Even the Media Village’s Most Shameless Suck-Up Can’t Warm to Mitt Romney

Or else, per commentor Amir Khalid, Gail Collins wrote this column while BoBo wasn’t looking:

Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired….

… He had a pet rock, which ran away from home because it was starved of affection. He bought a mood ring, but it remained permanently transparent. His ability to turn wine into water detracted from his popularity at parties…

After his governorship, Romney suffered through a midlife crisis, during which he became a social conservative. This prepared the way for his presidential run. He barely won the 2012 Republican primaries after a grueling nine-month campaign, running unopposed. At the convention, where his Secret Service nickname is Mannequin, Romney will talk about his real-life record: successful business leader, superb family man, effective governor, devoted community leader and prudent decision-maker. If elected, he promises to bring all Americans together and make them feel inferior.

You know, I would bet a store-bought cookie that Mitt Romney managed to insult David Brooks by confusing him with David Gregory, or Jake Tapper, or possibly the hotel concierge who was supposed to be dropping off a freshly-pressed stack of mom jeans and temple garments. As I said over the weekend:

Mitt keeps making it obvious that, for him, anyone not a white male worth at least a few million is just an interchangeable cog. A member of “The Help”, as Charlie Pierce puts it. He doesn’t need to understand our quaint little folkways, honor our tiny vanities, even remember our names—we just aren’t important enough to take up that much space in Willard “Mitt” Romney’s beautiful mind…. Romney can’t manage to fake that GOP-standard wink’n’nod “we’re special, not like those horrible Democrats” bonhomie. It infuriates the very people he most needs to support him that he patently can’t tell the difference between Sean Hannity and Wolf Blitzer and the chairman of the tri-county RNC nominating committee and the counter monkey fetching Mitt’s hot chocolate.

David Brooks will not be treated like just another stenographer, handy to take dictation from whichever Mad Man front-office suit snaps his fingers! David Brooks, faithful courtier, expects to be treated with the respect due to someone who can brag that a sitting U.S. Senator once spent an entire dinner party fondling his thigh! His teeth may be tiny, but he is well positioned to sink them into cruel, oblivious Willard’s most vulnerable tissues!

142 replies
  1. 1
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I still can’t believe that of all the manly stud meat out there in MSM-ville, David Brooks is the one Lyndsay… I mean, the anonymous Republican senator gave the under-table thigh massage to. I keep forgetting who the protagonist in that story is, my mind rebels so at believing Brooks to be the recipient of such attention.

  2. 2
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Look, David Brooks is going to endorse Obama again to save face among yuppies, I’ve already told y’all that; he is obsessed with where he will fall in the history books (nowhere)

    It does not mean that you should not spit in his face if you meet him on the street

    Unless all this David Brooks hate/love is some sort of weird sadomasochistic game y’all are playing, I suggest consistent skepticism toward this creepy-looking twerp

  3. 3
    Kathleen says:

    I never knew Brooks could write that well. That is Onion worthy satire. I never thought I would ever type these words.

  4. 4
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Since I understand that y’all really care about center-right Democrats, please accept that David Brooks is interested in a cozy asshole for his tongue to occupy and little else

  5. 5
    pablo says:

    For once David Brooks will be noted for his honesty.

  6. 6
    Rhoda says:

    How fucked up is Mitt Romney that DAVID BROOKS went at him like this? Man. The private polling must be ABYSMAL because the knives are coming out. I was reading the Politico story about RNC operatives worried about Romney’s image; and they’re already spinning an Obama victory as the product of a negative campaign and there is no inherent mandate for the President to act as a result.

  7. 7
    Sly says:

    My flabber is thoroughly gasted.

  8. 8
    Mino says:

    It mentioned the dog–Gail wrote it.

  9. 9
    mai naem says:

    @Joseph Nobles: It could have been Larry Craig. Also too, it could have been quite a few closeted Republican Senators. Granted, there’s nobody that sets off the gaydar like Lindsay, but there’s some others out there that I wouldn’t be shocked about.

    Me thinks Mitt dissed David Brooks in some way. Confused him with the server at some party. Didn’t recognize him at a cocktail partay. Didn’t return a phone call.

  10. 10
    dance around in your bones says:

    As I said in the SP&T Big Hair thread:

    Ok, who stole Bobo’s brain and replaced it with Andy Borowitz’s?
    I refuse to believe Bobo wrote that…it’s actually funny.

    Has the space/time continuum ripped whilst I was sleeping?

  11. 11
    Lit3Bolt says:

    The narrative is being written. Romney lost because he failed to connect to the Real Americans at the Applebee’s salad bar.

    They know that Republicans can only win with a white vote, but the white vote is divided now because even white women object to bringing rape babies to term. Quelle surprise! Mitt Romney will get zero black votes, 10% of the latino vote, and 35% of women voters nationally.

    Mainly though what gets BoBo in a rut is Republican political incompetence, and the past few weeks is the most incompetent I’ve ever seen the Republicans act politically. I mean, they don’t even have a platform anymore. What are they running on?

  12. 12
    Lit3Bolt says:

    From Ed at Gin and Tacos:

    This is setting up one hell of an amusing post-election narrative on the right. If Obama wins – certainly no slam dunk, but if you had to bet your life savings on the race right now you’d probably put your money on him – we might expect a right wing meltdown that will put the shitshow that was November of 2008 to shame. I think we will be disappointed, however. The narrative is already being constructed: There’s nothing wrong with our ideology. It was all Romney’s fault. It’s painfully obvious that conservative newspapers, magazines, and bobbleheads are laying the groundwork for countless post-election “None of us actually liked this guy, and you didn’t either” pieces. The funny thing is that they will actually have a point; nobody likes this guy. When bastions of communist agitprop like the Wall Street Journal and The Economist are opining that, you know, we want to like this guy but we really can’t find a reason, it’s fair to say that the candidate was a big part of the problem.

  13. 13
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @mai naem: Yeah, Brooks probably wouldn’t have spilled the beans on that story if the Senator had still been sitting. I mean, for God’s sake, nobody hovers over the Applebee’s salad bar! They get what they’re after and move on!

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:


    well said! It is beyond me to believe our Ms. Brooks wrote something this honestmean about Willard. This is almost MoDo level catty-ness but with the talent she lacks.

    Maybe Willard didn’t give him the ol reach around.

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Well they certainly have picked the perfect candidate for the ‘conservative can’t fail only be failed’ message. It will be common knowledge by November 8th that Willard was never a conservative.

    This is good and bad. Good because that means the GOP will spend another 4 years down the rat hole of insanity and bad because that means the GOP will spend another 4 years down the rat hole of insanity.

  16. 16
    Josie says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I sense the new narrative. This morning on Morning Joe, the opening chat about Christie giving the keynote speech was not about how he would extol the virtues of Romney. It was all about, if Mitt should lose, Christie would be the perfect one to run in 2016. They are already looking down the road.

  17. 17
    ginny says:

    I was confused at first and really thought that Gail wrote that. It sounds so much more like her style than Brooks’. Maybe he was channeling his inner-Gail?

  18. 18
    ginny says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Applebees has a salad bar?

  19. 19
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Josie: More overrated Republican: Ryan or Christie?

  20. 20
    Randy P says:

    @Schlemizel: I alternate feeling good about the election and worrying about the effects of vote suppression and UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!!!

    On my best days I begin to believe that Obama’s coattails will make enough of a difference in the House and Senate that we can spend the next 4 years actually getting stuff done.

    @ginny: No. It’s a poke at a pundit in 2008 who claimed Obama wasn’t in touch with the common folk at the Applebee’s salad bar, thus revealing that he’d never been in an Applebee’s to bond with said common folk himself.

    Actually, I think it was Brooks.

    Is Brooks the one who’s always offering wisdom from imaginary cab drivers?

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    @Randy P:

    Dude with the imaginary cab drivers is Tom Friedman.

    Also known as The Mustache of Understanding (TM) in these parts.

  22. 22
    Josie says:

    @Hill Dweller: All of them.

  23. 23
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Hill Dweller: All of them, Katie.

    And there is no fucking way that is Brooks. I demand previous evidence of satirical talent before I will acknowledge that came from his pen. It is almost eerily Collins-like.

    Or, maybe he’s just decided since he can’t write for shit in his own style, he’ll steal hers.

    Of course, he did write “the Byronic soul of the Republican nominee:” Not quite Burkean bells, but.

    ETA: Beaten because I was adding more snark. And Brooks is the king of the Applebee’s Salad Bar.

  24. 24
    Steeplejack says:


    This is one of the pillars of the David Brooks oeuvre. In 2008 he said that Obama wouldn’t fit in naturally at an Applebee’s salad bar.

    This is also covered in the Balloon Juice lexicon at the top of the page.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    It’s a trick. Brooks is setting the bar so low that after Ann’s speech tonight, you people will think Mitt is a teddy bear.
    That’s the only idea I can come up with. Will MSM mention the teleprompter on the stage?

  26. 26
    Steeplejack says:

    @Randy P:

    Is Brooks the one who’s always offering wisdom from imaginary cab drivers?

    No, that’s Thomas Friedman, a.k.a. the Mustache of Understanding. Please try to keep up with the Balloon Juice insider references. You’re dragging down the discourse.

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    First column by Brooks I didn’t wince through at some point. Well done, Bobo.

    a lifelong concern for the second homeless

    That made me laugh.

  28. 28
    Earl says:

    @Schlemizel: Don’t worry – they’re going to be down that particular rat hole until the money dries up.

    Unfortunately, with the old money setting up trusts and family foundations to continue hoarding their cash, it’s going to be a long time in the rat hole of insanity…

  29. 29
    Josie says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Actually, you win. I couldn’t remember if it was Katie or Charlie.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    Wondering what Charles Pierce and Driftglass will make of this Bobo column.

    Although they got lots of other shiny targets this week.

  31. 31
    John says:

    He either wrote this for a big, big bet, or to make Charlie Pierce’s head explode. Or both

  32. 32
    Bruce S says:

    The problem with this is that Brooks gives Romney/Ryan cover on actual policy – lying about stuff (or he’s painfully ignorant, which he shouldn’t be but probably is) – while giving himself cover as a “right-centrist”, assuming Willard goes back to counting his money after November, to claim he was “tough” on Romney. His recent crackpot column on “Ryan’s Biggest Mistake” was pretty roundly eviscerated by folks who deal in empirical evidence – he’s embarrassed and since he can’t do substance, he went for satire, which is the hat he wears to give himself permission to write nonsense about the actual policy implications of the clowns standing next to him from the radical right. Brooks is an insidious columnist – he can be as evidence-free on policy as Rush Limbaugh, but because his musings wear the cloak of “moderation” in the New York Times, he’s taken more seriously.

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    It sounds like Bobo finally wrote down every snarky putdown that’s been running through his head since this election began.

  34. 34
    anonymoose says:

    Romney has abandoned the totebaggers for the knuckledraggers and Brooks is pissed. When they brought Ryan aboard, he was expecting the blue eye hunk would be whispering sweet deficit reduction numbers in his ears. Instead, all he is hearing are birther and racist dogwhistles. Brooks just sent some chin music and warned that unless he gets him some deficit hawk lapdances from R^2, the beatings will continue.

  35. 35
    4tehlulz says:

    Brooks knows what Mitt’s about to unleash, and wants to dissociate himself while he still can.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    I will not be watching Chris Christie keynote tonight.

    Might be a good night for a movie out.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:


    Whoa. Good point.

  38. 38
    EconWatcher says:

    I really don’t get the triumphalism of some commenters, as if we’ve already won this thing. Have you been watching the electoral vote polling at TPM? Obama has been marching down steadily, from if I recall like 320 EVs in his column to the current 265–now not enough to win. Yes, Romney’s been stuck forever at 191, and the rest are toss-ups, but the trend makes me nervous. It suggests that all those Adelson-funded ads in swing states are having an impact. Nothing’s won yet, folks.

  39. 39
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Elizabelle: I won’t be watching one minute of the Republicans’ hate fest. Hell, I don’t think I’ll watch more than Obama’s speech at their convention.

    @EconWatcher: I’m preparing for a loss. This country is full of stupid people.

  40. 40
    Dennis G. says:

    @4tehlulz: That sounds about right.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @EconWatcher: @Hill Dweller: It is the week of the GOP Convention. If R&R do not move up in the polls this week, it will be a big surprise. We will then have the Dem. Convention from which Obama will get a bump. At that point, the normals will start paying some attention to politics and, an educated guess on my part, the Obama campaign will roll out the big guns of their attacks on Romney. Do you really think that a bunch of people who got a black guy with the middle of Hussein elected would have wasted their best attacks during the summer when no one is paying attention?

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    This looks interesting.

    Jeff Smith in The Atlantic: What’s the Matter with Missouri?

    Demographically, St. Louis shrank from 900,000 to 320,000, and Branson has become a mecca for retired Christian country music fans.

    Many other factors.

    Jeff Smith, a former state senator from Missouri and a liberal.

  43. 43
    Chyron HR says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Christie, of course.

    Oh, wait, you said overrated.

  44. 44
    Valdivia says:

    My take: Brooks can’t forgive Romney for already tainting his wonder boy Ryan with all his bad qualities.

  45. 45
    BH says:

    My theory is that later today we will learn this was some sort of epic hack, and the column will be retracted. How can Brooks go on NPR opposite Dionne when they have the same perspective on the pathetic Etch-a-Sketch that is Romney?

  46. 46
    Emma says:

    Two hypotheses: either the David Brooks from the (sane) parallel universe slid into ours by mistake or the Rapture occurred while we were sleeping.

  47. 47
    Valdivia says:


    TPM is a really really lousy place to look at the numbers. Their model to me seems to have absolutely zero compensation for house effects etc. Go see Nate’s model. He has Obama moving up since August 20th.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:


    I am with you about not taking a single vote for granted.

    And get them banked as early as possible.

    Voting suppression and a tsunami of ugly Citizens United ads.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:


    Did K-Thug hack Bobo’s column? Epic!

  50. 50
    Emma says:

    @EconWatcher: happens every time around this year in elections. The final decision comes between October and November. All other polls are meaningless.

  51. 51
    Baud says:



  52. 52
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @EconWatcher: Many of the polls are switching to likely voter models from registered voters as well. Base enthusiasm (or fear, more accurately) is greater on the right, making a tightening not unexpected. This thing is not over by any stretch but don’t let the trend worry you too much. It feels less like voter movement to me and more like model adjustment. If the trend continues into late September, then I will worry.

  53. 53
    Waynski says:


    Brooks knows what Mitt’s about to unleash, and wants to dissociate himself while he still can.

    Yes, because he just bought a $5 million home with vast spaces for entertaining.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    Mike Murphy is shoveling some serious shit on Morning Joe this morning.

    In his telling, Obama’s campaign is freaking out about moving the numbers.

    Project much?

    Halperin just sniffed about Obama’s 3 year lead in building an organization in swing states to “eke out a point.”

  55. 55
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @EconWatcher: I guess it’s time for me to bring out the stupidest beginning of a sentence in horse race election politics: “If the election were held today … “

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    David Brooks with a beard wrote the column? And slipped it through on a T3 that’s been altered by an ion storm?

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Comrade Javamanphil says:


    Halperin just sniffed about Obama’s 3 year lead in building an organization in swing states to “eke out a point.”

    Obama is trying to win? That changes everything! I’m voting for Mitt.

  59. 59
    Hill Dweller says:


    Mike Murphy is shoveling some serious shit on Morning Joe this morning. In his telling, Obama’s campaign is freaking out about moving the numbers.

    It actually wouldn’t surprise me if it’s true.

    As I was saying earlier, there are so many ignorant/stupid people in this country. Republicans continue to simultaneously race-bait and claim they’re being falsely accused of racism because it works.

  60. 60
    Valdivia says:

    I truly don’t think the O team is freaking out. But I do hope they have an actual plan to cancel the racist noise in some way without getting baited into a who is the racist debate.

    Also, too. Worth reading Nate’s explanation of how just aggregating state polls is a bad idea through the case of Michigan as an example. Excellent. One reason I just don’t even look at TPM, they have Michigan red.

  61. 61
    Someguy says:

    Romney himself, his mere existence as a spastic plastic fantastic piece of Wonderbread, is a racist dog whistle.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    When I read this late last night, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought Bobo might have been satirizing all the folks criticizing Romney. Or that maybe Romney had turned down a request by Bobo that Romney come sit in his lap. Reading it again this morning, I’m still not sure what to make of it. Maybe Romney really has become too much of a shitshow even for Bobo.

    First MoDo tears Ryan a few new ones, and now this. Is our Villagers learnin’?

  63. 63
    Interrobang says:

    Holy cow, Bobo actually wrote something that was genuinely funny? I’m…pretty sure I didn’t wake up in Bizarro World this morning. Everything seems normal. Dammit, now I’m going to be holding my breath all day, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  64. 64
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: #40

    Do you really think that a bunch of people who got a black guy with the middle name of Hussein elected would have wasted their best attacks during the summer when no one is paying attention?


    Team Obama is very, very good.

  65. 65
    The_WI_Griz says:


    The purpose of the Republican convention is to introduce America to the real Mitt Romney. Fortunately, I have spent hours researching this subject.

    This article is an attempt at conservative satire. Brooks thinks he’s punking us. “Har, har, silly liberals, I got ’em with this one.” The obvious problem is that it’s so poorly done that he will have to explicitly declare his failed attempt before being kicked out of the club.

    He’s trying out his anti-Stephen Colbert skit. Nothing more.

  66. 66
    Suffern Ace says:

    @Hill Dweller: The Romney campaign is throwing out everything that worked before. That’s their campaign strategy. Anything that anyone used before that might have influenced an election. Any ad that anyone ever came up with. Every policy position, too.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    I figured the last line was the key “Joe Nocera is off today.”

    Another possibility is that Brooks will say that column is just a summary of all the not very nice things other people are saying about Mitt.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Be of heart.

    Perhaps your derision is not yet warranted. If Obama’s down 10 points on Election Day weekend, you can “prepare for a loss.”

    Get out there and make some calls, cook dinner and deliver it to an OFA office, come up with a comfy guest room for an Obama campaign organizer (and maybe good coffee, too).

    Do something positive.

  69. 69
    catclub says:

    @Ash Can: “I thought Bobo might have been satirizing all the folks criticizing Romney.”

    me too

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    You read Bobo so I don’t have to, but this was hilarious.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    Wildlife sighting report: We have an adult red fox that’s taken to napping under a tree in the backyard. It was there at least three hours Sunday. Back this morning, stretching and looking real comfy.

    Mixed feelings: on the one hand, it’s so cute.

    OTOH, we don’t have a cat or small dog, but there is a wonderful tortoiseshell across the street who comes over and naps — very soundly — on the deck many late mornings/early afternoons. Excellent hunter, but not when sleeping.

    Keeping an eye out.

    What do you guys think?

  72. 72
    Donald G says:

    Now imagine that column delivered in voiceover narration by Michael Palin, Eric Idle, or John Cleese.

  73. 73
    Emma says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Nope. This is the sane David Brooks from E-Space. Born, most likely, in Alzarius, where people can be of high intelligence, but also very annoying in their need for validation. However, unlike our own Villagers, they do tend to cling to the science and the facts.

    Yes, Doctor Who geekery in the morning. What can I tell you?

  74. 74
    Emma says:

    @Valdivia: I don’t think you can cancel out the racist noise. All you can do is make sure those who may be questioning whether to vote get pissed off enough to get off their arses and go!

  75. 75
    karen says:

    It seems like Brooksie is an itsy bit bitchy. Who’d have thought he’d have it in him?

    Seriously, there is no way in hell that Davey wrote this. It’s as if Brooks had been asleep for years and suddenly woke up.

    No fucking way.

  76. 76
    karen says:


    Or maybe his brain got blasted with a sonic screwdriver….

  77. 77
    Mr Furious says:

    @Valdivia: I live in Michigan. All three branches of state government and the courts are as red as fucking fire engine, and the electorate shows no sign of having wised up about the screw-job Snyder and the GOP have been unrolling the last two years…

    Michigan red? I don’t find that unbelievable at all. I personally think it’ll go for Obama, but the stupid is strong here too.

  78. 78
    Libby says:

    Sweet Jebus, I can’t believe BoBo wrote this. He must have been hacked. But the first time in years, I’m actually inspired to go read the whole damn column. Who woulda thunk it?

  79. 79
    Schlemizel says:

    @ginny: Do we know for a fact that Gail is a real person and not just Brooks’ Glen/Glenda alter-ego?

  80. 80
    Steve says:

    Gail Collins has never been this funny for more than a paragraph. I actually thought Brooks’ last column, the one about compromise, was pretty good, but this is in a league of its own.

  81. 81
    Librarian says:

    I’m with those who say that this is a parody of what liberals and Democrats are saying about Romney. There’s no way that Brooks writes a column like this without an ulterior motive. So I would not pop the champagne corks just yet.

  82. 82
    El Cid says:

    I’m going to guess that this is more “comedy roast” type humor than Brooks’ being actually pissed off.

  83. 83
    NancyDarling says:

    @Sly: My ghasted is thoroughly flabbered as well.

    BoBo’s name is being scratched off conservative guest lists as I type.

  84. 84

    I think y’all are reading it wrong.

    This is Brooks’ idea of a joke.

    He thinks he’s making fun of Democratic swipes at Romney’s biography.

    Read that last paragraph again. He’s acknowledging that what preceded it was a joke.

    It’s not a very good joke, or even readily recognizable as such, because nothing he says bears any resemblance to what Democrats are saying.

    It’s almost like he’s making fun of the idea of biography narrative construction. By adopting an over-the-top one-sided view against the guy being nominated this week? Or something?

    No wonder people are confused by it.

  85. 85
    japa21 says:

    @Elizabelle: We had a fox camped out in our neighborhood a few years ago. Turned out to be female and had some kits. Never went near any of the dogs in the neighborhood and as far as I know, left the cats alone. However, didn’t see any rabbits for a long time.

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    @Both Sides Do It: Exactly. Imagine it’s a humorous introduction speech that Brooks is giving for Romney at a whatever society luncheon.

  87. 87
    The Moar You Know says:

    MEOW. What the fuck did the android do to Brooks?

  88. 88
    NancyDarling says:

    @Elizabelle: Wise choice. He’s probably gonna throw a cop under the bus while he’s eating a teacher.

  89. 89
    NancyDarling says:

    @El Cid: @Both Sides Do It: I had so hoped it was real.

  90. 90
    eyelessgame says:

    Okay, two people got to it before me, so removing my post. But – what El Cid and BSDI said. He’s not being successfully funny. He’s trying and failing to mock us.

  91. 91
    NancyDarling says:

    @Emma: Or else the body snatchers are really here.

  92. 92
    crosspalms says:

    My favorite line: “After a successful stint at Bain, Romney was lured away to run the Winter Olympics, the second most Caucasian institution on earth, after the G.O.P.”

  93. 93
    Bob says:

    My guess: Brooks is trying to parody the caricaturish coverage of Romney in the media so that everyone, including ourselves, will see how silly we’re being. He’s trying to make fun of us. Kind of like when we refer to the Socialist Kenyan usurper Obama. Except what Brooks has written is spot on, at least in a satirical sense.

  94. 94
    RaflW says:


    Brooks knows what Mitt’s about to unleash, and wants to dissociate himself while he still can.

    Ding! Ding! Ding!

    Also the comment a bit above that about Mitt abandoning totebaggers for knuckledraggers.

    Resentiment has to be dished very carefully at the presidential-candidate level. As is so widely known, Mitt lacks even the (shudder) charm of Newt Gingrich, who can say “food stamp president” and get away with it.

    The desperation and flop-sweat we’ve been noticing for weeks is really pitting Mitt out. And even the pinched-noses out there are getting a whiff and stepping a bit away.

  95. 95
    Emma says:

    @NancyDarling: Nah. They don’t recycle.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:


    Good to hear. We don’t have many rabbits in this neighborhood.

    Just worried about the neighbor’s cat.

    Have seen kits in the woods, two of them behind our neighbor’s house.

    Cannot tell if this is Mom or Pop Fox.

  97. 97
    Amir Khalid says:

    So Bobo was trying to skewer the people making fun of Mitt, but wound up skewering Mitt himself for real? I have to admit, that does sound plausible for Bobo.

  98. 98
    Hawes says:

    I’ve always admired the way Bobo can take a reasonable view of things in his first few paragraphs and then completely shit the bed in his conclusions.

    “Iraq is a quagmire that arose from imperial hubris and a lack of understanding of the situation in that country…. And that is why we should invade Iran.”

    Here he must have been cut off before he got to the part that sucked.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hawes: The size of the NYT textbox cut him off before the money shot? That’s amusing. And disturbing. I apologize for referring to Bobo and money shots in the same comment. Oh, shit! I’ve now done it twice. I’ll stop before I accidentally refer to Bobo and money s…..

  100. 100
    Cacti says:

    I’m with those who think this is Bobo trying to be clever about those who oppose Romney.

    It fails on that count though, as it mostly just reminds readers of the many reasons why Romney’s unlikeable.

  101. 101
    shortstop says:

    Hilarious post, AL. Suspect you’re absolutely right about Mitt not giving Bobo his perceived due. Christ, it’s all about ego with all these guys all the time, and the resultant policies hold 300 million hostage.

  102. 102
    shortstop says:

    @Steeplejack: That made me laugh.

  103. 103
    shortstop says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I have a horrified but grudging respect for the stones it takes to blithely run the “Unfailing conservatism was failed by this candidate!” narrative without acknowledging that Romney, as bad as he is, was the least pathetic contender in the lineup of conservative hopefuls. It’s like they forgot there was a primary process and think Mitt was just dropped in their laps through no action of their own.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Is he trying to have it both ways? If Romney wins, it was satirical. If Obama wins, it was prescient. That might be why it caused confusion; he doesn’t want it to be clear.

  105. 105

    I don’t think they want to cancel out the race baiting. First, it’s not really possible. Second, this election is about finally tearing down the Reagan Revolution and exposing the GOP for what it actually stands for – racism, hate, and oppressing the poor and middle class.

  106. 106
    Spatula says:


    Get out there and make some calls, cook dinner and deliver it to an OFA office, come up with a comfy guest room for an Obama campaign organizer (and maybe good coffee, too).


  107. 107
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    If Gail Collins’ latest has a sniff of Bobo, then I think we’ll know that they decided, for shits and giggles, to write each other’s columns this week and that we’ll hear about it next week.

  108. 108
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Bob: Yep. It’s uncanny valley satire.

  109. 109
    Chris Andersen says:

    There was never any doubt in my mind that Brooks is a talented writer. Getting prime real estate in the NY Times doesn’t just go to any hack. You have to be a great hack. An entertaining hack.

    But a hack none-the-less.

  110. 110
    Unsympathetic says:

    I refuse to believe Bobo wrote something that made me laugh.

    “He had a pet rock, which ran away from home because it was starved of affection.”

    “He promises to bring all Americans together and make them feel inferior.”

    Snark like this requires actual wit.. who was the ghostwriter?

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: That was my thought, too. A little “identical cousins” switcheroo for laughs and to see if anyone noticed.

  112. 112
    shortstop says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: @Bobby Thomson: I have a hard time believing that Bobo’s ego (and dependence on the GOP for continued hot meals) would allow him to be associated with such a shenanigan. But I’m keeping an open mind.

  113. 113
    karen marie says:

    @pablo: You and Kathleen give him way more credit than he deserves. Although Anne Laurie could well be on to something when she posits “that Mitt Romney managed to insult David Brooks by confusing him with David Gregory, or Jake Tapper, or possibly the hotel concierge.”

    But also remember, Bobo does not like the Tea Party even a little bit. Last year he complained that “members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities” and “have no sense of moral decency.”

    When Willard embraced the darling of the Tea Party, Paul Ryan, he lost David Fucking Brooks. Ha!

    I can imagine what drove him to write that column was a combination of feeling slighted by Romney and revulsion toward teabaggers.

  114. 114
    celticdragonchick says:


    I never knew Brooks could write that well. That is Onion worthy satire. I never thought I would ever type these words.

    I have gotten so used to Brooks being a useless broken tool of a hack that I forgot he actually can write…and write well…when he has sufficient motivation. Too bad for Romney… :)

  115. 115
    wrb says:

    I heard a long Q&A w Brooks (on City Arts and Lectures, I think) and was surprised how OK he seemed, considering his often asinine columns. Maybe he’s capable of a break-out.

  116. 116
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Sly: I am stealing this. Just so’s you know. I hope it will not gruntle your dis.

  117. 117
    Susan K of the tech support says:

    It’s satire.


    I ran into Brooks in the sweaty line outside the convention’s media center, where he was rueful and said he should have anticipated the incomprehension at a column that was “originally intended as a parody of the media storyline.”
    The reaction, he said, was “regrettable but predictable.”

    So sorry to end all the delicious speculation.

  118. 118
    shortstop says:

    @Susan K of the tech support: It’s not good satire, which requires the writer to subtly wink at the viewpoint being mocked; he never does that. It is good bitchiness.

  119. 119
    wrb says:

    @Susan K of the tech support:

    It is truly inept if that is the case.

    I find it easier to believe that he meant it as a takedown of Romney and wimped out when he saw the reaction and realized it would make him an outcast.

  120. 120
    priscianusjr says:


    I never knew Brooks could write that well. That is Onion worthy satire. I never thought I would ever type these words.

    Exactly my own reaction. I guess “he’s beautiful when he’s angry” — but he almost never is angry, because anger is not very bobo.

  121. 121
    priscianusjr says:

    @Chris Andersen:

    Getting prime real estate in the NY Times doesn’t just go to any hack

    No, it goes only to those hacks that truly know how to suck up to the Village.

  122. 122
    Amir Khalid says:

    Bobo set out to skewer Mitt’s critics, but he outsmarted himself and ended up skewering Mitt. It was in fact excellent satire — all the barbs hit, and they hit hard — just very poorly aimed. Which I think makes the column a gaffe in the political sense. I’m dead certain that Gail Collins wishes she’d written it.

  123. 123
    trollhattan says:

    Very late to this thread but…holy fuck, Brooks 1. has veered wildly off-narrative, 2. is funny?!?, 3. see #2.

    Somebody just got disinvited to Aspen.

  124. 124
    Catsy says:


    He’s not being successfully funny. He’s trying and failing to mock us.


    Occam’s Razor, folks. What is more likely: that we all woke up this morning with Bizarro BoBo, or that he was trying (and failing) to satirize all of those uncivil people on the left saying mean things?

    This was meant to be over-the-top. It was meant to discredit the kind of people who would make these comments. The problem is that he didn’t make the snark tags prominent enough, and Romney really is that ridiculous and broadly disliked even by those who are holding their nose to vote for him.

    Or to put it another way: the B-J community is a pretty savvy bunch of snarksters on average. If the snark is going past most of us so that we hear it as humor savagely making fun of Romney, how do you think it’s going to be received by low-info voters who aren’t paying enough attention to read between the lines?

  125. 125
    ...now I try to be amused says:


    If Obama wins – certainly no slam dunk, but if you had to bet your life savings on the race right now you’d probably put your money on him…

    In a very real sense, all Americans are betting their life savings on this race, whether they know it or not.

  126. 126
    Avattoir says:

    @Kathleen: It lacks the cutting edge.

    I think you’ve missed the purpose behind Brooks’ effort: it’s to take as many of the shots at Romney as he can put in an establishment paper and maintain a flow, while leaving the impression that lefty jibes at Romney effectively dehumanize him. It’s a shot at this website along with every other liberal, progressive and humorist outlet and writer who’s ever done to Romney what it and they complain about authoritarians et al doing to Obama.

  127. 127
    Elizabelle says:

    @Susan K of the tech support:

    Third top NYTimes reader comment on Brooks’ piece today:

    You think you are joking. You are mistaken. That’s him.

    I think the joke is on Brooks here.

    But there’s room for doubt … maybe it was intentional?

  128. 128
    Ash Can says:

    @Susan K of the tech support: So Bobo really did mean for this to be satire? How appropriate that he aims his mighty wit carefully, pulls the trigger, and BLAM! shoots off his own dick.

  129. 129
    JustRuss says:

    Since we’re talking bobo here, I have to go with the failed satire theory. Always bet on failure when bobo’s involved.

    I do give him serious props for “his Secret Service nickname is Mannequin”, that’s the first time I’ve ever LOL’d while reading Brooks.

  130. 130
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Political satire has a well-known liberal bias. It’s so powerful, David Brooks demonstrated it without even intending to.

  131. 131
    dogwood says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Look, David Brooks is going to endorse Obama again to save face among yuppies,

    Where do you come up with this crap? Brooks didn’t endorse Obama in 08. He was firmly in the McCain camp. He did root for Obama in the primary and I think he likes and respects the president on some level, but he is a Republican party hack and he really loves John McCain.

  132. 132
    shortstop says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, fair enough, but can you call it successful satire if you’re efficiently ridiculing someone completely other than the people you set out to mock without laying a glove on the latter group? I vote nope.

  133. 133
    Amir Khalid says:

    Mitt ends up on the skewer, Mitt’s critics are ROFLTAO, and Bobo is kicking himself. All is well that ends well, right?

  134. 134
    shortstop says:

    @Amir Khalid: Absolument. No complaints about the results here.

  135. 135
    Darkrose says:

    @Both Sides Do It: Read that last paragraph again. He’s acknowledging that what preceded it was a joke.

    The problem is that nothing in the column–including that line–is literally true. So he squashes his own point. Nice going, Salad Bar Guy.

  136. 136
    PorterSprings says:

    This article will eventually be recognized as a great work of satiric social commentary in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”.

  137. 137
    ungrateful biped says:

    Some of y’all need an irony detector. Wow.

    For those who don’t know, here’s how David Brooks began his highly lucrative career of winking sycophancy:

    In 1983, he wrote a parody of conservative pundit William F. Buckley Jr., which said “In the afternoons he is in the habit of going into crowded rooms and making everybody else feel inferior. The evenings are reserved for extended bouts of name-dropping.”Buckley admired the parody and offered Brooks a job with National Review.

    Sound familiar?

  138. 138
    Dr. Omed says:


    It is Brooks. He recycled a parody bio of William F. Buckley he wrote for the college paper while an undergraduate at the U of Chicago. Buckley subsequently hired him at NR.


  139. 139
    nowhereman says:

    ungrateful and Omed are right, as it were. Bobo’s MO is that of an old-school conservative intellectual. Many of his NYT essays attempt to translate for the NYT readers/intelligentsia social scholarship on the human condition. My guess is that although he grew up on the Main Line, he ended up at U of Chicago in the freaking Midwest and not with whom he considered his rightful peerage in an Ivy. At the NYT, Brooks and Friedman are simply two sides of the same empty coin.

  140. 140
    guest says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Are you sure it was Lindsay and not Mitch Mc? Bobo is a furry little bear daddy to some. No accounting for taste. I could see Mitch Mc being Yogi’s boo.

  141. 141
    Phil says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I think the version of BoBo that wrote this had a goatee

  142. 142
    Diane says:

    Ditto for anne romney.

    i don’t think she would go out of her way to help anybody other then her family friends and people like her

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