(Photoshop via Doug Ross)
New York Times columnist David Brooks will never let an opportunity pass to remind you that he is an intellectual and you are a grimy member of the unwashed masses. His column today pays a back-handed tribute to the success of the Tea Party movement…while bemoaning the decline of influence among the “educated class” (e.g., David Brooks and Friends).
A taste of the bitter whine in the Fishwrap of Record:
The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.
The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.
A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity.
…The Obama administration is premised on the conviction that pragmatic federal leaders with professional expertise should have the power to implement programs to solve the country’s problems. Many Americans do not have faith in that sort of centralized expertise or in the political class generally.
And David Brooks has the audacity to paint Tea Party activists as the immature, mentally-challenged ones? Instead of acknowledging, for example, that man-made global theories are in peril because the data manipulation, suppression, and intimidation tactics of conniving, eco-radical academics have been exposed, Brooks paints public skepticism on the issue as a reactionary tantrum.
I remind you of Brooks’ fatally impaired powers of discernment regarding Obama’s “pragmatic federal leaders with professional expertise.” While he derides Tea Party participants as “teens,” he has slavered over Barack Obama like a lovesick tween from day one.
Jan. 20, 2009, will be a historic day. Barack Obama (Columbia, Harvard Law) will take the oath of office as his wife, Michelle (Princeton, Harvard Law), looks on proudly. Nearby, his foreign policy advisers will stand beaming, including perhaps Hillary Clinton (Wellesley, Yale Law), Jim Steinberg (Harvard, Yale Law) and Susan Rice (Stanford, Oxford D. Phil.).
The domestic policy team will be there, too, including Jason Furman (Harvard, Harvard Ph.D.), Austan Goolsbee (Yale, M.I.T. Ph.D.), Blair Levin (Yale, Yale Law), Peter Orszag (Princeton, London School of Economics Ph.D.) and, of course, the White House Counsel Greg Craig (Harvard, Yale Law)…
… Already the culture of the Obama administration is coming into focus. Its members are twice as smart as the poor reporters who have to cover them, three times if you include the columnists. They typically served in the Clinton administration and then, like Cincinnatus, retreated to the comforts of private life — that is, if Cincinnatus had worked at Goldman Sachs, Williams & Connolly or the Brookings Institution. So many of them send their kids to Georgetown Day School, the posh leftish private school in D.C. that they’ll be able to hold White House staff meetings in the carpool line.
And yet as much as I want to resent these overeducated Achievatrons (not to mention the incursion of a French-style government dominated by highly trained Enarchs), I find myself tremendously impressed by the Obama transition.
— Smarty pants/panting smarty David Brooks, NYT, 11/21/08
That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run.”
He recognizes something similar in the current president. “Obama sees himself as a Burkean,” Brooks says. “He sees his view of the world as a view that understands complexity and the organic nature of change.” Moreover, after the Bush years, Brooks seems relieved to have an intellectual in the White House again. “I divide people into people who talk like us and who don’t talk like us,” he explains. “Of recent presidents, Clinton could sort of talk like us, but Obama is definitely–you could see him as a New Republic writer. He can do the jurisprudence, he can do the political philosophy, and he can do the politics. I think he’s more talented than anyone in my lifetime. I mean, he is pretty dazzling when he walks into a room. So, that’s why it’s important he doesn’t fuck this up.”
It’s David Brooks who needs to grow up. His Ivy League idol is an incompetent phony fermenting in a culture of corruption. You don’t need a PhD to see it.
Flashback: Iowahawk’s classic satire of Brooks…T Coddington Van Voorhees VII.
For a non-bitter, informed, and in-depth account of the Tea Party’s rise, check out John O’Hara’s new book: A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes.