Showing posts sorted by date for query MLK DAY. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query MLK DAY. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2024


You believe this shit was 20 years ago?

We got a lot of snow here in the Northeast and today I went back and forth from my workdesk at intervals to shovel the stuff off our sidewalk, lest by storm’s end it got two feet deep and encrusted in ice. It was a nice change of pace from my accursed day job, though I imagine if public works were my day job I’d get as sick of it (or, more likely, seriously injured in the commission of it) pretty quickly. So kudos to our local DPW! (I am also grateful that, being on the side of truth and light, I am not even figuratively required to shovel shit at you good people.) 

One cool thing: We get on well with our neighbors, so I took a few minutes to do their walk as well. A while back I went out and found they’d shoveled a layer of our walk. Sometimes it’s nice living in Baltimore! 

But you must be impatient for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies! Well, Martin Luther King Day – the one day when everyone trots out the One Quote Everyone Knows, Something About Contents – was Monday so is definitionally old news, I guess, but I have an essay that’s still fresh on why conservatives who usually try to suck up to (dead) MLK are starting to denounce him instead. I guess you could file this under Masks Coming Off. As mentioned in the post, the years of tedious “King was a conservative” posts have always been wearisome to folks like you and me, but now that the right is thoroughly MAGAfied, it seems they’ve gotten sick of it too, and are going back to their overtly racist roots. It’s a relief in a way! 

As for the second freebie, here, enjoy this accurate transcript of Vivek Ramaswamy lobbying Tubby for the VP gig. It’s a killer! 

Monday, January 15, 2024


Happy MLK Day! Usually I do a roundup of rightwingers explaining why Dr, King was rightwing too -- and in today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down MLK edition, unlocked for non-subscribers, that tendency is mentioned; but the McGuffin is Charlie Kirk’s attack on the late civil rights leader, and indeed on civil rights in general, and what it bodes for conservative MLKing. 

Generally conservatives are still giving the good Doctor lip service – though such service is increasingly strained in the age of Black Lives Matter. At PJ Media, for example, good ol’ Rick “Get a Brain” Moran has a doozy of a lede:

What would Martin Luther King believe if he were alive today? 

King lobbied for federal assistance to the poor and for a form of wealth redistribution, but he was no Communist. He was in favor of affirmative action. But it was a much different kind of "affirmative action" than the quota-based programs today.

Sounds like he’s trying to make excuses for MLK, doesn’t he? (I’d love to know the difference between King’s affirmative action and that of today’s whippersnappers, but no King quotes are offered to describe it, though Moran does manage to work in the One MLK Quote Conservatives Know. Something about content!)

But for the New Breed, it’s all about shoving King into the ash-heap of history. Littleface himself has been shitting out anti-MLK posts all day (“The deification of MLK and his proto-DEI ideology marks the exact moment that the progress of black America goes sideways…), in which he is seconded by Jack Posobiec and other major conservative thinkers. And while Scott Greer’s overt white supremacism embarrassed the Daily Caller into letting him go, he’s still packing ‘em in at his Substack with material like “MLK Worship Gives Us DEI/ Charlie Kirk is right to take on the civil rights idol.” 

You can, as in years past, hear this sort of thing today from the downscale rightwingers who have always hated King – such as the commenters at Free Republic and the Southern culture skidmarks of the Abbeville Press – but they’re no longer fringe phenomena. For reasons I point out in my REBID essay, Kirk’s slur campaign represents the future of American conservatism – or rather its present, which will be made plain sooner than later.

Monday, January 16, 2023


It’s MLK Day, and you know what that means – more rightwing bullshit about how Martin Luther King was basically a conservative Republican. I have already received an email this morning asking “Did the Deep State Kill Martin Luther King, Jr.?” (The premise is actually fairly standard conspiracy-theorizing on the assassination, but author Mike Hambrick apparently thinks the folks who believe a “Deep State” is trying to pump them full of microchips will comprise a significant part of his audience.)

In years past we’ve had bumper crops of such nonsense; the pickings are somewhat slimmer now as many rightwing outlets avoid the subject altogether or express only the most anodyne of sentiments. Maybe that’s because in these economically parlous times folks are getting acquainted with and approving some of King’s more radical ideas like a universal basic income – hell, even trimmers like the editors of Axios are admitting that the plaster-saint version of King conservatives like to push doesn’t tell the whole story (sample: “King repeatedly brought up the legacy of enslavement and the need to address structural racism in 1967 — comments that scholars say were precursors to critical race theory”). 

Still, National Review feels compelled to put its oar in via “ISI Fellow at National Review and a graduate student at Georgetown University” Bobby Miller:

What Reagan Understood About MLK

Doubtless this headline has most of NR’s readers expecting some revelation from heretofore secret Reagan docs in which the Gipper tells us what he really thought about that damned commie, but it’s really just standard-issue trolling:

…While progressives have long excoriated conservatives for having been insufficiently supportive of that movement, the historical record is much more nuanced than the monochromatic narrative they present. Admittedly, the Right has been far from perfect on this critical issue.

Well, Miller’s lost most of his audience there but we’re still here so:

But the notion that conservatives — those genuinely committed to safeguarding the legacy of the American Revolution and the promulgation of liberty and virtue — are somehow responsible for segregation, a cause championed by John C. Calhoun, the “Marx of the Master Class” himself, and other Southern populist miscreants, is absurd.

Yeah, that’s how most Southerners think about Calhoun – an apostle of the redistribution of wealth! 

One of the inconvenient facts confounding the left-wing account of the civil-rights movement is President Ronald Reagan’s establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Those of us who were around know that a veto-proof majority in Congress and public opinion forced it on the old bastard, who found himself getting called a “sleazeball” by Eddie Murphy and losing some of the saintly patina with which his handlers had assiduously coated him. But Miller says that contrary to “conventional wisdom” and the evidence of one’s own eyes, Reagan was a big King fan because he said some nice things about King in 1987 and recognized that “irrespective of his views on how to best organize society, King believed that America is fundamentally good,” which attitude Miller contrasts with that of “contemporary social-justice warriors, who want us to think that the country is immutably racist and rotten to its core,” a not-at-all-tendentious rendering of the liberal position and similar to that of Ben Shapiro today (“group redistributionism and racial discrimination”). As the old saying sort of has it, when you don’t have the law or the facts, pound the strawman. 

I’ll add more later if I get a chance, but for now I’ll leave you with this from Deroy Murdock at the Spectator, who considers black wingnut Byron Donalds getting some Speaker of the House votes from Republicans and white Americans feeling bad about Damar Hamlin’s injury to be signs that racism is over: “If Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today and turning 94," he says, "he might survey all of this black success and warmth toward black Americans, smile, and say, ‘We have overcome.’” I’ll go this far: It would indeed be nice to live in that alternate universe where King was not shot to death for what he was trying to do.

Monday, January 20, 2020


Conservative MLK Day tributes are always hilarious. This year the brethren seem to have coordinated on the theme that King wasn't really as interested in winning rights for black people as he was in helping conservatives defeat social justice warriors.

A few wingnut outlets go old school: "Does Martin Luther King Day Honor a Communist?" asks a thing called Headline Wealth (one of the Senile Rageaholic Grandpa sites I used to cover), and avers that it does, because the ex-communist Stanley Levison gave him money, supporting "FBI claims that King had told Levison that he was a Marxist." They also repeat the FBI claim that King watched a guy commit rape and laughed, which has also been circulated by more prominent conservative outlets, who always act as if the vile charge were undisputed. 

But most of the brethren realize outright demonization of King is no go, and so try to portray him as one of them, or at least the enemy of their enemies. "The woke Left vs. Martin Luther King Jr." editorializes the Washington Examiner:
The cultural Left’s intersectionality crusade has separated the country into different corners: White people are not permitted to address racial issues, and men are forbidden from speaking about women’s matters (i.e. abortion).

This is exactly what King feared.
If a guy can't advocate white and male supremacy without getting yelled at, MLK's Dream is over.'s important also to acknowledge that those who claim to be carrying on King's struggle for justice in modern times have strayed far from his dream..

Instead, they have embraced an identity politics that veers from merely fighting against all forms of discrimination, to carving people up by race, gender, sexual orientation, and placing those distinctions above all else...
Imagine MLK coming back today and seeing people fighting for Latino, immigrant, and gay rights! Boy, would he be mad. The Examiner also says MLK sided with Israel against "Arabs" ("Asked about the argument advanced by a black editor who viewed Arabs as people of color and thus supported them against Israel, King was dismissive"), without noting that, in the very same interview the Examiner cites, King said "peace for the Arabs means the kind of economic security that they so desperately need" and called for a "Marshall Plan for the Middle East, where we lift those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder and bring them into the mainstream of  economic security," which is the opposite of what both the Israeli government and American conservatives endorse for Palestinians.

At GraniteGrok, Steve MacDonald:
Today, equality, when invoked from the left, is about silencing free speech or ideas with which the Democrats disagree.

They empower their quest by calling it hate speech, bullying, bigoted, or even supremacist. As if there were a form of supremacy higher than using the power of the state to deny human beings the right to express ideas of which it disapproves.

Martin Luther King Jr. had plenty to say about that.
There follows an MLK quote in favor of free speech, which MacDonald interprets as a wicked burn on "The Democrat party, some in the media, the white tower, and more than a handful of street thugs" who "work diligently to deny you free association and expression even your right to free press –- as a creator, curators, or consumer." Again, if you have to go on Gab because Twitter won't publish your Nazi propaganda, the Dream is over.

The New York Post:
We suspect [King would] also be distressed by the hypersensitivity and growing political correctness of today’s discussions about race — the near-impossibility of honest dialogue and the insistence by too many to label any who disagree with them as racists...

And, while hailing the beautiful prose of writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, he’d be saddened by their pessimism about the possibilities for true and full racial reconciliation.
Picture King shaking his head at Coates: "Brother Ta-Nehisi, you have to give the white man a break. How can we achieve true equality if Stefan Molyneaux can't use Mailchimp to send his white supremacist newsletter?"

Maybe the best is by Jeremy Lott at The American Spectator:
About 30 years after King delivered his speech, a young white high school student in Tacoma, Washington, delivered fragments of that same speech over the school intercom. He did so by mimicking Reverend King’s great, deep voice, which apparently rubbed a few black students the wrong way. A friend warned him, “Do you want to get your ass kicked?” He was bumped into a few times and nudged up against a locker. He left by a different route than normal to avoid such a conflict.

That naive student was me, of course. It wasn’t the huge deal it could have become. Things didn’t escalate into the Great MLK Day Throwdown, thank God. By the next day, folks had let it go. Looking back, it’s really amusing. Still, it helped to reinforce in my mind an important lesson: dreamy idealism will get you only so far in life.
The message of Martin Luther King is boy, those black people are touchy!

UPDATE. Meanwhile in Richmond at the big gun fetishist flex,
 Won't someone please think of the militias?

UPDATE 2. I thought National Review's MLK tribute would be utterly anodyne, the magazine having been in a confused defensive crouch since the dawn of the Trump era. But Roger Clegg turns in a honey. He spends the first half of it praising Donald Trump, and eventually gets to the black people:
Black Lives Matter and Michelle Alexander’s polemics to the contrary notwithstanding, the reason there are a disproportionate number of African-American prison inmates is not because of racist laws or law-enforcers: It’s simply because a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by African Americans.
Um, Happy MLK Day?  Here's his wow finish:
Now, I said that Americans really aren’t hopelessly divided with respect to foreign policy, capitalism, and our constitutional structure: Am I exaggerating when I assert that there is such a division with respect to law, work, family, patriotism, and God?

Well, no doubt there are plenty of people who voted for Hillary Clinton and like at least a couple of items on that list. But I do think there is more of a division here, and certainly it’s more reasonable for a lot of Americans to perceive it here. In one way or another, the Left derides them all — and one major political party is unwilling to challenge the Left, because its politicians and leadership are afraid to.

I’ll end by saying that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while not blameless in his entire legacy, did not intend to reject any of them.
So King was kind of a shit, just like the Democrats, but at least he did his damage unintentionally. Well, no black people read National Review, so no harm no foul.

Monday, January 21, 2019


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, guys. As I did in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017, I have taken a tour of the conservative sites celebrating this year's edition.

At National Review, Congressional Liberty Caucus troll Mike Lee:
Toward the end of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. turned his attention from an exclusive focus on racial justice to unequal opportunity more generally. The United States was “a nation gorged on money,” he wrote, “while millions of its citizens are denied a good education, adequate health services, decent housing, meaningful employment, and even respect, and are then told to be responsible.” He specifically blamed federal policymakers for “subsidies of the rich and unemployment and underemployment of the poor.”
This may put you and I in mind of King's proposed guaranteed income plan, but Lee is all about the Constitutional right to starve (in both the transitive and the intransitive sense), and so celebrates Martin Luther King by comparing him to one of his Fox News heroes:
King’s indictment against the status quo of his time, and against the political and economic elite responsible for it, could be leveled almost word for word today. Indeed, some people — and not just liberals — are still making that indictment today. 
In the wake of Tucker Carlson’s viral populist manifesto earlier this month, populist- and libertarian-leaning conservatives have been debating the same point King raised over 50 years ago. Does economic inequality depend on individuals’ good and bad choices, or on the social circumstances in which individuals make those decisions?
In case you missed it, Carlson's speech -- widely heralded in the rightwing intellectual Kingdom of the Blind -- mainly complained that capitalism wasn't doing enough for poor white people. Lee is also worried about whitey, but spares a thought for black folk, who suffer from the bitter legacy of slavery -- not because of continued racism by whites, but because slavery discouraged marriage ("Husbands and fathers were prohibited from exercising the authority that men at the time were supposed to wield") and, as we all know, marriage makes you rich, so we can show our solidarity with our black brothers and sisters by nagging them into wedlock and cutting food stamps.

Elsewhere, the Daily Signal talks with King's anti-abortion crackpot daughter Alveda ("the baby’s not her body. Where’s the lawyer for the baby?"). At Liberty Unyielding Mark Angelides does the traditional wingnut yak about how while King's "clarion call to look past race, color, and creed... has been distorted by the left and become nothing more than a hierarchical structure based on characteristics rather than character." Shorter: You're the real racist! Angelides -- who, "hailing from the UK... specializes in EU politics and provides a conservative/libertarian voice on all things from across the pond" -- then goes further, blaming the media for "its overvaluing of content based on protected characteristics" of the sort found in civil rights legislation, which is presumably the real racism. The argument of a British Brexit operative should count just as much as that of your local blackamoors!

And God help us, Jeff Jacoby:
As MLK Foresaw, Racism in America Has Been Largely Overcome 
“I have no despair about the future,” wrote the Rev. Martin Luther King in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in April 1963. “I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham…. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.” 
He was right.
Thus Jacoby reduces King from a civil rights leader to a crystal-ball gazer, like Criswell. He was the real Negrodamus! Racism is "only a minor problem now," says Jacoby, "one that has grown steadily less toxic and less entrenched." The polls all say so! If you're still complaining, you're just a Gloomy Gus, because like V-E Day and V-J Day, MLK Day is about celebrating the end of something bad.

And John Hinderaker at Power Line pretends to be puzzled that a basketball team from a predominantly black high school refused to play a rural white team whose fans displayed a Trump banner at their game on MLK Day. To anyone with half a brain the situation is obvious, but Hinderaker plays dumb -- "I don’t think it is particularly appropriate, but why does Walker think the fact that his team is predominantly black is somehow relevant? President Trump has done a great deal more for black Americans than Barack Obama ever did" -- and then throws up his hands: "Oh, please. 'People of color in the U.S.' are among the most privileged people on the planet." By the way, in case you were wondering why people think the Covington students' defense by other prominent conservatives is bullshit, this is why.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


...of my Top 10 Stupid Rightblogger Tricks. Special double-length column, no extra charge!

Long as it is, I had a couple of outtakes:

Wingnut lawyer calls civil rights hero a “fraud.”

John Lewis, now a Democratic Representative in Congress from Georgia, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 and got his skull cracked for it. Lewis also got attacked by new President Donald Trump around the weekend of MLK Day 2017, after Lewis criticized his repulsive civil rights record, and Power Line’s John Hinderaker backed Trump thus: “Lewis is invariably described as a ‘civil rights icon,’ but the man is an utter fraud.”

How a man cruelly beaten in the cause of civil rights might be considered a fraud - especially by a guy whose greatest sacrifice to his own cause might be working late on Friday — Hinderaker didn’t explain. “There is no reason to treat John Lewis with kid gloves,” he sniffed, “and Donald Trump doesn’t do so.” Or, to paraphrase: You may be a national hero, but I am a shameless and energetic hack in the service of a buffoon, and history shows that I have the advantage.

Liberal Fascism for Dummies.

Normally I’d leave this spot open for Jonah Goldberg, and God knows he has plenty of worthy entries this year — like this one, in which he mused that in the post-Lincoln era, “I’d like to think I’d have been in the Radical Republican camp myself.” Try to imagine the inventor of the “Marion Berry cocktail… equal parts Jaegermeister, Kaluha, Bourbon and Coke; ‘So black not even the man can keep it down!’” hanging out with Thaddeus Stevens.

But Goldberg has been outstripped by Dinesh D’Souza, longtime rightwing operative and convicted felon: While Goldberg got his most recent fame boost in 2008 with Liberal Fascism, a dumb book about how liberals are the Real You-Know-Whats, D’Souza has published The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of American Left, which, on the evidence of D’Souza’s August column, “THE SEX PERVERT AS ANTI-FASCIST,” appears to be similar in theme and even dumber.

I can hardly encapsulate it here, but the basic idea is that Frankfurt School Marxists tricked college kids into having orgies: “Marcuse’s celebration of outright perversion was a mantra that could not be more perfectly timed in the 1960s.” And getting all sexed up like this also made them liberal Nazis, because “while the rutting bohemians of the 1960s had no idea, Marcuse surely knew that the Nazis and the Italian fascists were themselves – almost to a man – bohemians.”

Hitler, for example, “was a painter and artiste before he went into politics,” wrote D’Souza; he listened to Wagner, and “was also a vegetarian.” And you stupid liberals think arts appreciation and tofu make you enlightened — if actually means you’re a Nazi!

Even being gay is part of the liberal Nazi nexus — did you know about Ernst Rohm? Indeed, “the Nazi atmosphere in those days… far more closely resembles that of the Village Voice or the Democratic National Convention than it does the National Review or the Trump White House.”

He’s got us dead to rights there. I just wonder why the guys marching around chanting “Jews will not replace us” don’t get in on the sex and bohemianism; I mean, I hear they can’t even beat off. Can merely hating Jews and pluralism really be enough of a payoff?

Monday, January 16, 2017


...about how conservatives celebrated MLK Day by beating up King's old comrade John Lewis.

The column came too soon, alas, to cover as alicublog has done in the past the more general rightwing Martin Luther King Day tributes. But some of the brethren stepped up early. At Laura Ingraham's LifeZette, Lee Habeeb, whose gibberish has been examined here before, claims "the media" doesn't want us to know that King was a man of God.
"Leaving God out of Martin Luther King's life," a friend once told me, "is like leaving naked young women out of Hugh Hefner's. It's like leaving the story of segregation out of Jackie Robinson's."
Yet the filthy media takes the segregation from Jackie Robinson's story and puts it in King's too, which is double-dipping!
But that won't stop the media from redacting any and all references to the source of King's inspiration. You'll hear endless references to Dr. Martin Luther King this week — but never to Reverend King.
The lesson is that King has been hijacked by race hustlers who think he was about equality or social justice or some shit. Similarly, at National Review Ian Smith says King was a fan of Cesar Chavez, so he would have been against illegal immigrants, just like You Know Who, and that's his Real Message, never mind this race nonsense. He looked forward to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by The Conscience of a Conservative!

Somehow these guys never bring up that King advocated a guaranteed national income.

Monday, January 19, 2015


As we have done in years past, let's see what gifts the brethren have brought us for Martin Luther King Day. Ah, here's Ann Althouse's: She directs us to this passage from a phone tape of LBJ and MLK --
LBJ: We want equality for all, and we can stand on that principle. But I think that you can contribute a great deal by getting your leaders and you yourself, taking very simple examples of discrimination where a man's got to memorize [Henry Wadsworth] Longfellow or whether he's got to quote the first 10 Amendments or he's got to tell you what amendment 15 and 16 and 17 is, and then ask them if they know and show what happens. And some people don't have to do that. But when a Negro comes in, he's got to do it. And we can just repeat and repeat and repeat. I don't want to follow [Adolph] Hitler, but he had a--he had a[n] idea...
MLK: Yeah.
LJB: ...that if you just take a simple thing and repeat it often enough, even if it wasn't true, why, people accept it. Well, now, this is true, and if you can find the worst condition that you run into in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, or South Carolina, where... well, I think one of the worst I ever heard of is the president of the school at Tuskegee or the head of the government department there or something being denied the right to a cast a vote. And if you just take that one illustration and get it on radio and get it on television and get it in the pulpits, get it in the meetings, get it every place you can, pretty soon the fellow that didn't do anything but follow... drive a tractor, he's say, "Well, that's not right. That's not fair."
MLK: Yes.
LJB: And then that will help us on what we're going to shove through in the end.
MLK: Yes. You're exactly right about that...
Althouse's headline:
50 years ago today: LBJ and MLK talked on the telephone... "I don't want to follow Hitler, but he had a... he had a idea..."
The boys at the Daily Caller get the idea, and repeat the anecdote under a more explicit headline for their particular readership:
From The Archives: 50 Years Ago, Lyndon Johnson Urged Martin Luther King, Jr. To Be More Like Hitler
This year let us all remember the true meaning of MLK Day: Liberal Fascism!

Meanwhile at Canada Free Press, John Lillpop has his own idea of the true meaning of MLK Day, which he complains has been hijacked by black people:
However extensive the shutdown of government and private enterprise will be, there is one industry that will be open for business as usual, that being the race-baiting for profit business led by Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, and Eric Holder, among others.
I knew there was someone I forgot to send a card to! Lillpop also has an interesting idea about the goals of the post-Ferguson protests:
The fact that thousands of blacks marched in Ferguson, Missouri to demand the death of Police officer Darren Wilson, who had been acquitted of wrong-doing by a legally constituted grand jury in the death of criminal Michael Brown, is testament to the power and intensity of the vitriol spewed by Obama, Sharpton, and Holder.
One must wonder how Dr. King would view the facts surrounding the Michael Brown death. 
Would King join the protesters in demanding that the rule of law be suspended and that Wilson be freed from police custody and handed over to street gangsters...
Similarly, the civil rights marchers of the '60s just wanted to lynch Bull Connor. Another alternate history of recent events is supplied by  Dan Dagget at American Thinker:
...race baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson demanded that Brown not be judged by concrete evidence of the quality of his character but that the color of his skin made him immune to such judgment.
That filing must have been be sealed. Release the Free-a-Brother Documents!
Furthermore, they declared that anyone who tried to apply such judgment (in effect, applying King’s Dream) was a racist.
Doesn’t that mean they were calling Martin Luther King Jr. a racist?
This is up there with "You say you're for peace and love, so how come you don't love me?"

UPDATE. At Raw Story, Scott Kaufman lists "12 statements by Martin Luther King Jr. you won’t see conservatives post on Facebook today." Pretty good, but he missed the ones in which King called for a guaranteed income. Wait'll the boys at Reason, who like to portray King as a victim of statism, find out the Reverend was a big ol' moocher!

UPDATE 2. Speaking of moochers, and with a hat tip to @WineJerk, here's Power Line's Paul Mirengoff with something unreconstructed:
It’s not surprising that transferring money from whites to blacks is at the core of Obama’s agenda. This was, after all, Martin Luther King’s final mission, as Mufson points out. And, as with any good socialist, it has been Obama’s mission since his days as a left-wing “community organizer” and before.
Give him credit -- unlike his comrades, Mirengoff isn't pretending to like King.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


This Jeffrey Lord conniption at The American Spectator is inspired by that Bill Maher/Ben Affleck controversy. Most of it is grrroot, I hates me a mooslim, but are you ready for the really crazy bit? All right, Igor: Release... the bats!
And what were those freedom riders and other civil rights leaders of the day asking for? They demanded what we now call “boots on the ground.” Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy responded to various crises in places like Little Rock, Arkansas, and Oxford, Mississippi, by sending in those boots — the National Guard. Various segregation hot beds targeted by civil rights protesters were flooded with federal marshals. When dogs and fire hoses were loosed on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, or a church was bombed killing four little girls, or when the Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, occurred — with demonstrators being beaten to a pulp in full view of the cameras — the demand from Americans for action rose even higher. When three civil rights workers were yanked from their cars, murdered and their bodies stuffed in an earthen dam? When a Detroit housewife named Viola Liuzzo was shot to death as she drove a black fellow-civil rights worker to their next stop? As with the reaction today to the videotaped beheadings of American journalists, American public opinion angrily rallied for action.
Record scratch -- cross ya neck! No, you didn't hallucinate it -- Lord just compared the American civil rights movement to our latest skirmish in the War on Whatchamacallit.
What is the difference between all those Klan lynchings and the horrendous murders of “non-believers” in Islam committed by jihadists? One group committed its crimes in the name of racial superiority, and the other today commits its savage acts in the name of religious superiority.
Also, one was right here in the fucking United States and the other is in the Mesopotamian wreckage of our last few idiotic Middle East safaris. Nonetheless Lord insists they're the same thing, to be fought the same way, and brings all his rhetorical skills to the argument, e.g.:
Can you imagine the outcry if the authorities then or today — classified or re-classified the murder of Emmett Till as simply a case of “domestic violence”?
Which is pretty funny, considering that Lord is also the author of the classic AmSpec article, "TRAYVON, SHARPTON, AND HOMOPHOBIA: Did anti-gay prejudice lead Trayvon Martin to attack George Zimmerman?"

Still, I suppose we should be grateful that Lord is pretending to support civil rights, as he does from time to time, if only as a subterfuge; vice pays to virtue and all that.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


...about that New York Times Magazine story on libertarians we discussed the other day, and rightblogger reactions to it.

This one has loads of director's-cut extras. For example, I wanted to include a bit about how libertarians sometimes propose something less vicious than usual in a touching attempt to appear human; but word count was getting out of hand. So I include the excised section below for you late-night real-people:
True, sometimes a libertarian will try to stir the pot with ideas that are not just straight-up starve-the-poor: For example, Charles Murray, the Cato Institute, and others have floated the idea of a national guaranteed income, on the grounds that it would remove the disincentives of traditional welfare. (Part of the irony here is that the statist Martin Luther King, Jr. also wanted a national guaranteed income; by the way, last MLK Day, Reason's Nick Gillespie honored the Reverend's memory with "Ending the War on Pot Would Help Complete Martin Luther King's Call for Civil Rights," which is just about as libertarian a headline as one can possibly imagine.) 
At Reason Matthew Feeney talked this up, though, he nervously allowed as how "those who are not fans of Murray’s guaranteed income may be more open to Milton Friedman’s negative income tax," since libertarians, like other conservatives, love anything that looks like tax reform.  
But alas, guaranteed income looks like a non-starter among the libertarian rank and file. "Libertarians don't need to dream up anti-libertarian crap to promote," cried Thomas Knapp. "We've already got people who are willing and able to do that. They're called statists and they are perfectly well-qualified to vomit up nonsense like [Cato's guaranteed income argument]..." Even more to the point, take a quick look at Feeney's commenters, and you will see many ripe examples of the dominant attitude among libertarians toward giving the moochers anything at all, e.g., "Personally, if it were up to me, SNAP would only purchase some sort of horrid nutritional gruel," etc.
By the way, if you think the libertarian cartoons we used in the column were wacky, you should see this.

UPDATE. Not that I want to take attention away from our subjects (let alone my column -- please click, they beat us if no one clicks) -- but I found so many numbskulls while researching this that I am compelled to share, and one of my favorites is Sheldon Richman -- remember him from that amazing "How to Talk to Non-Libertarians" article, which is right up there with Lenny Bruce's "How to Relax Your Colored Friends at Parties"*? Well, now he has one at Reason called "Can't Help But Be a Libertarian" and holy shit:
It's not easy being a libertarian. I am not looking for sympathy when I say that.
<laugh></pretend weep><laugh></pretend weep>
I just mean to point out that rejecting the conventional wisdom on virtually (do I really need this adverb?) every political question, current and historical, can be wearying. Life could be so much simpler if it were otherwise. No doubt about that. I really don't like conflict, especially when it can quickly turn personal, as it so often does. (I embrace the advice that one can disagree without being disagreeable.) But for a libertarian, disagreement with most people is not an option — we can't help it.
<beats tiny fists> Oh, if only I could be a littlebrain!</beats tiny fists>  But alas, wonderful conversational gambits like "if you follow the steps of an algebraic problem and see why X=4, do you have a choice about whether to believe that X=4?" aren't working for him. "If you grasp that an inference logically follows from factual premises and self-evident axioms, can you really elect to disbelieve it?" he blubbers. "I don't see how." Please, invite this poor schlub to your next party -- for freedom!

* "What the hell is that guy -- the guy on the Cream of Wheat box?" is one of my favorite things in thingdom. 

Monday, January 20, 2014


On MLK Day -- rightblogger reactions to which we've made a point of following over the years -- it's good to be reminded that Martin Luther King Jr. was, in addition to a great advocate of equality under the law, a committed leftist who supported labor unions, a swift end to the Vietnam War, and several measures against income inequality including a guaranteed basic income for all Americans.

The reason it's good to be reminded of this is that all kinds of crazy fuckers are using the occasion to portray King as a wingnut, mainly because they know denouncing King isn't too hip and they're obliged to interpret the "content of their character" bit to mean that giving black people a break is the worst kind of racism.

At National Review, for example, Roger Clegg and Hans von Spakovsky wish to celebrate the Day with state legislation "outlawing government racial preferences" -- not in the old-fashioned civil-rights sense of Jim Crow laws, but in "the politically correct version that discriminates against whites, and often Asians (particularly in college admissions), by giving preferences to other racial or ethnic groups like blacks and Hispanics." Because if there's one thing that burned Dr. King's butt, it was some black kid getting into college and thus freezing out some deserving honky.

DaTechGuy gives his space over to some pastor who sermonizes:
We all need to be thankful that in the scheme of Providence that men like Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr., President Ronald Regan, and the founder of Prison Fellowship Mr. Charles “Chuck” Colson all utilized their great oratory gifts in a responsible manner.
DaTechGuy post-scripts that if King were alive today "he would be considered a person spouting 'hate speech' by the very people pol that profit off his legacy today" because of his "Orthodox Christianity," which conversion by King I'm not sure I've heard of -- could DaTechGuy be thinking of Rod Dreher?

You can sort of tell where Donald Conkey of the Cherokee (GA) Tribune is going when he refers to "the Negro, as King referred to his people in a day before the term Negro was 'politically incorrect.'" Sure enough, Conkey asserts that King would not be happy with "the directional changes made by his associates shortly after his death. I strongly believe his associates sold out King’s dream to Lyndon Johnston’s Great Society..." If his analysis seems appallingly ignorant of history, please remember he's just trying to defend King from accusations of liberalism. (Also, did you know that "when a white congressman attempted to join [the Congressional Black Caucus] he was refused membership"? That's the real racism right there.)

Representing the libertarian angle, Nick Gillespie writes, "Ending the War on Pot Would Help Complete Martin Luther King's Call for Civil Rights." Glad to see those cowboys have their priorities straight.

Some of the brethren can't be reconstructed. Public nuisance Kathy Shaidle revives some of her Ooga Booga greatest hits and hey, did you know King was an adulterer?  "Happy Martin Luther King Day. Obama Blames Race for His Abysmal Approval Ratings," headlines radio shouter Teri O'Brien. "If it weren’t for his race, this empty suit would still be on a Chicago street corner with his clipboard and bullhorn," says O'Brien. Well, at least she didn't refer to a shoeshine kit, so maybe King was right about the arc of history.

UPDATE. At The Raw Story Scott Kaufman fills in some blanks, and segues into some strange conservative reactions to the epic rants of Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman. I especially enjoyed that Deadspin included John Podhoretz in "Dumb People Say Stupid, Racist Shit About Richard Sherman."

Monday, April 29, 2013


Hey, an NBA player says he's gay, great. This is something liberals and libertarians can agree on, right? Not if libertarians can help it! Matt Welch at Reason:
The Importance of Allowing People to Say That You Can’t Be a Gay Basketball Player and a Christian
He's talking about ESPN's Chris Broussard, who for the crime of criticizing the gay basketball player was beaten to death. Okay, not murdered, just beaten. Okay, not beaten, just criticized by people on Twitter, which is still censorship (because anything short of responding to Broussard's mouth-fart with "Intelligent people can disagree" and a pat on the back would be).
Broussard is predictably getting beaten to a rhetoric pulp on Twitter. And while I think today is a wonderful, watershed day for people (especially the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) to live as open and free as they wanna be, I agree with the New York Post editorial Robert George here: "Chris Broussard spoke what more than a few players feel. If such comments aren't expressed, a real conversation can't be had."
Actually America had this conversation for years. Thesis: "DIE FAGGOT!" Antithesis: (cries of pain). Fascist that I am, I don't see any point in reviving it.
And sometimes engaging with the I'm not ready to go that far just yet crowd brings out the best in activists. See, for example, Martin Luther King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."
MLK was glad people were opposing him -- in fact, he'd have been disappointed if people suddenly gave up and let him have what he wanted. Where'd be the fun in that? And getting assassinated was just an inevitable part of the process.

There is only one possible explanation for Welch's bizarre post: As I've been saying for years, libertarianism is just a hipper line extension of conservatism, the rightwing version of Budweiser Black Crown. So if liberals like something you'd imagine libertarians would approve, Reasonoids still have to maintain the anti-liberal brand positioning by bitching about it in a way the mouth-breathers can approve. The cleverer ones will do it by explaining how gay rights is statist, but with the kind of funding they have, there's really no need for a libertarian to be clever. Q.E.D.

Monday, January 16, 2012

THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTERIZATIONS. Every MLK Day you get conservatives talking about how Martin Luther King was kind of a Rick Santorum type. At The Heritage Fondation this year, Matt Spalding drew the short straw:
Conservatives, of course, have reservations about certain aspects of King’s legacy. For one, he became too close, later in his career, to the welfare state. He was enamored of the theology of the Social Gospel, the movement that undermined much of mainstream Protestantism in the 20th century. Later in life, he was a vocal opponent of American involvement in the Vietnam. And we now know that in his scholarship and personal life King was far from perfect.

Nevertheless, there are three ways in which King’s message is profoundly conservative and relevant.
And we move on to the platitudes that prove King was right-wing, e.g.:
He believed in work ethic and thrift and spoke against crime and disorderly conduct.
Whereas liberals lay around in beanbag chairs in between trips to cash their welfare checks at the liquor store which they also rob. Still, we must never forget that the man was no Reagan:
This forgotten aspect of King’s thought is told expertly in an article entitled “Where Dr. King Went Wrong”...
After a bellyful of this, it's almost refreshing to read racist loon Marcus Epstein's "Myths of Martin Luther King" at, in which he tells conservatives to stop trying to insist that King was one of them ("the problem with this view is that King openly advocated quotas and racial set-asides"). Here's a more up-to-date version of the same thing. Deranged, yes, but at least they know what conservatism is.

Unfortunately conservatives will never heed their advice, because they're still compelled to seek office and the opportunities to loot the treasury that come with it, and after a solid year of Ooga Booga and dog whistles they only have the third Monday in January to try and convince America that they were just kidding.

UPDATE. In comments, a couple of readers notice Spalding's "later in his career... later in life" schtick, like King was a good Chamber of Commerce type until he went to a be-in or something. "'Later in life'?" asks Doghouse Riley. "The man didn't make it to forty. The fact was in all the papers at the time." Fats Durston fixates on that "Where Dr. King Went Wrong" book, which according to Spalding posits that "King turned to the welfare state when he became disheartened by the emergence of the black underclass." "Yeah," says Durston, "no black underclass existed before the civil rights movement. It only arose because of, well, fuckifIknow, but probably hippies or late '50s jazz."

Provider_UNE is looking forward to February, when conservatives "start screeching like wild banshees about the lack of a White History month."

Worth noting also: Ole Perfesser Instapundit celebrated MLK Day by denouncing "corrupt and racist" gun controllers and pleading for "sensible gun laws" -- i.e., cheap and plentiful pistols in major urban areas -- "...that don’t oppress minorities or entrap honest citizens." If his sudden interest in racism and the oppression of minorities surprises you, please note that he was talking about early 20th Century Irish and Italian immigrants, not the you-know-whats. This is the Perfesser we're talking about here. (Oh, and now he's pretending he didn't know that "liver lips" has been used as a racial slur. Other prominent internet conservatives experience no such confusion.)

Friday, September 02, 2011

MARXIST LUTHER KING, EXPOSED! American conservatism has entered a very weird phase. We've talked here about their recent revival of racist tropes (or as I like to call it, the old Ooga Booga). Obnoxious as it is, it has another extraordinary feature; it represents a sharp departure from normal rightwing practice. Though they have always had obvious racists like Pat Buchanan amongst them, conservatives have also (at least since racism became somewhat uncool) maintained certain "I'm no racist, look at this non-racist thing I do" gambits. You may remember, for example, how they've bragged on the few black people at Tea Party rallies as proof that theirs is an Afro-friendly movement.

A longer-lived staple of conservative anti-racist cred has been their effusions over Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, back in the old days they hated King ("For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country" -- National Review. More here!). But when things got a little hot for them, bigotry-wise, they shifted to declaring King a good conservative; on every MLK Day, in and among their many confused tributes, you'll see many that insist King's vision of a color-blind society is exactly what conservatives have been trying to do all along. Then they grab parasols and handkerchiefs, burst into "When The Saints Go Marchin' In," and dance around. It's a grisly sight.

But that may be changing. Get a load of this editorial by Jeffrey T. Kuhner in the Washington Times, the Moonie wingnut paper:
Undoubtedly, King deserves much praise...

Yet, there was a dark side to King and it should not be ignored. Its effects continue to plague our society. Contrary to popular myth, the Baptist minister was a hypocrite who consistently failed to uphold his professed Christian standards. His rampant adultery...
Boy, nobody tell Kuhner about Jack Kennedy, that doorty Irishman! These ancient accusations are the sort of thing white supremacists like to play with, but which leave most of us who are under 80 cold, so Kuhner moves on to the sort of thing everyone in 2011 is worried about:
Moreover, King was a radical leftist. He promoted socialism, pacifism and the appeasement of totalitarian communism. He opposed the Vietnam War...

At home, he called for heavy public spending, urban renewal and a cradle-to-grave nanny state... racial quotas... affirmative action and billions in welfare assistance... identity politics...
This is the point in the peroration where a less self-possessed demagogue might start yelling about welfare queens and Cadillacs. But we're not there yet, brothers and sisters (and Jeffrey T. Kuhner may not get there with you, though not for lack of trying); instead he goes here:
King’s leftism ultimately betrayed his original civil rights creed.
Because affirmative action, set-asides, etc. Also, "King’s socialism also convinced many blacks to adopt welfare liberalism."

Gotta give Kuhner credit: This bit about civil rights hurting black people is wingnut SOP of long standing, but it takes some stones to suggest that Martin Luther King is the real racist.

But conservatism has gotten crazy enough that you can try something like that, it seems. Any day now we'll see them burning effigies of Alexander Hamilton because he sold us out to the mercantilists (substitute "Jews" in some jurisdictions). Or maybe Lincoln -- I mean, what was that Civil War about? Statism and giving black people a new bunch of so-called "rights"! The boys at Free Republic have been all over that shit for years; they used to be considered fringe, but compared to what's coming, they're Rockefeller Republicans.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This country sucks.

Honorable mention: The headline on Brian Hughes' article at the Washington Examiner, "Obama still faces daunting challenges as Libya changes," is even better in the paper edition I received outside the Metro station* this morning: "Obama challenged by chaos in Libya." It's time to pull out of that quagmire, which will never be the success our led-from-the-front victories such as Iraq have been.

* Oh, yeah, the quake: Kia and I were downtown. As a former Californian, she was unfazed (she says such a dinky temblor would rate a two-inch squib in the Cali papers). It was my first, and I'm glad the Earth was gentle. All office drones got the rest of the day off, so we had a few drinks at the St. Regis and went down to look at the MLK Memorial:

Not sure I like the hewn-from-the-rock effect -- it's very literal, and puts me in mind of a Ray Harryhausen special effect in which King bursts out of the rock and inches forward, roaring, as the earth shakes. But the quotes along the wall are effective, and King's face is very good; when we first saw it, it looked stern and schoolmasterish, but it softens as the light and angle change.

The other visitors seemed to like it fine. Don't know what they thought about the aesthetics, but they were certainly happy to see it there.

Monday, January 17, 2011

OBLIGATORY MLK POST. It's an alicublog tradition to call out some of our favorite conservative tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. on his Federal holiday. So far cowboy Alan Stang leads the pack, with his essay "UN-CELEBRATE MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY":
...the King holiday was proclaimed, after considerable, racist intimidation, when the nation knew hardly anything about him, not alone because it was inflicted so soon after his death, but because by court order the truth about him was suppressed. Yes, that is correct; we have a national holiday for a man whose wife got a court ruling that suppresses the facts about him until 2027 to spare the intense embarrassment she would have felt had the truth been revealed.
The fella's got a point -- after all, when word got out about Sally Hemmings, there went the Jefferson's Birthday Federal holiday!

Further into the column you can read some fascinating testimony from former Montgomery, AL Chief of Police Drue Lackey about the Freedom Rides:
Those four days on the road had turned into an habitual sex orgy by the time they reached the capitol. King was always seen on TV marching in the front row among clean, well-disciplined performers. It was all a sham. He stayed partying separately most of those days, and would only arrive in a chauffeured limousine for appointed press deadlines, leaving immediately after.
The Lame Stream Media shows white celebrities like Paris Hilton in sex tapes all the time, yet where are the photos of Martin Luther King snorting coke, banging whores, and vomiting in alleys? It's obviously a cover-up.
Most of the others put off at least until nightfall, what they had come for, as this mob had been bused in from across the country and around the world: unemployed Blacks, White students, party activists of both races, on promises of all the free food, booze and sex they wanted.

They reached Montgomery late on the afternoon of March 24, 1965, and spent the night at St. Jude’s where they had been invited. We kept security along with the National Guard, for the local Whites were up in arms. We witnessed them sleeping on the ground all together, and a lot of sexual activity went on throughout the night, with frequently changed partners. This is what the federal government sponsored: a bunch of communists and moral degenerates
So that's how they got those kids to walk into fire hoses and gunfire! You'd think they would have stayed home in Jew York and miscegnated in comfort.

Lackey is also the man who fingerprinted Rosa Parks when she was busted for what radio host James Edwards calls her "bus stunt" ("It never ceases to amaze me how lawbreakers [Parks, 'civil rights' activists, illegal aliens, etc.] are heralded as heroes," etc). Edwards, author of Racism, Schmacism (I'm not kidding), interviewed Lackey a few times in 2008; one of these days I'm going to have to snuggle up with a snifter of Hennessy and listen to them.

Bonus rounds:

• A black guy who says
King recognized the tyrannical nature of the government, and he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Herman Cain, Allen West, and many others in an attempt to free not only blacks this time, but the entire nation from the very same government that was oppressing blacks during King’s lifetime.
That would be an interesting march, especially when King started regaling Limbaugh et alia with his plans for a guaranteed minimum income for Americans.

• At Human Events, Daniel J. Flynn tells us that liberals, labor unions, and Democrats are the real racists ("The New Harmony commune's exclusion of African-Americans, labor union cries of a 'yellow peril,'" etc), and African-Americans were in deep shit until they were rescued by Adam Smith:
A truly free market works as an antidote to racism. Though contemporary radicals would vociferously deny this, their forebears vociferously charged capitalism with negating racism... Capitalism and racism can't long peacefully coexist.
Exactly! Who can forget those black folk who sat down at segregated lunch counters, not because they were agitators or anything, but because the food there was so delicious and well-marketed that they'd risk a beating for it. Also, "the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott is one of many examples of money trumping bigotry during the civil rights movement," etc.

It's amazing King and all those other civil rights workers got shot -- didn't James Earl Ray and those guys know what a financial bonanza desegregation would be? Musta been socialists.

UPDATE. Michelle Malkin honors the day by demanding "Give the race card a rest," yelling about Al Sharpton, and listing what she considers examples of liberal "race card demagoguery" (sample: "DREAM Act radicals bitterly accused opponents of xenophobia and race traitorism"). Malkin probably wonders why no one invites her to give toasts at weddings.

Oh, and here's a guy who admits he thought in 2008 that Obama was going to "take our nation irrevocably down the multicultural path," but is pleasantly surprised to see him thwarted by "the rise of the Tea Party." When the honkeys in tricorners triumph, he predicts, "then will come the day MLK's dream is fulfilled." Just ask Glenn Beck.

UPDATE 2. In honor of MLK, William Teach beats up environmentalists:
Personally, I don’t doubt that MLK would have simply patted the eco-nuts on the head like a rather slow child still trying to master See Spot Run at age 10, since he seemed to be the kind of guy who wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings by pointing out what nutjobs they are.
Yeah, that's what King would be doing, all right. He'd also have a pick-up truck with a gun rack and a "The Next Time You Need a Cop, Call a Hippie" bumper sticker. It just follows naturally from what we know about the guy.

Later Teach invents more King insults for enviro-freaks, and adds, "do I really have to mention that Dr. King spoke more about equality, rather than 'social justice'?" I guess Teach isn't talking about the MLK who said, "Capitalism was built on the exploitation of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor," but about the one who sounds so convincing reading Teach's lines.

UPDATE 3. Thanks, commenter Jeff, for pointing out Jay Nordlinger's tribute at National Review. Nordlinger notes that King applauded the Presidential election victory of Lyndon Johnson, who signed the Civil Rights Act, over Barry Goldwater, who opposed it. Nordlinger adds this historical gloss:
An older MLK might well have been ashamed of that rhetoric, or at least regretted it. For one thing, Goldwater’s view of government and economics was the opposite of fascist: was the classical-liberal view.
Maybe the MLK of Nordlinger's imagination -- like that of William Teach's, and all the other speculators -- is actually one who escaped the assassin's bullet in 1968, turned 82 this Saturday, and suffers from advanced Alzheimer's Disease.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK. Conservatives tend to keep off Martin Luther King Day of late, which is too bad, as it has brought us some hilarious essays in the past. But the blogprof handles it pretty well all by himself:
Today everyone should be reminded that Martin Luther King Jr. was a REPUBLICAN. The black community has been duped by Democrats. It was Democrats that fought to keep the black population enslaved. They were on the wrong side of the Civil War as a result...
It goes on like that. Not that you need it, but FAIR has a nice account of some of King's late endeavors, including his opposition to the Vietnam War and to authoritarian regimes "in a world that borders on our doors," which seems especially timely now that people are paying attention to Haiti again.

I hope you enjoy MLK in your own way today, and spare a thought for President Goldwater for signing the Civil Rights Act.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

THE WILDERNESS YEARS. This response by Cato's Michael Tanner to Billy Kristol's otherwise useless column about the limits of small-government conservatism (which I have to assume presages a new starve-the-beast movement, since everyone knows Kristol is always spectacularly wrong) reminds us what those dear, dead days of Reaganism have come to:
Kristol is undoubtedly right that resisting big government has been harder in practice than in theory. But that hardly means that conservatives should abandon their principles. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular — but one must take it simply because it is right.” The evidence suggests that reducing the size and power of the federal government would be safe, popular, and good politics. But, regardless, Republicans should stand for limited government and individual liberty simply because it is the right thing to do.
On the one hand, Tanner portrays beast-starving as an MLK-style human rights struggle that must be pursued on moral imperative in the teeth of wild dogs and fire hoses; on the other, he believes that it would yet be "safe, popular, and good politics." Only the flustering caused by defeat could get these contrary assertions bunched up in a single paragraph like this.

For true believers of the Cato Institute, I imagine the cause is rather Biblical. But the political reality has always been earthier: decades of simply offering voters more for less, a winning proposition in most commercial transactions. The ploy worked so well that the treasury was looted and the national infrastructure and local governments were wrecked, and now that the market has stopped paying off silver dollars we are forced to notice it. If Tanner really likes his MLK analogy, he might consider that his civil rights movement has lost its authority because of the misbehavior of some "prosperity pimps." But I suppose he wouldn't want to take even that much credit for Dick Fuld and the boys right now.

In the same forum John O'Sullivan paraphrases holy Hayek to the effect that "the idea of small government was vital even if there was no prospect of its ever being achieved." The religious tincture (O'Sullivan even refers to a "barrier" that "might even gain a quasi religious status over time") suggests not only unattainability, but also a fallback when things go wrong: if our starvation diet causes more problems than benefits, then we have only been overzealous in pursuit of a noble ideal. We have fallen out of the Edenic state of Reaganism by sheer willfulness and pride, and will be restored to it after much suffering.

While these guys are thus considering the present-day conscience of conservatism, the rest of us are bailing like hell to keep the water from rising over our heads. I can imagine the reaction if they stepped out of their meditation room to tell ordinary folks that they ought to set aside the buckets and wait for the Invisible Hand to sweep the tide away. Looking inward is sometimes just a nice name for keeping one's head down.

Monday, January 21, 2008

(HATE) IN THE NAME OF PRIDE. MLK Day (observed) has drawn no observations at this writing from National Review Online -- which, given their past observances, is about the most respectful thing they could do.

Wingnuts in general are quiet, perhaps saving up their vitriol for Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Extreme Mortman manages only a short MLK tribute:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1968 appearance at Harvard: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”
I don't blame him; all I remember about Nixon is his rousing piano rendition of the Missouri Waltz.

At Reason Jesse Walker reproduces a very apt passage by the late Dr. King. I assume concern over the recent Ron Paul newsletter fiasco prevented Reason from printing their planned denunciation of the statist Civil Rights Act. Well, isn't Martin Luther King Day all about being grateful for the little we get?

UPDATE. They're still pretty quiet about it. One of the guys at Libertas does stand up for King against his mortal enemies -- that is, the "wretched NAACP today or liberals in general trying to effect change through divisively revelling and dwelling on our real or perceived mistakes and refusing ever to acknowledge our many virtues." Because King was nothing if not a booster. That's why he kept interrupting the "I Have a Dream" speech to lead the crowd in a chant of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

Pierce has this sort of gibberish well-handled at Sadly, No!:
No, what MLK was all about was color-blindness! Yes, he was only interested in a unified world where everyone behaved exactly like white people. He was not interested in nonsense like affirmative action or restitution for slavery, despite his many public statements to the contrary; even the fact that he wrote an entire book about it shouldn’t sway us into thinking that Dr. King supported anything as crazy as racial quotas or economic compensation in addition to legal equality.
We live in a hell of a world, where liberals are fascists and MLK is Edward Brooke.

On a lighter note, there are some laughs in this Ron Paul video which compares the two doctors' philosophies and (disastrously for Paul) rhetorical styles. There's even a glimpse of young Paul talking cheerfully with black people -- I though Lew Rockwell burned all those!

And since he's all the rage (literally) these days, let me close with a little somethin'-somethin' on Jonah Goldberg's history with the schvartzes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MLK DAY WRAPUP. Aged recluse Jeff Goldstein bestirs himself to perform -- in poor voice, but with maximum attitude -- some Jeff Goldstein Greatest Hits, challenging black folk who think they deserve some sort of a holiday -- which they don't because there is no such thing as race, you see. Goldstein's boys love it, until a person claiming to be black shows up in comments, whereupon they immediately forget that there's no such thing as blackness and start attacking black people ("And what do you say about a 70% out of wedlock black birth rate? Is that unmentionable? Whitey’s fault?"). Even on MLK Day, apparently, there are some neighborhoods people of color ought to avoid.

More surprising is the National Review tribute, where some of the brethren actually admit that American conservatives were once hostile toward MLK:
Aside from the general dislike that conservatives held (and hold) toward civil disobedience under most circumstances, there are a number of other reasons left unaddressed by [Rick] Perlstein for why conservatives cannot embrace King without reservation....
If Perlstein left those reasons unaddressed -- I'm thinking of one in particular -- I'm sure he was just being polite.

They'll Do It Every Time -- celebrating the King holiday by explaning why he shouldn't have a holiday and so forth. If I wish they could just stop pretending and say what they really feel, it isn't entirely because I would like to see their electoral disasters increase -- it is also out of fellow-feeling, because the strain of trying to seem respectful appears to be wearing on them something awful.

UPDATE. Mark Krikorian says the best thing about the recent Mike Judge movie Idiocracy is that it makes fun of black people. Every day is MLK Day for some people!