June 24, 2014

"David Brock has a message for liberal millionaires: Don’t sweat being called hypocrites."

"Brock, a former 'right-wing hit-man'-turned-top-big-money-Democratic-operative, is part of a behind-the-scenes campaign to convince donors it’s OK to attack the Koch brothers for spending millions of dollars while doing the exact same thing for the left."

Presumably, Brock makes money saying stuff like this. Koch Brocking.

His idea is: Since the Democrats are in politics to do what is good and the Kochs want what is bad, there's a "false equivalence." Seeing the false equivalence — I observe — requires that you look at the end and not the means.

And, of course, you have to believe that your end is good and theirs is bad... or at least you have to be willing to portray your end as good, which is making the ostensible end only a means. And that's common in politics where the true end is often power, control, and perpetuation of one's own job. Seeming ends like immigration reform or marriage equality can easily be means to those ends.

In any case, let me congratulate Brock for getting these speaking gigs and for the hair. That's political hair par excellence. That's beyond Teddy Kennedy hair. That's outright Bob La Follette hair.

63 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

The Professor wrote, "And that's common in politics where the true end is often power, control, and perpetuation of one's own job. Seeming ends like immigration reform or marriage equality can easily be means to those ends."

America is largely religious; we believe in God.

What if we weren't? Wouldn't Obama's recent behavior be easier to understand? If you don't believe in basic morality, who cares if you once opposed gay marriage but now support it?

If you don't believe in basic morality, why does it matter that you once supported right-wing philosophies and now support left-wing ones? Who gives a crap?

Anonymous said...

Once you get over your own hypocrisy everything becomes pride.

tim in vermont said...

David Brock was a hit man who didn't fit in with Republican'a political strategy. He is fine with the Democrats.

He does what he does. Most of what he does is to omit key details and then work up a high dudgeon over the remaining "facts."

The Crack Emcee said...

"Seeing the false equivalence — I observe — requires that you look at the end and not the means."

Getting a white guy's foot off my neck - and my money back in my family's pocket - is enough, of an end, that my means don't matter.

Is all of life a theory, to you, or is there anything concrete to these musings?

Honestly, Ann, have you ever been in, say, a physical fight - for your life - or whatever?

Ron said...

Perhaps he should be considered guilty more of Lou Brocking: A good number of hits, generating a fair amount of psychological thievery, but poor defense.

Drago said...

A lefty for whom the ends justifies the means.

Wow.

I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

Ann Althouse said...

@ Bob Ellison

You have an uncanny knack for missing my point. It's like you read a little, get some idea of your own, then write as if it relates to what I've said. What's up with that?

bleh said...

I can't believe anyone takes this man seriously. He's basically a cynical, self-absorbed, lying sack of crap. He used to shill for Republicans. Once he was thoroughly discredited for his shoddy reporting and dishonest tactics, he pretended to experience a conversion, repudiated his former work and now he shills for Democrats. It was really the only way he could extend his career and find a new way to make money.

Why can't he just disappear?

Bob Ellison said...

Hmm. It's your blog, so you can write whatever you want.

Maybe I'm a liddle monster, running all around, not knowing what your point is! And pissing all over the place!

Michael said...

The important hair should have been the end of it, but,Lo, like many fools he could not resist the added embellishment of the pocket square looping stupidly out of his jacket. It is always the extra little lie that undermines the big lie, the unnecessary in-your-face tiny decoration.

gk1 said...

I guess this tact was so ridiculous on its face they had to have sad David Brock trot this line of thinking out. Either money in politics is "bad" or it isn't. Just because its Team Blue money doesn't change the fact.

Saint Croix said...

let me congratulate Brock for getting these speaking gigs and for the hair. That's political hair par excellence.

After that set-up, I had to click on the link. That's link-click bait right there. If that law professor thing doesn't work out, gawker is hiring. And I'm primed for the hair. I'm ready for the hair. Or at least I thought I was.

I laughed so hard I scared my puppy. I got to check the floor for pee stains.

Matt Sablan said...

If you can describe your job as "political hit man," I really don't think you're high on my list of people to go to for ethics advice.

Bob Ellison said...

The Professor wrote, "It's like you read a little, get some idea of your own, then write as if it relates to what I've said."

That is a problem. I do that. I go on tangents.

This blog is not tangential at all, so I apologize.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

"@ Bob Ellison

You have an uncanny knack for missing my point. It's like you read a little, get some idea of your own, then write as if it relates to what I've said. What's up with that?"

I think that's just a commenting phenom - I've noticed it a billion times. Take Ta-Nehisi Coates' Case For Reparations:

How many whites, here, claim to have read it but still ask me questions it's addressed?

I just think white people are stupider than they've been led to believe,...

Matt Sablan said...

Also, this advice will work for one simple reason: No one on the left with influence CARES about the hypocrisy. The right removed Cantor over principles [whether you agree with them or not.] Voters on the left don't hold their politicians feet to the fire as often recently, and even if they did, that doesn't impact the donors.

If you're going to buy influence, why care if people think you're being a hypocrite? You're getting influence, they're not.

YoungHegelian said...

Since the Democrats are in politics to do what is good and the Kochs want what is bad, there's a "false equivalence."

It's actually a good think that Brock states his "moral" approach so baldly, because, then, at least, it can be publicly critiqued. There's no shortage of folks on both sides of the aisle who believe that the inherit "righteousness" of their cause permit them to cut all sorts of moral corners. It's not the "end justifies the means" so much that bothers me. What bothers me the most is the underlying certainty that political action can be moral action & what's worse, that political action is the highest stage of moral action. These are extremely dubious assumptions, to say the least.

But, in any case, anyone who would turn to David Brock for moral guidance has a screw loose...

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: "You have an uncanny knack for missing my point. It's like you read a little, get some idea of your own, then write as if it relates to what I've said. What's up with that?"

Yikes.

Looks like someone doesn't qualify for the "Crack Exception".

Hmmm. "Crackception"

Also looks like Bob's point isn't getting any Crack-Traction "Cracktion".

n.n said...

People who subscribe to negotiable (i.e. selective) principles can never technically be described as bigots (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrites). Liberal millionaires are not bigots, they are narcissists. The most extreme evidence of this malignant egoism is realized with their advocacy for competing interest to adopt behaviors sympathetic with evolutionary dysfunction. Unfortunately, there is fundamental corruption, and exceptional corruption, and while there is a large minority in the former class, there is also a large and variable number in the latter class.

Bruce Hayden said...

I really wonder how many of those leftist fat cats, whom Brock is hitting up, really do believe in the cause, believe that they can spend money to affect elections because their cause is noble and just, and the Koch brothers shouldn't be able to, because theirs is evil. And, how many just see it as a way to maintain and increase their own wealth and power.

From the right, it appears rankest hypocrisy. For the last couple of months, we have had a bunch of anti-Udahl-opponent ads running that blast his opponent for benefiting from partially Koch funded ads. Leftist billionaires (like Tom Steyer) funding ads attacking conservative billionaires for opposing their candidates as being evil incarnate. I see it as rank hypocrisy.

But, some of them probably do believe that what they do is for the benefit of the country, and not for their personal benefit. Just, as, BTW, do the Koch brothers. The problem is that some, like Steyer, really do appear to be doing what is best for their pocketbooks before what is good for the country.

Keep this in mind. Most conservatives and most Republicans do not approve of crony capitalism. And, agree with the sentiment is that the reason to win elections is to get yours. To get your fair share. This is a Democratic/progressive sentiment, and maybe what ties the top and bottom of that party together. To some extent, the Chicago Way, or political machines gone national. The Stimulus bill was, to a great extent, payback to all its major donors for winning the 2006 and 2008 elections, where those donors bellied up to the bar to get paid. Which is why all those Green Energy investments went bad - they weren't really Green energy investments, but crony capitalistic payback for backing the winning team in 2008. Many Republicans see this as corruption. Many Democrats, and esp. its progressive wing, see it as a good part of the reason for politics. The other part, of course, is to save the world - but not if it will cramp their lifestyles.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Yikes, that's Heston as Moses hair.

http://jasminis.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/moses.jpg

In a hurricane does it lay flat on his head?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The Democrats have been spewing out 2 months of solid anti-Koch fundraising emails. Apparently there has been push back, and David Brock has been dispatched.

Chuck said...

I thought good grooming was one of the redemptive qualities of gay men. What happened to David Brock?

lemondog said...

Exactly what are the Koch Bros doing to destroy the very fabric of our nation

Top Donor list shows Koch at 58. with Soros at 62. Top 10 appear to be heavily (7 out of 10) pro Democrat.

Why not target Berkshire Hathaway at 41. with donations at 36/64% in favor of Repubs? Didn't Uncle Warren recently indicate that he was in favor of the Keystone pipeline?

lemondog said...

@ Bob Ellison

You have an uncanny knack for missing my point


Well we all have our talents :-))

richard mcenroe said...

"Sometimes it is possible to do well by doing good." — Sincerely, German Oven Manufacturers

If you want to see where Brockthink inevitably winds up, look at the solicitation letters these "people" wrote to the Nazi government for the sale of their goods.

Lem said...

Brock's pitch has no hair on millionaires.

Eckersley shudders when he sees a pitcher, even on the opposition, who has lost his speed but tries to keep the ball over the plate. "He's right down Broadway, with not a lot of hair on them (the pitches)." Another time after the Red Sox had peppered an opposing pitcher with singles, Eckersley pinpointed the problem: "He's throwing a lot of soft salad," he said, meaning there wasn't much speed on his pitches.

Brock's hair is soft salad.

David said...

Norman Thomas bought and sold considerable property in coastal South Carolina, which resulted in personal wealth for him and his descendants.

Good for them.

Peter said...

"His idea is: Since the Democrats are in politics to do what is good and the Kochs want what is bad, there's a "false equivalence."

Sounds like Marcusian "repressive tolerance": i.e., we have the right to speak but you do not.

Krumhorn said...

B-b-b-but they mean oh-so well.

- Krumhorn

cubanbob said...

Brock makes his money selling bullshit. The Koch's make their money selling useful things and services.
Brock is just another hypocrite who is embarrassed by being called out as a hypocrite. Ann is right, he's embarrassed about the ends justifying the means so he wants to play squirrel and ignore the means and focus on the end. Because his heart is in the right place.

Michael K said...

Brock has done very well feeding the delusions of the left. It didn't work too well with the right after Anita Hill.

He would fit well in 1789 Paris.

SGT Ted said...

It's just the usual bullshit double standard from the left that privileges their good intentions over bad results and dishonest actions.

It's the usual leftwing bullshit about how they are the "good people" and thus can avoid accountability for their shitty behavior towards other people and failed ideas.

It is another example of "civility bullshit" as well.

Mob rule is how it is enforced.

SGT Ted said...

Can I see the boot prints on your neck, Crack?

How about the chain and whip scars?

Oh, that's right, none of that has actually happened to you, which means you're just the victim of your own mind.

Ann Althouse said...

"Honestly, Ann, have you ever been in, say, a physical fight - for your life - or whatever?"

Yes. Once my brother was jumped by a guy in a parking lot who pushed him into our car, trapping him and beating him. I was standing behind this, and I punched the guy in the back until he turned around and punched me in the eye.

Does that count?

Ann Althouse said...

I have rethought that fight many times, considering how I could have been more effective. Obviously, I had no training, and I believed that the fact that I was holding my keys in my right hand limited me to hitting with my left hand.

chillblaine said...

This is logical outcome of critical theory. And our President is the King of the Crits. He has called it "false balance."

"I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that, if the two parties are disagreeing, then they're equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And an equivalence is presented, which reinforces, I think, people's cynicism about Washington generally."

Barack Obama said this. And progressives in general believe that conservatives are not just wrong, but malevolent. If I could harness my ambitious spirit, I would write a book just about this.

Ann Althouse said...

"I just think white people are stupider than they've been led to believe,…"

Why do you think that… including why do you think that white people overestimate their intelligence?

Not to speak in generalities, but I have observed, in my sojourns among the white people, a phenomenon of expressing a belief that one isn't very smart. It's quite common to claim to be a "dumb guy" and to seem quite comfortable with that. There's even a culture of hiding how well one does in school or even choosing to do badly because you don't see much point in overachieving or overworking.

Brando said...

So the guy made a name for himself by writing (by his own admission) disingenuous hack pieces on liberals. Why again should anyone listen to him now that he decided to take his hackery across the aisle?

As for his "it's okay for us because we're doing good, not evil" it may be enough to appease the consciences of the public who are already in the bag--those on the left who aren't about to change their minds anyway. But any moderate or even a thoughtful liberal will see that hypocrisy will just be disgusted and at best will tune out.

Again, has this guy ever had anything worthwhile to say? Can't we instead just record the blatherings of a chimp because at least then there's an outside chance that the chimp language will produce something insightful?

Matt Sablan said...

"Many Democrats, and esp. its progressive wing,"

-- To be fair, most progressives are VERY critical about the end result of what happens because of the people they elect. They aren't happy that Goldman Sachs folks got into the administration, for example. They see it as being betrayed. The Democrats who see it as business as usual aren't the same as the Occupy Wall Streeters.

SGT Ted said...

Not to speak in generalities, but I have observed, in my sojourns among the white people...

Sounds like a Safari report.

Saint Croix said...

I was holding my keys in my right hand

For future reference, stick a couple of keys in between your fingers and then make a fist. Now you have a weapon.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Honestly, Ann, have you ever been in, say, a physical fight - for your life - or whatever?"

Yes. Once my brother was jumped by a guy in a parking lot who pushed him into our car, trapping him and beating him. I was standing behind this, and I punched the guy in the back until he turned around and punched me in the eye.

Does that count?


No, it only counts if someone completely unrelated to you was a slave 200 years ago.

Oh, I see what you did there.

Bob Ellison said...

Drago, it's a problem. I think I write pretty well, but I've been trying to write with extreme brevity lately. Cracktion comes, I think, more from consistency than from brevity.

Also, I think the Professor doesn't like being called "the Professor" on the blog.

Gahrie said...

Brock is just another hypocrite who is embarrassed by being called out as a hypocrite

No he's not. None of them are. The Left has no standards, only a desire for power. hypocrisy on the Left is either simply ignored, or denied.

Ann Althouse said...

"For future reference, stick a couple of keys in between your fingers and then make a fist."

Yeah. I know. That's one of the things I figured out.

I've heard cops recommend that you walk down the street carrying your keys that way.

Bruce Hayden said...

And progressives in general believe that conservatives are not just wrong, but malevolent.

ON the right, I think that a lot of us believe that progressives are not just wrong, but some are actively evil. While the rest (probably the vast majority) are sheeple.

Yes, I think that there are a lot of naive progressives who actually believe that they can save the world with their progressive programs, etc. I say naive, because they inevitably fly in the face of basic human nature, which includes the fact that most people will put their own good and that of their families, relatives, and small community, above that of the whole, esp. when it comes to a country of over 300 million. And, as we see with a lot of the big government breakdowns, whether they be the VA, IRS, etc., larger bureaucracies, with which progressives seem to enamored, are inevitably destined for failure for this very reason - because the bureaucrats, teachers, politicians, etc., put themselves first more often than not. The naivety is that progressives actually believe that they won't, and, therefore, government agencies can actually do a good job at solving problems. And, yes, they are part of the sheeple.

Lem said...

Home run Ron!

tim in vermont said...

"why do you[Crack] think that white people overestimate their intelligence?"

Because we don't think it is a good idea to give sixty trillion dollars or whatever to black people because they are black, no matter how 'well crafted' his arguments.

John Cunningham said...

Zounds, that pic of David Brock makes him look like a peter-puffing Tom Wolfe, no?

Drago said...

Bob Ellison: "Drago, it's a problem. I think I write pretty well, but I've been trying to write with extreme brevity lately."

I have also been trying to write with extreme brevit.....

Drago said...

Tim: "Because we don't think it is a good idea to give sixty trillion dollars or whatever to black people because they are black, no matter how 'well crafted' his arguments."

It's actually $100 Trillion.

Plus 3 of Saturns moons (in the good part of "saturn town").

And at least 8 South Pacific islands that can be guaranteed not to sink if lots of people are walking around on them.

deepelemblues said...

"Yeah. I know. That's one of the things I figured out.

I've heard cops recommend that you walk down the street carrying your keys that way."

I used to do that for years until I moved into a better neighborhood. Thankfully, never had to actually use it. But then again someone did try to rob my eyes and I almost gouged one of his eyes out. Wish I'd had my keys in a fist then, trying to gouge someone's eyes out even though I was totally in the right made me feel a lot worse than I think punching him with a key in my fist would have been because in that case I wouldn't have gone for his eyes.

Bilwick said...

David Brock kneeling before Darth Soros:

"What is thy bidding, my master?"

Hyphenated American said...

"Getting a white guy's foot off my neck - and my money back in my family's pocket - is enough, of an end, that my means don't matter."

Crack, in this country, officially, and openly, you will benefit at my expense through affirmative action. And yet, you want to think of yourself as a victim of some mythical white man who keeps his foot on your neck - while in reality, you are the thug living at the expense of other people.
I wonder do you even concede this to yourself, that your whole worldview is based on a lie. I don't think you can afford to tell yourself the truth.

Doug said...

Althouse said: I believed that the fact that I was holding my keys in my right hand limited me to hitting with my left hand.

You probably know by now - and all women should - that you should splay your keys outward from your palm between your fingers as you make a fist around them - and then strike the assailant with this very effective set of brass knuckles.

Hyphenated American said...

"I just think white people are stupider than they've been led to believe,..."

Does anyone here think that Crack is much dumber than he thinks he is?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Where is the Fen's Law tag?

Francisco D said...

Ron,

As a childhood Cubs fan, I take exception to your term "Lou Brocking." One of the worst trade in history was the Cubbies trading Brock for a washed up old pitcher named Ernie Broglio.

Crackhead will undoubtedly theorize that it was a black man for a white man trade that spurred the Cubs. I wonder who the bigger idiot is. The Cubs GM or ...?

tim in vermont said...

"I just think white people are stupider than they've been led to believe,..."

If we said the converse, that would be racist.

But he is right, we just are not smart enough to pay him his million dollars and a mule.

Kirk Parker said...

"I believed that the fact that I was holding my keys in my right hand limited me to hitting with my left hand."

Hold the keys with the the longest key protruding, then punch your assailant in the eyeball with it. That usually gets their attention.

Or, if you're really serious and have some skill or something hard in your hands: punch him in the throat and collapse his windpipe. The usually takes his attention off and onto surviving the next few minutes.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

Oh, wait, you were behind the guy? Then: hardest palm-strike you can manage with your strong hand (DROP the f*ck*ng keys already if they're a hindrance to you!) upwards to the guy's chin. That will cause his head to raise a bit, even if he's huge and you're tiny. That's the moment to get to his larynx with your strongest possible hammer-strike. Repeat that if you can.

If this sounds like a fight to the death.... well it might be: how do you know until it's over?

Kirk Parker said...

This is even better than keys as an "improvised" weapon, and has the advantage of doubling as a flashlight when you're not using it to fend off your brother's assailants.