It's Fanfiction-tastic!

David Brooks Pens Stirring Debate Statement For Imaginary Mitt Romney (Who Is Actually David Brooks)

Hey, at least it's not "My Immortal" As we all know (if we are nerds), in the world of fan fiction, a “Mary Sue” is a character who exists solely as a surrogate for the author — it’s the ordinary girl who is a better Quidditch player than Harry Potter, or the super-spy who gets to raid Lara Croft’s secret treasure vault, if you know what we mean. So it turns out that plodding centrist boringpants David Brooks has written a fan fiction story of his very own! Only the Mary Sue in his story is not merely a character who gives Mitt Romney a winning strategy, it is a wholly fictional version of Mitt Romney himself, who says all the things that David Brooks thinks would win America over and elect a hypothetical centrist Republican. We have seen similar “centrist boringpants are the real conservatives” fantasy pretty recently (by Tom Friedman, natch), so it’s not surprising that David Brooks would want to play Starfleet Captain, too. And the New York Times, which has a weakness for this sort of candidate fan-wankery around upcoming debates, even let him republish it from his LiveJournal.

So, in Brooks’ richly imagined fantasy world, the “Mitt Romney” character has enough self-awareness to admit that Mitt Romney makes mistakes. Talk about a plot twist! So this fictional Mitt (let’s call him “Brooxney” so there’s no doubt about who’s really speaking) then admits that while his true love is actually Sensible Centrism, sometimes in the heat of a campaign, “the consultants want to make you something you’re not,” and

I’ve allowed that to happen to me. I’m a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and I’ve been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. I’m a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. I’ve ended up dumbing myself down.

It hasn’t even worked. I’m behind. So I’ve decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself.

We have to admit that this is a pretty gutsy move for Brooks, since it suggests that somewhere inside the outer shell of this year’s right-wing Mitt, and possibly under the liberal-ish 1994 Mitt, you’d find a core of Actual Mitt Romney. But Brooks is looking for the real Chauncey Gardner and finding only an idealized version of himself.

And what does Brooxney think? Well, not surprisingly, he thinks that President Obama has not done enough to promote a bipartisan agenda, but then, neither has the Republican party. Happily, Brooxney knows that Republicans will be far more willing to go along with a moderate Republican president with an actual “R” following his name, rather than the one who currently occupies the White House. And so he will avoid the “fiscal cliff” with a thoughtful compromise that gives both sides part of what they want, using Math and Reason to accomplish that goal:

globally, the nations that successfully trim debt have raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. I will bring Republicans around to that position. There’s no way President Obama can do that.

This is where the fans get restless about the character’s violation of the series canon, pointing out that you might as well get Klingons to sit down and have a good empathetic talk about their feelings. As Ezra Klein tweetered about the Brooks fanfic, “If Republicans would agree to a 3:1 deal, the budget negotiations would’ve been successful.” Yeah, Ezra, but THIS is a version of the universe where R’s are happy to compromise to get something they really want. And they probably didn’t dump Richard Lugar or Bob Bennett, either.

Brooxney then goes on to say that job-creation is not something that can be created by a single “magic lever,” but that he’ll promote many small policy changes that will provide a nudge toward growth, which is really the most that government can accomplish. And healthcare reform needs to be adjusted too, but not flailed at with an axe. Brooxney then gives a summation that only a David Brooks could think would win over undecideds (who are very calm and sensible in this version of the world):

I’ve tried to be on the level with you. This president was audacious in 2008, but, as you can see from his negligible agenda, he’s now exhausted. I’m not an inspiring conviction politician, but I’ll try anything to help us succeed. You make the choice.

And Brooxney wins, to the crowd’s resounding cries of “Meh.”

[NYT / Image from "Ensign Sue Must Die"]

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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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177 comments

    1. rickmaci

      Heard this one about The Least Interesting Man in the World last night.

      Mitt is so uninteresting, the empty chairs left when he started talking.

  1. mrpuma2u

    "It hasn’t even worked. I’m behind. So I’ve decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself. "

    Trouble is, there is no "self" inside of Willard Romney. It's just facade propped up by 1" x 3" and filled with blown cellulose.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        hm… the faked Valley Of Death photo or the robot lasers?

        (Also, I should add, the Harry Potter fanfic is actually GOOD and funny!)

  2. Generation[redacted]

    "Then I'm going to unzip myself and show you all that I'm not stiff. Seee?!" (gyrates hips, then looks down) "How about that, looks like I am stiff after all."

  3. SorosBot

    "This president was audacious in 2008, but, as you can see from his negligible agenda"

    Yeah, that negligible depression-preventing, healthcare-reform-passing, bin Laden-killing agenda; he's done so little, except for all those things he accomplished.

      1. Chichikovovich

        OK, we never got anything even vaguely resembling the socialism that the Republicans kept promising us he was committed to, and that is disappointing, but still, that's not such a terrible record.

    1. Negropolis

      It's so confusing. I thought the Stimulus was doing way too much, but now they are telling me that Obama is a do-nothing. Which is it?

      Oh, all of them, Katie.

  4. ThankYouJeebus

    Grinch Romney told Mary Sue Who that her healthcare and education were broken. He was just taking them back to his workshop for repair.

  5. Mumbletypeg

    And healthcare reform needs to be adjusted too, but not flailed at with an axe.

    I wanna see David Brooks' dottering typey fingers repeat that — without flinching — to Matt Taibbi's poison pen.

  6. coolhandnuke

    Trickle down journalism has never worked, never will.
    Except at Wonkette. We'll trickle on anyone and anything.

          1. coolhandnuke

            Swollen butthole dovetails quite nice with Trickle Down Economics….bloated, greedy megalo assholes getting richer, greedier and giving what's left to trickle on the poor fools at the bottom.

  7. MissTaken

    globally, the nations that successfully trim debt have raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. I will bring Republicans around to that position. There’s no way President Obama can do that.

    Yup, because the Vow to Grover Norquist definitely had a Get Out Of No-Tax-Jail Free card attached just for Romney's imaginary election.

  8. FakaktaSouth

    In what fucking universe is it a conceivable plus that someone running for the Presidency is "A nonideological guy" and HOW does this NOT describe Mitt "tell me what to fucking say" Romney ANYWAY? NO NO NO I am not doing this with you David, you are just dumb and wrong and I don't want any of your false premise arguments today.

  9. DrunkIrishman

    Romney can barely convince Republicans to support his campaign … how can anyone expect him to get 'em to raise revenue?

  10. Toomush_Infer

    I'm more comfortable with the Rolling Stones September issue vision of a Romney who doesn't care what he says – he's going to rickroll the Treasury in any case, so what does it matter?…

  11. Schmannnity

    Obama should have been more bipartisan–why wouldn't he join Mitch McConnell in his job one–defeating Barack Obama?

  12. James Michael Curley

    Tough Shit Brooks! You been ghosting it and sliding by for thirty years. Your vaunted Republican Party had four years to choose a candidate and after the fiasco that was McCain/Palin you could have gone anywhere, but you chose this poser. As for Mitt, you have been running for President since your father crashed and burned in 1968. You could have spent a little of all that money on A PLAN.

    1. kittensdontlie

      Her Dameness displays a vibrant cheerleading style, whereas Brooks just gives his drab presentation of the new OS for Mittens.

  13. chicken_thief

    I fear poor Dave has grossly underestimated the idiocy that has overcome what used to be the Republican Party.

  14. SoBeach

    You find yourself in a giant hole a month before the election, so you tell everyone that you're actually the exact opposite of what you've been claiming you are for the past two years. Everything you've been saying is a lie, but now you're going to start telling the truth.

    And then voters…what? Vote for you? Mitt might as well give it a shot. He's got nothing to lose.

      1. SorosBot

        You are in the dark. It is completely dark. There is nothing you can see, nothing you can hear, nothing you can taste, and nothing you can smell.

      2. HistoriCat

        Argh – I forgot the damn torch again. Now I have to retrace my steps and find it.

        Fucking Zork.

  15. Generation[redacted]

    Is this the part of the book where our hero delivers a five hour radio monologue explaining the metaphysics of objectivist philosophy?

  16. Crank_Tango

    The debates will become irrelevant once Mitt unleashes his Cocktober surprise, revealing that Nobama is a gay islamofascist that wasn't even born.

  17. SayItWithWookies

    It hasn’t even worked. I’m behind. So I’ve decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself.

    Sure — because nothing inspires confidence in a potential leader like when he decides to completely reverse course at the eleventh hour. But maybe an inspiring speaker like David Brooks (aka the white Martin Luther King) could manage it.

    1. bobbert

      I don't think "reverse course" quite captures the idea. Brooks evidently subscribes to the "n-dimensional chess" metaphor, and thinks there is an entirely new direction Rmoney can pursue.

  18. CommieDad

    When I read Brooks column this morning, I cried. I had a full fledged Boehner. It was just so fucking moving.

  19. BartStarrland

    It hasn’t even worked. I’m behind. So I’ve decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself.

    Seinfeld libel! (?)

  20. MissTaken

    I thought that 50 Spews of Gray Whale was the worst piece of fanfic ever 'written'. Thank you David Brooks for correcting my mistake.

    1. SorosBot

      I still can't believe you managed to force yourself to read some of that; along with Twilight that must have been incredibly taxing to your sanity.

  21. SayItWithWookies

    Brooxney then goes on to say that job-creation is not something that can be created by a single “magic lever"

    That funny — I thought the magic lever was when David Copperfield gave his groupie-for-the-evening cab fare home.

    1. no_gravity

      Beige, More Beige, Less Beige, Light Beige, Dark Beige, Cream of Beige, Dull Beige, Sandy Beige, Boring Beige, Beige Lite, Low Fat Beige, Sleepy Time Beige, Bland Beige, Romney Beige, Son of Beige and Ecru.

  22. James Michael Curley

    Since Brooks recycles his NYTimes columns to be repeated on Friday on Jim Leher's News Hour, I hope Mark Shields makes it in to sit there and gloat, smirk and downright rub his nose in it.

  23. chicken_thief

    Sure Mitt is a personality-less robot, but do these fucking asshats ever stop to think that their policies suck?!

  24. SorosBot

    "And then, Romney with his perfect hair spied a handsome columnist named Bavid Drooks, and whispered to the devilishly handsome Paul Ryan, 'Are you also thinking of a three way with that beautiful hunk?'"

  25. Jus_Wonderin

    Seriously, in this last month Mitt just needs to make sure he is oiled up. Clunka, clunka, clunka.

    1. MissTaken

      He should probably change his battery when Daylight Savings is up next month so he doesn't start chirping nonstop.

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        I almost put that in, with him rubbing the oil off his hands with a shop rag, setting the hood back with a thunk and giving the "it's A OK" gesture to Ann.

        Though, out of gest mode, I had one of those things go crazy chirpy on me this weekend. As I flailed around, fumbling on the top rung of the ladder, one of the dogs shot OUT the doggie door accusing ME of all the hubbub. He doesn't trust me…still. He still gives me that look.

        1. viennawoods13

          Ours are hard-wired. Thank goodness. But they do go off every time I fry something, and since they are hard-wired I can't take the batteries out til I finish cooking.

        2. tessiee

          "with him rubbing the oil off his hands with a shop rag, setting the hood back with a thunk and giving the "it's A OK" gesture to Ann."

          "Meris? I'm holding some sort of a … wrench." — Niles Crane

  26. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Jesus Christ. If I pooped out something this stupid at my job, I would be part of the 47% in no time.

    1. bobbert

      I readily admit that I have not accomplished much of enduring significance in my life, but I don't get paid millions of dollars a year to do fuck all, either. The fact that some marginally-reasonable people take David Brooks sort of seriously offends the fuck out of me.

  27. SpiderCrab

    The NYT is also running an article today about "TheMitt Romney Who Might Have Been".

    And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon.

  28. IncenseDebate

    The fact that Candy Crowley is moderating this debate ensures that it's going to be ugly.

  29. chicken_thief

    Hmm. I can't seem to find Brooks on Facebook. Whatevz. I'll just wait for Lou Sarah to weigh in.

  30. CommieDad

    Here is my imaginary Mittens Opening:

    ===

    47% of America doesn't pay Taxes. 53% of America pay too much taxes. I want to cut 20% from the 53%, add 20% to the 47%, it will all be revenue neutral, and we will all be better if I pay less taxes. 'Cause I pay too much. So if you hate America, or just hate paying for America, or are racist or some shit like that, vote for me.

    ===

    Strangely, I think mine is more realistic than David's. Sad.

  31. Fairtackle

    Why does this story make me picture Brooks in diapers in his sandbox playing with his sister's barbies.

  32. Mittens Howell, III

    You've got to admire a man who works so hard to ensure the brain-dead have something to read.

  33. Mittens Howell, III

    When David Brooks gets to heaven Jesus will hand him a special red ribbon, for participating.

  34. SayItWithWookies

    globally, the nations that successfully trim debt have raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. I will bring Republicans around to that position. There’s no way President Obama can do that.

    "Because the secret to bringing bipartisanship to Washington is to have a Republican president and a Republican Congress — only then can both sides work together."

  35. Nibbler of Niblonia

    Ol Brooksie is just imaginative enough to come to the revelation that Mitt is a phony, yet he remains so constipatedly obtuse that he pretends the republican opposition hasn't thwarted any chance of progress from day 1 of the Obama administration.

    Brooksie needs a mental enema to clear out the remaining dogmatic bullshit clogging up what could potentially be a decent-thinking conservative brain…..decent for a conservative, mind you….

  36. randcoolcatdaddy

    "It hasn’t even worked. I’m behind. So I’ve decided to run the last month of this campaign as myself. Allow me to introduce you to the real me. I am round and black with a hole in the middle. And I'm really groovy. Yes, I'm a stereophonic recording that can provide you and your family with years of enjoyment with the proper care. Would you like to hear a selection by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass?…"

    1. tessiee

      "Would you like to hear a selection by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass?"

      Since we're talking about Mitt, "The Lonely Bull" seems appropriate.

  37. Eve8Apples

    "Mitt … admits his true love is actually Sensible Centrism, sometimes in the heat of a campaign, “the consultants want to make you something you’re not,” and I’ve allowed that to happen to me. "

    Mitt then continues, "I honestly can't stand that prick Paul Ryan. He's the worst blind date I've ever had. And don't get me started on those whining teabaggers… ya know, most of 'em are in the 47% and I couldn't care less about 'em."

  38. emmelemm

    1. SurrOgate.

    2. I thought a Mary Sue was a stand-in for the reader, not the author. It is the character that the reader can "assume" to become part of the story. Perhaps I am incorrect.

    Nerd-style points, though, for the header picture and alt-text.

      1. emmelemm

        Huh. Clearly I know nothing, but I thought it was said that Bella is a "Mary Sue" because she's a bland enough character to allow all those slavering female readers to easily imagine themselves in her place as the object of Edward's affection.

        And that's as much as I know about Twilight, and Mary Sue-dom. Oh, except there's also a werewolf played by the kid who looks like he has FAS.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Damn, I totally missed that typo. I reely due no howe to speel. FIXED (even at this late hour).

      In fanfic, a Mary Sue is almost always a wish- fulfillment stand-in for the writer, but yeah, I think it's applicable to Bella, who is a paper doll with a cutout in her head where the reader's face goes.

  39. Blueb4sinrise

    Bobo, do you look 'em in the eyes when you're sucking? 'Cause I hear that they dig that.

  40. ManchuCandidate

    Actually the bigger fiction is $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. Non defense spending generates $4-$6 for every buck spent and much of that goes into the pockets of ordinary people rather than into the pockets of rich fuckers who only want lower taxes.

  41. Callyson

    I will bring Republicans around to that position. There’s no way President Obama can do that.

    Vote for me or the party with which I identify will continue to hold the nation hostage. Yeah, that's a winning campaign slogan…

  42. MonkeyMotion

    You know, Brooks is pretty impressive…penning all those words with his head up his butt.

  43. savethispatient

    I like the use of the x in Brooxney, because as well as substituting for the ks in Brooks, it's like a multiplication symbol, i.e. Brooks x Romney. And we all know what happens when you multiply by a zero…

  44. calliecallie

    Chauncey Gardener….kind of wish he'd been in the Republican debates running up to Mitten's nomination.

  45. Katydid

    The only good thing I can say about Brooksie is that nearly every reference to him in the msm calls him a "conservative columnist." Finally, they've at least got that right. They leave out "asshole," but it's a start.

  46. AlaskaGrrl

    David Brooks zzzzzzzzzzzz drool ack. He should just go over and and get drunk more often with Peggington Nooningdroid and they can walk around and marvel at the different colors people come in now days.

    1. Nostrildamus

      DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF
      DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF
      DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF DEAD BEEF

  47. GeorgiaMike

    If Mittens flip flops again and runs the last month as a moderate, he may become the first presidential nominee ever to get no votes outside his immediate family. Folks don't need another reason to dislike him.

  48. fawkedifiknow

    I'm not going to read Brooks's column through to the end. I fell asleep in the middle of reading this recap, for christsakes.

  49. Nostrildamus

    This president was audacious in 2008, but, as you can see from his negligible agenda, he’s now exhausted.

    The erotic energy in that sentence is palpable.

    1. Negropolis

      Apparently, Obama blew his load on us and it wasn't all that impressive in this alternative universe.

  50. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    Also in this fantasy world, the president elected on Nov 6 has the ability to do something about the fiscal cliff, which runs out of road on Jan 1, twenty days before inauguration. But who am I to miss with Brook's meth dreams.

  51. An_Outhouse

    you know how liberals projected what they wanted to see on Obama? Brooks does that with every pile of dog shit he comes across.

  52. Guppy

    Web comics and presidential slash fanfics?

    Does jfruh know you're muscling in on his territories, Herr Doktor?

  53. cybermoe

    “the consultants want to make you something you’re not,” um, does that mean outsourced?

  54. TribecaMike

    Not the old dub the president's voice over a copy of Beverly Hills Pizza Delivery Boy 6 trick again?

    Oh well, it worked for Reagan in '84.

  55. Negropolis

    Shorter Alt Romney:

    "We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"

    Don't blame me, America; I voted for Obamados.

  56. ttommyunger

    Somehow, I know David has a tat the size of a postage stamp; probably Frat Greek , on one of his flabby, pasty calfs.

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