Friday, December 30, 2011

BIG-TENT REVIVAL MEETING. I see that David Brooks has caught up with Rod Dreher. His column focuses on Dreher's rather sweet accounts of his sister's last days, the generosity of the people in his Louisiana hometown, and his decision to move back there from the Big City.

Even people who've read Dreher's nonsense over the years might find that story moving, and those regular readers of Brooks who are unacquainted with Dreher may take Brooks at his word that Dreher
is part of a communitarian conservative tradition that goes back to thinkers like Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet. Forty years ago, Kirk led one of the two great poles of conservatism. It existed in creative tension with the other great pole, Milton Friedman’s free-market philosophy.

In recent decades, the communitarian conservatism has become less popular while the market conservatism dominates. But that doesn’t make Kirk’s insights into small towns, traditions and community any less true, as Rod Dreher so powerfully rediscovered.
And this may lead them to follow Dreher, expecting a warm, back-to-the-land, Wendell Berry sort of vibe which will restore conservatism to its rightful place in the public imagination.

Eventually they'll get to know the real Dreher -- the one who thinks a bride who shows a tattoo on her wedding day is a slut; who thinks gays, once given marriage rights, will mob and storm the churches and attack Christians (which, he explains, is why he keeps a gun in the house); who reacts to the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals with articles like "How the cultural Left paved way for pedophilia"; who thinks Islamic extremists really have a point about how Godless we Westerners are ("I probably have, re: fundamental morals, more in common with the first 500 people I'd meet in Cairo, Damascus or Tehran than the first 500 people I'd meet in Park City, UT, during festival time"); who fills his idle moments yelling about dirty things he found on the internet; etc.

In other words, they'll find out that Dreher is a garden-variety Jesus freak with a mean streak. Some of them will be disappointed, because they wanted to believe that there really was someone out there who conformed to their homey vision of artisanal conservatism (though they wouldn't actually go out there and cultivate it themselves -- picture David Brooks sauntering into the general store in Bumfuck, asking where a man could get a manicure 'round these here parts).

But some, I imagine, will be pleased, because Jesus freaks with mean streaks are really what they think "communitarian conservatives" are. And, you know, I think they're right.  Talk all you want about Russell Kirk, but what really filled the communitarian-conservative slot Brooks is talking about was R.J. Rushdoony and Jerry Falwell. I'm not surprised that Brooks finds it necessary to push Mr. Crunchy Con as the new face of that movement. He's mild-mannered, and he likes to grow tomatoes and play with his internet toys -- he'll pour you a nice glass of Bordeaux while his wife christens your kids in the bathtub.  Who knows, it might work. People long ago learned to laugh at the ole-time string-tie preacher; only a few of us yet know how comical the new Dreher edition is.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE JON SWIFT MEMORIAL ROUNDUP IS POSTED -- Battochio did his usual bangup job, and the contributors are all stellar. It's a good way to remind oneself that not everything written for the internet is purposefully designed to sap your will to live.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

YOUR LIBERTARIAN IDEAS ARE INTRIGUING TO ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR RACIST NEWSLETTER. Dave Weigel has a few posts up wondering aloud why gays and/or liberals aren't mad at Ron Paul for the homo-hate in his crazy newsletters. I doubt that Weigel has actually missed Digby, who sees Paul with penetrating clarity for what he really is, and others like her. But Weigel's not talking about people who have actual views on libertarianism. He means sentimental sorts like Dan Savage, with his live-and-let-die attitude toward Paul ("Ron may not like gay people, and may not want to hang out with us or use our toilets, but he's content to leave us the fuck alone"), and the self-identified liberals who tell pollsters they feel kindly toward Paul. He means the folks who might be down for a little rEVOLution, if only on weekends. The guy seems loose, and says he didn't mean it; why get into all that old stuff?

Paul has benefited from his novelty factor. Everyone else in the 2012 Republican Presidential field is selling schmaltz that seemed tasty enough in earlier iterations but has since attained a reek. Perry is George W. Bush minus 20 IQ points. Romney is the Nixonian organization man who, like Tricky Dick, has added a little nastiness to his affect to become a more electable New Romney. Gingrich is Gingrich, a straight-up nostalgia act. Santorum and Bachmann are tussling for the Christian Coalition dead-enders like it was 1988.

Paul seems fresh in this context because he's an overt libertarian. Republicans often dabble in libertarianism -- whenever they feel like they're coming over too hidebound, they flash it to relax the crowd -- but at the Presidential level, they usually have to confine themselves to the economic, Milton Friedman, trickle-down variant of libertarianism, because to get into social issues would piss off the Christians. But that worked very well for a long time, especially after Reagan linked the idea of rapacious capitalism with maximum freedom, and the huge trade imbalances he engendered meant everyone got cheap foreign goods.

(And libertarians were okay with that. Go to sometime, put "crony capitalism" in the search field, and see how few of the references come from before the Obama Administration.)

This variant isn't so useful since their crackpot ideas collapsed the economy; now Gingrich's feed-the-corporations economic plan has the same sad mothball smell his candidacy does. But they still can't get too deep into the libertarian social agenda, due to all those senior citizens whose prejudices are all that bind them to the party. And forget the other libertarian tropes. No one would believe them talking gold bug nonsense; Herman Cain, the conservative black hope till he imploded, was a Federal Reserve Bank chairman.  And without their support for endless wars, what would be left to make them look butch?

Then there's Ron Paul. Not only does he go the whole nine yards on free minds-free markets -- he also denounces our foreign adventures economic and martial. He hates the Fed. He'll let you have raw milk. Freedom!

And he has a kinda-sorta gay rights record that both bigots and Dan Savage can be comfortable with -- he'd leave it to the states, just like abortion and racial integration. This is where his libertarianism really comes in handy -- you can believe that he personally endorsed at the vile things published under his name in those newsletters, and still believe, if motivated to do so, that his hatred of the State (but not the states) is so strong that it would actually protect gays, blacks, women, and everyone else even from his own ill will.

This is easier to believe if you forget that Paul is a Republican, operating comfortably within that party's framework for decades, and if you forget, or never knew, that libertarians are comfortable in that party for a reason. The right-wing fringe groups that attached to the GOP after World War II had their disagreements -- as with the National Review people and Ayn Rand -- but they also found plenty of common ground. It is almost charming to read Walter Olson on R.J. Rushdoony and his Reconstructionist loons, and how they -- unaccountably, to Olson -- "gained prominence in libertarian causes, ranging from hard-money economics to the defense of home schooling." Read Max Blumenthal on the subject and you'll see that the relationship of libertarians, Christian fundamentalists, Birchers, and other radicals was less contentious than synthetic. Think of Steve Forbes and Richard Viguerie -- for that matter, think of Rudy Giuliani and Pat Robertson.

These guys can always work together, because they all came out of the same Big Bang of hatred for the New Deal and its legacy: Big Government and the coalition that sustains it -- blacks, gays, unionized workers, women, et alia. Each conservative tribe has its own relationship to that legacy -- some of them (the more intelligent ones, generally) are deeply cynical, and some are as sincere as any schizophrenic street preacher. But all of them deeply hate that a bunch of minorities have coalesced to get something that they think belongs by right to them and people like them, and many of them have learned that it would be more effective (and, these days, more popular) to strike at the state that enables that coalition than at the minorities themselves.

What mania, particularly, animated Paul's newsletter stories of criminal-natured blacks and AIDS-drama-queen gays doesn't matter to me. I know that he's a Republican Libertarian and, having been born earlier than yesterday, that is enough for me.

Monday, December 26, 2011

DISAPPOINTED. Oh please oh please oh please let it be true:
All along, the Tea Party voters have yet to unite behind a single candidate. They still aren’t united, but in Iowa, there is evidence that Rick Santorum may be surging ahead.
It would be fun, wouldn't it? Alas, there are a few things wrong with this assessment, not the least being that it was made by Dick Morris.
Most likely now, Romney will win Iowa and go on to win New Hampshire. But then, a kind of buyer’s remorse may set in as Republicans contemplate a nominee who backs Romneycare and once supported abortion choice. His past apostasies, combined with his religion, may give Newt an opportunity to come back in South Carolina. Then the two of them will slug it out down the road. But they may have company in the person of Rick Santorum.
The titans Romney and Gingrich battle to a draw and, with a leg-up from Jesus, little Rick Santorum takes the convention! Sadly, the battle is a trifle one-sided; the Gingrich campaign seems to be devoting energies better spent on, say, getting the candidate onto actual ballots to the development of weapons-grade bad analogies -- first they compared Gingrich's failure to qualify for the Virginia primary to Pearl Harbor, and now this:

Surely, in the most successful country in history, we can do what is necessary, we can be in the spirit of General Washington and the Americans who fought for freedom, we can go out, get the vote out, make the argument, stand up for freedom, and I believe we can have as big an impact in helping America remain free in our generation as they did in theirs.
Yes, Newt Gingrich is comparing the limping last leg of his comeback tour to Washington crossing the Delaware. When his defeat is inescapable,  I hope he's man enough to come out in a Confederate uniform and compare the failed Gingrich Campaign to the Lost Cause, and wave his fans off to a rousing rendition of "Dixie"; failing that, he could come out in shades and a corncob pipe like Douglas MacArthur and promise "I shall return," or topple to the floor crying "Et tu, Brute? Then fall Gingrich!" or "Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Gingrich?" or "OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW."

When the dust settles I'm afraid it'll be Romney with a briefcase and a fountain pen, trying gosh-darned hard to get America to switch insurance companies. Tsk. I knew this election would be bad for America, but I didn't think it'd run out of entertainment value before 2012 even began.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SHORTER MARK KRIKORIAN: What good are wetbacks if we can't use them against faggots?

UPDATE: You think I'm kidding?
That’s part of the reason why California, the state with the largest share of immigrants in its population, has “the first state law mandating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and social science curricula.” It’s not that immigrants demanded this nonsense; they probably don’t even like it very much. But their large-scale presence solidifies the position of the Left, making this kind of thing possible, and they aren’t turned off by it enough to rebel against it.
What you or I might see as a welcome trend toward greater liberty for all people, Krikorian sees as a fifth column of objectively pro-gay Messicans. You wonder why we can't have a serious discussion of illegal immigration? It's because for years the podium has been hogged by clowns.

UPDATE 2: "Don't tell me you haven't heard of Reconquistadora de la Rosa," Jay B. tells Krikorian in comments. "Gays in the WeHo/Castro set have been working for years with their maids, gardeners and central valley migrant workers to cement a Pink-Brown alliance. The deal goes, or so I've heard, that in exchange for the barest of benefits, illegal Chicanos will vote straight queer ticket. Eventually, the theory says, gay leadership will cede a 90% gay state back to Mexico in exchange for a permanent free state in Puerto Vallarta."

Several other commenters take Krikorian's post as further evidence that conservatives don't believe in democracy. Sure they do, the way Arnold Rothstein believed in the 1919 Cincinnati Reds.

UPDATE 3: Those who get out of the boat will also be treated to Krikorian's reminder that many Democrats were on the wrong side in the Civil War, which prompts this comment from the Good Roger Ailes: "Ultimately, the Democratic coalition of slaveholders and blacks proved to be unsustainable."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

THE CONSERVATIVE COMEBACK PART 4,789. Well, Gingrich is falling like a rock and none of them can tolerate Ron Paul. Time for a RedState brain trust including Moe Lane, Lori Ziganto, and Aaron Gardner to burst into the room with Plan 17. Whattaya got for us, Einsteins?
If this website has a purpose – if any conservative website or publication has a purpose – it must begin with electing conservatives to significant public offices. We have the chance to nominate a conservative for president and win the White House in 2012. We can fumble that chance away by settling for a nominee we can’t trust to pursue conservative policies in office, or we can make a stand for the best, most conservative potential president in the field.
I knew it! The Santorum moment has arrived! Or maybe a Bachmann revival...
That’s Rick Perry, and we enthusiastically endorse him to be the 45th President of the United States.

They have to be kidding. Rick Perry, whom America perceives as a mentally challenged rodeo clown? The guy prominent conservatives pretend not to recognize on the street? That Rick Perry?
Perry is the most reliable conservative in the race. He has made his share of missteps over 25 years in public life, as have all the candidates, but when you think seriously about which of the major candidates would govern in the most consistently conservative fashion, the answer is obvious.
Fellas, there's probably a robot somewhere that would govern in the most consistently conservative fashion -- it wouldn't be hard to program; just get it to yell "More tax breaks for the wealthy!" and "I hates me a faggot!" at intervals, and to fart loudly when France or higher education is mentioned -- but it doesn't mean anything unless you can get people to vote for it.
The one knock on Perry is that his poor debate performances and periodic campaign trail gaffes will open him to the same vulnerabilities in office as President Bush: an inability to respond to criticism or explain his own policies.
The same vulnerabilities? Perry makes George W. Bush look like Pericles. Nobody, but nobody, is praying, "Oh Lord, send us someone just like George W. Bush, only stupider." Just the other day -- at a stage in the campaign when you'd expect him to work extra hard not to make any more dumb mistakes -- Perry misread Kim Jong Il as Kim Jong the Second. That's like something out of a Cheech and Chong movie. Most observers, having seen how much of an understatement "inability to respond to criticism or explain his own policies" is, have moved on to wondering if Perry can tie a shoelace without coaching.
Second, debating skill takes on outsize importance in the primaries, when candidates have to stand out on a stage crowded with 7 or 8 people who all agree with each other 80-90% of the time. All Rick Perry needs to do is step onstage and everyone will know how he’s different from Barack Obama.
Oh, it's no use. They think life is like an Adam Sandler movie, where everyone winds up preferring the moron-with-a-heart-of-gold to the stuffed shirt.
Third, the main job of the president is making decisions, not talking, and Alex Kaufmann makes a great point regarding how guys like Perry get things done:
Stick around, you have to see what they brought in the pinch-hitter to do:
Until yesterday, I wasn’t completely sure why I liked Rick Perry so much. I have a list of reasons, but none of them really got to the root of why I like him.

Yesterday the reason finally dawned on me. I watched this wonderful 11-minute video from Ben Howe entitled “The Rick Perry I Know”…

… and I had a revelation: Rick Perry is just like my Dad...
When it all gets too much for me, and I expect it often will, I'll just try to recall the image this gave me of Rick Perry in the deep woods, addressing a group of Boy Scouts around a campfire: "Guys, I know you haven't had anything to eat for a couple of days, but we're gonna make it out of these woods because I got me an idea. Now you remember when I asked y'all what direction the sun comes up in, and I got an equal amount of votes for 'West,' 'South,' and 'Mommy'? Well, I didn't know what to do with that, so I prayed on it and the Lord tole me that when we wake up in the morning hallucinating from hunger, we're gonna see Ronald Reagan big as life, and he's gonna lead us on outta here, and we shouldn't get scared if they place he leads us to looks like a ravine or a mess o' barb wire. Now try and get some sleep, and remember, bears ain't like dogs, when they sniff at you it don't mean they wanna play."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Ron Paul surge and the rightblogger rush to stop it. For years Paul has been their little rock-and-roll, their token free thinker -- but whenever he gets close to winning some high-profile contest, they suddenly remember he's crazy, i.e., likely when in office to cut military appropriations.

Well, we knew all that Tea Party stuff was bullshit months ago. On to Mittmentum!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DON'T TAKE THAT TONE WITH ME. Ohdear, The Anchoress again:
Just ran out for a Chai Tea Latte (and to get away from the noise of the non-stop leaf-blowers, around here) and heard this on the radio:
“Mitt Romney is in New York (blah blah) to attend three fund-raisers where he’ll get to meet some supporters (blah blah) paying $2,500 a plate (blah blah) and others on Park Avenue.”
On paper, it looks like the most innocent news report ever generated, doesn’t it?

Over the airways, with the newsreader’s emphasis, what came through was
“Mitt Romney is in New York (blah blah) to attend three fund-raisers! Where he’ll get to meet some supporters (blah blah) paying $2,500 a plate! (Blah blah) and others on Park Avenue!
Message: Moneygrubbing! The One Percenters! The Evil Rich on Park Avenue!

Somehow this same news station manages not to overemphasize or breath exclamation points when the President comes into town to do a number of fundraisers costing thousands of dollars a plate, in ritzy neighborhoods...
Even assuming that this cheapjack mystic actually heard what she says she heard, those of us who actually live in this world will assume that the harried newsreader was probably just trying to make the copy sound like something other than blah blah.

But more to the point: Imagine thinking like this. Imagine hearing 1010-WINS or some damn thing and being offended by the political implications of somebody's tone of voice. It's one thing to be bothered enough to write about something stupid somebody said, but why would you report to your readers on the ideological bias of someone's "breath exclamation points"?

I write a lot here about the spectacular self-pity and eagerness to take offense of modern conservatives, but at this moment in their history I think they're verging into something new. There's always been in their discourse a kind of petulance that seemed to me beyond politics, and in a post like this it asserts itself and overtakes politics almost completely. You see revealed the habit of mind that prefigures all their crackpot ideas about justice, governance, and everything else -- that of the perpetually aggrieved fusspot, the one who thinks everyone's trying to put something over on her -- which is why, whenever she takes an absurd number of helpings from the food sample table, or brings 20 items to the 10-items-or-less line, or stiffs the waiter at the coffee shop, or occupies two spaces at the parking lot, she feels not only justified but righteous. She thinks she's anti-socialist, but she's really just anti-social. And the pinched, miserable blaming blather that pours off the stage of the Republican Presidential debates is not oratory nor statesmanship nor even politics, but the echo of her voice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SHORTER MEGAN McARDLE: I know this person who actually became poor and I don't feel a bit sorry for her, because then I would be dehumanizing her by denying her agency -- just as you would be doing if you felt sorry for other poor people and tried to give them advantages they wouldn't know what to do with, like jobs at a living wage.

UPDATE. Some commenters get out of the boat ("I almost left behind Lance and that puppy," shudders dex) and have the same awestruck, silent-upon-a-peak-in-Darien reaction I had to McArdle's show-stopper, "It's all too common for well-meaning middle-class people to think that if the poor just had the same stuff we do, they wouldn't be poor any more..." Not wishing to imply racism, which of course would be the worst crime one could commit against a conservative, I will suppose her insight is based on the continued uncouth behavior after their ascension to great wealth of the Beverly Hillbillies.

UPDATE 2. "The weird feeling that I get from the post is that Megan seems to think that she's being genuinely empathetic there," says Halloween Jack. "It's like an alien who is trying to explain to a mob of panicked and furious humans that the title of How To Serve Man works both ways." Well, I wouldn't go that far; McArdle probably thinks the sort of empathy normal humans feel is bathetic and gross, like the totally over-the-top wailing of mothers over their dead children that she saw in a movie once. Still, I guess even libertarians need something in their lives to take the place of empathy, and contorted rationalizations like I'm not condescending, you're condescending are it. Call them shoulder pads for the soul.

Are there no think tanks? Are there no Koch Brothers?

Well, I'm sure the guys at Reason would never -- oh wait.

This Yuletide I'm giving my charitable donations to bums hanging around liquor stores. At least I don't have to pay attention to what they emit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, on Newt Gingrich's rise and the anxieties it's producing on the right. I don't mean to be optimistic, but it says something that a disgraced former Republican Speaker of the House is doing so well at this stage of the game. I don't recall the Democrats seriously considering Dan Rostenkowski for President in 2008.

I didn't mention Gingrich's obscene comments about turning children into janitors because Susan of Texas covered that once and for all herself.

My only regret is that I didn't catch up with Cynthia Yockey's "Why Newt’s lesbian sister is a good reason for gays to vote for him as the Republican presidential nominee" in time to include it:
Newt’s stance on gay equality and marriage equality is toxic, anti-gay, anti-American and anti-Constitution...

It is bizarre, however, that she pledges to vote instead for Obama, who also opposes gay equality and empowers his Department of Justice to use scorched earth tactics to fight lawsuits filed by Republicans and conservatives in favor of gay equality. After all, she could choose Fred Karger.
Oh, sorry, you were wondering why this makes Gingrich the logical choice for LGBT voters?
If Newt is the nominee, or, gulp, is elected president, the dialog between him and his lesbian sister will shine a very bright and cleansing light on the falsehood that opposition to gay equality supports family values in any way and will reveal that the true goal of this fraud is to gain control of the reproductive lives of as many followers as possible for purely selfish reasons.
Of course, with the United States in flaming ruins, there won't be much opportunity to act on this insight.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

GREAT CONSERVATIVE MINDS OF OUR TIME. Remember Steve Sailer? He's that straight-up racist (and not subtle about it either) who more paper-trained conservatives sometimes cite as if he were Orwell (by which I mean, they do so knowing that readers will have heard his name and have some idea they're supposed to admire him, though few of them have any idea what he actually believes).

He's got a new one about how Pasadena, Texas is full of Messicans and it's a dirty shame. At the end he gets ironical:
In contrast, those free enterprise-hating Vermont Democrats with their Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders don't enjoy Texas's economic dynamism. What a bunch of idiots those Vermonters are! Of course, they still get to live in their hometowns near their relatives and old friends, but that just shows how liberal they are. True conservatives know that the essence of conservatism is shattering communities and crushing ties between people and places that have grown up over the years.
I imagine it is heartbreaking when you think like Sailer does and then one day you suddenly discover Texas is full of Mexicans and you can't blame Al Sharpton.

Guess who thinks Sailer's post is great?
I don’t know that I’ve seen in ages the clash between two visions of American conservatism more acutely presented than in this passage from Steve Sailer’s short reflection on the transformation of Pasadena, Texas, from a blue-collar white and black town to one that’s 80 percent Hispanic, thanks to mass immigration. Sailer cites a press report saying how Houston is inevitably going to become a Latino city, because of the unstoppable force of demographic change.
Some of Dreher's commenters are queasy about this, and Dreher comes back in comments:
[Sailer's] pointing out that if your conservatism values the free market and associated liberties above all things, you cannot complain about what’s happened to Houston.
Yeah, ask Rick Perry about that one!

I tell ya, Obama's fucked up pretty bad, but all he has to do to win is get these guys to say out loud what they really think.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

ESPRIT D'ESTOPPEL. She's no Alan Bromley, whose stories about silly liberals whom he easily minced with his rapier wit remain models of the genre, but Pajamas Media's Belladonna Rogers is at least making a great effort. Here she's giving advice to some possibly real person who doesn't know what to say to liberals with whom she is, unaccountably and distastefully, forced to attend parties:
Before you attend another party, practice saying calmly, “I don’t accept the premises underlying your assumption.” Say it as many times as necessary to feel comfortable uttering that sentence whenever you encounter a liberal.

In the context of your dinner conversation, here’s how it would go:

“What do you mean?” the shocked liberal will ask.

“First, I wouldn’t assume that anyone to whom you put that question would vote for Obama under any circumstances.

“A second premise of your question is that I vote as a woman. That’s a classic Democrat assumption.”

Again, you’ll be facing a flummoxed liberal.

A word of warning: the more you say, the more the liberal’s response will turn to enraged apoplexy. By the time you’ve finished lucidly expressing your views, the liberal will react like a shrieking, psychopathic hyena being laced into a straitjacket.
Remarkably, this goes on for hundreds of words, with phrases inserted about the similarly ridiculous reactions to be expected when you talk to liberals as she advises: "Let the liberal experience the panic attack," "expect a temper tantrum," "The liberal will become irate, perspire profusely, then shout," etc.

I used to marvel at the longevity of this genre, but no longer. It's getting clearer all the time that what these guys want more than anything is to humiliate their opponents in public. But these chances don't come often in real life even when you're not champing at the bit for them, and thus might have the sangfroid to pull it off; for someone who's so invested in such scenarios that she must indulge fictional encounters that inevitably prove her superiority in argument, it must be nearly impossible. (Also, why are they always partying with liberals if they dislike them so much? Must need them to score drugs.) So the stories live on about how if you say the right words to a liberal he'll vomit with fear and you will be Queen of the May.

This explains more than anything else I can think of the vogue for Newt Gingrich.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the end of Herman Cain and the rightbloggers' rush to work his victim status. I wish I had room for this astute analysis from Freedom Eden:
Why was Ted Kennedy allowed to stay in office?

Why was Robert Byrd's KKK past excused?

Why was the path cleared for Obama to be elected without any thorough vetting?

Double standard.
All my subjects are daffy on this subject, but Freedom Eden actually seems to think Cain was preemptively removed from office by the same tribunal of lesbian environmentalists that installed Byrd, Kennedy, and Obama.

UPDATE. At the Daily Caller, David Meyers tries to cover the traces:
Throughout this campaign, the media has played up fringe, erratic candidates like Cain, calling them “frontrunners” and “faces of the Republican Party.” MSNBC’s comments about Cain were just another example of the attempt by some in the media to define and skew the American people’s perception of the Republican Party.
As I documented time and again, conservatives were all on Cain's jock in good times, but now that he's a liability he must be made an unperson: Meyers even says of Cain's recent front-runner status, "polls are often misleading." Somewhere Michael Steele is shaking his head and muttering, "I feel ya, bro."

Thursday, December 01, 2011

NO SALE. Look, guy, if you want to believe black people are your intellectual inferiors because Charles Murray told you so, okay, go live that way. But just fucking quit whining about it.

UPDATE. Comments are already hot. Some readers fault Ta-Nehisi Coates for his gentle treatment of Sullivan; DocAmazing finds his responses "perfect examples of the snug environment of the opinion writing community." Coates and Sullivan probably think they're Shaw and Chesterton or something, and very literary and historical. But the joke is that their conversation is at bottom more like Alex Haley's and George Lincoln Rockwell's ("You're an intelligent person; I enjoy talking to you. But, you're not pure black like your ancestors in the Congo"). Haley, of course, was drawing the neo-Nazi out; I don't know what Coates is up to. Maybe he's being wickedly ironical when, trying to explain his continuing respect for Sullivan, he compares him to V.S. Naipaul. I certainly hope so. The Atlantic has too many dunderheads writing as it is.

I take whetstone's point:
I'm actually happy about Sullivan being in reruns. Recently he'd been doing an okay impersonation of a person with some marginal amount of empathy, and had plenty of people suckered with his stance against torture (and I give him all the credit he's due for being more house-trained than Marc Thiessen). Made it hell to explain why I don't read or trust him. ("The Bell Curve? What's that, granddad?")
The guy called us all traitors. I don't care that he's not always totally nuts. Andrew Sullivan can go fuck himself.