Last Friday, David Brooks, in his New York Times “column” (if by “column,” you mean, “the gurgles of drowning elitism”), sought to find the source of the River Trump that is flooding the Republican areas of the country right now. Brooks locates that lake high in the mountains of what he perceives as a general dismay with politics. “Over the past generation we have seen the rise of a group of people who are against politics,” Brooks writes. “These groups — best exemplified by the Tea Party but not exclusive to the right — want to elect people who have no political experience. They want ‘outsiders.’ They delegitimize compromise and deal-making. They’re willing to trample the customs and rules that give legitimacy to legislative decision-making if it helps them gain power.”
The entire column is 99% about Republicans, just Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. But, in what might be a nadir of both-sides-do-it-ism, Brooks never allows that the “cancer” exists more or less exclusively on the right side of the body politic. Look at what he says: “They suffer from a form of political narcissism, in which they don’t accept the legitimacy of other interests and opinions. They don’t recognize restraints. They want total victories for themselves and their doctrine…The antipolitics people elect legislators who have no political skills or experience…The antipolitics people refuse compromise and so block the legislative process.”
That motherfucker contorts himself like he’s attempting auto-analingus. Every single thing in Brooks’s list of the politically damned is a description of how Republicans, and Republicans alone, have governed. In the minority in the Senate, they rewrote the rules on the passage of legislation so that filibuster was the default setting, not the extraordinary exception. Republicans got a whole bunch of yahoos and ideologues and evangelicals and other various and sundry cock mites elected, legislators for whom “compromise” is the same as “shit-eating.” And they’ve attempted at every turn to delegitimize the twice-elected president. Don’t fucking blame the person smoking a joint for burning down the house when there’s an asshole with a flamethrower and an empty tank of gasoline standing right fucking there.
Brooks gets to Fucknut of the Hour by saying, “Trump is the culmination of the trends we have been seeing for the last 30 years: the desire for outsiders; the bashing style of rhetoric that makes conversation impossible; the decline of coherent political parties; the declining importance of policy; the tendency to fight cultural battles and identity wars through political means.” Again, almost all of that shit is attributable to Republicans, with Democrats winning…what? Gay marriage? And fuckin’ Trump ain’t running on opposition to that.
Then, on Sunday, the other New York Times conservative, Ross Douche-hat…Douthat decided that we have Donald Trump because that Barack Obama is such a dick. He wants everyone to recognize “the way that Obama-era trends in liberal politics have helped feed the Trump phenomenon.” Obama has pushed the nation to a more authoritarian path because, well, shit because he has: “Having once campaigned against his predecessor’s power grabs, the current president has expanded executive authority along almost every dimension: launching wars without congressional approval, claiming the power to assassinate American citizens, and using every available end-around to make domestic policy without any support from Congress.”
Leaving out that Obama has put out fewer executive orders than any president since, at least, Franklin Roosevelt (he’s issued fewer than one-term presidents Ford, Carter, and Bush I), once again it needs to be said that, as far as domestic policy goes, Obama has had a Congress that, for most of his presidency, has pushed every legislative battle to crisis until, finally, it simply refused to do jackshit. Frankly, Obama could have gone far, far further on the domestic front and said, “Suck my balls and take me to the Supreme Court, jagoffs.”
Of course, Douthat barely mentions the racism in the equation, in both the opposition to Obama and the rise of Trump. It’s easier to say that white working class voters are abandoning the Democratic Party because “Obama has made moves that effectively slam the door on them: His energy policies, his immigration gambits, his gun control push, his shift to offense on same-sex marriage and abortion,” not that they’re mostly just fucking racists who are looking for an excuse so they don’t have to just say they’re racists (although Trump is allowing them to finally go, “Okay, fine, we’re just fucking racists.”)
The conservatives of the New York Times are desperately trying to rescue a party and an ideology that are being murdered before their eyes. Brooks and Douthat are denying that what they have believed has led to this moment in American political history. It has to be something else. They couldn’t be wrong. Dear God, they couldn’t be.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on March 1, 2016, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.