Enter Brooks, Sleepwalking

I usually like David Brooks’s columns but I’ve never seen one with the degree of idiocy of his column today on Barack Obama’s character and what motivates him. I won’t bother to fisk it in detail but Sen. Obama has been extraordinarily open in several books about what motivates him and not a smidgeon of any of that makes it into Mr. Brooks’s column.

Has the man no insight into human behavior or is he just not paying attention? I can only speculate that what I’m seeing is the characteristic laziness of the professional journalist. He has descended into Homeric epithets. Obama, the cool, the unflappable.

Epithets are mnemonic devices not insights.

5 comments… add one
  • I’ll never get this. For anyone/everyone else in public life, their autobiography is not enough to come to a conclusion about them, but for Obama it is supposed to suffice.

    Well, I’m gonna adopt this for my own life. *I* think I’m a pretty great guy and that should now be enough for all the rest of you…no matter how much of a jerk I’ve been.

    Hmmm…Obama’s right…this IS a nice “standard” to live by.

    (BTW I agree that Brooks’ column was vapid…although, seemingly for different reasons.)

  • I like Brooks, as much as the next guy, but can you really call him a journalist? His, are mostly opinion pieces, not news reports.

  • Well, he was employed full time as an editorial writer by the Washington Times, a reporter by the Wall Street Journal, and an editor at The Weekly Standard, and has been a contributing editor at Time and Newsweek so I think that qualifies as a journalist.

  • Brooks loves inventing terms and coining epigrams. His big success was “BoBo’s.” Bourgeois Bohemians. He’s been looking to repeat that ever since.

  • rtsymons Link

    Pretentious & sophomoric pseudo-psychological ramblings by Brooks passed off as profundity. E.g., when commenting about Obama’s early life & it’s psychological effects:”This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds”. Both formulaistic and simplistic. If the wounds are hidden, does Brooks seriously think he has the acumen to detect these? Or, “Through some deep, botton-up process, …Pure drivil & nonsense.
    Or, “It’s not will-power or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious”. By definition, the unconscious cannot be organized.
    Dr R Symons

Leave a Comment