You can always smell the fear coming off the newsprint or screen when David Brooks descends into the viciousness usually masked by the professorial tone he usually aspires to as a "reasonable" conservative. Today, he reveals just how frightened the right is by the potential candidacy of The Man who was Right about Everything, Al Gore. Brooks' column today (subscription wall), purportedly a review of Gore's Assault on Reason, is a relentlessly nasty diatribe from start to finish.
After a Gore quote from the book, the ultra-pompous Mr. Brooks writes one of the most dismissive, snide and false statements to appear recently on any op-ed page:
But, hey, nobody ever died from contact with pomposity, and Al Gore’s "The Assault on Reason" is well worth reading. It reminds us that whatever the effects of our homogenizing mass culture, it is still possible for exceedingly strange individuals to rise to the top.
By paragraph 3, Gore is already not only "pompous" but "exceedingly strange." Brooks goes on to attack, primarily through mischaracterization, what he falsely deems the book's theme. According to this "reasonable conservative," Gore has a "chilly" and "sterile" worldview, which exalts arid "reason" and neglects "social development."
Wait -- wasn't it just recently that Gore was attacked by the likes of Brooks for being "crazy" and "unhinged" when he dared to raise his voice against the madness of the Iraq war?
With unintentional irony, Brooks writes:
Without emotions like fear, the "logical" mind can’t reach conclusions. On the other hand, many of the most vicious, genocidal acts are committed by people who are emotionally numb, not passionately out of control.
Brooks is apparently among the 28% who don't recognize that Bush and Cheney are among the most "emotionally numb" leaders in ours or any history. He willfully blinds himself to Gore's main point -- that out-of-control passion, stoked by the cynical "emotionally numb" men he supports, has killed 3,400 of our people and hundreds of thousands of others.
Gore was right on the war, the environment, the deficit.
What were you right on, Brooks?
I should have noted the incredible irony of Brooks' use of "Vulcans" the title of James Mann's book about the rise of the Rumsfeld/Cheney warmongers, going back to the Nixon Administration.