Monday, July 17, 2017


...on how and why conservatives rushed to defend David Brooks' sandwich-of-liberal-oppression column. I got into this topic a little earlier, here, but the column is a much fuller consideration of the phenomenon, and it has jokes, so enjoy. (I will say that I proposed the headline "David Brooks Shtick Sandwich: All The Consevatives Took A Bite," but my editor wouldn't go for it. Philistines!)

It worth remembering that, while David Brooks seems like a hapless dummy, his social views can be every bit as offensive as those of the snarliest Trumpkins; recall his complaint that police body cameras, revived in the wake of Ferguson, would "undermine communal bonds... When a police officer is wearing a camera, the contact between an officer and a civilian is less likely to be like intimate friendship and more likely to be oppositional and transactional." Unless, of course, your relationship is already oppositional -- but whyever should that be?

Among the outtakes: Professional This-Is-Why-Trump-Won-Sayer Chris Arnade applauding Brooks: “I would add, where David Brooks uses upscale delis, I use McDonald's to show the difference in cultural capital between front-row & back-row.” Arcade is apparently of the impression that liberals don’t go to McDonalds and, when they want to grab a quick bite downtown, use the Soros app to locate the best nose-to-tail restaurant in the vicinity.

Oh, if I had more space and time I might have tied this all to the many conservative columns about how liberal snootiness is Why Trump Won and Will Always Win -- like Bret Stephens' "politics of contempt" thing, for instance, where he actually accused Democrats of running "against Trump and an America that, like it or not, he represents." Talk about a can't-win situation! Conservatives, especially the Conservatives Formerly Known as NeverTrump, increasingly engage this tautology -- even when they claim, for whatever complicated psychological reasons, that they don't like Trump, they talk as if Trump is America now and therefore cannot be meaningfully opposed -- that is, opposed in order to beat him, as distinct from opposed in order to feel good for a while before capitulating completely like a Republican Senator (which they're all for!). I thought for a while this was their way of trying to demoralize Democrats, but I begin to think it's a way of explaining their own gutlessness to themselves.

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