The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Lincoln Project Senior Adviser Blames Capitol Riot on … David Brooks?

Posted on | January 24, 2021 | Comments Off on Lincoln Project Senior Adviser Blames Capitol Riot on … David Brooks?

If you’ve never heard of Rachel Bitecofer before, she’s a Ph.D. political scientist who captured widespread attention from liberals for her analysis of the 2016 election and her accurate prediction of the 2018 midterm elections. This got her a gig as a “senior adviser” to the Never-Trump grift gang at the Lincoln Project, and let me say this: Not everything she says is wrong. Bitecofer’s theory of how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election was that a lot of people didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t believe Donald Trump had any chance of winning. Also, black voter turnout was way down because, let’s face it, Hillary wasn’t Obama.

But I could have told you that, without benefit of a Ph.D. Whereas I am just a blogger, Bitecofer has leveraged her credentials to market herself as an all-knowing, all-purpose political expert, which led her to offer the remarkable claim that David Brooks of the New York Times is somehow responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)

It is difficult to find words for how wrong this is. What seems to have offended Doctor Bitecofer is that Brooks, casting about for “two sides” of a left-right divide, decided that “elite universities” could be a bogeyman on the left, equivalent to “white supremacy” on the right.

Probably some white supremacists would be offended by that comparison. I mean, whatever evil the Klan did, they never charged anyone $300,000 for a useless Gender Studies degree, but I digress . . .

According to Doctor Bitecofer, the “radicalization” of Republican voters (e.g., the Capitol rioters) is the fault of the “conservative intelligentsia” (e.g., David Brooks), because they promote “the constant dehumanization” of “the other” (e.g., academic elites like Rachel Bitecofer). Thereby, Brooks has “done more, personally, to put people in that Capitol insurrection than nearly anyone else.”

There is a word for this, and that word is crazy.

However crazy it is, you see how Doctor Bitecofer arrived at her conclusion. The problem with the Capitol rioters, from her perspective, is that they don’t listen to people like her. Anyone who rejects the belief system promoted by academia is at risk of “radicalization,” according to Doctor Bitecofer (who, by the way, insists on being referred to as such).

The Capitol rioters are representative of GOP voters in general, in the minds of the liberal elite. Rachel Bitecofer believes that if you don’t vote Democrat, you are a menace to society — a white supremacist, probably, and a potential terrorist threat. One notices, however, that despite the “constant dehumanization,” there are no right-wing death squads roving college campuses with the intent to terrorize liberal academia. I have yet to see a single news story about Gender Studies professors being curb-stomped by the Proud Boys. That is to say, if David Brooks is guilty of “constant dehumanization” with his remarks about “elite universities” as “engines for inequality,” nobody has acted directly on that incitement.

By the way, what the heck is David Brooks saying in this column?

What idea of America does Joe Biden call us to unite around? It’s the old one. As Walt Whitman understood, America was founded mostly by people fleeing the remnants of feudalism, the stratified caste societies of Europe.

(Can someone familiar with Walt Whitman’s work please tell me where this “fleeing the remnants of feudalism” idea is to be found there? Brooks does not actually quote Whitman in his column, but just tosses this out there as if every literate person will nod in recognition. While I consider myself quite literate, I never much cared for Whitman, a degenerate bohemian, and so I confess myself in the dark here. Meanwhile . . .)

Today we have homegrown feudalism. On the right, we have white supremacy, an effort to perpetuate America’s racial caste system, and Christian nationalism, an effort to define America in a way that erases the pluralism that actually exists.

(Notice how, among pundits published by the New York Times, the words “white” and “Christian” can never be used except as pejoratives. White people are bad, and Christianity is wrong — this is the subtext of the attack Brooks makes on the kind of Republican voters he despises.)

On the left, less viciously, we have elite universities that have become engines for the production of inequality. All that woke posturing is the professoriate’s attempt to mask the fact that they work at finishing schools where more students often come from the top 1% of earners than from the bottom 60%. Their graduates flock to insular neighborhoods in and around New York, D.C., San Francisco and a few other cities, have little contact with the rest of America and make everybody else feel scorned and invisible. . . .

You can read the rest of that, if you happen to be feeling the kind of guilty masochistic urge that would make you want to subject yourself to the entirety of a David Brooks column. I’ve seldom been able to read more than a few dozen words by Brooks without feeling the urge to kick him in his smug little face. On the couple of occasions when I’ve actually been in the same room with Brooks, I walked out, simply because this violent urge was so overwhelming I feared the consequences:


Thank God, I was able to restrain the urge, so you haven’t seen that headline, yet. But my point is this: Nobody hates David Brooks more than I do, and you might think I would be happy that Rachel Bitecofer is blaming him for the Capitol riot. But somehow, I’m not happy.

Every intelligent and patriotic American should delight in the feeling of schadenfreude whenever anything bad happens to David Brooks, but so clumsy and misguided is Rachel Bitecofer’s attack on Brooks that she has cheated us out of this pleasure. This disappointment tells you a lot about the caliber of people associated with the Lincoln Project grift.



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