Whig:  A David Brooks Steampunk Adventure!

Longtime readers know of my exhaustively documented "Great Project" theory of Mr. David Brooks.

..that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.

And odds are he'll get away with it too.
Unfortunately for Mr. Brooks, he did not set his Great Project within a Whig Fan Fiction Universe that is expansive and forgiving enough to allow the agile fiction writer any new angles or plot twists.  Instead, Mr. Brooks built his fairy tale as a tiny ship in a tiny bottle -- built it on the single premise that this country is on a long, sad road to Hell because it is not governed by Republicans like Mr. David Brooks.

In fact, Mr, Brooks made an entire career out of hyping various Republican Saviors who either never materialize (Marco!) or fail catastrophically (Dubya!)

And there is Mr. Brooks' existential problem.

Because this country is on a long, sad road to Hell precisely because of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party.  You see, every single time Mr. Brooks' Republican Party gets their filthy little paws on the levers of power they immediately fuck everything they touch to death.  And every single time power is pried out of their filthy little paws they immediately regroup, rebrand, and begin sabotaging every effort to clean up the staggering ruin and misery they leave in their wake.

And every step along the way you will find Mr. David Brooks, full of windy promises about a Perpetually Incipient Republican Renaissance which never actually arrives, scolding Democrats for being insufficiently acquiescent to the depraved demands of his Party of Vandals and Traitors, and generally shrieking that The Extremes On Both Sides are ruining his Burkean opium dream.

But now that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party has nominated, elected and stands loudly and proudly behind an obviously unhinged, racist madman, there is very little elbow room left in his tiny, lie-choked Whig Fan Fiction Universe.  And yet, writing about Whigs and Both Sides being to blame is literally all Mr. Brooks knows how to do.

And so, at last, Mr. Brooks is forced to the yomikiri form.  The "one-shot" comic that utilizes familiar tropes of a genre, but is intended to be a self-contained story and not part of the canonical literature.

No kidding.
How Nations Recover

I’ve been especially interested in the way Britain revived itself between 1820 and 1848. Its comeback has some humbling lessons for us today...

There was the Clapham sect...

There were the Chartists...

Finally, there was the Anti-Corn Law League...

The political parties represented vested interests but were not particularly ideological. They were used to handing off the reins of power and then taking them up again. As a result, while they certainly had their bitter rivalries, they shared a common patriotism and understood that each party had a role to play...

The Whig Party dominated the 1830s...

The Whigs passed the democratic Reform Act of 1832...

The Whigs also passed a series of other reforms, such as the Factory Act, which regulated workplaces, and the Municipal Corporations Act, which reformed local government..

The Tories, led mostly by Robert Peel, controlled the government before and after. In a time of social decay, Peel personified rectitude and good character...

He turned his party into a moderate conservative party, endorsing Whig reforms and passing a bunch of his own...
Then comes the obligatory Both Siderism:
We have not passed a steady drumbeat of pragmatic reforms the way the Whigs and the Tories did. Over the past 15 years, the United States has managed to pass just a few major pieces of social reform — Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and I guess the Trump tax reform.
And the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act under President Obama.

And the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Obama.

And the bailout of the American automotive industry under President Obama.

And the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under President Obama.

And the Iranian nuclear deal.

And there would have been a boatload more were it not for the fact that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party is a gang of nihilists and bigots and vandals and traitors who dedicated themselves single-mindedly to obstructing and sabotaging anything with Barack Obama's name on it.

But please, do go on.  
The biggest gap is in the realm of political leadership. The Victorian politicians had a stewardship mentality. They listened to the people, but stood slightly apart, deliberating, seeing governance as a shared professional responsibility. Our leaders come from a much broader swath of society, but they have lower standards of behavior, and less of a shared stewardship mentality.
Of course as Mr. Brooks fucking well knows, it is not "our leaders" who have "lower standards of behavior, and less of a shared stewardship mentality." 

It is not "our leaders" who are the problem. 

It is the leaders of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party who are the problem.

It is the influencers, funders, media celebrities and tycoons, elected officials and public intellectuals of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party who are the problem.

It is the rank-and-file base voters of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party who are the problem.

In other words, it is that entire gang of nihilists, bigots, vandals, con men and traitors who make up Mr. Brooks' Republican Party who are the problem.

And nothing but their extinction as a political force in this country will save us.

Behold, a Tip Jar!