David Brooks—No Second Thoughts

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When times get tough, it’s really important to believe in yourself. This is something the Democrats have done splendidly this year. The polls have been terrible, and the party may be heading for a historic defeat, but Democrats have done a magnificent job of maintaining their own self-esteem. This is vital, because even if the public doesn’t approve of you, it is important to approve of yourself.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that Democrats have become role models. They have offered us lessons on how we, too, may continue to love ourselves, even in trying circumstances.

Lesson one. Think happy thoughts. Never allow yourself to dwell on downer, depressing ones....

Lesson two. Always remember, many great geniuses were unappreciated in their lifetimes....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

Posted October 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

This is like icing on the cake.  David Brooks and Thomas Friedman are legends in their own eyes.  In my book, complete idiots.  Does anyone still subscribe to this fish wrap?

October 26, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
2. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

This misses the point.  In October 2009, the Socialist Party of America announced that 70 Congressional democrats currently belong to their caucus. There are a total of 255 Democrats in the House of Representatives, so that means 27% of the Democrats in Congress are actual socialists. There is an alliances between Democrats and organizations like the Party of European Socialists (PES).  They are willing to take temporary political losses because they are confident that their agenda will continue.  The spineless Repbublicrats have yet to repeal any of the socialist changes yet made.  There is no reason to suspect that they will suddenly grow a spine.  The globalist agenda is moving along splendidly and these party soldiers are willing to fall on their swords, crocodile tears and Kabuki theatre notwithstanding.

October 26, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
3. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Sorry for the typos…

October 26, 8:35 pm | [comment link]
4. R. Eric Sawyer wrote:

There may indeed be at least two groups who are unappreciated in their lifetime:
The visionary who is too far ahead to be understood, and the hopeless screw-up.
These are both sad, we should treat them both with compassion and pity.

But most pitiful of all is a member of one group who thinks he is a member of the other.

October 26, 9:16 pm | [comment link]
5. NoVA Scout wrote:

No. 2 - There is a caucus for almost everything in Congress (I personally like the Unmanned Vehicle Caucus),  but there is no Socialist Caucus.  You can relax (at least about this).

October 26, 11:29 pm | [comment link]
6. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:



Howard Dean address to the Party of European Socialists

Bill Clinton address to the Party of European Socialists

October 27, 2:01 am | [comment link]
7. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Michelle Bachman was on Glenn Beck the other day and she explicitly stated there were some 70-80 House members in the Socialist Caucus.  I think the hooks are in deeper than most of us think.  And that is a very dangerous thing because even with conservative victories in 2010 and hopefully 2012, you still have all these underlings who have been planted all through the government executing their little plots to derail our Constitutional Govt.  That was the legacy of both Carter and Clinton.  They left permanent scars on the govt by virtue of the moles who burrowed in at State and elsewhere and never ever leave.

October 27, 8:45 am | [comment link]
8. Dale Rye wrote:

At its heart, the Brooks article is about the ease of self-deception in American politics. It is much easier to demonize one’s opponents than to listen to what they are saying and respond to their concerns. Unfortunately, self-deception and demonization are not exclusive to the Democratic Party. Examples of the “don’t confuse me with facts” syndrome noted above:

While there is a Congressional Progressive Caucus, it is not the “Socialist Caucus,” even if Rep. Bachman (R-Mn) and Glenn Beck choose to call it that. The Socialist Party of America certainly wasn’t issuing press releases in October 2009, since it dissolved in 1973. Their supposed announcement of the existence of a Socialist Caucus with 70-odd members is yet another internet legend. The Progressive Caucus may have as many as 82 members, although I would guess that some folks are distancing themselves from it in the current political climate.

As far as one can tell, some of the Democratic Socialists of America (the primary successor to the old Socialist Party, currently with less than 5000 members) support some of the members of the Progressive Caucus, but no current member of Congress would ever self-identify as a socialist. If for no other reason, “socialist” has become a term of abuse, much like “right-wing nut job.” More to the point, there isn’t exactly an upswing of support for socialism itself—the nationalization of the means of production. The auto and financial services industry buyouts negotiated by the last Republican administration haven’t sat well with the public, or even with many members of the Progressive Caucus.

There is a Party of European Socialists, but it is a coalition in the European Parliament of Center-Left national parties like the British Labor Party and the German Social Democrats. It probably lies rightward of Howard Dean (think Tony Blair), so it is not surprising that Bill Clinton would address them. (European party names do not translate well—the French Radical Party is Center-Right, for example.) The Socialists currently hold 162 of 736 seats in the European Parliament and include 5 of the 27 EU heads of government.

October 27, 2:21 pm | [comment link]
9. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Dale, if I misheard the radio spot, or if I have miss-remembered it, is not a big deal to me.  Whether you call it a Progressive Caucus, a Socialist Caucus, or a Marxist Caucus doesn’t really amount to a hill of beans because the central point is that there are some 60-70-80 (pick a number) of elected representatives in the House who DO NOT LIKE THE UNITED STATES AND ITS CONSTITUTION AND ARE WORKING TO TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY TO A SOFT/HARD EUROPEAN SOCIALST MODEL.

To get anymore technical than that is akin to deciding how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

October 27, 4:05 pm | [comment link]
10. Dale Rye wrote:

Actually, I CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS, TOO, but shouting something that isn’t factual does not make it true.

I understand that you do not agree with the policies of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Great! Neither do I. However, it is one thing to say that the Caucus is promoting wrongheaded ideas, and quite another to say that they are ideologically-driven socialists or marxists who (excuse lower case) do not like our country or its constitutional form of government. The word “socialist” has a dictionary meaning (promoting social rather than private ownership of the means of production) which simply does not apply to most American elected officials, no matter how liberal. The same is true of “marxist.” Both terms suggest an ideological motivation, as opposed to the practical consideration of simply supporting policies that will get you elected in a liberal constituency.

The Progressive Caucus have a rather different analysis of what is in our country’s or our constitution’s best interest than you—and perhaps I—do. The fact that they are elected officials (mostly from Democrat-safe constituencies) suggest that they are following the will of the people who elected them, and who are going to reelect most of them next week. Those voters like giveaway programs because they get more in benefits than they pay in taxes. You and I don’t like giveaways because we have to fund them. The Progressive Caucus isn’t a real factor in this election. The Democrats who are about to lose are mostly from swing constituencies and wouldn’t have joined the Caucus on a bet.

Preferring ideological purity to respect for facts is precisely the error that David Brooks is pointing out in the cited article. Adherence to liberal ideology is leading the Democrats to a historic electoral disaster, which they prefer to blame on the malice of their enemies.  They—like the Tea Party folks—refuse to accept the demonstrable fact that most political (and ecclesiastical, by the way) disagreements are about who is mistaken, not about who is inherently evil. The Democratic Party should have figured out that winning hearts and minds is easier if you explain your positions rather than just asserting their moral superiority. Republicans should have learned the same lesson. Neither party has.

The price of an electoral democracy is that people we disagree with often get elected and then pursue the policies supported by the people who elected them, rather than the policies supported by those who voted against them. Just because we disagree with their mistaken opinions doesn’t make them conscious agents of an anti-American ideological conspiracy. Escalating every policy disagreement into a moral crusade comparable to WW II is making America increasingly more unpleasant and less governable. I don’t HAVE TO SHOUT to see that.

October 27, 6:52 pm | [comment link]
11. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

“The price of an electoral democracy is that people we disagree with often get elected and then pursue the policies supported by the people who elected them, rather than the policies supported by those who voted against them. Just because we disagree with their mistaken opinions doesn’t make them conscious agents of an anti-American ideological conspiracy”

First of all, the democrats are not representing the will of the people who put them in office.  That’s why great numbers of them are heading to the unemployment line.

Secondly, although I disagreed with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton on most issues and with the last George Bush on numerous issues, I never went to bed at night thinking “these guys are really trying to undermine the Constitution so they can turn this country into another type of political system”

Dale, if you truly believe the things that have happened over the last two years are just a matter of political disagreements that will get hashed out by the electoral process, then I pray your eyes will be opened by something.

As Rush notes; to run the economy and the country into the dirt the way Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have is either due to gross incompetance or it is on purpose.

As much as I disagree with President Obama, I think he is profoundly competent at what he is about.

October 27, 9:16 pm | [comment link]
12. NoVA Scout wrote:

I very much doubt that there are any, let alone scores, of Members of Congress who would agree with their being characterized in comment no. 9 as Congressmen who DO NOT LIKE THE UNITED STATES AND ITS CONSTITUTION etc.  “Getting more technical than that” is the obligation of an informed citizenry.

October 27, 11:31 pm | [comment link]
13. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Nancy Pelosi: “pay attention to what?  Are you kidding?”

Rep from SC: “do we go by the Constitution?  We do what we want”

Maxine Waters: “we will nationalize the oil companies”

Gene Taylor:  “I am against ObamaCare because we can’t afford it now”

And I merely scratch the surface here…......

It matters not to me what they may or may not want to be called.  I let their actions speak for themselves.

October 28, 8:17 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.

Next entry (above): From the Morning Bible Readings

Previous entry (below): Catholic Review—Baltimore Episcopal parish votes to enter Catholic faith

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)