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Friday, March 09, 2012

NYT: David Brooks: Hey, Mets! I Just Can’t Quit You

(grumble) At least Hubie Brooks was on the left side of the defensive spectrum! (grumble now ovah)

The neuroscientists might say that, in 1969, I formed certain internal neural structures associated with the Mets, which are forever after pleasant to reactivate. We have a bias toward things that are familiar and especially to those things that were familiar when life was new: the old house, the old hometown, the people, smells and sounds we knew when we were young.

I’d say my attachment to the Mets is more like an old friendship. It’s not as intense as it used to be. I watch about 40 games a year, mostly on TV, and read blogs like Amazin’ Avenue and Metsblog.com. I’d like the team to thrive and win championships. But I really just want them to continue to be one of the allegiances that enrich life. I want them to continue to provide vivid moments.

...There’s a core American debate between “On the Road” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “On the Road” suggests that happiness is to be found through freedom, wandering and autonomy. “It’s a Wonderful Life” suggests that happiness is found in the lifelong attachments that precede choice. It suggests that restraints can actually be blessings because they lead to connections that are deeper than temporary self-interest.

The happiness research suggests that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is correct and “On the Road” is an illusion. So I’ll die a Mets fan, exaggerating their potential, excusing their deficiencies. This week, in Florida, I even detected new virtues in the team. In the early days, the Mets were lovable losers, then miraculous winners, then, in the 2000s, big-spending disappointments. Now they are young and frisky, enthusiastic and charming. I’ll enjoy following this team and exaggerating its promise. I have no choice but to love the Mets. Just as I have no choice but to hate the Phillies.

Repoz Posted: March 09, 2012 at 12:56 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, mets, site news

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   1. A triple short of the cycle Posted: March 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4077595)
I began a Yankee fan (grew up in CT) but gradually became an A's fan (and Yankee hater!) after moving to San Francisco. I registered as a Democrat when I turned 18, but abandoned the party some years later. I was raised in a church, but never bought into it. I am an American but disagree with much of our foreign policy. I guess I am not a very loyal person... though I would like to think that I am a relatively rational person who decides I like something for logical reasons.
   2. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4077658)
A Times op-ed columnist reads Amazin' Avenue? You've come a long way, baby.
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4077697)
I Just Can’t Quit You

Pitchers and catchers report in 3 days!
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4077722)
Brooks's loyalty to both the Mets and Mitt Romney suggests a certain pattern of thought.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4077738)
Brooks's loyalty to both the Mets and Mitt Romney suggests a certain pattern of thought.

Romney is a 2 WAR candidate?
   6. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4077749)
I Just Can’t Quit You



Mets are kind of brokeback.
   7. The Hal Lanier Hitting Academy Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4077754)
So David & Barry are no longer an item?



The Courtship
   8. Guapo Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4077759)
I Just Can’t Quit You


And his previous baseball column (linked in the article) is titled:

Whose Team Am I On?


If I'm Brooks' wife, and he tells me he's going out to a baseball game, I'd be a little suspicious.
   9. The Good Face Posted: March 09, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4077761)
Brooks's loyalty to both the Mets and Mitt Romney suggests a certain pattern of thought.


Jim/Dan, could you please crack down on this sort of nonsense if you want to achieve your stated goal of avoiding political threads? Or just ban Andy and save yourselves some time and effort.
   10. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4077796)
Jim/Dan, could you please crack down on this sort of nonsense if you want to achieve your stated goal of avoiding political threads? Or just ban Andy and save yourselves some time and effort.

Isn't that a wee bit harsh? David Brooks is unlikely to be eligible for the Ford C. Frick Award anytime soon. (EDIT: In other words, if a column from one of the more visible political columnists gets posted, it is ridiculous to think politics won't find its way into the thread.)

Or is my sacrcasm detector overdue for a recharge?
   11. jingoist Posted: March 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4077930)
I find Brooks to be one of the few, and I mean few, honest conservative columnists around.

I always enjoy he and Mark Shields on McNeil/Lehrer as well as his columns in the Times.

David speaks - he does not lecture; pedantry is foreign to his mein and I think he's really just a good old Boy Scout who has grown up looking for the last honest man.

Too bad he's chosen to be a Mets fan.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 09, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4078028)
I find Brooks to be one of the few, and I mean few, honest conservative columnists around.

Ross Douthat's not that bad, Kathleen Parker doesn't pull her punches against anyone, and Michael Gerson hasn't completely swallowed the Club For Growth Kool-Aid. And though he's no longer an op-ed columnist, and is more of a libertarian than a conservative, John Tierney's "Findings" articles are almost always worth reading. It's not as if all conservative columnists and radio / TV opinionators are deranged, it's just that the conservative audience has gotten so far out on a limb that it's hard for any sensible conservative to be heard over the rants of the Limbaughs and the O'Reillys. This conservative auto-da-fe that's being going on for the past 25-odd years continues to be one of the more fascinating developments of our time, and it's not going to end well for the Republican politicians who've been too cowardly to stand up against it.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 10, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4078050)
Since politics has been broached...

Quoting now from two recent news stories:

---------------------
Yesterday, Obama said, "The reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha and one of the things that I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, including ones that I may not agree with them on."

---------------------
Kirk Cameron is fighting back against the “hate speech” he feels he’s endured since calling homosexuality unnatural, detrimental, and “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

Cameron said, “I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square."

---------------------

No word yet on whether Obama will be calling Kirk Cameron to explain that, while Obama may not agree with Cameron's views, Cameron should nevertheless be treated with respect.

   14. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4078062)
Jim/Dan, could you please crack down on this sort of nonsense if you want to achieve your stated goal of avoiding political threads? Or just ban Andy and save yourselves some time and effort.


I agree with the larger point (snapper did the same thing in another thread). I don't get why columns by prominent political columnists are being posted.

(side, meta point: David Brooks is a buffoon who worships the political center without a good reason. Either it's good policy or it's not. Pick a damn side.)
   15. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 10, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4078076)
Michael Gerson? Michael Gerson? There are probably hundreds of conservative talking heads out there of significance, and you pick the dumbest one alive? The man who looks over the wreckage of the Bush years and bravely concludes that the problem with the 2000s was Ron Paul?

Cato has released Gene Healy's Cult of the Presidency as a free e-book for a limited time. Maybe you'll learn something.
   16. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4078082)
side, meta point: David Brooks is a buffoon who worships the political center without a good reason. Either it's good policy or it's not. Pick a damn side.

Too much two-valued logic in that metapoint, a policy can be and most often is a mixed bag. And it can be impossible to pick a side, every issue have an vast array of possible responses, when the politcal parties raise their flags on two of those options*, one may feel that both are misguided. It's almost never a binary choice.

*) We have more parties in Sweden, but in the end it tends to boil down to three options: the right, the left and close the borders (from the fascist party).
   17. Tuque Posted: March 10, 2012 at 04:29 AM (#4078091)
You have a fascist party? Isn't that kind of passé?
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2012 at 08:03 AM (#4078104)
Michael Gerson? Michael Gerson? There are probably hundreds of conservative talking heads out there of significance, and you pick the dumbest one alive? The man who looks over the wreckage of the Bush years and bravely concludes that the problem with the 2000s was Ron Paul?

I cited Gerson because unlike most conservatives, he's not first and foremost an attack dog who looks for the scent of Obama's jacket on every issue before he starts barking. And unlike (for instance) Will and Krauthammer (and you, I might add), he often shows a redemptive touch of humility in his opinionating. Like Brooks, he doesn't cut off the conversation before it begins.

Cato has released Gene Healy's Cult of the Presidency as a free e-book for a limited time. Maybe you'll learn something.

I didn't cite Cato because the Roberts Court aside, they're a think tank, not an individual. That said, if I'd been mentioning think tanks, I would've added them to the short list, even though as you'd point out if I didn't first mention it, they're libertarian rather than conservative. I'm sure you read Ezra Klein's column in yesterday's Post where he made a sharp distinction between Cato and the Heritage Foundation in terms of the Cato Institute's independence from political parties and the Heritage Foundation's symbiotic relationship to the GOP, but if you haven't you might even agree with it.

---------------------------------------

side, meta point: David Brooks is a buffoon who worships the political center without a good reason.

But he's not a theologist, and given what we've seen out of the conservative movement over the past few decades, that's not a quality to be brushed aside lightly.
   19. Lassus Posted: March 10, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4078105)
Jim/Dan, could you please crack down on this sort of nonsense if you want to achieve your stated goal of avoiding political threads? Or just ban Andy and save yourselves some time and effort.

Honestly, this is more whining than I expect from you, Sheen. A one-off a political comment about a political columnist deserves a banning? I see no tiger blood in your words.
   20. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4078111)
You have a fascist party? Isn't that kind of passé?

Well, they stopped calling themselves that a while ago to broaden their appeal (which succeeded all too well, they are represented in the parliament now and seem impossible to get rid of in the short term), they're Sverigedemokraterna now. Their agenda is unchanged, but they have taken media training and shooed off their more inarticulate skinheads from leading positions.

Their program is basically everything I hate, in addition to the nationalism and ethnic stupidity, they are in favor of economic regulation, welfare, leaving the European Union, and every retrograde social policy there is. Not that anyone cares about the other stuff, people are for or against them solely based on immigration.
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 10, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4078113)
Re: #13:
I'd never give comedy advice to an inner circle legend like Kirk Cameron, but it's a lot funnier if you break the sentence in half and reverse the order:

After calling homosexuality unnatural, detrimental, and “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization,” Kirk Cameron is fighting back against the “hate speech” he feels he’s endured since.
   22. Morty Causa Posted: March 10, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4078135)
Jim/Dan, could you please crack down on this sort of nonsense if you want to achieve your stated goal of avoiding political threads? Or just ban Andy and save yourselves some time and effort.


"Mom, make him stop!"
   23. Darren Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4078148)
The Cameron thing is great. It echoes Joe the Plumber and scads of other hatemongers who think that their freedom of speech comes with a freedom from someone pointing out how hateful they are.

Brooks writes very well but he does have an advantage in that he doesn't seem to feel the need to base his broad generalizations on facts. If he thinks he might have heard a taxi driver say it, it's true. If it feels like the sort of thing that should be true, it's true. And let's remember, before anyone says anything nice about Bobo, he was leading the charge into Iraq, calling anyone who disagreed with the war #######. So #### him, is my main point, I guess.
   24. DA Baracus Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4078158)
No word yet on whether Obama will be calling Kirk Cameron to explain that, while Obama may not agree with Cameron's views, Cameron should nevertheless be treated with respect.


It's Kirk Cameron. Why does anyone care?
   25. Something Other Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4078160)
Brooks's loyalty to both the Mets and Mitt Romney suggests a certain pattern of thought.

Romney is a 2 WAR candidate?
No--both are replacement level. As is Brooks.

@23: sounds about right.

***

This conservative auto-da-fe that's being going on for the past 25-odd years continues to be one of the more fascinating developments of our time, and it's not going to end well for the Republican politicians who've been too cowardly to stand up against it.
I don't think there's a real price to pay for it, except among a small handful of independents. If you're saying the real price to pay is losing the election due to losing that small handful of independents, that's one thing; but, for example, there doesn't seem to be any fallout from Romney's (talk about your willing victims) not objecting to such as Limbaugh's remarks on Sandra Fluke.

The 'pubs ongoing purification process does seem to have successfully dragged the country to the right. The only way to do that was buy a whole lot of media and lie relentlessly, prattling on as though ending the . It's been working pretty well for them. They're likely to lose in 2012, but as long as they've nonetheless succeeded in the long-term goal of continuing to drag us into the toilet where the top 1% got 93% of the economic gains in 2012, mission accomplished.

I don't really buy Olympia Snowe's reason for quitting the Senate. Why not just ignore the worst of your party and vote your conscience? If anyone could run on that platform in the next election and win, it's probably a Mainer like Snowe.
   26. tfbg9 Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4078170)
According to Andy, et al, 99% of the people on the other side from him argue in bad faith. This from Andy, btw.

F*ck you for that Andy, et al. Really.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4078179)
one of the more fascinating developments of our time, and it's not going to end well for the Republican politicians who've been too cowardly to stand up against it.

I don't think there's a real price to pay for it, except among a small handful of independents. If you're saying the real price to pay is losing the election due to losing that small handful of independents, that's one thing;


Which was exactly what I was saying. And if those relatively small number of independents desert the GOP, as it looks like they're now deserting Romney, that can add up to a big swing in Obama's favor.

but, for example, there doesn't seem to be any fallout from Romney's (talk about your willing victims) not objecting to such as Limbaugh's remarks on Sandra Fluke.

In 2010 the women's vote was nearly split down the middle. Romney now trails Obama among women by 15%. It's the cumulative effect of a six month campaign of rhetoric and policy proposals on the part of the GOP that are consistently targeted at limiting women's autonomy. Whatever you think about the substance of all these comments and proposals, they're not going to help win over many independent women.

I don't really buy Olympia Snowe's reason for quitting the Senate. Why not just ignore the worst of your party and vote your conscience? If anyone could run on that platform in the next election and win, it's probably a Mainer like Snowe.

Maybe, but the more likely scenario is that she'd get knocked off in the Republican primary. This is not a good time to be a Republican moderate.

   28. Lassus Posted: March 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4078180)
According to Andy, et al, 99% of the people on the other side from him argue in bad faith. This from Andy, btw.
F*ck you for that Andy, et al. Really.


I'd be curious what the original statements from Andy and "et al" are that you interpret this from.
   29. depletion Posted: March 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4078183)
I thought it was a great article; I have little to no knowledge of D Brooks other work.
   30. rr Posted: March 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4078195)
Or just ban Andy




I of course love you to death, and Andy was for sure trolling some there, but looking at what what the TOS actually says, you are a higher priority than Andy if they really start banning guys based on the TOS:

BBTF asks you to not use vulgarity, profanity or insults in your comments. You are free to disagree (even vehemently) with what other members of the BBTF community have to say, but we ask that you do so in a respectful manner.

Comments will not be deleted for disagreeing with other members. They may be removed for the above reasons or if the comment is hurtful, spiteful, libelous, slanderous and really does nothing to move the conversation forward. Comments whose primary purpose is to advertise, self-promote may also be removed. Trolling (purposely posting inflammatory messages in order to disrupt an ongoing discussion) messages may also be removed.
   31. Repoz Posted: March 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4078196)
Since politics has been broached...

Yeah...could you at least wait until I post the "Kansas City Royals All-Star Mike Sweeney Endorses Rick Santorum for President" article!
   32. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4078205)
any sensible conservative to be heard

I'm guessing you define "sensible conservative" as "somebody who agrees with liberals a lot, and thus is sensible".

Kinda like "real baseball fans" are people who don't much like baseball anymore.

In other news, the gal in the old-fashioned bathing suit in the car insurance ad has a nice caboose.

Carry on.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4078220)
any sensible conservative to be heard

I'm guessing you define "sensible conservative" as "somebody who agrees with liberals a lot, and thus is sensible".


RMc, AFAIC a sensible person of any political stripe is someone who will admit that the other side occasionally has a point, whether or not they agree with that other side's conclusions.

   34. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 10, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4078228)
RMc, AFAIC a sensible person of any political stripe is someone who will admit that the other side occasionally has a point, whether or not they agree with that other side's conclusions.

That sounds right to me; it's what I aspire to. (Drives my wife crazy, tho; inevitably when she comes to me with a problem, I try to see the other side of it, which leads her to asking me "Whose side are you on?")

But in partisan arguments, people will inevitably consider their position to be the right one, and anyone too far away from that is crazy/evil/stupid/etc. Someone who's closer to one's own opinion is "reasonable". If you're a (conservative/liberal), a (liberal/conservative) who's not too far out, someone who agrees with you more often than not...well, you know.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4078240)
RMc, AFAIC a sensible person of any political stripe is someone who will admit that the other side occasionally has a point, whether or not they agree with that other side's conclusions.

That sounds right to me; it's what I aspire to. (Drives my wife crazy, tho; inevitably when she comes to me with a problem, I try to see the other side of it, which leads her to asking me "Whose side are you on?")


I think we've all been there with that one.

But in partisan arguments, people will inevitably consider their position to be the right one, and anyone too far away from that is crazy/evil/stupid/etc. Someone who's closer to one's own opinion is "reasonable". If you're a (conservative/liberal), a (liberal/conservative) who's not too far out, someone who agrees with you more often than not...well, you know.

Maybe, but I'd rather be around a conservative or libertarian who's willing to listen and acknowledge the points raised by other side than a liberal who sees everything in black and white, even if I usually wind up coming down on the same side as the liberal. There are very few issues in American life where there's only one legitimate perspective. The problem comes when you try to get both sides to admit that from the start.
   36. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 10, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4078253)
I think we've all been there with that one.

Goodness yes - it's one of my wife's main complaints with me. That and caveats.

But in partisan arguments, people will inevitably consider their position to be the right one, and anyone too far away from that is crazy/evil/stupid/etc. Someone who's closer to one's own opinion is "reasonable". If you're a (conservative/liberal), a (liberal/conservative) who's not too far out, someone who agrees with you more often than not...well, you know.

This is often true and truly annoying. It's not even about outcomes or policies necessarily - I tend to be more sympathetic to libertarian positions than "conservative" ones, even if they're farther afield from my generally liberal beliefs - because I'm more with them (as a general rule) on how they got to that place.
All I can do is try my best to be as open as I can when people talk about what they think and why they think it, I guess - and not get too hung up on those that disagree.

   37. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4078309)
But in partisan arguments, people will inevitably consider their position to be the right one, and anyone too far away from that is crazy/evil/stupid/etc. Someone who's closer to one's own opinion is "reasonable". If you're a (conservative/liberal), a (liberal/conservative) who's not too far out, someone who agrees with you more often than not...well, you know.


George Will and William Buckley are/were very far from my political POV, but I find them to be mostly reasonable. Even Bill Kristol is "reasonable"--as long as I filter out all the hyperactivity on behalf of Israel.

David Brooks is not reasonable because he is a buffoon. Why do more people live single now instead of together in families?

These trends are not going to reverse themselves. So maybe it’s time to acknowledge a core reality: People with skills can really thrive in this tenuous, networked society. People without those advantages would probably be better off if we could build new versions of the settled, stable and thick arrangements we’ve left behind.


Oh, okay. Birth control is not listed as a factor. We just get a statement that it's "talent" that does it--with zero evidence.

Or this when talking about Charles Murray's book:

I doubt Murray would agree, but we need a National Service Program. We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement.


What the ####? Completely incoherent. Here he is discussing the decreased partisan identification as "liberal."

Liberalism has not expanded because it has not had a Martin Luther, a leader committed to stripping away the corruptions, complexities and indulgences that have grown up over the years.


Oh, ok. No mention of people identifying as progressive instead of liberal, or the campaign on the right to demonize the word.


David Brooks is the master of the incoherent bon mot.
   38. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4078325)
This is often true and truly annoying. It's not even about outcomes or policies necessarily - I tend to be more sympathetic to libertarian positions than "conservative" ones, even if they're farther afield from my generally liberal beliefs - because I'm more with them (as a general rule) on how they got to that place. All I can do is try my best to be as open as I can when people talk about what they think and why they think it, I guess - and not get too hung up on those that disagree.

It's a nice thought, and the way I generally tend to live, but I can't be open to every other belief, and I'm sure that I shouldn't be.

There are simply some positions that you should not accept at all, positions that should be characterized as crazy or evil or stupid. There aren't two sides that deserve respect on some issues, such as whether human slavery is permissible or whether child rape is acceptable. Nobody would be considered closed-minded for not considering the merits of legal child rape, and even the sane among those who would consider it as a thought exercise never truly consider it as policy. There are certain behaviors that I simply must characterize as destructive forces, that I not only need not accept as a legitimate viewpoint, but must emphatically reject: female genital mutilation, honor killing, extended imprisonment without trial, etc.

Outside of those sorts of issues, considering oneself a reasoned position holder demands an objective look at your opponent's position. I'm opposed to the Drug War on libertarian grounds, but setting aside those reasons to entertain the other side's viewpoint educated me about many other factors for legitimate opposition as well.

There's also a responsibility to self-educate. The more strongly one holds a position, the more one must justify that strength by demonstrating fair examination of counter-positions. If I tell you that I'm opposed to capital punishment, and you take the pro position, I'm not going to respect your position if you haven't done even a trivial amount of homework. If someone says "we need the death penalty because it's not as expensive as keeping these guys in prison," how much respect does that position deserve? If someone says "there are more atheists in American prisons than people with religion," should you engage that position as legitimate (I read a book that made this claim, which is ridiculously wrong in both raw numbers and in proportion to percentage of the population)?
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4078367)
George Will and William Buckley are/were very far from my political POV, but I find them to be mostly reasonable.

(Pretending Buckley is alive for the purpose of not having to use "are/were" to death....)

Both Buckley and Will are known as conservatives, but they split off in many ways. Will never defended segregation and southern "customs" the way Buckley did for many years. OTOH Buckley was always willing to engage liberals in spirited give and take discussions beyond the stale realm of the Saturday night / Sunday morning mainstream gabfests. Serious liberals like Galbraith and Kempton formed personal friendships with Buckley that were based in large part on Buckley's willingness to engage with them. I've yet to hear of Will reaching out to engage liberals on any similar basis. IMO that's one major reason why Will seems to have the need to caricature every liberal as a crypto-socialist: He shows zero evidence that he's ever tried to engage with any liberal for for than a few random minutes of exchanges on a tightly formatted talk show.

Buckley was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he used his money in the most creative way possible, by founding a magazine that served as a forum for hundreds of voices who heretofore had been consigned to the political margins. You could almost say that he invented the modern conservative movement. I started reading NR when it was only in its relative infancy, and while it was often infuriating (especially in its segregationist phase), it always made you think, and while it was Barry Goldwater's # 1 patron, it was never a slave to any political party.

Buckley also wrote original books on many subjects and debated them with his detractors, both in print and in person. Will has mostly published collections of his columns, and a book or two on baseball. Buckley was a master of the English language and had a dry wit that anyone could respect. Will knows how spell the word "Well", and he knows where to find his copy of Bartlett's. Their views on this or that subject generally wind up in roughly the same place, and they both live extremely well, but that's about all that they have in common.

David Brooks is not reasonable because he is a buffoon. Why do more people live single now instead of together in families?

So maybe it’s time to acknowledge a core reality: People with skills can really thrive in this tenuous, networked society. People without those advantages would probably be better off if we could build new versions of the settled, stable and thick arrangements we’ve left behind.


Oh, okay. Birth control is not listed as a factor. We just get a statement that it's "talent" that does it--with zero evidence.

Of course birth control itself is a form of "talent" (or "skill") that seems to thrive best among those same "talented" classes that Brooks is referring to. And it's not as if he's parroting Rick Santorum on the subject of contraception.

But Brooks's main problem is that he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's congenitally a conservative by nature, but since he's not stupid, he knows full well that the "conservative" movement today, as expressed by the surviving Republican candidates, is the farthest thing from conservative. He wants rather desperately to believe that Romney is a moderate like him; that somehow he'd revert to pragmatism if he ever reached the White House. As if the carnivores wouldn't hold him to his primary red meat rhetoric. IOW he pines for a party that's largely extinct. It's a sad position to be in.

Or this when talking about Charles Murray's book:

I doubt Murray would agree, but we need a National Service Program. We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement.


What the ####? Completely incoherent.

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose a National Service Program, but it's hardly incoherent to suggest that one of our bigger social problems these days is that unlike the period before the II-S student draft deferment did its job of largely exempting the privileged classes from military service, the various social classes almost never come into close and ongoing contact with one another. Brooks is one of the few conservatives who even acknowledges this problem, and although I don't think that his solution is the way to go, I'm not sure that it's going to solve itself through Facebook or the "market".

Here he is discussing the decreased partisan identification as "liberal."


Liberalism has not expanded because it has not had a Martin Luther, a leader committed to stripping away the corruptions, complexities and indulgences that have grown up over the years.


Oh, ok. No mention of people identifying as progressive instead of liberal, or the campaign on the right to demonize the word.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with you on that one. I wouldn't call it "incoherent", but it's certainly begs more than a few questions.




   40. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4078406)
But Brooks's main problem is that he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's congenitally a conservative by nature, but since he's not stupid, he knows full well that the "conservative" movement today, as expressed by the surviving Republican candidates, is the farthest thing from conservative. He wants rather desperately to believe that Romney is a moderate like him; that somehow he'd revert to pragmatism if he ever reached the White House. As if the carnivores wouldn't hold him to his primary red meat rhetoric. IOW he pines for a party that's largely extinct. It's a sad position to be in.


Setting aside specific examples (which I don't care enough about to argue over): Brooks's problem is that he's a bullshitter. He just writes random stuff with no evidence or supporting facts. He just states things he thinks are true and doesn't bother to give a justification for his thought process. That is my problem with David Brooks.
   41. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4078417)
Brooks is also the king of the "while Politician X may have killed 10,000 people, Politician Y once killed a bird with a slingshot" false equivalency. [Bonus: Guess who possesses the sole wisdom to define the supposed middle ground and bestride the shit out of it?]
   42. Something Other Posted: March 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4081132)
@41: reminds me of the false equivalency of harsh criticism of Bush, and of Obama, as though brutally criticizing a deranged President who lied his way into a war is on a par with brutally criticizing a secret Muslim who wasn't born in the US is somehow the same kind of thing.
   43. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 15, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4081162)
(withdrawn)

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