July 31, 2012

David Brooks is boring.

I mean, he's bored. That is, he says it's all so boring and everyone's bored.

54 comments:

yashu said...

No pant creases and Niebuhr to get excited over?

lewsar said...

once you've fallen for a sharp-dressed man, perhaps nothing is left to get excited about.

chickelit said...

Penis ennui

The campaign needs a woman aboard, IMHO.

Andy R. said...

Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime

Who exactly are the voters that want to support a candidate that doesn't put forward any policies?

What exactly do they think they are supporting?

chickelit said...

Andy R. parroted Brooks:
Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime

Why should we assume that's true before answering your follow-up questions?

EMD said...

David Brooks sucks.

That is all.

Roger J. said...

Well AndyR--obviously you have a short attention span--you could, if you really gave damn, go to Romney's website to see what policies he advocates. But you apparently arent smart enough to do that.

Marshal said...

To quibble a bit with Brooks's claim that there's nothing new: I think Romney's policy of more legal immigration and less illegal immigration is a new wrinkle. It'd be even better if he stresses the cost to run background checks so we aren't letting in criminals, terrorists, and radicals will be paid by the immigrants. Of course to the media that isn't as important as pretending Romney insulted Great Britain and is a racist.

I think the boringness is fine. It's a back-to-basics election: boring but in the long run beneficial. Quite the opposite of the excitement followed by inexorable economic decay of the last election.

Lem said...

This is one more installment on 'omg, how come we elite media are being catered to less and less by everybody'?

chickelit said...

Part of Romney's policy will be to undo the enteatlement mentality which BHO has grown, so part of the policy may be as simple as just pulling the plug. There'll be plenty of shovel-ready work keeping the order and cleaning up the ensuing mess. Think of it as the "New Reconstruction."

Hagar said...

I would think that by now we should have learned that we need to look at what, if anything, a candidate has achieved in the past and not so much at what he/she promises to do next.

traditionalguy said...

Brooks secetly misses Sarah Palin.

She could shake up the media and used vocabulary better than they had ever seen before.

The 2012 Obama reelection was not that big a deal to the GOP Brahmins who put in place Michael Steele to take the fall and awaited 2016.

Then Sarah and her Tea Party spontaneously formed around the ObamaCare reaction to Obama but also to GOP RINOs who thought Palin's people were just a stupid nuisance.

Then November 2010 fell from the sky and the Dem majority in The House was over. What has been dull is the GOP waiting to take the Presidency in November. Then they will tyr to freeze out the the Tea Party guys. That's when the boring times will end.

edutcher said...

Translation:

We're getting killed here.

Andy R. said...

Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime

Who exactly are the voters that want to support a candidate that doesn't put forward any policies?


They voted Democrat last time out.

Franklin said...

Mitt Romney is who Brooks and Frum wanted - and now they can't even get excited about him?!

Michael K said...

"Who exactly are the voters that want to support a candidate that doesn't put forward any policies?"

Maybe they are the ones who don't like being lied to.

Richard Nixon, a very smart man, suggested that campaigns are mostly talking to themselves before Labor Day. I disagree in this day of instant communications but the supporters who are decided know what the polices are. The undecided, usually low information voters, will be paying attention after summer vacation.

The debates will be huge, as they were for Reagan. Biden got away with a series of lies in his debate with Palin but I don't think Romney will let that happen with Obama. The terrible economy has got the undecided's attention. Now they are looking for an excuse to vote for one or the other. I think that is a huge problem for Obama.

The radical left had two years after 2008 to make their theories work. The 2010 election was the result. This one will be even bigger. Roosevelt was able to be re-elected in 1936 because nobody knew any more about the economy than he did. That isn't true anymore.

Tim said...

Brooks is partially right about one thing: "Third, increased focus on the uninformed. Four years ago, Barack Obama gave a sophisticated major speech on race. Mitt Romney did one on religion. This year, the candidates do not feel compelled to give major speeches. The prevailing view is that anybody who would pay attention to such a speech is already committed to a candidate. It’s more efficient to focus on the undecided voters, who don’t really follow politics or the news."

He's partially right in his pointing out the role of the uninformed; he misses that the uninformed leaches who vote Democrat somehow believe the productive classes can withstand parasitic policies in perpetuity.

Consistent to both de Tocqueville and Aristotle's predictions for democracy, the real problem confronting us is one small class of uninformed, uninvolved voters hold decision making authority (should they vote) between one class of informed, involved and productive voters and the competing class of uninformed but involved, unproductive voters who seek to codify public theft from the productive classes.

Until either of the competing classes secure a significant majority, either by increasing in in size or the uninformed decisively swinging one way or another, that which Brooks complains of will be with us for a few cycles or more.

wyo sis said...

If we're bored it's probably because we already know who we're voting for and the political back-and-forth is nothing new.

Tim said...

Hagar said...

"I would think that by now we should have learned that we need to look at what, if anything, a candidate has achieved in the past and not so much at what he/she promises to do next."

Exactly.

The emptiest suit ever spun such magical tales the electorate willed itself into mass stupidity.

The result was predictable by anyone with an iota of critical thought.

holdfast said...

David Brooks is boring.

Water is wet.

Ursines defaecate in forested areas.

"Hope and Change" is not, actually, a policy. Oh right, he also campaigned against the individual mandate, and for closing Gitmo.

tim in vermont said...

"What exactly do they think they are supporting?"

Hope and change...

Oh yeah, and increased exports through recovery of our fossil fuels, of which we have an abundance.

$2 gas will do a lot for the demand side.

tim in vermont said...

Imagine how wowed Brooks was when he saw the reprise of those creased trousers in the famous "Mom Jeans."

ricpic said...

Brooks is bored? "You didn't build that," is terrifying. But then perhaps Brooks is comfortable with a communist president.

Richard Dolan said...

Every game is exciting to the most dedicated fans. For everyone else, at this stage the contest has a drawn-out, going-through-the-motions feel to it. Frankly, most campaigns do. None of that takes away from the importance of the choice, or the starkness of the differences. Perhaps the conversation will improve at or after the conventions.

What won't be boring, on any scale, will be the debates. One of the candidates will come out swinging (I suspect it will be Obama), and the other will be more than ready to dust it up. Stay tuned.

It's the American way.

Issob Morocco said...

So his passion for the crease has crested?

Must have been a bad party season in the Hamptons which has provided him with his insight.

Pogo said...

David Brooks must have discovered that he has written the same column over and over and over again, and just can't do it anymore.

He's got nothing left to say.

Hang it up, old man. It's not like you're James Taylor singing Fire and Rain for the eleventy millionth time.

You wrote bland political opinion that keeps you on the party list. Nobody will notice you've left, I'm afraid, so go with some dignity.

It's in fact the most important election in 80 years. That you are unable to see that proves you're long past the expiration date.

See also: Dinosaurs, extinction of.

Colonel Angus said...

Isn't this the David Brooks who once cried that he let some senator rest his hand on his thigh?

Matthew Sablan said...

I felt that Romney has provided about as much facts, plans and policies as any other candidate in my life time.

Well, except Ross Perot. But, I really think that is just my young mind still recoiling from pie chart shock.

Matthew Sablan said...

"This year, the candidates do not feel compelled to give major speeches."

Wait. Didn't Romney give a policy speech to the NAACP? How does that not count as good drama?

Are we sure Brooks is following the same election I am?

ndspinelli said...

What Brooks is saying is true but hardly anyone wants to talk about the obvious solution, the end of the duopoly. That's too scary, and you're all fucking wimps.

KenK said...

Well if he's really all that bored, he could resign his lucrative columnist position and book deals and go do something else with his life. Or he could go hang himself. Either one. It's all good.

Michael said...

Complaining that the candidates aren't sufficiently amusing sure beats seriously thinking about, say, how screwed we are on the deficit.

yashu said...

Here's my fanciful, totally biased, unfounded psychological speculation about this.

"Comrade Brooks" was gaga for Obama. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puff. Surpassing Chris Matthews in his ardor.

For Brooks to be excited over Romney vs. Obama he would have to be engaged by the Romney campaign's critique of Obama-- which would entail admitting to himself that Comrade Obama, gentleman and scholar and crushworthy idol, has turned out to be a SCOAMF.

(NB Romney's negative critique of Obama by itself comprises substantive policy and philosophy: merely undoing harmful Obama policies and regulations, that by itself, is a positive policy prescription-- which doesn't necessitate "replacement" by some new architectonic policy. Just liberating the private sector somewhat from Obama mama government-- not substituting an old apparatus with a new one-- will by itself restore much of the economy's health. And the Romney campaign is expressing that philosophy, e.g. around Obama's oh-so-apropos "you didn't build that.")

For Brooks to be excited over Obama vs. Romney would mean he's still gaga for Obama… which (insofar as he's not clinically insane), he no longer is. He would also have to take a good look at the kind of campaign Obama's been running.

So he's "bored." Like a teenager will say he's "bored" and act all "bored" when it turns out he was embarrassingly, cringe-inducingly wrong about something (Obama's performace as POTUS). And other people are excitedly talking about that something. "Whatever."

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh man just saw E. Warren again. Annoying as hell and then I hit mute and brilliant!

See? Her message does not resonate with me, I do not like like it, but if I did like it then she'd be coming at me with both barrels and that is impressive. Because of that she says the message much better than Himself. He knows that. What went wrong? The preacher cadence worked so well on the spot and falls flat on a broader audience. They will double down now and at the convention will deliver the same message with both barrels to whomever can listen to that it's quite good indeed. I look forward to it. On mute.

Joe said...

So Brooks is upset that the candidates aren't trying to outdo each other on bragging about all the things they claim they will do, but we all know they won't.

(And does Brooks think the Reagan/Mondale race was exciting? Or Clinton/Dole?)

Bryan C said...

"Who exactly are the voters that want to support a candidate that doesn't put forward any policies?"

Back in the last election they were known as "Obama voters".

"What exactly do they think they are supporting?"

Appearance over substance? Hope over experience? Comfortable lies over inconvenient truths? Hip over Squaresville? Take your pick.

Bob Ellison said...

Ndspinelli, I am a fan of the duopoly. It forces people to take sides and not be all "I'm greener" or "I'm more libertarian".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What exactly do they think they are supporting?

I would vote for my neighbor's dog before Obama. I would vote for a random person in the phone book. I would vote for a puddle of algae. I would vote for anyone BUT Obama.

However, I WOULD like to see a more detailed and specific platform from Romney. He HAS said some specifics, that of course are not covered by the media. He needs to be more forceful and specific.

traditionalguy said...

The Cherry Orchard comes to Central Park East. All is so lethargic in the eye of a hurricane about to replace eight generations of American private wealth with a daily allowance of UN Computer Credit units, that is a net allowance after the full cost of buying good weather is deducted.

Lem said...

Chip, Obama chose to do it like a comedy bit... Where as E WArren was doing a straight up liberal bit.

Foobarista said...

As for "policy-free", the ultimate question is "policy or not". If you're haggling about this or that policy, you've already bought into the idea that the system "basically works", and that some combination of policies can be found that is optimal.

The point of this election is whether the machinery of government is itself broken and needs overhauling, or whether it simply needs more power and resources and policy tweaks, but no fundamental changes.

Quaestor said...

chickelit wrote:
Penis ennui.

I died. Call 9-1-1.

Quaestor said...

askewhatguy wrote:
What exactly do they think they are supporting?

This could be fairly asked of you, hatguy. Or do you admit geometrically increasing debt is Obama's policy?

MadisonMan said...

The phrase 'phoning it in' leaps to mind.

tiger said...

It bears repeating:

If Romney's pants had a sharper crease maybe ol' Davey would be a little more excited.

Personally, I think this campaign is turning into a barn-burner.

David said...

The usual bullshit from Brooks.

If he does not like it or understand it, it's not a policy.

Exactly what does he think Romney's speech to the NAACP was about for example?

Was he not clear enough about support of Israel?

Is there something about his tax policy Brooks does not understand?

Why would any Republican give a "major policy speech" at a "major" American university? So he can be lambasted by the one track minds who dwell there?

Repeal of Obamacare is not a policy? Well, of course it is. In fact it's emblematic of the simplest and most important policy of all--weed out the crap programs that are stifling business innovation, crushing educational reform, destroying personal savings, eviscerating our defense capability and corrupting our political process. Simple and effective.

The solution is less governmental foolishness, and the last thing we is more complex policies.

New is not what we need in great quantity. Piles and piles of new are holding us down.

Beorn said...

@Roger J

But you apparently arent smart enough to do that.

I'm guessing laziness is more at play here, but you could be right.

William said...

"Four years ago, Barack Obama gave a sophisticated major speech on race."

Was that the one in which he threw both his pastor and his grandmother "under the bus"?

I thought that speech was nothing more than mellifluous platitudes punctuated by acute vapidity. A "major speech" followed by nothing.

Of course his sycophants in the media ate it up.

Lem said...

It doesn't help when comedians shy away from Obama material.

CausticConservative said...

Well said, David.

A quick survey of the comments following the NYT piece tells you all you need to know about why campaigns are dumbed down and dull.

Holmes said...

Meanwhile DHS is preparing for riots...

Ken said...

Andy R,

Who exactly are the voters that want to support a candidate that doesn't put forward any policies?

Obama voters.

Joe Schmoe said...

Brooks would not be so bored if he were actually affected by the policies of the current administration. As part of the Greek chorus, he doesn't have to worry about keeping a business going as the economy flatlines, he doesn't have to worry about higher fuel costs, and he doesn't have to worry about pushing more health care costs onto employees because the policies are sooooo damn expensive.

Joe Schmoe said...

Brooks might be more aware of Romney's policy positions if the NYT et al. weren't so busy devoting 5000 words to stories of Romney cutting a kid's hair (see also gay bashing and domestic terrorism) in high school.

On the other hand, Obama ran a pretty policy-free campaign in 08. On the policies he did state, like ending wars and closing Guantanamo and such, he reneged on anyways. So I'd posit that the die for the low-profile-policy campaign was cast successfully in 08. In the GOP primaries, Mitt laid pretty low and became the 'electability' guy.

CausticConservative said...

Obama's policy free 2008 "Hope and Change" campaign was equally bereft of content. Didn't seem to bother Brooks at the time, when he was filling space telling us about the crisp creases in Obama's pants.