Notes to David Brooks and Ross Douthat

Is one of you prepared to stand up and say the Rick Perry is unfit to be President? And why not? He is, and you know it.

Mr. Brooks, if you think – correctly, in my view – that Rick Perry lives in an alternative reality and appeals to voters who do the same, then you owe it to your country and to conservatism to say, clearly and directly, that the man has no business even being considered as a President of the United States.

As for you, Mr. Douthat, in 2007, when it seemed unlikely that Rick Perry would be your party’s standard-bearer, you nearly laughed out loud at the notion of his candidacy. He is, after all – unlike George W. Bush – not merely pluperfectly ignorant, but actually stupid. Why won’t you say so now?

Since you both seem to admire Perry’s down-home, vulgar, macho language, let me put it this way: When are you guys going to grow a pair – one pair total, if you can’t manage a pair each – and provide some adult supervision for a movement descending into self-parody?

Yes, if the economy keeps heading south – and the Republicans in Congress are clearly willing to do their best to tank it – Rick Perry might be elected President. Patriots should be mobilizing to prevent that, not wisely stroking their beards and doing political horse-race analysis about it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

10 thoughts on “Notes to David Brooks and Ross Douthat”

  1. I must say if Perry gets the nomination it will at least give me the satisfaction of seeing the smile wiped off of Karl Rove’s face as he won’t have a dog in the fight. Cold comfort but every cloud…

  2. You seem to mistakenly believe that Ross Douthat – he who blamed the Catholic church institutional child rape coverup on liberal moral relativism – has the slightest shred of integrity.

  3. Perry would not be my choice, for the Reeps to nominate – my faves would have been Daniels, or Huntsman, or maybe Ryan. His record of accomplishment is substantially greater than Obama’s was, though, at the time Obama was nominated: he has been a governor for twelve years, has taken the relatively weak Texas governorship and made it consequential. He’s picked a number of fights with the trial lawyers and won them, and there’s plausible opinion that that’s a good part of the attractiveness of Texas to job-creating business. He’s by no means the worst of the lot, among the Reep field. And he’s endorsed by Kinky Friedman! One of the great endorsements of all time…

  4. Mark

    I think you are crediting Brooks with influence he simply doesn’t have. The reality challenged voters view *everything* that is published in NYT as a lie. Conservatives consider Brooks a liberal and are outraged that he is ever given the “conservative’s chair” in debates. If he want ballistic on Perry, Democrats would cheer at how Brooks has “matured in his views” and every single Perry supporter would yawn and say “Another far left columnist disdains our hero — what’s new?”.

  5. The point is that Brooks and Douthat serve as ‘even the liberal New York Times’ crowd, to legitimize scum like Perry to enough non-whackjobs to elect him.

  6. The other point is to point out the Douhat and Brooks are, in fact, not insane. They are simply compromised, and we know, roughly speaking, what their price was.

  7. Jamie, what was their price? Do you think that the Times, in the interest of “balancing” Krugman, forbids them from criticizing right-wingers more strongly than they do?

  8. A deep bow to you sir. I don’t care how influential Brooks is or isn’t, or how thoroughly Douthat is compromised, they need to be called out, and to have it done so eloquently (grow a pair between you) is marvelous. Sometimes it’s better to call a spade an ef’ing shovel than to be more linguistically correct.

  9. yet another example of how expediency and Seriousness™ are more important to their worldview than intellectual rigor, honesty and consistency.

    p.s. thanks for the link. glad i found this blog via the trackback 🙂

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