Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fool or tool?

David Brooks' op-ed today, a thumb-sucker about how the Foley scandal reveals a "tear in our social fabric," contains the following astounding lines:

"In discussing the Foley case, the political class, with its unerring instinct for the aspect of any story that will be the least important to average Americans, has shifted attention from Foley’s act to Denny Hastert’s oversight of it. It has fled morality to talk about management."

OK, David, we understand that you won't get invited to as many cocktail parties if you don't try to help take the heat off the Republican Congressional leadership. I suppose that would make your life less fun, although perhaps you could use the extra time to do some actual research for your next sociological tract.

But leaving aside the impudence of Brooks' posing as not part of the "political class" but rather as one in touch with "ordinary Americans," does he really think Hastert is being criticized for bad management skills? Or perhaps I should say, does he really think he can con readers into thinking this is the issue being posed?

Deliberately covering up and enabling the actions of a vile sexual predator in order to help the Republicans keep control of Congress is not a "management" issue. If it isn't a moral issue, then I am not entirely clear on what is. Of course, I already know from what I have and haven't read in Brooks that torture isn't a moral issue either.

Also, why is Brooks so sure (or why does he pretend to be so sure) that "average Americans" don't care about the moral issue of supposed moral leadership types treating potential sexual abuse of boys as less important than their retaining as much power as possible?

1 comment:

Craig W, said...

Ah, Professor. Moral is whatever the Moral Majority defines as moral. Torture is a national security issue. The Foley-gate coverup is a management issue. Cutting food stamps, homeless shelters and undereducating the poor is a revenue issue.

Moral, therefore, is whatever increasing the GOP base. Like, uh, gay marriage. And that's about it.