Brooks & Dumb: Serious As A Case of Shingles

(Drew Sheneman via
… which won’t kill you, but might make you wish you were dead. For purposes of relief via moxicautery, a couple counter-irritants. Jonathan Chait at TNR wonders “Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Candidate?”:

… Yes, it’s really time for somebody to start persuading moderate or mainstream Republicans that Rick Perry is dangerously unsuited to the presidency. If only Brooks knew of anybody who would be good at making a case like that…
Wait. Maybe this is a job for conservatives who don’t have to put themselves before the voters. Like perhaps some kind of public intellectual. If only there was some kind of moderate conservative columnist, perhaps with a national reach at a newspaper like the New York Times.
Hey — I’ve got it. Brooks surely knows Ross Douthat. Maybe he can ask him to write that column!


And the invaluable Doghouse Riley, if only for the brillance of “With Luck, The Capitalists Will Innovate A New Knot To Hang Themselves With“:

IF there was anything to American Exceptionalism–other than the fact that we dominate a hemisphere, and came out of two European global wars physically unscathed and economically better off than when we went in–wouldn’t it show up in our politics? Wouldn’t we have the wisest counsel, the fullest debate, the most trenchant commentary?
Would we have David Brooks at the New York Times?…
I’d just like to point out, yet again, how the “moderation” in Brooks’ “moderate conservatism” works.
Brooks is going to say essentially what I said the other day about Mitt Romney: that he now finds himself unable to jab his leading rival because the same clinical insanity that infects the public persona of Rick Perry infects 80% of the Republican electorate. Brooks, of course, substitutes “small government conservative” for “certifiably batshit”. It is the Times
[T]he thing I find curious is how “moderates” like Brooks, and “fiscal ‘conservatives'” like Mitch Daniels, act like the moderate conservative Reaganite in the White House is wearing an OSU sweatshirt in Ann Arbor. Look at what Brooks finally (in the last two paragraphs) gets around to saying about Perry: he’s slimy, he’s a panderer, if he’s a borderline crook we need to redefine our borders. He leaves out (despite his economist credentials) the massive sucking sound at the center of the Texas Miracle. What th’ hell’s so bad about Obama by comparison? Health care?
Is he gonna say that? (Is Daniels?) Not and risk the franchise; you can’t be The Moderate Republican Liberals Love if they’ve thrown you out of the Republican party. Brooks “watches” (the polls) as “moderate ‘conservatism'” “disappears” from the Republican electorate. We hear barely a peep. That is, barely a third-hand sideswipe at Rush Limbaugh, or Sarah Palin, or the Teabaggers both he and Douthat had kinda sorta identified as the problem with the Party, circa 2007. Go back and read ’em in early 2009, as they start looking for a door to hide behind, realize it’s no good, and so proclaim that the Teabaggers are really themselves. Just less refined.
Th’ fuck’s wrong with these people?
There may be more damning indictments of Republican “intellectualism” than the fact that these guys have spent the last thirty years inventing excuses for utter crackpotism, first with the idea of eternally harvesting its votes, now in the hopes that the ‘conservative’ welfare spigot will stay on, but you have to google “William F. Buckley” and “Civil Rights Movement” to find ’em.

69 replies
  1. 1

    Ahhh. You still have electricity. .

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Tonight, you step on Doug. Good for you.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I have had quadruple bypass cardiac surgery.

    I have had a tumour “the size of a kiwi” according to my doctor excised from its perch atop my salivary gland.

    I have had an attack of shingles.

    Of the three, I’ll take the bypass and tumour removal any day.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Svensker says:


    I have had a tumour “the size of a kiwi” according to my doctor excised from its perch atop my salivary gland.

    Parotid adenoma?

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  7. 7
    Svensker says:


    Smazing how many folks have had that. Is there an epidemic, or something?

  8. 8


    Do you have shingles now? Poor baby!

    ETA: Oh! I understand now. You were responding to the title of the post.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Linda Featheringill: No, it was actually just before and during the 2008 election. I still have vivid memories of standing in front of the mirror watching this lava-like eruption just crawl up the entire right side of my face. Eventually it got into one eye, down into my ear canal, and all over my scalp. But just on the right side of my head, and nowhere south of my chin. Weird.

    I’m still very conscious of the scarring although most people claim they have to squint in strong light to see it. And I had postherpetic neuralgia until this spring, 2+ years after the fact. Nasty stuff. I’m wildly needle-phobic but would gladly have the shingles vaccine knowing what I know now. Thankfully, actually having shingles served to inoculate me, so I’m unlikely to get it again, or if I do, it should be a very mild case.

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I don’t know. I’m the only person I’ve ever heard of who had it. Have you also, or are you by chance an otorhinolaryngologist? Because honestly, I can’t think of any other reason why anyone would know that :-)

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Well, I was responding to Anne Laurie’s “wish you were dead” link. But truly didn’t mean to hijack the entire thread with discussions of my various unattractive health issues.

  12. 12
    Svensker says:


    Hub had it — his was kiwi size, too. Then we met two other folks who had it, as well. Strange, huh?

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Was he completely asymptomatic? I had no discomfort, no disfigurement. It was a routine eye exam that uncovered a problem. I didn’t believe there was anything amiss until they showed me the CatScan or maybe it was MRI images.

  14. 14


    Governor Perry’s college grades.

    Wow. That’s a lot of C’s and D’s.

  15. 15
    Svensker says:


    No, he had a big lump but he was sure it was an overdeveloped muscle from grinding his teeth. We finally talked him into asking the doctor, who absolutely freaked, sent him for an MRI stat, was in surgery within a week.

  16. 16


    No wander he doesn’t believe in evolution; he sucks at science/biology!

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @Svensker: Yowza. Was this in Joisey or Canuckistan?

  18. 18
    Nicole says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That is exactly why I was all for my kid getting the chicken pox vaccine. For those for whom the vaccine works, it’s believed they’ll never have a shingles episode. Having watched my husband deal with what the doctor said was a very mild case of it, I’ll do anything to give my kid a chance at not ever having it. Of course, for those of us who have had chickenpox, and thus are at risk for a bout of shingles, they think the widespread adoption of the vaccine will increase our risk, as, apparently periodic exposure to the chicken pox virus reduces the risk of an outbreak of shingles.

    Viruses, I tell ya. Very devious.

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    That Chait quote almost makes me want to re-up my digital subscription at TNR, especially since what’s-his-name no longer owns it.

  20. 20
    Svensker says:


    Joisey. The cost was ridiculous, even with our insurance — one of the things that sent us north.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Very devious indeed. And yeah, supposedly mine was also a mild case, although my memories are pretty much of curling up in a ball and whimpering for about three weeks. Thank the gods for good insurance. I was out of pocket maybe a grand total of $40 or $50 for physician and pharma copays.

  22. 22
    burnspbesq says:

    “The moderate conservative Reaganite in the White House?”

    You have got to be fucking kidding me. What universe does this clown inhabit?

    Seriously, AL, every time you quote this moron, you blow another hole in your credibility. And the holes get bigger every time. Soon there won’t be anything left but hole.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Interesting. My doctors were all pretty “meh” about it, although I was freaking when they told me at first that they were sending me for a battery of tests because they “wanted to rule out” a “brain tumour.”

    It was six months between the first medical “Hmmmm. . . ” and the actual surgery. And no complications. Hope (and, I guess, assume) that same is true for your spousal unit.

  24. 24
    fleeting expletive says:

    It’s an odd world. I can sit here and watch the Dr. Who marathon, and yet I know that millions of people have been displaced, lives have been disrupted, people are going to die I guess. I will try to contribute to recovery but I’m just going to be out here, in my other place watching Doctor Who.

    How weird is that?

    And also watching boondocks, of course.

  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @fleeting expletive: That’s Ok:

    1. It’s Doctor Who. “Let’s Kill Hitler!”
    2. At least you are having some sympathy for the rest of the country. There are plenty of people who believe that the hurricane is God’s punishment on the east coast for something, probably related to that man in the White House.

  26. 26

    the gop batshit wing may own the party.

    for all practical purposes, however, it doesn’t matter whether or not the moderate old republicans are leaving the party, on election day, they will pull the lever, lay back and think of new england, circa 1928.

  27. 27
    Bago says:

    Am I the only one that sees this and thinks the caption should be: “Han shot first, I took it.”?

    Like a boss.

  28. 28

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    1. It’s Doctor Who. “Let’s Kill Hitler!”

    I just watched it.


  29. 29
    hamletta says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Jesus Haploid Christ, girl! I read this on my feed and was about to chime in on the agony of shingles, but you got me beat by a mile!

    And they called it a “mild” case? I got it a few years ago over Labor Day weekend. Missed my dear friend’s 50th birthday party on Friday night. Recovered enough to drag my sorry ass in Tuesday morning.

    In between was agony with every move. The rash was under my left boob. The rash was such a little thing, but the pain; dear Lord, the pain. It attacks your nervous system, so there’s not much visible; all the action is inside your body. It’s incredibly efficient, sending this searing pain to your brain for no reason at all.

    My one consolation is that my asshole brother and I got chicken pox at the same time, so maybe he’ll experience the agony, too. Except he always ran these crazy high fevers, so he probably burned it all off.

  30. 30
    sfinny says:

    Just sitting here waiting for the storm, watching Dr. Who not killing Hitler. So far no flooding of the pool area or the parking lot.

    Confused on the whole River Song, daughter of Amy and Rory, different time line thing. When you move about time as a time lord, how is there a opposite? Must think on this more.

  31. 31
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @TooManyJens: I enjoyed the hell out of that episode, but then again, I have enjoyed most of Moffat’s episodes, even when he was writing for David Tennant. There were so many fun things, starting with Hitler. “I was going to a gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled.”

  32. 32
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Short answer: “It’s just a TV show and you should just relax.” – MST3K

    Longer answer: Lot’s of people are acquiring time travel – that was the point of the people in the robot – and when that happens, the the orders of things can go all awry. The interesting question is why does it keep happening, because River and the Doctor aren’t planning it, though it probably has something to do with their final encounter on the beach.

  33. 33
    sfinny says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Love your reference to MST3K. Just trying to match the past with the present for River Song/Doctor Who interactions.

    But really I’m worried about flooding. Seriously, lost one car in Floyd and hope not repeat that. So far just rain, no winds.

  34. 34
    GregB says:


    As expected, a D in economics.

  35. 35
    Anne Laurie says:


    Just out of curiosity, can we tell how many papers ran/will run that cartoon? tells me that “Drew Sheneman has been the editorial cartoonist for The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) since 1998“, no mention of wider dead-tree syndication, which may or may not mean anything. But GoComics is actually a division of Universal, so he may have more on-line readers than the Star-Ledger. It’s a choose-your-own setup, so I know the site has enough subscribers to buy what I would assume to be fairly popular toons (Garfield, Get Fuzzy, Doonesbury) but I don’t know how many people choose to get Sheneman’s cartoons on their home page.

    And this is probably a good time to mention that, at $13 a year, GoComics is my most-favorite paid online subscription service since before Netflix was available!

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is quoted by Chait from BoBo’s bit on Perry:

    If they think competition from Chinese and Indian workers is the biggest threat, they will hire Romney. He’s just more credible as someone who can manage economic problems, build human capital and nurture an innovation-based global economy.

    The problem of course is that Romney’s specialization in the private sector was taking operating companies that employed “human capital” and destroyed them for money. If you look at him carefully (which you can’t expect BoBo’s ideological blinders to allow) he’s not some sort of guy to emulate. He’s the opposite, someone who wipes out companies that are providing real employment for a fast buck.

  37. 37
    Ruckus says:

    Of the things you have had I’ve had the last, shingles.
    Not the most painful of things I’ve endured,for example I was hit by a truck at about 30 miles an hour closing speed and shingles was far worse. I’ll not go on about the the things that were worse but I will say that if having another attack would be required to have the dems win the house, pick up 8 in the senate and Obama to win, I’ll do it. And I have no health insurance. I’m still in.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    The crazy high fevers didn’t do it for me. My record is 105. Plus. For 5 days straight.

  39. 39
    srv says:

    Wait. Maybe this is a job for conservatives who don’t have to put themselves before the voters. Like perhaps some kind of public intellectual. If only there was some kind of moderate conservative columnist

    Why can’t they have David Broder do it? What are they doing with all that empty space at the Post?

  40. 40
    September 19th says:

    The GOP nomination is over. The only question is who does Perry pick for VP. I’m thinking Rubio. Most of y’all are being predictably elitist about all of this. Perry is extremely dangerous. He was elected twice in Texas by wide margins. Yes, yes… I know. Texas is teh stupid. But I’ve seen enough of the guy to know he’s as slippery as they come. He doesn’t just beat people, he destroys them. And not just Democrats, he’s crushed the dreams of a few Republicans who got in his way.

    Normally I would think the Team Obama is smart enough to beat this guy, that he’s too radical for the electorate at large. But with the economy going the way it is… be afraid. Be very afraid.

  41. 41

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    Well, we already know that their timelines aren’t perfectly anti-parallel. Just as an example, in The Impossible Astronaut, River meets The Doctor at two very different ages in short order, and their comparing notes shows that The Doctor had some encounters with her in the interim. And their meeting in Let’s Kill Hitler is obviously very early from River’s standpoint, which doesn’t agree with strictly anti-parallel timelines if there are any more River episodes this season. Even the need to keep detailed notes so they can see where they are in their relationship makes more sense if their encounters come in a somewhat random order, rather than being strictly in opposite directions.

  42. 42

    The GOP nomination is over.

    There have been a grand total of zero primaries. The Iowa caucuses are not for another five months. Settle down, Beavis.

  43. 43
    Mino says:

    @September 19th: A couple years of President Perry and the US will be closing the borders to Americans wanting to get out.

  44. 44
    hamletta says:

    @Ruckus: Good!

    Well, not for you; sorry. But I’m glad to know there’s a good possibility my brother will suffer some day. He’s earned it.

  45. 45
    September 19th says:

    @Comrade Kevin: You people just don’t get it. But then you don’t live here. It’s none of my business and all that… but do you live in a red state? I get the sense that alot of the BJ crowd are coastal lefties, not necessarily folks who’ve had alot of hands on experience with politics in flyover country.

    Bachmann’s campaign had credibility issues from day one. But Perry is the real deal. Texas Democrats thought the guy was a joke when he came on the scene over 10 years ago. We stopped thinking that. Fast. This guy has already won the GOP nomination, it’s over. If Christie has any sense he’ll stay out of this mess. Romney is done. Bachmann is done. And if Obama doesn’t get his shit together I’m calling up that Canadian dude I met in Vegas last week and seeing if I can get a job on the oil fields up there.

  46. 46
    Quiddity says:

    @September 19th: Interesting that Perry sidestepped all the debates and politics until the last big preliminary event, the Iowa straw poll – which he also stayed away from.

    The guy plays by his own rules, and I’m not sure how Romney can tackle him. On the other hand, it remains to be seen how well Perry comes off to the broader electorate. I think there’s a 30% chance he’ll stumble.

  47. 47
    R-Jud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: My dear, sweet mother-in-law had a severe case of shingles four years ago. Being that I’d had the CP vaccine, I was one of a few people in the family able to go and help out, and I never, ever, want to see anyone go through that pain again. She still gets shooting pains in the arm that was most seriously affected.

  48. 48

    @September 19th: The only person who might be able to take the nomination away from him is Sarah Palin. And she’d be happy with Secretary of Defense and a Presidental run in 2020, when she’d be 56 and cruising high off the war with Iran.

  49. 49
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @September 19th:
    I lived there (South Texas). Although I’m now a Californian, I’ve been commenting for some time that Perry is a real threat. Just about everything he’s mocked for by the left makes him a sell in the Red States and the more we mock him the more cred he’ll have in flyover country.

  50. 50
    xian says:

    Obama vs. Perry would play out (imho) like Bartlet vs. Ritchie.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    There may be more damning indictments of Republican “intellectualism” than the fact that these guys have spent the last thirty years inventing excuses for utter crackpotism … but you have to google “William F. Buckley” and “Civil Rights Movement” to find ‘em.

    And yet … Buckley, who 30, 40, 50 years ago straddled the line between far right and far right crackpot — more often perceived (correctly, IMO) as living on the crackpot side of that line — would be considered a RINO and moderate into today’s GOP.

    It’s mind-boggling.


  52. 52
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:


    Yes, Friends, welcome to Pastor Flash’s our of Reckoning,
    with Organ Leroy at his organ again,
    and the Fifty-Voice St. Louis Aquarium Choir.

    I’m Decon E. L. Mouse.

    But, Dear Friends in these days of modern time,
    when you can’t tell the AC’s from the DC’s,

    well aren’t we all yearning for someone who can turn on a little stopping power?

    Dear Friends,
    I mean a smokey glass
    Don’t you think I mean a lightning rod
    with which to chase these spooks away?


  53. 53
    Jinxtigr says:

    He’s been UP FOR A WEEK!

  54. 54
    Shlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    love the cartoon . . . did anyone else notice the kitty between the bulls front legs?

  55. 55
    Jinxtigr says:

    Not until you mentioned it- and here’s the deal with Perry.

    It’s all about the voter disenfranchisement, because the Other is going to be reeeeaallll allergic to Perry. Pretty much anything that is not a christian white male is going to be pretty alarmed, on a subliminal level, even without paying attention, because you’ll have one guy (Obama) apparently talking sense and being the grown-up, and another guy never breaking character while spouting a whole stream of things to the effect of the ‘…abstinence WORKS’ scene.

    Pointing and laughing is probably good- there’s two points to be made, one is that this is ludicrous, and the other is that the Republicans are going to unprecedented lengths to disenfranchise voters and stop the Other from even voting at all, in order to get this fruitcake into the Presidency so he can start doing the crazy shit he talks about. There will be more crazy shit. Mock the guy and then be very nervous of the machine behind him.

    Sometimes it’s not like the big game in which two rivals battle and then everybody goes home to fight another day. This guy’s loony vision actually will ruin us. We’re at a touchy point where the rightwingers, corporations and freemarketers could lay us out so hard (not just as Americans, in some cases as a damn species) that we won’t be getting back up.

    Beating them matters. Get the demographic shift out to the polls and make it work for us and we’ll do okay and can start working on the many interesting problems that will produce. Let these guys suppress the Other and they won’t stop with disenfranchisement.

  56. 56
    Shlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Note also that the cartoonists get paid per page view so gocomics is a great way to support some deserving people who don’t get wide circulation. (I particularly like “The New Adventures Of Queen Victoria”)

    And the paid RNC trolls work the editorial comics comments pretty hard.

  57. 57
    Cermet says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: By the way, if you are under sixty and had by-pass work that extensive, then you are most likely (no test – yet, only proven in research) one of the many people who carry a bacteria in their gut that loves lecithin and in turn, produces a chemical that clogs arteries like no tomorrow (in mice studies – maybe people are different; less prone or more so … more research on people will show. They did look at a few hundred people but no long term study so they could be wrong.) The Med paper came out just a few months ago. I gave up all lecithin (all forms; not easy – it is in so many baked goods, eggs of course, and many other products – it is a killer; of course, in ten years, people will be tested for when ever they reach forty (once the test is available.)

  58. 58
    Linda says:

    Hee. Doghouse Riley and Chait hit it on the head. Right-wing pundits have styled themselves as steely-eyed realists who hold the line against crazies, but in fact, they keep accommodating themselves to the increasing craziness, little by little, instead of growing a pair of nads and denouncing the crazy. If they did that, they would risk being thrown off the right-wing gravy train like Frum and Kathleen Parker and cast into outer darkness. The contortions are worthy of an old-fashioned game of Twister after everybody has killed off a pitcher of margaritas.

  59. 59
    Mino says:

    Honestly, the remnant sane of the Republican party has so infected the Democratic party that I have very little voice anymore. A Democrat from the 1960’s wouldn’t even know this current party.

  60. 60
    Josie says:

    @September 19th: I agree with you that the left greatly underestimates Perry. One big tell will be his performance in the next debate. He has studiously avoided debating opponents whenever possible here in Texas, which has been part of his success. There may be a reason why his handlers don’t want him speaking freely on a big stage. It will be interesting to see if Romney can exploit this possible weakness.

  61. 61
    Mino says:

    @Jinxtigr: We’ve already heard one Republican say only property owners should vote and another wish for the repeal of women’s vote. When they tell you what they want to do, believe them, folks.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    I understand the point of not “misunderestimating” Perry, but up to this point, he’s run in Texas as a good ol’ boy.

    Nationally, we had a bad bout of Texas-good-ol-boy from 2000 to 2008; and I hope the inoculation holds.

  63. 63
    SBJules says:

    The L.A. Times has a Perry editorial this a.m.:

    They pretty much cover everything, I think.

  64. 64
    ericblair says:


    There may be a reason why his handlers don’t want him speaking freely on a big stage. It will be interesting to see if Romney can exploit this possible weakness.

    If we compare Perry to Bush, Perry is the real-deal bowlegged shitkicker moron and Bush was the guy who played one on TV. This helps Perry with the base, but in a general Bush could step back and sell the “compassionate conservatism” schtick to the non-shitkicker rubes and I don’t think Perry could pull it off, or even realize it’s necessary.

  65. 65
    jefft452 says:

    “…or even realize it’s necessary.”

    I think that this is his biggest problem

  66. 66
    Mino says:

    @jefft452: It may not be necessary any more. When Regan made it acceptable for our poor and insane to live on the street, we started down that slope. Now we’re a lot closer to the bottom, for sure.

  67. 67
    jefft452 says:


    “It may not be necessary any more”

    Sure it is, you bring up Reagan,
    Yeah, people like me rejoiced when St Ronnie got the nomination and said that he was so nuts that he was the only R that Carter was sure to beat

    BUT Reagans entire campaign message was “I’m not that whacko who railed about the evils of Medicare 15 yrs ago, you can trust me, I’m just a kindly old man just like your folksy granddad”

    Even “there you go again” was in response to Mondale’s charge that Reagan wanted to cut SS

    Perry called SS an un constitutional ponsi scheme not 15 yrs ago but a few months ago and expected to get cheers for it
    Perry expected huge popular support for Walker and that the Dem Senators would be punished for obstructing him

    Like Palin or Bachman, I cant see him being capably of dialing down the crazy to calm the fears of the non 27%ers

    “In your heart, you know he’s right” got creamed by “In you guts, you know he’s nuts”

    Palin campaign rallies proved that this hasn’t changed

  68. 68
    Mino says:

    @jefft452: I hope you’re right–that these Republican governors have woken up the voters.
    But I suspect Perry will be concentrating on Obama and try to leave his agenda inferred in the general.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    I probably earned mine as well but I’ll be damned if I know why. Unless being damned is the reason.

Comments are closed.