Wednesday, April 3, 2019

All the Dems in this hipster Applebees are nuts about Mayor Pete

Via Thundra, vintage 2011. Requires some mouse hovering.

It's the world's greatest concern troll David F. Brooks, jumping on the Buttigieg train ("Why You Love Mayor Pete"):
Pete Buttigieg has some kind of magic right now. His campaign bio, “Shortest Way Home,” was the 25th-best-selling book on Amazon when I checked on Monday. That put him just a few dozen places behind Michelle Obama, and thousands or tens of thousands of places ahead of Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and the other candidates who have campaign books out now.
If anybody has the stats on correlation between campaign biography sales 14 months before the conventions and nomination success, @ me.

I don't exactly love Mayor Pete, so I guess the column isn't meant for me. I don't have any animus against him either, to the contrary he totally passes my would-you-have-a-beer-with-him test, but my favorite things about him—that he's fluent in Arabic and his father was a scholar and translator of the work of Antonio Gramsci—are not going to endear him to the Brooksian masses frightened by the internationalist drift of the Democratic party. If I'm voting for somebody in his lane—non-socialist young mayor with a marginalized identity card—I'll probably vote for Julián Castro because I think he really might win and because his experience as HUD secretary and autobiography are really relevant to things that are important to me (whereas Buttigieg, in spite of being gay, seems to have led a ridiculously privileged life, not something I'd blame him for, but I feel he doesn't adequately appreciate difficulty). Brooks, who won't vote for either one of them, is up to something underhanded. Possibly trying to divide the Howard Schultz vote in favor of a dark-horse Mike Bloomberg candidacy.

The interesting thing about the column is a pattern in Brooks's data gathering that reminds me vaguely of somebody famous:

David F. Brooks, Times column, 21 March, on rural towns:
The word I heard most was “intentionality” — especially about community. Many people try not to use Amazon so they can support local businesses.
David F. Brooks, The Second Mountain, acknowledgments (via Andrew Johnston), on the young Mrs, Brooks:
When people try to describe her, they usually settle on the same word: incandescent.
David F. Brooks, Times column, 2 April, on Mayor Pete:
I can’t tell you how many Democrats in places as diverse as Nebraska, Indiana, New York and Washington have come up to me over the last few weeks raving about the guy.
As Edroso put it,
How does Brooks meet these Democrats, or anyone? When he dumped his wife he quickly married his research assistant, so he doesn't seem like a guy who gets around.
(I'm pretty sure his wife dumped him, and shtupping his research assistant came first, but that's not the point.)

The famous person I'm reminded of is Donald J. Trump, who always seems to have access to some secret supply of people who agree with him ("many people are saying"). I can't believe that even five or ten people have independently told Brooks that Mrs. Brooks is incandescent—who says that?—though I'm sure she's the brightest bulb in the brunch; I can't believe Democrats across the Great Plains and up the Acela Corridor are hounding him to tell him about their admiration for Mayor Pete. And I know you could get a meal for more than $20 in whatever Pennsylvania county that was. I guess I'm saying there's something a little compulsive about the lying.

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