A man with a fraudulent bearing

Today we’ll continue the Brooks theme in celebration of our renewed free access to the opinion pages of the New York Times (I’m still asking myself why I was supposed to pay for this). Yesterday he wrote:

>Say what you will about President Bush, when he thinks a policy is right, like the surge, he supports it, even if it’s going to be unpopular. The Democratic leaders, accustomed to the irresponsibility of opposition, show no such guts.

This remark is confused on many levels. In the first place, Bush has obtusely adhered to failed policies, and, more damningly, neglected to question whether those policies were justified in the first place. Sometimes supporting something unpopular is just plain dumb. It’s moronic to suggest that such obtuseness constitutes courage. Besides, to do so is to commit a variant of the ad populum fallacy in that you take the lack of popular support for your position as a measure in favor of your position.

At a more basic level, however, this is a variation of the “manliness” meme so thoroughly discussed by Glenn Greenwald. Brooks has remarked on this before with Bush–even claiming that John Kerry, a man who actually voluntarily served his country in combat, was a “fraud with a manly bearing.” He wrote:

>The coming weeks will be so tough because the essential contest – of which the Swift boat stuff was only a start – will be over who really has courage, who really has resolve, and who is just a fraud with a manly bearing.

Never mind, of course, the courage to say that you blew it big time.

2 thoughts on “A man with a fraudulent bearing”

  1. I’m left sputtering at the staggeringly profound idiocy in the phrase “irresponsibility of opposition.” Those abolitionists? Irresponsible! Suffrage? Irresponsible! Human Rights? Irresponsible! Equal Protection? Irresponsible! I think I just threw up a little bit. . .

  2. While some don’t like the type of rhetoric that I am about to use it seems completely appropriate. If David Brooks had lived in the Soviet Union just after WWII he would have been a strong loyal supporter of Joseph Stalin, since he uses an almost identical ideology!

    If we change “President Bush” in the above quote to “Joseph Stalin” and change the capital ‘D’ in “Democratic” to a small ‘d’, then translate the whole sentence into Russian, we get an instant quote that could have easily come from Stalin’s propaganda unit.

    Why is a guy like David Brooks allowed to write opinion pieces for such a prominent newspaper? Is spewing neo-fascist-like rhetoric really representative of a good chunk of the American population? If it is, then we are in much deeper trouble then I have supposed.

    If Brooks actually tried to compose a decent argument (one that isn’t superficially fallacious) then I’d willing to give him some room. But, his continual use of the same garbage is just getting old. I say lets start a boycott of major newspapers that print this garbage and say the only way to end it is not to fire these morons, but to hire a logician to edit these opinion pieces. I’m sure if that happened Brooks’ articles would never make it to print, at least in there current form.

    I would say that I have already started the boycott of the New York Times, but that is just because I still can’t that free access that everyone is talking about!

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