Bobo agonistes

A bunch of you have pointed to Bobo’s anti-Beck column today and said you thought it was good and reasonable. I don’t agree (though I do sympathize with him). Since my first stab at drawing possibly false equivalences between the respectable right and the real wingers went over so well, I’m going to take another stab at it: I don’t think that Brooks is anywhere near as different from Limbaugh as Brooks believes (I will grant that Beck is on a different planet from either). First, let’s start with the logical issues:

For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

If Brooks himself admits that the Republican party pre-emptively surrenders to the armies of Rush, then how can he say that it’s cynical for Democrats to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P.?

But what really irks me is the stuff about arguing with showmen as opposed to “people whose opinions are based on knowledge” (clearly Brooks means himself here).

In the main, arguing with Brooks is not that different from arguing with Rush Limbaugh. Let’s leave aside the fact that Brooks has quoted white supremacist Steve Sailer, claimed that immigrants bring with them a “culture of criminality”, and spends a great deal of time hippie-baiting, because my point here is about policy positions not rhetoric.

I’ve read nearly every column Brooks has written for the past eight years. They tend more towards personal profiles and cultural musings than policy pronouncements. The main policy positions I’ve seen him espouse are (1) support for the Iraq war, (2) support for vouchers/opposition to everything about our current educational system, and (3) concern-trolling about Democratic budget deficits (for whatever reason, the Bush budget deficits were not problematic for him). These are, of course, all positions that Limbaugh takes too. Obviously, you all know how the Iraq war turned out, but it’s also worth noting that political opposition to a robust stimulus package has had dire consequences.

It’s nice to believe that if so-called reasonable people of good will got together and stopped listening to “extremists”, then everything would be well and good. It’s just not true. Plenty of completely and utterly disastrous policy decisions are supported by so-called reasonable people of good will.

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53 replies
  1. 1
    Macsenmifune says:

    There was also the little dig against intellectuals that don’t understand middle America, unlike Brooks who is so Joe Six pack.

  2. 2
    Brandon says:

    DougJ – I like your work, but this one needs a bit more proof reading before hitting that publish button.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    DougJ – I like your work, but this one needs a bit more proof reading before hitting that publish button.

    Sorry — I get trigger-happy when the site is up and down a lot.

  4. 4
    JK says:

    David Brooks is full of shit. I don’t understand BJ readers giving kudos to Brooks for his latest piece of crap. He’s not on your side. He’s trashing democrats and liberal pundits by accusing them of cynically exaggerating the influence of Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity. Brooks isn’t doing Obama supporters any favors with this latest column.

    Brooks will be on Meet the Press this weekend with dipshit Republican operative hack Mike Murphy, E.J. Dionne, and Rachel Maddow.

    In the past, Brooks has taken swipes at Maddow and Olbermann and lumped them into the same category as Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity. Here’s hoping that Rachel gives Brooks a well deserved ass kicking on Sunday.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    dipshit Republican operative hack Mike Murphy

    You know, I kind of like hearing what that guy has to say. I’m not kidding.

  6. 6
    Shygetz says:

    First of all, this was WAY more supportable than your last equivalency effort. Kudos.

    I agree with you; I think it is beyond obvious that Brooks thinks that the media has SOME power; otherwise, Brooks would have to admit to himself that his column has zero influence on his audience, and he is essentially being paid to masturbate in the dark. Therefore, Brooks’ objection cannot be that the media armies don’t exist; I think Brooks’ major argument is that the loonies’ armies are bigger than Brooks’, and that’s just UNFAIR.

    Hard truths are hard, but they are still truths. Yes, it sucks beyond belief that Limbaugh’s and Beck’s listeners are, by and large, voters…but it’s true. It sucks that Limbaugh’s and Beck’s audiences are large enough to control a sizable block within the Republican electorate…but it’s true. Brooks’ main failing, in my opinion, is simple sour grapes syndrome…the position that Beck’s and Limbaugh’s followers aren’t REAL voters, they are just caricatures of what liberals think conservatives are like, and the millions of listeners they supposedly have are mere inconvenient details. Brooks’ much smaller number of fans, however, are 100% genuine and represent a real constituency dying for representation.

  7. 7
    cmorenc says:

    Bobo aka Brooks does accurately capture how the apparent reach of the winger politico talk shock-jocks like Beck and Limbaugh considerably exceeds its actual grasp on the mainstream public, and that the GOP will have a grievous problem regaining its footing so long as their nominal leadership behaves as if these shock-jocks represent the powerful mainstream of GOP thought. And it is true that there is a sizeable slice of the GOP electorate that sees itself more in tune with the model of Olympia Snowe or ex-Sen Lincoln Chaffee than with the likes of Tom Coburn or John Boehmer.

    Howerver, the self-considered “moderate” conservative wing of the party (which Brooks clearly sees himself simpatico with) is currently so overdominated by the hard-core wingers in the party for control of party platform and image that they’re ineffective so long as they stay aligned with the GOP. Their intellectual roots are also still with the likes of the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute or Hoover Institute…and so, even in their supposed moderation they still dream the dreams of Reagan and what they imagine he represented, and not focused mainly on the pressing pragmatic issues facing ordinary nonideological americans.

    That’s why the democratic party still has a chance of achieving a lasting political realignment, even though daily feckless congresscritters like Max Baucus seem to be trying hard to throw it away by default back to the GOP.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    If Brooks himself admits that the Republican party pre-emptively surrenders to the armies of Rush, then how can say that it’s cynical for Democrats to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P.?

    He’s claiming that Limbaugh doesn’t lead the GOP, he just bullies it around. And, to a degree, he’s right. But only because the GOP leadership has been in shreds for years. Cheney held the reigns for a while, and DeLay/Gingrich before him, but the party gets a lot more done by bullying its affiliates into line than it does by setting up a unified vision that attracts followers.

    Rush Limbaugh has absolutely no vision that passes his pay stub. He’s not developing policy or formulating an agenda, he’s just throwing bombs. Brooks wants to believe that bomb throwers aren’t leaders, and therefore *poof!* they’re not. And referencing the Manchester Rules of Proper Boxing Ettiquette, he then concludes that labeling a bomb thrower as the party leader is hitting below the belt.

    But Brooks is a right wing apologist. He’ll hem and haw all day long if you let him.

  9. 9
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I agree that both are no friend to liberals. They both use very different techniques to sway their patrons however. Brooks style is passive aggressive pseudo intellectualism, and Rush uses bombastic diatribes meant to appeal to nativistic impulses of white power in decline, or white MALE power in decline.

    I have more respect for Limbaugh, in that he risks the blowback from a PC addled press corp for being direct, mostly, while Brooks is just a fidgety weasel. Both are loathsome for their wankery, but they are goopers after all/

  10. 10
    EconWatcher says:

    Brooks cites McCain’s primary victory as proof that dittoheads and Beck fans don’t control the Republican party. But that ignores a rather obvious counterpoint: Why did McCain pick Palin? Or more precisely, why did McCain think he had no choice but to pick Palin?

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    He’s claiming that Limbaugh doesn’t lead the GOP, he just bullies it around.

    Yes, I agree. But it seems ridiculous for him so say Democrats are cynical for saying “Rush leads the GOP” when they really should be saying “Rush doesn’t technically lead the GOP but he bullies it around so much that it does whatever he wants”. That’s an awfully fine distinction.

  12. 12
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    If Brooks himself admits that the Republican party pre-emptively surrenders to the armies of Rush, then how can he say that it’s cynical for Democrats to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P.?

    Thank you.

  13. 13
    JK says:

    @DougJ:

    I’ll grant you that Mike Murphy is preferable to the insufferable, egomaniacal Peggy Noonan and the noxious, repulsive Mary Matalin.

  14. 14
    Legalize says:

    It’s the same old bullshit from “serious” conservatives: Beck and Limbaugh make the GOP look bad, and it’s the fault of liberals who point out that Beck and Limbaugh make the GOP look bad. It’s never about their own failures. Ever.

  15. 15
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge.

    Like the “knowledge” that Applebee’s has a salad bar?

  16. 16
    Legalize says:

    Edit: if Rush “bullies” the GOP into compliance, why don’t Bobo and his ilk stand up to the bully? Would that be like, I don’t know, defying their leaders or something?

  17. 17
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Rush Limbaugh is just a shouter! He has no influence on politics!

    Mr. Limbaugh was made an honorary member of the class as its members tonight finished a three-day orientation here sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and Empower America, two conservative Washington research organizations.

    Republicans Get a Pep Talk From Rush Limbaugh

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    Since my first stab at drawing possibly false equivalences between the respectable right and the real wingers went over so well, I’m going to take another stab at it—I don’t think that Brooks is anywhere near as different from Limbaugh as he believes …

    I’m with you, Doug. People seem to forget that Brooks springs from the oh so classy environs of The Weekly Standard.

    If Brooks himself admits that the Republican party pre-emptively surrenders to the armies of Rush, then how can he say that it’s cynical for Democrats to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P.?

    This is what really irks me about Brooks. He’s bad writer. I mean a really lousy writer. Brooks indulges in every flaw that Orwell criticizes in Politics and the English Language , and adds new ones.

    He’s tedious and he contradicts himself. He ridicules facts and statements that are obviously true, and equivocates over that which is insane.

    I don’t know why anyone takes him seriously, much less the editors of The New York Times.

    .

  19. 19

    Kudos DougJ (its been more than 5 minutes, you do remember me, right?) because when I read this I got a pretty good chuckle out of it. It isn’t that these fucking morons don’t get results. Its that they are preaching to the half-bright choir of deadenders, birfers, tenthers and other assorted atavists. They haven’t moved anyone in the middle! The peopel who listen to and watch these morons were ALWAYS going to vote the way they did. Listening to Rush, or watching Beck and Hannity isn’t going to change what happens at the the polling place. This is a self selecting crowd. Logic dictates that these guys are not persuading any one to come to their side. If anything, they push people away.

    You may not always know what you’re for when it comes to policy, but its usually pretty easy to know what you’re against.

    Related but not exactly on OT: I am starting a project to collect photos of all the signs we see around the country that are a result of the stimulus package. We have 2 pretty good size projects right in this area of northern NE. I want to display photos of all the jobs being payed for by these “socia1ist” programs pushed on the American people by the Presidnet. I’ll blogwhore the post once I get it organized. I’m just sick of these WATB’s and this is going to be my way of pointing out the obvious economic impact of those taxpayer dollars being spent all over the country.

  20. 20
    Svensker says:

    The only difference between Brooks and Limbaugh is that Brooks is a member of the elite, and Limbaugh is not — he’s a rich fat guy who appeals to blue collar white men.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:

    @Macsenmifune:

    There was also the little dig against intellectuals that don’t understand middle America, unlike Brooks who is so Joe Six pack.

    How can Brooks maintain this pretension to middle-class expertise after the “Applebee’s salad bar” goof? It’s ridiculous.

    .

  22. 22
    JK says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    For me, it’s a tough call as to who is more reprehensible:
    Brooks or Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck.

    But I see your point. There is something insideous about the way the pseudo intellectual Brooks trashes liberals and progressives in this latest column. I hope David Gregory gives Rachel Maddow enough time to deliver a smackdown to Brooks on Sunday.

  23. 23
    Tom Q says:

    I’m in agreement with a lot of people here. It’s not that Brooks’ chief argument — that the Beck/Limbaugh worldview represents nothing like a majority of Americans — is incorrect, and hearing that spoken by a Republican is rare enough that you don’t want to let such a moment pass unremarked (see also Lindsey Graham yesterday, and Joe Scarborough re: the Olympics today on HuffPo).

    But Doug is also correct, that Brooks befouls his insight with some outright falsehoods (right: it’s the “liberal media” elevating them) and failure to look closely enough within either his party or himself. Does he imagine those “terrorist” screamers at the Palin rallies last Fall were holograms? That all those tea paties attendees are imaginary? These folks probably don’t constitute a majority of even the GOP vote, but they sure represent a significant chunk of it — one that’s been catered to for a very long time, certainly throughout the eight years of the Bush administration.

    I think people like Brooks expected that the worst that would happen after a cataclysmic failure like Bush II is that a Democrat would steer the country back to Bush I, moderate-conservative territory. This is equivalent to a Democrat in 1981, recognizing Carter’s failure, hoping Reagan would steer an Eisenhower-like course. It’s a ridiculous hope, since a) it wasn’t what the winning candidate campaigned on, and, b) the most recent converts to a party don’t get to dictate the direction that party goes. The fact that, the dithering in the Senate Finance Committee aside, Democrats are moving the country significantly away from the moderate-conservative template of the past 40 years, and the daily braying of Beck/Limbaugh makes it all the more likely that movement will continue, makes people like Brooks crazy, and they’re trying desperately to rationalize it away. It’ll take them a while to recognize the world as they knew it has changed for good.

  24. 24
    DougJ says:

    I think people like Brooks expected that the worst that would happen after a cataclysmic failure like Bush II is that a Democrat would steer the country back to Bush I, moderate-conservative territory. This is equivalent to a Democrat in 1981, recognizing Carter’s failure, hoping Reagan would steer an Eisenhower-like course. It’s a ridiculous hope, since a) it wasn’t what the winning candidate campaigned on, and, b) the most recent converts to a party don’t get to dictate the direction that party goes. The fact that, the dithering in the Senate Finance Committee aside, Democrats are moving the country significantly away from the moderate-conservative template of the past 40 years, and the daily braying of Beck/Limbaugh makes it all the more likely that movement will continue, makes people like Brooks crazy, and they’re trying desperately to rationalize it away. It’ll take them a while to recognize the world as they knew it has changed for good.

    Interesting point.

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    The best question to ask after Brooks shows that Beck and Limbaugh
    do not have an EFFECTIVE following (ie. McCain wins the nom inspite
    of being hated by Limbaugh), is: Who actually does control the GOP?

    It is not the anti-immigration bigots ( see how well Tancredo did in the primaties?).
    It is not (yet) the religious right – although they did much better than
    Tancredo. They hated McCain pretty thoroughly but could not settle
    on Mike Huckabee in time to get it all together.

    It seems to me that it is the extremely effective but unpopular Dick Armey – backed by corporations. Not the ideal face to get elected president,
    but pretty effective in getting the message of corporate America adopted
    as the populist position.

  26. 26
    JK says:

    David Brooks is just as bad for our culture as Musical Atrocities of the 1970’s

    h/t http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1382052

  27. 27
    Napoleon says:

    @Tom Q:

    I think there is a lot to what you say, good post.

  28. 28
    Shygetz says:

    @catclub: The problem is, most of the nutjob constituencies are HEAVILY overlapping. How many Dominionists are also anti-immigrant? How many tea-partiers are also racists? Lots and lots, which leaves the nut-jobs with plenty of single-issue people to vote for.

  29. 29
    Crashman06 says:

    @Tom Q:

    Democrats are moving the country significantly away from the moderate-conservative template of the past 40 years

    Do you really think that this is so? Not that I necessarily disagree, but I’m having a hard time identifying any specifics, besides the slightly more general liberal leanings among the millennials. Do you have any specifics?

  30. 30
    binzinerator says:

    Fuckin’ Bobo Brooks. Dishonest as they come.

    It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche

    Bobo spends 2/3s of his column space on trying to desperately convince everyone of that these guys are utterly weak, they represent a ‘mere niche’, their power is illusory.

    If Limbaugh et al were as niche or lacked real power as Bobo wants everyone to believe that prissy little fucktard wouldn’t have needed to write that column in the first place.

  31. 31
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Good post Doug. I’d like to see where Bobo himself feels his political stands are different from Boss Rush. Maybe Bobo could lay this out in another column. I’d also like to know what Bobo wrote about Boss Rush and the other rightwing “jocks” back when they were riding high with the Republican revolution.

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:

    @Crashman06:

    Are you kidding, if Obama does nothing more then get Health care reform that is like 4 of the 5 committee bills other then the Senate Finance Committee he will have done more to move this country to the left since LBJ. And that is before taking into account that there almost certainly be huge changes in various policies towards gays.

  33. 33
    Crashman06 says:

    @Napoleon: I’m a pessimist, I guess. I fear that HRC will lack a strong public option for cost control, and will wind up being a huge mess. In regards to gay rights, the administration hasn’t done much yet. Perhaps they will, but they haven’t yet. I guess it’s still to early to judge, but I’m just worrying about the other shoe dropping.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    I believe Brooks to be fraud, engaged in the same enterprise as Fox news and Limbaugh. The difference is that Brooks does not truck in scandal and sensationalism, he attempts to mislead the country through genteel social engineering, purported to be based in some kind of empirical research and responsible learned social observation. But his viewpoint really consists of GOP fantasy history and fantasy social science designed to further the GOP agenda.

    See the entry for ‘Bobo’ in the wonderful the Balloon-Juice lexicon, and link the magazine article that describes what happened when a real, reality-based, reporter fact-checked Brooks’ pop social anthropology. Also note Brooks’ reaction: the reporter’s fact-checking was ‘unethical’. What a disgusting hoot that little bit is.

    Recently in his columns, Brooks’ has peddled a fanatasy history of the eighteenth and nineteenth century US. He asserts that we were all rugged individualists back then. That is a real America. Note the implicit condemnation of any responsible collective social policy proposals in that view.

    But that view of US history is a fantasy. No interest groups fighting over national financial policy, the tarriff, the first and second Banks of the US. No group struggles between speculators, squatters, farmers over land policy. No interest group fights over bimetalism vs. the gold standard. No Granger movement. No mass union struggles from PA to CO that threw parts of the country into mini class-based civil wars. It is sheer fanatasy, that he peddles. No Robber Barons and popular opposition to corporate domination of the governemnt. No Teddy Roosevelt, Hiram Johnson, or Lafolettes, or Upton Sinclair, Jane Addams, or the muckrackers.

    His recent column on debt and financial risk in the US displays an absurd and prissy obssession with some kind of mass loss of morality. Not a word about very intentional federal and state regulatory policies the encourage it, or the struggle between state and federal government on oversight of financial regulation and redress of fraudulant behavior on the part of the rich and powerful. And if there was a loss of morality, exactly one short sentence about the role of corporate social engineering in turning the US into a popuation of childlike, mindless consumption machines, that concerns the relatively minor issue of ‘supersizing’ in fast food chains.

    Even in this week’s column we have this very doubtful statement:
    “The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. ”

    Really? Beck is newcomer and he is not relevant. How about O’Reilly, and ‘the rest’ includes Limbaugh. Limbaugh’s rise certainly did not coincide with the decline of the GOP.

    I think the column today is an effort by a hack GOP operative to lend some kind of intellectual rationale for dismissing the influence of the hate rhetoric of the wingnuts, and effort to remove it as an legitimate issue of public debate.

    Brooks is not the same cog as Limbaugh in the machinery of GOP and wingnut social engineering, but he is part of the machine and his goal is the same as all the others, from Steele to Beck.

    Brooks will thow in a reference to big agribusiness, and other dominant financial powers once in awhile to seem balanced. But the main thrust of his writing alwasy supports the GOP conceptual narrative.

    It is the same as Fox, it just uses different means and is aimed a different audience.

    I saw a poll recently that claimed that Brooks is a leading influence on Democrats in government. That is sad, and shows how ignorant these people are. You have to be very ignorant not to recognize that Brooks is pushing propaganda based on fantasy and misdirection.

  35. 35
    Tom Q says:

    Crashman06, Napoleon got in there before I could and basically answered the way I would have. Granted, this puts me on the optimist side of the half-full/half-empty disagreement that’s been waged at this and other sites over the past few months. But I believe health care is going to get through in substantially better form than the most cynical assume — and, honestly, even the lesser forms that are being talked about now are further left than what Crazy Man Howard Dean dared to propose in ’04. Similarly, while we grump about the shaving the stimulus took thanks to Susan Collins, the very fact we passed a bill containing so much infrastructure spending, after decades when the only acceptable form of stimulus was a tax cut for Bill Gates, is significant. Also, like Napoleon, I believe such things as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are going by the wayside soon. And, truly, the fact that gay marriage is barely losing many places, where ten years ago even VT freaked out over civil unions, tells us where the country is going. (Your point about the milennials underscores this. As I said to my brother mid-last year, every day that passes, the margin of Obama’s victory increases, because his opposition is literally dying off, replaced by new voters far more supportive)

    As far as “McCain won so righties don’t control the GOP”…I don’t think we should overstate the significance of McCain’s win in the primaries. He benefitted from a large split field, and an extremely undistinguished one — not only in real terms, but in terms of their appeal to righties…Romney had been a moderate shortly before, Huckabee was talking about spending on the poor, even Brownback was against the war in Iraq. McCain won a good number of winner-take-all primaries where he was able to watch those candidates split the further-right vote. Had there been a single, rally-round candidate for right-wingers — like, say, Cheney — the outcome might have been substantially different. (And my bet is the wingers, so convinced they only lost to Obama by not going far enough right, will unite and give us a crazy in’12)

  36. 36
    slag says:

    Brooks just doesn’t want to admit to himself that he also gets bullied by Rush. Like the rest of them, he ponders with every stroke of the keyboard, “Which lunatic rightwinger am I going to accidentally piss off today? Maybe if I add something in about cynical Democrats…”.

  37. 37
    Crashman06 says:

    @Tom Q: Nice explanation. I hope you are right in re: health care. We have seemed to begun a leftward shift lately, but the bloodthirsty explosions from the teabaggers have freaked me out just a little bit. They’re probably just all sound and fury, etc, etc, but I worry anyway.

    @jl: This is a great post. Thanks for hitting on the history aspect of it. The conservative myth of the America’s Great Golden Past really drives me nuts.

  38. 38
    bob h says:

    Sounds like someone has been reading Sam Tenenhaus’ new book.

    When the violence comes, Brooks and Ms. Lindsay will be able to say they had nothing to do with it.

  39. 39
    Chad N Freude says:

    @DougJ: I think that’s a distinction without a difference. Unless you implicitly assume that leading is a positive attribute.

  40. 40
    Chad N Freude says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Yesbut. While the dittoheads/dunderheads/doodyheads don’t make much, if any, difference in national elections, the noise they make seems to influence the votes of a significant number of congersmen and sinaters.

  41. 41
    Helmut says:

    Plus, whatever happened to the patronizing Republican scolding about “personal responsibility”? That’s a lot of non-Republicans/conservatives responsible, in Brooks’ view, for a lot of Republicans/conservatives listening to Limbaugh.

  42. 42
    cokane says:

    But what really irks me is the stuff about arguing with showmen as opposed to “people whose opinions are based on knowledge” (clearly Brooks means himself here).

    This is an excellent point. Brooks thinks of himself as full of knowledge, especially of the sociological vein. As has been shown, Brooks doesn’t appear to leave his house often, most of his sociological “knowledge” seems to come from television and radio stereotypes.

  43. 43
    chrome agnomen says:

    i never listen to, watch, or read any of the people significantly to the right of me, and that’s most of them. i leave that to the warriors on sites like these. but it often seems to me, as i am informed of the capitol hill pronouncements from the right side, that it may in fact be the radio jocks, op-ed writers, and fox pundits who are struggling to keep up with teh crazy being hatched in that incubator of bedlam, our right wing congressional membership. would any of them really dare go toe to toe with bachmann? ya think? beck would cry, limbaugh would rush to the med cabinet, savage would nod in admiration, bobo would merely wet himself.

  44. 44
    bellatrys says:

    Don’t forget that Bobo was *for* torture – er, “morally hazardous” actions – before he was against – er, shocked, SHOCKED to discover we were torturing people in Abu Ghraib….

    I guess that being against what he was formerly for once he heard what bad consequences his formerly-advocated activities had, politically, is about all the moral advantage he has over Limbutt.

  45. 45
    noncarborundum says:

    @Zifnab: FYI,
    reins.

  46. 46
    tc125231 says:

    The way Brooks most resembles Limbaugh is that they BOTH..KNOWINGLY..MAKE..SHIT..UP.

    Liars are liars. Nothing else to say.

  47. 47
    matoko_chan says:

    I think the GOP is about 85% white evangelical christianist at this point.
    They are distilling down to an all Jesus base, because those are the only citizens stupid enough to believe their scam.

  48. 48
    HyperIon says:

    @Zifnab: But Brooks is a right wing apologist. He’ll hem and haw all day long if you let him.

    yes. but he has that pleasant smile and sort of affable manner.
    underneath he’s a douchebag repub.

  49. 49
    Sly says:

    Brooks’ critique is not ideology-based. It’s the objection of a bookish man to the rise of boorish sentiment, and its the same objection someone on the left would make whenever someone irrevocably inept joins their cause. Like how I get whenever Harold Ickes, who I think is utterly incompetent, says something with which I somewhat agree.

    Brooks has always fancied himself a throwback to a more intellectual form of conservatism, and the fact that stupid conservatives are in ascendancy probably annoys him. And that’s fine, I suppose. But to have any credibility beyond saying “these aren’t the conservatives I think are important” he needs to categorically denounce their message, not just deny their influence.

    He’s done it before, as I recall. Like when Boehner announced that Congress should enact a spending freeze in the middle of a bad recession and Bobo called him “insane”.

  50. 50
    Nellcote says:

    @jl:

    shorter David Brooks: “wah, wah, I want my country back wah, wah”

  51. 51
    Mr. Wonderful says:

    Brooks is saying that the loony wing of the GOP may noisily praise and follow Rush and Beck, but that those legions aren’t big enough to enact Rush’s will at the polls?

    Maybe. But that’s what passes for “leadership” on the right these days. Does Brooks think people like Boehner and alien blob-infant Mitch McConnell are, or should be, leading the charge? The GOP has no affirmative leadership. All they do is obstruct, object, and cheer when Chicago loses the Olympics.

    Brooks, in his trademark role as Reasonable Weasel, fails to note that when there’s a vacuum of affirmative leadership, the loudest and the looniest get the most attention. For him to call Democrats “cynical” for pointing that out is what makes us love (read: loathe) him so.

  52. 52
    mclaren says:

    As usual, it’s a real puzzler whether Brooks is being stupid or just lying. Boiling his entire bucketload of crap down to a single sentence, Brooks claims Limbaugh isn’t the leader of the Republican party because he doesn’t get his way 100% of the time.

    That’s so obviously idiotic, no words exist in the English language to properly describe the stupidity of such so-called “reasoning.” By that measure, Barack Obama isn’t the leader of his party, and FDR wasn’t the leader of the Democratic party in 1933.

    The real test of whether someone is the leader of their political is whether they set the political agenda. Obviously Limbaugh does. Case closed, end of discussion.

  53. 53

    @Notorious P.A.T.

    They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge.

    Like the “knowledge” that Applebee’s has a salad bar?

    That was a cheap shot and a low blow. I wish I had thought of it.

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