Brooks Throws Palin Under the Bus

“God willin’ an’ th’ crick don’ rise”, as they say, it may be all over but the hangover.

In a diatribe against the GOP’s increasingly militant anti-intellectualism, David Brooks throws Sarah Palin under the bus.

… over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare …

Over the past 15 years, the same argument has been heard from a thousand politicians and a hundred television and talk-radio jocks. The nation is divided between the wholesome Joe Sixpacks in the heartland and the oversophisticated, overeducated, oversecularized denizens of the coasts.

Brooks continues:

Palin is smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable. Her convention and debate performances were impressive. But no American politician plays the class-warfare card as constantly as Palin. Nobody so relentlessly divides the world between the “normal Joe Sixpack American” and the coastal elite.

She is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all — men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.

It’s hard to really capture the spirit of Brooks’ piece in a few quotes, but I read it as a damning indictment of the hard right turn the GOP has driven into, and real fear that they may take the country off the cliff along with them.

Class warfare — especially right-wing class warfare with a strong anti-intellectual bent — is one of the most dangerous social phenomena of the 20th century.  Maybe Brooks has finally figured out that when Jesusland’s own foot soldiers come with pitchforks and torches to burn Manhattan, he’ll be pretty hard for them to find and pull from danger among a crowd of East Coast elitists.

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