Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Big Pain

The title alone should have warned us that the NY Times resident conservative, David Brooks, has finally fallen off the deep end. "Make Everybody Hurt" was not your usual Brooksian pseudo-intellectual pablum. It had a new twist: sadism.  Brooks, the outwardly mild-mannered, reasonable Republican, has stripped off the facade of politesse and revealed a wire hanger-wielding harridan just beneath the surface.

The protest movement in Wisconsin has finally caused David to snap. He accuses Democratic state senators of being "extra-legal obstructionists" for fleeing the state to save the teachers' union. And since the old Constitution doesn't go far enough, he is calling for an unwritten Austerity Constitution consisting of a set of practices that will cut, cut and cut again.  Night of the Long Knives, Night of a Thousand Cuts.  He calls the antics of demonstraters "amusingly Orwellian."  Only David Brooks and maybe the Koch Brothers would find Orwell a laugh riot.

Today's Brooks column provoked the usual outrage from readers.  Marie Burns outdid herself in a masterful job of Brooks slicing and dicing, taking each of his thought balloons and poking a fork in it. She accused him of getting his news from the Koch Brothers Gazette and being an insult to the readers of The Times.  "What happened to the David Brooks who wrote all that glowing stuff about the importance of education as a vehicle to American success?" she asks. "Maybe he took a sick day."

Brooks is supremely miffed that the governor has exempted cops and firefighters from the pain, conveniently failing to reveal that Gov. Walker spared them because they were contributors to his campaign. The limiting of torture to just the teaching profession is "unsustainable in the current tide of red ink." Actually,  David's thought processes are as unsustainable as Joan Crawford's red-lipsticked gash of an abusive mouth.

Finding fault with working people and labor unions for the current fiscal crises (manufactured largely by extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy), blaming cops and teachers and firefighters for something the Wall Street banksters did, is very Mommie-Dearish.  Remember the scene from the movie when an intoxicated Joan Crawford wakes her sleeping little daughter to perform the notorious coat hanger beating?  She drags young Christina Crawford into the bathroom, deliberately trashes it, and then accuses the girl of making the mess.  Here's a quotes quiz.  Guess the sources - you get four picks: David Brooks, Joan Crawford, Republican governors, or Regular People:

"Tina, bring me the axe!"

"Clean up this mess!"

"Scrub, scrub, Christina. It's not! This floor is not clean! Look at it!  This floor is not clean! None of it...this floor is not clean. Nothing is clean. This whole place is a mess..."

"Ah....you lost again."

"Ah, nobody said life was fair. I'm bigger and faster and I'll always beat you."

"Why can't you give me the respect I'm entitled to? Why can't you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street?"

"Jesus Christ!"

"Don't @$#% with me, fellas!"

"I'm not gonna play with you anymore. EVER!"


Postscript: there are no right and wrong answers on this test, just as there are no right or wrong answers in this crapfest of ambiguity we call life.


Draft Spitzer said...

Brooks usually drives me nuts, and it's true that I've become somewhat inured to the predictable rise in my own blood pressure every time I read his column.
But I do believe that the last five parapgraphs of his column today went a good ways in voicing the heart of our own argument about fairness. Not the distance, but a reasonable stroll into justice, however brief, which is far better than what he usually offers, AND, I suspect, reflective of where the polls are at, that is, 61% in favor of the protesting workers.
Having said that, Karen's response in the Times' comments was brilliant. As usual, her writing outshines Brooks.

Anne Lavoie said...

Your talents as a makeup artist are only exceeded by your talents as a writer. I choked on my cocoa laughing so hard!

While Brooks gets your goat, it is Obama that makes me livid. Would you do us a favor and humor us someday by applying some makeup on a picture of our precious President Obama who seems to have gone AWOL in these days of turmoil at home and abroad.

I guess he is too busy campaigning for re-election or seeking support of corporations to speak on behalf of the riffraff like Wisconsin teachers or Middle Eastern youth struggling for freedom. One of those photos with his chin in the air would be a good start. Maybe he needs a crown?

Obama is so infatuated with himself that he makes me want to puke! He already has caused half the Democratic party to sink out of sight in the last election due to his botching of health care, and next election it will be finished off completely, thanks to that Trojan Horse Republican. He is a disaster!

I am sick, sick, sick of him. The only two counterweights to Big Business' influence are the Democratic Party and Unions. Thanks to Obama the Republican, the Democratic Party is weakened to the point of uselessness, and the Unions are under strategic major assault.

I want to scream!!!!!

jhand said...

Shortly after you posted your response to Brooks' column, the Times shut down comments. I had to go to work, but I guess the shutdown lasted for around 2-3 hours. Apparently the volume of responses, mostly negative, overwhelmed the comments "editors." I wonder if Brooks, or the Times editorial board ever read the comments. If they did, they would have some idea of the anger that dwells in those of us that never dreamed that American society could regress so quickly into a parody of the Guilded Age.

J. Jensen said...

I too am upset with your POTUS. I have done some soul searching and come to discover that it's deception that gets my goat. I was told to dream and hope and I did. I, along with many others seemed to get ahead of ourselves and do just that. Coming down is hard to do. The democratic party being a counterweight to big business is an advertising slogan or perhaps a 'perception' of the brand. I think that it may be way nostalgic to think the dems are going to do anything for us. Two majorities and a mandate and we ran the wrong way. Silly isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Those that don't know or remember history may get to repeat it or put another way. If you lie down with a Chicago machine politician you may wake up with empty pockets.

Metro Journalist said...

I don't know how Brooks keeps his jobs. Oh, maybe the Koch Brothers reimburse The New York Times for his salary.

We all know that states have less revenue. They could do something simple such as float municipal bonds. What better time than now, when interest rates are so low?

Anonymous said...

To Metro Journalist...

I'm not sure how many people are going to be willing to risk $10K for a return of maybe 3% for 10 or 15 years. Higher rates will be needed in order to pull in investors - especially for those cities and states that are at most risk.


Douglas Scott Treado said...

Geez, I thought that David B was becoming more moderate in his philosophy, outlook, and his remarks on Fridays with PBSNewshour punditry...Guess I was wrong,...again!