Well, he didn’t say that, exactly, in his latest attempt to argue that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the conservative “fringe”, but his frustration in failing to win people over to his fantasy that the Tea Party movement consists of a rabble roused to inchoate rage by a handful of radio and television commentators seems to amount to the same thing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Brooks is trying to apply one of Stacy McCain’s blogging rules - to wit, Rule 4, “Make some enemies” – in a desperate move to get attention.
Brooks’ constant, unsubstantiated and strangely vague attacks on conservatives as a group – in which he claimed membership, until quite recently - put me in mind of something George MacDonald Fraser has his protagonist say in one of the Flashman novels: “I'm not a sabre expert…and if I have to use one I'd rather it wasn't in single combat, but in a melee, where you can hang about on the outskirts, roaring your heart out and waiting for an opponent with his back turned.” I suspect that Brooks is at least as irritated by the size of, say, Fox News’ audience, as by what the network's commentators actually have to say. Certainly there seems to be just a trace of envy in his curious (and statistically irrelevant) comment that “More people own ferrets than watch Fox News.” I think it highly likely that more people own hedgehogs than read or listen to David Brooks at all, let alone take him seriously (the number of people in the latter category must vie with the number of birdwatchers who claim to have seen an ivory-billed woodpecker in the wild).
Sometimes a voice in the wilderness is that of a prophet. Most of the time, however, it’s just the yawping of an attention-junky. And Brooks is no prophet.