the shepherd boy, cheers for the wolf.

  30. What is the oath to defend the Constitution if not to call out these very types of blatant violations? The guy is my hero. Fuck you David Brooks. God bless America.

  31. If people like Toobin and Brooks want to play attack the messenger with Snowden, fine we should apply that standard across the board. Anyone who didn’t attack the source of the NYT story back in 2005 about this sort of activity is now disqualified from attacking Snowden now. Sorry but hypocrisy and or self interest disqualifies you from having your opinion heard.

    1. the messenger can only be attacked when Team Blue is implicated. That this program is okay by plenty of folks on both teams is lost in the white noise.

  32. So what if you’re self-loathing?

    I hate everybody.

    You can’t be too careful.

  33. Just to be clear: He’s talking about Snowden here. Brooks doesn’t discuss whether the surveillance state is built on distrust, whether deceiving Americans about its activities spreads cynicism, whether its intrusions into civil society fray the social fabric, and whether the officials who run it are really working toward the common good. As usual, virtually all of Brooks’ criticisms are directed at people who challenge authority, not people in authority.

    Our national David Brooks Problem has never been more perfectly stated.

  34. Brooks is scum. Snowden is a hero. That is all.

  35. There is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

    JFK

    Snowden is a hero. Brooks is an asshole. No more secrets about anything. It’s our government, they are supposed to be working for us but alas TJ was dead on when he wrote:

    We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest — which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves.

    We are surrounded by wolves and it is time to start nailing some wolf pelts to the wall.

  36. So does Brooks turn out this crap naturally? Or does he have a George Bergeron mental handicap radio that goes up to 11?

  37. This is the 1st time I’ve ever experienced seeing large numbers of ostensibly normal people try to convince the rest of us that we exist at and for their pleasure.

  38. Basically, David Brooks ain’t shit. Notice how these people who are Jewish seem to opine that abominable surveillance is OK because it helps Israel. Al Franken, even.

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