politics

PBS NewsHour Touts David Brooks for His Column on ‘The GOP Is Getting Even Worse’

New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a nasty column for Friday’s paper headlined “The G.O.P. Is Getting Even Worse: Trumpians are having a venomous panic attack.” Naturally, the PBS NewsHour singled it out for attention on Friday night, and his liberal counterpart Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and MSNBC loved it.

Judy Woodruff brought it up she complained Republicans are resisting Nancy Pelosi’s plans on a 9/11-style commission about the January 6 riots. (On Monday, PBS devoted only 20 seconds to the news that Capitol policeman Brian Sicknick died of strokes, not from rioter violence.) Capehart warned of the “rise of far-right extremism,” which led right to Trump voters.

Brooks cited one poll where people were asked, “Do you think politics is for policies or do you think it’s for national survival? More than 50 percent of Trump voters think it’s about national survival. Only 19 percent think government is about policies.” He warned Trump voters think they have to “armor up. They have to get violent.” 

This poll isn’t quite available online. But what kind of pollster asks if the government is “about policies”? It’s like calling and asking is food about eating.

Then Brooks touted an Economist-YouGov poll: 

In another survey question, people said, which of these two comments do more agree with, it’s a big, beautiful world filled with people who are mostly good, or our lives are threatened by criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens, immigrants? Seventy-five percent of Biden voters supported big beautiful world; 66 percent of Trump voters supported our lives are at threat.

The actual question was: “It’s a big, beautiful world, mostly full of good people, and we must find a way to embrace each other and not allow ourselves to become isolated” or “Our lives are threatened by terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants, and our priority should be to protect ourselves.”

That’s worded in a way that most conservatives hear it as “Are you a woolly-headed globalist hippie, or do you think armies and police officers and the Second Amendment are necessary?” These people can’t consider that Trump voters may have been expressing pessimism about potential rioting after the Chauvin trial, that there’s a surge at the border, and they don’t trust the Democrats to preserve law and order in the big cities they run.

Even Philip Bump of The Washington Post thought the questions were hyperbolic (he singled out the “big beautiful world” part, but the pessimistic is only is worse.) “The latter is a bit over-the-top, for one, like something you might read on a sandwich board outside a small coffee shop in Santa Cruz, Calif. But that’s the point. People were asked which extreme they found more closely mirrored their own sentiments. And most Republicans chose the one about the need to hunker down in opposition to shadowy dangers, even as a ‘not sure’ option was available.”

This means the poll was a “push poll” destined to provide Brooks his nightmare scenario of more violent Republican rioters and make Democrats look like wonderful people who love a “big beautiful world.” Maybe some chose “hang up on the pollster” as an option.

Capehart could only add: “We are not going to be able to hold the enterprise that is America together as long as one of the two major parties in this country, one, doesn’t govern, and, two, gives voice to and gives cover for domestic terrorists, racism, and the perpetuation of white supremacy. We will not survive if that is the way the Republican Party will remain.”

As usual, PBS desperately needed any kind of balance or pushback to this liberal hootenanny. The Brooks column also feinted to the “excesses of the social justice movement,” but PBS wasn’t going to add that part. 

This one-sided spectacle at the PBS NewsHour brought to you by Consumer Cellular and Johnson & Johnson. 

A transcript is below.

WOODRUFF: David, your column today in The New York Times, you carry, frankly, a sobering warning about what’s happened to Republicans since President Trump left office. Spell out a little of what you’re seeing and what your concern is.

BROOKS: Yes, well, some of us had hopes that, when Trump was not spewing hate from the Oval Office, life would calm down. In fact, the Republican Party has grown more radical, more radical in a specific way. It’s become more catastrophically pessimistic. In one poll, people were asked, do you think politics is for policies or do you think it’s for national survival? More than 50 percent of Trump voters think it’s about national survival. Only 19 percent think government is about policies.

In another survey question, people said, which of these two comments do more agree with, it’s a big, beautiful world filled with people who are mostly good, or our lives are threatened by criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens, immigrants? Seventy-five percent of Biden voters supported big beautiful world; 66 percent of Trump voters supported our lives are at threat.

And so here’s a group of people who feel the very existence of the country they know is threatened and they have to armor up. They have to get violent. They have to prepare for the coming conflagration.

And that’s just a horribly pessimistic mentality in a country where democracy depends on us having faith in each other and having some sense of psychic security. And so that deep, deep pessimism is, I’m afraid, radicalizing the party, and ongoing.

WOODRUFF: Jonathan, thoughts on that?

CAPEHART: I read David’s column, and I thought it was terrific. And it is a sobering warning for the rest of the country. What has happened to the Republican Party, it’s terrible for governance, but it’s also terrible for the direction that the country is going in, especially a country that is changing demographically as quickly as the United States.

We are not going to be able to hold the enterprise that is America together as long as one of the two major parties in this country, one, doesn’t govern, and, two, gives voice to and gives cover for domestic terrorists, racism, and the perpetuation of white supremacy. We will not survive if that is the way the Republican Party will remain.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *