June 05, 2005

Column 2005-6-5 Commentary

In today's column, Brooks asserts that "Watergate has become a modern Horatio Alger story . . . ." Apparently, Watergate is no longer about abuse of power or cover-ups: it's now the inspiring tale of a young man going from rags -- or, in Woodward's case, what Brooks apparently thinks is the modern-day equivalent, a Yale education -- to fame and fortune. Well, not really. I'm in a good mood today, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he's not being serious. If it wasn't for the recent epidemic of right-wing revisionism about Nixon and Watergate, I wouldn't have thought about it, but the attempts of people like Ben Stein, Peggy Noonan, and Pat Buchanan to elevate Nixon to a spot next to Reagan in the Republican pantheon are depressing enough to make anyone paranoid (once these worthies remember that Nixon set up the EPA, though, they'll drop him like a hot potato). The whole thing is part of Brooks's yearly column about the trials and tribulations of young people who have recently graduated from college and are realizing that the real world is very different. It's all harmless enough, I suppose. I do feel that Brooks could air his nostalgia for his lost youth somewhere besides the New York Times editorial page, but on the other hand, if he wasn't sighing for those golden days when he, like Woodward, was a struggling young reporter, he would be writing some godawful bullshit, so there's always a silver lining. This column also gets bonus stupidity points for airing Brooks's Yale envy, which is really getting sad. It's not like the man went to Podunk U. or anything: he did graduate from the University of Chicago. Of course, if he had gone to Podunk U., he'd probably spend all the time he now spends sucking up to Yale sneering at the Ivy League types who haven't made it to his empyrean heights, which wouldn't be much of an improvement. What would be a real improvement would be if he was removed from the Times editorial page altogether, but seeing as how Safire lasted for 30 years or so, I'm not holding my breath (let's see, so I'm past anger and denial: what comes next?).