One of the questions we might ask before concluding that David Brooks little ethical Area 51, dba “Humility”, at Yale is some sort of uniquely middlebrow, learning-annex hack job is just how unique it is, because this is an Ivy League, after all, and I suspect the course catalog is pretty well-larded with these sorts of PoliSci Rocks-for-Jocks offerings by notable alums. Brooks just has the bad fortune of being uniquely self-unaware enough to title an otherwise bland exercise in celebrity “intellectual” egotism Humility. If he’d called the class, “AmHist Colloquium: 201: The Decline of the Eastern Protestant Establishment from World War II to the Reagan Revolution,” no one would’ve said boo, and exactly the same gang of future legislative aides would’ve taken it. If you find yourself making fun of David Brooks or Yale, you probably don’t understand what either institution represents, or what their respective purposes are in the American life of the mind. Where do you think the sort of people who put David Brooks on the Times op-ed page and NPR Fridays and so on come from, Pomona? Bard? Who do think nods sagely at all those Tom Friedman columns you find so gloriously incoherent?