Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Babbling Brooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Moral relativism is the position that moral propositions do not reflect absolute or universal truths. It not only holds that ethical judgments emerge from social customs and personal preferences, but also that there is no single standard by which to assess an ethical proposition's truth.

Perhaps the biggest lesson one can learn from the cultural spin of events is that it's critically important not to take anyone very seriously. Pundits come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common. They are all standing over you like parental units, shoving you the old "Do as I say, not as I do!". Elites in the biz, like David Brooks, are no less guilty of this than the lowest echelon of bloggers, like myself.

When Brooks can take his time and prepare his life lessons for us he is consistent on this subject of relativism.

Moral Relativism

The central weakness of the liberal case is that it is morally thin. Once you say that it is up to individuals or families to draw their own lines separating life from existence, and reasonable people will differ, then you are taking a fundamental issue out of the realm of morality and into the realm of relativism and mere taste . . .

What begins as an appealing notion -- that life and death are joined by a continuum -- becomes vapid mush, because we are all invited to punt when it comes time to do the hard job of standing up for common principles, arguing right and wrong, and judging those who make bad decisions.

David Brooks

Morality and Reality

March 26, 2005

Ah, but get Mr. Brooks up early in the morning to make an appearance on Imus, ask that he judge a complex situation that effects him where he eats, and it seems that the moral high ground is prone to fault, leaving him scrambling with us ethical lightweights for a position that makes sense of a situation. There is no general transcript of the Imus show I can find, so I will have to summarize what Brooks came up with.

Imus asked Brooks what he thought about the Judith Miller case, what he would do in the face of the law regarding offering up the identity of a source. The response was that if someone revealed to him the identity of a "real spook", he would "burn him". He maintained that the case of Valerie was "not the same thing". Really? Where do you draw the dashed yellow line of safety along the scale of "spookiness"? Aren't we being a little "mushy" here? Is it up to a David Brooks to decide who really needs to be protected at the CIA and who doesn't?

It appears that Brooks has found no single standard by which to assess the ethical proposition that it is essential to report an outing of a covert operative. That's fine, welcome to the club.

But to get in the door you'll have to get down off your high horse.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger Bullock said...

Brooks has the born-again Republican syndrome, I guess.We all know they corner the market on moral themes and issues. Anyway, he is out of his league discussing pure philsophical issues and better at analyzing dirty political ones. And, of course, all reporters start to stutter and stammer regarding their rights of the press protecting their sources.
But,I do not want them playing games with national security leaks and innuendoes vis-a-vis Mr. Karl Rowe, who, in my opinion, should be tarred and feathered immediately.You can't protect a slimeball like Rowe if he can't keep his mouth shut to protect a CIA operative.No moral relatism here; it is black and white, just plain wrong.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger sequoit said...

Good to see you back. I figured you must have been away when you didn't comment on the hoops post.

Went to Earl M's 92nd BDay party last Sunday. He has two girlfriends, LaVerne and Shirley(!), who became friends when they discovered he was going out with both of them.

Was always a bit of a role model, I guess.

How bout a picture or two of you and the missus on holiday?


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