We don’t say it, we don’t literally mean it

Bobo is slowly coming around to loving the Donald:

MR. BROOKS. I think he’s much deeper. The guy’s been around since the ’80s, and he stands for something. He stands for success, the gospel of success, that you can start out small and make it big in this country. Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

MR. ROBINSON: Well, with the money in there before. So.

MR. BROOKS: Right, right. But he stands for that. He’s been preaching this for, for 20 and 30 years.

Matt Taibbi once wrote that:

By 2004, that once-cherished ideal of political freedom and self-governance that millions of young men and women gave their lives to protect as recently as WWII had been reduced to the level of absurdist comedy. You had a millionaire Yalie in an army jacket taking on a millionaire Yalie in a cowboy hat, fighting tooth and nail for the right to be named the man “middle America most wants to have a beer with” by a gang of Ivy League journalists…

This year’s model is a billionaire Wharton grad with a near-billionaire father and a gilded penthouse…who’s a Queens kid to the core. Donald Trump has a led life of obscene excess. He frequently brags about his wealth and the beauty of his stable of prostitutes. His entire ethos (at least he has one) can be summarized as “life ain’t nothing but bitches and money”.

Who better to be held up as an example of all that is good in a party that cherishes belt-tightening family values frugality?

(h/t reader J)






94 replies
  1. 1
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Why, it’s almost as though the Republican brand is all a facade! But that would mean…whoa. I’m beginning to think things may not be on the level here, gang.

  2. 2
    Glen Tomkins says:

    “a party that cherishes belt-tightening family values frugality?”

    You left out strict Christianity. Their party is also quite strict about Christian values, which, surely, The Donald has in spades.

  3. 3
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    He grew up in an upper-middle-class part of Queens, and went to a private college prep school and then a private military academy. Things were certainly different when he was growing up in the 60’s in terms of what families could afford, but like a lot of American success stories, Bill Gates et al, he may have made it to the 99th percentile on his own but he was in the 80th to start with.

    Who was the last president to come from a really, actually poor background? Johnson? Carter?

  4. 4
    OzoneR says:

    That piece is a little too rosy for Taibbi, what’s he smoking lately?

  5. 5
    OzoneR says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Who was the last president to come from a really, actually poor background?

    Bill Clinton

  6. 6
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Bobo will be the first to mainstream birtherism.
    I feel it.

  7. 7
    mclaren says:

    Yes, but does The Donald snort coke off his whores’ asses?

    We need to have a lineup of potential Republican candidates competing to see how much coke and meth they can snort off whores’ butts. The winner gets named “middle American values candidate of the year.”

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Anyone with as many working synapses as most BJ commenters could have, with the head start The Donald got, been as successful as him in terms of pure $$$ worth, and probably a lot more successful in terms of moral worth.

    Another asshole who was born on third and thinks he’s a self made man.

  9. 9
    patroclus says:

    Brooks’ opinion is bracing and moves the debate on Trump to more earnest ground.

  10. 10
    FoxinSocks says:

    Ah yes, Donald Trump stands for being able to start out small and make it big in this country. Just as I stand for healthy eating. Now if you excuse me, I have a couple of hostess cupcakes I need to devour.

  11. 11
    Brandon says:

    It’s all fun and games now, but when the Donald starts talking about ‘his faith’ and gets stroked by Bobo for his ‘seriousness’, I may have to projectile vomit. I stand firm in my belief that the GOP are using Trump as ‘the rabbit’ in the race to take the early heat as the front runner. The role that no one else seems to want to take because they know its a losing position to campaign from.

  12. 12
    ppcli says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’ll hazard that the Glorious BJ Commentators Management Collective and Young Pioneers Brigade could actually make money running a cas ino, for example.

  13. 13

    MR. BROOKS: Right, right. But he stands for that. He’s been preaching this for, for 20 and 30 years.

    Above statement not intended to be, like, you know, factual or accurate or anything.

  14. 14

    Donald Trump is living proof that with hard work, a bit of luck and a $400 million inheritance, anyone can become a success in the land of opportunity.

  15. 15
    kdaug says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Who was the last president to come from a really, actually poor background?

    He’s sitting in the White House.

  16. 16
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    This “His entire ethos (at least he has one) can be summarized as “life ain’t nothing but bitches and money” “ probably explains why he believes that “the blacks” love him.

    Bobo should be renamed to Blowblow.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    David Brooks remains one of our nation’s most important — and hardest working — sociologists.

    With a keen eye for hidden aspects of our social world, backed up with a truly heroic insistence on adherence to only the most verified facts and most rigorous arguments, Brooks is able to pull together aspects of our world which remain disconnected to the rest of us until having seen Mr. Brooks work his magic.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Given that it appears very, very possible that rapper Tupac Shakur was assassinated by Jewish organized crime terrorist groups who target black rappers for extortion, rappers may wish to update stereotypical claims that ‘life ain’t nothin’ but bitchez & money’ as that formula clearly fails in a world where the above can happen.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @El Cid: Admit it: you were cracking up out loud so hard typing that.

  20. 20
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @kdaug:

    No, he isn’t. There’s no point in pretending Obama is Jesse Jackson.

    The correct answer is that none of the modern Presidents came from a “really poor background.” If they had, they likely wouldn’t be President in the first place. At worst, they all had families that owned their own small businesses or eked out enough of a lower middle class living to put their sons and grandsons into the elite schools necessary to become President.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    Damn. My sarcasm meter just exploded into atoms.

  22. 22

    @El Cid:

    David Brooks remains one of our nation’s most important—and hardest working—sociologists. With a keen eye for hidden aspects of our social world, backed up with a truly heroic insistence on adherence to only the most verified facts and most rigorous arguments, Brooks is able to pull together aspects of our world which remain disconnected to the rest of us until having seen Mr. Brooks work his magic a fucking idiot.

    Fixed.

  23. 23
    BerkeleyMom says:

    If memory serves, Mr. Trump married wife number two AFTER she has his baby. All that church going sure rubbed off.

    So a twice divorced, three times married philanderer might be the Republican nominee? Well good luck with Trump, Gingrich or Giuliani.

  24. 24
    Anya says:

    Bobo wants the short-fingered vulgarian to stay in the media headlines, so that the rest of the GOP candidates will look good. What a dishonest asswipe!

  25. 25
    gnomedad says:

    Bobo doesn’t actually refrain from blowing goats, but he stands for that.

  26. 26
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    David Brooks remains

    Not even the hungriest vulture would touch them.

  27. 27
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:
    Only in America could a kid hit town with a head full of dreams and only $400 million in his pocket and make something of himself.

  28. 28
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:

    Ms. Howard, I’m afraid I’m not as well-read regarding your stories as I should be. Wasn’t there one time in the 80’s where you and Betty ran into David Brooks at a Georgetown cocktail party, and he was doing lines of coke with Peggy Noonan?

  29. 29
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    MR. BROOKS. I think he’s much deeper. The guy’s been around since the ‘80s, and he stands for something. He stands for success, the gospel of success, that you can start out small and make it big in this country be a mediocre person in nearly every respect, but still get sloppy blowjobs from whores like me as long as you’re a rich ostentatious asshole.

    fixted

  30. 30
    Malraux says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I find it interesting that you have to go back pretty far to find a democrat President born into wealth. Basically Kennedy. Though, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, and Eisenhower were all also born into relatively meager circumstances.

  31. 31

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    …he may have made it to the 99th percentile on his own but he was in the 80th to start with.

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:

    Donald Trump is living proof that with hard work, a bit of luck and a $400 million inheritance, anyone can become a success in the land of opportunity.

    $400M is only the 80th percentile?

  32. 32
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Well, I don’t know how rich he was to start with. I’ll defer to Sarah’s judgment.

  33. 33
    Tyrone Slothrop says:

    In Infinite Jest, DFW created the brilliant figure of Johnny Gentle, Famous Crooner, as the sleazy lounge crooner elected as President, a man who dangled and swung a mean microphone, as a representation of the American infatuation with celebrity and the laudation of mediocrities taken to an absurd limit. The man was prescient.

  34. 34
    Malraux says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    eked out enough of a lower middle class living to put their sons and grandsons into the elite schools necessary to become President.

    Wha? That’s an odd way of putting it.

  35. 35
    kdaug says:

    @Bob Loblaw: So your contention is that Obama grew up in wealth and privilege?

  36. 36
    Jason Stokes says:

    Donald Trump is living proof that with hard work, a bit of luck and a $400 million inheritance, anyone can become a success in the land of opportunity.

    Don’t forget the 4 bankruptcies! The key is to get “too big to fail” and “too rich to be subject to taxation laws or laws against asset-stripping and asset concealment.”

  37. 37
    PurpleGirl says:

    It’s been said that Trump was given 20 Million when he graduated Wharton. So he started his real estate business already set with money and connections in all the relevant sectors: property development, management, construction and government (permits, regulations, zoning, etc.). He didn’t start from scratch.

    And I wish the media wouldn’t say he’s a Queens boy — Jamaica Estates is not Ridgewood, Astoria, Jackson Heights or Corona.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    There’s no way you can claim Clinton grew up in wealth and privilege.

    One of the reasons he was so hated by the vermin of the Village (led by Broder and Sally Quinn) was the fact that he wasn’t “of the Body” by any stretch of the imagination.

    Contrast with the gushing over movie star Ronald Reagan when he breezed into town, bringing back “elegance” after those damn Georgians.

  39. 39
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It says a lot about America that you can spend 30 uninterrupted years of being a famous cockwipe and walking punchline like Donald Trump, say whatever crazy shit falls out of your mouth, and _still_–or, no, make that _consequently_–get treated as an important part of the political conversation.

  40. 40
    El Cid says:

    @Yutsano: Burning with stunned hatred, more like.

  41. 41
    OzoneR says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Jamaica Estates is not Ridgewood, Astoria, Jackson Heights or Corona.

    It is, however, awfully like Howard Beach

  42. 42
    Bmaccnm says:

    @kdaug: My understanding is that he was raised by his grandparents- his grandmother was a lower-level banker- like a branch manager. I read his book, but I don’t remember what type of work his grandfather did. He went to a good private high school, then borrowed money for good private colleges, to which he was admitted by merit. He didn’t walk six miles uphill in the snow both ways, but this history does not describe a life of privilege.

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    Trump inherited $400M and 3 decades later he’s worth the same $400M adjusted for inflation. You know who else can do that? Savings bonds. Social Security trust. Any pension fund in the nation. Anyone with a job.

    Maybe Bobo could hold of blowing the guy until he realized that he personally is more financially successful than Trump is.

  44. 44
    matt says:

    Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

    Something like that has got to be a new tag.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @El Cid: I can see that approach as well. But only for Bobo. Trump is a circus clown show, and not a particularly good one.

  46. 46
    J says:

    @El Cid:

    You said

    David Brooks remains one of our nation’s most important—and hardest working—sociologists

    but I think you meant “hardest working [] sociopaths.”

  47. 47

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Well, according to this, Fred Trump had enough money as a home builder in the ’20s to open a supermarket in Queens during the Great Depression. He built housing for the Navy during WWII, and parlayed that into building (and retaining ownership of) apartment buildings throughout NYC in the post-war era.

    Seeing that Donald was born in ’46, I’m going to say that he grew up filthy rich.

  48. 48

    before i consider a trump candidacy, i am going to need to see a certificate of live hair.

    we really have no idea what sort of manchurian weave he could have up there.

  49. 49
    Citizen_X says:

    He stands for success, the gospel of success, that you can start out small and make it big in this country. Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

    Jesus. Words fail.

  50. 50

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The only times I’ve ever met David Brooks he was either being humiliated by Ayn Rand or being dribbled on by a mad pensioner.

    I’d hate to imagine him on coke, and I have to say that if I become aware that I am in the same city as Peggy Noonan I immediately head for the nearest airport.

  51. 51
    Martin says:

    @Bmaccnm: Private college admitted by merit with a 9 figure trust fund waiting? Bullshit. They were admitting a future multimillionaire alumnus. Even public schools aren’t so stupid as to miss that kind of opportunity.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    @OzoneR: No, not really. Jamaica Estates was always upper middle class and rich. Single family homes on smallish lots but expensive. It has the air of a gated community without the gates. Electricians and firefighters or school teachers don’t live in Jamaica Estates like they live in other areas like Ridgewood, or Corona or Howard Beach.

  53. 53

    @Bmaccnm:

    He didn’t walk six miles uphill in the snow both ways…

    Well, duuuuhh! Mt. Kenya is just over 3 miles high.

  54. 54
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @kdaug:

    Yep, exactly. Also my name is Just Some Fuckhead.

    I don’t know where this “wealth and privilege” bullshit came from, but whatever. Most presidents didn’t necessarily have totally happy childhoods, or luxurious childhoods, or privileged childhoods. Obama, Clinton, Ford, Nixon, Johnson whoever. Very few presidents come from wealth. But they didn’t come from grinding poverty either.

  55. 55
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’d bet the only time David Brooks rides through Queens is in a limo going to and from an airport. Maybe. Then too, he could just use Newark because it takes less time to get to Manhattan from New Jersey than from Kennedy.

    ETA: In other words, he’d get lost on the subway or taking a bus through the borough.

  56. 56
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Martin: Sorry to be unclear. Obama went to Punahou HS, and was admitted to Columbia, then Harvard, on merit. I remember him saying something about having just recently paid off his school loans while running for president

  57. 57
    kdaug says:

    @Martin:

    with a 9 figure trust fund

    Source?

  58. 58
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Martin:

    I think bmaccnm was referring to Obama, not Trump.

  59. 59
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Silly me. But most Kenyan schoolchildren go home for lunch, so that counts for something?

  60. 60
    kdaug says:

    @Bmaccnm: Yep. Here, and elsewhere.

  61. 61
    kdaug says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Ah. Thanks for the clarification.

    Yes, Trump had a 9-figure trust fund.

    Obama did not.

  62. 62
  63. 63

    Brooks, man. It’s time to hang up it. You’re not even fucking dialing it in any more. The line everyone is quoting makes no fucking sense. It doesn’t even sound like it makes any kind of sense, and you can usually manage that at the very least.

    I gotta go with Trump being the chum before the real race. I don’t care. I just want his bloated face off my teevee and my intertoobz.

  64. 64
    LosGatosCA says:

    Can’t trump a single comment on this thread. LMFAO.

    Have to second the nomination for adding ‘not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.’

    That hangs with anything from Nooners or McMegan or even Cliff Clavin.

  65. 65
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Yutsano:

    I couldn’t have done that with a straight face, that’s for sure…lol!

  66. 66
    Calouste says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Very few presidents come from wealth.

    Bush I & II, Kennedy, Roosevelt I & II were all 1-percenters.

  67. 67
    Chris Wolf says:

    Any punk can make The Donald go ballistic in 3 seconds. Irreversibly ballistic. He’s toast as soon as someone exploits his temper on national TV.

  68. 68
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @LosGatosCA: It’s the “but, but, but,” that really makes it a classic. Somewhere deep inside Bobo’s slimy little brain, he knew he was saying something ridiculously stupid.

  69. 69
    Yutsano says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: That suggests self-awareness, a quality that Bobo up to this point has shown no capacity for. So either it just sprouted in him or else he has another explanation for almost not humiliating himself. Yeah I got nothin’ either.

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I don’t think I could have said it with a straight face and then gotten to sleep tonight.

  70. 70
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Yutsano:

    I tend to assume that Villagers are self-aware on some level. The more depressing conclusion would in fact be that they believe their own little dingleberries of conventional wisdom.

  71. 71
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Calouste:

    Kind of my point. You’ve got five in the last 110 years, two pairs of whom came from the same families.

    The rest of them tend to be upwardly mobile lower middle class strivers with messed up relationships with their fathers and/or stepfathers. It’s actually weird how similar their backstories tend to be at first glance.

  72. 72
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Very interesting point. I find myself listing off the most recent presidents- I’m back to Eisenhower before I have to ask, “What was his relationship with his father?” Kennedy, by the way, was always the second best, until Joe Jr died. Joe Sr was a total bastard. So you’re right about them, too.

  73. 73
    Bmaccnm says:

    And Shrub CLEARLY has some daddy issues.

  74. 74
    Anya says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Granted, the President didn’t come from coal minors but he did not come from the well connected and the wealthy either. He came from a middle class, not pretend, but actual middle class background.

  75. 75

    @Malraux:

    I find it interesting that you have to go back pretty far to find a democrat President born into wealth. Basically Kennedy. Though, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, and Eisenhower were all also born into relatively meager circumstances.

    I could take a 1/2 mile walk and end up right in front of Ford’s childhood home on Union Ave., se, and I’d pass by a few very, very nice old homes along the way (if I detoured a couple of blocks west, I’d pass by two Frank Lloyd Wright houses that are no more than 1/4 mile from the old Ford house). Ford’s house might not have been the nicest home in the neighborhood, but it was a lot better than homes across Franklin St., 1/4 mile to the the south- which were still nice homes in the ’20s and ’30s.

    Ford and his mom may have had it tough when he was an infant, but she remarried to a guy who had his shit together enough that Ford wouldn’t remember much worse than having to occasionally wear a pair of patched trousers in the early part of the depression.

    Gerald R. Ford had a middle class upbringing. He probably only felt poor when he compared himself to the kids who lived in the new Tudors on the other side of the South High district.

  76. 76
    maus says:

    This year’s model is a billionaire

    Oh no he is not.

  77. 77
    srv says:

    @Bob Loblaw: I’d say 6 out 19 in the last 110 years. The Tafts were certainly up there in family wealth.

    That’s more than very few. And I’d guess they make up about 40 of the 110 years.

  78. 78
    srv says:

    Rough count, 18 or 19 out of 44 had significant inheritences or married into it:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/bus.....ama/57020/

  79. 79
    AxelFoley says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Brooks, man. It’s time to hang up it. You’re not even fucking dialing it in any more. The line everyone is quoting makes no fucking sense. It doesn’t even sound like it makes any kind of sense, and you can usually manage that at the very least.

    Lent is officially over I see. ;)

  80. 80
    RSA says:

    @BerkeleyMom: I was thinking of Newt, too. Compare:

    He stands for success, the gospel of success, that you can start out small and make it big in this country. Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

    Newt stands for marital fidelity, the gospel of marital fidelity, that you should support your wife in times of need. Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

  81. 81
    bob h says:

    “Another asshole who was born on third and thinks he’s a self made man.”

    New York real estate over the decades has been in a fantastic bull market aside from blips like the recessions of ’90-91, as the winner’s circle of the superwealthy expands. You would have to be an idiot not to make a go of it, especially when you are allowed Mulligans like bankruptcy, etc.

    When I confronted my Arizona Republican family about him, I got “But he’s a good businessman”. They are determined to make the most of it.

  82. 82
    jinxtigr says:

    “Not that he did, but, but”??

    Dear God, I’d literally write that if I was trying to be really funny. What? D:

  83. 83
    jinxtigr says:

    Sorry, “but, but, but”. I fail to encompass the full scope of it, I see…

  84. 84
    bob h says:

    There has over the years been speculation and anticipation about who would be the first Jewish President. I think this is not what people had in mind.

  85. 85
    Cat Lady says:

    I just keep waiting for Trump to tell everyone that he’s just punked the country with the teatard birfer shtick, at which point I expect to see Bobo’s head literally explode like the guy in Dave Chappelle’s Black White Supremacist. Trump’s going to campaign in South Carolina and talk “cracker” to teatards? Not that he would, but, but he stands for that.

  86. 86
    john b says:

    from one of the OP’s links:

    Total cost of the wedding was $1,000,000,000 (One Million Dollars)

    i think we’ve found mcardle’s secret blogspot page.

  87. 87
    PurpleGirl says:

    @bob h: Who are you referring to? Trump was raised Episcopalian.

  88. 88
    OzoneR says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Electricians and firefighters or school teachers don’t live in Jamaica Estates like they live in other areas like Ridgewood, or Corona or Howard Beach.

    They don’t live in Howard Beach either unless you’re talking about Lindenwood. Howard Beach has the second highest income in the whole borough

  89. 89
    WereBear says:

    Johnson was not born into grinding poverty; but by his early teens, that is what his family was reduced to. However, Lady Bird was the only child of a local tycoon type — who financed a lot of his first political campaign.

    Clinton was raised by a single mom; the stepfather was not even middle class, I believe. He was a Rhodes scholar as his step up and out.

    And Eisenhower was not poverty stricken, but didn’t have any extras, either. Mamie came from a much more comfortable background, but it’s not like he used that to get into politics. He went to West Point on merit and, you know, helped win a World War.

    While the Kennedy’s and Roosevelts had fabled riches; and Carter was a rather rich farmer. You would have to go waaaay back to find someone born into outright poverty; like Lincoln was.

    Sad to say, grinding poverty has very few routes out; and those few that do exist are continually undercut by the lack of support from their beseiged families. Great art or athletic or intellectual promise can be a way; but if you don’t have a parent who even shows up to sign the papers making it possible, you are screwed.

  90. 90
    mistersnrub says:

    Trump is the American Berlusconi. And Brooks welcomes that.

  91. 91
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Will Bobo be embarrassed when the charlatan Trump reveals that he isn’t running for President after all?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahah…

  92. 92
    ed drone says:

    Trump wants to be the live president with the most dead ones in his pocket.

    Ed

  93. 93

    @AxelFoley: FUUUUUUUCK YEEEEEEAH! Though I do catch myself still substituting or skipping over swears in songs until I remember, “I can say FUCK again!”

  94. 94
    cynickal says:

    MR. BROOKS. I think he’s much deeper. The guy’s been around since the ‘80s, and he stands for something. He stands for success WINNING, the gospel of success WINNING, that you can start out small and make it big in this country if your parents leave you tons of money. Not that he did, but, but, but he stands for that.

    FTFY

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