Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, January 31st, 2012.

David Brooks Bites

News Media

I regret that I’ve had to be working on something else today, because David Brooks is off the Oblivious Scale today. He has reached a level of cluelessness remarkable even for Brooks.

I mentioned a few days ago that Charles Murray has a new book out to complain po’ white folks is gettin’ as lazy and shiftless as th’ colored folk, an it’s all ’cause they’s losin’ their moral compasses.

Of course, they probably had to hock their moral compasses to keep their lights turned on. That said, let’s continue.

Brooks heaps praise on Murray’s book, saying “I’ll be shocked if there’s another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society.” And he buys into Murray’s argument that the white underclass is losing its connection to the traditional (e.g., white) culture they are supposed to be part of, which is why they are not as productive as they used to be. And rising income inequality is the result of this, not the cause.

Brooks simply dismisses any argument that economic injustice is tearing the country apart. In fact, Brooks blames the “liberal members of the upper tribe” for stoking the resentments of the lower classes, which to Brooks is the real cause of the problem. If the white trash lower classes would just work harder, and get married, they’d be living in the Hamptons, too!

And he concludes by saying we should all go to the same summer camp to get to know each other:

We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement.

Un-freakin’-believable. There hasn’t been this much upper-class-twit obliviousness concentrated in one person since Marie Antoinette.

Fortunately Charles Pierce is back in the saddle, heaping all the snarky contempt on Brooks he richly deserves. I also love this comment from Zandar:

It’s like Brooks is some sort of Sisyphean device that has one purpose: to take any possible social paradigm observation, smash it with a sledgehammer, and reconstruct the bits in order to fit his god-awful worldview of bipartisanship, even if the pieces don’t fit and had nothing to do with the original observation in the first place, and he has to repeat that until the end of time. There are people that just don’t get it, people that don’t get it on purpose as satire, and then there’s David Brooks (who should be regularly harvested for the rich oil of contempt for anyone who makes less than six figures that he drips with) who somehow manages to make “not getting it” into an exciting new field of scientific endeavor. I’ve got a fiver that says if Brooks was jammed together with any actual American middle-class salt-of-the-earth family for more than 3 hours, there would be blood all over the carport and a Garden Weasel shoved in a very uncomfortable place upon his person.

First rate snark, Zandar. I salute you.

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Florida Primary

Mittens, n00t, Religion, Republican Party

Nate is giving Mittens a 97 percent chance of winning the Florida primary today, so it’s all over but the votin’. The establishment, faced with a choice between Mittens and Newt, have now congealed around Mittens. Barring an intervention by God, Mittens will be the nominee.

However, word is that Newt is crazy/deluded/narcissistic enough to keep campaigning. I hope so; Mittens is such a crashing bore.

Speaking of the Great Gas-Passing Orifice — Newt’s latest contribution to our nation’s political discourse is another doozy —

The transcript, via Think Progress

GINGRICH: Now, I think we need to have a government that respects our religions. I’m a little bit tired about respecting every religion on the planet. I’d like them to respect our religion.

And what religion would that be, Newt? The Church of Asshattery? But you see why I would be sooo disappointed if Newt drops out now.

Newt says President Obama and Mittens have been waging a “war against religion,” most recently for not permitting the Catholic bishops to dictate the reproductive choices of their non-Catholic employees. Apparently this violates the bishops’ “freedom” to force their beliefs on people who don’t agree with them.

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