David Brooks has taken it easy for all of us sinners

John Holbo at Crooked Timber reads David Brooks’ recent column on marijuana and has a request we’ve had for a long time: Why is this interesting? I’ve said it before, and this column is a good example.In US politics, the conservative imagination is so loopily half-utopian. Prominent liberal pundits, by contrast, don’t go in for this … Continue reading David Brooks has taken it easy for all of us sinners

Wherein David Brooks gets it partially right

Whenever a politician says something inexcusably horrible, you can rest assured that a parade of iron manners, that is, the sophists, will appear, attempting to make the weak argument appear stronger.  This has so far been the case with Mitt Romney's recent remarks, where he claimed that 47 percent of the population take no reponsibility … Continue reading Wherein David Brooks gets it partially right

David Brooks on human nature

David Brooks asks: Has there ever been a time when there were so many different views of human nature floating around all at once? Answer: Yes.  But he proceeds: The economists have their view, in which rational people coolly chase incentives. Traditional Christians have their view, emphasizing original sin, grace and the pilgrim’s progress in … Continue reading David Brooks on human nature

David Brooks rethinks

David Brooks once called John Kerry "a fraud with a manly bearing." He made fun of him for correctly understanding the nature of terrorism–that it wasn’t a question of armies and generals and nation states, but rather a matter of politics, and of course, law and order. Now this: The war on terror has shredded … Continue reading David Brooks rethinks

David Brooks, Triple Threat

Today Brooks concludes a 750 word meditation on political courage with the following comment: 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 … Continue reading David Brooks, Triple Threat

Brooks on Gore III

Lots to choose from today: Sam Brownback’s evolution confusion or George Will’s “Case for Conservatism” (which is, as one would suspect, the case against his cartoonish liberal with the subsequently unjustified claim that this makes the case for his view–which it doesn’t). But David Brooks’ column the other day still offers some final ignorant tidbits. … Continue reading Brooks on Gore III

Brooks on Gore II

David Brooks’ review of Al Gore’s latest book merits another post (at least). Gore argues that the participatory nature of our democracy has been undermined by the one-way media. While that may not be an original idea, Gore has a lot of experience with its consequences. Brooks has no patience, however, for argument (something we … Continue reading Brooks on Gore II

Brooks on Gore I

Al Gore says that there’s an assault on reason, David Brooks writes and a review and shows him why. The first paragraphs of Brooks’s review center on Gore’s sentence structure and word choice–not the facts, the reason, or the logic. For instance: >As Gore writes in his best graduate school manner, The eighteenth century witnessed … Continue reading Brooks on Gore I

Play their game

From Eric Alterman at the Nation: A week before his 2009 inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama chose as his first high-profile social engagement a dinner party at George Will’s house, where he was joined by William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks. Obama no doubt intended to demonstrate his desire to reach across the ideological divide and … Continue reading Play their game

Replace and defend

A follow up on David Brooks’ piece on the inadvisability of marijuana legalization.  Perhaps you’ll recall that Brooks told a very personal tale of his own adolescent adventure with marijuana.  TL;DR: marijuana should remain illegal (also because of nature and the arts). A charitable reading of this argument would go thusly: Brooks himself continues to … Continue reading Replace and defend