Note to David Brooks …

The  image of the New York Times as the bastion of liberalism is completely over-blown.  The paper has a mix of liberal and conservative columnists which is important to enable people to view two (or more) sides to an issue.  And while I will admit to rolling my eyes quite a bit and feeling queasy when I read some of the more rabid conservative columnists, it is good for me to do so intellectually.

Yesterday, columnist David Brooks bemoaned the fact that Donald Trump is destroying the wonderful world Ronald Reagan created:

This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats.  But that’s clearly no longer true.

We’ve gone from Rising Tide America to Coming Apart America. Technological change, globalization and social and family breakdown mean that the benefits of growth, to the extent there is growth, are not widely shared.

Republicans sort of recognize this reality, but they are still imprisoned in the Reaganite model. They ask Reaganite questions, propose Reaganite policies and have Reaganite instincts.

First of all, Reaganomics did not call for all boats to rise; it called for all yachts to rise and the rest of us to row through their wake with little or no paddle.  But Brooks goes on to say how wonderful it is that conservatives will be able to take part in the creation of a new, post-Trump GOP.

Reading this  was one of those time when I realized, yet again, that it is good that I don’t believe in violence.  When I realized that I can stop myself from vomiting if I really try.

When I realized that to this day, Republicans have no fucking clue about how much damage Ronald Reagan and his philosophy caused our country.

But just now, I read the most wonderful comment to David Brooks, courtesy of a post in the Daily Kos.  For those of you who don’t get The Times, or who (like me) read blog comments but not newspaper column comments, here it is for your enjoyment.  For your use.  So that the cinematic image this commenter used will be forever in your heart whenever you hear or see a Republican.


Crete, IL From Boston, MA 15 hours ago

Mr. Brooks, I don’t know where to begin. It would be impolite for me to tell you that you have lost your mind. Well, I’m willing to be impolite. I sincerely wish that I wasn’t limited to 1,500 characters. I’ve already wasted 227.

Ronald Reagan was evil; he took an axe to the foundation of the American democratic system “government is the problem”, a failure, then set about dividing the country by income and race and section. And smirked when while his clueless base looked the other way while his cronies hogged the government trough they so hated.

Mr. Brooks, please recall the unforgettable scene in Alien. Donald Trump, today, is the awful, bloody thing that forced itself out of the GOP’s breast. It uncoils from the corpse, snarls and snaps at everyone standing around in horror and scuttles off, leaving a clattering, putrid mess behind. The image is violent. After Reagan, H. W., Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, W. and Cheney (and now McConnell, Ryan and the departed Boehner), what on earth did you expect from the wreck?

And how do you get off writing “Trump is loveless. There is no room for reciprocity and love in his worldview.” ? No, there isn’t nor has there been any in the GOP’s since, oh, Richard Nixon (1968).

Mr. Brooks, there will be a post-Trump era because we’re still in the Reagan area. The merest child could see through your references to Thomas Kuhn’s “model.” The GOP’s a complete disaster. You were there at its creation and cheered it on. Happy today?

Yup.  The GOP is reaping what it has sown.  But why do the rest of us have to deal with it too?

Trump - Alien 2

Photo Credit:

Bravo to soxared040713 for hitting the nail on the head.  Now, please hit the real thing for me.


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58 responses to “Note to David Brooks …

  1. “The image of the New York Times as the bastion of liberalism is completely over-blown.” Yeah, the longevity of this little inaccuracy baffles me.

    And David Brooks hasn’t made sense — IN YEARS — to anyone who isn’t also a straight, wealthy, highly-cranky-and-somewhat-aggrieved white man.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, the Reagan worship gets nauseating. I love the image of Trump as the alien being birthed from the belly of the worst of the Republicans. Scary and horrifying, but accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They are self-serving, greedy, ‘I got mine so go get yours’ asshats with no compassion, and no real moral beliefs… just sayin’…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Liebster Award. Check on my blog for more details.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think that photo says it all, but I think you have to be careful there, because that movie featured a certain other politician…

    I remember Mr. Reagan with fondness, but only because I was a kid back then and it seems to me that he was a nice old fella. I didn’t know squat about his politics, but it seemed to me that he ousted another nice old fella in Mr. Carter. Back then, all politicians were good as far as I was concerned. Boy was I dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What trickles down isn’t prosperity but rather productivity. What that means is getting more out of less. More service hours for less pay, more work while paying fewer benefits, more goods for less money and fewer employees.

    GOP lower-income voters know this is happening but the Reagan meme, wrapped as it is in patriotism and Horatio Alger platitudes, is too powerful to overcome. Because, what’s the alternative? Some form of government-imposed socialism, you know, like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the minimum wage. Just doesn’t seem American. Doesn’t fit the meme. Working two jobs to pay your medical bills and still falling behind? Maybe you should get three, you lazy bum.

    Gene Lyons makes an interesting suggestion in his column this morning. Maybe Trump is ascending because “things aren’t particularly bad for the U.S. right now. In difficult times, voters take their responsibilities more seriously . . . ” He says that, “Thankfully, for most Americans, politics is a lot more like sports than civil war.” People work themselves into a frenzy, and then they go back to work Monday, back to the rut. I think he’s right. The Great Recession is behind us, thanks to dull and boring Democrats. The military body count has shrunk to single digits. Terrorism, for all its hype, is much less destructive than train wrecks, something getting worse because we’re building gold-plated weapons systems instead of investing in dull infrastructure..

    It’s interesting, here in the bleachers, to watch the political show. America’s got Machismo. The Wall. The Biggest Patriot.

    What will it be for the next four years, bland socialism or a continuation of the reality show that is the primary season? It can go either way. Get the popcorn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading your debate with Frank throughout the day. Talk about sports!

      I have Gene Lyons column up in another tab, ready to read after dinner. An interesting idea — that there isn’t enough wrong to take the world seriously. I will look forward to reading his argument. I’ve never heard of him before.

      But your other points are on point — getting the job done is boring. Far more so than repairing what is falling apart. But you know what? Wasn’ that what the Republicans used to do? Weren’t the Democrats (FDR, Kennedy) the dreamers. Have we all come full circle?

      What a country!


    • Thanks for steering me to Gene Lyons’ column (here for anybody paying attention: ).

      I think I’ll be reading more of Mr. Lyons from now on. Filled to the brim with common sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Perfect analogy, kudos to soxared040713. Loved the picture too. Like you I read the other side, I try to understand their thinking. Like you I still don’t. Of course, I have family members (like you) who vote on the other side of the aisle regularly and against their best interest. I ask why, they can’t explain it except to tell me ‘guns’, ‘second amendment’, ‘government evil’…etc.

    Reagan was terrible. The Reagan Administration was even worse. Yet here we are, with an entire party worshiping at the alter of Reagan and Rand. Amazing

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the guy who raised taxes several times, increased the sovereign debt, and sold arms to Iran is the conservative hero.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Isn’t Brooks’ point is that Trump wrecking the party will give a chance for a new beginning?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, but at what cost.


    • Oh, and I think he’s wrong about that just like he is wrong about the glories of Reagan and Reaganomics. Delusions.


      • Again, not his point as he as writing about Republicans through their eyes. You took the bait that wasn’t intended to be bait.

        Liked by 1 person

        • He is a republican. He is writing through his own eyes!


        • Frank, if Brooks and other conservative moderates are all about the GOP having a new beginning, and that excludes trickle-down economics, what then does that leave? If it’s just shrinking government, reigning in regulation, and cutting taxes, it’s the same thing. Maybe you can enlighten us as to what it might be.

          An interesting instance of the smaller government thing that’s currently playing out is the growing popularity of attacking the IRS. A bill has been introduced to allow the IRS to regulate tax-preparers, it being noted that about half of all returns have errors and that anybody can set up a stand and do taxes with no training whatsoever. The GOP is fighting the bill – they don’t want to give the IRS any more authority than it already has. But they also don’t support tax simplification either – that would remove all the fun from handing out tax breaks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jim,
            Brooks simply states that the GOP is heading toward and very well could implode … which would lead to a new version of a Republican party – something unknown at this point. I thought of what the great evolutionary writer Stephen Jay Gould called punctuated equilibrium.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Punctuated equilibrium. Yes, I can see that analogy. A schism of the GOP seems to have already occurred, Tea Party and moderates. Perhaps another analogy might be earthquakes, the steady building of tectonic pressure until the landscape gives way. The pressures in this instance are technology and the global economy. These have reduced the value of human labor and with it, the social dignity of work. What can replace that? Flipping burgers does not.

              The medium of change has always been money and I don’t see that changing. There is a powerful vacuum here. The Tea Party knows what it does not like, but there’s no positive side to their fervor. Personally, I think the result will be what it historically has been: war. Vladimir Putin has recently used just that, in the Crimea, to distract his fellow Russians from their economic discontent.


              • Jim,
                In my view, the current GOP has already kicked out the moderates – RINOs – and the Tea Party hasn’t been kicked out or left – thus the revolution that is well underway. To me, Brooks doesn’t know where it will end – just like evolution that doesn’t predict outcomes. So he’s saying that a collapse would be an exciting time for those who want to rebuild a brand. Into what, like evolution, time will tell.

                Liked by 1 person

  10. The inability of Republicans to see how Reagan’s policies harmed this country and contributed to the growing inequality in this country is remarkable. What is more remarkable is their ability to continue to obtain the votes of the people who were harmed by those policies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES!!! EXACTLY!!!! I have a brother who is on disability. Social security disability. And he votes for the fuckers who want to (and do) cut it at every opportunity. I do not understand my brother. I do not understand the low income GOP voter. I never will!


  11. Kick ass piece AND pic….Thumbs up!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will take credit for the photo — I looked and looked, knowing that someone had created this …

      Glad you liked the article. I wish I had written it, though!


  12. Dana

    Regan told us that something would trickle down to us. — EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • And that’s precisely what happened! EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW is right!


    • Right. The “rising tide” thing–that was Clinton’s schtick. Amazing how these Republicans like to rewrite history: Don’t you know Reagan was wonderful, he was all about rising tides, etc.

      No he wasn’t. He was all about “trickle down” BS (otherwise known as “Voodoo economics”). Now that history has proven that “trickle down” was absolutely false they’re claiming Reagan was all about “rising tides.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know, I’d forgotten that that was Clinton. It was vaguely familiar … the GOP is filled with such turds. Isn’t it amazing how “Bush kept us safe” is another one of their “truths.” Except for that whole 9/11 thingy. The list goes on and on …


  13. Paul

    I saw that scene once and never watched another Alien movie – God that scene was violent. Remember what i said -Trump is the perfect American.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Maybe George H.W. Bush tried to go post-Reagan when he called for a “kinder, gentler nation” (or words to that effect). Trickle-down has been the GOP political philosophy for at least a hundred years. It’s never worked the way they claim it works, but people have fallen for it, both in pre-Reagan and post-Reagan eras. And they keep falling for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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