NY Times columnist David Brooks demonstrates why he is a putz:
The only survey I’ve seen on who these people are was conducted by New York magazine. Three percent are mainstream liberals of the Barack Obama variety. Twelve percent you might call assertive liberals in the manner of our own Paul Krugman. Roughly 40 percent say they are outside the two parties in the manner of an angrier Ralph Nader, and about 34 percent say there is no moral distinction to be made between Al Qaeda and America. In other words, this is a pretty hard left group.
I actually do think America is morally superior to Al Qaeda. I wouldn’t want to associate with a group in which a third disagree. I’m sort of surprised that so many mainstream liberals are completely unbothered by this. I’m also surprised there aren’t more liberals like Arthur Schlesinger in days of yore, willing to draw lines between liberalism and radicalism, between themselves and Noam Chomsky.
I realize Brooks is a few years older than I am, but I’m pretty sure he can use the internets. It’s really not hard to figure out why Occupy Wall Street is twice as popular as the Tea Party among the non-anarchist set. In Brooks’ second
ejaculation* utterance, we read what he thinks of 54% of the U.S. population:
I confess this is why I dislike most protest movements. Occasionally you get an admirable one infused with moral discipline and led by adults (the civil rights movement). But mostly they are occasions for people to luxuriate in their own righteousness without having to deal with the difficulties of actually doing something good.
Of course, back in the day, card-carrying conservatives would refer to the civil rights movement as The Negro Revolt, but what’s a little historical revisionism among friends? But we hoi polloi wouldn’t know that anyway because we’re all lazy idiot children:
Kids today, no work ethic.
Meanwhile, here on Planet Earth, we need better so-called elites:
In the Spring of 2000, my friend and former colleague Zack Exley arrived in Washington, DC, to observe the protests that had engulfed the city during the World Bank’s annual meeting. Driving into Washington from the airport, out the window of his taxi he saw “a teenage white girl with long dreadlocks who wore a homemade t-shirt proclaiming: WE NEED A NEW SYSTEM.”
Later that evening he attended a party at the home of then-Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers along with “ambassadors, politicians, esteemed professors and what seemed like the entire combined senior economist staff of the IMF, World Bank and Treasury.”
It turned out Larry Summers had seen the girl too and was eagerly telling his guests about an interaction he had with her:
And so I asked the girl: ‘What is this new system that you want? Tell me about it!’ And the girl had nothing. Nothing! She had no fucking clue what this magical new system was supposed to be. No one is saying that there aren’t problems with the world economy the way it is today. But these kids out there — they don’t know what they want!
“Mr. Secretary,” said Zack. “You’ve got 50 economics PhDs in this room who pretty much run the world economy. And you’re asking that girl for a better system? Aren’t the solutions your job? You admit billions are living in hell, but it’s up to that girl to fix it?”
…In 2000, Larry Summers tried to outsource fixing a global economic system he bore responsibility for to a girl in dreadlocks. Elites in the media and our political system are now attempting to foist the same responsibility to those camping in Zuccotti Park….
If those in the media casting aspersions on the protestors had spent a decade covering the underlying problems with our economy, instead of cheerleading the housing bubble; worked to expose the lies that led our country to war, instead of taking an administration at its word; and not allow themselves to be manipulated by political and media figures whose goal was simply to distort our political processes, there might not be a need to Occupy Wall Street. Instead the dreadlocked girl is still right — we need a new system.
A good start would be eliminating David Brooks’ position, and hiring someone who doesn’t do piss-poor pseudo-sociology.
*A note about the Yiddish word putz. Because we like helping! Putz actually means the head of the penis–which is an apt descriptor of David Brooks. I hear people using this word a lot in really inappropriate situations. Also, there is a big difference between futzing around and putzing around.