The insufferable Ruth Marcus and David Brooks

Both Ruth Markus (The Perils of legalized pot – Washington Post) and David Brooks (Weed – Been There. Done That. – New York Times) came out with columns where they both talked about their own enjoyment of pot and their certainty that it should be illegal for the rest of us.


For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.[…]

In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.


I have done my share of inhaling, though back in the age of bell-bottoms and polyester.

Next time I’m in Colorado, I expect, I’ll check out some Bubba Kush. Why not? […]

Still, widespread legalization is a bad idea,[…]

So the reason to single out marijuana is the simple fact of its current (semi-)illegality. On balance, society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance. In particular, our kids will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance.

I was planning on dismantling their columns, but it turns out the entire internet has been doing exactly that all day. It’s turned into massive ridicule. Very enjoyable.

bullet image Adam Serwer, MSNBC: A tale of two pot users: OK for elites, illegal for others

On Friday, two major newspaper columnists, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times, admitted to using marijuana. Yet just as all three of the above presidents presided over a criminal justice system that imposes harsh punishments for marijuana use, Marcus and Brooks argue against Colorado and Washington’s marijuana initiatives, on the basis that marijuana is bad for you. […]

Presumably, Brooks and Marcus don’t think of themselves as criminals who should have gone to jail for their drug use, any more than our three past presidents. Marcus all but acknowledges as much, saying that “[t]hrowing people in jail for smoking pot is dumb and wasteful.” But that’s what marijuana being illegal means in most states and under federal law: It means people go to jail.

It almost never means, however, that people like Brooks and Marcus go to jail. 

bullet image Juli Weiner in Vanity Fair does a spot-on satirical impression of David Brooks’ column David Brooks: Been There. Done That.

In reading Brooks, citizens of Bethesda and certain parts of Brooklyn are, indeed, enhancing lazy thinking. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.

bullet image David Weigel at Slate: Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and reefer madness

The shared Brooks/Marcus thesis is that marijuana was basically all right for young people to try years ago, before they became columnists, but that legalizing it will lead to a worse and lazier society.

bullet image Charles Pierce at Esquire: Two Dopes

In my days of doing the blog, I have pondered, often, the teleological conundrum of whether an omnipotent god could make a stick big enough to shove up his own ass. When this speculation becomes too difficult, I make myself a lesser case — is it possible for anyone to have a bigger stick up their ass than the one currently residing in the nether quarters of David Brooks? Today, at least, I have the answer to the latter question.

Yes, it is.

Come on down, Ruth Marcus, famous NSA apologist, weeper for misunderstood torturers, recent Glenn Greenwald heavy-bag workout, and scourge of teenage potty-mouths everywhere, and a woman who makes the late Erma Bombeck read like Rosa Luxembourg and who makes David Brooks sound like Richard Brautigan.

The two of them wrote essentially the same column today.

bullet image Judy Berman at Flavorwire: David Brooks’ and Ruth Marcus’ Anti-Weed Columns Condensed for Maximum Stoner Hilarity

David Brooks and Ruth Marcus evidently drew the short straws at the New York Times and Washington Post (respectively), each 50-something writer filing an anti-legalization screed made highly awkward by the fact that both have done their share of toking in this lifetime.

bullet image Jonathan Fischer at CityDesk: Ruth Marcus and David Brooks Smoke Pot: A Play in One Act

bullet image Gary Greenberg: I Smoked Pot with David Brooks – fun satire based on the Brooks column.

bullet image Atrios at Eschaton

They both want Official Disapproval of activities they happily participated in once upon a time because kids today, but Offical Disapproval means people go to jail. Not Brooks and Marcus of course, or their kids, but other people.

And for a special bonus:

Here is the clip of Glenn Greenwald completely dismantling Ruth Marcus on CNN regarding Snowden. If you don’t want to watch the entire thing, just check out Glenn’s first response at 1:45. It’s time someone took these Washington elite to task.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to The insufferable Ruth Marcus and David Brooks

  1. Howard says:

    David and Ruth, the excoriation will continue until your morale improves, you two fuddy duddies (sharing opposite ends of the same giant splintered log shoved up your nether regions).

    Kudos especially to Charles Pierce, he rained HELL on those two panty waists. Funny stuff.

  2. claygooding says:

    Allan St Pierre will be on CNN’s Crossfire debating Patrick Kennedy and Newt Gingrich at 5:30 PM today.

    • NorCalNative says:

      Thanks, I’m going to catch the last 1/2 hour.

    • claygooding says:

      Patrick Kennedy looked like he was partying with the local meth freaks,,the way his eyes kept bugging out and hu=is arguments slipped in some definite misinformation but Allen handled him superbly,,he didn’t go off on a tangent fighting the misinformation and kept to the harm reduction and racial/poor disparity of imprisonment…and Patrick Kennedy couldn’t help but end up agreeing the drug war is bad,,,84% for legalization in poll at the end of the show and the largest response to any question on Crossfire too date.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      – What makes you think she’s a witch?
      – She turned me into a newt!

  3. N.T. Greene says:

    Well, when the msm is dismantling these articles, its clear who’s going to win in the long game.

  4. darkcycle says:

    The Brooks piece was pathetic. He uses his own teenage pot experience as an example of WHY it’s prohibition should be maintained. His experience as a rich, sheltered white kid with tons of opportunities bears little or no resemblance to the lives of the vast majority of people arrested for pot. And because he feels it’s a youthful indiscretion of which he’s not proud, he thinks that justifies ruining the lives of 800,000 Americans a year for what he did and got away with. Hypocrisy knows no bounds. Good that he’s being excoriated.

    • B. Snow says:

      Chris Hayes REALLY did a number on Brooks, He shared a personal experience – and Well, I don’t want to ruin it… But he was pretty pissed-off – at least for him – he’s always full of energy, and fast words.
      But, I never seen him so close so openly angry – with Brooks’ piece it made me almost giddy watching it.

      Hmm… Giddy(?) – Yeah, that’s about right = David can be such a royal D-Bag, he deserves the skewering he gets from Chris & in the small panel of guests after the commercial, and ALL-OVER the News/Web = IDK, about Fox?

      They were mostly still talking about Bengazi & Duck Dynasty, I think Krauthammer was trying to “straddle the fence” = Not defending the drug war, but still disapproving of the legalization.

      Ironically, I remember Krauthammer said on O’Reilly a while back that if he had the chance to start from scratch he’d make alcohol illegal & allow marijuana. BUT, since he can’t do that – he “doesn’t want to add a 3rd legal drug for people to use” – straight out of the damn ONDCP, NIDA, “Third-Way” Playbook…
      I guess the sorry old bastard couldn’t get the puppet-hand out of his ass.

  5. DdC says:

    Yuppie Prohibition League Denounces Pot Legalization
    By Matt Taibbi @rollingstone

    Crossfire ‏@Crossfire
    Should marijuana be legal nationwide? Reply now with Yes or No using #Crossfire

    ACLU National ‏@ACLU
    Yes #marijuana should be legal nationwide @Crossfire – it’s time to end racially biased, expensive arrests.

    The Nation ‏@thenation
    David Brooks’s blinkered pot column shows how our elites are shielded from the consequences of the war on drugs.

    We’ve got #Colorado…#Uruguay’s got all of Uruguay! #FederalWeed #TaxWriteOff?—

  6. allan says:

    hmmm… snipping sanctimonious pricks in the bud, so to speak.

    The Emperor truly wears no clothes and everybody is finally finding the courage to laugh. (because the emperor is, well, less than endowed by his creator)

  7. Servetus says:

    Something evil has indeed transpired when the likes of Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and members of SAM choose to defend a government’s human rights crimes. If all these people were a legal firm, they’d be the last lawyers anyone would want to hire. Seriously. It’s pseudo-intellectualism at its worst. You’d have better luck employing the law firm of Larry, Curly & Moe.

    The government apologists do, however, appear to be immune to prosecution, like the torture lawyers, John Yoo and Jay Bybee. Amongst these consigliores, the major theme is the state can do no wrong. They have all profited in some way from justifying the crimes of the state, and that makes them liable once the state is held liable.

    The line blurs in these cases between a defense of government and actual participation, collaboration, or the covering up of government crimes. As a corrupt government’s first line of defense, they stand to be held responsible for what the government does wrong. I predict that in the future, because of their activities, as the ancient Chinese curse goes, they will all have interesting lives.

  8. One more to add to Pete’s list:
    What David Brooks Doesn’t Understand About the Marijuana Prohibition

    • kaptinemo says:

      Like LEAP (for reasons which will become clear) here’s one more unassailable voice, this time coming from the very quarter the early (and, maybe, latest?) prohibs secretly hated and feared the most: the minorities that the original laws were aimed at oppressing.

      This article has more import than may first be assumed. It signals something major, a split in some very important ranks.

      Those affected the most negatively by the drug laws (young male African-Americans) are not waiting any longer for their leadership to take political action (far too many of said leaders, like abused spouses, cling to those who abuse them in the forlorn hope of changing their ways), and have taken the initiative, themselves.

      This article was a shot across the neoliberal Establishment’s bow, calling out its’ inherent hypocrisy about ‘equal justice’ regarding the racially-oriented prosecution of the drug laws, which has been institutionalized to the point of being a part of popular culture…as in the punch line to a seriously bad joke.

      The USS Prohibition has just received a direct hit amidships. For the prohibs to answer the article is to risk publicly exhuming the whole sordid history of how the drug laws are, indeed, based upon racist stereotypes of a bygone era.

      Let’s see the prohibs worm their way around that.

      • claygooding says:

        CO sold one million dollars worth of legal marijuana with 70 communities opting out of marijuana sales,,that number is rolling around in every politicians head right now like a B-B in a box car,,,,the marijuana stocks are leading the market in growth rate,,,greed and guilt make a mighty assault on our wall.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          But…but…but…I thought everyone was just going to grow their own!? Is a full year not enough time for people legally allowed to grow 3 plants which could produce 74,383 joints or even more if you roll rolling paper only joints?

          The number of communities opting out is interesting but I think the total number of stores that were licensed and open on the 1st is more relevant. Even if every damn jurisdiction in Colorado had approved retail sales there probably wouldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 other stores open in the State given just how enthusiastic the politicians are about this law. I think I mentioned the other day that I was shocked that there was even a single Colorado State legal store opened on time.

          Let’s all write letters to the jurisdictions that “just said no” telling them that it’s time to grab that cash and make a stash.

  9. DdC says:

    “If you’re not careful,
    the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed,
    and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
    ~ Malcolm X

    The Corporate Muzzle

  10. NorCalNative says:

    I read an article at the Denver Post’s new “Cannabist.”

    I had hoped that legalization would increase the factual and scientific quality of the cannabis reporting.

    In the article about teens and parents by Suzanne somebody, it reads like a KEVIN SABET WISHLIST.

    No links to support any of the very LAZY and SLOPPY reporting. If this particular article is indicative of what to expect from them in the future it’s NOT a good sign.

    • kaptinemo says:

      What was that old line about dogs returning to their vomit?

      Given that the ONDCP has been castigated by the GAO for having broken the law against propagandizing the American people, by passing off DrugWarrior talking-points under the subterfuge of packaging them like news stories without attributing them to the Gub’mint, and that that happened while Sabet was their premier BSer, it stands to reason that ‘Suzanne Somebody” is a cut-out. Another false front, another Potemkin Village. More sabetage. (Not a typo.) Old, seriously bad habits are hard to break, I guess.

      You can always count on a prohib’s limited imagination to provide an equally limited repertoire of BS. No matter how many variations, it’s always the same tired old theme. SS-DD. Prohibs and their blather like dogs and their gorp. Not much changes.

      • allan says:


        aye, that’s why I luvs ya Kap! You and all the other degenerates sittin’ here keep me smilingly informed. I mean look how we keep adding to the common vocabulary.

  11. Jean Valjean says:

    Love the Greenwald/ Marcus discussion. She came on smirking like George Bush… that jokey attitude to getting found-out displayed by the powerful and connected when they know they’ll never face legal consequences….happily, Glenn quickly wipes the smile off her face in the first minute in a total slapdown…yet somehow these right wing democrats like Marcus (and Obama) trouble me more than the real deal like Bush and Cheney…they have and will do more damage to American democracy in the longer term.

    • kaptinemo says:

      M. Jean, if yo’d like a glimpse as to why the ‘common knowledge’ exists among Americans of a certain degree of awareness as to why there are no real differences in American political parties, I’d invite you to google the following search string.

      Clinton Obama June 6 2008 Chantilly Virginia

      And keep in mind that those two Presidential hopefuls were meeting with the very people who trashed the world economy, to their betterment and everyone else’s detriment. A world economy based upon international banking…which is heavily dependent upon maintaining drug prohibition to maintain itself.

      Any wonder why reform has had such resistance from gub’mint? Bigger rice bowls are at stake than just Officer Jack Boot’s pension.

      Bur the force to challenge this tremendous power is tremendous itself, namely, the ‘will of the people’, being expressed democratically. Trying to undermine that ‘people power’ will strip away the last vestiges of the fig leaf covering our slide from democracy to crypto-fascism, and remove any last rationale for playing by the rules, anymore.

      At that point, historically, the rifles come out. And, also historically, that rarely makes anything better. Uncle knows that too, seeing as he’s done that to other countries.

      So…IMHO, we’re being thrown a bone of sorts by the Feds backing off. To press the issue is to come closer to lighting a fuse attached to a powder keg sitting under the USG that is prominently stenciled with the words ‘LEGITIMACY’

  12. War Vet says:

    I have no idea what Brooks and Ruth were trying to say. The thing I remember the most from my high school/college pot years was 9/11 and going into the military because of 9/11, so they’ve failed to strike a chord with today’s generation (since a mulit-trillion dollar war against drug money created much of our recession –but that’s just common sense there and a hefty argument on why it should be legal: destroy illicit drug money from killing). How did they ever manage to finish college and get good jobs without a recession and war coexisting during their older teen years and early adult lives . . . they lived in very challenging environments.

  13. War Vet says:

    Brooks is the cow that Nietzsche wrote about in regards to the ‘herd’. His higher pursuits of pleasure is watching TV commercials since the Government is about pleasing corporations before pleasing the people . . . and according to Brooks—that’s what the government is meant for. So, Brooks, what is your favorite Pizza Hut commercial of all time? And a good auto insurance commercial is like a good glass of wine and Yates poem right?

  14. Duncan20903 says:


    Our girl Maia reports that the Dr. Frankenstein wannabes have made a breakthrough discovery in the science of exo-cannabinoid medicine for idiots that overcomlicate the issue. I didn’t see anyone worrying about double blind idiots approving it as “safe” or worrying that we “don’t know” about the “long term” “effects”:

    Muting Marijuana’s High: Pot Without the Impairment
    By Maia Szalavitz

    • Viggo Piggsko Flatmark says:

      Some laboratory studies in cancer cells and animals have suggested that pregnenolone may stimulate the growth of hormone-responsive cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. The body uses pregnenolone to make steroid hormones such as DHEA and testosterone.

      High doses may cause aggressiveness, irritability, trouble sleeping, and the growth of body or facial hair on women. It also may stop menstruation and lower the levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, which could raise the risk of heart disease. Other possible side effects include acne, heart rhythm problems, liver problems, loss of hair from the scalp, and oily skin.

      Little is known about drug interactions, although some studies suggest it may interfere with the action of certain sleeping medicines or calming medicines (benzodiazepines). (from

  15. Duncan20903 says:


    With a flip and a flop, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo “plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.”

    New York State Is Set to Loosen Marijuana Laws

    Now don’t get too excited, this is probably just a tactical strategy along the lines of the FDA approving the very limited use of Epidiolex® in children with Dravet syndrome and the California Legislature voting to decriminalize petty possession of cannabis during the campaign for Prop 19 (2010). But it’s still a good indication that they can feel us breathing down their collective neck.

Comments are closed.