Tuesday, June 22

Boy, Everyone Is Stupid But Me

David Brooks, "Faustus Makes a Deal". June 21

THIS week is already notable for two things, three if you count the ceaseless terrible thunderstorms and flooding rains I hope Jim Inhofe's family is now standing under in open fields with their mouths open: I have a miserable fucking cold, fer chrissakes, and everywhere I turn I wind up defending "liberals", which includes--let's makes that "means"--the sort of dishwater Centrists I'd as soon see hanged.
It was the winter of 2007. Dr. Faustus, the famous left-wing philologist, was sitting in a coffee shop in despair over the Bush-Cheney regime and the future of his country.

Suddenly, Mephistopheles, who happened to be the provost at his college, appeared, sipping a double mocha frappuccino. He sat down next to Dr. Faustus and casually asked him if he would like to be granted any five wishes in exchange for his immortal soul.

Ho ho! "double mocha frappuccino". Bet several of Dave's old Weekly Standard colleagues had to replace their keyboards this morning.
This was Dr. Faustus’s chance to do something grand for his country. He would lose his soul, but if he chose wisely, he could make the United States a bastion of liberalism forevermore.

Now, for one: by the winter of 2007--let's assume, arguendo, that what is intended is the first ten weeks of the year, not the final ten days--Democrats (aka "The Left-Wing") had just taken control of both houses of Congress as a response to the bedlam six years of de jure Republican control had made of the previous thirty years of de facto Republican control. This is the sort of thing you can look up.

I distinctly remember at the time that "liberal" and "progressive" bloggers (aka "The Left-Wing") found in this circumstance reason for something between shining hope for the future and unbridled synchronic triumphalism. It signaled the ascension of Markos Moulitsas and The Netroots Orchestra. And I remember it distinctly, because it convinced me that all of 'em have a much better supply of psychotropics than I've got.

So I'm not really sure why The Left-Wing would've been interested in making Faustian bargains at that point. And if you mean the end of 2007, well, there was an even greater national confidence that not even the Democratic party was likely to lose the White House with the sorts of advantages the Republican party had passed out during the second Bush/Cheney administration, though certain columnists felt that Rudy Giuliani might still prove a formidable foe. Now, maybe it's the case that Brooks means the actual Left-Wing, properly described, but grading its fortunes on how Democrats are doing in the polls is like assessing the Confederacy's chances by looking at NASCAR's teevee ratings, and imagining that 2% of the population really believes that 49% is going to suddenly sign on for Socialism just because their pockets were picked again--speaking personally, news that Bernie Madoff had gotten punched in the joint exceeded my expectations by a full one-third; hell, half of that was Madoff being in the joint in the first place--just vastly underrates both the experience and the intelligence of your opponent. Many of us lived through the Reagan administration, Dave. We know in our fucking marrow that Americans will never get the point.

So we conclude that by The Left Wing Brooks means that convenient amalgam of everyone in America who thinks economic rapaciousness should be tempered to some degree, with Ward Churchill as their acknowledged spokesman. And this would be the same David Brooks who, a while back--possibly in the winter of 2007--took umbrage at the fact that people treated "conservatives" as though they came in fewer than 31 flavors.

Here's the Bargain the monolithic Left jumped at:

• "[T]he nation to be hurled into an economic crisis caused by Wall Street greed and recklessness. This will discredit free-market fundamentalism once and for all.”

• "[T]he smartest Democratic politician in the land [made] president.”

• "[A] political climate so he can immediately enact an $800 billion spending package. [Which] will avert economic collapse and show the American people how effective government can be."

• "[P]ass a universal health care law. This will show a grateful nation that government can provide basic security.”

• "Just to be sure, I would like a multinational oil company to cause the biggest environmental disaster in American history. This will completely discredit corporate America and remind people why they need strong regulations and global warming legislation.”
And, indeed, everything Dr. Faustus wished for came to pass. Yet he watched events unfold with growing horror. Not in 70 years had there been a sequence of events so perfectly designed to fortify liberalism. Yet the country wasn’t swinging to the left; it was swinging to the right!

Allrighty, then. Q-E-Fucking-D.

So, first, we say the same thing to you, Dave, we told your son Ross yesterday: call us when you're ready to govern, m'kay? And not when you're ready to complain about government, because the phone would never stop ringing, and we already got the message in 1981.

Then, we'd appreciate another jingle when rabid Republicanism solves any of those problems, or even lessens their real-world and/or domestic political impact.

You won't need to tell us when you've actually won an election or two. We'll hear about it. Hell, Indiana Republicans are already lining up the Indy-to-D.C. Daniels Triumph of the Brain Parade. But what you can do is tell us what you personally stand to benefit from in all this Teabagger shit. The St. Reagan administration quadrupled the Debt, engendered the worst post-war recession to its time and the biggest bailout (and still the most scandalous). The Bush I administration had an even bigger recession and a worse jobs creation record. Bush II. We don't even need to say anything else. The Gingrich Revolution--wait, I know I wrote down its accomplishment somewhere, since I never can remember it. Th' fuck can you possibly even hope for, at this late date, in another Republican victory, aside from another opportunity for a long-distance nose-thumbing at those dirty, lunch-money-swiping, Main Line hippies who shoved you in a locker in 1978?

I'd note that it takes a lot of nerve for someone who's backed disaster after disaster caused by the pure application of his and his party's "principles" to start slinging Faust around, but it doesn't take any nerve at all. That's why we keep hearing about it. On the other hand, if the mushy middlers who control the Democratic party had exhibited some, those disasters would a permanent brand on your back, where they belong. But go on, y'know; keep tempting fate, and keep insisting that Middle America will never catch on. Hell, it's worked perfectly so far.


heydave said...

That shit stain still has a job? You have got be fucking kidding me. No, please say you are.

Kathy said...

He thinks liberals HOPED for economic and ecological catastrophe? I suppose he thinks we liberals HOPED Obama would give Queen E DVDs she couldn't play, too? And we liberals prayed to our Liberal God every night that Obama would keep Lieberman in his powerful chairman position after the scumbo supported McCain?

R. Porrofatto said...

Hell, Junior hit the fucking trifecta and I don't remember the country swinging to the right. As I recall, a substantial majority, including a fair number of Bobo's "moderate suburban voters," elected a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama instead.

Brooks is such a hack. An $800 billion "spending" (not stimulus) package, Democrats passing a universal health care law (when did that happen?), the economic crisis, the oil spill, followed by an unsupported claim that "surveys" show public opinion drifting rightward on gun control, abortion, and global warming. Q-E-Fucking—What?

But in its Noonanesque D.T.s this is the funniest bit: If your policies undermine personal responsibility by separating the link between effort and reward, voters will punish you for it.
Those must be some surveys he's sniffing.

Many of us lived through the Reagan administration, Dave. We know in our fucking marrow that Americans will never get the point.
You betcha. I'd also add to your litany that St. Reagan signed the largest tax increase in American history -- an encore of a similar act he performed as Governor of California. That he is remembered as the tax-cutting Gipper by anyone but our richest citizens is part of what has so educated our marrow.

Bernie Madoff had gotten punched in the joint
Would that were true in both meanings of the word.

A tithe of thanks as usual for your Daniels/Douthat/Brooks everything else brilliance.

Kathy said...

I suppose in a situation where things seem hopeless, where the people you voted into office to FIX things actually hand the problems to be fixed over to the same people who caused them, which is what happened and is still happening, with BP, then those people feel so helpless! What can they DO?

So who do those people turn to: God! To their "Faith".

Even tho God, I mean Obama has clearly, obviously and repeatedly betrayed them, they will cling to their faith and their ... well, not guns I guess.

heydave said...

Nice new look you got to the blog here. Be a shame if anything happened to it!

grouchomarxist said...

The thing that puzzles me about Bobo's latest literary excretion is why make Dr. Faustus a 'left-wing philologist' instead of a philosopher, as the good Doctor is usually described?

How much you want to bet this was meant to be a swipe at Noam Chomsky?