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kleinbl00  ·  704 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Did the F.B.I. Just Re-Elect Donald Trump?

In David Brooks' defense, he's never understood why people vote for anyone, and no one has ever required him to do more than stare into his navel for answers. This is his microcosm - Politico gets an off-the-record un-sourced quote from a Republican strategist and David Brooks recycles it into a New York Times column. He doesn't have to grapple with the greater meaning or context of any of it, he just adds 4-word summaries of screeds from "theamericanconservative.com", Ron DeSantis and Mark Levin and then wrings his hands about how nobody is civil anymore.

    But as Damon Linker wrote in a Substack post,

I mean, let's think about this for a minute. Damon Linker started out as a 5 cent a word online-only columnist for The Week, a print magazine that exists solely to chop up everyone else's news into little blurbs to read on the shitter. It's literally Print Reddit. Eventually The Week decided that 5 cents a word was too much for columnists that nobody except people who want to get emails from Print Reddit (guilty) will ever see. He got a couple articles in the New Republic but is now "area substacker" without being Glenn Greenwald first. Linker's substack, for what it's worth, is eight links to Twitter and an "I told you so" about how he has long maintained that Trump shouldn't be prosecuted because, fundamentally,

    I guess you could say I simply don’t agree with those who insist that not going after Trump will be even more dangerous than pursuing his prosecution. It’s possible they’re right.

There are two fundamental truths here:

1) The overwhelming majority of print journalism has no frame other than "both sides." You've got Democrats, you've got Republicans, and you need the official Democrat viewpoint, and the official Republican viewpoint, and then you thread the needle between the two positions and people put 25 cents in the vending machine so they can complain about newsprint on their hands. That's the job, and it will never change.

2) The overwhelming majority of print journalism is disappearing up its own ass.

The Plame Affair is old enough to vote. "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" is old enough to drink. Spitballing here but I don't think many adults could put Tippecanoe, Chappaquiddick and Watergate on a timeline in order and a certainly don't see evidence that anyone under 25 has the same relationship with media as I do. The fact that David Brooks links to a bunch of hot takes on Twitter that link to a bunch of hot takes on Twitter says as much about the country as a bunch of MAGA hats do - there's a crisis of leadership, not that the Republicans are wedded to a bad leader.

There's this idea that the Republicans won Roe and now they're gonna ban abortion all across the land. And yeah - they're certainly going to try. But when 20% of the Kansas GOP votes against it, the problem is not "what are Republicans going to do" the problem is "what are Republicans."

Which, you would think, would be the sort of question David Brooks has made his career asking. Thing is, though? If he ever comes up with answers he will cease to be David Brooks. Every nattering nabob of negativity is in the same boat - if they come to a decision, or reach an insight, they lose their schtick. Much like the anti-gay-marriage movement, the pro-life movement and the Trump campaign. What will you do if you catch the car? Far better to bark from the couch.

The Republicans who run things actually have to sign bills and legislate and veto things and open bridges and shit. The Republicans who determine policy basically just need to give white people something to be mad at. The lolbrooks clique doesn't want to talk about that internal tension because it doesn't sell newspapers to 'boomers so instead they tweet at each other about how everything is bad for the Democrats.

I'm reading Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" right now. It's where we get the term "conventional wisdom." Want a bitchin' quote?

    The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.

The conventional wisdom, particularly among print editorialists, is