The Strange Monochromatic Morality of David Brooks

The smug know-it-all in the wire-rimmed glasses is at it again. This time, he’s playing the part of National Security Adviser, laying out a clear plan for victory in the Middle East:

The Middle East is not a chessboard we have the power to manipulate. It is a generational drama in which we can only play our role. It is a drama over ideas, a contest between the forces of jihadism and the forces of pluralism. We can’t know how this drama will play out, and we can’t direct it. We can only promote pluralism — steadily, consistently, simply.

Sticking to our values means maintaining a simple posture of support for people who share them and a simple posture of opposition to those who oppose them. It means offering at least some reliable financial support to moderate fighters and activists even when their prospects look dim. It means avoiding cynical alliances, at least as much as possible. It means using bombing campaigns to try to prevent mass slaughter.

If we do that then we will fortify people we don’t know in ways we can’t imagine. Over the long term, we’ll make the Middle East slightly more fertile for moderation, which is the only influence we realistically have. Ideas drive history.

I know: it’s a far cry from the David Brooks we knew in 2003… you know, when he was cheer-leading for regime change in Iraq. But that’s neither here nor there, because David Brooks will never admit that he has said any of these things; he will continue to vomit vapidity into our intellectual water supply without conscience or remorse until the day he dies. Continue reading

Does a movie deserve to be banned?

It’s a fairly stupid question to ask, but one that is sadly predictable given the state of modern journalism. We must be objective. We mustn’t take sides or show the slightest hint of bias. When Egypt bans a movie, we cannot be seen criticizing outright such an indefensible act of censorship. No, we must call Paul Krugman’s Very Serious People to the floor, so that they may have a very serious discussion and thereby reach no conclusion whatsoever. Continue reading

David Brooks gets paid to write this shit?

I really don’t know where to start. I guess here is as good as anywhere else:

The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase.

Tom Cotton? The guy who said ISIS is in collusion with Mexican Drug Cartels to invade the good state of Arkansas? That guy is “reasonable”? That guy is “detoxified”? What the fuck are you smoking, David Brooks? Continue reading

The Esoteric Wisdom of Frank Luntz

The elections are over. We lost. They won.

But what does it mean?

To provide a meaningless answer to this meaningless question, the New York Times enlisted Frank Luntz, former adviser to Newt Gingrich (whom he describes, if I may digress, as “the smartest man I had ever worked for”; that should give you an idea of where this is going), and his asinine appraisal of the 2014 mid-term elections goes a little something like this: Continue reading

The Guardian must take headlining lessons from the HuffPo

Blazoned across the spiffy new tiled format of The Guardian‘s website were the words, “Amelia Earhart aeroplane fragment identified.” I know these words, and I know that in their particular order they necessarily imply A) there is a piece of an airplane, and B) it has been identified as belonging to Amelia Earhart’s erstwhile Lockheed Electra. Continue reading

Forgetting something, Mr. Speaker?

“Does anybody think that Vladimir Putin would have gone into Crimea had George W. Bush been president of the United States?” asked the Republican Speaker of the House. “No! Even Putin is smart enough to know that Bush would have bunched in the nose in about 10 seconds!”

And the crowd went wild, forgetting, of course, that one time when Putin sent Russian troops into Georgia while George W. Bush sat around with his thumb up his ass.