New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks lives in a different sort of reality, where Real Americans who do not live on the elitist coasts (like Brooks does) love God & Guns and the unlimited breadsticks at the Applebee’s salad bar.
Also, he is a lazy hack who doesn’t even need to overdose on fellow columnist Maureen Dowd’s Colorado weed snacks to hallucinate bullshit “facts” from his head, which are demonstrably false, and then pontificate insufferably about what his fiction says about America. (It says that meritocracy is a pipe dream when David Brooks still collects a paycheck for his nonsense.)
Behold, Brooks’s new and heretofore unexplored discovery that Ted Cruz is a bad Christian and kind of a dick. A “brutal” one:
Traditionally, candidates who have attracted strong evangelical support have in part emphasized the need to lend a helping hand to the economically stressed and the least fortunate among us. Such candidates include George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
But Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism.
Classic Brooks, there, fondly recalling the alleged never-proven “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush, whose snickering about the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction people died looking for, on his order, clearly showed his softer side.
And cuddlebear Mike Huckabee, always talking about doing unto others — unless they are Syrian refugees, for example, who want to sneak into America to steal his cable TV and his sandwiches, with the aid of secret Muslim terrorist sympathizer President Obama.
And let us never forget Rick Santorum lending a helping hand to impregnated rape victims by telling them to stop complaining and be grateful God at least turned that “gift” of rapey splooge into a baby. Nothing brutal about that, no sir.
Ah, but to David Brooks, the pagan Cruz demonstrates none of that generosity of heart and spirit toward the least among us, so well exemplified by Dubya, Huck, and Frothy Mixture:
There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring.
At least when Huckabee, who was once the superstar among evangelicals — until they turned on him for fear he’d make all their evangelical dreams come true — threatens to destroy his enemies by, say, burning Washington DC to the ground and dancing with his grandchildren on the piles of ashes and rubble, he does it with just the right Good Christian tone.
Brooks doesn’t bother to mention Donald Trump’s popularity with evangelical voters, despite what some people might consider an equally brutal threat to “bomb the shit” out of his enemies and kill their families too, while he’s at it. But he isn’t a real Christian conservative who fits neatly into Brooks’s claim that Cruz is uniquely THE WORST, so never mind.
But Cruz manufactures an atmosphere of menace in which there is no room for compassion, for moderation, for anything but dismantling and counterattack. And that is what he offers. Cruz’s programmatic agenda, to the extent that it exists in his speeches, is to destroy things: destroy the I.R.S., crush the “jackals” of the E.P.A., end funding for Planned Parenthood, reverse Obama’s executive orders, make the desert glow in Syria, destroy the Iran nuclear accord.
Granted, those are the positions held by every other Republican presidential candidate, and also, apparently, a majority of Republicans in America, but it’s somehow more distasteful — and brutal! — when Cruz does it because, well, because Brooks just doesn’t like the guy. Which is fine, we don’t either; nobody does. But we are not dumb or delusional enough to pretend Cruz is somehow worse than the rest of his rotten-to-the-core party.
But Brooks is. And oh how he longs for the good old days of reasonable and moderate conservatism that never really existed but squishy GOP elitists like Brooks like to fap to while reading old issues of The National Review:
The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence. He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind.
That’s not Trump-Cruz conservatism, that’s just today’s Republican Party. Which is pretty much yesterday’s Republican Party, too, but without the fancy big words and the candidates’ delegation of dog-whistling duties to lowly staff members. That’s the kind of True American Conservatism Brooks thinks is still out there, somewhere, angrily shaking fists in the air about what pagan Cruz has done to the Grand Old Party. Probably while eating their cheap Real American dinners at Red Lobster.