January 9, 2018

"I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country."

Writes anti-Trumper David Brooks in "The Decline of Anti-Trumpism."
It’s almost as if there are two White Houses. There’s the Potemkin White House, which we tend to focus on: Trump berserk in front of the TV, the lawyers working the Russian investigation and the press operation. Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss.
As to why anti-Trumpism is in decline, the proudly elitist Brooks blames "lowbrowism":
Fox News pioneered modern lowbrowism. The modern lowbrow... ignores normal journalistic or intellectual standards.... We anti-Trumpers have our lowbrowism, too, mostly on late-night TV. But anti-Trump lowbrowism burst into full bloom with the Wolff book....

In every war, nations come to resemble their enemies, so I suppose it’s normal that the anti-Trump movement would come to resemble the pro-Trump movement. But it’s not good. I’ve noticed a lot of young people look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and they find it silly.
Preening over his own lofty intellectual standards, Brooks makes a lowly grammatical mistake and no one doing the "normal" journalism at the NYT noticed: "the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers" should be "the monotonous daily hysteria of us anti-Trumpers."

I think "we" might feel more dignified than "us," but mixing up your objective and subjective pronouns is a pretty lowbrow mistake. Speaking of things noticed and found silly, I find that silly — not because you made an error but because you're so sure you're the one on high looking down at other people.

Anyway, the monotonous daily hysteria of anti-Trumpers is worse than "silly."  I write about it all the time, not — as you might think — because I'm pro-Trump, but because the haters hate too much and it's making them weird and crazy. In my view, Trump was too weird and crazy to be President, but in the real world, he is President, and it's weird and crazy not to live in the real world.

I wonder where Brooks goes to notice young people looking at daily hysteria and finding it silly. Is there a coffeeshop in D.C. somewhere or what?

130 comments:

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Brookes writes for the Potemkin Newspaper.
his words are.... Potemkin Village.

rehajm said...

...which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss

The tweets are an effective weapon against a biased media. It's where Trump gets to Speak his truth.

Anyways how would Brooks know Trump is 'distracted'? Did he read it some book?

readering said...

Brooks teaches at Yale.

MrCharlie2 said...

Trump IS too weird and crazy to be President.

Totally agree that hysteria doesn't help. I'm just calmly waiting for the ultimate trainwreck.

MrCharlie2 said...

In the invisible, petticoat white house, Kelly is president. Not the worst care-taker.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Depends what Brooks means by "young people". He dumped his first wife for a woman 23 years his junior, so maybe realizes he is boring this much younger wife with his constant never-Trumping.

Chuck said...

I write about it all the time, not — as you might think — because I'm pro-Trump, but because the haters hate too much and it's making them weird and crazy.

Not me! I think Althouse's new expertise is in finding those elements of anti-Trumpism who really are weird and crazy. And instead of ignoring them because they are weird and crazy, she elevates them to a wholly undeserved status of somehow being representative of all Trump critics.

A really good example was the fake Trump-watching-a-"Gorilla Channel" story. I am certain that some tiny and inconsequential group of people were sucked in by it, and thought (because it was a very good 30-second hoax, as 30-second hoaxes go) it was real. But it was dumb story on balance.

Still, Althouse loves that kind of crap. And yesterday, Althouse ignored the Axios story in which an actual working copy of Trump's real personal schedule was reviewed. Because, I guess, Althouse doesn't like such stories or doesn't find them interesting.

Althouse loves this strawman environment. Making Trump critics (especially the NYT) look bad. Althouse studiously steers clear of really good Trump criticism, to devote herself to what she (probably correctly, but highly selectively) picks out as the "weird and crazy" Trump hatred.

rhhardin said...

You can take we anti-Trumpers as a set phrase, in which case only the case of the final word changes.

Or as an apposition, in which case both words change case.

The former is the larger force, as in "we the people" in all sorts of grammatical positions.

Martha said...

Althouse asks:
I wonder where Brooks goes to notice young people looking at daily hysteria and finding it silly. Is there a coffeeshop in D.C. somewhere or what?

Maybe Brooks consults his shiny new young wife. After all, Brooks converted to Christianity because she showed him the meaning of Christ.
Maybe the young lady points out how silly the non-stop anti-Trump hysteria appears.

Lucien said...

Therefore, according to Brooks, people who work with the Invisible White House can tell themselves that they are not going along with President Trump, but with those who are "managing" around him while he is "distracted".

Almost like he planned it that way so Never-Trumpers would have a way to rationalize doing what is otherwise in their political interest to do.

Ann Althouse said...

Brooks lives in Washington, D.C. in a house he bought for $2 million.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I am proudly a bitterly clinging, intolerable, low-brow!

Ann Althouse said...

"Brooks teaches at Yale."

"David Brooks Teaching Writings by David Brooks in Yale Course on Humility."

But I get your point: Yale is where Brooks goes to notice young people finding things silly.

Aren't the students at Yale now even younger than millennials? I don't think we know much about their attitude toward politics yet.

mockturtle said...

David Brooks is a joke. It's hard to believe he is actually paid to write. Anyone else here remember when he played the 'Conservative' on McNeil-Lehrer's Friday debates against Mark Shields, the 'Liberal'? Brooks inevitably came out looking more liberal than his counterpart.

He considers himself highbrow but would a truly UC guy comment on another's pants crease?

David Begley said...

he craziness continues with all of this 25th Amendment removal talk.

The Fake Wolff on CNBC said this AM that if Mueller ever gets into Trump's financial records, then he is toast. Wolff claims that "everyone" in the WH says this. How in the world would these people know? What is the big financial deals that are so wrong? Wild speculation.

Sebastian said...

Oprah will be happy to run agains the Potemkin White House.

Ann Althouse said...

"The former is the larger force, as in "we the people" in all sorts of grammatical positions."

I hate seeing "we the people" used where an objective pronoun is required, but I agree that you hear it all the time.

But "we the anti-Trumpers" is hardly at the same level.

We the anti-Trumpers of the United States, in Order to ???, ???, ???, ???, ???, and secure ??? to ourselves and our Posterity, do freak out on a daily basis.

Marty Keller said...

One sterile characteristic of many anti-Trumpers who, like Comrade LLR, are not necessarily partisan Democrats who can be counted on to oppose any Republican with the sleaziest of slogans, is the complete lack of a counter-strategy. OK, Mssrs. Brooks, Hayes, Kristol, and LLR, we get your utter disdain for the President. We get it in all your excruciating rhetoric. How about switching from the endless preening of your superior pontificating and offer an effective and inspirational alternative?

So far all we get are extremely loud and annoying crickets in response.

sparrow said...

LOL Ann

SteveR said...

Brooks is the “right” the left likes to use. To the extent he ever says anything I agree with is only by chance.

Unknown said...

Brooks probably uses I when me is appropriate too, you know, because it makes him sound and feel so highbrow and smarty-pantsy.

"I’ve noticed a lot of young people look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and they find it silly."

There ain't nothing found about it, the monotonous daily hysteria is straight up silly, and just plain insane.

-sw

Seeing Red said...

I despised Obama, but I have a life to lead. We who disliked him got thru it and aren’t tired of winning yet.

It’s unhealthy to focus on the “king” 24/7.

This,too, shall pass. Enjoy the bump in your retirement funds. It’s so much better that the USG wanting to grab your retirement funds and decide what they think you should live on.

Life is too short.

Nonapod said...

I wonder when the last time Brooks held a real conversation with an actual working class Trump supporter was? I suppose he couldn't be bothered to lower himself.

For me the main turn off with the most anti Trumpers is their single minded obsessiveness. Winston Churchill described a Fanatic as "One who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”. You can see this with certain anti Trump people, even when there's a topic of conversation that has nothing to do with Trump, they'll bring up Trump. Then they wonder why people get annoyed with them.

sparrow said...

One of the best things about Trump is how others reveal themselves in their over-reactions.

EDH said...

I think "we" might feel more dignified than "us," but mixing up your objective and subjective pronouns is a pretty lowbrow mistake... Anyway, the monotonous daily hysteria of anti-Trumpers is worse than "silly." I write about it all the time, not — as you might think — because I'm pro-Trump, but because the haters hate too much and it's making them weird and crazy.


"They hate us 'cause we is us..."

"They hate us 'cause they ain't us".

"...Haters gonna hate - Ain'ter's gonna ain't... This is what you do to haters: You just smile"

buwaya said...

I am an uneducated sort, an engineer by training and profession, and all my "culture" is there by osmosis and autodidacticism. My tastes are questionable.

Still, I find the NYT and etc. absurdly pretentious, while in fact being "low-brow".
They are just "low-brows" of a particular flavor.

Unknown said...

I thought obama was too weird and crazy to be president but i accepted him.

i think there is a difference with what I view as weird and crazy and others. I view it weird and crazy to want to take over the healthcare marketplace of the country, to deliver a plane load of cash to iran, to clear the way for iranian missiles and nuclearization in a decade from now, to motivate BLM, etc, etc, to let libya and syria fall after seeing iraq and afghanistan, to lie about keeping health insurance and doctors, to lie that mandate was not a tax and then ask supreme court to uphold it as a tax, etc.

i think anyone who runs for president MUST be weird and crazy but obama was a special case. what happened is exactly what a lot of us predicted would happen, which is chicago style politics took over the bureaucracy.

but is trump too weird and crazy... this is such a dumb question because of half of the country thought obama was going to be a complete disaster and we were basically right 75% of the way. and we were wrong, he was not too weird and crazy

Tommy Duncan said...

"I wonder where Brooks goes to notice young people looking at daily hysteria and finding it silly. Is there a coffeeshop in D.C. somewhere or what?"

Perhaps Brooks does an occasional "Gorillas in the Mist" visit to flyover country to observe Trump voters and their progeny.

Henry said...

No one is deking you, David Brooks. You deke yourself.

Chuck wrote:

Althouse loves this strawman environment. Making Trump critics (especially the NYT) look bad. Althouse studiously steers clear of really good Trump criticism, to devote herself to what she (probably correctly, but highly selectively) picks out as the "weird and crazy" Trump hatred.

How much is she paying you? Seriously Chuck, you've elected yourself the Percy Weasley of this blog and you do Trump criticism no favors.

The problem with differing between Trump and his White House is that it increasingly takes Wizard-of-Oz levels of gullibility to be shocked. The critics about Trump are always the same. They harp on his blunders, his stupidity, his crassness; they hyperventilate about his exaggerations. They are boring and repetitive.

mockturtle said...

Still, I find the NYT and etc. absurdly pretentious, while in fact being "low-brow".
They are just "low-brows" of a particular flavor.


Yes.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Althouse wrote: "Aren't the students at Yale now even younger than millennials? I don't think we know much about their attitude toward politics yet."

Milo says that the post-millennial generation is far more conservative than the millennial and that they find the millennials' obsession with PC to be ridiculous.

I'd love to believe that, and maybe I will if I hear it from others besides Milo.

It wouldn't surprise me though. Those of us who came of age in the late '70's and early '80's tended to be more conservative than the '60's kids. I wasn't conservative at that point, but I can attest that there were plenty of unabashed Reagan fans on campus - and that was in Chicago -and many more who were just plain apolitical. We made fun of the radical boomers who were, at that time, our TA's and young professors. "Those old hippies still think it's 1968," we scoffed.

I think it was a resentful reaction to being told by those TAs and young professors how dull and lacking in ideals we were compared to their generation. They had a way of talking about their protests and communes and draft-card burning as if they had scaled the beaches at Normandy. (The '60's kids, of course, came of age in a much better economy. We were worried about jobs.)

That's why I think Althouse was right that lumping people who were born in 1946 in with those born in 1960 under the rubric of "boomers" is a mistake. (Of course, there are exceptions: Obama seems to me to have the older radical boomer mentality. That might be due having grown up abroad and out of the mainstream of American life)

We shall see soon enough what these young post-millennials are like.



buwaya said...

Chuck,

What is wrong with Trump's schedule?
I distrust leaders who live by the scheduled meeting.
These guys are nearly all prats.

This was raised long ago, in management-world, by Peters and Waterman, etc., stressing the value of, among other things, "management by walking around".

A heck of a lot of managers can't do that though, out of insecurity, inability to personally connect, social anxiety, and the absurdities of the local management culture, which increasingly selects against non-conformists.

That (re the Trump schedule) is the sort of criticism that is a cover for snobbery, by the clueless.

Bob Boyd said...

"Perhaps Brooks does an occasional "Gorillas in the Mist" visit to flyover country to observe Trump voters and their progeny."

Yup. I saw him go over my place the other day. I waved. He waved back, but he didn't hang around because I was shootin' my guns in the air at the time and of course I was balls deep in a squealing hog.

What's "low-brow" mean? It doesn't sound very nice.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"Is there a coffeeshop in D.C. somewhere or what?"

It's a pizza parlor. Duh.

holdfast said...

Even National Review is starting to come around - starting to notice that Trump has chalked up some successes that can only be described as "orthodox conservative". And writers like Rich Lowry have also started to notice - and to call out - anti-Trump writers (like David Frum and Jen Rubin) who style themselves as anti-Trump conservatives but are really just shrieking lefties. Heck, even David French has written some nice words about the Trump Admin's successes (even if he cannot bring himself to say anything nice about the man himself).

Happily, Salon was nice enough to assemble a list of the top 25 Potemkin Conservatives for us. Now we know who to ignore and/or mock.

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/14/conservatives-twitter/

cubanbob said...

Does any one actually believe the economy and the stock market would be doing as well if Hillary was president? Does anyone who votes Republican in retrospect actually believe that any of the other Republican candidates could have won with the hailstorm of flack directed at them by the DNC/MSM/Cultural Industrial Complex directed at him? With all of the hysteria coming from the usual suspects and the suddenly possible criminal probe into a number of Obama Administration people it is starting to look like Trump just might be the five minutes at Midway for the DC swamp.

Tim at large said...

Month by month Althouse comes closer to confessing she voted for Hillary.

Bay Area Guy said...

There are precisely 5 anti-Trumpers left:

David Brooks
Bill Kristol
George Will
David Frum
Our friend Chuck

I am reminded of those aging Japanese warriors, holding seige in the jungles of far eastern islands, into the 50s, and 60's and 70s, fervently discharging their honorable duties, but blissfully unaware that the war ended in 1945.

Tim at large said...

Not sure why Brooks has that job, since most of us are capable of judging pant creases for ourselves, and he never even bothered to comment on the mom-jeans.

glenn said...

Dear David: You are silly. And you are in good company. It’s a permutation of the 3 generation rule. Many of you demonstrated your silliness election night. Just admit it, bang your spoon on your high chair and leave the rest of us alone.

Tim at large said...

Chuck is the Dr Smith of this blog.

rhhardin said...

I hate seeing "we the people" used where an objective pronoun is required, but I agree that you hear it all the time.

That's where descriptive linguistics comes in. It asks what are the rules for what sounds wrong, not what are the rules the prescriptivists have made up.

Us the people sounds wrong; why is that. The obvious analysis is set-phrase changes only the case of the final word. That sort of sets a pattern for similar things.

As for the prescriptivists, it's always an apposition and the case of both words changes, but that leaves out that it sounds wrong.

Francisco D said...

Brooks is a pretentious little twit. How does Fox News seem lowbrow to him?

Brit Hume was the news anchor with the most gravitas on TV. Brett Baier is a young guy who seems very sober and straightforward. He's not there because he has a pretty face.

If Brooks is referring to the talk shows, what is lowbrow about Tucker Carlson?

When you look at the competition, you have to wonder about David Brooks' mental capacity in judging Fox News as lowbrow.

MikeR said...

"First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by."
"Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss."
Brooks doesn't mention the contradiction between these quotes. He can't deal with the reality that Trump runs things, that Trump heads the Invisible White House.

n.n said...

Trump is not towing the status quo, maybe. Still, it's credible evidence when the establishment of both parties are so bent.

Gahrie said...

So is "lowbrowers" supposed to be better than Deplorables?

Or are we Deplorables supposed to be too lowbrow to notice the insult?

Frankly, I consider it an honor to be called lowbrow by an elitist twit like Brooks.

Inga said...

“Trump IS too weird and crazy to be President.”

“Totally agree that hysteria doesn't help. I'm just calmly waiting for the ultimate trainwreck.”

Me too, at least I’m making an effort to be calm and be secure in the knowlege that the ultimate train wreck is coming, because the tracks that this Presidency has been traveling on are rickety and strewn with rocks. Plus November is coming, which is comforting.

n said...

Blogger Nonapod said...
I wonder when the last time Brooks held a real conversation with an actual working class Trump supporter was? I suppose he couldn't be bothered to lower himself.

Here you go:

How We Are Ruining America
David Brooks JULY 11, 2017

"Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican."
Is Mexican code for lowbrow?

rhhardin said...

Rocks are normal under tracks. They stabilize them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Month by month Althouse comes closer to confessing she voted for Hillary."

I found both candidates completely unacceptable, but I did not waste my vote on a 3rd party candidate and I did not abstain. I truly picked the one that on Election Day I regarded as the lesser of 2 evils, but I have never believed that person deserves credit for getting my vote, so that's why I don't say. Maybe if I write about it enough, at some point I'll slip and use the pronoun that resolves the mystery.

Speaking of pronouns.

Bob Boyd said...

"Brooks is a pretentious little twit."

"Frankly, I consider it an honor to be called lowbrow by an elitist twit like Brooks."

Look at that. Two guys in a row made the same spelling error.

mockturtle said...

"Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican."


Not just pretentious but patronizing.

robother said...

Its the royal "we," not the royal "us." You subjects must never objectify a Royal.

Fernandistein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

The NYT looks bad on it’s own, Chuck. Lolol

What’s the issue with Trump’s schedule? Would you prefer him to include managing the tennis court times like Peanut did?

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
Brooks is a pretentious little twit. How does Fox News seem lowbrow to him?

Brit Hume was the news anchor with the most gravitas on TV. Brett Baier is a young guy who seems very sober and straightforward. He's not there because he has a pretty face.

If Brooks is referring to the talk shows, what is lowbrow about Tucker Carlson?

When you look at the competition, you have to wonder about David Brooks' mental capacity in judging Fox News as lowbrow.

Wow, I actually agree with most of this.

I think the same of Brit Hume and Brett Baier. I've written it before, in other comments; Special Report with Brett Baier is probably the best hour of news on weeknight television.

My only partial disagreement with is my own presumption that David Brooks is not talking about the Brit Hume/Brett Baier/Chris Wallace/James Rosen/etc. parts of Fox News. If you don't happen to think that way, it shouldn't be my place to criticize. I just think differently.

And while I think you are right about Tucker Carlson personally, I see his show now being produced in a way that regularly elevates culture war stories (reverse discrimination on campus, cops getting attacked by criminals, liberals saying crazy things) far above real stories, when the real stories put Trump in a bad light.

Mike Sylwester said...

High-brow people believe that Donald Trump helped Vladimir Putin meddle in the USA's 2016 presidential election.

whitney said...

"Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss."

He still doesn't get it. Trump's not distracted. Trump is distracting you. I still think all the errors they make is because they think Trump is stupid. He's so obviously is not stupid but they cannot admit it

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: I found both candidates completely unacceptable...

Wait, you found Trump unacceptable? That means you find Oprah unacceptable, too, right? I have it on good authority that Trump and Oprah are so similar that there's no basis for accepting one but not the other.

Tim at large said...

I was a loyal Democrat who all but cried in my beer when Reagan was elected and who believed everything that was said about the man, until one day, it became pretty damn clear that the Democrats were wrong, and Reagan was right. The very first time I cast a vote for a Republican was for a judge, because she was a woman (swear to God) and I shuddered a little anyway.

Democrats are playing with fire throwing all of this nonsense against the wall, all I am saying.

Brian Balster said...

The Prof says"
"it's making them weird and crazy."
And LLR responds:
"Not me!"

So, Chuck; are you saying that you already Were weird and crazy?
'cause I read your stuff, and you sure qualify

Seeing Red said...

So “creased pant” Brooks couldn’t turn to his friend and ask, “So, do you want a salami sandwich or something else?”

BTW, I was looking for a photo of a striata baguette and found this response:

I wonder if he knows these sandwiches were invented by working class Italians who didn't finish 8th grade

Michael said...

Does it never occur to Brooks, et al., that the Potemkin White House and the Invisible White House are the same thing, and that Trump is not so much distracted as the distractor? He keeps the Dems and the media tied up in this year-long-and-counting childish tantrum over not getting what they wanted so that his Administration can get on with the job. It has worked so far...

buwaya said...

Culture (including "culture war") is more important than politics. Politics is downstream of culture.

This should be apparent to anyone who has followed the Ametican culture wars for the last half-century.

Go read "The Closing of the American Mind", Alan Bloom, 1987, and consider whether it isn't the most prophetic work of the period.

Seeing Red said...

Mmmmmm, salami sandwich.

I Have some of those choices in my refrigerator.

But my dirty little secret is I still prefer Oscar Meyer the best.

But I will not deny that 600-day prosciutto is tasty.

Luke Lea said...

Ann writes: "Aren't the students at Yale now even younger than millennials? I don't think we know much about their attitude toward politics yet."

There are some early signs: https://goo.gl/vDkXz7

Darkisland said...

I can't believe it has taken this long to figure out. I've been saying this here since last February. President Trump could give lessons to penn gillette on how to do magic.

Magic is mainly distracting the audience with one hand while using the other hand to do the magic.

So everyone gets all spun up about a tweet and while distracted over nonsense he opens anwar or opens coastal drilling or implements massive tax cuts or cut govt payroll or announces Salvadoran deportation etc.

And few people even notice

We are watching amaster craftsman give a master class in getting things done

Could Operah do this? Or would she be too worried people might not love her?

John Henry

Darkisland said...

I can't believe it has taken this long to figure out. I've been saying this here since last February. President Trump could give lessons to penn gillette on how to do magic.

Magic is mainly distracting the audience with one hand while using the other hand to do the magic.

So everyone gets all spun up about a tweet and while distracted over nonsense he opens anwar or opens coastal drilling or implements massive tax cuts or cut govt payroll or announces Salvadoran deportation etc.

And few people even notice

We are watching amaster craftsman give a master class in getting things done

Could Operah do this? Or would she be too worried people might not love her?

John Henry

Quayle said...

Oh, those awful, icky low-brows.

"This is the greatest democracy in the history of the world. The last thing we want to do is to let a bunch of average people make decisions."

You know, that reminds me. I once had a Chemistry class with a very highly decorated and respected Chemist. (Many consider it an blatant oversight that he never won the Nobel prize.) The Chemist knew my grandfather, so he took notice of me, for some reason. Anyway, the Chemist told me after class one day, that once he was walking through the campus at Princeton with Einstein, back during Word War II. And there were victory gardens planted around the grounds. And he pointed to a plant and asked Einstein if he knew what kind of a plant that was, and Einstein said 'no'.

"It was then that I realized that Einstein didn't know beans.", He quipped.)

Seems obvious to me that our elites don't seem to know beans.

Gk1 said...

I think a more interesting story would be how fractured the conservative commentariate has become and how will they reform after trump leaves office. As someone who didn't even vote for trump its something that I deleted my national review app and have not bothered to read anyone except Andrew McCarthy from time to time, who at least has smart legal analysis to share. Rubin and Kristal have lost all proportion and perspective about trump and I'm not sure where they plan on taking this bile as I won't bother to ever read them again.

Tim at large said...

Maybe if I write about it enough, at some point I’ll slip and use the pronoun that resolves the mystery.

Well, you didn’t use the pronoun, but I think you already slipped. But as a gentleman, I will let it go and not search up the post and start arguing with you about it, since it was an inference of mine, and not deduction, based on the context of a back and forth. It is certainly a possibility that I am wrong, since, you know, people express themselves imperfectly sometimes, and not least, even I can be wrong, on occasion. So I will say that if I were to place a bet, it would be on a vote for Hillary. He lost you completely with the “grab ‘em...” comment would be my guess.

Still I think this project of trying to understand Trump’s appeal has been great. Now I am working on trying to understand how anybody could fall for “Collusion Theory” as I call it. What actually convinces them about the evidence? I think it is trust in an FBI that has been demonstrated to be partisan, but maybe there is a way the story holds together. For now though, every “convincing” argument from the collusion side depends on ignoring a mountain of evidence that the collusion went the other way. I also think that the obligatory high regard wth which all Democrats are to view the actions of the Obama administration sort of blinds them to his obvious suborning of the IRS, DoJ, FEC, etc, to partisan purposes.

Xmas said...

@SeanF

Oprah is out because she is an Anti-Vaxxer and snake-oil salesperson.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-ways-oprah-winfrey-changed-world-for-worse/

Chuck said...

Brian Balster said...
The Prof says"
"it's making them weird and crazy."
And LLR responds:
"Not me!"

So, Chuck; are you saying that you already Were weird and crazy?
'cause I read your stuff, and you sure qualify

I voted for the Republican ticket in 2016. And, as I have repeatedly said, I don't regret it. I'm angry that Trump was the nominee. I think that he's a bit of a sociopath. But that he was the least-worst choice on the ballot that November.

If in fact Althouse voted for Trump (I don't know, and I am not now asking), as the least-worst choice, the difference between our actual on the record behavior is basically nonexistent.

I regularly criticize Trump for things that he does and says. I think that Trump is toxic to Republicanism. (I am confident that Althouse is not a Republican, not an activist, and that she has major objections with the Republican Party; she has said as much in the past. So she probably doesn't care about that.) I hope that Trump is a one-term president. I hope that I never have to vote for him again. I don't like him. I don't think that he is getting as much done, as would a President Kasich or a President Rubio. I don't think that Trump is doing anything special, that I would like to get done, that any other Republican president could not get done. And there are just so many negatives with Trump.

None of that is deranged. And I truly don't care, what most of you think about me or my comment(s).

But what I want to say now is anticipatory. What will follow, below this comment of mine, is the usual personal insults, attacks and general derangement that is regularly aimed at me on these comments pages. Even as I type this, my detractors will not be able to restrain themselves. They will attack. They cannot help themselves. They are deranged.

Luke Lea said...

I sure hope Ann voted for Hillary. Because that's what I tell all my Democrat friends and family (i.e., everybody I know) whenever I send email links to her posts on the Trump Derangement Syndrome. It makes her more credible.

Comanche Voter said...

David Brooks is being Orwellian and a bit more when he speaks of "normal journalistic and intellectual standards". If what is on display on the left today is "normal journalistic and intellectual standards", then I want some of that old time religion from wayback in the wayback.

What passes for "normal" in David Brooks's world appears to be mostly puerile fantasy.

mockturtle said...

Maybe Brooks is sensitive to being a non-WASP and his class-consciousness stems from that.

Tim at large said...

That was a great link Luke Lea,

Kind of echoes us late baby boomers, who began to suspect that our older brothers were full of shit. Maybe it all comes down to sibling rivalies?

Tim at large said...

“normal journalistic and intellectual standards"

If you look at the reporting of climate change, you will see that that phrase is damnation by the faintest possible praise.

Jason said...

Oh, look! The architect of the Great Althouse Pumpkin Pie Investigation of 2017 is accusing normal people of being “deranged!”

Lulzulzulzulzulz

Bob Boyd said...

There's a new phrase for these "normal journalistic and intellectual standards".

It's "notionally accurate".

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse sez:

I found both candidates completely unacceptable, but I did not waste my vote on a 3rd party candidate and I did not abstain. I truly picked the one that on Election Day I regarded as the lesser of 2 evils, but I have never believed that person deserves credit for getting my vote, so that's why I don't say. Maybe if I write about it enough, at some point I'll slip and use the pronoun that resolves the mystery.

Excellent! I buy it. Your tenacious fidelity to the free exchange of ideas definitely gives you a pass on divulging your vote to all these eager beavers.

I say keep it a secret, and let 'em keep guessin'!

May we ask, historically, whether you voted for Reagan over Mondale in 1984? That seems to be a watershed presidential election, where most sane folks could see that: (1) the economy was booming, (2) due to Reagan's tax cuts, and (3) as a result, he should rewarded with a 49-state landslide.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Brooks doesn't mention "middlebrow" because that is what he is. Highbrows create elite culture, middlebrows follow its dictates. One of the "tells" is Brooks' unconscious use of cliche's ("in every war, nations come to resemble their enemies" "Potemkin village"). The salient characteristic os a "Potemkin village" is that is fake. It was constructed to deceive.
What Brooks is talking about with his description of a "Potemkin village White House" and an "invisible White House" are different narratives, the "Potemkin White House" is the narrative the elites in the media have created and the "invisible White House" is the actual debates and policy creation & execution by the executive branch of our government.

Pinandpuller said...

We few

We happy few

We Anti-Trumpers

buwaya said...

Mockturtle may have something there.
These are a lot of Jews (not exclusively, but...).
They are "noveau" in establishment circles, having largely displaced the old Wasp upper class.
They are stuck with the modes they copied, but disconnected from their sources. More facade than foundations, they are further, yet, from the soil than their aristocratic but native predecessors.

If this sounds antisemitic, I do not mean it that way. In a sense this (relatively) new Jewish upper class suffers from their circumstances also. This was an argument made by the old Zionists, the generation of Herzl.

Brian Balster said...

Chuck says:
"And I truly don't care, what most of you think about me or my comment"

Then why do you post? If you're not trying to persuade us?
Are you just wanting to read your own words?
That seems (is) either weird or crazy

Jupiter said...

buwaya said...

"Still, I find the NYT and etc. absurdly pretentious, while in fact being "low-brow".
They are just "low-brows" of a particular flavor."

When they try to do tech, or science, they are dimwitted fanbois. But most of the time they are something much worse. Some of them have the intellectual firepower to sound impressive. And they pervert those talents in the service of a worldview that is sick and wrong in all of its particulars. It seems as if the modern academy has determined that God does not exist -- a strong possibility in my view -- and has somehow decided this means that Everything People Used To Think Was Wrong!

readering said...

Brit Hume is 74 and semi-retired from Fox News.

Jupiter said...

Bay Area Guy said...

"May we ask, historically, whether you voted for Reagan over Mondale in 1984?"

My mother would never tell anyone who she voted for. "That's why we have a secret ballot!", she would say, with considerable asperity, as if the question was right up there with "How old are you?". The latter she considered obtuse, as well as rude, when directed at a woman.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Tim at large said...
I was a loyal Democrat who all but cried in my beer when Reagan was elected and who believed everything that was said about the man, until one day, it became pretty damn clear that the Democrats were wrong, and Reagan was right"

Same here!

I now laugh at my younger self when I think back and remember how despondent I was on Election Night 1980. Just imagine wanting Carter to win in 1980! How silly of me!

Jeff H said...

Ann, Ann, Ann. "...the haters hate too much and it’s making them weird and crazy"

Chicken, egg. I would politely posit that, it is not that the haters' hate is "making them weird and crazy", but rather, it is the fact of the haters being weird and crazy--and morally bankrupt--that is making them hate so much.

jr565 said...

"Anyway, the monotonous daily hysteria of anti-Trumpers is worse than “silly.” I write about it all the time, not — as you might think — because I’m pro-Trump, but because the haters hate too much and it’s making them weird and crazy. In my view, Trump was too weird and crazy to be President, but in the real world, he is President, and it’s weird and crazy not to live in the real world."
Spot on!

Rusty said...

What is it that Winston Churchill said about fanatics? " They won't listen to reason and they can't change the subject."
Something like that.
Listen. If you don't like they way Althouse runs the place build a place of your own. There's no law that says you have to be here. You have my permission to start your own blog.

tcrosse said...

The Invisible White House is staffed with graduates of the Invisible University of Ankh-Morpork.

FullMoon said...

Just occurred to me that never Trumpers are beginning to look and sound like the climate alarmists who still expect the world to end. The prophesies have failed, the deadlines have moved beyond our lifetimes, the terminology has changed, yet some cling to the original doom and gloom because they cannot accept the idea they may have been wrong.
As with never Trumpers and the left, it is always something that might happen, or will happen in the future. Any bad weather is blamed on climate change, as many situations are spun to be blamed on Trump.

Right now, Trump is saying DACA will get done, and immigration reform is very close behind. He has Dems and Repubs all together talking it out.

Missed the roundtable discussion with Obama about anything.

Big Mike said...

Perhaps Brooks does an occasional "Gorillas in the Mist" visit to flyover country to observe Trump voters and their progeny.

That’s something he promised to do immediately after the stunning (to him and the rest of the nattering class) election results, but to my knowledge he has never had the moral courage to do so.

Ralph L said...

Wee Anti-Trumpers.

FullMoon said...

So much of the anti-Trump rhetoric is hysterical, hate-based and over the top. Take (somebody's) vituperation as an example: “lying assholes, mendacious Trump asshattery, Fuck you, You are a real fucking joke, You are an even bigger fool and a moron, God damn you eric!”

4/16/16, 12:28 PM

rehajm said...

Missed the roundtable discussion with Obama about anything

I do't know if they qualify as roundtable discussions but Obama did host a dozen or so jobs summits. You know, gather the great intellectual thinkers in the area of job creation to help boost employment. I wonder if any of them suggested 'leave office' to the President?

FullMoon said...

Perhaps Brooks does an occasional "Gorillas in the Mist" visit to flyover country to observe Trump voters and their progeny.

That’s something he promised to do immediately after the stunning (to him and the rest of the nattering class) election results, but to my knowledge he has never had the moral courage to do so.

Yeah, he remembers what happened to the guys in Easy Rider and Deliverance who messed with flyovers.

buwaya said...

"You know, gather the great intellectual thinkers in the area of job creation to help boost employment."

These were a combo of academics and business guys, which if they weren't outright cronies, were unwilling to become targets of the FedGov.

buwaya said...

The Obama administration was not welcoming to open and candid communication, in public or in private.

Sam L. said...

I don't believe what Brooks writes and everything else the nyt PRINTS.

Earnest Prole said...

Taking shots at David Brooks is like hunting cows.

eddie willers said...

But as a gentleman, I will let it go and not search up the post and start arguing with you about it

i.e. Not Chuck.

Birkel said...

David Brooks has never seen a PURPLE ELEPHANT.
But every time he is told not to imagine one, his mind's eye sees it.

One boggles to understand his self-imposed misunderstanding.

AJ Lynch said...

I remember Obama put Dopey Joe Biden in charge of Obama's Middle Class Task Force which undoubtedly had ZERO individuals from the middle class.

Mr. Fabulous said...

(World Famous Lurker says....)

SeanF @ 10:39am - Sean, if you are referring to last night's post about Oprah and Donald being essentially a similar choice, I'd would respectfully suggest that you go back and review the first 10 or 12 comments on that post. Meade and the Professor kind of gave the game away in their comments there. I was originally a bit irritated when Meade said (from memory)"please don't call her Doprah, that's racist and sexist." Personally, I absolutely don't want another president that we can't criticize without being accused of being a bigot. After rereading his prior and subsequent posts though, as well as the Professor's posts, I realized that they were "playing" us again. Reread Meade's comment immediately preceding that one about Doprah - it looks like well written sarcasm in light of his next comment:

Meade @ 5:49pm - I love Oprah. I would like to see us make America great again by 2020 so that Trump can retire, bask in the glory of his leadership, and turn the POTUS over to President Winfrey who will carefully guide our ship of state for 4 more years.

I think most of us assumed last night that the Professor's view is that there isn't really any difference in picking Donald vs. Oprah, but if you carefully reread what she said, it wasn't "I think if you supported Donald from the beginning, you have to support Oprah in the same way", but "If you supported Donald from the beginning, how can you not support Oprah in the same way? Discuss, and don't use the liberal vs. conservative argument." That is a question designed to start a meaningful discussion, not a flat declaration of support for Oprah as Donald Mark II.

The assumption that we know what the Professor’s position and opinion on a post’s topic is common, but I think often mistaken – Ann has the skill of posing questions that evoke passionate discussion, but it is all too easy to think you know her opinion on a topic from how she frames the question. I strongly suspect that using the topics and questions within a post is not necessarily a good guide to what the Professor’s opinion actually is.

Just my 2 cents.

Birkel said...

There were people who opposed Obama on policy and support Trump on policy. These people are consistent and reasonable. They believe results matter more than intentions.

There were people who supported Obama on policy and oppose Trump on policy. These people are consistent and foolish. They believe intentions matter more than results. They often misjudge intentions.

There are people who supported Obama and oppose Trump on style. This is the David Brooks contingent. They are supercilious. They lack any core. They are best ignored or ridiculed.

AJ Lynch said...

Birkel - love your comment at 2:03PM. I will call it Birkel's Law and rank it just below Fen's Law.

Leo said...

For those with a Roku, I've added pluto.tv which has channels with Rifftrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 channels, with commercials.

The reason I bring it up is that they added a gorilla channel yesterday. They already had a cat channel, and a fireplace channel.

mockturtle said...

Birkel asserts: There are people who supported Obama and oppose Trump on style. This is the David Brooks contingent. They are supercilious. They lack any core. They are best ignored or ridiculed.

I certainly ignore David Brooks when I can. When I can't, I ridicule him.


Style: If a skater falls on his/her ass while performing a triple axel, do style points really matter?

wildswan said...

It took a year for some motion toward understanding Trump to begin but it's starting to happen. That's how I read articles like the one by David Brooks. Meanwhile, the Democrats are toying with the idea of getting rid of Hillary by running Oprah. Oprah has the brilliant glowing personality and Crooked Hillary has the political connections and policy positions and general meanness. Who will win? Popcorn time, as we watch to see how Hillary tries to take down Oprah without seeming to do so. Open enmity is a total non-starter. What will she do? Give up? Not Hillary. Assemble a dossier? Been there, done that. Imply that Oprah was complicit with HarveyPaw? Already a picture is circulating of the two together. Why should Republicans do anything until we see how/if Hillary knocks Oprah out? Time enough then to ask whether Oprah supports Obama's policies and wants to take away the tax refund and the jobs.

Christian Peterson said...

"In my view, Trump was too weird and crazy to be President, but in the real world, he is President, and it's weird and crazy not to live in the real world."

Tell us Ann, what is this "real world" you referred to so blithely? The real world as seen on MSNBC? The real world as seen on Fox News?" The real world as brought to us by NRO or NYT? The real world as defined by my Twitter account? The real world as curated by my Facebook news feed? We all see the "real world" through a prism of our own wants, needs and experiences. We all have a point of view. Is mine more "real" than yours? Or am I to believe that your version of the "real world" is more "real" than others - including my own? Does the "real world" I live in seem "weird and crazy" to you - because, I'll be quite honest with you - just the fact that you seem to think there is a "real world" apart and beyond the mediated reality you call your "point of view" makes me question your sanity.

gadfly said...

Althouse asks: I wonder where Brooks goes to notice young people looking at daily hysteria and finding it silly. Is there a coffeeshop in D.C. somewhere or what?

Andrew Ferguson knows a place:

The Passenger Bar, about 12 blocks from the White House, is just beginning the first seating of the night in its Columbia Room, a semisecret speakeasy behind an unmarked door in the back. Speakeasies are very fashionable in Washington at the moment—bars within bars, inner sanctums set aside for the most discriminating palates. But the Columbia Room is a particularly hot ticket. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a reservation a few days in advance. For $67 a head, an expert bartender serves a three-course tasting of cocktails. He carves a thick slice of lemon rind, places his hands slightly above and 10 inches back from the cocktail glass and with a snapping motion sends a scattering of lemon drops across the icy surface of what one magazine calls “the best martini in America.”

The Passenger’s motto? “God save the district.” The sentiment is easy to understand, for these are good times in Washington and the seven counties that surround it. Even as the nation struggles, the capital has prospered, making it a magnet for young hipsters but leaving its residents with only a tentative understanding of how the rest of the country lives. “It’s nice,” goes the old joke about Miami, “because it’s so close to the United States.” Well, Washington is very nice these days.

Earnest Prole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

Tell us Ann, what is this "real world" you referred to so blithely?

Is this the real life or is it just fantasy? Do you feel you're caught in a landslide with no escape from reality?

C R Krieger said...

I am with exhelodrvr1

"I am proudly a bitterly clinging, intolerable, low-brow!"

Must be an aviator thing. Mark me a former Lawn Dart Driver.

Regards — Cliff

C R Krieger
Lowell, MA 01852

ConquerorofAllFoesCheese said...

I find "the monotonous daily hysteria of anti-Trumpers", to coin a usage, Deplorable.

Spaceman said...


David Brooks doing his best Michael Wolfe lite imitation. Oooh, I forgot he is a Conservative Editorialist for the NYT and the weekly Conservative commentator on NPR. He looked like he was about to burst into tears on election night with his PBS sidekicks. Aside in any manner of negotiation (especially diplomacy), a cardinal rule is to never let the other know what your true goals are and to bluff when necessary. So Trump throws out the smoke screen while his crew is working behind the curtains on the true objectives. Opposite this principle - recall that Obama broadly publicized that US troops would be pulled out of Iraq by a irrevocable certain date. Result - ISIS patiently hid out waiting for the pullout and then attacked in force. On August 31 2010 Obama declared: "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. Golly, great victory declared just in time for the 2010 election.

Neo said...

I fear that the psychosis that has enveloped Never-Trumpers, Democrats, and especially the media, has developed into a Potemkin White House of their own design.
Trump's reality has the real White House.

readering said...

Don't understand why there's not more love for this column among the commenters. He warning against TDS.

wbfjrr2 said...

So Althouse states that Trump is crazy. So I guess she got her psychiatry degree from the same school where Gore earned his science degree.

Trump is different for sure, and has idiosyncrasies as do most of us, his are just amplified, sometimes by his enemies, sometimes by his own words or actions. How about LBJ? Not weird? FDR had so many secrets that were covered up by the media, including never being shown to to be wheelchair bound to the American public. JFK——-where do I start? Bill Clinton, serial sexual aggressor (not just locker room talk, by the way), his wife the “bimbo” crusher and pure grifter. I could go on.

Oddly enough for Althouse and the rest of the “Trump is crazy” crowd, for all his strangeness, he’s beating the crap out of you in the substantive things that count. What exactly does that make you?

William Chadwick said...

"Deke"???

Placeholder said...

I doubt I'll ever be rationally accused of shilling for David Brooks; among other things, I share Althouse's disdain for his pomposity.

But hey, that's him, and if we're going to reject everything he says because we don't like his style, we miss the significant point he made, which is that the "never Trumper" are folding their hand.

Ms. Althouse, you take yes for an answer because you don't like his accent? Come on.

Unknown said...

So brooks calls foxnews lowbrow conservative media. What a shocker since they are the ONLY conservative media. Brooks is such a useful democrat posing as a conservative idiot.

Nate Whilk said...

"normal journalistic and intellectual standards" --David Brooks

"...it was the first time that I had seen a person whose profession was telling lies—unless one counts journalists."
--George Orwell, "Homage to Catalonia" (1938)

"Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true—except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge." --Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy (Erwin Knoll, editor, "The Progressive")

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell (June 11, 1807)

"...I stopped taking calls — to save time and to protect myself from distortion and exploitation." --Professor Ann Althouse, 2/4/17 12:11 PM, http://althouse.blogspot.com/2017/02/eric-trumps-business-trip-to-uruguay.html?showComment=1486231877987#c1055229915920410489

Jon Burack said...

Agree with all the things Ann points out here. But I am relieved that Brooks is talking about this. It is a sign of the unease of the anti-Trumpers at the hatred they have indulged in. A sign that they are starting to get a bit embarrassed at their insane levels of hysteria on all this. This week, practically the ONLY really important news story is the people in the streets of the cities of Iran. But that has take third place to Trumps tweets and a book of gossip.

Jon Burack said...

BY the way, as to Brooks finding those young people who think it's all silly at Yale. Didn't we see some Yale students acting a bit silly themselves a year or so ago? I doubt they've matured all that much since.

William Chadwick said...

It's a good rule of thumb that if someone tells you (even by implication) that they're "highbrow" (especially if they use that term), they're probably not.

Alphonsus Jr. said...

Essential reading:

The five-part series, over at the great Vdare site, entitled "Why So Much Jewish Fear and Loathing of Donald Trump?" by Dr. Kevin MacDonald

Also at Vdare: "Cuckservatism: The Cuckoo in the Conservative Movement's Nest"

Dear Reader, your Pavlovian conditioning has already, no doubt, triggered you to cry, "anti-Semitism!" Fine. Now get over it and go read those essays.