Monday, May 01, 2006
David Brooks: Multiculturalism Satire?
I mean, if Brooks' piece had been written by, oh, I don't know, Tony Snow, Patrick Buchanan, Karl Rove or someone like that, wooo-hooo, the usual Insane Liberal Clown Posse would be chomping at the bit!
Brooks wrote about a different type of liberalism for democrats. Why, he even "lifted" the idea put forth by Hillary Clinton that the next big idea for democrats is "the common good".
Brooks begins his piece by using multiculturalism as an issue that worked for the democratic party in the 1990's. Using Richard Bernstein's "Dictatorship of Virtue", Brooks notes that:
..."[Bernstein describing the excesses of multiculturalism of] the campus speech codes, the forced sensitivity training, the purging of dead white males from curriculums, the people who had their careers ruined by dubious charges of racism, sexism and ethnocentrism."
Where was Bernstein during free on-campus speech except for military recruiters? Where was he during the rewriting of history that defined the Founding Fathers as a group of white, Eurocentric men? Where was he during the Clarence Thomas hearings?
Then Brooks uses Michael Tomasky's "Left For Dead" to argue:
..."that the progressive movement was being ruined by multicultural identity politics. Democrats have lost the ability to talk to Americans collectively, Tomasky wrote, and seem to be a collective of aggrieved outgroups: feminists, blacks, gays and so on."
Brooks says that both Bernstein and Tomasky were "lonely voices on the left" when they wrote what they wrote and that "the multiculturalists struck back." Brooks offers evidence of a backlash by noting that multiculturalism was defended, at that time, by writers like Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jeffrey Weeks, Marjorie Garber and Judith Butler who, responding to Bernstein and Tomasky, wrote that multiculturalism is alive, fighting and well.
Mr. Brooks then segues into reasons why multiculturalism is, or should be, a declining motivating factor in liberal ideology:
"A different sort of liberalism is taking over the Democratic Party. Multiculturalism is in decline for a number of reasons. First, the identity groups have ossified. The feminist organizations were hypocritical during the Clinton impeachment scandal, and both fevered and weak during the Roberts and Alito hearings. Meanwhile, the civil rights groups have become stale and uninteresting."
But along came the Roberts and Alito hearings. Suddenly, the feminist organizations thought their voice not only should be heard, but that their voice mattered! The public responded with a resounding yawn fully aware that the feminist organizations effectively self-castrated themselves by their adopted muteness in the Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Wiley and Juanita Broderick allegations as well as other women who claimed Bill Clinton harassed and abused them.
Brooks continues enumerating his talking points:
"Second, Democrats now understand that they must pay less attention to minorities and more to the white working class if they want to regain the majority.
Third, the intellectual energy of the left is now with the economists. People who write about inequality are more vibrant than people who write about discrimination."
My question for David Brooks, at this point, is who's the ghostwriter for you in this piece? David Sedaris? Bill Maher? Stop - Maher doesn't have the required intellect to have written this for you, Sedaris - yes, but I don't think even David Sedaris ventures this far into political satire.
Brooks concludes his talking points noting September 11:
"Fourth, and most important, 9/11 happened. The attacks aroused feelings of national solidarity, or a longing for national solidarity, that discredited multiculturalists' tribalism."
Brooks brings up Tomasky's new essay (imagine that, a liberal writer changing beliefs due to a changing national mindset!) that Brooks says:
"...[Tomasky] argues that it is time Democrats cohered around a big idea (My note: you mean global warming isn't their ticket back to a majority?) - not diversity and not individual rights, but the idea of the common good."
Brooks, quoting Tomasky:
"...we're all in this together; we are all part of a larger national project; we all need to make some shared sacrifices and look beyond our narrow self-interest."
Brooks needs to support his piece by borrowing from "two other liberal writers", (his words, not mine), John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira, who, Brooks says, have just finished a long study that comes to the conclusion that:
"Surveying mountains of polling data [concludes] that the Democrats' chief problem is that people don't think they stand for anything."
C'mon Mr. Brooks, admit it, this is an outrageous piece of political satire on your part, isn't it? Did Gary "Garrison" Keillor, with help from The Onion, write this for you - fess up!
Brooks blathers on for a few more paragraphs and even makes time to mention Cluck Schumer and Harry Reid:
"Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer will never ask their people to make sacrifices, but until they do, the higher talk of common good will sound like bilge."
"Goodbye, Jesse Jackson. Goodbye Gloria Steinem. Hello, Harry Truman."
I'm not sure whose mind David Brooks thinks he will change with his piece. Does he believe that the ruling class of the democratic party will change their hardcore and long held beliefs to regain a political majority in Congress and the occupancy of the White House?
Any change in party belief for the liberals will be, and you can count on it, only cosmetic in nature. They're not about to amend their party platform to discount and deny what their party is all about and has been about for several decades.
They're not going to substitute the beliefs of their political opposition in place of their own philosophy. And even if they did, who would believe them other than their own uncompromising party loyalists? Who would believe them other than those who would take what they say, with a wink and a nod, and know that what the "new democrats" proclaim is purely nothing but a calculated facade to worm their way back into office?
But back to their winning card strategy of "For the common good. For the common good" - it has a tinge of "It Takes A Village" doesn't it? Please, by all means, play that "For the common good" card. I don't see that as helping the efforts of the left to stop their self-imposed implosion of a political party.
When you start talking about "doing things on behalf of the Common Good" you are telling those who hear your message that you are beginning your plans for a monolithic oligarchy. Which is likely a true and accurate assessment of the Left, even though they will claim that it is not.
Labels: gary keillor
We really shouldn't be surprised at all that it is Mizz Hillary uttering those words, should we?
How about "For the uncommon good?"
Really good job! Thanks!
Thanks Layla! I will ck out your post as well!!
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