David Brooks has spent so many years providing ideological cover for Republicans as the conservative movement descended into madness that he clearly started to buy into his own bullshit. Since the election of Trump, he can't quite seem to believe that what we're seeing is the fruition of American conservatism. His latest column laments that Steve Bannon and Trump have not been able to implement their "populist" agenda to help the working class:
The Trump health care and budget plans will be harsh on the poor, which we expected. But they’ll also be harsh on the working class, which we didn’t.
We’re ending up with the worst of the new guard Trumpian populists and the old guard Republican libertarians. We’re building walls to close off the world while also shifting wealth from the poor to the rich.
The overall complaint of the column is woe upon America that Bannon has been sidelined and if only he could take control of Trump's administration, he could solve all our economic troubles:
Back in the good old days — like two months ago — it was fun to watch Bannon operate. He was the guy with a coherent governing philosophy. He seemed to have realized that the two major party establishments had abandoned the working class. He also seemed to have realized that the 21st-century political debate is not big versus small government, it’s open versus closed.
Bannon had the opportunity to realign American politics around the social, cultural and economic concerns of the working class. Erect barriers to keep out aliens from abroad, and shift money from the rich to the working class to create economic security at home.
That is an amazing feat of mental gymnastics.
Whether Brooks believes it or not, Steve Bannon is the man who filled the domestic and economic wing of Trump's Cabinet with Goldman Sachs alumni and incompetent placeholders (see Rachel Maddow for who was behind filling the intelligence and foreign policy wing. Hint: Zdrastvuite, comrade!). With that much of the 1% elite building Trump's economic message, there was literally no chance that the working class, white or otherwise, was not going to be crushed. The foxes have literally been put in charge of the hen house. Brooks would have to be insane to think Steve Bannon was going to help the little guy
Meanwhile, pretty much everyone on the left fully expected the coming one-sided game of roshambo. In fact, it's become something of a litany among progressives that at least the morons that voted for Trump are going to pay the biggest price for it. Schadenfreude is a cold comfort but it will have to do until the 2018 election. Until then. someone needs to sit down and explain to David Brooks that the entire premise of modern American conservatism is screwing the poor and working class in order to pad the bottom line of the obscenely rich.