David Brooks, "The Two Cultures". November 16
YOU may have noticed that there's no link to Brooks' piece above. That's because there's really no reason for anyone who hasn't been assigned the thing to read a Brooks piece entitled The Two Anythings, or This or That Culture.
Liberals think like this, while "Conservatives" think like this. He's like Sinbad without the A material.
Okay, if you're morbidly curious: Economics, where Liberals have gotten all Sciency and Rational an' stuff, and trust it implicitly, despite the fact that rationality has proven itself less than perfect in some example Brooks has decided both to use and blame on Liberals, thereby proving that rationality is worthless, at least as practiced by Liberal majorities. "Conservatives", on the other hand, have gone all Emo.
And this, sez Dave, is a reversal of the natural order.
Now, as always, I'm a lot more interested in the political-cultural milieu which allows David Brooks to thrive as the world's primier fifty-year-old frankfurter repackager than in Brooks' actual product. I'd like to know where the idea that caring about people as a political tenet makes one a flightily, sandal-wearing slumber-party denizen who makes her own candles, and what, in the name of Gods, gives anyone the right to suggest that American "Conservatives" are notably, or even passably, enamored of Science. I think that government economic policy ought to have as its abiding principle the protection of the weak and the guarantee of basic human dignity beginning with the lowest of the lowly. And I'll be happy to box David Brooks for twelve bare-knuckle rounds.
Second, speaking of abiding principles, this blog's has always been that, on an absolute scale, though not necessarily in cumulative effect, Centrists are worse than Rightists, and phony Moderates are worse than Hitler. Maybe it's just me, but while I have little use for people who talk to dead Jewish carpenters before and after every gridiron contest, I'm more offended by people who show up at His house twice a year like it's a nursing home and He's grandma. If you don't drink eggnog and eat fruitcake twelve months out of the year, why do it just because some culture you know nothing about handed it off to you?
And what good are your opinions if they change with the proximity of Election season? Three years ago Douthat was writing the Summa Theologica of movement "conservatism"; two years ago Brooks knew that electoral disaster was going to make his party that much more like himself; last winter, with the Democrats once again circling the firing squad, the Common Man suddenly became wise, and good, and in innate agreement with his Burkean and Augustinian betters. Now, coffers refilled and elections won, it's time to backpedal, slowly at first, just in case the promised miracle is a little late in coming. Like, say, your entire lifetime, which is what it's been for these two.
I just wanna know who it is wolfs down these turds like they're Tootsie Rolls. Did you sleep through the fucking Bush administration, so that the world was all fresh and new in January of 2008? Is there some nuance of the Boehner House that differs from that of Hassert, or Gingrich, like the Roberts Court differs from the Rehnquist? It's bad enough when, suddenly, some glorified Chamber of Commerce newsletter columnist decides that scoring points on imaginary liberals is worth abandoning Economics; it may be worse that he's willing to abandon the notion of logic, or comprehensibility, if that means votes for His Side. We're certainly in a lot of trouble for that third of the population which seems to believe that nonsense makes sense, as well as the corporate mouthpieces who facilitate 'em. But what about the threat from people who imagine they can convince the other two-thirds to sign on?