David Brooks and the Myth of the Unreasonable Democrat (Updated)

In today's New York Times (motto: "Our anti-Clinton boner is just getting hard"), David Brooks has a piece where he describes the problem with the campaign strategy of Hillary Clinton, which comes down to "She ain't sucking the dicks of the yahoos." In his column (if by "column," you mean, "a consistent stream of illogical and ahistorical thought worded in a way to hide a vast, dark emptiness of the soul"), Brooks fears that Clinton is making a mistake by "adopt[ing] left-leaning policy positions carefully designed to energize the Obama coalition."

See, Clinton shouldn't veer left-er, Brooks says, because that'll make the mythical independents run away. And "If Clinton comes across as a stereotypical big-spending, big-government Democrat, she will pay a huge cost in the Upper Midwest and the Sun Belt," because, obviously, a whole lot of people in Alabama are just chomping at the bit to vote for Clinton, if only she keeps her liberal thoughts to herself.

It's just a disaster waiting to happen, and Brooks flops on his fainting couch about what might happen if Clinton goes ahead with this strategy to appeal to voters who vote for her. It polarizes the country, which is just too darn polarized already: "Politics is broken today because those sorts of leaders have been replaced by highly polarizing, base-mobilizing politicians who hew to party orthodoxy." Polarized, damnit.

Of course, it's all about getting shit done, and no-way, no-how would Clinton be able to. She'll miss out on a possible Shangri-La of legislative success: "If the next president hopes to pass any actual laws, he or she will have to create a bipartisan governing majority. That means building a center-out coalition, winning 60 reliable supporters in the Senate and some sort of majority in the House." Just look at all the leaders who succeeded recently. They all said they'd lead from the middle: "In 1992, Bill Clinton firmly grabbed the center. In 2000, George Bush ran as a uniter, not a divider. In 2008, Barack Obama ran as a One Nation candidate who vowed to transcend partisan divides."

Now you, being a semi-rational person, actually understands what happened in the United States in the last, oh, hell, let's say decade and a half. You know that George W. Bush's "uniter" line was  complete bullshit, that, after bumblefucking around for a few months, he got 9/11ed into a position where he could just do whatever the fuck he wanted, center or left be damned, using fear and lies and intimidation to ass-fuck the nation. But at least Democrats tried to work with him.

To pretend in any way that Obama is responsible for the polarization of politics in his time in office is to deliberately obfuscate recent history because right-wing idiots will believe anything a conservative jacks off into their brains. Obama tried, desperately, to work with Republicans, who told him to shove it up his black ass. One of the main stories of the Obama administration is the concerted effort of the Republican party to break Americans apart, to shove them back to partisan divides, to wreck any chance at even a compromised unity. You want to praise Obama for trying to reach out? Then you have to put in how it demoralized his coalition of voters, leading to the 2010 and 2014 midterms debacle. If Obama had "pandered" to the base, he might still have had a chance to do more than a piecemeal version of his agenda. The fact of the matter is that Obama was the reasonable Democrat, and his opposition couldn't have given less of a shit.

Back in 2011, Brooks was also warning Democrats not to play to the base, intimating that Obama might not win reelection if he did. Besides, that game is only for Republicans because only 15% of people at the time said they trusted the government: "If Obama were a Republican, he could win with this sort of strategy: Repeat your party’s most orthodox positions and then rip your opponent to shreds. Republicans can win a contest between an orthodox Republican and an orthodox Democrat because they have the trust in government issue on their side." Like now, this was nonsense because the actual Gallup poll said that 15% have a "Great Deal" of trust. Another 42% had a "Fair Amount" of trust. By the magic of the Rude Pundit's amazing adding abilities, that's 57% who have a good bit of trust in the government, a number that's stayed pretty fuckin' steady.

In other words, David Brooks's assumptions were based on selectively picking numbers. Fuck that. Fuck the center. The center is a lie, filled with people who are pussies about saying what they really are - they're fucknuts who want to act like they are so independent when all they're really doing is licking the asses of rich Republicans or they're people who want to call themselves Democrat but were raised Republican and don't know what to do.

So the Rude Pundit offers the opposite advice to Clinton: Fuck being reasonable. Look where that got you in 2008. Punch the yahoos in the balls and preach to the converted, who want to feel good about going to church.

Update: Let's be honest here, too. Bernie Sanders is the real liberal in the race, whatever you think his chances are. Hillary Clinton has taken some positions on issues that are to the left of Republicans, which, of course, puts conservatives into a froth, even if her ideas are not particularly radical. Most of the things Clinton says (or that Sanders says, for that matter) are very popular positions among, you know, the majority of voters.