I’ve made it my mission to nip future Kathleen Parkers in the bud. It’s becoming a full time job. There are just so many people seeking “Strange New Respect” these days.
I’ve decided to make The “Strange New Respect” Chronicles a regular feature of C4P. The inspiration for the project was this call to arms by the Zieg Man:
Whittaker Chambers lamented that “the right does not retrieve its wounded.” Too often we abandon our own as they lie bleeding on the battlefield after a left wing ambush. That’s shameful and cowardly of us. But it’s infinitely more shameful and cowardly when the ambush is launched by fellow “conservatives.”
Well, no more. We’re not gonna take it anymore. If you fire on our Warrior Queen, expect a horde of ordinary barbarians.
I think the most obvious category of future traitors will be weasely up-and-comers who will attack Palin to advance their careers.
No one cares when a liberal attacks Palin. Palin bashing is only a career boost when you are a “conservative.” Well, we’ll find these fakes and take away their conservative credentials before they can ride the PDS gravy train in 2012 or 2016.
We will do our best to avoid friendly fire. We’ll try not to alienate those who might just need a little slap upside the head.
We’re civilized. We’re ordinary barbarians, but we’re not barbaric.
With that in mind, let’s go through this week’s rogue’s gallery….
The first name on our list is not really a rogue at all. He’s not noxious, but we should keep an eye on him. His name is D.R. Tucker, a freelance writer from Massachusetts who runs The Right Angle Blog at Human Events.
If Palin was in fact the new conservative superstar she was made out to be, she would have turned out enough votes to carry John McCain to victory. Palin ultimately turned out to be the Newt Gingrich of the 2000s, a figure loved by the base and loathed by virtually everyone else.
There’s no question that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will draw large numbers of conservatives to the polls. The problem is that (whether conservatives want to hear it or not) the mainstream press has successfully radicalized the American center against her, staining her with the false, yet indelible, mark of ultra-conservative ignorance. Palin is bright, bold, and brave—but she has been Borked, and there’s no way to reverse that.
Apparently Paglia, Brockovich, and Bening didn’t get the memo.
Tucker seems to fault Palin for not winning the election for McCain, though we all know that it’s the top of the ticket that counts. But if Palin somehow pulled off a victory for the old man, I have a feeling that the Tuckers of the world would have quickly explained to us that McCain won in spite of Sarah Palin, not because of her.
Tucker ain’t a bad guy. I agree with him more than half of the time, but he exhibits symptoms of mushy flip-floppery. Not surprising really — he is from Massachusetts after all. There must be something in the water. (It’s probably Michael Dukakis’ fault.) We have many worthy ordinary barbarian Bay Staters. A word to the wise, friends: buy bottled water.
Here’s a good example of Tucker’s flipper tendencies. He wrote an article last week explaining why gay marriage is going to happen whether we like it or not, and the GOP must realize that young voters want gay marriage or don’t care about it. I find that a little confusing because whenever Americans are allowed to vote on the issue, they overwhelmingly vote in favor of traditional marriage — even in deep blue California. And more “young voters” voted in this last election than ever before.
One of the greatest strategic mistakes LGBTQ groups made in recent years was to couch things in nebulous terms of “gay marriage”, and not in specific terms of financial and legal equality for all Americans. Period.
“Marriage” is a charged term that opens up all sorts of unwanted flood gates, while… simultaneously alienating good people who would otherwise support the cause of equality, but have knee-jerk reactions to what they perceive as an assault on their traditions.
“Gay marriage” is terrible marketing. “Partner benefits” is where we would have went with this issue, years ago, and we doubt we’d be where we are today with things like Proposition-8.
I think Americans could get behind “partner benefits” and even civil unions. It’s the redefinition of marriage that we won’t embrace because that encroaches on our freedom of religion, and for many of us, our faiths teach that marriage is between a man and a woman. We don’t want to see our priest, minister, rabbi, or imam arrested for refusing to marry a gay couple.
Tucker is right that federal judges could force gay marriage on us by fiat — the same way they did abortion. But that doesn’t make gay marriage a winning electoral issue. If the gay community couldn’t get people to vote for gay marriage in California, do you think they’re going to be successful in Ohio, Colorado, Virginia or New Hampshire?
In her debate with Biden, Palin said that she would never do anything “to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital [for same sex couples] or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.” That was a principled, balanced position — the kind a libertarian-leaning social conservative would take.
When Palin made her non-support of gay marriage perfectly clear, Biden practically jumped up and down shouting, “Me too, me too! I don’t support it either! Let me be clear on that!” It was the only issue they both agreed upon. So why do these conservative pundits act as if opposition to gay marriage is a uniquely Republican position? Obama and Biden were opposed to gay marriage. If they were lying about that, then let them explain to the electorate why they support an issue that’s been voted down in all 30 states where it appeared on the ballot.
They won’t do that because they know it’s a losing issue.
Tucker knows this too. In January 2007, he wrote about gay marriage in an article discussing the distrust social conservatives felt toward his man Mitt:
The media love nothing more than the sight of depressed, dispirited social conservatives abandoning their support of the GOP. The apathy of the social right played a critical role in the rise of Bill Clinton in 1992 and Nancy Pelosi in 2006. The Fourth Estate believes that the GOP used same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to destroy the candidacy of their preferred candidate, Kerry. They would love to see a Republican being undone by the same controversy. Romney must emphasize, day in and day out, that the only entity responsible for the creation of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts was the state’s highest court, and that he had no option but to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. If he doesn’t make clear that his hands were forced, he’ll look back upon this campaign with remorse.
So, Tucker, are you saying that gay marriage is unpopular with voters? Or do you mean that it’s just unpopular with social conservative voters (like all those social conservatives in that big red state California)? Or is it just unpopular with young social conservative voters? Or maybe it’s the young social conservative voters in California?
Even if federal judges foist gay marriage on the nation, that does not mean that the issue is dead among the electorate. Is the abortion debate dead? When Roe vs. Wade was handed to us, we were told to move on because there was nothing more to discuss. Well, Reagan took our righteous indignation and turned it into a voting bloc. Trust me — when they start arresting priests, ministers, rabbis, and imams for refusing to compromise their religious beliefs, things will get pretty heated.
“Partner benefits” — that’s a good compromise. We could all live with that.
Tucker’s not a bad dude. He’s just a bit of a twit. We might need to smack him upside the head every now and then just to make sure he doesn’t metastasize into the next name in our rogue’s gallery…
Tucker’s comment about Palin’s base-limited appeal was from an article he wrote in January about that Carpetbagging Canuck David Frum’s latest attempt to hijack American conservatism.
Frum’s “Diary” blog at National Review Online has been a must-read for the past few years and, unfortunately, a target of much unfair criticism. Frum has been smeared by the talk-radio world for allegedly being a RINO or a faux-conservative, largely because he a) didn’t buy the right’s effort to position Sarah Palin as the new Queen of Conservatism and b) believed that merely recycling old lines from the Reagan ’80s would not lead to a new era of Republican dominance.
Who do you think has a better handle on ordinary Americans: David Frum or Rush Limbaugh? One has an audience of 20 million listeners every weekday. The other has a blog read by…ah, somebody I guess.
I really loathe Frum and have absolutely no problem being nasty-beyotch-mean to him (even during Lent. I’ll go to confession later).
A few months back, I saw Frum’s wife, Danielle Crittenden, bad-mouthing the Guv on Bill O’Reilly’s show.
I had ever seen her before, and my first reaction to the news that she was David Frum’s wife was a loud incredulous guffaw: That’s Frum’s wife?
I saw this revelation as proof positive that Frum is a crazy liar. Why, you ask? Because David Frum once accused Taki Theodoracopulos of hitting on “Mrs. Frum.” Taki has flirted with the likes of Princess Di. He has standards. There is no way in hell he would have hit on Danielle Crittenden because, to put it bluntly and uncharitably, Danielle Crittenden has a face that was meant for radio.
Frum’s accusation always sounded ridiculous, and Taki ably defended himself (read his article about the incident — it’s hilarious). But after seeing Crittenden on O’Reilly’s show, I realized that Taki’s defense was far too polite. He should have simply published her photo, and everyone would have laughed at the absurdity of Frum’s accusation.
It was Frum’s foolish wife who spread the story that he coined the phrase “Axis of Evil.” He was fired from his White House gig shortly thereafter. Serves him right.
I will never forgive this man for branding every conservative who disagreed with the Iraq War as “unpatriotic.”
If I could run the INS for a day and could choose just two people to deport immediately, I would send these two nauseating Carpetbaggers back to the land of bacon and hockey. We have a lot of wonderful Canadian ordinary barbarians. We love you guys. Could you please take these two back? I know it’s a lot to ask, but please. We have enough asses in our own country without importing them.
And the final name of our list tonight is the most repellent of them all….
I must admit that I actually had heard of Kathleen Parker prior to the 2008 election. I read an incredibly illogical column she wrote titled “Abortion Chic,” and I realized then that this lady is too stupid to be a conservative. In fact, I don’t think she ever was one. I think she glommed onto conservatism as a career move. I knew when I first read her work that she would slowly become a “moderate” and eventually no one would remember that she was ever a conservative at all. Does anyone seriously think that “Art Bell” Sullivan at the Atlantic is a conservative? I don’t know… maybe he was a Tory during the Thatcher years, but so was everyone in England.
Now, dudes, let me say it again. I like Bobby. He’s an ethnic geek. I’m an ethnic geek. He’s a Catholic. I’m a Catholic. I’m one of the ten people in the country who does not find his exorcism article weird (read Fr. Malachi Martin’s “Hostage to the Devil” and you’ll understand why). Here’s how much Bobby and I have in common. I actually read his exorcism article when it was first published in 1994. I subscribed to the New Oxford Review too, Bobby.
Bobby deserves better defenders than Parker, who writes:
Jindal is smarter than the guy who criticized “volcano monitoring” as an example of wasteful spending in the stimulus bill, prompting the same cringe reflex that Sarah Palin did when she targeted silly ol’ spending — in France, no less — on fruit fly research that is, in fact, crucial to medical research.
As I said, I like Bobby. But to give Bobby a pass on the volcano blunder and slam Palin for the fruit flies is an hypocrisy so outrageous that only a woman as stupid as Kathleen Parker could write it.
Mt. Redoubt has been all over the news (including the New York Times). I don’t recall reading any breaking stories about fruit flies before Sarah Palin’s comment. If their situations were reversed, people would see the blunder as proof that Sarah Palin doesn’t read the newspaper because if she did, she would know that a volcano is about to blow in Alaska. (By the way, this is the fruit fly earmark that Palin mentioned, and this is what it produced. I’m not impressed. The research had to do with olives, not autism. But in Kathleen Parker’s universe, Sarah Palin was denying us nuclear fusion.)
Jindal gave an embarrasingly bad speech before the nation. He is now being savaged for it. It was just a speech, mind you. All he had to do was read it off a telepromter. It was delivered before a camera, not an indoor arena packed to the rafters. He had a national audience, but over 40 million people did not tune in to watch it.
He was vanquished by a speech. He didn’t face down a hostile news-witch who interrogated him about his personal beliefs in order to get him to say something she could twisted to make him sound crazy. And his staff did not grant that hostile news-witch sole authority to cut and edit and re-arrange footage of the interview to make him look as bad as possible for as many days as possible.
But Parker feels nothing but sympathy for Bobby and declares that “Jindal seems to be handicapped by handlers who either don’t trust their candidate or have no faith in Americans’ intelligence.”
Oh really? Parker wasn’t sympathetic to this line of argument when people who knew Gov. Palin complained that she was being ill-served by her handlers. They said that she was intelligent and courageous and full of integrity. But Parker declared her to be dumb based on one interview that was edited to shreds and conducted on a day when Palin was clearly over-booked and over-tired. (Just look at her eyes during that interview. They’re red. She looks exhausted.)
Palin was lampooned mercilessly. Jindal won’t get nearly as rough a treatment because no one really sees him as a threat. As the Zieg Man said, they only waste their ammo on the ones they fear.
Well, we’re not afraid of them anymore. They’ve use their whole clip on us and left us for dead. But we’re not dead.
You know, I’d like to kick all the “moderates” out of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, too. However, it’s hard to do that when we don’t even know what a “moderate” really is anymore.
I supported Palin’s selection as McCain’s tag-team partner, and bristled at the left’s harsh criticism of her. However, it’s hard to dismiss as “moderates” all of the conservative pundits who raised questions about her selection (unless those pundits actually voted for Obama-Biden instead of McCain-Palin). Since when is it a tenet of modern conservatism that everyone must like Palin?
Conservatives who attacked these pundits as “moderates” argued that they only trashed Palin because they were trying to curry favor with cocktail-party “elites” in New York (and Washington, D.C.). I don’t deny that some of these pundits have “elites” in their social circle—but why do we as conservatives automatically assume that these pundits are trying to pander to their friends by raising questions about Palin?
Is it not beyond the realm of possibility that these pundits had legitimate questions about Palin’s fitness to lead in the event of a McCain tragedy? Should they have refused to ask these questions in the name of “party unity”? It wasn’t their job to get McCain elected. It was McCain’s job, and he failed miserably at it.
Tucker, support of Palin is not a tenet of conservatism. But I’d like to think that courage in the face of public ridicule, fortitude in the face of daunting political odds, and loyalty to an honest comrade-in-arms under enemy attack — are all tenets of conservatism, or at least virtues affirmed by conservatism.
I’d like to think that you can disagree with Gov. Palin on political issues without calling her a “cancer” or accusing her of “the vulgarization of America” or comparing her to Monica Lewinsky for godsake!
If you want to know what a “moderate” is, here’s a very simple and clear definition: A moderate is someone the grassroots f***ing hates!
They’re the ones Thomas Sowell was talking about here.
The current demand for RINO purges arises in part from the outrage we feel at the way the conservative elites treated Sarah Palin. It has less to do with an issue, then with an attitude. I don’t agree with Shelley Mandell, Elaine Lafferty, and the PUMAs on a whole host of issues, but I have a helluva lot more respect for them then I do for Parker, Brooks, Frum, et al. I know that Shelley, Elaine, and the PUMAs don’t have contempt for ordinary Americans with Fargo accents and state college diplomas and more than two kids.
I’m all for a big tent based on core principles of respect for freedom and individual liberty, respect for life, respect for American exceptionalism, and peace through strength.
We can argue the details later. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion. But no one is allowed to call an honest and courageous citizen politician a cancer, or accuse her of vulgarizing the culture, or compare her to a slutty intern.
If you or your friends know of any future “Strange New Respect” candidates, let us know.
The Palin Revolution is on. Run scared, you little think tank sissies!