Washington Babylon — July 24, 2008, 1:42 pm

Why You Don’t Like David Brooks, Explained

From Jim Sleeper:

Brooks, a self-described conservative and sometime practitioner of “comic sociology,” author of On Paradise Drive and inventor of the all-American working-class type “patio man,” knows he has to say something about the devastation raging through countless recently-viable neighborhoods like the one in Cleveland featured on Bill Moyers’ Journal last Friday night….

Brooks makes what we have to presume was an individual, moral decision to deflect the truth and, indeed, to lie. To do it, he shifts from comic sociology to pathetic sociology: With great sobriety, he wrist-slaps predatory lenders but really sticks it–more in sorrow than in anger, of course–to the hapless, desperate homeowners who sat listening politely to smooth talkers they’d invited in to offer them fistfuls of “cash back” in return for signing their savings and hopes away.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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