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Monday, January 13, 2014

David Brooks, "The Leadership Revival": Where to Buy Political Viagra?

What the heck has happened to David Brooks? Why has he suddenly taken to blathering?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Leadership Revival" (, Brooks begins by telling us, "If you are in politics or public life, you probably had some moment of spine-tingling transcendence." But compare Brooks's conclusion with Maureen Dowd's determination (see: that politicians "are narcissists and, in essence, actors stuck in the same role."

So are politicians idealists who had a moment of "spine-tingling transcendence," or are they lying narcissistic motherfu$%#!s? Unless you are a politically motivated moron, i.e. sit on the editorial board of the New York Times (see:, you probably agree with Maureen.

But back to Brooks's opinion piece. How does Davie propose to ready America's next generation of leaders? Simple:

  1. "apprentice yourself to a master craftsman," e.g., Ted Kennedy. Indeed that should bridge a lot of ethical quandaries.
  2. "take a reality bath . . . and become a stranger in a strange land," in order to view reality more clearly upon your return. But as someone who has spent much of his life as a stranger in truly strange lands, I can attest to the fact that such a person emerges as a misanthrope, not as a realist.
  3. "close off your options" . . . because "the shrewd strategy leads to impotence." Impotence? That does it! I am closing off all of my options later today, unless someone can sell me some political Viagra! At all times, I insist upon being politically erect correct!
Concerning his third step toward improved leadership and governance, Brooks further explains: "Only the person who has burned the ships and committed to one issue has the courage to cast aside the advice of the strategists and actually push through change." Well, I think we've had enough "Change" over the past five years and are prepared for a different course.

But thanks anyway, Mr. Brooks, for the flaccid highfalutin words. Since returning from book writing leave, you have once again made my morning.


  1. I appreciate that a problem was acknowledged and a course of action put forth. Those two simple ingredients make it less blathering than 99% of the Op-eds in print. I didn't gather any partisan nature to the column, nor did it relate to a 'different course', but rather an approach to pursuing whichever course a young congressman or rep favors. How you relate it to the partisan calling for 'change' from a campaign slogan is imperceptible to this reader.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      Who is drawn to politics, idealists (Brooks) or narcissists (Dowd)? In my experience, the latter, and this is not about to change.

      Are young persons suffering from narcissistic personality disorders capable of the apprenticeships, "reality baths" and closing of options suggested by Brooks? I don't think so, not now, not ever.