Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Ta-Nehisi Coates complains of the "half-assed social contract" applied to blacks since Reconstruction ("The black migrants did play by the rules, but they did not enjoy the right to compete"). Jonah Goldberg thinks he has a good one:
Coates doesn’t mention it, but it’s worth noting that many of the mechanisms of this “half-assed social contract” were forged and defended as progressive laws. The Davis-Bacon Act is the most famous example, in that it was designed to benefit white union members at the expense of equally qualified but less expensive black labor... 
Take, for instance, the minimum wage. The founding fathers of progressivism at the University of Wisconsin, but also such figures as Sidney Webb, saw the discriminatory aspects of the minimum wage as among its chief selling points...
So, in a nation where unions offer blacks a rare chance at higher wages, Goldberg portrays such wages as Liberal Fascist Racism; and in a nation where blacks traditionally get lower wages than whites, Goldberg portrays the minimum wage as Liberal Fascist Racism.

While for many years most American politicians were racist to a greater or less extent, Goldberg only notices the racism of those whose legacies have actually been of some help to non-white Americans. (For him Robert Byrd is eternally a Klansman, but William Buckley was a great man who couldn't have meant all those things he said.)  In fact, any successful attempt to improve the lot of non-whites, such as diversity programs, Goldberg unfailingly identifies as the real racism ("If I give extra credit to Joe because he’s black, I’m making things just that much harder for Tom because he’s white"). I've never seen him speak well of a black person who wasn't a National Review author or a member of the Bush Administration. I'm not even sure if he likes Prince.

I used to think Goldberg did this shit because he came up as a fratty chucklehead who saw how much the grown-ups liked it when he acted "politically incorrect," and that he kept it up as part of a conscious attempt to peddle conservatism as the fun American ideology. But now that he is no longer remotely young and not even Goldberg is stupid enough to think conservatism is fun, I've come to the conclusion that he just doesn't like black people. I'm rather embarrassed that it took me this long to figure that out. The moron has outsmarted me at last! Farrrrt.


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  2. Goldberg didn't outsmart you. He has no coherent philosophy short of "liberals are dumb." Trying to figure out what he "thinks" beyond that will cause anyone to to go crazy.

  3. montag22:59 AM

    Oh, yes, Doughy is too stupid enough to think conservatism is fun.

    It has been fun for him for a long time (long for him, damned near interminable for us), or at least has been the "nyah, nyah, libs are _______ [fascist, racist, communist, fill in the blank]" sort of hectoring, our-propaganda-is-superior-to-their-propaganda trash-talk that der Pantload conceives of as conservatism.

    This sort of thing is for him now fully automatic, the classic knee-jerk response. It's like whispering, "Roosevelt" in the ear of Westbrook Pegler just to watch him type furiously for ninety seconds.

    Doughy will say anything that comes to mind, except the simple truth that institutional racism is a fundamental part of contemporary conservatism today, and that the people who actively worked to exclude minorities from improvements in society and the workplace over the years would be welcome as conservatives today.

  4. I believe you've noted some of his more sincere racist forays in the past. And, to be fair, it's not as if Goldberg actually thinks. The Derb, O'Reilly, Buchanan and even Limbaugh have put more thought into their racism. Goldberg is more of a Bob Owens or Jim Hoft, except with a connected mother and a thesaurus, so he landed a prime wingnut welfare gig and can play at being all intyleckul while thumbing his Cheeto-stained nose at those librul fascist eggheads, plus the librul artistic types who produce the pop culture he consumes.

    As long as I'm damning with faint praise, J.S. Mill comes to mind: "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."

    Or as Jonah put it, the conservative is the talentless white man of liberal fascism.

  5. DBake5:59 AM

    Okay but-- Mill at one point wrote that the people of India weren't ready for self-government. Ergo, Jonah wins.

    Wait. You want to say that makes no sense? Well you know who else insisted that arguments make sense...

  6. DBake6:05 AM

    Okay, but Mill once wrote that people of India weren't ready for self-government. And you quoted him anyway. Ergo, Jonah wins.

    You might complain that that argument makes no sense. But you know who else was in favor of arguments that make sense?

  7. DBake6:06 AM

    didn't realize this one had actually landed. sorry.

  8. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:08 AM

    He has a locked-in career now. He has nowhere else to go and no other skills to offer, He's like Gil the salesman. Pathetically hopeful he'll finally make the big sale but hateful in his desperation.

  9. satch7:39 AM

    Sidney Webb? The 1st Baron Passfield... the guy that Leon Trotsky thought was a shallow dilettante? The guy who really came into his own after he married Beatrice Potter, whose wealth enabled him to get out from under the grinding chore of working for a living and freed him up to do his writing, the best of which was done eighty years ago (making him the Tom Friedman of his day)? THAT Sidney Webb?* Jonah and his pals are really lucky... if they ever get stuck for a topic, they can always fall back on the line that some Progressives around the turn of the last century favored eugenics, and the Republicans were the party who supported ending slavery.

  10. Bizarro Mike7:57 AM

    It's important to remember that racism is defined by what one's party did 150 years ago, not in the present. The present is a post-racial society. Well adjusted people can't be racist because they can't even perceive race. If you're noticing racism, you are just admitting to being a racist, you horrible racist!

  11. redoubt7:57 AM

    So a legacy dilettante thinks that the problem with America is that, thanks to a minimum wage, black people make too much money.
    You're right. That is racist.

  12. Derelict8:09 AM

    not even Goldberg is stupid enough to think conservatism is fun

    But it IS fun--for Goldberg. In n o other field of endeavor could Jonah the Fail work so little, be wrong so consistently, and be so routinely and roundly mocked and yet still collect paychecks. BIG paychecks that get bigger with every passing fail.

    Goldberg may or may not really believe the nonsense that he puts forth. It doesn't matter. He'll keep doing it as long as it brings in the dough.

  13. Perhaps one of Goldberg's readers could provide him with some research, re: conservatism is fun.

    "You get to kick people less fortunate than yourself!"


  14. drkrick10:09 AM

    He's a right wing cheerleader for all the same well-thought-out reasons that a high school cheerleader yells her heart out for the glory of whatever school she wound up enrolled in that year. If Lucianne had stayed a Dem, he'd be rooting for us the same way (although our side doesn't tend to reward his particular kind of idiocy the same way). The racism is just there as part of the package. I could see him sneering at bigoted rednecks in just the same way in that alternate universe.

  15. zencomix10:14 AM

    He forgot to mention that Abe Lincoln was a Republican.

  16. wileywitch10:23 AM

    Yeah. That's why it was so hard for them to use bullwhips, billy clubs, and firehouses against people who marching for civil rights. They had barely gotten over the effects of the lynchings they were forced to do.

  17. Halloween_Jack10:27 AM

    It is almost literally physically painful to read Doughpants trying to address the work of a far superior writer; when he's merely bloviating against his straw-man versions of liberals or Democrats or whatever, it's one thing, because he is obviously flailing at something of his own creation, but here he's obviously suffering by comparison, as when he ignores this inconvenient bit near the end of Coates' post:

    It is utterly painful to read about the New Deal being left in the hands of Southern governments which were hostile to black people, and then to today see a significant chunk of health care, again, left in the hands of Southern governments which are hostile to black people.

    What Coates did there, of course, was to make this relevant to the present day, something that Goldberg is at pains to avoid, because he's still dutifully pushing the talking point that liberals and progressives aren't the friends of African-Americans. Even though that crap failed in November, it's still all they've got.

  18. Coates doesn’t mention it, but

    See, Jonah, that "but" would be your problem, right there, even had he not (as HJ points out) actually mentioned it in the article you were too goddamned stupid to comprehend, as usual.

    I'm shamelessly stealing this from a comment by mark f over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money:

    Jonah’s response — his first response — to Sandy Hook was to complain that Obama doesn’t do enough to shame black people.

    [Link to relevant podcast omitted because fuck him, that's why.]

    So yeah, I'm forced to reluctantly conclude that Jonah is a stinking bigoted shitpile. Also, it's 2005, right after Katrina.

  19. Jay Schiavone11:05 AM

    It's spelled intyleckshul.

  20. "I used to think Goldberg did this shit because he came up as a fratty chucklehead who saw how much the grown-ups liked it when he acted "politically incorrect," and that he kept it up as part of a conscious attempt to peddle conservatism as the fun American ideology. But now that he is no longer remotely young and not even Goldberg is stupid enough to think conservatism is fun, I've come to the conclusion that he just doesn't like black people."
    This seems like a distinction without a difference; whenever I hear the public pipings of the particular species of "politically incorrect" twerp you invoke here, my default assumption is that this schtick is cover for his discomfort with black/brown people, for which he welcomes any reason to blame them and not himself. So where the one is present I just assume the other, and my hackles go up accordingly. But then you are much nicer than I am.

  21. Mr. Wonderful11:22 AM

    Exactly right. It's not an adventure. It's a job. They don't write to persuade. They write to reach their quota. It's a living, yes, but the downside is you end up colleagues with, and surrounded by, the hideous coven that congregates on those National Review cruises: propagandists, sharpies, cranks, and time-servers who spend all day, every day, spewing the party line and then going out for drinks. And you wonder why they don't comprehend (let alone create) culture?

  22. Funny how often you hear that in movies featuring serial killers taunting the police. It's "Stop me before I kill again" applied to social policy.

  23. I'm not even sure if he likes Prince.

    dig if you will the picture
    doughy trying to engage ta-nehisi coates
    the dust of crunchy cheddar jalapeno cheetos cover him
    can you my darling
    can you picture this?

    dream if you can a blog post
    an ocean of pseudo history in bloom
    alicurati strike curious poses
    they sense the herp
    the herp derp central to his point

  24. wileywitch11:42 AM

    OT, but just finished watching Madame Secretary of State testifying in front of a Congressional committee. Rand Paul said that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was the worst tragedy since 9/11.

    Watching Rand and McCain make fools of themselves was fun. Will there be Hillary hating blog posts for Roy to chew up? I hope so.

  25. "He's a right wing cheerleader..."

    Except that cheerleaders frequently get the status perk of hanging out with the football or basketball stars, which makes me wonder what K-Lo is getting from Jonah behind the bleachers...

  26. chuckling11:45 AM

    "Coates doesn’t mention the words “liberal” or “progressive” or “conservative."

    That's an interesting observation coming from Goldberg and, I think, sheds light on the larger situation. Coates does not mention those words because they are irrelevant to his argument, which is insightful and well-presented. Those words are all that matter to Goldberg and they central to his argument, which is fatuous in one sense, flatulent in another, ridiculously irrelevant in any.

    "At this point, such efforts no longer require open bigotry. They are simply built into the system.

    Coates condemnation of Obama's conservative Republican championed health care initiative could just as accurately be used to describe Goldberg's employment status. Putting no talent legacy rejects in top media positions does not require open bigotry, it is simply built into the system.

    Putting the two quotes and observations together, we see both the positive results and the absolute necessity for Affirmative Action and anti-discriminatory hiring laws. The little exchange on words that Goldberg uses and Coates doesn't show Coates to be the far superior writer and thinker. The fact that the two hold roughly equal jobs in the media hierarchy demonstrates the fact that one has to be four times as talented and work 20 times as hard to get and keep the same job as a wealthy, well-connected white person. And much as we might like, it's not just a conservative problem. See Luke Russert and Chris Wallace, and so many others.

  27. If Secretary Clinton doesn't roll her eyes and exclaim "Are you fucking kidding me?" at least once at this dog and pony show, I, for one, will be very disappointed.

  28. XeckyGilchrist11:54 AM

    It's a popular contard refrain, though it's not often you see it stated quite so blatantly as this: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/01/22/come-on-down-you-got-in-ya/

  29. sharculese12:02 PM

    If I have to live in a country where Rand Paul is a senator, at least I get the satisfaction of watching Paul cultists grow increasingly uncomfortable with the train wreck they caused.

  30. i bet he wears a jughead jones crown to the office.

  31. KatWillow12:25 PM

    Um- surely you're not saying Wallace & Russert are Liberals?

  32. John D.12:49 PM

    Yes, Goldberg is racist. In other news, water is wet.

  33. redoubt1:04 PM

    how can you just leave him sitting
    alone with his cheetos and gold
    maybe he'll thunder while sh--ing
    maybe he's just like his mother, tenfold
    maybe the readers can help out
    he's never had the time
    why do we even bother?
    this is what it sounds like when derps cry

  34. Uncle Kvetch1:07 PM


    Yes, Jonah.

    Is the water warm enough?

    Yes, Jonah.

    Shall we begin?

    Yes, Jonah.

  35. whetstone1:15 PM

    We write real funny 'round here
    Don't think too much, and shout too loud
    Too dumb to make it outside Buckley's gown
    Keepin' the liberals down

    We got a racist mathematician from England
    A Catholic woman from NYC
    Lucianne's kid from some Upper West Side row
    Went in dumb, come out dumb though
    Hustlin' round Manhattan in pants full of dough

    Gettin' wild every weekend with a bag of Cheetos
    Keepin' the liberals down

  36. Jay B.1:21 PM

    It's the self-satisfaction of "Sidney Webb" that drives me fucking insane about that fuckwad. Sidney fucking Webb? Davis-Bacon? It's almost as if modern history has nothing to offer as a counterpoint! Why if it wasn't for the relatively mild racism of the La Follette era at the University of Wisconsin, I'd be outraged at the Southern Strategy.

  37. Another Kiwi2:31 PM

    Oh look Jonah, this is gonna be some hard thinking but lets take it slowly. Things that progressives pushed in the olden days were called progressive because they were, in the olden days.
    Some things have changed since then, yes cars an' shit, yes I've seen pictures of men on horsies too.
    And those anti-black things were done by most people back then but usually they are done by Conservatives now. Oh crap. Look, hiding in the crawlspace doesn't solve anything! Are you listening to me??

  38. satch2:39 PM

    Hey... I wasn't the one who brought up the image of Jonah in a pleated skirt with pom-poms! And I DO mean "brought up" (urp)...

  39. chuckling2:48 PM

    No, that was a mistake. I've removed the offending line.

  40. ... Okay, never mind Clinton's civility, Chris Murphy obviously isn't interested in having Rand Paul sign his Senate yearbook any time soon:

    If some people on this committee want to call this tragedy the worst since 9/11, it misunderstands the nature of 4,000 plus Americans lost in the War in Iraq under false pretenses.

    I might have narrowly preferred pointing out that the intelligence failures of 9/11 were given a complete pass by many of the people in the room, but that's a pretty good point, too. Especially against a backdrop of "Susan Rice and the Obama administration purposely misled the American people about Benghazi."

  41. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:38 PM

    How about Geschichtsfälscher .

  42. satch5:07 PM

    I wish you were right, but I see no evidence that they ARE growing uncomfortable. If Kentuckians are really starting to regret their choice, maybe they'll take it out on McConnell in '14, but I'm not holding my breath.

  43. marindenver5:11 PM

    Not recalling which senator it was now but he put that lame claim into perspective by pointing out that more than 4,000 Americans died in the Iraq war-clusterfuck-of-incompetence.

  44. marindenver5:17 PM

    Ha, just saw that mds pointed out the same thing a little earlier. Not that it doesn't bear repeating. ;-)

  45. hells littlest angel6:30 PM

    I can see why Loadpants would dislike affirmative action: it lets a black guy get ahead simply because of who his mother is.

  46. wileywitch6:44 PM

    Durbin hit McCain's and Rand's heads out of the park. "Five words--- Iraqui Weapons of Mass Destruction. It was very gratifying and the Pugs were sorely outnumbered. You might want to watch it, because it is vindicating as all get out.

  47. wileywitch6:51 PM

    Well, with Hitler being liberal and all, it does make a strange kind of sense that conservatism can only be failed because being to the right of Hitler is really very hard.

  48. Sgaile-beairt9:25 PM

    i just wish more media commentators had pointed out, how ron pauls EVOLution logo resembled closely that of a certain well reputed vibrator manufacturer....

  49. what the fuck did the right wing have to say when two hundred and
    fifty-eight Marines got blown to fuck in, yes, an attack on an embassy?

    "RUN AWAY!"