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

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]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

Comments

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  • NellCote71

    He lied American died?

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

    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

      Brooks is, frankly, unctuous.

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

        He's not Mohegan, son.

        Oh, UNCTIOUS! Sorry. My bad.

        • prommie

          Mohegan Sun?

          • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

            I was too obvious, huh?

      • Monsieur_Grumpe

        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

          Not to mention a character name.

          • GunToting[Redacted]

            Look for Unctuous Cunt in the next Star Wars installment!

          • YasserArraFeck

            Played by Oily Taint

    • Boojum

      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

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

    • Serolf_Divad

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

  • Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    This is dissonance I can believe in!

    • JustPixelz

      And yet part of me says "no".

  • Mittens Howell, III

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

    • Not_So_Much

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

      • Mittens Howell, III

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

    • JustPixelz

      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

      In which case he can fuck himself – a bit.

  • coolhandnuke

    "Burkean minimalist"….

    There is nothing minimalist about Delta Burke.

    • Serolf_Divad

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

    • rickmaci

      Or Brook Burke.

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

    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?

  • http://www.notfrisco.com/colmatales/norton/proclaim.html#declaration Joshua Norton

    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

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

      • Boojum

        While punching him in the nuts.

  • SheriffRoscoe

    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

      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

    Are the leaves all fapping in unison, at aspen?

  • gullywompr

    Who the fuck is Burke?

    • SheriffRoscoe

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

      • gullywompr

        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.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      GENE BARRY LIBEL!

    • nounverb911

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

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

        HAH! In by seconds…

        • nounverb911

          How does one type a raspberry? (Bronx cheer)

          • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

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

            Alt: "THPTPTH"

    • SorosBot

      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.

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

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

    • GunToting[Redacted]

      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

      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

        Ooooo, you smart! Post more!

  • Baconzgood

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

  • Sassomatic

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

  • prommie

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

    • Baconzgood

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

      • Serolf_Divad

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

        • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

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

      • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

        (Contemplates saucy bacon, decides itz good)

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      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.

    • http://mbouffant.blogspot.com M. Bouffant

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

    • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

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

  • badseeds

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

  • Ducksworthy

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

  • Oblios_Cap

    I'm for ending universal suffering, too.

    What?!! Nervermind.

    • Baconzgood

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

      • Oblios_Cap

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

  • mavenmaven

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

  • http://sciencekick.blogspot.com valthemus

    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

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

  • i_AM_ready

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

    • ChernobylSoup

      Taps nose and points.

  • http://gratuity.wordpress.com/ Gratuitous World

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

  • prommie

    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

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

  • Come here a minute

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

  • SorosBot

    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!

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

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

      • scvirginia

        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…

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

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

    • nounverb911

      Does Katie get half of him in the settlement?

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

        She gets the couch that he jumped on.

      • prommie

        There is only half of him.

      • Lionel[redacted]Esq

        I think she gets half of her free will back.

    • ChernobylSoup

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

    • prommie

      He finally realized she doesn't have a dick?

    • Lionel[redacted]Esq

      Who is the guy Tom is leaving Katie for?

    • Lionel[redacted]Esq

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

    • http://inappropriatejobpostings.blogspot.com/ fuflans

      who would have seen this coming?

  • edgydrifter

    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

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

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      When the Zombie Senator from Massachussetts comes around?

      • ph7

        The Undead Kennedys.

        • scvirginia

          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

            Nazi Zombies, Fuck Off!

  • SexySmurf

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

  • Ruhe

    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

      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

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

  • UnholyMoses

    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

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

  • EBGrey

    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.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      OMG! That's IT!

      Ralphie! From "A Christmas Story"!

  • anniegetyerfun

    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

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

  • Callyson

    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

    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

    John Dean has really let himself go.

    • Goonemeritus

      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

        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

        Nicely matched to his shirt, too.

  • SayItWithWookies

    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

    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

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

  • elburritodeluxe

    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.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      I humbly volunteer.

      • prommie

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

  • Blueb4sunrise

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

  • anniegetyerfun

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

    • Nostrildamus

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

  • ttommyunger

    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

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

  • http://www.gurukalehuru.wordpress.com gurukalehuru

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

  • Doktor Zoom

    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

      Frank Stella libel!

    • DahBoner

      You forgot Terry Riley. And Poland!

  • Guppy

    "Fuck Burke!"

    –Tom Paine

    • Boojum

      That's minimalism &c.

  • Chichikovovich

    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

      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

    "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

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

    • not that Radio

      Which one is more irritating?

      • TribecaMike

        Mark Shields.

        • not that Radio

          David Gergen libel!

    • Nostrildamus

      A dweeb, is a dweeb, is a dweeb.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mrblifil mrblifil

    Yes VIrginia there is a Commerce Clause.

  • gingerland62

    I heard John Roberts was born in Kenya.

    • TribecaMike

      On the north side.

  • http://mbouffant.blogspot.com M. Bouffant

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

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

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

  • DahBoner

    "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

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