January 13, 2016

"The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence."

"He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind. Evangelicals and other conservatives have had their best influence on American politics when they have proceeded in a spirit of personalism — when they have answered hostility with service and emphasized the infinite dignity of each person. They have won elections as happy and hopeful warriors. Ted Cruz’s brutal, fear-driven, apocalypse-based approach is the antithesis of that."

Writes David Brooks, brutally, in "The Brutalism of Ted Cruz."

Who are the "happy and hopeful warriors," I wonder?  George W. Bush, I presume, but the mainstream media loved to portray him as a monster. It was convenient for them that he did not fight back, even to defend himself. Turn the other cheek. He got no credit from them for that Christian charity at the time, but he's convenient now as a model for what the staunch, hard-fighting Evangelical Ted Cruz ought to be.

"Personalism" feels unfamiliar to me. Brooks follows it with what looks like his definition — commitment to "the infinite dignity of each person" — but I was curious enough to look it up in the (unlinkable) Oxford English Dictionary. The first definition is: "The quality or character of being personal; a theory or system based on subjective ideas or applications." An early example comes from The Atlantic in 1890: "Hampered by this impotent system of personalism... the party in possession of the executive power soon begins to drift helplessly upon a sea of troubles." I'm delighted to find the whole article on line. It's about the "growing inefficiency" of the House of Representatives.

The second definition is: "Allegiance to a person, esp. a political leader, rather than to a party or ideology." Example: 1937  Times 4 Sept. 11/6  "Personalism is a characteristic of Argentine politics. A party is the personal following of a man." This can't be Brooks's meaning. The vector points in the wrong direction. The "person" in that personalism is the leader, not all the individual ordinary people subject to his power.

Finally, we arrive at philosophy, and here there are 2 meanings, one of which I'll quickly toss to the side: "The theory that probabilities are expressions of a personal perspective on the occurrence of events, and so do not have objective meaning." Improbable!

The other is: "A system of thought according to which reality has meaning only through the conscious minds of persons, or (in a theistic, esp. Christian, context) of God as the supreme person, or that reality consists of interacting persons. Also: a view of social organization which emphasizes the primacy of human beings and their actions, rather than material resources." Is this it? From the historical examples:
1957   M. P. Fogarty Christian Democracy iii. 29   Personalism, as distinct from individualism, is held by Christian Democrats to imply a certain ‘solidarist’ conception of the individual's responsibility to and for the society around him.
Personalism, as distinct from individualism.... That rather fits with Brooks's fear of brutality of free markets — see the quote in the post title — and desire to balance it with a spirit of "solidarity."

I was reading the Brooks column as a consequence of James Taranto's "Brooks Borks Cruz." (Google some text to get to a link that will work for you if that doesn't.) I'm reading Taranto's column only now, after writing all of the above, so it amuses me to see that Taranto latched onto a word. For him, it's "brutalism": "Brutalism is a style of architecture, but Brooks means to repurpose the term as an ideological slur—and a religious one."

Actually, the OED has an older meaning of "brutalism," "Brutal state, brutality," but you've got to wonder why the normal word "brutality" didn't seem quite right. "Brutalism" sounds more systematized and cerebral. Something about -isms.

Brooks's context, aside from the headline, is: "But Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy." Pagan, eh? This, after saying "Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues." Brooks isn't Christian, it should be noted, but Jewish. By the way, do pagans deserve this insult? "Pagan" originated as an insult, but I don't see how the insult is deserved. Ironically, Brooks's use of it displays a lack of respect for the infinite dignity of each person.

Taranto focuses on a Supreme Court case, Dretke v. Haley, which Brooks puts at the top of his column and distorts rather grotesquely to make Cruz seem like a heartless brute. Here, the irony is brutally obvious. Brooks cannot possibly care about the infinite — or even the finite — dignity of Ted Cruz.

89 comments:

campy said...

Brooks: professional concern troll.

Fen said...

And this is why civility with the Left is a fool's gambit. George Bush was the epitome of civility, what did it get him? Ridicule and contempt.

What the Left understands and responds to is the ISIS model - if they offend you, kill them.

David Begley said...

If David Brooks of the NYT is against Ted Cruz, then I'm backing Ted.

It is good for Ted to have The Times as an enemy and Ted knows it.

tola'at sfarim said...

i guess brooks is voting for huckabee. Cruz needs to find a new tailor

wendybar said...

David Brooks, the supposed conservative on the NYT??? Hahahahahaha...He's about as conservative as Obama!! He is a tool

Brando said...

What exactly makes someone a "happy warrior"? I heard that term used for Al Smith and Hubert Humphrey, but not really used for Republicans. If it simply means "conveys optimism" and "cheerful demeanor" I'd think Reagan and George W Bush would qualify, while Richard Nixon or Bob Dole (fairly or unfairly) would not.

tim maguire said...

It's been my experience that politicians as they exist in the real world play very little role in people's opinions about them. Most of us decide very early on whether we like and dislike a politician, often for superficial, even inaccurate, reasons. Then everything that person says or does is filtered through this judgment. We latch on to things that reinforce our preconceptions and discount or outright ignore the things that contradict our preconceptions.

Op-Eds like this one from Brooks could have been (may have been) written long ago, before anyone had even declared. He brings it out now, dusts it off, and inserts the needed names in the needed places. There is no insight anywhere within it, nothing inspired by any aspect of the real Ted Cruz.

Tank said...

Another example of a my having the right enemies.

Ann Althouse said...

Misplaced comment, by Sebastian: "Turn the other cheek. He got no credit from them for that Christian charity at the time, but he's convenient now as a model for what the staunch, hard-fighting Evangelical Ted Cruz ought to be" It doesn't matter what cons do. Progs will attack them regardless, for any reason that's handy. Though it's been a while since we've had a Jew telling a Christian he's not a good Christian. Nice reversal of the Jimmy Carter gambit, a Christian telling Jews they're not good Jews."

machine said...

apparently a happy warrior is one who lies his country into war and violates the law by torture....


good times

tim maguire said...

>machine said...
apparently a happy warrior is one who lies his country into war and violates the law by torture....


President Johnson? Is this a Gulf of Tonkin reference?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I'm glad David Brooks had become a spectacularly obvious fraud who is driving up support for Ted Cruz.... As opposed to just another run-of-the-mill fraud that people who aren't as informed gave credence to.

Roy Jacobsen said...

This is the same David Brooks who wrote that insightful analysis of Obama's trouser crease, innit?

Tells me everything I need to know.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

apparently a happy warrior is one who lies his country into war and violates the law by torture

Yep. Death by drone for innocents and guilty alike is a far more "sanitary" solution.

tim in vermont said...

"Blood and soil" is more than code for Nazi, it's calling Cruz a Nazi.

Big Mike said...

Brooks is a left-wing extremist whom the Times keeps parading as a conservative.

Hey, Brookie! It's called "tough love" and right now the inner cities are overdue for it, lest more urban areas become Detroit.

Henry said...

Someone forgot to give Mr. Brooks his napkin back.

Henry said...

"The buttery softness, served cold, is rubbery and and hilariously flavorless."

Terry said...

What Bush did re: Iraq and the GWOT was approved by congress, implicitly or explicitly. America was a far more democratic nation 2001-2009 than it has been since then.
Hillary voted for the war with Iraq. You should watch the speech she gave along with her vote. No doubt at all expressed about WMD. She seemed to think that her vote would do something to repair Bill's can-kicking the inevitable Iraq confrontation down the road.
If the US had a Tory party, Brooks would be in it. Hell, he would run it. But America doesn't have a Tory party.
Brooks is displacing. Everything he says about Cruz would better apply to Obama, and Brooks voted for Obama.

Henry said...

Mr. Cruz set the table "so haphazardly that my spoon ended up next to my water glass instead of my plate."

tim in vermont said...

Those to whom The Internationale is a sacred anthem naturally define anybody who values national borders and cultural traditions "blood and soil fascists." There is no middle ground with these people.

garage mahal said...

Wow. When you've lost David Brooks...

Henry said...

garage mahal wrote:
Wow. When you've lost David Brooks...
It's worse when you've gained him...

holdfast said...

Brooks is the Platonic ideal of a Cuckservative.

Quayle said...

"Hey, Brookie! It's called "tough love" and right now the inner cities are overdue for it, lest more urban areas become Detroit."

Big Mike, as one who lives in the suburbs of Detroit, and frequently associates in my culture with many from the inner cities of Detroit, I can sincerely and ernestly say that tough love isn't the solution.

Love love is the solution. Humility by all, will do it. Cooperation will do it. An appreciation that not all will bring the same things to the table, will do it. A realization that some we will have to carry all the way to the end of their lives, and for those a clear and consistent willingness to cheerfully carry them, will do it. A realization that progress isn't defined by whether or not they or you or I move to or live in Bloomfield Hills or Burmingham (two very wealthy suburbs of Detroit) will also help a lot.

I aint garage mahal, believe me. But this much I do know, having been here and close to the issue for a number of yeare now.

Sebastian said...

"Misplaced comment" Hey, thanks. Work and all that . . . .

lgv said...

Brooks wants conservatives to turn the other cheek as a requisite for being good conservatives. Liberals and progressives? Not so much. It didn't work very well for Romney now did it?

It's like the old standard: If all Palestinians (replace with ISIS or whatever) put down their weapons, there would be peace. If all the Israelis put down their weapons, they would be dead.

Fortunately, no one reading Brooks' column will be affected by his point of view.



Michael McClain said...

Sounds like establishment elites are frightened of Cruz. Cruz might be the right man for the times.

RichardJohnson said...

Roy Jacobsen
This is the same David Brooks who wrote that insightful analysis of Obama's trouser crease, innit?

garage mahal
Wow. When you've lost David Brooks...
As garage doesn't bother to read that which doesn't fit his ignorant narrative,let us take a walk memory lane.

That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.”

David Brooks was "lost" years ago. Someone who falls in love with a "perfectly creased pant" is not someone whose judgment is trustworthy. But apparently so for garage.

Michael K said...

"impotent system of personalism"

Impotent is the operative term. Obama almost has a patent on impotence. One look at him on his bicycle back in 2008 was enough to tell the Iranians how to play him.

His SOTU speech ignored the US navy members who were being held until after the speech just to rub Obama's nose in his impotence. Democrats love this stuff. A guy named Turnham wrote a book about the left's desire for suicide, even before Islam became a problem. Richard Fernandez has the left's number now. He is predicting, accurately I believe, our future.

In belated mea culpa former senior adviser to president Obama Dennis Ross at last took his boss to task in an article titled: "How Obama Created a Mideast Vacuum". It's too late Dennis. What "too late" means was driven home years ago when one of the volunteer members of the Philippine Airlines cadaver recovery team described an accident which took the lives of 5 members of a university mountaineering club. The party was trekking along a dry riverbed on the lower slope of an 8,000 foot volcano in Mindoro. The weather was fine and the mountaineers were doomed. Unknown to them a squall had dumped a slug of rain on the peak high above them. The first warning they had of oncoming tons of water was a rumbling sound round the corner of the gorge. Then the flood came and only those fast enough to clamber up the riverbanks survived.

In the same way the present calm in Europe can be deceiving. Even if its leaders were somehow to reconstitute its borders, a gigantic flood from that vacuum upstream of the old continent is already rushing with irresistible force upon it. The UNHCR says refugee numbers are expected to increase in 2016. Some estimates say as many as 10 million more are on the way. From the beaches of North Africa to the overcrowded camps in Jordan and Lebanon; from every nook and cranny in MENA -- they are on the way. One way or the other a terrible smash is now in train.


The flood is on its way with Obama still holding the gates open. It won't stop in Europe.

Simon said...

I find the effort to create a Cruz-Trump axis... Unpersuasive.

Mike said...

I'm still not certain why Brooks spent so much time looking at Obama's pants 8 years ago. Nothing he's said has interested me. I find his opinions and style stale, naive, cowardly, deceptive, cynical and boorish. In short, he writes like a Democrat with a byline, no different from Krugman or that bigger windbag Friedman.

mccullough said...

I thought Brooks had converted to Christianity or was about to do so. He divorced his wife and seems to be trying out new things in his 50s.

Mike said...

In fact, Brooks talent barely rises above Garage-level insight.

Witness said...

"And this is why civility with the Left is a fool's gambit. George Bush was the epitome of civility, what did it get him? Ridicule and contempt."

And re-election.

garage mahal said...

Not pure enough! Purge!

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Purity" has nothing to do with it, garage. From where I stand, it's about vapidity.

Mike said...

There you go!

John said...

How is taking stuff from one person (ultimately at gunpoint) and giving it to another "Judeo-Christian charity"?

"Judeo-Christian charity" in my edition of the Bible involves people voluntarily helping others.

Related: In his book "The Law" (1845 or so) Frderick Bastiat discusses the question "Why is it moral for a group to do what it would be illegal for an individual to do?"

Why is it immoral, and illegal, for me to take $100 from my neighbour at gunpoint and then give it to another neighbour who I decide is needy and deserving?

Why is it moral, at least to some, and legal for the govt to take that same $100 from my neighbour at gunpoint to give to someone they think is needy and deserving. Or perhaps just has a vote that they need.

John Henry

holdfast said...

I'm still not certain why Brooks spent so much time looking at Obama's pants 8 years ago. "

I suspect he was waiting / hoping to get schlonged by the Obama campaign.

@Garage - Brooks purged himself for all time in 2008.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hey, remember when Hillary Clinton defended a rapist in court in the context of her role as a lawyer? Oh, she's just doing her job, that's both a stupid and ignorant attack, says the Media condescendingly.

Hey, remember when Ted Cruz argued a case before the Court in the context of doing his job for his state? Yeah, that proves Cruz is personally brutal, uncaring, heartless, and unChristian, says the Media, sneeringly.

What utter bullshit. Go fuck yourself, David Brooks.

Robert Cook said...

"...the mainstream media loved to portray (George Bush) as a monster. It was convenient for them that he did not fight back, even to defend himself. Turn the other cheek. He got no credit from them for that Christian charity at the time..."

Christian charity? More likely imperial disdain and indifference to the rabble's complaints.

traditionalguy said...

Brooks is a readable Judgementalist. He often talks of better ideals that someone else has come short of, in his opinion. That is what makes him the typical Conservative. But he also falls for the ideal of community ideals. That is what makes him group oriented and a typical Liberal.

But in this case, is is onto something about Cruz. The posture of the single man who comes to rule us, even with with our better values, is not the American tradition of a Government that tolerates all men's beliefs.

His father that created him says Ted is God's chosen King of America. Ted agrees.

tim in vermont said...

Wow. When you've lost David Brooks..

The collective IQ of both sides went up.

Char Char Binks said...

AH OO! AH OO! AH OO!!!

tim maguire said...

garage mahal said...
Not pure enough! Purge!


He says as he casts Brooks out of the liberal firmament for insufficient purity...

tim maguire said...

Robert Cook said...Christian charity? More likely imperial disdain and indifference to the rabble's complaints.

Mr. Cook, thank you for presenting such a great example of my earlier observation that people's opinions about politicians are far more about their own biases than the people the opinions purport to be about.

Rick said...

GWB:

America, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation’s promise. And whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love. And the proliferation of prisons, however necessary, is no substitute for hope and order in our souls. Where there is suffering, there is duty. Americans in need are not strangers, they are citizens, not problems, but priorities. And all of us are diminished when any are hopeless.

_____

Robert Cook:

Christian charity? More likely imperial disdain and indifference to the rabble's complaints.

___________

Thanks for further proof you respond to fantasies playing out in your head rather than reality. Bush ran on "compassionate" conservatism, an agreement to compromise and spend more to reach what we all agree are laudable goals (people generally disagree whether each others methods will be successful or on the relative values of tradeoffs). Rather than support this effort the far left has intentionally misrepresented it causing thoughtful people to wonder why. Why would they so vilify something they claim to be for?

MikeR said...

"Compassionate conservatism". Which part of, "We should all be caring people, but I don't think the current US Federal Government is the right tool for this particular problem", is too hard to understand?

eric said...

To David Brooks, Christian Charity is murderering your child in the womb. It's taking money from one guy and giving it to another. Christian charity in David Brooks world is when you build a really fast train that goes no where.

Thanks for the lecture, David.

Mac McConnell said...

John said..
"Why is it moral, at least to some, and legal for the govt to take that same $100 from my neighbour at gunpoint to give to someone they think is needy and deserving. Or perhaps just has a vote that they need."

The vote and the government's cut.

Robert Cook said...

"Thanks for further proof you respond to fantasies playing out in your head rather than reality. Bush ran on 'compassionate' conservatism, an agreement to compromise and spend more to reach what we all agree are laudable goals (people generally disagree whether each others methods will be successful or on the relative values of tradeoffs). Rather than support this effort the far left has intentionally misrepresented it causing thoughtful people to wonder why. Why would they so vilify something they claim to be for?"

Yes, and Barack Obama ran on "Hope" and "Change." Pretty slogans are easy and cheap...the blandishments of those whose aim is to sucker us. We no more got from Bush the so-called "compassionate conservatism" he promised than we got from Obama hope or change or anything other than more of what the past several presidential regimes have delivered: Cavier to the rich; shit to everyone else.

traditionalguy said...

The key to understanding who is a Conservative and who is not is a close examination of the War Cry of Americans against "even a small amount of Taxation without representation."

Who or what takes our money from us has authority over us. And then the Income Tax was created. But American tradition had long ago developed a tolerance of religious sects that claimed no one had authority over them except a God of their congregation's choosing.

So we ended up compromising that with a separation of Church and State theory. This became a basic tenet of the Southern Baptist Religion.

But Cruz says he is a Southern Baptist who can merge Church and State like the Spanish Kings did so well in their brutally conquered New World Empire given them by the Roman Pope. It was ruled for over 400 years from a convenient Treasure Fleet Port and administrative office located in Havanna, Cuba. That went into a new form after the Spanish American War, but the Cubans ruling things there still want it after they immigrated here or to Canada, or half and half.

Now everybody please bow your evangelical heads and close your Christian eyes while a new King named Cruz assumes his rightful Rule. No, I don't think so.

Robert Cook said...

"And the proliferation of prisons, however necessary...."

Who says the proliferation of prisons is necessary (other than those profiting off increasing the number of American citizens made into prison inmates, e.g., prison officials, private prison corporations, law enforcement agencies, politicians winning votes by pandering to the public's fear of crime...a fear manufactured and nourished by media exaggeration of criminal threat to us in a period where crime rates have been dropping for many years and are at historic or near-historic lows)?

Terry said...

Christian charity, Mr. Cook, is when the giver gives something he does not have to give, and the receiver gets something he had no right to receive. It is a marvelous thing. In the ancient world the idea of giving money away to complete strangers was thought to be madness.
In Christian charity, the giver is virtuous because he willingly takes on the suffering of others, as Christ did. Spare change is not charity. If you can't tell what you gave up with your charity, it's not Christian charity.
God could cure poverty and every ill in the world in the twinkling of an eye, but he doesn't. He wants us to choose to do it.

Mike Sylwester said...

Evangelicals and other conservatives have had their best influence on American politics when they have proceeded in a spirit of personalism — when they have answered hostility with service and emphasized the infinite dignity of each person.

I don't think that each person has infinite dignity, and so I would not commit myself to emphasizing that idea.

Go, Cruz !!!

Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
Yes, and Barack Obama ran on "Hope" and "Change." Pretty slogans are easy and cheap.


Slogans are cheap and easy, but Bush pursued his with NCLB and the Medicare Drug deal. He was also reached across the aisle specifically to those considered his most powerful and steadfast opponents such as Ted Kennedy. He tried to tackle serious problems with SS / Medicare reform. In other words he was a responsible President. I don't like much of what Bush did because (a) government programs are incredibly inefficient and subject to abuse and (b) I understood even then compromising with the far left is a fool's bargain since they simply respond by demanding more. But he responsibly tried to solve problems.

We no more got from Bush the so-called "compassionate conservatism" he promised than we got from Obama hope or change

In contrast to Obama Bush carried out his campaign promises to compromise and reduce partisanship.

Cavier to the rich; shit to everyone else.

The rich have always had caviar. If the rest got shit from government you ought to think some about government's ability to provide anything else since every single government has delivered less than current government. The history of the world demonstrates a vast increase in wealth and consumption among even its poorest members and your best solution is to stop that improvement because some people are improving at a lesser rate than "the rich". It's amazing how myopic and selfish you are considering the way you present yourself.

Gahrie said...

Who says the proliferation of prisons is necessary ......in a period where crime rates have been dropping for many years and are at historic or near-historic lows)?

All you need to know about Comrade Cookie is the fact that he doesn't understand the relationship of his two statements. I will attempt to clarify things for him.

Crime rates have been dropping for many years and are at historic or near-historic lows because of the proliferation of prisons.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Don't ignore this, as it can be effective. They were able to convince people to vote for Obama, despite what the evidence AND common sense told you.

MikeR said...

"Crime rates have been dropping for many years and are at historic or near-historic lows because of the proliferation of prisons." Unlikely. Have you compared to other countries that have fewer prisons? Correlation is not causation; do you have evidence for your claim?
I would have thought that the proliferation of prisons is mostly an outgrowth of the war on drugs, and is a really bad idea.

Rusty said...

"Faith, Hope and Charity", Bob
But the greatest of these is love(caritas)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Evangelicals and other conservatives have had their best influence on American politics when they have proceeded in a spirit of personalism — when they have answered hostility with service and emphasized the infinite dignity of each person.

Yeah you uppity right wingers, you shouldn't complain about getting repeatedly kicked in the balls, you're supposed to smile about it and ask how you can help--maybe you can suggest they get a bigger boot, something like that.
Hey, be more like Jesus! He was remarkably successful at convincing the ruling powers of his day that his ideological and political philosophy was the correct one and he was able to bring about those changes for which he preached within his lifetime. He was elected ruler, wasn't he? Oh, right, yeah, they crucified him, literally. Well look, that's what David Brooks wants for you, conservatives, you're SUPPOSED to be nailed to a cross and hung there until you die. Sure, Jesus was the Son of God and rose from the dead, and neither you nor your political movement will...but come on, you're letting ol' David Brooks down!

Seriously, David Brooks: go fuck yourself.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Maybe if we smile more the Media'll be fair. Maybe if we turn the other cheek a few dozen more times they won't label our views as dangerous, bigoted, racist, etc, when they objectively aren't. Maybe if we kiss the NYTime's ass it'll give us the basic courtesy of a fair hearing just like it did for GWB, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney....oh, hmm....maybe listening to David Brooks' advice to Republicans is something only an idiot (or the Republican Establishment, but I repeat myself) would do.

Incidentally, David Brooks should go fuck himself.

ETF3 said...

I thought this interesting on the article in question:

http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2016/01/an-nyt-hatchet-job-on-ted-cruz.html

HoodlumDoodlum said...

They have won elections as happy and hopeful warriors.

Hey is anyone else getting a little annoyed at the repeated Media assertions that the Republicans rely on fear (doom & gloom) while the Democrats are the party of optimism and cheerfulness? I mean, I thought climate change had to be considered the moral equivalent of war because if we don't change everything right now our grandkids'll all be dead on the scorched, fireball Earth? I though it was imperative that we not elect John McCain (and Sarah Palin!) because they were so very dangerous and would cause nuclear armageddon, no? I thought it was vital that we elect Democrats to solve the financial crisis because otherwise we'd all be living in shacks while fat cat plutocrats sold us into slavery. I thought getting a Democrat in the Whitehouse was the only way we could keep abortion, birth control, and tampons legal and prevent our wives and daughters from all dying of sepsis after back alley abortions (the abortions they'd have to have after being raped and/or subjected to incest, which Republicans would make legal, of course).
But yeah, you're right, those darn doom and gloom Republicans, they ought to take a more cheerful tone.

Hey, speaking of people who should go fuck themselves, David Brooks is certainly one.

Rick said...

HD,

Yes, absolutely. Why it's almost like they criticize others for failing standards they don't apply to themselves.

Mike Sylwester said...

ETF3:
I thought this interesting on the article in question:

http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2016/01/an-nyt-hatchet-job-on-ted-cruz.html

That is a superb article.

Hyphenated American said...

I responded to the NYT article. The idea about Cruz being "Spartan" is ludicrous.
Here is what I wrote with minor edits...

"Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence."

Sparta was a society with complete material equality between all. Everyone was supposed to eat together, property was common, coins were made brittle (and very large) in order to make it difficult to accumulate them.

In short. Sparta is the opposite of Cruz.

I wonder why so-called "elites" are so ignorant about basic history?

Hyphenated American said...

"Who says the proliferation of prisons is necessary (other than those profiting off increasing the number of American citizens made into prison inmates, e.g., prison officials, private prison corporations, law enforcement agencies, politicians winning votes by pandering to the public's fear of crime...a fear manufactured and nourished by media exaggeration of criminal threat to us in a period where crime rates have been dropping for many years and are at historic or near-historic lows)?"

This is what is called by Taranto, the Butterfield Effect...

Butterfield is the eponym for "The Butterfield Effect", used to refer to a person who "makes a statement that is ludicrous on its face, yet it reveals what the speaker truly believes", especially if expressing a supposed paradox when a causal relationship should be obvious.The particular article that sparked this was titled "More Inmates, Despite Drop In Crime" by Butterfield in the New York Times on November 8, 2004."

William Chadwick said...

A "liberal" version of Judaeo-Christian charity and compassion, that is. That's where the Good Samaritan, finding the guy who's been mugged lying in a ditch, tells him, "Hang on--I'll get you help;" and then forces other wayfaring strangers to help the guy.

Hyphenated American said...

"The posture of the single man who comes to rule us, even with with our better values, is not the American tradition of a Government that tolerates all men's beliefs."

Ask about the beliefs of the couple in Oregon, which was fined 300k for refusing to make a cake for a homosexual wedding.

When it comes to tolerating other men's beliefs, Cruz does just that - with small limited government. Cruz does not want to rule you - it's the obamas of the world who want to rule you. You cannot have a welfare state without the government control over you. You cannot have a free society without small limited government, low taxes, low regulations.

Sammy Finkelman said...

tim in vermont said...

"Blood and soil" is more than code for Nazi, it's calling Cruz a Nazi."

More Trump than Cruz, probably. He called it "Trump-Cruz conservatism" And it said it "looks like it"

Trump's giving ammunition for inhumanity. He just praised Kim Jong Un:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/donald-trump/12092353/Donald-Trump-praises-Kim-Jong-un-for-his-firm-hand-with-executed-uncle.html

Sammy Finkelman said...

During a Republican political rally in Iowa at the weekend, he repeated his assertion that Muslims should not be allowed to enter the US before turning his attention to the North Korean despot, who has carried out frequent purges of officials.

“You’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys - he was like 26 or 25 when his father died - take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden... he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss,” said Mr Trump, known for his own less than subtle style of leadership in the American version of The Apprentice.

“It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn’t play games.”


Is "winning" the only criteria by which to measure somebody?

hombre said...

I'm pretty excited to have secular Jews in the media pontificating about the prerequisites to being a good Christian. In that, Brooks is not unique. On his best day, Brooks is a pompous progressive pretending to be a centrist. The day he wrote the Cruz column was not his best.

"Happy, hopeful warriors" indeed. Christian Republicans should emulate the persona occasionally affected by Obama when his "guns at the knife fight" are holstered? Really?

The point of this progressive tut-tutting and guilt-tripping is not to get Christian warriors like Cruz to turn the other cheek, but to get them to bend over so Brooks' political class can bend us all over.

William Chadwick said...

"Uncle Dave:" always the docile "house" conservative, posing no threat to the Plantation, worshipping the crease in Massa 'Bama's pants, and--unlike those uppity field-hand conservatives--knowing his place!

Robert Cook said...

"This is what is called by Taranto, the Butterfield Effect..."


What is it called when one mistakes correlation for causation?

Robert Cook said...

It's also worth clicking on the link to the NYU School of Law study found early in the article I link to above...or, click on this hyper-link to go to it directly.

Robert Cook said...

We imprison more people than any other nation on earth, in both total number and in percentage of our population. More of those imprisoned are non-violent offenders than are violent offenders. Given the expense of incarceration, the ruined lives and lost economic potential for those thrown into prison for non-violent (typically drug) offenses), that we are incarcerating our citizens at such high rates seems financially quite wasteful--though profitable to those who have a vested interest in the system--inhumane, destructive of families, and a squandering of the human resources represented by those needlessly imprisoned.

Hyphenated American said...

"What is it called when one mistakes correlation for causation?"

Conservatives predicted that more lax incarcaretion policies would cause higher crime rate in the 1960ies. The liberals said it was untrue. When the liberal policies were put into effect, the crime rates skyrocketed.

Later, conservatives said that if we use tougher incarceration policies, the crime rates would go down. The liberals said it was untrue again. The conservative polices were put into effect, and the crime rates dropped down.

Conservatives show they can predict the future.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Sammy Finkelman,
'Is "winning" the only criteria by which to measure somebody?"

Winning/potential for winning absolutely needs to be one of the measurements taken of your enemies. If you don't, you're asking for trouble. Which is what has been happening to us in foreign policy for the past 7 years.

Hyphenated American said...

" More of those imprisoned are non-violent offenders than are violent offenders. Given the expense of incarceration, the ruined lives and lost economic potential for those thrown into prison for non-violent (typically drug) offenses),"

Let's look at the facts...
http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004339


47.7% of people in jail are for violent offense.
17.1% are for property offense
20.5% for drug offense.
13.8% for public-order offense.

Property offense in state jails: "Includes burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, fraud, and other property crimes."

Public order offense in state jails: "Includes weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses."

In federal jails:

Property offense: "Includes burglary, fraud, and other property crimes."
Public offense: "Includes immigration, weapons, and other public-order offenses."

It would be interesting to find out what percentage of people in jail for drug crimes are actually drug dealers.

Reality is conservative.

Robert Cook said...

"Conservatives predicted that more lax incarcaretion policies would cause higher crime rate in the 1960ies. The liberals said it was untrue. When the liberal policies were put into effect, the crime rates skyrocketed."

What were these "liberal" policies? Where is evidence of the causative relation of these policies with higher crime rates?

"Later, conservatives said that if we use tougher incarceration policies, the crime rates would go down. The liberals said it was untrue again. The conservative polices were put into effect, and the crime rates dropped down."

What period of time are you referencing? What tougher sentencing policies and what drop in crime rates? How can we know what causative relation there was without knowing more specific information than you have provided?

"Conservatives show they can predict the future.">

Not so far as you have shown here.

damikesc said...

Is "winning" the only criteria by which to measure somebody?

One cannot be amazed that somebody did something without praising them?

I'm amazed Hitler managed to take one of the most open democracies in the world and turned it into a one party state without a massive bloody uprising in about 6 months of gaining office, despite never winning a majority of the vote in an open election. I'm also amazed that he read how much his foes didn't want to fight (until he finally found the opponent that would) and conquered Europe with almost no effort expended.

Doesn't mean what he did was good. Or that I think he was a good person. It's just mind-boggling to me that it is possible.

What period of time are you referencing? What tougher sentencing policies and what drop in crime rates? How can we know what causative relation there was without knowing more specific information than you have provided?

Explain the massive turnaround in NYC's violent crime rate from under David Dinkins to the rate under Rudy Giuliani.

walter said...

Seeks a kinder gentler Cruz..nice crease a plus.

Terry said...

"Where is evidence of the causative relation of these policies"
Cook is asking for evidence that correlation is causation! What a hoot!

Terry said...


In science, you observe hypothesize, experiment, and repeat until you eliminate all the variables but one. You can than plot that single variable on a graph and describe a position of a point on a curve on the graph with a simple function.
You cannot reduce the variables in almost all population studies. You make correlations because that is all that you can do. Going into a a sociology class, when you are an engineering or science student, is an eye-opener. Basically these heavy weight humanities scholars -- including many economists -- are doing what you were taught was not science, and yet they call themselves scientists . . .

hombre said...

@Cook: You can't be serious, Cook. The NIJ conducted numerous studies in the nineties showing a correlation between tougher sentencing and reduced crime rates as did the Brookings institute.

John Dilulio of Brookings once wrote: "If incarceration is not the answer, what, precisely, is the question?" He was pointing out, among other things, the role increased incarceration played in reducing crime in NYC.

The liberal policies put into place during the 60s and 70s that coincided with increased crime rates looked like the "criminal justice reform" proposals of today - heavy reliance on treatment and community based correction and reduced prison sentences.

Nobody owes you an apology or an explanation when reality contradicts your ignorant predilections.

hombre said...

BTW,Cook, your 2:30 post fails to consider the impact of repetitive offenders on incarceration rates and erroneously characterizes offenders as "nonviolent." Other than drug dealers, virtually no nonviolent first offenders are incarcerated.

If an offender does time for 3 aggravated assaults gets out and is convicted of grand theft, is he a nonviolent offender? Hardly, but what do you know about it?

Additionally, if it is true that we have more people incarcerated than other countries, it is also true that we have more convicted offenders, about 65% of the total, on probation or parole. That is, on our streets.

Like most lefties, you offer a composite of shallow, stupid talking points on this issue.

walter said...

"If an offender does time for 3 aggravated assaults gets out and is convicted of grand theft.."
Proof that rehabilitation was partly successful ;)