Bobos Meises

If we had an American version of the Soviet-era Pravda, David Brooks, would be working for it. Ooops...we actually have an American-style Pravda, it's the Wall Street Journal editorial page,and come to think about it, Brooks once worked for them, issuing -- just like he is doing now -- the most recent neocon Line of the Day. The author of that cliche ridden pop-sociology Bobos in Paradise, he was selected by the New York Times to replace the retiring "conservative" columnist and "Dick" Nixon's Monica Lewinsky (sorry for this image),Bill Safire (he now occassionally brings him from the dead through op-ed seance), at a time when the neocons were the rising stars in the NYC/DC's Zeitgeist. Brooks was supposed to be the counterpoint on the political right to the "liberal" Tom Friedman. Until now, the only "debate" between the two seemed to focus on who could prove more effective in promoting the Global Democracy project. Brooks hasn't lost his faith in Republicans' will and power to deliver the Wilsonian goods, while Friedman has been rooting for the more "competent" "liberal hawks" in the Democratic party, you know, Peter Beinart and those other Truman buffs. Well, now it seems that the Punch and Judy Show starring Friedman vs. Brooks is about to become An Affair to Remember. In his column today,Changing Bedfellows, Brooks explains that, well, forget about liberals vs. conservatives, American political wars in the coming years are going to be between "populist nationalism" (the Bad Guys) and "progressive globalism" (the Good Guys). And guess on whose side Brooks is? The column is just another pop-sociology Baloney. The Bad Guys (with the exception of Lou Dobbs) all happen to be against the Iraq War, and the Good Guys supported it. But otherwise, James Webb (a Bad Guy) is against racial quotas which Bad Guy Al Sharpton supports and in favor of gay rights just like Good Guy Rudy Giuliani, which Bad Guy James Dobson opposes. In fact, it seems to me that if anyone is responsible for the rise of "populist nationalism" it's George W. Bush But in any case, the column suggests that Friedman and Brooks are going to be in the same ideological camp. So isn't it time for the Times to fire one of these two guys and hire a "populist nationalist" columnist?


Brian said…
The thing that kills me is that both of these guys, as well as virtually the entire neocon cabal, becuase super populist nationalist when it comes to Israel.
Brian said…
The thing that kills me is that both of these guys, as well as virtually the entire neocon cabal, become "populist nationalists" when it comes to Israel.
Bobo is a fine balance to the Moustache of Understanding: both of them are faux-moderates who gleefully parrot right-wing thugocrat talking points.
Anonymous said…
Tom F. seems to think pretty much what he writes - even if it seems ill considered or uses poor metaphors. But the market rewards him for that.

Brooks, on the other hand, seeme different - He seems like he doesn't really think the way he writes about his thoughts. Tom F. will say he does not care about wmd, while Brooks will insist that he suprised and saddened by the inteligence mistakes.

This must be ver stressfull for Brooks - To constantly have to tailor his opinions and columns to meet an expected outcome of thought.

His columns are like those Downing memos - the 'intel' is fixed around the policy.
Tom Friedman is more a cheer-leader for the Davos Class, while Brooks is just a neocon-Republican booster. He reminds me for some reason of a kid in my school who used to ask the teacher: "You forgot to assign us homework today."
Anonymous said…
Pretty funny - Another blogger said something similar to that - He said Brooks reminded him of someone he knew growing up who, from the trundle seat of his Dad'd station wagon (recall those), would wait til red light turned green and his Dad's car made it halfway accross the street before he would summon the guts to give some of his rivals/enemies the middle finger. The the next day in school he would seek out the protection of the authorities.
Anonymous said…
Meanwhile - to put Friedman into that context is pretty easy - He reminds one of a certain type of Dad that shows up at parents weekend at college

Friedman is a spokesman for the Davos class - You are correct. Though I do not agree with Friedman and I think his metaphors are poor - I can understand what he is all aboput -- He is good at what he does (why that is, is hard to understand) and he obviously enjoys being part of that great group (great to be a part of, that is) - So he deserves envy, in that respect. Many people envy Brooks, no doubt - but it's a different kind of envy. Even people I know who shake Brooks's politics, often root for Shields when he faces off against Brooks - In part, because of what you said about Brooks and the proverbial appple polisher image.
Anonymous said…
Imagine living you whole life thinking in the kind of cliches that Bush uses (ex: when they stand up, we'll stand down) - Try talking to your friends and family like that. These ideologues who defend Bush do not think that way -- but they have to pretend they do. It must be painful
Anonymous said…
You can easily envision DB as a character in a movie - a comedy drama about DC politics. Opening scene - a book party in Norwest DC or Manhattan- the Brooksian-type character just got back from his tour of the red states. The pre-publication reviews are going well - the guests all gather around to hear him explain what NASCAR is, what a MegaChurch is, the theory of gas grills - etc -- Then he surpises them all by saying that he felt at home in the red states - He enjoyed buying his books at wal-mart, etc. Everyone laughs - they are incredulous, but thay grant himn his eccentricity.
Anonymous said…
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