New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Yeah, it’s been a while since last we discussed the vagaries of the New York Times op-ed page, but this is a good one for our return. You see, David Brooks, man we’ve long mocked in these pages, produced some pure greatness today. While I tend to be averse to the term “mansplain,” mostly because I don’t use portmanteaus that often, Mr. Brooks is full of it today. Let’s look into his column, titled “After the Women’s March.” Well, with that title, I can bet you already know where this is going:

If the anti-Trump forces are to have a chance, they have to offer a better nationalism, with diversity cohering around a central mission, building a nation that balances the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.

The march didn’t come close. Hint: The musical “Hamilton” is a lot closer.

Yes, David Brooks wants “anti-Trump forces” to combine the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.  Just like Jesus said. I’m just going to leave that Hamilton reference alone.

Advertisements

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting a line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, accidentally intelligent or well-written.

Everybody’s been talking about David Brooks’s column today, “I Miss Barack Obama,” in which he concludes:

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.

Hey, David Brooks, thank you for finally noticing in the ninth inning of his presidency that the president seems like a pretty good guy.

 

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from David Brooks, who turns in a pretty boring affair with his column today, “The Structure of Gratitude,” opening:

I’m sometimes grumpier when I stay at a nice hotel.

Yeah, samesies, man.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

We’re very aware of the fact that the NYTCLOTD has basically become a “Stupid Shit David Brooks Gets Paid to Write” feature. That’s fine. Mostly because nobody gives a shit about Maureen Dowd’s gossip columns or Gail Collins’s basically this is correct but it’s kind of boring columns anymore. It’s okay. We’re fine with just picking on David Brooks, because the shit he writes is just objectively terrible. Maybe once upon a time there was a space for a right-of-center columnist who is informed by some kind of bland liberal arts. Hell, maybe there still is. But what David Brooks is doing these days is wonderfully close to criminal.

Due to some kind of illness, I didn’t have a chance to take on David Brooks’s column yesterday. Chances are, you’ve already either heard about it or hate-read it. It’s currently half-time in the USA-Cuba Gold Cup match, and the United States (by God) is up 4-0 in a rousing rout. So, I took the halftime intermission to read what it was that David Brooks wrote.

Holy shit.

First of all, it’s titled “Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White.” Now, I know headlines are generally written by editors and not the columnists themselves, but I can’t help but assume that was precisely the name of the file that Brooks emailed his editor: “Listening.to.Ta-Nehisi.Coates.While.White.Rev.7.docx.” Ha, Rev. 7. There’s no way this wasn’t just written off the top of his head in a fiery six minutes before it was due.

There are so many lines, and there’s no way that I could possibly pick one out. I mean, the first line that I though for sure would be the line of the day is:

America is Egypt without the possibility of the Exodus.

I mean, what? That doesn’t make any sense and you know it. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt (and I have no idea why), so I thought on it a few minutes. Maybe you’re making an analogy to how black slaves sought comfort in the idea of the Jewish slaves of Egypt escaping by the grace of God and the leadership of Moses. If that’s the case, that’s the most superficial analysis of one of the most complex and horrific situations in world history, and you’re basically just hand-waving. Oh, well, that is what you do for the rest of your column. Let’s move on, though. Here’s another line:

You obviously do not mean that literally today (sometimes in your phrasing you seem determined to be misunderstood).

First, it’s not anybody’s fault but your own that you are a terrible reader. Why do you think Coates does not mean that today? Also: Coates is a terrific writer who writes more clearly than most of the people you read in college. And, I’d say that you are more determined to be misunderstood. I’m still trying to figure out why you wrote this column, and what the hell the point is you’re trying to make.

But I have to ask, Am I displaying my privilege if I disagree?

Jesus tap-dancing Christ, of course. Why the fuck do you think you wouldn’t be? Black man writes book about the experience of being black in America, and you, the privileged white guy who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, deign to disagree with what he wrote?

Does a white person have standing to respond?

Why do you think this might be acceptable? At this point you’re seriously sounding like some fedora-wearing men’s right activist about to tell a woman why she has taken away his rights by demanding her own. Now, let’s get to this, regarding the so-called “American Dream:”

This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements.

Did you ever think that if our country had not been founded on a edifice of racism, there wouldn’t even be a need for “heroic social reform movements?” No? Oh, right, you’re white. You think that being subjugated probably makes you a better person.

Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change.

Hell-yes-gif

I know you were under the gun (pun absolutely intended), and you had to throw together 750 words yet again on whatever subject about which you wanted to write, but honestly, that one sentence was what you should have submitted. Your column was bad and you should feel bad.

Also, in case you’re curious, The Deuce just scored his first hat-trick for the United States.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from David Brooks—Jesus Christ, it’s always from David Brooks—who in his column today, “The New Old Liberalism,” writes about Hillary Clinton’s economic speech:

“This speech was more Children’s Defense Fund than Thomas Piketty. It was the sort of speech you give if you spend more time listening to voters, especially female ones, than studying the quintiles in the income distribution charts.”

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Someday I wish I could do this column on a day that David Brooks is not writing. Unfortunately, I’m not that lucky. Today’s is from, yup, David Brooks, who in his column today, “The Democratic Tea Party” (groan, eye roll, lights self on fire), writes:

As various people have noted, the Democratic vote last week was a miniversion of the effort to destroy the League of Nations after World War I.

First of all, New York Times, miniversion is not a word; I don’t care what your style guide says. Secondly, who are these various people? That’s a dumb thing for various people not named David Brooks to have noted.

Finally, on the subject of David Brooks, he should be fired for making shit up.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

You had to know that David Brooks would jump all over the statement over the weekend that the Clinton campaign would be targeting actual Democrats instead of running some kind of magical 50-state strategy wherein she would win both Alabama and Massachusetts. Because David Brooks’s obsession since childhood has been believing in the magical bipartisan unicorn, of course he was all over that shit. Oh, and speaking of unicorns:

If the next president hopes to pass any actual laws, he or she will have to create a bipartisan governing majority.

That’s hilarious, mostly because a “bipartisan governing majority” has never once existed. But, hey, David, keep on beating that horse—I’m not sure it’s quite dead yet.