Taking apart Beltway pundits is Matt Taibbi’s specialty, and every time he does it, I’m going to link to him. I have a particular distaste for mainstream pundits, partially because they get paid lots of money to bloviate on subjects they don’t understand, but mostly because they’ve risen to the top of their field by sucking up to the Washington establishment and serving the commercial interests of their paper/network.
David Brooks is probably the worst example of this, an utterly spineless dweeb whose job it is to intellectualize western imperialism and sell it to the upper middle classes through whichever paper he happens to be working for. I’m sure some government department has him on their payroll as Brooks has never met a war he didn’t like, and never failed to represent U.S corporate interests in any policy debate he has taken part in. Matt Taibbi, as always, manages to crystallize Brooks better than anyone else I’ve read, and hilariously takes him to school over his latest apologist piece on Obama’s ‘moral’ war in Afghanistan:
Brooks is a perfect example of the kind of spineless Beltway geek we
always see beating the war drum at times like these. It’s because
nebbishly little dorks like Brooks and Paul Wolfowitz and David Frum
got their books dumped in high school that we end up dropping daisy
cutters on Afghan sheep herds and shipping working class American kids
halfway around the world to get their nuts blown off. That sounds like a simplistic explanation, but anyone who doesn’t have
a keen ear for the pencil-pusher’s eternal quest for macho cred is
going to have a hard time understanding Washington politics. Brooks’s
columns have always been the easiest way to take the pulse of that
particular dynamic, and it sure seems now that bureaucratic momentum
for intervention and more intervention is re-inflating the chests of
these Beltway generals.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.