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'This TED Talk in Hell is not fine. But let's not get hasty about who's to blame.'

We're worried that New York Times columnist David Brooks has set himself an impossible task. He seems to be trying -- or is perhaps cursed -- to write the very worst column of his career every successive week. So far, he's really managed to do it, and he's still going strong, as demonstrated by this week's column. This time out, Brooks imagines a colloquy between "Urban Guy" and "Flyover Man" about why impeaching Donald Trump is merely a lot of Coastal Elitist Media nonsense that folks in the Heartland don't care about, and will object to, since "Rule of Law" is an airy abstraction that has no impact on their everyday lives. (Not stated by Brooks: If it's about undocumented border crossers or black people not complying with cops' orders before those orders are even spoken, folks in the Heartland are instantly big supporters of Rule of Law, even if the events are a thousand miles away. They fuckin' scream about it.)


Building on a point from his column last week, in which Brooks explained that impeachment is ELITIST since it nullifies the votes of ordinary Americans, this time out Brooks spins an entire dialogue, with the Urban Guy cluelessly nattering on about elitist concerns and Flyover Man being sad at how badly the elites have ignored him. A sample:

Urban Guy: I hope you read the rough transcript of that Trump phone call with the Ukrainian president. Trump clearly used public power to ask a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent. This is impeachable. I don't see how you can deny the facts in front of your face.

Flyover Man: I haven't really had time to look into it. There's always some fight between Trump and the East Coast media. I guess I just try to stay focused on the big picture.

The big picture is this: We knew this guy was a snake when we signed up. But he was the only one who saw us. He was the only one who saw that the America we love is being transformed in front of our eyes. Good jobs for hard-working people were gone. Our communities in tatters. Our kids in trouble. I had one shot at change, so I made a deal with the devil, and you'd have made it, too.

Nothing in this impeachment mess makes me rethink this bargain. If people like you are unable to acknowledge my dignity and see my problems, I'll stay with Trump.

The "dialogue" continues, with Urban Guy being elitist and never actually saying anything incorrect, don't you just HATE THAT, and Flyover Man offering his intelligent, thoughtful insights from the heartland, at least if you assume that the Heartland is full of well-paid New York Times columnists who can't stand the Eastern Media. Oh sure, you elitist types pretended to care about the Heartland after Trump was elected, and you read Hillbilly Elegy to try to understand us for five minutes:

Back then it was fashionable to say that Trump is just a symptom of real problems in America. He's the wrong answer to the right question.

But then you stopped asking us what we think, says Brooks/Flyover Man, who is too busy to notice last week's NYT article plumbing the minds of Trump voters yet again -- though maybe he missed it because the paper called them "swing voters." Throughout,

But wait, says Urban Guy, this is all very SRS BNS, because Trump's "daily outrages undermine norms, spread xenophobia, degrade public morality."

Well, says Flyover Man, maybe that's what people who "have the kind of jobs that allow you to follow Twitter all day" think, but I'm a hardworking man who has to earn a paycheck, which is why I worry about the issues that most concern David Brooks:

One, mass immigration is changing my town, region and state. Two, the cultural liberalism you preach but don't practice is leading to the breakdown of families up and down my block. Children out of wedlock. Young men with no dad when they're young and no wife in their life when they're grown. Third, an Ivy League elite running government and the economy for itself and shutting out those of us who actually make things with our hands. Fourth, China is replacing us.

Yes, Flyover Man is mad at Urban Guy for living the family values that Flyover Man claims he lives but he doesn't which is somehow Urban Guy's fault for ... generally believing unwed mothers shouldn't be stoned? No, don't ask us, we are only a doctor of rhetoric, not a goddamn wizard.

Also, China.

Brooks may be a hack, but he still manages to surprise. What a delightful twist to construct his Urban persona completely out of that most rural of materials, straw.

And so on. Maybe Flyover Man would consider impeachment if only someone would show they cared about the little man, but all he hears from Democrats is socialist schemes to ensure he'll have healthcare and a fair shot in the labor market, and who wants that elitism? Also, open borders. And since no Republicans have stepped forward to be David Brooks, he can't trust them, either. The "Flyover Man signs off,

So please don't ask us to sign up for our own obliteration or support your impeachment. This is about identity and pride.

Here's a confession. I used to think Trump was a jerk. Now, after three years of battle, I see him as my captain. He deserves my loyalty, thick and thin.

See ya' in hell, brother.

Then the Flyover Man warned that since no one speaks for him, he has no choice but to stick with Donald Trump, excused himself to go back to work at his second job as the guy in that Norman Rockwell painting, attending a town meeting where he speaks his plainspoken but articulate mind. Also, stop calling him a racist, OK, you open borders fanatic who's undermining the family with welfare and free stuff and letting China replace us.

[NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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