Wednesday, February 03, 2021

The Mote in Thine Own Eye (in the Eye of the Conservative): Why Are Conservatives So Naïve That They Refuse to See the Beam in the Eye of Those Who Hate Their Very Existence?

Giving [Nancy Pelosi] breathing room makes it easier for her to install the socialism that Jonah [Goldberg] should worry about instead of what the staff at the New Yorker thinks. As a grown man, I do not seek the approval of those who hate me. I will not accommodate their efforts to ruin me and my country.

The day I read Liberal Fascism (and it was really a single day or, rather, a single night; on a flight 13 years ago across the Atlantic, I was supposed to rest, sleep if possible, but I couldn't put the massively enlightening — and deeply troubling — eye-opener down), I went from simple admirer of Jonah Goldberg to fervent follower of Jonah Goldberg

His regular NRO articles, which I started reading pretty much religiously, confirmed his insight into all manners of subjects — as well as his refusal to bow before the Left while setting them, and their ideas, straight (see half a dozen examples a couple of paragraphs down that have been linked through the years on this blog).

That is why I have been so dumbfounded by his attitude in the past four or five years.

By all means, eviscerate President Donald Trump all you want (although "a bane of humanity"! — really?!) — in 2016 I too was among those who were suspicious of the New York billionaire's intentions — and go after the (rare) Republican who shows signs of delusion and/or derangement.

But can it really be that Jonah himself might be among the latter? Doesn't he realize that the entire left is anti-Jewish (with numerous examples of antisemitism in the past decade(s)) and anti-Christian to boot — not to mention… anti-American?! (Thank you, professor, for the Instapundit link.)

Bookworm's article The West is reverting to paganism (obrigado to Sarah Hoyt) helps explain why Leftism — allegedly anti-superstition, rational, and scientific — is actually akin to a religion itself and, more specifically, to a cult. A cult of Drama Queens and crisis seekers mounting non-ending crusades — not least (and unsurprisingly) against what is quite probably its greatest foe, precisely its main competitor, the entire Judeo-Christian religion along with the nation that is exceptional precisely because it best embodies the Golden Principle.

It is in that perspective that I am shocked by conservatives like Jonah Goldberg going ballistic on one single solitary Republican as well as believing in the Democrats' charge of a "Big Lie" and by devout Christians like Sunday Bible Study teacher (and regular CPAC attendee) Myra Adams likening the Christian rights party to the un-Christian rites party: "Where do people like me go, when both parties are extreme?" Neither does anything but regurgitate mainstream (and deeply partisan plus anti-Christian and anti-Jewish) media focal points. 

What in God's name (if I may use the expression) is it about perspective and partisanship and double standards that these people — along with the squishes in the government (on federal as well as on state level) — fail to understand?!

Has Jonah Goldberg given in to the condescending mainstream media and stopped watching the content of "cable- and Facebook-fueled culture war tribalism" and its "green room farts"? Has he stopped reading people like Derek Hunter? Read his whole article, Jonah (excerpt below), and tell us if the author of Outrage, INC. has a point or if he should just be dismissed like every other conservative is dismissed by the Left (most recently, quite volubly by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and CNN, along with demands for more censorship, governmental as well as by private business)…

Joe Biden has used “the Big Lie” to describe United States senators exercising their constitutional authority to question state certification of the Electoral College vote.

Of course, Biden’s framing was, in and of itself, a Big Lie. Those Senators were not attempting to thwart democracy, they were engaging in it. They weren’t trying to overturn the election results, they were demanding answers to the subversion of the Constitution by state officials circumventing election laws. That should concern everyone. You can tell who benefited from the thwarting of rules by who objects to their enforcement, or even looking into it.

Still, the Big Lies are flying from the left, from their mouths and through the megaphone of journalists.

A Republican’s old Facebook posts are one of the top stories, even though most people have never heard of her and her voters voted for her anyway. She must resign, or so we’re told, because…well, just because. But a Democrat marries her brother to get him citizenship, launders a fortune through her campaign to the joint bank account she shares with her third husband, while spewing Hitler-level anti-Semitism and she’s a rock star. To call it a double standard is to imply there are any other standards Democrats have.

Didn't Jonah Goldberg — who has seen through the Left on so many subjects, from the JournOlist and the left's alleged propensity for debate and discussion, to their alleged compassion and its opposition to the right allegedly imposing their values, through immigration reform and climate deniers, not to mention the Left's Tyranny of Clichés — once bring extreme focus to the problem, currently as well as historically, by writing the stunning eye-opener, Liberal Fascism

Didn't what I called the book's most important single paragraph 13 years ago describe "how liberals cheat in the war of ideas" and thereby prefigure the Antifa riots as well as mainstream and social medias' revolutionary step in late 2020 and early 2021, the massive campaign for the cancellation and the de-platforming and the muzzling of key conservative voices (not least President Trump himself)?

That is how the liberal Gleichschaltung works; contrary voices are regulated, barred, banned when possible, mocked and marginalized when not. Progressive voices are encouraged, lionized, amplified — in the name of "diversity," or "liberation," or "unity," and, most of all, "progress."

 As Bernie Marcus clarified nine years ago what lies behind the squishes' attitude

the Republicans play the rules of … golf. In golf, if you miss a putt or you touch the ball, you call a shot on yourself. We're playing the game of golf. The Democrats are playing ice hockey. It's a killer game. And that's the difference in politics. 

This explains, of course, the wide hostility to Donald Trump, a Republican who understood — and who understands — that to fight the Democrat party, a Republican must act like an ice hockey player himself.

As I wrote in my book, the attitude (that of a gentleman, whether truly gentlemanly or simply virtue signalling) is akin to refusing to see the beam in your brother's eye, because of your focus, indeed your obsession, with a mote (real or alleged) in your own eye. 

I don't know if Marjorie Taylor Greene is an antisemite or not, but to quote
Bookworm, what we now face in the (heavily partisan) view of just about every member of the Left, not excluding those who now wield massive government power, "Traditional Christians and Jews are now automatically considered to be far-right extremists and, especially, white supremacists." 

Derek Hunter, again:

There’s a media-perpetrated myth that Joe Biden is a moderate; that he’s an honest man. He is not, and never has been. He’s a politician, a Democrat, who now has the authority of the United States government behind him. … We’re in for four years of abuse, of demonization …

Roger Kimball has more on what awaits us:

The Swamp tells us [that those thousands of armed troops in the nation’s capital are] to protect against “domestic terrorism” and “insurrection.”

Thus, we see The Washington Post, megaphone of the richest man in the world, warning that “ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority … could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.” That was in a story headlined “The U.S. is finally catching up to the domestic terrorism threat.”

Whence the threat?

Why, from Donald Trump, of course.

Don’t you remember? He “incited” “insurrection,” “sedition,” and “violence” on Jan. 6 when he held a rally in Washington and urged his followers to make their way “peacefully and patriotically” to the Capitol to “make their voices heard.”

That was the pretext for the latest Washington entertainment, “The Impeachment of Donald Trump, Episode II” of the mini-series. 

Breitbart adds a Tucker Carlson segment showing that Democrats "Think It Is Fine to Mobilize the Army in Order to Put Down Domestic Opinions."

Daniel Greenfield

Inside of a month, Democrats had redefined riots and election challenges from the highest form of patriotism to an attack on democracy

  … the Democrat media went from writing sympathetic pieces about BLM lawyers throwing molotov cocktails at the police to demanding a thorough purge of every single person who had ever questioned the idea that Joe Biden might not be the most popular politician ever.

 … Questioning an election has become incitement to insurrection. To suggest that there’s anything illegitimate about Biden is sedition. Unity means believing that Joe Biden legitimately won an election for which Democrats changed the rules beforehand, then declared a national emergency, and inaugurated him behind barbed wire and lines of soldiers authorized to shoot. 

 … D.C. isn’t the epicenter of unity and healing, but of a wave of political purges targeting everyone from President Trump to ordinary Americans whose political views are being criminalized.

There’s no healing to be found in show trials and political purges.

And you freak out, Jonah, and you expect us to freak out, about an unknown conservative?! (Or about Trump himself, for that matter?! Is he the one who wants to "completely [overturn] the Constitutional order"?! Have you never read the book called… Liberal Fascism?!)

Moreover, this woman is just like the Confederate statues and the Rebel flags — an easy target. It is quite clear that this easy target is not the last, far from it, only the first to start off a campaign; give in and she is only the first of the many who must be ousted the Congress — calls have already going out left and right for the scalps of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, as well as all the skeptics in Congress who voted against certification, to be not censured but ousted once and for all… No one is to remain in power who doubts the (improbable) victory of Sleepy Joe. The Left is here to stay once and for all. With a boot on your neck forever.

Besides that — and this is a message to Democrats and media members as well as to Jonah — the very fact that all of you are so adamant in refusing to even entertain what in the final analysis is quite a banal idea — that there was, or may have been, voter fraud during an election (local, state, and/or national), any election — is actually one of the main pieces of evidence that the accusations of voter fraud of 2020 was, and is, real and very serious.

Having said all that, it is time to turn to Don Surber's reply to Jonah Goldberg (thanks to Ed Driscoll and Glenn Reynolds).

Five years ago, on January 26, 2015, Jonah said on Fox, "Donald Trump has a long record of clownishly pretending he’s going to run for president, and people take him seriously — including a lot of people at this network, which drives me crazy."

And he said, "I think Donald Trump is a bane of humanity."
 … By going on and on about President Trump's style, he missed the substance of the most genuine and most successful conservative president since Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Now Jonah is unhappy with the party. 

He wrote, "A party of conspiracy theorists and would-be secessionists will be a failed party—I hope. A party merely perceived as a party of conspiracy theorists and would-be secessionists will be a failed party—I hope."

I do not know about that.

Democrats seem to do OK with their Russian Collusion conspiracy theorists, AOC, the Squad, and that presidential candidate who sniffed little girls

If Jonah is upset with the state of the Republican Party these days, he has no one but himself and the rest of the frauds in Washington to blame. They spent 2016 trying to bring Donald Trump down and then the next four years trying to trip up President Trump.
A Republican Congress refused to repeal and replace Obamacare, as they promised they would.

A Republican Congress refused to fund building the wall.

A Republican Congress refused to investigate Spygate.

And Paul Ryan and 40 other lifers in the House refused to seek re-election in 2018, knowing this would saddle the nation with Speaker Nancy.

That is far more dangerous to the nation than some congresswoman's old postings and retweets. The sabotage of the Republican Party by the people it sends to Washington is legendary.

In 2008, they abandoned Sarah Palin.

In 2010, they abandoned Christine O'Donnell.

In 2012, they abandoned Todd Akin.

In 2016, they abandoned Donald Trump.

In 2017, they abandoned Roy Moore.

And in 2018, they abandoned the country by paving the way for Democrats to take back the House.

Name a Democrat nominee for public office that his party has abandoned. You cannot because Democrats band together. When Anthony Weiner was caught in his underwear on Twitter, it took a few weeks of late-night jokes to get Nancy to tell him to resign.
I refuse to denounce Congresswoman Greene because I am not suicidal. Nancy barely has a majority in the House. Picking off a few newcomer Republicans would give her breathing room. 

Giving her that breathing room makes it easier for her to install the socialism that Jonah should worry about instead of what the staff at the New Yorker thinks. As a grown man, I do not seek the approval of those who hate me. I will not accommodate their efforts to ruin me and my country.

Maybe Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg want us to be the stupid party, but I don't.

That's right, believe it or not: some of us are determined not to join the "bowing" GOP leaders on their suicide mission. Glenn Reynolds adds that

Yes, QAnon is stupid — and probably a disinfo program intended to harm the Trump movement — but it’s pretty rich, after four years of Russian Collusion and #Resistance and “hacked election” talk, to act as if this is somehow a largely Republican problem. And “the rules?” What rules are those? Not any rules that we’ve been operating under since 2016.

Who cannot agree with Don Surber?

To paraphrase the most insightful sign of the Tea Party Movement: It doesn't matter who you have represent the GOP party (Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, a Bush, a Trump, etc…), Jonah, it doesn't matter if you repudiate Marjorie Taylor Greene or David Duke or the Proud Boys — the Left will call you (or, alternatively, your followers — if not both) racist anyway. And the media will end up demonizing you anyway. And that will lose you votes, yes, even among "the very conservative voters in [your] district." 

(Back in the 1980s, an analyst said that the point of Kremlin disinformation was not to get the entire population to change its mind, nor a majority nor even a minority, not even a sizable one; just 5%. If 5% could be counted on to believe a certain piece of Soviet propaganda, a national election might be turned towards the USSR's preferred candidate or outcome — I believe that the subject was the KGB-originated story of the creation of the AIDS virus by the CIA and that this story emerged (again?) before an election or a referendum in Spain either to join or more likely (later) to remain within NATO.)

Yes, Jonah, I am talking about the media you now trust, the ones wanting to silence cable news, scare away Fox's advertisers, close down Parler, cancel the Epoch Times, banish the OneAmericaNetwork, and shut down Newsmax TV. (In fact, you could say that every MSM outlet in the nation, along with a number of private companies, have been competing to turn into Brett Kimberlin.) After all, the warriors for the truth who oppose these outliers' "green room farts" are in total agreement with you for wanting to protect "some decent Americans who’ve been deluded by cable- and Facebook-fueled culture war tribalism."

Don't you — you, Jonah, of all people — know the The First Rule of MSM News Coverage

Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful. (Andrew Klavan)

Does Jonah not feel the oppression? "Biden is now unapologetically leading the most radical left-wing movement in the nation’s history", writes Victor Davis Hanson, and

Right-leaning Americans are living as if  occupied by a foreign power intent on denigrating and destroying our way of life, impoverishing us, and punishing us for objecting. (Angelo Codevilla at American Greatness)
Can Jonah find no "bane of humanity" among the left? (He hasn't seemed to mention many in the past four or five years.) Can Mitch McConnell find no "cancer", not a single one, in the Democrat party? The only people who want to "completely [overturn] the Constitutional order," Jonah, are members of the Left which, as you yourself once wrote about, has been burning for a hundred years or more to rid the Constitution of the electoral college and thereby overturn said Constitution, giving most power to the left-run cities and giving the Republican party the death knell in the process. And yes, Jonah, that (packing the courts, sinking the electoral college, creating a 51st and a 52nd state, etc, etc, etc…), along with hard evidence of cheating, voter fraud, and stealing the election, is proof enough for fighting back with lawsuits and with other obstacles to certification. (Dennis Prager makes several common-sense remarks in his Numerous Troubling Anomalies Regarding the 2020 Election That Cannot Be Ignored, but as Stacy McCain points out (thanks to Ed Driscoll), "the important thing about the media narrative … is how skepticism is basically forbidden.")

If the left gets its most fervent (and secret) wish, it doesn't matter if the GOP will reflect a Trump party or a (Not?) Running With Scissors party or a party of "conspiracy theorists and would-be secessionists" or a party of "gasoline-fighters, meme-warrior entertainers, grifters, and tinfoil hatters" or an exciting conservatism or a boring conservatism. 

It will be a defanged party and the United States will be like California or any country of Europe, a de facto one-party state, always leaning more or less left, always devoted to rewriting history, and always engaged in oppressing the half of the population that still believes in freedom along with regular religion. 

What in God's name is it that a Jonah Goldberg or a Myra Adams or, for that matter, a Mitch McConnell or a Mike Pence do not understand about that?

Update: Stephen Kruiser is also frustrated, and asks:
How long do the mainstream media hacks have to keep exposing themselves as frothing-at-the-mouth haters of conservatives before conservatives get it?


Jerryskids said...

The GOP is often referred to as "the Stupid Party" in contrast to the Democrat's "Evil Party", and I realize that Hanlon's Razor (never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance) is a thing, but, c'mon. Ignorance only goes so far to explain what the Republicans have been doing busily shooting themselves in the foot at every turn, preemptively surrendering to the Left, refusing to fight for the things they say they believe in. It's long past time to clean house.

K T Cat said...

Great post.

I have to admit that I no longer understand Jonah. Like you, I was a huge fan. The only thing I can think is that he can't let go of his anger and hurt. He's clinging to a grudge against Trump and will do anything to justify it.

He's certainly not rational any more.

Anonymous said...

Goldberg, like Bill Kristol, George Will, and others is still totally embarrassed that the completely wrong calls he made about Trump ... and the shame/embarrassment never seems to fade, so all he can do is "Hate Trump". That sort of childishness ruins it all for me.

PrincetonAl said...

Trump exposed almost the entire DC conservative pundit class as phonies. Jonah is no exception.

At the end of the day, they are willing to write, but they aren’t willing to fight. Not if it means getting their hands dirty or getting in the foxhole with you, me or Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Effete snobs who cower before a real fight are nothing new. He is of the Vichy French.

Give me Churchill instead:

“... whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender ...”

Ray - SoCal said...

The only person I read at NR is VDH.

I’m in shock over the TDS Jonah has. And unbelievable he is the same person that wrote Liberal Fascism. What a strange world!

Jeff said...

I don't care about this article or Goldberg or Limbaugh or Levin or Fox or the GOP or republicans.

I read and once you have read it for the past 5 years, like I have, you know you are looking at the shadows on the wall.

Without a wholesale replacement of the GOP with the 'Reagan Coalition' concept of republicans, democrats, independents, and deplorables I won't pay attention.

Pox on all your houses.

Herschel Smith said...

Let's make it simple. Jonah is a tory rather than a patriot. He would have sided to remain subjects of the king, as long as he could occasionally visit the prissy circles of the nobility and rub shoulders with the effete.

Anonymous said...

They never really meant what they said in the first place. It started as frat-boy cosplay, then turned into a career, and for some public office. But they never believed it, never understood it, never gave a damn about it. They like their lives, fortunes and such honor as the Left is willing to allow just fine, thank you very much. They never signed on for standing up to Xi, Jake Tapper, Antifa, or BLM and its corporate patrons. That's when sh*t got real, and so did they.

Anonymous said...

Jonah Goldberg was a big part of my adoption of conservatism after I graduated college and entered the working world. I always looked forward to reading G-File, or just about anything else he put out for that matter. His grasp win the philosophical foundations of conservatism, his knowledge of its evolution and his ability to explain it all in a very accessible way had me hooked. I will always appreciate him for that.

But on matters of current affairs and what's going on today, he's lost me. I just don't feel like I'm going to get any sort of thought or analysis that I can put any faith in or has anything behind it other than "Trump is Satan." I can get that anywhere.

Unknown said...

VDH is a good guy, and quite knowledgeable. But in the end, he's just a pessimistic historian and a passive bystander. Rush Limbaugh was always more proactive. And Steve Bannon, with his War Room show, goes a step further by being a full blown activist.

My point is that, from the worst of the National Review writers, all the way to the best...VDH, all they ever do is talk and wring their hands. And it seems like the whole idea is to convince us that that's all we should be doing is well

CapitalistRoader said...

Jonah has made himself irrelevant.

AMDG said...

1. Jonah Goldberg has been consistent in his beliefs since he authored ‘Liberal-Fascism”. His criticism of Trump supporters is that they have sublimated beliefs to Trump. Look no further than those that supported the Texas AG lawsuit. How do you take any of these people seriously if they ever mention Federalism or original intent again?

2. His primary issue with Trump is that he believes Trump is a man if no character. He believes that it is important that political leaders have character. That was once a generally held Conservative principle.

3. It is unfair to lump him in with the Bill Kristols of the world. He objects to Trump but he has never adjusted his core beliefs due to Trump.

4. As Georgia shows, building a political movement on a loyalty to test to one man will end is abject failure.

Nate Winchester said...

I too started reading Jonah when I was in college and started becoming politically aware. Like many on here mentioned, I considered him my political Obi-Wan Kenobi.

What happened to Jonah? Simple: He stopped questioning the media narrative. Compare his old columns to when Trump was in office and you can notice the change. No longer did he ask whether what the media was reporting true or not, he just started believing it unquestionably (as if after all these decades, the media would suddenly be truthful about a republican).

And you can see then the power of the media and how it pulls to the left any who stop thinking and just start believing in it.

@AMDG - In reply to #1. The Constitution spells out that it is expressly State Legislatures which must establish the rules for how a state's electors are apportioned. Each state can do it however they want, but it must be the state legislature which does it - PERIOD. The Texas AG lawsuit was addressing that several states' rules in 2020 were concocted by entities expressly not the state legislatures, therefore violating the express constitutional rule. Ergo, not a Federalism or original intent issue except that the Texas AG was accusing them of violating original intent.

Which they did.

geokstr said...

It's a shame that we allowed the left to get away with assassinating Andrew Breitbart. He was the perfect leader for the battle against the media/democrat/deepstate/academia/entertainment/bigtech juggernaut and was making great progress in educating and motivating the Tea Partiers and the rest of the "silent majority" on how to take on the self-proclaimed "elites". Absolutely fearless, he had originally been on the left so he understood their tactics and strategies and how to fight back.

He is sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Goldberg is paid to say what he says and to take the anti-Trump (and thus, anti conservative)position he’s taking. It’s just that simple. It’s not a “change of philosophy” or something meritorious or noble. Like most anti-Trump “conservatives” the Lefty billionaires are paying his salary and like most Washington conservatives, Goldberg wants to be wealthy and deemed acceptable by the Dc establishment. He does not care about readers or followers or any movement because none of those things are relevant to the two aforementioned goals.

Shorter version? he’s just a whore.

Unknown said...

The thing is, Jonah seems to have been running away from The success of that book for a decade now.
I recall being shocked at all the times Obama teed up moments that tied directly into *Liberal Fascism*, and instead of swinging at the softball, Jonah just stood there with the bat in his shoulder.
Instead, he'd talk about optics, anti-intellectualism, or something similar.

And then came 2016.
I recall giving him bulletpoint answers when Trump started gaining traction, and he asked how that could happen. (The Republican primaries are stacked with purple and blue states. With side excursions to pledge support for ethanol and the corrupt mess that is South Carolina. It's deliberately set up to give a nearly insurmountable advantage to the squish with the highest name recognition. And anybody who had been fighting to get a conservative candidate the nomination *should* have been well aquatinted with that. That's before showmanship, hard-line illegal immigration opponent, etc.) It... Was not received gracefully.

Then came NR's infamous NeverTrump issue. Where he demanded we simply accept the assertion that we had to hold our noses and support Dole, Bush II, McCain, and Romney. But Trump was somehow beyond the pale (despite having a better platform, and not having an established track record of actively betraying us).

Then he threw what can only be called a hissy fit about the *Flight 93* essay. Despite the fact it tracked very nicely with his on-record statements since at least the 2000 election.
I got the strong impression that his main beef, was having the chance to say "I told you so" taken away by a combative writer in service to a combative candidate.

stan said...

Jonah has ceased to make rational arguments which marshal all the available evidence. He rants about the seriousness of jaywalking offenses while ignoring rape, robbery and murder. There's no point in taking him seriously. He stopped being serious 5 years ago.

The average working class person in flyover country embraced Trump because Trump's action consistently demonstrated that he understood how the working class had gotten screwed and he made solid gains in fixing it. Jonah apparently chose not to notice. Maybe Jonah doesn't know any ordinary working people. In any event, they have demonstrated over the last five years that they are far more rational and far more intelligent than he.

Fred said...

I fear that the "big picture" here is that our arguments should not be framed as left v. right or red v. blue, but rather as us v. them. They are our masters and rulers, and their minions. They have no idea what it is like out here in the colonies. They have no idea how we think. Hence, they put up fences around the Capitol, thinking us will invade or something. It is appallingly ignorant, and yet they are our "representatives" there. The longer they are there, the less they understand; theya re surrounded by sycophants, and no one ever tells them their idea is not just wrong, it is incredibly stupid (and it seems most of their ideas are awfully stupid, any more).

And yes, I know there are a ton of arguments we can have over L v. R, but we peons of the left and the right need to understand the Big Picture. We can work out the L v. R matters later, first we need to put a check on the power of them.

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