Tuesday, May 05, 2009

David Brooks Gets the Wrong Westerner - 'That's My Ruling!'

Judge Roy W. Bean: Shad Wilkins, you've been tried and found guilty of the most serious crime west of the Pecos, to wit: shooting a steer. Do you got anything to say for yourself before the sentence of the court is executed?
Shad Wilkins: I told you they shot at me first. I didn't mean to kill that steer on purpose. I was aiming at the man.
Judge Roy W. Bean: It's your bad luck you missed him. That's the trouble with you sodbusters...you can't shoot straight. Shad, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.

Yep, that's what happens when grassroots meets the citizen.

David Brooks is one of those really smart guys who writes about politics and how 'real folks' need to listen to him.

Brooks got his start by writing fan mail to William F. Buckley at an age when he might have done better to learn how to crack a rack of eight-ball, smoke Luckies with the guys in front of Kiley and Kalina's drug store, and figure out how to lure Tess McGuffins into the balcony of the Highland Theatre - but that's just me.

David Brooks was a huge help in getting President Obama elected, while pretending to be a rock-ribbed conservative at the very core of his manly essence. Kind of like George Will and baseball, as genuine as the lard transplants in middle aged women's lips.

Today, Regular Guy Dave goes to the Classic Western for his lessons to the GOP, now dog-paddling at the bottom of Davy Jones' Locker.

Today, if Republicans had learned the right lessons from the Westerns, or at least John Ford Westerns, they would not be the party of untrammeled freedom and maximum individual choice. They would once again be the party of community and civic order.

They would begin every day by reminding themselves of the concrete ways people build orderly neighborhoods, and how those neighborhoods bind a nation. They would ask: What threatens Americans’ efforts to build orderly places to raise their kids? The answers would produce an agenda: the disruption caused by a boom and bust economy; the fragility of the American family; the explosion of public and private debt; the wild swings in energy costs; the fraying of the health care system; the segmentation of society and the way the ladders of social mobility seem to be dissolving.

Dave looked at My Darling Clementine by John Ford:

For example, in Ford’s 1946 movie, “My Darling Clementine,” Henry Fonda plays Wyatt Earp, the marshal who tamed Tombstone. But the movie isn’t really about the gunfight and the lone bravery of a heroic man. It’s about how decent people build a town. Much of the movie is about how the townsfolk put up a church, hire a teacher, enjoy Shakespeare, get a surgeon and work to improve their manners.

Nope. Regular folks liked William Wellman's The Westerner*
and took more notice of the theme of an entrenched political infrastructure that doled out money to political action committees - Judge Roy Bean ( read the Democratic National Committee) robbed farmers and bribed the Cattlemen ( read ACORN/SEIU/MOVE0n Dot Org)to maintain political hegemony.

In this film the Regular Guy Cole Hardin (Gary Cooper) does Okay so long as he sucks up to Judge Roy ( Walter Brennan) and when he runs afoul of the Judge and his Grassroots PAC guns start a blazin'!

In the end the PACS prove no match for common sense and the American Work Ethic. We'll get there, again.

Until then Dave Brooks needs to bone up on his studies. As the Judge told Cole,

Judge Roy W. Bean: Don't spill none of that liquor, son. It eats right into the bar.

*Cole Hardin just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas. Written by Dale O'Connor {daleoc@interaccess.com}

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