AMERICA'S GREATEST PUNDITS  1:48 pm June 29, 2012

Today in Fappery: David Brooks on ‘Burkean Minimalist’ John Roberts

by Jim Newell

American GreatnessCentrist yuppies can barely handle themselves now, after seeing the Great Man himself, Chief Justice John Roberts, save Obamacare from judicial overreach in a statesmanlike move to protect his Court’s honor. It is stunning how much credit a Republican can get for not doing something 100% insane, just once, over the course of a lifetime. And blessed be the gods, Roberts ruling happened to coincide with a David Brooks appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival — the single most faux-intellectual experience for yuppie weenies that exists in our time. How did Brooks manage to blow John Roberts all the way from Aspen, Colorado? He didn’t invoke Edmund Burke somehow, did he? Oh, God.

The Atlantic Wire’s John Hudson, who knows a good comedy opportunity when he sees one, caught up with Brooks yesterday at the fancy TED-talk-like wankerfest, where this year’s Big Ideas include a call for ending universal suffrage. Hudson, his trolling sense perfectly honed, asked Brooks, “How does the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare alter the legacy of Chief Justice John Roberts?”

It says he’s a Burkean minimalist who didn’t want to create an institutional crisis by asserting aggressive court power. Also, he took the opportunity to reshape the commerce clause so it was all about self-restraint and restraining others.

That’s right — in the very next sentence after calling John Roberts a “Burkean minimalist” who didn’t want to assert aggressive court power, Brooks writes, “Also, he took the opportunity to reshape the commerce clause.”

That’s all.

[The Atlantic Wire]

 

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{ 134 comments }

NellCote71 June 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

He lied American died?

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

So he's an activist/non-activist justice?

Wow, I've never seen someone with a double jointed spine before!

Oh wait, sorry, it's just that Brooks is spineless…

Oblios_Cap June 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Brooks is, frankly, unctuous.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

He's not Mohegan, son.

Oh, UNCTIOUS! Sorry. My bad.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Mohegan Sun?

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I was too obvious, huh?

Monsieur_Grumpe June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

unc·tu·ous/ˈəNG(k)CHo͞oəs/

Adjective:

1.(of a person) Excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; oily: "anxious to please in an unctuous way".
2.(chiefly of minerals) Having a greasy or soapy feel.

It works both ways!

Oblios_Cap June 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Not to mention a character name.

GunToting[Redacted] June 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Look for Unctuous Cunt in the next Star Wars installment!

Boojum June 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

He's just passive aggressive. He's all, "No, really, Obama, it is totally cool, even though, if I wanted to, I could point out how unconstitutional it is under the Commerce Clause. But, really, I don't mind, because you've got that whole weenie tax power, but, you know, I think that the States are sort of right about you maybe being overly black, with the spending clause "who has a bigger dick" thing, but you know I love you."

The whole decision, in a paragraph.

bumfug June 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Somewhere a couple of really smart guys read this, muttered "Ah, the irony" then chuckled softly.

Serolf_Divad June 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

"Burkean" means "communist" in Swahili, right?

Chick-Fil-Atheist™ June 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This is dissonance I can believe in!

JustPixelz June 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

And yet part of me says "no".

Mittens Howell, III June 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Translation: He's a total dick and also, a bit of a cunt.

Not_So_Much June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thank you. I was getting tired of looking all that shit up.

Mittens Howell, III June 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

You're so welcome. I specialize in translating pretentious ball-gobbler-ese into nasty gutter-filth-ese. It's a fucking gift.

JustPixelz June 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Both genders in one man(?)! As Steve Martin explained in L.A. Story: "If I had breasts, I'd never leave the shower." (paraphrase; too lazy to google the line)

mull_man June 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

In which case he can fuck himself – a bit.

coolhandnuke June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

"Burkean minimalist"….

There is nothing minimalist about Delta Burke.

Serolf_Divad June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Maybe he meant Brooke Burque. My googling shows her attire to be quite minimalist.

rickmaci June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Or Brook Burke.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

It is stunning how much credit a Republican can get for not doing something 100% insane, just once, over the course of a lifetime.

Really?

"Tear down this wall," ring any bells, Ginger?

Joshua Norton June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I don't think we should be so eager to defend Roberts.

After all, he still gave us "Citizens United" and as soon as Prop. 8 gets to the SCOTUS, watch how fast he toes the wingnut political line once again.

/sorry for the lack of snark

ph7 June 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I won't defend him, but I'll high-five him.

Boojum June 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

While punching him in the nuts.

SheriffRoscoe June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Faux-intellectual experience for yuppie weenies, Jim. Thanks for giving me the cover I needed for not understanding much/any of these utterances by David Brooks.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Relax, Roscoe –the homeless guy at the Broadway subway station mutters in what might be Bulgarian, and I don't feel bad about not understanding him.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Are the leaves all fapping in unison, at aspen?

gullywompr June 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Who the fuck is Burke?

SheriffRoscoe June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thank you. I thought he was referring to a person named Burk, another name I couldn't really place.

gullywompr June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Still don't know, but apparently he said some shit, like:

called Hastings the 'captain-general of iniquity'; who never dined without 'creating a famine'; his heart was 'gangrened to the core' and he resembled both a 'spider of Hell' and a 'ravenous vulture devouring the carcases of the dead'.

Which of course makes Roberts just like him.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

GENE BARRY LIBEL!

nounverb911 June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Gene Barry? He starred in "Burke's Law".

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

HAH! In by seconds…

nounverb911 June 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

How does one type a raspberry? (Bronx cheer)

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

The preferred method, after Bill the Cat, is "PFFT!"

Alt: "THPTPTH"

SorosBot June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think he's talking about the corporate douchebag played by Paul Reiser in Aliens, the one who tried to set the face-huggers on Ripley and Newt to smuggle the aliens back to Earth. He'd be a hero to an asshole like Brooks.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Don't blame the aliens. They were using bath salts.

GunToting[Redacted] June 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I think he is 50% of the famous duo "Burke and Hare," who had a brief yet lucrative career suffocating their fellow drunks and selling the corpses to medical schools in Victorian Edinburgh. If I remember correctly, Burke sold his colleague out and escaped the hangman's noose. No wonder the `baggers admire him.

karlamarx June 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

edmund burke is an anti-democratic king-lover irish guy who moved to england, pandered to the powerful, and generally made himself useful to those who had money. died in 1797. every time i hear about conservatives calling him the godfather of the conservative cause, i whole heartedly agree.

gullywompr June 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Ooooo, you smart! Post more!

Baconzgood June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Burkean minimalist? SHARIA LAW IN SUPREME COURT!!!!!

Sassomatic June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

So the commerce clause is now all about sado masochistic bondage? Hot.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

He made the Commerce Clause all about "self-restraint and restraining others?" I may have to chew on this for a while.

Baconzgood June 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Self restraint and restraining others? We'll it's friday and I'm feeling a little…Ya know….saucy.

Serolf_Divad June 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

"Self-restraint and restraining others" = bring out the gimp, but don't do anything too horrible to him, ok?

MittBorg June 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hey, leave me outa this, OK, I've had a long day.

MittBorg June 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

(Contemplates saucy bacon, decides itz good)

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

There might be something about "safe words" and the First Amendment in there, but it's a really long opinion and I haven't read it closely.

M. Bouffant June 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Stop chewing on the gag, you're just making it worse!

MittBorg June 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Yaknow, prommie, some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

badseeds June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Word salad approaching an almost Palinesque level, except with multisyllabic words.

Ducksworthy June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

David Brooks exemplifies the fact that if you're half sane you're still insane. Got a ways to go there Dave.

Oblios_Cap June 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I'm for ending universal suffering, too.

What?!! Nervermind.

Baconzgood June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I'm not against universal suffering. I think those lizard people on planet Mongo need wiped out!

Oblios_Cap June 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Now, that's suffering that I can believe in!

mavenmaven June 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This is how republicans define bipartisanship- being for and against the same thing whenever it suits them.

valthemus June 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Another right-winger who thinks glasses and a condescending attitude are all you need to be considered an intellectual. Was Brooks at the Ideas Festival hoping to buy one?

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hoping to get lucky. You know how it is with conservatives, hotels, and conferences away from home.

i_AM_ready June 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Roberts is just embarrassed because Nino is junkin' up the Court so much lately and people are starting to talk…

ChernobylSoup June 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Taps nose and points.

Gratuitous World June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Though he went on to condemn the justices for not alluding to Brooks' love of Springsteen anywhere in the opinion.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

The Commerce Clause is all about "self-restraint and restraining others." Its not so much that I am trying to discern Brooks' intended meaning here, I don't think he actually had any real "meaning" in mind, as we understand that word. I'm just trying to find whatever pretense, whatever shadow, shade, simulacra of a meaning there might be, whatever it was that he thought these words might mean based on some vague associations of words taken out of disparate contexts, you know what I mean? But for the life of me, I can come up with nothing but masturbation and light bondage. And I am lost as to what that all has to do with the commerce clause.

LesBontemps June 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

He thinks the Commerce Clause has something to do with paying his dominatrix?

Come here a minute June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

It's hard to write consecutive coherent sentences when you're seeing STARBURSTS.

SorosBot June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Ending universal suffrage does seem likely to appeal to the man who said, "I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem. Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions." The problem is that all us little people don't properly respect and follow our betters!

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I'm all for ending universal sufferage. If you're from the south, you have to take an IQ test first.

scvirginia June 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hey! Last I checked, the folks who voted for Orly Taints, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Mittbot.4200, Judge Kreep, Shelly Bachmann, etc., etc. were not from the south. It's not our fault if all the Yankee snowbirds come down here to retire & vote down property taxes because THEY don't have any children in school here…

Sadly, human stupidity is the norm everywhere, even if Southerners are a little prouder of it than elsewhere…

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Excuse me, how is this news when TOM CRUISE IS GETTING DIVORCED???

nounverb911 June 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Does Katie get half of him in the settlement?

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

She gets the couch that he jumped on.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

There is only half of him.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I think she gets half of her free will back.

ChernobylSoup June 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Roberts is more of a Cruisian Maximalist: Stiff, arrogant, and not very good at his chosen profession.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

He finally realized she doesn't have a dick?

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Who is the guy Tom is leaving Katie for?

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

This is good news for Marcus Bachmann…, Bad news for Michele.

fuflans June 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm

who would have seen this coming?

edgydrifter June 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

One of these days, the slouching corpse of William F. Buckley is going to rise up from the grave, pause to chuckle over an article in The Economist, and then grab David Brooks and George Will by the throat and shake them until their bodies are as limp as their arguments.

ph7 June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Yes, but when will Justice Roberts give a TED talk?

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

When the Zombie Senator from Massachussetts comes around?

ph7 June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The Undead Kennedys.

scvirginia June 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Great band! I saw 'em in concert way back when when they were touring with the Special Olympics & the Circle Jerks, and they- oh, wait…

Boojum June 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Nazi Zombies, Fuck Off!

SexySmurf June 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I'm going to reserve my opinion until Malcolm Gladwell weighs in with his pretentious word-salad.

Ruhe June 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

God! These fucking republican intellectuals. They go out of their way to make sure we all know how smart they are and that they are definitely smarter than the rank and file of their party but then they consistently, year after year, fail to actually move their party toward rationality. Hey, Brooks. Stop wasting time arguing with E.J. Dione and go to a damn tea party meeting and try talking some sense into those morons. The discussion is no longer about which ideas to the immediate left or right of center are good ones. It's about how the corn-fed bulk of your party keeps dragging the whole policy debate down a rabbit hole.

anniegetyerfun June 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

You know, I love Republican intellectuals precisely because they CAN'T do anything about the wingnuts totally taking over. They're like smart pandas – we need to cover and protect them and try to get them to breed, not because they can offer any useful function, but just to remember that there was once a world that had room for such beasts. Sure, they are probably doomed to extinction, but it's nice to sort of look back and be, like, "Ah. The world as it was."

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Plus "intellectual" and "conservative" co-existing in a single skull is a topic worthy of research, all by itself.

UnholyMoses June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Can someone show me where, exactly, the Constitution states that government needs to be as small as David Brooks' penis so that it may then be drowned in a thimble?

Just leave any evidence you find down at the Applebee's salad bar.

Kthx

SayItWithWookies June 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

It's right there in our founding document — the Articles of Confederation.

EBGrey June 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I hope David Brooks uses "Obamacare" to buy a new pair of glasses. He's gone long enough wearing an old pair handed down from his mother.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

OMG! That's IT!

Ralphie! From "A Christmas Story"!

anniegetyerfun June 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I had a pair of Burkeanstocks once. They were really comfy, but they didn't smell so good after a year or so of wear.

LesBontemps June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

The problem with pundits is that it never occurs to them to just STFU for once.

Callyson June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Jesus, so Roberts comes up with one decent ruling, months after that poll showed a steep decline in the Supreme Court's rating by the American people, and in the same term they upheld mo' money mo' speech, and he's a fucking philosopher now?

David Brooks is such a wuss. Wish Michelle Obama would bitch slap him with her arms that frighten him so…

(Yeah yeah, in a totally non violent way &etc.)

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Centrist yuppies can barely handle themselves now

That line next to David Brooks picture has put me off masturbation for at least few days.

LesBontemps June 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

John Dean has really let himself go.

Goonemeritus June 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I find that shade of lipstick David is wearing really brings out his eyes. Obviously he still a douche bag but the lipstick works for him.

Jus_Wonderin June 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I believe that is the exact shade the undertaker used on sweet Aunt Dottie.

EDIT: Oh, sorry, didn't want anyone to fret. Aunt Dottie didn't pass. She just fell asleep at Uncle Euless's service.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Nicely matched to his shirt, too.

SayItWithWookies June 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

David Brooks needs to get sent back to the Clue Festival.

Also, his double-edged spoon approach is similar to Michele Bachmann's opinion, which was that Roberts is now in charge of an activist court. Because now it's apparently judicial activism to uphold a law.

cheetojeebus June 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Later that evening:
a quiet room. Soft music is playing, the TV is on mute.
one hears the rhythmic slap of flesh, as if a naked bunny rabbit is scratching behind it's ear.

Brooks: " oh, oh oh yeah, I said it yeah I said it…Sweet mother….momma……"

Tundra Grifter June 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.

elburritodeluxe June 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

It's devastating to consider that our era has no Hunter S. Thompson to attend the Big Ideas Maturbathon high off his tits on Crank.

actor212 June 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I humbly volunteer.

prommie June 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Can I come? I can be like the Samoan attorney who went to Vegas with HST!

Blueb4sunrise June 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Echhh. This is not the fappery I was looking for.

anniegetyerfun June 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Um, guys? The US ambassador to Kenya just resigned. Is Obama going to name HIMSELF ambassador to Kenya?

Nostrildamus July 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

OMG, OMG, he must have proof !!! Jerome Corsi on line 1.

ttommyunger June 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I guess its best to have a "Safe Word" when tying one's mind in knots, but ‘BURKEAN MINIMALIST’ is kind of hard to remember, especially with a ball-gag in the mouth. (You know you love it, David, Mark Shields does it to you every Friday.)

rickmaci June 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

So far this blog seems to be about verbally pleasuring yourself and restraint techniques. Hmm. EDITRIX !!!!!!!!!

gurukalehuru June 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

It's all about self restraint and restraining others.
Because you can never have too much restraint.

Doktor Zoom June 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I like the minimalists, especially Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass (and Steve Reich), Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass (and Steve Reich), Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass (and Steve Reich).

not that Radio June 30, 2012 at 12:07 am

Frank Stella libel!

DahBoner July 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

You forgot Terry Riley. And Poland!

Guppy June 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

"Fuck Burke!"

–Tom Paine

Boojum June 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm

That's minimalism &c.

Chichikovovich June 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Here is all I have to say on the subject of Burke: i) Commiemom has a terrific blogpost about reading him as a student. ii) His defenders like to say he was "opposed to slavery" – which he was, in the sense that he felt it would be better if the institution doesn't exist, but of course, it would be horrible to stop holding human beings in chattel slavery, driven to work until they dropped from exhaustion, killed at the whim of their masters, with no right to marry or form a family immune from destruction at the master's whim, if the abolition created too great an inconvenience for the masters:

“Whereas, It is expedient, and conformable to the principles of true religion and morality, and to the rules of sound policy, to put an end to all traffic in the persons of men, and to the detention of their said persons in a state of slavery, as soon as the same may be effected without producing great inconveniences in the sudden change of practices of such long standing.”

That's the Brooks/Burkean motto: "It really is a shame that all these people are starving/dying from lack of health insurance/etc. and something should be done about it, as long as it doesn't inconvenience the masters in any way."

Biel_ze_Bubba June 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Why do I get the feeling Burke would be a denialist about AGW? "Sorry about that, Maldives, but cutting emissions would have been just so, you know, inconvenient.

randcoolcatdaddy June 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm

"It says he’s a Burkean minimalist who didn’t want to create an institutional crisis by asserting aggressive court power."

We love it when you talk dirty like that, David.

TribecaMike June 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Reading about David Brooks is just as boring as reading David Brooks.

not that Radio June 30, 2012 at 12:03 am

Which one is more irritating?

TribecaMike July 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Mark Shields.

not that Radio July 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

David Gergen libel!

Nostrildamus July 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

A dweeb, is a dweeb, is a dweeb.

mrblifil June 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Yes VIrginia there is a Commerce Clause.

gingerland62 June 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I heard John Roberts was born in Kenya.

TribecaMike June 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm

On the north side.

M. Bouffant June 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Is it too late to nuke Aspen, or maybe evacuate all those jagoffs to somewhere inside the big fire in Colorado?

BZ1 June 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

TED talks, a conference about movie puppets? or just more moronic repubs talking to each other?

DahBoner July 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

"The man who loves change…is wholely unqualified from being an agent of change!"

Whaaaa?

I didn't know they had bath salts in Vienna back then…

carlgt1 July 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I've been thinking, is it correct (or just elitist) to say a right-wing intellectual is always a pseudo-intellectual?

YasserArraFeck June 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Played by Oily Taint

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