Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Conservative columnist, David Brooks, writing in today's NYTimes, explains why this country is in so much trouble, and he correctly identifies the reason that nothing is being done to correct the economy.  The GOP is on a suicide mission, and if it continues its intransigence, it will take this country with it.  There is no way forward without compromise, and compromise is not in the current GOP's vocabulary.  Brooks rightly says that this GOP is "infected" by extreme ideology, and is unwilling to do the right thing for our country because their only goal, from all appearances and from what they have unequivocally stated in public, is to make Mr. Obama a one term president.  This is the basest form of politics--playing with other people's lives and fortunes for political gain. It is beyond gross dereliction of duty, it is perilously destructive, and the American people will not forget the GOP's moral recklessness.

I agree with Brooks that if the GOP does not come to its senses and act like a political party instead of an arm of Rush Limbaugh's hate radio show, it will pay dearly for its moral indecency.

"A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.

But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.

Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.

The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right."

David Brooks:


Dave Miller said...

Shaw, i too saw this article, but sadly, Brooks commentary will fall on deaf ears, as will commentary from every other formerly considered sane GOP voice.

Anyone who dares stray from the anti tax, anti eliminate subsidy pledge of Mr. Norquist is considered a RINO.

As such, the party needs to pay them no heed, or respect.

People seem to forget, and even deny that Mr. Reagan was a big tax raiser, both as President and Governor of California.

And he was a believer in compromise, as evidenced by his deals with "Tip."

These facts sadly, are of no interest to the current group of "statesmen" who make up a majority of the GOP or the extremist either/or people who populate the Tea Party.

Leslie Parsley said...

I think Dave is right - er, correct. But I'd also like to add that this was entirely predictable. When a major party not only allows, but actively courts an extremist political group just for shortsighted goals, which in this case, was votes, they are bound to end up paying the price. The Republicans have been their own worst enemy and are imploding. The sad thing is that they are taking the whole country with them.

Sue said...

Bravo Brooks! Yes, the extremists will ignore this article because they are blindly following the fanatical wingnuts, but what about the moderates and the Independents? Surely they will read... and how can they come to any other conclusion but the new Republican Party is doomed upon arrival? They can not survive in a country whose majority thinks those GOP'ers are drunk with the NEED for power so much so they are willing to destroy America. What will become of them then?? This is why they are INSANE!

Dave Miller said...

Sue, we've started to see conversation about how the new redistricting plan in California will really hamper the GOP.

Unless they begin to see themselves as less strident and ideological, many people, including conservative pundits are saying that CA could go into a super majority mode for the Dems, if not 2012, by 2016.

The demographics are changing, and a party that is trying to mainly appeal to white people, in a country that is becoming more and more mixed racially everyday, is going to be hard pressed to mount a real national presence very very soon.

Leslie Parsley said...

As Brooks says at the end: "If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.... And they will be right."

Tell this to people like McConnell and Boehner.

TOM said...

Force the issue.

Obama should do what Gov. Dayton (MN) did and just say no to the bad faith negotiations the Republicans have presented.
Let those Republicans who want to hurt the American economy (by not raising the debt limit) do so and see if their explanations hold up to the damage done.
I'm tired of playing with these babies, and maybe a little hurt will bring the people around to forcing Republicans to act more responsibly.
Lets see if they will do anything to win an election. Like even becoming reasonable and realistic.

Sue said...

Tom, I said that somewhere in the blogosphere...Let the Republicans be the party responsible for... let's say SS recipients going without their checks for a few months, and you will see a revolt. I do believe those blind followers of the Rethuglican Party must endure some suffering in order to see the light!

Now you're talkin' Dave, you're getting me all excited!! LOL

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, and others, I cannot say this strong enough, but if our government is "of the people, by the people, for the people" it seems to me it might at least look like what our country is looking like.

When I watch the GOP Convention, all I see are white folks. Few faces of color are on display.

As a white male, married to an african american woman, with a mixed race son, speaking spanish and serving n Mexico, alongside a lot of Asian friends, I want my party to understand where I am coming from.

They do not have to pander to me, they just need to let me know they hear my issues.

How does the GOP, which isn't even stuck in Reagan or Goldwater America do that?

America is now a bigger melting pot than ever, and it is going to keep heading in that direction, while I suspect, the GOP works to try and keep it at bay...

Rational Nation USA said...

I saw this article as well. Brooks is correct. Republicans stand to lose the war on fiscal irresponsibility they claim to be fighting if they continue their current stand.

There is a time to compromise. Now is that time. Brooks article was balanced and rational. Ryan's response was sadly predictable.

I feel strongly enough that republicans need to move on this I posted at my sight. No doubt I will be shunned or blasted by fellow conservatives. Guess that's the reason for the independent qualifier.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Nothing will get done without compromise. How can today's GOP not understand this and the fact that their idol, Ronald Reagan, compromised all the time AND raised taxes. Brinkmanship is not a way to govern, but that seems to be the GOP's goal.

The GOP wishes to be seen as a "big tent" party, but that party in fact is a tiny tent one. When you hear Herman Cain claim that Mr. Obama is not a "real black man" you understand why he's welcome in the GOP.


When the GOP candidates claim Mr. Obama has been a failure, the American people see through their rhetoric and understand that the GOP's nonaction on jobs and adamant insistence that the rich not share the sacrifice vis-a-vis taxes is what is really hurting the average American.


The GOP continues to be the party of NO! No ideas, no compassion, no truth.


Recent polls show that a majority of Americans approve of raising taxes and disapprove of touching SS and Medicare.

I wonder who the GOP thinks it's representing. It certainly isn't the majority of Americans.

As Brooks correctly points out, today's GOP is not a normal political party.

Shaw Kenawe said...

In 1983, Reagan wrote a letter [pdf] to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker clearly calling for an increase in the debt limit and practically shuddering at the thought of failing to do so:

"Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns."

So sayeth Saint Reagan 28 years ago. So sayeth reasonable Democrats today."

h/t The Daily Dish

TOM said...


Independent qualifier?

You blast the President for Everything, he has done nothing correct according to you.
You call for him to be removed from office on your blog.
Yet in your article you call the Republicans fiscally responsible for taking the no new tax stand ( a decades old Republican chant responsible for our debt) and spending cuts stand, which we have 30 years evidence, they have not done, in fact refused to do.
You have no independent qualifier.
You speak from the midst of Republican talking points including questioning the President's birth rite and his religion.
There will be a lot of Conservatives/Republicans wanting to compromise now, that the public has decided that this mess is Republicans fault.
The public winds are blowing and not the Republicans way. They are jumping for cover now.
You told me Bush is gone, stop blaming Bush. It's interesting you defend the President who got us into this financial mess, yet blame Obama for the mess.
As long as Bush's irresponsible policies still effect us, it is proper to not forget how we got here and who brought us to this mess.
I'm sure Republicans/Conservatives would like Americans to forget whose policies caused this mess.
Your reason, I'm sure. for wanting to forget about Bush and blame Obama.
Fine, defend the conservative position, but don't look for the cover of "I'm independent" therefore I'm not biased, because your writings are not independent, and are there for all to read.
The "both parties are to blame" argument does not make it. History records which party has caused the financial mess, all in less than 30 years.
A true independent would not get caught up in party talking points, and defend to very people who created the problem.

Dave Miller said...

Tom, the who's to blame, who to credit game is fascinating.

When the Dems in 1994 passed tax increases, adding to those that Bush the Elder had already passed, not one GOP member in the House voted for them, saying they would kill the economy.

WHen the economy came back to life in a big way, all we heard was how the "real" credit should go to poppy Bush, as he started the turn around.

Somehow back then, the tax increases worked. And the GOP wanted credit for that, because they could not possibly claim any of the good of the 90's was a result of Clintonian policies.

Then came the aughts and the deficits, that somehow are not connected to Bush the Younger, but Clinton.

Now as we move thankfully past the Bush II years, we hear how everything is the fault of Obama.

I am all for giving credit where credit is due, and Poppy Bush did push the economy in the right direction, and then Clinton finished that particular GOP recession, but at some point people need to get real.

A simple return to the tax rates President Reagan had would end our fiscal problems and set this economy humming, but that is not the goal of the GOP.

Les, your side begs all the time for less government, but it is a red herring.

You guys love government as much as the next guy, you just want it your way. In the states and localities.

How is that less government? Isn't it still government?

Les. living in reality, and being, as you claim rational, how do you see the GOp continuing to function as a party given the coming demographic realities?

I'm curious...

TOM said...

We should learn from our mistakes, and not repeat them. Republican fiscal policies since 1983 have been a failure.
"Mondale Was Right" is a post of mine that lays out in graphs, figures, and History just why Mondale was right and where Reagan's fiscal ideas came from: Calvin Coolidge (RR's political idol) whose fiscal policies helped start the Great Depression.
The President does not have that much control over the economy, one way, or the other. There are things he can do, but short of FDR type of government employment programs, it is corporations who have to take a risk and jump start the economy.
Economic History shows, that higher taxes does not kill growth.
Where are these jobs Republicans claim tax cuts to corporations will create?
With a 14 trillion dollar debt (and growing) it is an unreasonable (extreme) position to state all tax hikes are absolutely out of the question.
The American people have to learn a lesson about what the government does for them, and what they want government to do for them. Maybe defaulting on our bills will bring those questions more clarity, and clearer voting behavior.
The country leans to the right (why Obama appeases Republicans-to ensure a majority vote election in 2012) and maybe Democrats will lose the battle; but I doubt Americans really want to eliminate all the programs we have lived with for 8 decades.

K. said...

When was the last time the Republican party attempted to put this country on "sound fiscal footing"? The GOP started down Brooks' road in 1981 by drinking the Kool-Aid that taxes could be reduced and spending increased.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan inherited a debt that was 32.5% of GDP, a ratio that the eight previous presidents had reduced from 117.5% in the closing days of WW2. By the end of Reagan's presidency, the ratio had increased to 53.1%. In four years, his successor took it the debt to 66.1% of GDP. Bill Clinton reduced it to 56.4%, but by the time W was through ravishing our fiscal infrastructure, the ratio was up to 84.2%. It's risen to 93.2% under Obama, but that's mostly a function of the recession he inherited (the 3% GDP increase in Obama's first full year in office would be Bush II's second-best year). Given the mess Obama faced, he had little choice but to stimulate the economy, and if anything he didn't stimulate it enough.

To put it simply, from fiscal years 1978-2005:

Democratic administrations:
Federal Spending Increase: 9.9%
Federal Debt Increase: 4.2%
GDP Increase: 12.6%

Republican administrations:
Federal Spending Increase: 12.1%
Federal Debt Increase: 36.4%
GDP Increase: 10.7%

Who would you rather have minding the store?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Tom and K.,

Why don't we hear more of the facts that you have presented? All I hear when I tune to the cable news stations is "they both did it," and that is not true.

RN-USA, can you dispute, with facts to back it up, any of the fiscal numbers Tom and K. have presented?

"I am all for giving credit where credit is due, and Poppy Bush did push the economy in the right direction, and then Clinton finished that particular GOP recession, but at some point people need to get real."

Dave, those were the days before our representatives decided their ideological goals were more important than what the country needed.

I believe this intransigent attitude of "my way or no way" in the GOP started with Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America. The shouting and rancor started there and got worse during the Clinton impeachment.

Our era of instant messaging and reporting on every little blurp that any politician commits doesn't do us any good either. We seem to lurch from one outraougeous incident and shouting politician to another.

And nothing gets done.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Shaw Kenawe said...

@Anonymous 8:25: the link is broken.

@Anonymous 8:26: the link is about a Mexican on death row in Texas. It has nothing to do with this post.

Rational Nation USA said...

Tom - I am sorry you feel I lack the right to call for Obama's replacement through the electoral process.

I have never denied I do not hold with his policies nor his political and philosophical positions. They are a sham in my opinion an he is not the man you all think he is. Again in my opinion.

Yet when I am advocating for reasonable compromise on the debt ceiling issue as well as teling my conservative friends there is a lot more to fiscal responsibility that just cutting taxes you chose to blast me even then.

Tom, you have an agenda, you ARE acting like a child, you have a DEFINITE agenda as well as a serious problem.

I almost feel sorry for you.

TOM said...


Just calling you on your dishonesty, and I always will. reading your blog, it is dishonest of you to call yourself an independent.
As I said, reasonable compromise now, that the American people will turn away from the irresponsible poor leadership of Republicans.
Again, you have not read my blog and missed the criticisms I write about Obama. I am not Obama's biggest fan, but you ASSume that simply because I disagree with you.
You also claim some mental retardation on my part simply because I disagree with you. That simply proves how much a wing nut you are, and tied to the wing nuts in political office.
I blast you because you are a hypocrite, and hypocrites should be exposed and blasted.

Rational Nation USA said...

Tom - Once again you show YOUR ignorance as well as your naked agenda.

Read my comment again. Where did I assume you are an Obama fan. But of course by your defensive nature it exposes that you are. If anything you are the hypocrite.

It is clear, very clear to the rational mind that all you want to do is fight your fight. Whatever the f that may be.

Try as I might it is futile. So... toddle loo sweetie.

Go take a pill.

Leslie Parsley said...

I rarely agree with RN and mostly agree with Tom, but you guys - your cat fight is becoming a bit tedious. Just offering up an opinion.

TOM said...

I didn't attack your blog, but you attacked mine.
I'm not the dictionary definition of a troll, that's your behavior.
I offered a civil act, and now you go wacko because I highlight your ugly flaws.
Sorry I can't sit back and ignore your hypocritical behavior, but it seems Americans are swallowing a lot of crap these days and actually need to have the liars pointed out to them. That's all I'm doing.
You like the hate. You feed on it. It's why you blog. You are the one with many upset with you. The only one upset with me, is you.
Get a clue.

Z-man said...

I might make the point that David Brooks is not really a conservative. So where are all the new jobs?

Z-man said...

"The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities."

Read that one again, the man is an elitist. I knew there was something I didn't like about him, he's kind of David Frumish if you ask me.

Shaw Kenawe said...


David Brooks is a conservative, he identifies as one. What I think you mean when you claim he isn't one is that he's not an extremist conservative. That's the point of his column--that the extremists have taken over the GOP. I don't know how old you are, but not long ago, during the Reagan administration, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas O'Neil actually got along, liked each other, and hammered out compromises to keep this country going.

What is happening today is that the GOP will NOT compromise on ANYTHING, while President Obama is always holding out deals for compromise.

The American people see and understand how the GOP's unbending stubborness is hurting this country.

I think, by your comments, that you identify with the extremists in the GOP and don't believe compromise is a tool for governing.

If this is true, then you will be surprised at the next election.

The GOP governors who were elected in 2010 and who refuse compromise and have pushed their extremist positions are THE MOST DISLIKED governors in the country. And Rick Scott leads the bottom dwellers.

Your last comment calling Brooks an elitist because he bemoans the fact that the extremists in the GOP do not listen to scholars and experts on the economy and other issues illustrates the sad and tragic core of the extremist GOP:

They distrust anything that smacks of "book larnin'" and anyone who uses his intellect and not his "gut" and religious dogma.

If you believe it is wrong to trust people who are knowledgeable in their particular fields, the next time you need, say a doctor or lawyer to save your life or your liberty, ask for someone who doesn't have too much "book larnin'."

That way no one will accuse you of being an elitist.

Rational Nation USA said...

LP - You are right, except it is getting beyond tedious.

Tedious turns to boredom. And I am very bored with Tom.

I am sure he will continue to have his hateful fun as he has proven to be obsessed with his hatred for me.

Unfounded but to Tom apparently worth the energy to continue.

Rational Nation USA said...

DM - With respect to the GOP continuing to be a party given current realities... Unless they expand, rather than reduce the size of their tent I DON'T.

I have made this point several times in my posts.

Rational Nation USA said...

Sorry Tom, you really should stop projecting.

I figure you are so filled with self loathing you hate the world.

But that is not my problem, it's yours. Get some help before it's too late.

I have you on ignore from here on out. LP is correct and it ends now.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Tom and RN-USA, neither of you are discussing the topic of this post.

Leslie Parsley said...

Exactly, Shaw. But while RN says he agrees with me, he just keeps on keeping on with his nasty personal attacks on Tom. Pointless, petty and childish behavior.

Ranch Chimp said...

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh :)

I like that ... "Unwilling to compromise, but willing to ruin America..." (and Good Morning :)

That's what their getting them big buck's for (payout's) ... in fact ... that's the only bloody job they do, do :)

No ... you dont know me ... I just seen you around and had to read this, Thanx

BTW ... Congrat's to them Bruins!

Z-man said...

Shaw Shaw Shaw, here's what I don't like about David Brooks ever since I started reading him and listening to him on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, he overuses this pejorative "extremist" just to invalidate some of those conservatives he disagrees with. This is intellectual dirty pool. Not too long ago you were an extremist if you were against abortion, now you're an extremist if you're against higher taxes and whatever else bugs people like him. Now he's entitled to his views as are we all but he like Frum and some others seem to like to criticize their own party a little too much, maybe it makes them popular at those Manhattan cocktail parties. Now it's perfectly valid to criticize your own party at times but when somebody does it as much as him I question the motives. Raising the debt limit Tom is the worst thing that can happen to this country because then government will never learn and then it'll be raised again and again. That's not conservative. At best Brooks is a neocon.

Z-man said...

Re book learning the whole field of economics is an inexact science, kinda like psychology if you ask me. In college we learned about the Keynesian model, Alan Greenspan and all the rest. It's not like fixing a broken foot or performing quadruple bypass, you don't have different theories about that you just do it. Where Brooks is an elitist is let's say I want to keep more of my own money well if that goes against his vaunted economic scholars and intellectual authorities he seems to be saying I don't know what's best for me. Kinda makes me a yokel and a selfish one at that 'cause I don't have an economics degree. Just wanted to throw my pennies in the fountain here because it was starting to sound like a liberal echo chamber. Re extremist the word doesn't bother me in the least. Soapie explained very well the true definition without the negative connotations and we're proud of it. It's just a polemical device to call one that.

Rational Nation USA said...

Well said Z-man

Shaw Kenawe said...

Z-man wrote: "Kinda makes me a yokel and a selfish one at that 'cause I don't have an economics degree." That doesn't make you a "yokel" or "selfish," but like most of us, it means we don't have a deep understanding of what the debt ceiling is.

But i can tell you what it isn't: It isn't a blackmail device for the GOP to get spending under control.

You seem to think gambling with the debt ceiling won't do the US or the world economy harm, but you are unequivocally wrong and, may I say, ill informed if you truly believe that.

BTW, The Republican's favorite president, Ronald Reagan, raised the debt ceiling 18 TIMES while in office, more than any president over the last 30 years.

"If Repub­li­cans won’t lis­ten to their fel­low Demo­c­ra­tic mem­bers of Con­gress, or even the Pres­i­dent him­self, on the impor­tance and neces­sity of rais­ing the debt ceil­ing, well maybe — and this is wish­ful think­ing on my part — but maybe, they will lis­ten to, not one, not ten, not fifty or one hun­dred, but 235 world-renowned economists, including six Nobel Lau­re­ates in economics."


So you would believe people like Rush Limbaugh and Michele Bachmann, who calls warnings about not raising the debt ceiling "scare tactics," over the above experts?

Michele Bachmann, if you remember also said that gay marriage was THE MOST IMPORTANT issue facing this nation, and she emphasized that statement by saying she wasn't exaggerating. THAT Michele Bachmann.

And you don't think you and your fellow travelers are extremists?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ranch Chimp,

Welcome. Glad you visited. Hope to see you again.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I'd like to address your remark about economics vs. medicine.

A person can actually get in trouble with how a bone sets after a break if her/his doctor doesn't know his science. Also, as someone who dealt with a life-threatening disease, I consulted with several "experts" and took their expert advice on how to fight it.

Rational Nation USA said...

"But i can tell you what it isn't: It isn't a blackmail device for the GOP to get spending under control."

Shaw - You are correct.

While conservatives strongly believe that spending must be brought under control, and in this conservatives mind that also means defense spending, as well as entitlement reform and eliminating subsidies, the rational conservative realizes the impact of the nation defaulting on its debt would be huge, and it wouldn't be pretty.

Conservatives should remain hard bargainers relative to the debt ceiling and deficit reduction through cuts... If they don't the situations could get much worse with respect to the national debt.

Neither conservatives or republicans {they are not necessarily one in the same} at the end of thee day should let that happen.

Having said this, a good negotiator must get the other side to believe that given certain conditions not being met their will be no deal.

The point is to get the other guy to blink first. I really believe the debt ceiling will be raised. ultimately it must.

Who's going to blink first?...

Z-man said...

Shaw: "You seem to think gambling with the debt ceiling won't do the US or the world economy harm."

Now this is going to sound shocking but I really don't care. It may very well do great damage here and abroad but that's only because the global economy is based on such shystie principles to begin with. Thuganomics never works. Our current debt ceiling is a mind-boggling $14.3 trillion dollars. Let that # sink in. So we keep raising it how high? Gov't needs to go to Rehab, it's the only way they'll learn. Anthony Weiner is now in sex rehab. To draw an easily understood parallel it'd be like if they allowed Mr. Weiner one free sex text a month, he ain't gonna get any better.

"Michelle Bachmann if you remember also said that gay marriage was THE MOST IMPORTANT issue facing this nation."

Apparently in New York State IT IS.

Z-man said...

My thing about David Brooks and I hate to sound repetitive but it's as if to say I can't have a political view on taxes because I don't have an economics degree. It kind of rubs me the wrong way. Eggheads might be good pondering away in their ivory towers but get them in the woods where they meet a wild coyote and Mr. Brooks wouldn't know what to do. Elitists are not everyday people, probably don't know any handy martial-arts techniques either they just know how to masturbate your mind but I digress...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Z-man: "My thing about David Brooks and I hate to sound repetitive but it's as if to say I can't have a political view on taxes because I don't have an economics degree."

No one denies you the right to have a "political view" on taxes even if you don't have an economics degree. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, Z-man, but that opinion is not necessarily informed. You know what they say about opinions, don't you?

Z-man: "Eggheads might be good pondering away in their ivory towers but get them in the woods where they meet a wild coyote and Mr. Brooks wouldn't know what to do."

Well that's a pretty image, but what does it have to do with making economic decisions? How does one's expertise in hunting help anyone devise an economic policy? And who's being elitist now, Z-man, in touting a hunter is a better equipped person than a conservative columnist? Lots of hunters manage to kill themselves or other people by accident during hunting season, but I don't think Mr. Brooks would accidentially shoot himself or his editor while writing a column.

Z-man: "Elitists are not everyday people, probably don't know any handy martial-arts techniques either they just know how to masturbate your mind but I digress..."

Z-man, I'm pretty sure "everyday people" don't know handy martial arts either. And, I fail to understand your analogy of an elitist performing a self-pleasuring act on someone else's mind.

I've also observed that people who call other people who hold graduate degrees in any sort of specialty "elitist" are usually people who feel insecure about themselves.

As I've stated previously, when I'm sick or in trouble with the law, I would want an "elitist" degreed doctor or lawyer to come to my aid, not a person who knows how to kill coyotes with a karate chop.

Z-man said...

I've been meaning to blog about this but I think it more important to have a base of practical knowledge first, things like first aid, how to defend yourself, how to recognize various critters in the woods and that this will put you in better stead than some of the exalted degrees people get out there. I think people who spend too much time in their ivory towers need to get out more, they get stuck in their little intellectual universes and my only point about eggheads and elitists is would they know how to handle some practical everyday situations and dilemmas where the college degree may not be so handy? like Einstein not being able to tie his shoes. Just a little digression of mine about the intellectual class is all:)

Shaw Kenawe said...

I suppose one could say the same about the out-doorsey class, too.

Knowing how to hunt and fish is admirable, but hunters and fishermen didn't invent the integrated circuits, the internet, the jet engine, and penicillin, and other things that make your life easier and pleasurable.

Z-man said...

I think there needs to be a balance:)