Strange things happen. In a light-hearted online conversation with fellow NYTimesian Gail Collins, columnist David Brooks tiptoes into the tripwire-laden danger zone of discussing ethnic group characteristics, which, official PC wisdom tells us, do not exist, and since they do not exist, they are not proper subjects of discussion.
In re the upcoming Supreme Court nominee fight (see following post), Brooks had this to say about Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking (not “rankling”) Repub on the Senate Judiciary Committee:
I have had a few lunches with him and my impression is that he is one of those sly Southerners who puts on a plain old-boy front but is deep down extremely sophisticated and intelligent. This is how we know he is not a New Yorker or a Jew. In the long history of my people, there has never been one who was willing to appear less smart than he or she really is. We tend to go the other way.
I just don’t know what he’s talking about here, do you? What could he possibly mean? I suspect this is doubleplusungood. Look here for the whole puzzling exchange.