I knew there was a reason I ignored David Brooks for so long. I blame Driftglass and Bluegal's Professional Left podcast for forcing me to pay attention to him now, because he truly is one of the idiots of the chattering class. By the way, I'm still chuckling over this week's episode. Highly recommended.
This week's installment of Brooksian silliness involves his intense desire to wish Republicans into office. Brooks and E.J. Dionne took on the outlook for the 2014 midterms on Judy Woodruff's show on PBS. For the most part, it was the usual exercise in meaningless punditry, but I laughed aloud when I heard him say this:
DAVID BROOKS: Well, we know where they are now. We don’t know where they will be in six weeks.
But I do think this pundit has it — does have it figured out.
DAVID BROOKS: That we see a national tide. There’s clearly a national tide.
You look at the New York Times/CBS poll that came out this week, huge to the Republicans. They’re just doing very, very well in the generic ballot. Obama is down, huge national tide. And so if it becomes a national election, which the Republicans are trying to make it, they’re going to do really well.
Militating against that, you see in individual states some shifts in the Democratic direction. North Carolina, in particular, you’re seeing a shift there on the Democratic part, the situation in Kansas, a few other places. To me, the bottom line right now is — and the Democrats are trying to make it local races, a bunch of local races.
I think the history is that when you have one party trying to do national, one party trying to do local, usually, the one that is trying to do national tends to do a little bit better. And so I do still think the Republicans are likely to take it over, but, you know, that could all shift, obviously.
E.J. DIONNE: I think this is premature punditry at this point.
DAVID BROOKS: Well, I’m only saying where it is today.
Wish harder, David Brooks! If anything, this proves my point earlier this week about how the national media shapes a narrative that has no basis in fact but reflects their desire to write a story about how the shattered Republican party has rebounded and will recapture the House and the Senate.
If wishes were votes, maybe. But they're not. And voters are going to be looking at national issues like jobs, for example. You remember those -- the things so many of us lost in 2007-2008 and still don't have back.
Take me, for example. My life was drastically changed in 2008 and has gone downhill since, in terms of income. My 2014 income will be a tiny fraction of 2008, and about half of what it was in 2013. Do you think I give a crap about Republicans and their ridiculous obsession with doing absolutely nothing while this President is in office? No. I want an infrastructure bill and I want it now. Because that will put people to work, and that means more people spending, and that means maybe I get a chance to make some money again.
While we're at it, let's talk about this absurd notion that the Republicans are making the election a national one, as opposed to local.
Why do you suppose our Republican House of Representatives just gave themselves another 7 weeks vacation instead of staying in Washington DC and getting something -- ANYTHING -- done? Any self-respecting pundit should know the answer to that. As long as they're in their districts, they can pretend they're being sensitive to the needs of their constituents by coming home to listen. And campaign, of course.
If they wanted a national election, they'd stay in Washington DC and actually work for that fat paycheck they're receiving. Alas, our "informed pundit" in Washington DC has it exactly backwards on that.
It's not just Brooks, but he's such a shining example of the conservative denialism that wastes all of our time while distracting people from the facts. Here are a few, just as a reminder to Brooks and anyone else who doubts.
Since their election in 2010, our Republican House Majority has accomplished nothing whatsoever. They can't even manage to pass a budget. A few post offices have been named and little else.
Since their election in 2012, our Republican House Majority has accomplished less than the nothing they managed in their first two majority years.
Republicans consistently demonstrate their utter lack of concern for issues facing ordinary Americans. They talk big about jobs but don't manage to actually do anything to stimulate job creation. Instead they repeal Obamacare and create "scandals" to investigate so they can tell everyone they're doing something while really doing less than nothing. We could elect Fox News if we wanted our representatives to sit around and talk about how much they hate the President.
In case no one has noticed, we are not voting on President Obama. We are voting on whether we want a bunch of do-nothing, self-serving asses to pretend they give a damn about us, or whether we might want to actually get some stuff done.
I'm glad Brooks thinks it's all locked up. I will enjoy feeding him (shoving down his throat) a large serving of crow with a side of mustard on November 5th.
If we vote. So do it. Vote.