I was not able to understand the point of the Bobo piece Anne Laurie linked to. Was it making fun of Romney? Or making fun of making fun of Romney? It’s an enigma wrapped in a tote-bag. Atrios thinks
BoBo was trying to mock all the Mitt storylines to scare reporters away from using them.
But Steve M sees a pattern here of conservatives trashing Romney:
Both Murdoch and Brooks see Romney as a guy who, when you mock or humiliate him, just takes it — or modifies his behavior in a desperate attempt to please you. That’s the guy they want to be our next president? Well, yeah, it is — they think he can be pushed around (gosh, I wonder what gave them that idea) and they’re the guys to do it.[…]
This is all an intramural variant of Josh Marshall’s bitch-slap theory of American politics. In this case, it’s not Republicans demonstrating that a Democrat is too weak to fight back — it’s about demonstrating that with regard to their own guy. They’re doing it not because they want him to lose, but because they want to be the ones who can claim they shoved him across the finish line — at which point he’ll owe them.
I honestly don’t know anymore. As I’ve said before, sometimes conservative mythology becomes too complicated for the rest of us to follow. If they didn’t know how to play the race card and raise money from billionaires, they’d never win an election at this point.
True since 1968.
I confess I’m a partisan (as we all are right), but I just can’t see anyone being swayed by Ann Romney. My whole fam and the majorty of my good friends that I speak to are all Dems or Dem-leaning people, so we are pretty much in a cocoon, so someone who does have more non-Dem friends is gonna have to clue me in, cause to us, Ms Ann just isn’t personable on TV not like Michelle O is. I have it on good authority, that Michelle O is just as personable in person as she seems on tv, so maybe Ann is different off camera, but on camera…meh.
Plus I just don’t see anyone but partisans watching the convention anyway. So most people will see it in clips. I suspect that her speech will be geared towards the pundits and the MSM ’cause sadly they are the ones who are gonna be writing the stories and reading the news on the effectiveness of the speech.
So if she hits it out of the ballpark for the pundits and hacks, I suspect that the media narrative will be set.
anyway, other than Isaac coverage, I have absolutely NO PLANS to even turn my television onto any part of the RNC. That’s why I pay the big bucks for premium digital cable.
Oh and speaking of Isaac, Jindal playing politics with Isaac already??? Ugh. I know people in NOLA can’t stand this dude. My sister who’s not political went on an epic rant on FB over Jindal and his charter school directives.
Jindal Cries Wolf On Obama Administration Response To Hurricane Isaac
I agree with Steve M on this one. It’s a way to have their cake and eat it too.
Romney wins, he owes all the conservative columnists who helped push him across, so his policies should stay on the far right.
Romney loses, he wasn’t conservative enough and should be discarded in favor of someone whose policies will stay on the far right.
Who cares? You seem to be taking Bobo’s silly ramblings far too seriously. Point and laugh, Bobo and Romney, both deserve ridicule.
Drat, just was going to post this. But will scale it back some.
Reality mugs Gov Jindal, steals his wingnut mojo.
Aww, and I was hoping the NYT had been hacked. I don’t read the piece the way Atrios did at all. Brooks is an excellent contortionist and if he wanted to make fun of people making fun of Mitt Romney he would have done so in a way that made us angry as opposed to making us scratch our heads in disbelief.
Remember that at the juncture in the 2008 campaign he was calling Sarah Palin a fatal tumor on the Republican party. Maybe Brooks allots himself one honest column per general election campaign and this was it for 2012.
I don’t buy this. The same could have been said of Nixon, who did everything he could to please both the liberal and the Goldwater-ite wings of the GOP, both at the same time. But it didn’t mean that Nixon was everybody’s bitch, rather it meant that he told every audience what just what they wanted to hear and they were stupid enough to believe it.
Romney isn’t nearly as cunning and skilled a politician or as hard working a tactician as Nixon was, but in his slippery relationship with the truth he is very Nixonian. People who think that they’ve got Romney on a leash may be very surprised to find out just how easily he slips out of their grasp, once Mitt has gotten what he really wants, which is the keys to the WH.
I had to do a double take to see who wrote that piece. It was funny and accurate. Therefore, I still can’t believe it was Brooks. He must have been plagiarizing.
I cannot remember the media making fun of a Republican candidate for President. Not ever. They went along with Gore and the earth tones and “lockbox” thing and Kerry’s stumbles, but never do I remember the media doing anything like they’re doing to Mitt. They’re making fun of him.
They don’t do it to Obama. They aren’t really doing it to Ryan. But they do it to Mitt. They really don’t like him. Bobo’s column is just another example of it.
David Brooks wants people to like him
It is no deeper than when he writes things you don’t like
It is the same bullshit
And deserves the same disdain
I do think there’s a resentment/humiliation axis here, and I think it would be a mistake to underestimate Mitt’s position on that axis. Remember Tim Pawlenty? Wanted, so very much, to be the VP nominee. And Mitt had one of his sons deliver the bad news to poor Tim. Yeah, it’s kinda sick, but that’s where we are now.
I think Brooks has just given up trying to take the Tampa circus of derangement seriously.
No One of Consequence
I thought that was a spoof piece that someone did for Bobo. He *actually* wrote that?!
Well, my gasts are certainly flabbered!
What is the world coming to?
Hope that works. I have a cousin who works for Passaic County Schools in NJ and has complained to me before about how Christie hasn’t improved the educational situation, but it probably won’t stop her voting Republican.
I don’t think I agree with that…there was some pretty good material in there, like about the mood ring that refused to change color and how he didn’t win a single convert when stumping for the Mormons, a performance he would repeat in his 2008 run for the nomination. I mean, some of it was a little twitteriffic, but I thought it was fairly funny. The weirdest thing is just that it was not his voice. It simply doesn’t sound like anything of his I’ve ever read before.
David Brooks endorsed Obama in 2008 and he will endorse Obama in 2012
The world would be a lot safer place if liberals could understand that backing the Democrat doesn’t make people morally upright
I mean, Christ, Brooks regurgitates all the lines on Romney back at you and you people are like deer in the headlights
How do you think he keeps his sinecure
All of these posts really makes me feel like you deserve David Brooks and you deserve the system that keeps him among the elite
I know that deep down no one deserves that but Lord Almighty you are trying hard to earn it
Well, it depends who we’re talking about. Being mocked or humiliated by most people doesn’t seem to provoke that reaction in Romney, rather it makes him furious and causes him to lose his shit. But Murdoch and Brooks are his peers; they control the DC Republican country club that he desperately wants to enter more than anything in his life, so it’s different in that case.
Race card, big money and voter suppression.
Interesting point. Romney IS employing a kind of rope-a-dope strategy. He lies and takes the blows, just smiling and denying that his lies are anything. He shrugs off demands that he release his tax returns. He is insulated from any demands by fundamentalists by a wall of Mormon and Adelson money.
He is barely even campaigning in any conventional standard, in which he clearly lays out policy positions. His whole campaign is coming down to “I’m the white guy. Whatever Obama has done is wrong. Whatever I will do will be right. And I don’t even have to tell you what that might be.”
This strategy has not been entirely successful.
And I kinda think that Obama’s best response is not to go negative and attack Romney, but mock him and point out his essential emptiness and worthlessness.
In other words, the best response to rope-a-dope is not to get angry and punch yourself out, but to measure and take your shots at the most vulnerable areas. Don’t go for the body shots, jab at the face and head, beat the arms and shoulders so that your opponent cannot counterpunch when he comes off the ropes.
Clearly it was snark aimed at the criticisms of Romney that have been so effective in curbing his likability numbers. Brooks wrote this like a dork trying to impress the cool kids in school newspaper. And as is usual for that type of effort, it fell flat.
Could be that simple. I just find it hard to believe he’s a strategic thinker looking to 2016, having given the old heave-ho to 2012.
Or embryonic shred of awareness?
Who wants to be a Republican when even deaf dogs can hear the dog whistles? Brooks may not see himself as one of “those people.”
Correct in all points, I think.
This is also why Romney’s had so much trouble winning over True Conservatives. They know Romney used to be a pro-choice, pro-gay, Obamacare-inventing liberal who changed his allegiance on all these issues the minute his audience changed. They don’t trust that he won’t fuck them over as soon as he’s in the White House by switching allegiances again if he sees any profit in it.
For once, they’re actually entirely correct, I think.
I think it’s just Brooks mocking Romney, not some form of 11-dimensional chess. The guy is an easy target.
There is no sense in which Brooks secretly helps the GOP by reminding everyone that they are even more lily-white than the Winter Olympics, by pointing out that Romney’s transformation into a social conservative came out of nowhere, or by mentioning the fact that he barely eked his way through a complete joke of a Republican field. I see no hidden agenda here.
@AA+ Bonds: Who the fuck said Brooks was morally upright? Jesus, I know you are doing a leftist purity act, but could you have the fucking grace to riff off of something someone actually says? I really don’t think this is asking too much.
I know that I should just ignore everything Limbaugh says but really this is disgusting.
I think the piece was actually written by Gail Collins, but was (perhaps intentionally) mis-attributed. And yes, it does refer to Romney having driven around with his dog on his car’s roof.
Culture of Truth
I don’t think this is complicated. They’re piling on Romney because all the cool kidz are doing it, because Mitt is a big dorky outsider with a “kick me” sign on his back and LOSER sewn in his underwear.
Politicians come and go, but pundits live forever, and the shrewd ones know when it is time to take one down, GOP or Dem, so you came remain the bestest thing, a Beltway Cool Kid.
From the you can’t make this shit up department.
Portions of the powerpoint are at Buzzfeed
@Keith G: It may have fallen flat for other republicans, I don’t know if it did though, but I thought it was hilarious and well written.
DougJ, Plumbing the shallows of Bobo’s mind is sorta like reading chicken entrails. You aren’t going to get much useful information doing it. Let’s just thank him for the hearty laughter he provoked in all of us, whatever his intent with today’s column
As Noah Pollak points out, Brooks is channeling his own juvenilia — specifically, a parody column about William F. Buckley that he wrote as a University of Chicago undergrad (read it here). Buckley actually read it and, when he gave a lecture at the university, he offered Brooks a job. That’s how we got stuck with Brooks.
Maybe the Brooks piece was a prediction, clothed in humor. It would be nice if someone with a strong stomach could watch the actual bio of Mitt and compare it to the Brooks scenario.
This would be the day that Bobo would turn up the melodrama on Romney, to tell his story with every violin that he could afford surging behind him in an effort to wring every last vote from the stingy Times readership. Just the fact that he didn’t write that kind of piece says to me that the Rs have done something to hurt his feefees. I think Bobo needs to feel he’s on the right side of history. He’s so alert to the twist of the zietgiest and ever sensitive to the gaze of his children that he decided to make an endrun around the advance of the Rs and to write this feeble attempt at satire. No Swift, our Bobo. It is a fail and everyone is scratching their heads.
BTW the Paulites are disrupting the convention.
I expect there will be a major shift starting with the convention. The negative ads were necessary up to this point for the “define Romney before he can define himself,” and have been very effective at turning everything he was planning to run on toxic. There will still be attacks running, especially third-party ads, but I think Obama will move to putting forth an optimistic vision of the future. I won’t try to guess what form it will take, but the campaign is extremely competent, so I expect good things.
@Linda Featheringill: Rush Limbaugh is one sick fuck. That is all.
The Moar You Know
Again, I don’t know what the hell Romney did to Brooks to piss him off enough to write that, but it’s obviously something pretty major.
OT, but this is a fairly entertaining Twitter feed. Apparently the Ron Paul delegates are getting rambunctious at the con this afternoon. (h/t LGF commenters)
@SteveM: Aww! He even reused a few of the same jokes.
@Linda Featheringill: Heard Limbaugh say today that Dems are rooting for the storm to hit New Orleans and he doesn’t know why because it’s just going to kill Democratic voters.
Palm Beach got a ton of rain from Isaac. A lot of homes there are flooded. I wonder if Limbaugh’s house was one of them.
@Brachiator: I do agree that mocking Romney instead of attacking him would be a good idea. Mockery is about the only thing that seems to be effective against a BS artist with a total disregard for the truth.
Something along the lines of “If they really thought they could do better, they’d complain about things I actually did, but instead, they just keep making stuff up!” (but better written, of course.)
Personally, I’d love to see Obama in the debates pull out Reagan’s “there you go again.” Except with Obama it would be to highlight Mitt’s lies; with Reagan it just meant “I don’t actually have an answer, so I’m just going to give you a verbal wedgie.” (Damn, that pissed me off.)
Don’t forget the gay abortions.
So Brooks was just mocking…
I ran into Brooks in the sweaty line outside the convention’s media center, where he was rueful and said he should have anticipated the incomprehension at a column that was “originally intended as a parody of the media storyline.”
The reaction, he said, was “regrettable but predictable.”
“Taste in humor is entirely partisan.”
@Litlebritdifrnt: The proper set up line is, “The Paulites are revolting!”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Litlebritdifrnt: I predict, in the debates, there will be lots of examples of gov’t programs that
helpcooperate with small business to create jobs and strengthen the private sector. Maybe, just maybe, one or two examples from MA 2002-06, or that PaulAyn Ryand voted for, maybe even passionate argued for on the floor of the House.
@JPL: (Quoting Brooks)
Bullshit. I enjoy a “Bill Clinton is a horndog who loves McDonalds” joke as much as anyone even when I don’t buy the premise.
@Ash Can: haha.. The whole world is watching.. Some folks aren’t happy.
You guys have got to go over to Sully’s place to see the video he has for his mental health break, it is titled “Clever bird goes fishing”. It is brilliant you have to see it.
It seems to me, from this Buzzfeed item that was linked to in the other thread, that Bobo was going for number two and wound up doing number one; and boy, is his face red.
That’s why my BIL is the only person in our extended family supporting Romney. He thinks Romney is this brilliant, moderate businessman and that’s what we will get after the election. He knows people who have sat on corporate boards with Romney, and they speak highly of the man.
Delusional. Like the Tea Party or Congress would let him turn moderate. Or put up any non-ideological Supreme Court nominees.
When has BoBo ever had a point, really? I loved it. So bad, it was hilarious. First time I’ve read a whole column of his in years.
This is what Brooks does. He writes an occasional moderate-sounding column that makes liberals think that his brain cells are functioning. Then, when everyone is paying attention to the “new” Bobo, he drops a stinker of GOP propaganda that smells up the internets for a week.
Get real, people, this is what he does. Next week, you’ll want to grab the pitchforks. Count on it.
@beltane: Yes, I agree, every now and then Brooks does have “an honest column.” And it just may happen once every general election cycle — I haven’t been keeping count but I do remember a few other head-scratchers. They are spaced just far enough apart that most people forget there were others in the past.
Then he gets a memo that outlines his mistake and he goes back to what he usually does. Apparently maintaining the facade of “reasonable middle” is harder than it looks, making it easy to lose one’s footing and veer off into authentic reasonableness.
I’m still leaning toward the theory that Brooks wrote it as an honest takedown and chickened out when he realized that he was looking at exile from his comfy world.
Some of the lines are to deadly to be parody of our side: “arduous 9-month campaign in which he ran unopposed” etc.
Republican social and political interaction reminds me a lot of the way that the royal courts used to work before the modern era…every move, every eyeblink, every word, every gesture is about status. Whether it’s signifying status, creating status, reducing a rival’s status, increasing your own status, it’s all about status. It’s like a human version of various courtship rituals among animals…if I can make myself look bigger than him, he’ll back down and I get this female/banana/political nomination. It’s very brainstem. Which is appropriate, I guess. Republicans are exceedingly limbic.
Off Buzzfeed’s site:
more sightings of the Ecco Homo botched restoration.
I particularly like it on a piece of toast. There were some good ones.
(Way funnier than Bobo’s explanation, for my money.)
Obama made a statement about Isaac urging people to take the warning seriously and evacuate when urged. Hunker down, Gulf Coast wingnuts!
@MikeJ: They stink on ice…
Hmm… as I was posting, so was danimal. I think the main difference between our comments is that danimal thinks Brooks does it on purpose and I think he’s so unsmart he does it by accident. Guess we’ll never know…
Who knows with this dickhead. The damage is done and BoBo has a sad, so all’s well. Just as a general rule, if you’re living in a fantasy universe it’s very difficult to do parody properly for people who live in the real one.
I agree with this. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
On the other hand, Brooks clearly has a hidden agenda, and that is to regain the old centrist credibility mantle.
Shawn in ShowMe
Why would he choose now to inject a bit of humor into his column for the first time in his published career? That’s like John Boehner swearing off Jack Daniels. Even Bobo can’t be this stupid.
Ooh. Oooh. More Buzzfeed.
Wire services cropped photo of Reince Priebus.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Really? Unbelievable!
@JPL: It’s solid, wall-to-wall Tea Party butthurt. Absolutely amazing. Schadenfreude doesn’t even begin to describe it. Yes, idiots, your emperor is naked. Cry, morons, cry.
@Ohio Mom: I’ve never considered Brooks stupid. Which isn’t a compliment, because that means he knows what he’s doing when he plays the reasonable conservative schtick.
Bobo exists to give cover for the extreme conservatives.
I don’t know if that’s true as a general rule, but it’s certainly true of Romney. Never seen a more thin-skinned politician in my life (well, maybe Palin…)
That essay was meant to be a parody? Epic fail.99% of people who can comprehend English will think he doesn’t like Romney. Parody doesn’t work well in 11eleventy1!1 dimensions.
Does this mean that Steve Carell will get the lead in the Reince Priebus biopic?
I think there’s a class of Republicans who still believes there’s an “Eastern Establishment,” who see it as a good thing (as opposed to the True Believers) and who like guys like Romney and Christie because they see them as representing that establishment. And yeah, it’s pretty deluded.
I don’t give Republicans credit for their ability to play eleventy-dimensional chess, for the most part. If Our Man Brooks is really being sly here and defusing contra-Romney arguments, it’s too much of a stretch.
@Chris: All establishment Republicans have to do is look at who advises him on foreign policy.
@Elizabelle: I see teleprompters, two of them. Aren’t those things verboten to the Republicans?
@Shawn in ShowMe:
Maybe he was jealous because Mittens got a lot of attention for his birther “humor”, and he thought he’d give it a whirl. “Just joking, peeps! Oh shit, they don’t have the right sense of partisan humor, oh noes!”
i think bobo lost a bet to gail, and this is the result.
There’s some kind of weird underground wingnut thing about the lock box situation (without using the term) right now apparently. I was at a bbq over the weekend and a guy who was ranting about “these asshole liberals” kept on about how Democrats were raiding all the Social Security funds, and spending it on worthless shit.
I said to him about The Lockbox, and how everyone made fun of Al Gore for that, said raiding SS was pure projection on the part of the GOP. He went off muttering, “Al Gore?” and sounding very puzzled. Lordy.
dang, that’s practically a scene-for-scene remake. language and all.
from the buckley essay: “His ability to change water into wine added to his popularity”
from the mittens essay: “His ability to turn wine into water detracted from his popularity at parties.”
jesus, what a hack.
Well, for fuck’s sake, why doesn’t somebody just ask him?
RE: I do agree that mocking Romney instead of attacking him would be a good idea. Mockery is about the only thing that seems to be effective against a BS artist with a total disregard for the truth.
It might be fun to get beneath that veneer of “Hail fellow well met” BS that Romney has been trained to exude as a substitute for real confidence.
And while Obama couldn’t do something like this directly, it can come from surrogates:
The Republicans claim that Romney knows how to run a business. Romney didn’t run a business. He ran away with other people’s money, hid it away in foreign bank accounts, and then refused to be honest with the American people about how he got that money by refusing to show his tax returns.
The Republicans claim that Romney knows how to run the country. But he nearly ran Massachusetts into the ground, and was rejected by voters there when he tried to run for a second term there.
Someone did. He claimed it was not making fun of Romney.
But reading it, I find that hard to believe. I think he’s been overcome by cowardice.
It’s for the totebaggers. He’ll do a parallel column on Obama next week. We’ve seen this show before.
It’s not at all a typical Bobo piece, but never once did it occur to me that his mockery of Romney was anything other than a mockery of Romney. And I think I’m a pretty good snark detector.
Yeah, I have to agree it was just Brooks taking his morning shave staring at Mark Twain in the mirror.
By the way, I had not heard that “..David Brooks, faithful courtier.. brag[s] that a sitting U.S. Senator once spent an entire dinner party fondling his thigh!”.
As Eric Idle once said, “Say no more, say no more, wink-wink, nudge-nudge”.
Must have been worth it to him, though. He recently bragged about his new, big house, and the fact he’ll be able to entertain oh! so many more perverts all at once during his future parties.
@Litlebritdifrnt: See also:
People really should learn to register their domain names.