The New York Times is best enjoyed with a fine wine I hear, because one has to be drunk to get any enjoyment from reading the old fishwrapper. The Times must have caught on to this, as it has apparently decided to supply us with some. Unfortunately, someone at the esteemed Old Grey Lady mixed up the homonyms along the way and gave us a whine instead. Today's whine comes courtesy of supposed conservative David Brooks, you know, the guy NewsHour with Jim Lehrer calls when it needs a "conservative" to slap around. And while wine is suitable for those over the age of 21, Brooks' drivel is suitable for no one.
Apparently, he has decided to give some sort of praise to the Tea Party movement, yet he apparently cannot do so without whining about how his own class, that of the intellectuals, has lost influence. Observe:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.
The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.
The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.
A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity.
The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy — with bloated government, unsustainable deficits, high taxes and intrusive regulation.
Brooksie-baby if this is your form of praise for us Tea Partiers, I think we can live without it.
First, the reason the public has rejected these ideas the educated classes have proposed is because they don't work. They may seem like nice ideas in the utopias that exist in the minds of those ivory towered navel pickers, but they don't translate well into the real world, you know, the place where the rest of us live?
Second, if the public has spurned the intellectual class, it is because the intellectual class has spurned us. You see, to them, we are the great unwashed. They are the brahmins, and we are the shudras, the "untouchables", if you will. They dare not associate with us lest for fear of becoming that which they apparently dread most: a commoner. They reject common sense solutions because there just has to be a better, more intellectual way, and as I said before, while their ideas may sound nice to them, chances are, what fits their ever-so prized philosophy just isn't going to work out here in the real world.
Finally, I can't help but think that, as I suggested in the title, Brooks is bemoaning his own irrelevance. He should remember, though, that if he is losing influence among conservatives (if he had any to begin with) it is because he has rejected them, not the other way around. How many times has he gone against what conservatives want? How many times has he said that conservatives should abandon their limited government principles? Remember, too, that he supported Barack Obama and is still apparently under his thrall. These two facts alone ought to be enough to qualify him as a persona non grata to conservatives if he wasn't already, and to most of them it was but two more reasons in a very large stack not to listen to him.
In short, if David Brooks is irrelevant, it is because he has made himself so. He, and, for that matter, most of the rest of the intellectual class, has dug the hole he finds himself in.