And thanks, I think, to Philips for sponsoring a week of free TimesSelect.
Once upon a time, the Democrats were the majority party, but then came the 1960s and many middle-class whites like Jim Webb drifted away. Webb served heroically in Vietnam and came back disgusted with the liberal elites who reviled the military and, as he wrote in 1997, “were trying to destroy the foundations of American society.”
Once upon a time some right-wing pundits could be counted upon to write interesting columns which challenged the reader whatever his political persuasion. This was, of course, some time before David Brooks filled as much of that description as he's capable of.
Can I ask again, without boring however few of you are left, just what the freakin' deal with the Sixties is with these guys? For David Brooks, born August 11, 1961, it can only be remembered, if at all, as a decade of clarinet lessons, orthodontist visits, and an introduction to the Multiplication tables, yet he can't help but write about it as if it robbed him of a) Ozzie, b) Harriet, or c) both. If he must write about it as an adult it would be nice if he'd bother to learn something, like how Once Upon A Time the half-dozen or so Negroes who were allowed to vote in the South, just a little, were all Republicans, and how they didn't drift away but were hurled bodily by the Goldwaterites.
Webb, on the other hand, may think what he likes about a decade he lived through, but I'm going to climb out on a limb and guess that Jim Webb, US Naval Academy '68, son of a career Air Force officer, admirer of Massa Robert, opponent of them Civil Rights carpetbaggers, was not exactly your average trade unionist forced to turn Nixon Republican because you couldn't tell the boys from the girls in those days.
He began to see an America riven by a social divide. On the one side were people like himself: tough, independent, hard-working traditionalists who know how to shoot, fight and endure; and on the other side were what he has at various times called the “drug-drenched,” “sex-enshrined” narcissists, who cower in their parochial elite enclaves and pass judgment on everybody else.
See Voltaire's prayer.
Webb named his son after Robert E. Lee, and wrote a book, “Born Fighting,” which is a full-throated defense of “Rednecks. Trailer-park trash. Racists. Cannon fodder. My ancestors. My people. Me.”
No, really, a full-throated defense of racism is apparently an admirable thing, provided it's at the service of some Manichaean fantasy about poor oppressed White Southern Protestant Sons of Robert the Bruce.
As Andrew Ferguson noted recently in The Weekly Standard, he took white Protestants — who have always been the villains in movies from “M*A*S*H” to “Remember the Titans” — and he described them as an oppressed minority group. And their oppressors were the highly educated liberal snobs from New York, Washington, San Francisco and L.A.
Always, since M*A*S*H. Yeesh, what a sentence. And it really is a shame Brooks is so unfamiliar with the more esoteric film fare of that era, like Clint Eastwood's overlooked Dirty Harry flicks, or the careers of Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, and that guy who used to be governor of California, or the little-known James Bond franchise. I guess he missed The Siege and Rules of Engagement. For that matter, I understand the villains of The Passion of the Christ were other than white Protestant males.
“For the last 50 years,” he wrote in “Born Fighting,” “the Left has been doing everything in its power...
Which is considerable.
"to sue them, legislate against their interests, mock them in the media, isolate them as idiosyncratic, and publicly humiliate their traditions...”
Christ Almighty, this is the sort of thing that gets praised as "a straight-shooter speaking his mind" in the likes of the Weekly Standard. I wonder at what point it will occur to these people that the reason everything they touch turns to shit, the reason they get pushed around by elitist collectivist narcissist terrorist apologists, to the extent that they do, is that being wrong at the top of your lungs will only take you so far.
Jewish culture produces a lot of lawyers, Webb has argued, but Scots-Irish culture produces fighters,...
And drunks, and pederastic priests. I love this game. The Chinese are inscrutable. Negroes are very good at basketball. Mexican food is spicy. This shit was in the New York Times.
and he has spent his life defending the interests and values of these manly, individualistic, brawling populists.
And I say it again. I will gladly stake David Brooks to an entire race weekend in the infield at Darlington, provided that he agrees to speak on the glories of Scots-Irish populism at the next NAACP convention.
He’s criticized affirmative action and women in combat.
Oh, do tell. (He's called affirmative action "state-sponsored racism", by the way, and apparently with a straight face. )
He at one time opposed the Vietnam memorial, which seemed to rebuke the warrior virtues.
Yup. We don't hear about that little sample of the manly, individualist, populist code triumphing over snobby Eastern elitist tastes these days, do we? Seem a photo of Vietnam vets reaching out to touch that godawful Soviet-realist sculpture people like Webb forced the government to erect as a tribute to their tooth-deprived hillbilly aesthetic?
“Watching the white phallus that is the Washington Monument piercing the air like a bayonet, you feel uplifted,” he said. But the “degrading ditch” of the Vietnam memorial seemed to do no such thing.
Okay, I admit it. I went through this whole thing just so I could use that quote.
And we may be about to learn if the party of Nancy Pelosi can make room for the Jim Webbs of the world. We’ve already learned that the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay did a terrible job making room for its own mavericks and moderates.
Yeah, and it's a shame your column had gone on so long there wasn't room to name any, David.
Jim Webb is a Republican running as an Opportunist. They only interest any Democrat could have in him would be in using him to take over committee chairmanships, excepting maybe the schadenfreude of watching "Presidential hopeful" George Allen, Jr. suck the gas pipe. But then there's plenty of schadenfreude available these days, Dave. You can barely scrape the damn stuff off your shoes in some spots.
This election is about the desperate need to turn out the Den of Thieves in the Capitol. "Democrat" is just the only means available to do so. That's still the party of Toothless Acquiescence to the Iraq War, the looting of the Treasury, and the Rape of Civil Rights. One more Webb or Lieberman or Crazy Zell signing on means nothing; those people are, simply, so wrong about things that "reality" will take care of them sooner or later. And patience is a virtue we elitists have had long practice of. You can wake me when the Democrats are finished throwing Bush administration officials in the slam and have moved on to putting Ken Starr and Dickie Scaife in the docket. In other words, don't threaten me with how long I might have to hold my breath, Mr. Brooks. I've already been doing it for decades.