Thursday, June 14, 2012


David Brooks performs a public service in tomorrow's column, "What Republicans Think." He tells us just that -- and it is clear how deranged, disconnected from actual facts, unconcerned about real suffering, locked inside bogus and disproved theories (though even calling them "theories" is far too kind) that thinking is. He claims Republicans are the big thinkers, aware of the historical inflection point at hand and ready to move into what lies on its other side, while Democrats are pettifogging tinkerers of the failed welfare state, apparatchiks of the status quo. 

Except, of course, the version of history Brooks -- thank you very much -- accurately reports from the GOP cerebral cortex is a silly fantasy with no connection to what has actually happened, and without the first idea of what is driving the economy, society, technology and the trajectories of the future. When it suits their factitious debating purposes, they purport to celebrate global integration and technological transformation, but they don't have the first idea of how those forces actually intersect and what real potential for economic prosperity and societal progress (not to mention environmental sustainability) they hold. As Krugman has been saying all along, this mixture of hand-wringing, sober beard stroking and faux philosophizing is a pretext to help plutocrats continue the plutocracy. We're in Jared Diamond territory, with hermetically sealed elites fiddling while Rome burns. 

Yes, we do need big thinking -- big, smart, fact-based thinking, accompanied by the guts to fight for a progressive future. We have lacked both for these past four years. But it is salutary to be reminded, from an unimpeachable source, what passes for thinking in the billionaires boys club.

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