Monday, August 10, 2009

The Despicable David Brooks
Mike Rappaport

I hate David Brooks.  I really do.  Tom has often cut him on this page, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.  Part of the reason I dislike him is that he stands for things I hate -- big government conservatism.  But the real reason is captured by John Hinderaker at Powerline:

Brooks is not necessarily oblivious to all of this, but he knows where his bread is buttered. He makes his living as a "conservative" who can reliably be counted on to sell out conservatives and Republicans at every opportunity. As a result, he is a nobody in the conservative movement. I don't know whether he considers himself a chief--I doubt it--but if so, he doesn't have any Indians. None.

What a despicable character!

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Mike Rappaport


I too love it when Tom Smith skewers David Brooks. You are exactly right that he is kept at the Times because he can be counted on to sell conservatives out. At what point can anyone still describe him as a conservative?

He's sort of like Kevin Phillips, who was regularly trotted out during the Bush years to give a "conservative's" denunciation of some Bush policy or other. The guy hadn't been a conservative or a Republican since the Nixon years. His views had largely changed since then.

Brooks did write one interesting book, "Bobos in Paradise".

Posted by: Larry | Aug 10, 2009 10:46:37 AM

How about David Gergen? He is another one.

I wonder if all these guys are just angling for jobs at the Kennedy School of Gov't at Harvard.

Posted by: anon | Aug 10, 2009 11:45:23 AM

Just to take another cheap shot at Brooks (and to repeat myself), he comes across as this oh so reasonable sweetie pie, but if you look at his book Bobos in Paradise, the guy is a dreadful snob who seems to see everything in terms of social hierarchies and where you fit into them. He probably reads Vanity Fair magazine with relish and makes a real effort to be seen at the coolest NYC media parties.

Oh, I see Larry commented on Bobo's. I agree it is an interesting book, but the narrator comes across IMHO as complete a- you know what.

Posted by: Tom Smith | Aug 10, 2009 12:12:15 PM

The Bobos idea is an interesting one. And Brooks is a talented observer of our social hierarchies. But that just makes Brooks' role as a fake conservative worse. He understands exactly what he is doing and why he is valued by the liberals. My sense, but I cannot remember exactly, is that Dante has a special part of Hell for people like Brooks.

Posted by: Mike Rappaport | Aug 10, 2009 12:21:04 PM

If you want to read truly inspired (if slightly dated) social observation, read his 2002 article on "Patio Man and the Sprawl People" in the Weekly Standard. And for pity's sake, cut the guy some slack. He's a talented writer, not a serious pundit. It's not as though he even tries to do actual policy analysis, let alone recommends specific disastrous policies. And the fact that some liberals treat him as the outer edge of conservative reasonableness says far more about them than about him.

Posted by: Dan Simon | Aug 10, 2009 10:51:40 PM

8th circle of hell, 5th bolgia -- that of the barrators, the buyers and sellers of public offices, who exchange civic goods for money. They say and grant what they must for profit and position. They are perpetually pushed deep into a pool of black tar by demons.

Then again, you may simply be thinking of the flatterers a few levels up, who are merely compelled to wallow and grovel in excrement for all of eternity.

Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Aug 11, 2009 10:55:29 AM

Someone had to take the place of Kevin Phillips.

Posted by: MHodak | Aug 12, 2009 10:55:41 PM