Krugman Responds To Brooks

Y’all may recall DougJ’s post below, in which BoBo once again demonstrates skills in the “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia” agitprop trope, proclaiming the unparalleled intellectual openness of the post-election-debacle GOP.

Now Krugthulu responds to Brooks in all but name:

Finally, it’s true that there are some Republican intellectuals and pundits who seem to be truly open-minded about both economic and social issues. But I worded that carefully: they “seem to be” open-minded; indeed, they’re professional seemers. When it matters, they can always be counted on — after making a big show of stroking their chins and agonizing — to follow the party line, and reject anything that doesn’t go along with the preacher-plutocrat agenda. If they don’t deliver when it counts, they are excommunicated; see Frum, David. [emphasis added]

He gets the actual composition of your contemporary Republican Party down pat too:

…today’s Republican party is an alliance between the plutocrats and the preachers, plus some opportunists along for the ride — full stop. The whole party is about low taxes at the top (and low benefits for the rest), plus conservative social values and putting religion in the schools; it has no other reason for being.

Ahhh.  I do believe I need a (chocolate) cigarette just about now.

Image:  Christian Rohlfs, Clowns’ Conversation, 1912

45 replies
  1. 1

    Do I want a made up “foreign” cabbie telling me to be centrist center right a conservative or do I want a made up “real american” at a chain restaurant with an imaginary salad bar? Tough choices.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Ah, as usual, Dr. Krugman is right.

    The “Money-changers/makers” are using the religiously gullible to vote against their own best interests.

    Hmm…
    What if our American “Christians” ever got wind of this?

    I’m sure there would be Hell to pay!
    LOL!

  3. 3
    Zifnab25 says:

    It’s always amazing how Mr. David “Both Sides Do It!” Brooks inevitably ends up exclusively on just the one side.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    What is it about the public agonizing that convinces people they’re “moderates”? They always come down on the party line side. They are no more moderate than a hard core Republican. They just pretend to be.

  5. 5
    Pooh says:

    That’s a pretty perfect description of Douthat as well – after public wailing and gnashing of teeth, the doctrinaire GOP response is somehow always the right play.

  6. 6
    fuckwit says:

    That’s because the two goals are perfectly dovetailed.

    If you smash the state, what institutions are left to govern? Who fills that power vacuum? Corporations, and religions. So, the corporations and insittutional religions are deeply aligned in the fight to destroy civil government. Add to this that many large religions ARE corporations, and the military-industrial complex are too, and you have Norquist’s coalition in a … bathtub.

    Who doesn’t want to smash the state? Well, anyone who is oppressed by institutionalized religion or corporations: workers, women, young people, LGBT people, non-christians, and non-white people.

    Demographics, motherfucker. We is a majority.

  7. 7
    danimal says:

    Yep. These are the ones we’re dealing with. They’re screwed, and the smarter ones among them know it. Their piece of the demographic pie is shrinking and they will need to change their composition to appeal to the majority.

    But, for theological reasons, they just can’t compromise with evil on the social issues and, for financial reasons, they just can’t part with even a piece of the grift left on the table on economic issues.

    Forced to choose after the election, they are trying to play word games, hoping that ‘messaging’ can cover up their weakening postion so that they can bluff their way into a good deal. Dems: Stay the course and force them to kill a sacred cow or two. It will make the country better.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    But Ben Gazzi and turwriss and Rice plays chicken as things mushroom out of control. Also, too, Grandpa Jowls howls and scowls at cumulus nimbus, hoping for a Libyian jackalope and cheese nothingburger.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Krugman is on fire here. He did leave out the gun nuts, but, aside from that, he nailed it.

    I mention the gun nuts because Wisconsin would go totally blue across the board if you take guns out of the equation. Yes, I know no one is coming for their guns, but still….

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    If only Krugman weren’t such an obvious commie, The Right People might pay him some mind. Seems like a clever chap.

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: First you take their flamethrowers and their anti-tank weapons, and next thing you know it’s black helicopters and Agenda 21.

    What can you do?

  12. 12
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Ammo. The UN and the Kenyan are coming for their ammo, just prior to the Kenyan declaring himself king.

    Wayne LaPierre told me so.

  13. 13
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Kthug completes me.

  14. 14
    fuckwit says:

    Also, isn’t Agenda 21 a disco in lower Manhattan where all the rich go to do lines of coke and be photographed by the papparazzi?

  15. 15
    Liberty60 says:

    Completely OT, but my wife called, from her job as a cast member at Disneyland.

    She spotted Mitt Romney walking through the park.

    She almost went up to him and said, “Yeah, I guess you are free to come to Disneyland, because you don’t have a job!”

    But that would be too much delicious wickedness for any one person to handle. Especially bad cast member juju.

  16. 16
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Krugman Responds To Brooks

    …and for some mysteriously Proustian reason it suddenly occurs to me that it’s been years since I watched the short film Bambi vs Godzilla.

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    If only Krugman weren’t so shrill.

  18. 18
    Anoniminous says:

    Projecting from the trend, it’s likely we’ve got 8 more years of these asshats before enough of ’em croak to flip the balance.

    If the trend is broken – as trends are wont to do – it may be as soon as 2014.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: Satyagraha?

    @trollhattan: If Wayne said it must be so.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    Thanks to DougJ, whenever Brooks writes the word ‘Burkean’ I just laugh. But it is possible to have a more serious response, as this from Corey Robin at Crooked Timber:

    http://crookedtimber.org/2012/.....our-daddy/

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    @fuckwit:

    If you smash the state, what institutions are left to govern? Who fills that power vacuum? Corporations, and religions.

    Why do you talk about them as if they’re different things?

    I suppose corporations have less interest in raping children.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: FTW.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @Tom Levenson: “First you take their flamethrowers and their anti-tank weapons’

    What this ‘their’ kemo sabe? OUR

  24. 24
    slag says:

    @Liberty60: Wait. You’re telling me Romney doesn’t always live in Disneyland? So, then, where does he get his cartoonishly skewed view of the world?

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @slag: Branson

  26. 26
    Drew says:

    @MattF: Ah David Brooks. Probably my favorite intellectual lightweight. He’s just so easy to rag on.

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    @fuckwit:

    That’s because the two goals are perfectly dovetailed. If you smash the state, what institutions are left to govern? Who fills that power vacuum? Corporations, and religions.

    This, exactly. It’s about shifting all the power back to elites that don’t have to answer to voters at a pesky ballot box every two/four/six years. (Although I suspect political machines would also make a big comeback if the federal welfare state was smashed).

    And this is why they freak out so loudly about welfare states “creating a dependency.” It’s not that they’re worried about the poor losing their values when they discover there’s someone else they can depend on when they go through a rough patch. It’s that the poor might have someone else to go to other than themselves, someone who’s not going to use their poverty to control the most private aspects of their lives. They’re all about the dependency, but they want to be the ones the poor have to come crawling to.

  28. 28
    Liberty60 says:

    @slag:
    You know that every single cast member at Disneyland who Mitt will meet today earns not much above minimum wage, and are therefore part of the 47%.

    Oh, and they are union, most of them.

  29. 29
    Maude says:

    @Chris:
    In other words, hte poor just may get them by the short and curlies instead of bowing down at their feet.
    It’s the old power game, isn’t it?

  30. 30
    PIGL says:

    @Zifnab25: easy-peasy, as puzzles go. Which side is paying the over-dressed turd-gobbling flatterer?

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @MikeJ:

    Why do you talk about them as if they’re different things?

    I agree with this completely, actually.

    IMO, churches are basically corporations. They’ve got a product to peddle (their faith), a customer base to cultivate, and they’ll support whatever political system makes it easiest for them to do that.

    A government that’s owned by a rival is bad, since it’ll use its government ties to make it as hard as possible for you to operate in that market. A government that creates a level playing field and lets all of you compete freely is much better, but not as good as it could be. A government that’s owned by you and does everything it can to support your business while driving your competitors out of work, that’s ideal.

    And there you have the guide to politics of many large churches and corporations both.

  32. 32
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You asked, you got.

  33. 33
    Comrade Mary says:

    Also. Still makes me teary.

  34. 34
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @Liberty60: no, most of them are not union. They make a litlltle more than California minimum.

  35. 35
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Liberty60:

    She spotted Mitt Romney walking through the park.
    __
    She almost went up to him and said, “Yeah, I guess you are free to come to Disneyland, because you don’t have a job!”

    I’m thinking a good one would have been to point in the direction of some large crowd of people and then say very loudly to a friend standing nearby: “Oh WOW! Is that Nate Silver? I wonder if I can get his autograph?”.

  36. 36
    bemused says:

    @Liberty60:

    By himself? No Ann, no grandkids?

    I like the mental picture of him forlornly wandering around Disneyland with his hair askew, alone and forsaken, so alone.

  37. 37
    Bill Murray says:

    @Chris: also, free markets have been theology for at least 30 years. They don’t exist but many people predicate their own actions based on the concept

  38. 38
    espierce says:

    @bemused:

    Your wish is my command.

  39. 39
    bemused says:

    @espierce:

    Ha, I had seen that photo before I wrote that. Perfect look for being lost in the wilderness of Disney filled with bitter sadness.

  40. 40
    Bottyguy says:

    When my current old man band folds I’m starting a new one named “Preachers & Plutocrats.” We’ll be doing Psycho-billy Punk

  41. 41

    I always liked Big Shots & Bigots, but I guess Plutocrats & Preachers is about the same thing.

    In truth, the ruling class runs the Republican Party and insists that the party conduct its never-ending pitchforks & torches campaign against African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, any other non-whites that are trying to rise above their station, women who talk too much or want to be paid fairly, gays & lesbians who want to be treated like everyone else, and whoever else can be easily demonized.

    The ruling class does this to channel the anxieties and rage that their rule creates in the working class toward these targets. They know if they do not do this, they will be the target. They may not be intellectuals, but they do read history.

  42. 42
    jake the snake says:

    @bemused:

    Where is Cory Doctorow when you need him?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....c_King,dom

    Krugthulu fhtagn, also too.

  43. 43

    […] with a bang but a whimper Posted at 12:15 on November 21, 2012 by CathiefromCanada Krugman notices that Republicans may flirt with truth but they end up parroting the party line: …it’s true that there are some Republican intellectuals and pundits who seem to be truly […]

  44. 44
    sherparick says:

    Since we showing some love Ambrose Bierce’s way, here is a quote from an 1891 newspaper column, as timely now as it was then:

    …It is not for . . . any priest of any religion, to complain of injustice. Through all the centuries of history the trail of every priesthood has been a trail of blood–the blood of those who dared to believe otherwise than they. Whenever and wherever they have had the power they have conducted their controversies with fire and sword: they have combated [sic] heretical doctrine by removing the heads that entertained it. (September 6, 1891)”

  45. 45
    The Stolen Dormouse says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Which also reminds me of the much later, but not as well done, parody Kramer versus Godzilla (by either the early Saturday Night Live or the brilliant SCTV; I don’t remember which) .

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