Friday, September 28, 2012

A Useful Idiot

Nothing is more valuable to the New York Times than a conservative opinion writer who constantly rags on conservatives. For this purpose, David Brooks is ideally suited. The “conservative voice” at the Times is constantly distancing himself from the rubes from his side of the ideological aisle, when he’s not displaying his man-crush on the President. This works beautifully for the Times and David Brooks. The Times gets to respond to people who complain about their liberal bias by pointing to Brooks and saying, “Look, there. We have a conservative opinion writer on our staff!!” Brooks on the other hand gets to enjoy the celebrity that comes with being every liberal’s favorite conservative, and the cocktail party invitations that come with that distinction.

The other day, Brooks was in full-throated, hand-wringing mode about the latest shortcomings of his conservative brethren, when he came up with this jewel:

“There are very few Republicans willing to use government to actively intervene in chaotic neighborhoods, even when 40% of American kids are born out of wedlock”


Can I ask you a question David? Why, when you see destitute inner city neighborhoods where 40% of all births are to unwed mothers, do you instantly look to the federal government as the fount of all solutions? Does it ever occur to you, that this scandal might be the result OF 40 years of government policy? Does not the well intentioned welfare regime of the Great Society bear SOME of the responsibility for what has become of these neighborhoods? From food stamps to aid to mothers with dependant children programs, these neighborhoods are already the victims of active government intervention. Instead of instinctively assuming that the only possible solutions to poverty come from Washington, does it ever occur to you that maybe we should look to institutions that are a bit closer to the problem? What role might the churches in these neighborhoods play in combating the problem of out of wedlock births? And what about the governments that are closer to the problem: city councils, and State governments. Would giving the parents of kids in these neighborhoods the opportunity to remove their kids from the failing government run schools help turn the tide?

No, David, for you, the only possible remedy for societies ills is to double down on the 40 year strategy of throwing money at the problem with programs conceived and run by the federal government, regardless of the record of failure they have wracked up. Since 1964 and the onset of the War On Poverty, this nation has thrown 15 TRILLION dollars at the inner cities. Today, the poverty rate is virtually unchanged from what it was then. But despite that dismal record, you chastise your fellow republicans for being unwilling to promote yet more “active intervention”.

Enjoy your status and those lovely Manhattan cocktail parties David, but sorry, you’re a tool.