Kingmaker David Brooks Now Disgusted With Romney, Everybody Else

  the center cannot hold

This picture will never not be funnyGuys, it’s like you don’t even listen to David Brooks anymore! After trying to explain to you that America was ever so much more civilized when run by the Protestant Ascendancy, he now lays out a list of nine reasons (David Brooks is not a prisoner of your HuffPostian tyranny of “round numbers” for his listicles) why the 2012 election is the Dullest Campaign Ever. The saddest part of this patrician jeremiad is that most of it is 100% true, but since we are in the depths of the part of the campaign season where you are either with us or against us, we must parse the Brooksian whinging to determine if our hero has abandoned Mitt Romney to his fate. OUR ANALYSIS: Yes, probably!

David Brooks’s reasons why the 2012 election is so tiring to him start with “Intellectual stagnation” (snob), “Lack of intellectual innovation” (unfortunate borrowing of overused corporate buzzword), and “Increased focus on the uninformed” (snob), and then we get to #4:

Fourth, lack of serious policy proposals. Has there ever been a campaign with so few major plans on the table? President Obama’s proposals are small and medium-size retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.

So, we … guess Obama comes out ahead, in terms of being on the receiving end of less withering Brooksian contempt? Sure, his proposals are small and “retreads” (maybe because he has to keep proposing the same things over and over because Congress won’t pass any of them, hmm), but at least he has them! Mitt Romney won’t endorse any policies! “Republicans” are really working hard on some sensible policies for Romney to champion, and he won’t do it! WHY WON’T MITT ROMNEY LISTEN TO THE SOBER ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS THAT DAVID BROOKS RESPECTS?

So, there you have it: the sensible center has abandoned Mitt Romney and he will lose now, the end, because David Brooks is the secret puppetmaster running all of American political life. Feel free to read the rest of this article if you want to feel gross for vaguely agreeing with David Brooks. [NYT]

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger

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131 comments

        1. prommie

          Is this the one what has the gay crush (like she's Liza or something) on the Snowcunt Grifter?

    1. Awfulsaurus

      If you ever find yourself in that situation, just speak in vague generalities and every word you speak will be turned into a book.

    2. jaytingle

      Hell nothing. That's the new "cruise" proposed by The Times to shore up on lost ad revenue.

    3. MittBorg

      You are SO cruel. I will have nightmares of this for months now. And my plane trips are usually 12 hrs or longer. (note: remember to pack chopsticks for jamming through eardrums).

  1. Billmatic

    Please, Mittens has pushed the Opposite Doctrine on several policies. You're just being petty.

    1. ibwilliamsi

      He's pushed the Opposite Doctrine, but only in the evening after he realized that he pushed Obama's policies that morning. Meh…

      1. Gleem McShineys

        "Come on Lil Brooks, come on out of there! Don't be shy! Noonan isn't around."

        -David Brooks, to his penis

  2. Callyson

    David Brooks’s reasons why the 2012 election is so tiring to him start and end with "the candidates aren't WASPs"

    /abbreviated

      1. Callyson

        Ah…his incessant longing for the “good old days” when the Protestants ran the country made me forget…

  3. ChernobylSoup

    Politicians' "focus on the uninformed" is literally why we can't have nice things.

    The uninformed are why we can't have nice things.

  4. noodlesalad

    If the campaign seems dull, maybe it's because the media establishment continues to treat Barack and Mittens as equivalents, as Mr. Brooks does in this very same column, despite the very plain truth that Obama has policies, and Mittens does not. It's a dull 50-50 contest because these assholes want it to be a dull 50-50 contest. If the media actually reported on the stunning differences in these candidates, it would be an Obama landslide and the Politico and NBC and all these assholes wouldn't make the $2 BILLION dollars that will be spent on advertising this cycle.

    1. freakishlywrong

      Just start outing all the lies M.Underpants has told. Just start cold fact-checking his ass. David Brooks wouldn't be bored then…

      1. noodlesalad

        Amen. Journalists should be paid to tell the truth, not repeat what has been told to them.

        1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

          Yeah…kind of reminds me of a line from "Newsroom", which I'll now butcher: "if the GOP came out tomorrow and said the world is flat and Democrats disagreed the New York Times headline would read: parties cannot agree on shape of the Earth"…I know, I quoted Newsroom but that quote sums up the 'best' of our current media…not even getting into Faux…there's not enough alcohol to go there.

    2. Dildeaux

      "Politico and NBC and all these assholes wouldn't make the $2 BILLION dollars that will be spent on advertising this cycle."

      You have lurched uncontrollably into the truth, kind sir/madam. This is the sole reason the race is "tied".

      What? No mention of the Electoral College? Bamz 332 murikan borat 209.

      1. Steverino247

        It will be 333 for Obama as he will get one vote out of Nebraska, which splits their votes.

      2. MittBorg

        TPM is showing the current count as Bamz with 281 and #AmericanBorat with 191, 270 needed to win. I just don't see AmericanBorat making up that difference, barring unforeseen disaster.

      3. Willardbot9000_V2.5

        That's a pretty sizeable lead for Bammerz so even though the economy is kind of iffy which for some reason he is held responsible for (Republicans are anti-Communists, right? Why do they keep equating the US economy to a planned economy that Bamz could just fix if only he knew how?). I hesistate to say it's a lock but at this point I have to say Bammerz looks really good…after RMoney picks his boring old white guy for VP (Republicans won't DARE try another Palin) we can get around to giving Obama a second term. I mean…I'm being a bit overly optimistic considering most voters don't actually pay attention until October…but assuming that Obama's lead by September still exists mostly amongst people who actually pay attention I'll say RMoney's magic underwear is seriously in danger of being run up a flagpole in November if that isn't 100% the case right now.

    1. kittensdontlie

      I love this guy! His teevee appearances are the strongest narcotic avialable w/o prescription. As a sleeping aid, it's quick, effective and safe.

  5. ThundercatHo

    Most men would prolly wither at the thought of being on the receiving end of anything Brooksian.

  6. Estproph

    As completely f@cked up as American politics are, maybe David Brooks really is the secret puppetmaster behind it all. That makes more sense than anything else I've heard discussed.

  7. mrblifil

    I'm planning on titling my first solo album "David Brooks' Bleeding Rectum." I should probably think about getting together a few songs.

    1. metamarcisf

      A fitting follow-up to the new Dylan album (out on 9/11), entitled "Blood in My Stool"

  8. KeepFnThatOwl

    “Increased focus on the uninformed”

    Increased?! Fuck you, Brooks. We've been talking about Fox News for a goddamn long time.

    1. mrblifil

      C'mon he's right. You DEFINITELY want to ignore the uninformed and let them go about their merry ways. It's not like something bad could ever happen.

  9. ImpureScience

    That's not fair. Romney has proposed several things, many of them contradictory, which is what makes him so exciting.

  10. ChillBill

    "I'm not saying that the sky is NOT blue, I'm just saying that some people argue otherwise; therefore, we must look at both sides of the issue."

    – David Brooks, The Centrist.

  11. Tequila Mockingbird

    OK, I'm just gonna say it:

    Why are we even bothering with the election? The Reps found their John Kerry:
    An out-of-touch nice-haired rich robot from Massachusetts that no one's excited about but who's hoping to win based on the incumbent's unpopularity. And I'm guessing it will turn out just as well for them.

  12. anniegetyerfun

    Oh, David. Just admit it – you're more of a conservative Democrat than a Republican, and you're an idiot of you want "ideas" out of the GOP. Ideas are socialist, and everyone knows it.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Especially when the Rs ideas are limited to Government? Let's get rid of it. Cept my job of course, I'm busy getting rid of stuff (or using what I can do to get paid).

    2. SorosBot

      Nah; he's a right-winger, but one who fancies himself an intellectual and is aghast at how the inmates have taken over the asylum.

  13. SorosBot

    Being about David Brooks, will this article just vanish into the aether in a few minutes too?

      1. SorosBot

        Brooke Shields, I think? Does anyone know what she was famous for, back when she was treated as famous?

  14. SorosBot

    "Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion. "

    Now, that's not true; Romney has for example supported the Paul Ryan budget to destroy Medicare, he just won't answer questions about it; or anything else really.

  15. randcoolcatdaddy

    "Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion."

    The proposals the Republicans are fleshing out generally carry their luggage.

    1. An_Outhouse

      Its like the GOP has a secret code and nobody told it to David Brooks so he doesn't get the jokes.

  16. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    David Brooks has missed the subtletiesof the Romney Campaign that centers around the fact that Obama, despite doing everything that Romney has done in politics (pro-gay, health care, fair taxes), is a Black, Muslim Kenyan.

  17. Goonemeritus

    I knew David had lost the love when he was asked on one his regular NPR segment with E.J. Dionne to defend a Romney position and he said fuck it you defend the schmuck for a while.

  18. Jughead2130

    I don't know, health care and, gays in the military, killing OBL, getting out of Iran. Those were pretty big things. No?

  19. Chow Yun Flat

    Brooks' first draft included: "Why can't President Obama just turn into a white man? He would win in a landslide?", but the guys in re-write cut it.

    1. yrbmegr

      Obama could instantly dissolve the Republican Party, all by himself with no effort whatsoever. Such is the power of his radiant presence. He needs merely to declare himself a Republican.

  20. owhatever

    Things will pick up when the series of four three-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates begins.

  21. An_Outhouse

    Obama's got a giant plan in his pants just waiting for you, David. You just need to know where to look.

  22. mavenmaven

    Here's how we know David Brooks has jumped the shark: "Second, lack of any hint of intellectual innovation. Candidates used to start their campaigns… Bill Clinton was a New Democrat. George W. Bush was a Compassionate Conservative…."

    When you are looking longingly back at George Bush as an intellectual innovator, its time to retire.

  23. x111e7thst

    It can't be that Romney is not white enough or rich enough so probably not protestant enough.

  24. Self-Uploader

    It was never "policies" that made campaigns interesting. It's always been about bread and circus. Mostly circus because we're running out of bread.

  25. Monsieur_Grumpe

    The wingutz don’t listen to Brooks anymore (if they ever did). What he needs to get their attention is some mouth foam, a tri-corner hat , some misspelled signs, a Rent-A-Boy coupon book and a Fox News show.

  26. coolhandnuke

    When I need to "LISTEN TO THE SOBER ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS" I turn to Foster Brooks.

  27. Steverino247

    If this Presidential race was over even before the Republican convention, which it really is, what would these people do to fill their days? Talk about Senate races, maybe? No? What about the exciting Dog Catcher municipal elections across our great land?

  28. SayItWithWookies

    Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.

    Mostly that's because the Republicans' proposals involve repudiating everything that Mitt Romney could've run on as governor of Massachusetts — he's like the wine drinker who gets to the party an hour after everyone's gone stark raving mad on bath salts and meth. Except that he doesn't drink or go to parties. Mitt was born too late for the establishment conservative wave and is now just trying to ride the Republican momentum, as though that'll be enough.

  29. metamarcisf

    David Brooks would be taken more seriously by the right if he started dressing up like Cap'n Crunch for his TV appearances.

  30. Gleem McShineys

    I don't want to feel gross for vaguely agreeing with David Brooks, I want to feel gross for wanting to cock-punch David Brooks, which, if you vaguely think about it, would entail touching his cock, which would be gross.

  31. Terry

    "Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion."

    Maybe there's a reason Romney ignores the proposals. Here's a summary of what we've seen from the GOP lately:

    - Black people shouldn't be allowed to vote, expect for Clarence Thomas and Alan Keyes.

    - Brown people should be harassed until they all cross the border into Mexico, regardless of their family's ethnic origin or how long their family has been in the US. Exception, a few who look pretty white and are Republican.

    - Guns everywhere and in unlimited numbers.

    - Women cannot be trusted to understand what should be done with their reproductive system. They need to be shamed if they don't toe the line.

    - Zero taxes on the rich, increase the taxes on the freeloading poor.

    - If you can't afford health care, you should just go ahead and die and decrease the surplus population.

    - Americans' freedom of religion means they are free to be Protestants, preferably evangelicals.

    Hmmm, I feel like I'm missing a couple, but that's a good start.

    1. Eve8Apples

      Gays are evil unless they are willing to satisfy the craven sexual urges of self-hating GOP politicians.

  32. Wadisay

    A few weeks ago, Peggy Noonan wrote a column in The Wall Street Journal that perfectly captures my attitude…

    Oh, mystery solved, Brooks is trying to lay a little pipe with Peggy Noonan.

  33. Chichikovovich

    Thus spake Babbling Brooks:

    Candidates used to start their campaigns by giving serious policy addresses at universities and think tanks to lay out their distinct philosophies…. George W. Bush was a Compassionate Conservative.

    Well, I wouldn't want to call Brooks disingenuous, so I'll treat these words as sincere. Brooks is apparently the only person in the universe, whether on the left, right, centre, all of the above or none of the above, who is unaware that "Compassionate Conservatism" was a completely empty advertising slogan slapped on George Bush to allow him to appeal to those who would find his theoconservatism unattractive. He appears not to have noticed that the label was consigned to the memory hole the second Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court, never to be mentioned by the Bushies again without an ironic tone and the knowing smirk of the successful grifter.*

    Which means that David "Babillant" Brooks is a fool. A complete dolt. A sucker. A mark. A ninny. A babe in the woods. A sheep among the wolves. A bird brained simpleton. A dunce. A numbskull. A dunderhead. A patzer. In short: a descriptor deleted by administrator

    The New York Times is offering us commentary from man who will buy a product he has previously detested because it has a label that reads "Whole new recipe!"

    *[Subsequent addition: Though I should mention that of course, the slogan is getting a whole new life through a different dishonest advertising campaign. 27% who once worshipped Bush with a passion approaching idolatry now try to quarantine the damage to their brand from his catastrophic reign of 100% Conservative dogma-in-action by repeating "Bush wasn't a Real Conservative. He was a Compassionate Conservative. He even said so."]

  34. Generation[redacted]

    What's he talking about. Mittens has a very sensible proposal.

    1. Everyone gets a 20% tax cut. Yay!
    2. The military gets a huge budget increase.
    3. …?
    4. Balanced budget! 4% unemployment! 4% economic growth! Yay!

    1. Eve8Apples

      5. Job creators get complimentary chocolates on their pillows every night and lots of blow jobs performed by the working poorz.

  35. chicken_thief

    "Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, …"

    Which takes a nano-fucking-second since those proposals are the exact same proposals that have been proposed since St. Ron was in office. Leaves plenty of time for Boehner to get in a round of golf and many rounds of drinks with time left for a good cry.

  36. 102415

    Look here, the tallest man always wins. Except for Baby Bush who wore those shoes with the lifts in them along with his body wire to the debates to beat Al Gore by a quarter of an inch and then let down the whole country when he took off the damn cowboy boots and started cutting brush instead of doing his job.
    So how tall is Mitt the Twitt? Anyone know? Or that going to be kept secret with the tax returns?
    I need to know.

  37. Lazy Media

    David Brooks has a VERY SPECIFIC sexual fantasy that involves having a train run on him by Scoop Jackson and Nelson Rockefeller. It's called the "Messy Middle."

  38. Eve8Apples

    Mitt needs to energize his campaign by choosing a vain, crazy, Jeebus lovin' chick from some bumblefuck state as his running mate. Kitty Harris and Michele Bachmann, would you please report to Tampa at your earliest convenience.

  39. elgin_pelican

    David Brooks' finely shaped index fingers are securely in his ears LA LA LA LA I can't HEAR YOU Barack Hussein……..

  40. sullivanst

    Where on the list is "David Brooks is writing about it"?

    I mean, that has to be a major contributing factor, right?

  41. extreme_left

    In Australia I learnt to hate Brookse's smug, shit eating, self satisfied wank head 10 years ago via PBS and I'm 100000 kilometers away.

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