Saturday, March 14, 2009

David Brooks as a Second-Rate Saruman

For those not schooled in Ring-lore, a bit about the traitorous Saruman:

Saruman the White was the Chief of the Order of Wizards. He was wise and powerful, but he was also proud and he became corrupted by desire for the One Ring and was ensnared by the will of Sauron.

Around the year 3000, Saruman began to use the palantir (a "seeing stone"). At first, Saruman may have seen visions of far-off places or events, but eventually he came in contact with another palantir which was held in the Dark Tower by Sauron.

Saruman's integrity had been weakened by the abandonment of his moral principles in his quest for power, and he was thus vulnerable to domination by the superior will of Sauron. Before long, Saruman felt compelled to report to Sauron via the palantir.

Saruman captures the wise and good Gandalf, and tries to convince him to join with him, to fight along Sauron, in order to eventually rule the world themselves, and rule it wisely, as only wizards could. His treachery, as proposed to Gandalf:

"A new Power is rising.. . This then is one choice before you, before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it.

As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it."

We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends. There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means."

Which brings us to David Brooks, so-called "conservative" voice of the New York Times. An early ship-jumper to the Obama Nation, he admitted in a recent column that he was "forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was", and threatened to lead an army of moderates to oppose the Obama agenda.

What happened next? Well, let's have Brooks tell us:

On Tuesday, I wrote that the Obama budget is a liberal, big government document that should make moderates nervous. It was not so popular inside the White House. Within a day, I had conversations with four senior members of the administration...

And what happened after that? Well, nothing is more profitable to a "journalist" than access to the halls of power, so what we get? Column after column of Obama-worship, rivaled only by the chill racing up Chris Matthews' leg - via NewBusters:

The earlier urge to challenge the Obama administration was replaced by strange new respect...we see the final stage in the "re-education" of David Brooks. Outright declarations of love for The One.

Such as subsequent statements by Brooks, like this one about Obama and education:

He’s naturally inclined to be data driven. There’s reason to think that this week’s impressive speech will be followed by real and potentially historic action.

Which is exactly the opposite of what Brooks was saying a mere week earlier - that he was naturally inclined to be driven by liberal ideology. After all, he gives great speech! And we all know that historic action follows a great speech, right?

Brooks - like Saruman - is seduced by power, or even the idea of having access to it and perhaps a small bit of influence over it. For his chance to rub elbows with Sauron (whoops, I meant Obama) he will do his new master's bidding - forsaking a lifetime of principles and ethics, and misleading as many Amercian citizens as he can reach within his fading medium. Perhaps, he believes as Saruman did - that his pwer will grow with the "New Power" that is rising...

What will become of Brooks? Likely what become of Saruman - defeated, professionally destroyed, morally desitute, and bitterly, bitterly angry.
Listen to the last words of the doomed wizard, before being stabbed to death by his long-abused lackey:

" ..... And now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more. But do not expect me to wish you heatlh and long life. You will have niether. But that is not my doing. I merely foretell."

And we foretell too, an eventual inglorious end to the career of David Brooks. Like Saruman, he choose the temptation of power over the the hard, lonely road of character and truth.

There is always a price to pay for that choice.


Anonymous said...

How freakin' apt! Although the Rings is an analagous to a lot in the last decade.

Anonymous said...

Well said, and who will come forward to break Saruman's wizardly staff. If I remember right, it was very much an announcement. Gandalf told him his power was broken, and while there may have been a bit of skirmish before that, in the end that was that.

In other words, we need a conservative with impeccable credentials to present Brooks with a 'get of of the R party' letter, and break his power.