David Brooks lives on another planet

April 6, 2015

Picking on David Brooks seems to be something of a cottage industry—people like Charlie Pierce and driftglass seem to have the task well in hand.

But after hearing David Brooks’s latest round of sanctimonious scolding and scoffing on NPR last week I can’t remain silent. There’s a lot to object to in what Brooks said—like suggesting that the LGBTQ community should, instead of fighting for their legal rights, take more of a hands-off approach, you know, like Abraham Lincoln dealt with slavery. But I’m really here to pick on the lowest of the low-hanging fruit (emphasis added):


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question – do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented, backed by the world’s major powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?

CORNISH: David, is that a good starting point to come back with?

BROOKS: Well, it’s bogus (laughter). You know, those are not the options. I don’t think anybody wants a war [with Iran].

John R. Bolton:

The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action . . . can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Joshua Muravchik:

What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? That, in fact, is probably the reality. . . .

[O]nly military actions — by Israel against Iraq and Syria, and through the specter of U.S. force against Libya — have halted nuclear programs. Sanctions have never stopped a nuclear drive anywhere.

Does this mean that our only option is war? Yes. . . .

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX):

I think it’s time to bomb Iran

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue. Let’s hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs.

I suppose David Brooks may be right, and it may be true that nobody wants a war. But that would require all these people, and the many others like them, to be lying through their teeth. So maybe it’s perfectly plausible after all…

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