Michael Maiello's picture

    Reading David Brooks While White

    Dear David Brooks,

    Thank you for writing to Ta-Nehisi Coates on behalf of white America!  Since you took that on yourself, I suppose the rest of us lumped into this class have been saved a lot of time.  Though, could you have been less embarrassing and condescending about the whole thing?

    When you say:

    Your new book, “Between the World and Me,” is a great and searing contribution to this public education. It is a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.

    I am reminded of Billy Joel's 1980 single "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me," where an established musician gives the nod to punks and New Wave artists who never asked Bill Joel for his approval in the first place.

    No doubt, you see Coates as an upstart talent and yourself as Billy Joel in this scenario.  You even try to rescue Coates from himself when Coates doesn't need rescuing -- in the manner of some one disturbing Michael Phelps as he swims by throwing him a life preserver.

    In what is bound to be the most quoted passage from the book, you write that you watched the smoldering towers of 9/11 with a cold heart. At the time you felt the police and firefighters who died “were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.”

    You obviously do not mean that literally today (sometimes in your phrasing you seem determined to be misunderstood).

    It could be that Coates means what he writes.  His job, as he's put it, is to write his truth.  Your job is to deal with it.  Coates is not the only public intellectual to have had these thoughts about 9/11.  Yes, they are dangerous ideas in that they expose the writer to all sorts of jingoistic attack, but he does not need you to tell him what he means.

    Then, you worry about whether or not you have standing to disagree with Coates.  Fretting about "privilege" is meant to signal that you are a sensitive critic and friendly critic.  But your actual criticism is quite harsh.  First, you say, Coates gets American history wrong:

    "I think you distort American history. This country, like each person in it, is a mixture of glory and shame. There’s a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children’s Zone for every K.K.K. — and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

    Then, you argue that even if he's right, he should get over it:

    The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow.

    And then, this:

    "By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future."

    David, you're telling a younger but more successful writer to stop what he's doing.  You're telling him, for the greater good of the country, to stop writing realistically about historical and contemporary America.  You bring this advice in a friendly tone but were Coates to take it, he would harm himself and his career.

    By the way... your headline writer did you no favors today.  "Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White." Seriously?  Did you look at that before it went live?  David, it hardly seems a sufficient disclaimer but there's not much more I can say except... not all white people!




    Your review of David Brooks commentary is spot on.


    he's filled his ears,


    in every way.

    How about his heart, and mind. Not so much.

     By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism

    Oh, man: I think I got really stoned with this guy once back in college.

    The problems our country has to deal with are not being aggravated by a surfeit of realistic thinking.

    There’s a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children’s Zone for every K.K.K. — and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

    Interesting expression of Manichean theology.  One gets the impression that he has never had any contact with life at the short end of the stick. This quote is not just wrong because of the suggested levels of equality between the forces of good and evil but is a logical fallacy as well. Because all that is communicated from a certain source only reports negative outcomes does not let one conclude anything about what the source may consider positive.

    The Billy Joel connection in your post is perfect. You have improved my vision.


    It's not often that I read something that causes me to blanch and flush simultaneously, but Brooks managed that in inglorious fashion.

    It is also not often that I read a rebuttal that calms my breath and brings a satisfied smile ... thank you, Michael.

    Very well written! Salute!

    David Brooks? Bore me some more...

    Well shut my mouth... slap my 'fro and call me Uncle Remus.

    I wonder if Brooks ever heard Cab Calloway perform this song?

    But the real question is, would Brooks even comprehend the true meaning of the song?

    To get into Heaven don't snap for a seven
    Live clean, don't have no fault
    Oh, I takes that Gospel whenever it's possible
    But with a grain of salt

    Methuselah lived nine hundred years
    Methuselah lived nine hundred years
    But who calls that livin' when no gal'll give in
    To no man that's nine hundred years

    I'm preachin' this sermon to show
    It ain't nessa, ain't nessa
    Ain't nessa, ain't nessa
    It ain't necessarily so

    Thanks for good read here Mike.



    Brooks' comments don't seem so outrageous to me. Violence isn't the totality of America. If Coates did say that his heart was cold to the victims of 9/11, I'd call that objectionable.

    If Coates did say that his heart was cold to the victims of 9/11, I'd call that objectionable.

    Please, look it up and decide whether or not Coates wrote that and then come on back and tell us why it's objectionable. For different reasons, I experienced similar thoughts and feelings to the events of 9/11. Tell me, what was/is the proper response?

    Good god. The proper response is to mourn the victims, and be angry at the perpetrators.  I'll see whether Brooks misquoted Coates(Michael didn't say he did).

    I think you're pointing out a basic problem with most book reviews of books one has not read. It's hard to judge the quality of the analysis, the accuracy of the quotes, or the extent they may have been taken out of context. I wonder how many people commenting on the Brooks piece  have not read Coates book. In my reading of the quote (from a book I haven't read) Coates was not referring to the victims but the fire fighters and police who represented a dangerous, to him, manifestation of repressive authority. A subtle but meaningful difference.

    Yeah, I didn't grow up with such untarnished reverence for the police from stories and occasional negative encounters in the US (never met a fireman - seem fine, though never had a yearning to be one)

    A point I kinda hinted at but didn't dig into is that Brooks is playing one of those common parlor tricks - "you at least accept the American Dream?  you at least support the troops? you at least accept Israel's right to defend itself? you're not defending terror?" etc. where you're supposed to pre-position your Risk pieces on the board exactly as they'd like it - e.g. you at the bottom of a hill in an open space, them completely surrounding you above with fortified ramparts - hey, now let's play for real!!!

    It's not that hard to fathom why Blacks wouldn't cotton to this largely mythological/occasionally useful American Dream when that "work hard and you can make it" was an equation for Poles and Italians and Irish and Jews but not the mass of blacks moving to the North & to the cities from say 1890 on. It's even a more questionable article of faith now, since part of the promise of the American Dream is that our sacrifice for our kids will give them a more prosperous, advantageous life than we had, but the economic bullshit and outright thievery of the last 30 years means that our offspring are burdened with a much more tendentious, less relaxed and less prosperous future than "the Greatest Generation" or even the boomers.

    So basically Brooks thinks Coates grouchy for not celebrating Santa Claus hard enough - yeah, I know, a season of giving once a year helps your spirits, but it helps your spirits much more when you're living in the cherry part of New York with kids in exclusive private schools with a weekend home for relaxing and assurance that Santa's not carrying a can of pepper spray or billyclub for making out-of-line comments or unreasonable Christmas demands or just going to spend the season in lockup. Ho ho ho.

    You misrepresented Coates, although I could be persuaded that it's a distinction without a difference. Still, people of conscience have responded, and continue even now, to respond in all sorts of "proper" ways. Those responses don't always conform to your prescription of mourning the victims and being angry at the perpetrators. Sorry.

    What are these other proper ways? Bill Maher simply said the hijackers weren't cowards and lost his job. WTC ground became the holiest of holies, our Lourdes. Even racial divisions were expected to be sublimated to common cause in the days following 9/11 (a period loosely translated as "forever" as we even demanded a moment of silence at the 2004 Olympics). My impression of Coates' snippet is that he's not quite getting into this post-9/11 kumbaya and spirit of brotherly love for these police and firefighter casualties who would normally be harassing and roughing up him and other people of color - do you read his statement different?

     I don't think my grammar was up to snuff. Here is what I was trying to say:


    I'm sticking to the contention that lack of sympathy for the victims  is not a legitimate response, and neither is sympathy for the murderers. Those are  evil responses.

    130 Iraqis were killed yesterday with another bombing, largely the result of our incompetent and malicious invasion of Iraq 12 years ago - but there will be no moment of silence for these victims, no monument for the by-now pedestrian occurrence - Americans will ignore this and wallow in the belief that the surge worked and focus on Donald or Caitlyn or their summer barbecue. Chaos left in Libya or Yemen doesn't even rate a mention in the papers (except if it's our ambassador - then the world must cry with us) Evil? The world runs on complacency and selfish interests. Just because our tribe got a bit injured this time doesn't mean it's evil to think we deserve some come-uppance, even if short of Wade Churchill's calculation.

    Even if 9/11 was comeuppance for our evil deeds, that wouldn't excuse or mitigate it. Anyway, for the most part I don't think it was about our evil deeds(the invasion of Iraq was later, of course), but about our failure to do what Arabs or Islamists want us to do.

    Coates' negative view of the police is influenced by personal experience which includes the murder of his college friend Prince Jones at the hands of the police.


    Once again I'll question you about who exactly you mean when you say "victims." If a building is on fire and a group of Nazi SS run in to save the residents would you say it was an evil response if a Jew mourned the residents who died but was cold hearted about the deaths of the Nazi SS? I still contend there is a subtle but meaningful difference between those two sets of "victims."

    Well done, Michael.  I loved what Barefooted had to say in the comments and couldn't agree more. But just as Coates is writing his own truth, so is Brooks, from his own perspective.  It's not his job to "deal with it", any more than it's Coates's job to "deal with" what Brooks wrote.

    Brooks is writing a first-person opinion, just as you are, so it's hard to see how you can lecture him about the impropriety of lecturing Coates without putting yourself in the same position.  He's not writing "on behalf of white America", is he?  He's writing on behalf of David Brooks.  

    At risk of creating a firestorm here,  considering who David Brooks is, I thought his piece, though not on a par with the brilliant Ta-Nahisi Coates, was nonetheless eloquent and heartfelt. I don't have to agree with everything he's saying, but then, as much as I'm in awe of his writing,  I don't always agree with everything Coates writes, either.    

    That's the way it is with opinions.  In order for them to be effective they have to be honest.  I certainly didn't agree with everything Brooks had to say (and I can't believe I'm actually defending David Brooks!), but I didn't see anything that was necessarily dishonest or even embarrassing, unless you think Coates is above any kind of criticism.

    Of course, that's strictly my own opinion.

    Brooks is writing a first-person opinion, just as you are, so it's hard to see how you can lecture him about the impropriety of lecturing Coates without putting yourself in the same position.  

    Hilarious. It's almost as funny as your assertion David Brooks is writing his own truth.

    No, no... this is a question every public opiner should keep in mind, all the time.

    Nonsense. What question? There isn't a question being asked, just a mirror in a mirror. Who's shocked to discover there are personal opinions being expressed here? This is about persuasion, making the case. Of course, that's just my opinion. Jesus.  

    Totally fair, Ramona.  Brooks is writing his truth.  But does he have to condescend to Coates while doing it?

    No, he didn't need to condescend, but again, opinion writers are known to do that.  Coates may not deserve such treatment but considering the responses to his piece from other Right Wingers, Brooks's comments seemed pretty mild. I guess that's what surprised me about this.

    Condescending? Let's be clear. David Brooks is a racist. He's a warmonger. He's a shill for some of the most rotten people and policies in the US of A and abroad. Here is what he should have written in response to Between the World and Me. Instead, he's openly hostile, as usual, to a meaningful challenge to his preferences about race that he'd like us all to conform to. Condescending is the least of what his column is.


    He may be all those things but we're talking specifically about a single column.  You're not telling anybody here anything they don't know about David Brooks--including me.

    I'm guessing you don't quite understand the meaning of "condescending". 


    good observation, Ramona.

    This isn't the over the top reactions others have put out.

    I hate these purity tests - "but he didn't have to use this word or that word, this phrase, this reference, this tone, this underlying insinuation, this type of innuendo..." Brooks is a jackass, but he's a writer - he tries various analogies and approaches to get his point across. They may work or not, but they're not against the rules aside from some slap-dash rules people just make up. Of course old guard critiques new guard and vice-versa - should I have not called Brooks a jackass?  It's an ad hominem, but much of the time it seems true.

    But more to the point, Brooks has a valid point - Coates is attacking the American dream and seems to leave hopelessness. What seems obvious to me, and isn't addressed by anyone here, is that a) we obviously have to keep updating that dream or it doesn't keep up with changes in immigration patterns, population shifts, new morals & values, technology changes, et al, and b) obviously with the slew of police slayings, beatings and selective mistreatment of blacks, it's pretty silly to think blacks should just grin and bear it and stick with the American Dream as a race however badly that Dream doesn't fit reality - we talk about dreams that conform to our aspirations, not dreams that are a complete fantasy. If blacks don't find their aspirations reachable due to an alpha version of American Dream 0.2a from somewhere mid-1800s, it's not their fault for not feeling primed for the festivities. As Chris Rock said, "So, you can say “black people have made progress”, but to say “black people have made progress” would mean we deserved to be segregated. The reality is: white people got less crazy." Of course it wasn't just segregation - it included killing and enslaving black people  - but hey, at least be patriotic, believe in the American Dream*!!! - we spent so much time on the marketing and the military parades. If white people don't believe they're doing good, fulfilling a promise, how will we get them out of bed and off to the stock exchange? Really, it's a demotivater, a real downer, and we need black people to do their part to make sure white people are more efficient and positive about what they do. Perhaps we could use Little Orphan Annie's "Tomorrow" as a tune to pull us all back on message next time there's a beating or stop-and-frisk - "Tomorrow - always a day -  or decade - away.."

    The point of the Chris Rock interview was exemplified by the Ike and Tina Turner example. If Ike and Tina were sitting together having dinner, you can't say that Tina 's relationship to Ike has improved. Tina has no real impact on the relationship. Ike has decided that he is not throwing punches during dinner. 

    White people got less crazy. The flag came down because Strom Thurman's son made a plea. Jenny Horne, a Jefferson Davis descendent, made a plea. In all likelihood, white CEOs called Nikki Haley and Lindsay Graham and warned businesses would pull out of South Carolina. Jim Clyburn changed no hearts, Tim Scott was too frightened to say anything. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson changed no hearts. Barack Obama changed no hearts. White South Carolinian legislators just became less crazy.

    Blacks are fighting voter suppression on multiple front. The cases go to court because some white legislators are still crazy. Tim Wise is a white author who sends a message to white people on how they are screwing up. White folks are going to have to do some of the heavy lifting to calm things down.

    Still waiting for David Brooks to become less crazy. I'm not optimistic.

    What are you, the official black people interpreter for white folk?

    1) I chose what I wanted from Chris Rock - I didn't find the Ike & Tina part useful for what I was saying (or better put, it dragged out and distracted from the simpler point - thank you for adding back in all the shit I'd left out on purpose)

    2) The flag, oh my fucking god not the flag again - when you shit in the morning, do you see the flag? Really, get help.

    3) Voter suppression again... oh my, another broken record - rmrd has about 5 or 6 funnel categories that everything gets pushed to. Brooks is talking about Coates' feeling physically threatened by abusive police and authorities as go on in America - not discussing in this case, it would seem, worries about vote gerrymandering and butterfly ballots.

    Give it a break already. Or better put, give me a break.


    All I did was state the full message of the Chris Rock interview you cherry picked. I did not think this was out of line because you began with "as Chris Rock says........ Since you stated that you were quoting Chris Rock, I felt it justified to post his actual interview.

    The reason I brought of the flag and voter suppression is that you stated that blacks had to push whites to be better. I note that in these two cases, blacks pushed. In the case of the flag, whites had to push whites to change. In voter suppression, whites are still crazy. I used examples to point out that whites have to change within. There were people who felt no need to hear Barack Obama's eulogy. It is unlikely that some people are going to be moved by any words coming from a black person. There are people who consider emblems like the flag mere distractions. They are incapable of understanding the feelings of a large segment of the black community.

    Finally, you criticize Coates for being too negative. You have no idea what a young black male needs to hear. Coates tells the story of his son's reaction to the lack of a conviction for George Zimmerman in the homicide of Trayvon Martin. The son is in tears. Trying to be positive in the situation is nonsense. Coates tells his son the truth about life in the United States for a young black male. It serves as a support mechanism. The son realizes that the justice system is rigged. The son also realizes that the system is built on destroying black bodies. By affirming reality, the book acts as psychological support. The book confirms the experiences well known to the son. The son realizes that he is sane. The system is crazy.

    Chris Rock notes that white people are less crazy, blacks have not changed. Coates realizes that the system is crazy and he confirms to craziness for his son. Coates has written a lifesaving book.

    No I didn't criticize Coates for being too negative. First I explained it with clearly marked points a) and b). Second, you are physiologically missing a funny bone. You have no idea when I go off on blacks helping whites that it's irony and satire, despite the clue-in "stock exchange" et al. Talking to you is devoid of humor and draining - I like some comedic relief with my blogging - and it doesn't help when you just plain miss my point. But don't worry, Coates will keep his salary - he's got the whole blogosphere standing up for him. Me? I've apparently got you. :-(

    Wow. PP doesn't like Ta-Nehisi Coates. Why doesn't that surprise me?

    Where exactly did I say I don't like Coates? (I believe I even brought up his article on reparations recently here as an excellent essay summarizing some complex points)

    How about go carefully back through my statement that "But more to the point, Brooks has a valid point - Coates is attacking the American dream and seems to leave hopelessness. ..." and the all-important points that follow this, and see if the lightbulb goes on/coin drops this time.

    Aaarggh, sometimes this seems more painful than teaching foreigners English.

    I don't recall you ever saying you don't like Coates. I'm inferring it. I'm making a wild assumption. I realize completely that I might be wrong, I just don't think you like him. But hey, go ahead, tell me how much you do.

    No, I won't tell you how much I do or don't - please control your inferences and wild assumptions. I don't need to validate or refute them for you. Yes, if I seem to actually infer or state something in my writing, please point it out and I'll either concur or explain. But I'm not here to help you better pigeon-hole me based on wild-assed guesses and flawed intuition.


    Peracles, if you have to explain the satire, it didn't work. I am not the only one who didn't get your "joke".

    ok, 2 bags of hammers. why should I care? there are enough who get it, and I pitch to the front of the class, not the back.

    If you take a snippet of someone's interview and twist for your own purpose you are pulling up the rear. It's clear that you have lost touch with racial dynamics in the United States today and can only go by news reports.

    Have you actually read "Between the World and Me"?

    Here is an article about racism in Texas taking a look at the recent death of Sandra Bland who died in a jail cell after an illegal lane change. She was abused during the arrest. In discussing Texas racism, guess what comes up, voter suppression.


    You should read Between the World and Me.

    I'd rather read Amos 'n Andy.

    a) we obviously have to keep updating that [American] dream or it doesn't keep up with changes in immigration patterns, population shifts, new morals & values, technology changes, et al, and b) obviously with the slew of police slayings, beatings and selective mistreatment of blacks, it's pretty silly to think blacks should just grin and bear it and stick with the American Dream as a race however badly that Dream doesn't fit reality - we talk about dreams that conform to our aspirations, not dreams that are a complete fantasy.

    'How you can't figure out these 2 points or think that it's "twisting for my own purposes" or signifies "losing touch with racial dynamics", I've no fucking clue. Are you this oblivious in real life, or you just play it on this blog?

    When you say "we" are you talking about white people?

    That definitely seems to be what Brooks is saying.  His description of the American Dream in his column is extremely "white normative" and, ironically, doesn't describe Brooks' own life at all. He describes a kind of middle class, white suburban existence.  I think most people dream about a great deal more than that.  Brooks would not be satisfied with that.  Why should Coates?  Why should anyone?  We do need a national conversation about how to broadly define the pursuit of happiness to encompass a wider range of dreams.

    That is the point of Chris Rock's interview. as well. Black people didn't change, white people got less crazy. Black with good financial status were targeted by banks. Coates message is that the United States is set up to destroy black bodies. Destroying the finances of black people fits into that system. 

    When Mayor DeBlasio detailed the instructions he gave his black son on how to avoid conflict with police, he was repeating what black parents do on a routine basis. The system is rigged to punish black people more severely than whites. Class does not save you from police abuse when you are black. Despite equal incomes, blacks still face a lower standard of health care than whites. 

    Studies shown that people with "black sounding names" are less likely to be called back for interviews compared to whites despite equal skill sets. When polling is done about racism, blacks are much more likely to state racism is a major factor compared to whites who are polled. We do need a better means of determining national goals when it comes to race.

    So.... you love Amos 'n Andy.

    Which means you love racism. 

    Got it. 

    You are bad.

    A bad bad man's. 

    Dare you to try and support Coates again, eh?

    But but but... I love threesomes ... And Amos 'n Andy 'n Me makes Three. I thought I was trending, and now you tell me I'm retro, a baaaddd  maaaannn? Okay, okay, you got my goat, I'll just get my Coate  - he is one of my steadfast supporters, you know (it's a black thing, you wouldn't understand). Honest Injun. Oh wait,.... 

    What's you say your name was? Q Reius George? Q2D Back? 2Qt4 Wordz? Q&A? Don Q Xote? A Qt Pain ND Ass? Yeah, that's it...

    I don't know what a young black male needs to hear. I have some idea of what a young white male needs to hear, but yeah, there's a world of difference.

    Excellent observations Michael.

    David Brooks is a life long shill for the right wing corporatist oligarchy. He is the stealth journalistic/media icing for the racist, crackpot cake called The Southern Strategy, funded, created and yet not always controlled by the Republican establishment who have spent 40 years and billions of dollars bankrolling and exploiting it for votes.

    Everything he writes is carefully constructed propaganda meant to distract attention and obfuscate truth.

    He lives in a Dream Palace where the left or anyone who tells the truth, like Coates, are always in part at fault for everything that is wrong in America. A 'both siderist' position that leads nowhere and reinforces obstruction and the status quo.

    He and other right wing ideologues took this meme after the thousand year GOP Reich experiment (tax cuts, deregulation, war) of the Bush/Cheney/Rove administration crashed and burned. They couldn't take the blame alone, they proclaimed both sides were at fault to shed accountability.

    Distorting history is an indispensable component for the right, as their ideology has led to failure after failure.  Blame must be targeted elsewhere.

    Brooks has never accounted for his extensive record of never confronting unpleasant facts, instead obscuring them with glib propaganda.

    Like this, from Bloody Bill Kristols Weekly Standard, one month into the Iraq War.  An opinion piece that should be kept in mind, until David Brooks fades into the obscurity he so richly deserves:

    The Collapse of the Dream Palaces, David Brooks April 28, 2003

    Now that the war in Iraq is over, we'll find out how many people around the world are capable of facing unpleasant facts.

    For the events of recent months confirm that millions of human beings are living in dream palaces, to use Fouad Ajami's phrase. They are living with versions of reality that simply do not comport with the way things are....

    In the European dream palace, Americans are terminally naive, filled with crazy notions like the belief that Arabs are capable of democracy. In this vision of reality, Americans are at once childish, selfish, and trigger-happy, but Arabs live just this side of savagery. Any action that might rile them will cause the Arab street to explode, and will lead to a thousand more bin Ladens....

    Finally, there is the dream palace of the American Bush haters. In this dream palace, there is so much contempt for Bush that none is left over for Saddam or for tyranny. Whatever the question, the answer is that Bush and his cronies are evil. What to do about Iraq? Bush is evil. What to do about the economy? Bush is venal. What to do about North Korea? Bush is a hypocrite.

    In this dream palace, Bush, Cheney, and a junta of corporate oligarchs stole the presidential election, then declared war on Iraq to seize its oil and hand out the spoils to Halliburton and Bechtel. In this dream palace, the warmongering Likudniks in the administration sit around dreaming of conquests in Syria, Iran, and beyond. In this dream palace, the boy genius Karl Rove hatches schemes to use the Confederate flag issue to win more elections, John Ashcroft wages holy war on American liberties, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and his cabal of neoconservatives long for global empire.

    Great quote, NCD.
    The guy knows how to carry water.

    Thanks. Brooks is a big reason why I stopped watching PBS News a long time ago.

    BTW don't expect Brooks to point out the hypocrisy of the GOP heavies (Romney - "McCain and American veterans are true heroes.") in going after Trump for dissing McCain.

    The GOP/Brooksian memory has been, of course, erased of the fact that the Bush re-election juggernaut spent millions on TV attack ads attacking combat veteran Kerry's service in the Vietnam War (the 'swiftboat' attack ads).

    Republican nitwits and hucksters paraded around with Purple Heart band-aids at the GOP convention, to disrespect a veteran, and mock his PH award as meaning nothing.

    See Driftglass Misremembrance of Things Past for more.

    The Trump incident certainly releases the Chicken Hawk Kraken.
    I have been wondering for decades how many times the GOP could go to the well for this and not totally piss off the military community. All I have learned so far is that they can do it many times.
    Brooks may well be assigned to complain about the Trump outburst to make other people look better.

    Great post, Michael.

    Brooks is one of nature's sophomores: a wise fool, whose scarps of wisdom only serve as his folly.

    And the phrase "excessive realism" is damning. Brooks just wrote his own obituary as a writer and thinker.

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