Friday, December 09, 2011

Brooks on Gingrich

I'm really not sure what Brad DeLong's problem is with David Brooks this morning--specifically, Brooks' takedown of Newt Gingrich.  Grant that Brooks marked Gingrich as "of all the major Republicans, the one who comes closest to my worldview."  But isn't there any scope for irony here, particularly of the wry, rueful irony of self-deflation?    It strikes me as both wry and rueful to say that Gingrich "Gingrich loves government more than I do."    But Brooks gets a lot more than rueful when he lets it hang out:

[Gingrich] has an unconservative faith in his own innocence. ... Gingrich was perfectly content to belly up to the Freddie Mac trough and then invent a Hamiltonian rational to justify his own greed.

Then there is his rhetorical style. ... Most people just want somebody who can articulate their hatreds, and Gingrich is demagogically happy to play the role.  ... Gingrich has a revolutionary temperament — intensity, energy, disorganization and a tendency to see everything as a cataclysmic clash requiring a radical response. 
And in case you missed the point:
[Gingrich] has every negative character trait that conservatives associate with ’60s excess: narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and intemperance. He just has those traits in Republican form.
Has DeLong--or, indeed, anybody--ever put it better?    

1 comment:

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

Brad is a splenetic guy, and you're right on this.

But Brooks is still a high-class whore for the Conintern. He may be capable of real insight and is surely incapable of writing an awkward sentence. But he's also incapable of candor, even when he happens to be speaking the truth. He's a mouthpiece, pretending to be an independent voice. (Bill Safire, his predecessor, was very different until near the end. He wrote what he thought until his last few years on the job, when he turned into a Bushbot.)

Brooks' masters told him that Mitt's the man, not Newt. Bobo then dutifully assumed the position.