The Righteous Right Fouls Up


Let me see
if I have this straight. According to 95% of GOP
pundits:

A. As Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott was an
utter disgrace to the fundamental principles of the
Republican Party. His resignation from the Majority
Leader position was an absolute moral necessity after
his crime against humanity
 

 

B. As a U.S. Senator, on the other hand, Trent Lott
remains a valued public servant. Any notion that he
should resign from the Senate is unthinkable. For him to
quit now, just because a few folks have said a few
unkind words about him, would be a crime against
humanity.

A
contradiction, no?

The
explanation, of course: Lott`s resigning

allowed Karl Rove
to move his boy Bill Frist into
what had been a power base independent of the White
House.

But if Lott
also resigned from the Senate, the Democratic Governor
of Mississippi

would appoint a Democrat
, splitting the Senate
50-50. That would give the Democrats a good shot at
luring a liberal Republican to switch sides, thus
regaining the majority.

Okay, now
that we all understand, let`s chant along with the
Righteous Right:

"DEATH TO
MAJORITY LEADER LOTT!

LONG LIVE SENATOR LOTT!"

Just two weeks ago,
on VDARE.COM, I was complacently

discussing
the likelihood that the Supreme Court
would soon outlaw racial preferences in college
admissions.

Well … that was a

long time
ago.

Now the question is
how much of the wish-list of race hustlers like Jesse
Jackson is going to be granted, due to the Republican
meltdown.

Yeah, sure, Trent
Lott should be hung up by his toenails in every town
square in America and all that. But it`s important to go
over exactly what happened.

The fundamental fact
is that this disaster was almost completely
self-inflicted by Republican pundits
. It was the
“right wing” mouthpieces, not the liberals, who went
hysterical.

The initial reaction
of most Democratic politicians and journalists was that
Lott was just blowing smoke to make an old man happy at
his retirement/100th birthday party. Nothing important
should be read into it.

As Howie
Kurtz

reported
in the Washington Post on 12/16:

"A dozen reporters heard the Senate majority leader
say the country would have been better off if Thurmond
had won the presidency—and it was carried on C-SPAN—but
only an ABC producer thought the remarks were
newsworthy. Even then the story didn`t make it to the
network`s main newscasts. Baltimore Sun reporter
Julie Hirschfeld Davis says there was so much
`tongue-in-cheek` talk at Thurmond`s birthday party
`that a lot of us probably tuned out remarks that we
might have been more careful listening to if it hadn`t
been such a jubilant atmosphere.`"

The very
liberal retired Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) attended the
100th birthday party. He

said
later,

"I`ve worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and been at
the forefront of civil rights legislation. If I thought
it was serious, I`d be denouncing it. But I think it`s
being taken out of context, and that`s not being fair to
Trent."
 

Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle

said
,

"There are a lot of times when [Lott] and I go
to the microphone and would like to say things we meant
to say differently, and I`m sure this was one of those
cases for him."


Soon afterwards
, two of Clinton`s attack dogs,
Sidney Blumenthal and James Carville, sent out mass
emails trying to peddle the story. The websites of a few
Democrat picked it up. But the big-time liberal media
still wasn`t interested.

What happened next
was the key.

According
to Jim Rutenberg and Felicity Barringer in
the New York Times (December 17),

"Early, widespread and harsh criticism by conservative
commentators and publications has provided much of the
tinder for the political fires surrounding Senator Trent
Lott since his favorable comments about the
segregationist presidential campaign of 1948.
Conservative columnists, including Andrew Sullivan,
William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, and
publications like National Review and the Wall
Street Journal
have castigated Mr. Lott …"

Similarly, the
Washington Post`s
Kurtz wrote,

"Even after Lott`s comments were reported, though,
much of the establishment press ignored them for days.
It wasn`t until Lott apologized last Monday night that
such newspapers as the New York Times, Los
Angeles Times
, Wall Street Journal and USA
Today took note of the matter. In the meantime,
Lott was pummeled by a number of online Weblogs –
particularly by conservatives who agree with him on many
issues – in a way that helped force the story into
public view."


A Hundred- Candle Story And How To Blow It (washingtonpost.com)

Kurtz cited

David Frum
,

Andrew Sullivan
, and Glenn "Instapundit"
Reynolds.

David Frum
is a longtime journalist and former Bush speechwriter. I
can`t really remember much of anything special about him
other than that he wrote two-thirds of the "axis of
evil" phrase, and that he`s replacing the unique and
iconoclastic

Florence King
on the back page of National
Review,
which is depressing. Maybe NR thought
they were hiring David Brooks instead.

Andrew
Sullivan is the world`s foremost spokesman for

Andrewism
, which is best defined as whatever Andrew
is worked up about at the current stage in his
prescription testosterone cycle. (Click

here
for his 7,000-word ode to injecting the manly
molecule, and to the wildly variable impact it has on
his judgment.)

I rather
like Andrew, in part for his brave

advocacy
of The Bell Curve, in part because
he has elevated hypocrisy to an art form. The
disjunction between what he preaches and what he

practices
is so stark that it somehow feels wrong to
judge him according to the normal standards of truth,
logic, honesty, and morality that apply to drab analysts
like me. Instead, Andrew is more like the lead character
in the great roman a clef novel (think of Saul
Bellow`s

Ravelstein

about Allan Bloom) that no doubt will be written
about him after he`s gone.


Instapundit
is less interesting. Glenn Reynolds is a
law professor who used his amazing skill at typing fast
to invent "blogrolling," or online backscratching. Every
day he skims lots of other web logs and jots down
countless quick links to those who agree with him. This
drives traffic to various lonely bloggers, who
gratefully respond with adulatory links back to him.
It`s mutual-admiration perpetual motion machine.
Reynolds offers the usual libertarian-militarist
ideology found online. But he distinguishes himself by
being, even for a

blogger
, exceptionally self-righteous and
self-regarding.

Despite the
desperate idolization of Instapundit by other bloggers,
however, the tracking service

Alexa
seems to show that VDARE.COM has

more traffic
.  Hardly surprising. Visiting
Instapundit.com is like being caught in a hailstorm of
ping-pong balls. Apparently, Instapundit and Sullivan
are more socially respectable to link to, but VDARE.COM
is more interesting to read.

So as soon as these
Righteous Righties decided that Lott`s 100th birthday
party bloviating was the most serious statement of
considered belief since Luther`s 95 Theses, the bloggers
who take their direction in hopes of getting a link back
began howling for Lott`s head.

And it was only then
that the New York Times and the rest of Big
Liberal Media jumped on the story.

Instapundit, the
All-Seeing Sage of Blogovia, has whined that it was

"galling,
and unjustified"
that the Democrats were using
his
witch burning crusade to advance their
agenda of racial preferences.

And Andrew has

complained
:

"Some of the sanctimony is now beginning to bug me.
…The equation of opposition to affirmative action or
hate-crime laws or any other number of leftist policies
with racism strikes me as a massively cheap shot. (I was
on WBUR last night and paleo-lib Jack Beatty went
straight to that knee-jerk point. Grrrr.) And the blithe
assumption of moral superiority is equally galling."

Similarly,
Frum has

lamented
that the Washington Post reported
that the White House looked more likely to argue in
favor of racial preferences in the University of
Michigan quota case.

Of course, the
establishment conservatives are trying to tell
themselves that it will ultimately be all for the best.
Noemie Emery

writes
in the Weekly Standard:


"It is now a great mess
for the Republican Party, but one that has the potential
to turn into a great opportunity, and one the party
should eagerly seize. It is a chance for the GOP to
clean up its act and its household, haul tons of old
rubbish out of the attic, and banish some shopworn old
ghosts."

Which sounds an awful
lot like Greta Garbo playing the Soviet commissar in "Ninotchka."
Asked the news from Moscow, she

replied
:


"The last mass trials
were a great success. There are going to be fewer but
better Russians."

I now expect a
concerted effort to silence anyone on the right
suspected of crimethink about human biodiversity.
Already, Frum has smeared my website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com
in his NRO column.

Of course, he doesn`t
make any arguments against anything I`ve written. He`s
smart enough to know that getting into a public debate
with me over race is a losing proposition. (If he`s
brave enough, I`m ready to debate him anytime.)

He simply argues by
labeling –

hyperlinking
to my site on the helpful words
“inescapable racialism” and lumping me in with the "paleoconservatives."

I`ve certainly got
nothing against the paleos. They have proven infinitely
more interested in learning from the human sciences than
have the increasingly anti-scientific neocons. (For a

laugh
, check out "Has
Darwin Met His Match?
" in the December 2002 edition
of Commentary).

Still, I`ve never
been a paleo. In 1999, John O`Sullivan wrote in
National Review
an article entitled "Types
of Right
." Number 5 was:

“Evolutionary Conservatives.
This is an almost wholly intellectual group (e.g., Steve
Sailer, John McGinnis, Charles Murray)— not a politician
brave enough to stand with them — who have realized two
things: first, that lessons of the new science of
evolutionary psychology are largely conservative ones
about an adamantine human nature, the natural basis of
sex roles, and so on; second, that the knowledge gained
from the Human Genome Project and the rise of genetic
engineering will throw up some fascinating and
contentious political issues in the increasingly near
future.”

On the political front, the Establishment media is
now enthusiastically answering the Weekly Standard`s
call for one, two, many purges. But they will conduct
the hunts on their own liberal terms.

For Trent Lott is not some kind of unique locus of
Political Incorrectness in the Republican Party.
There are lots of Lotts.

Between 1/3rd and 3/8ths of the GOP vote comes from
white Southerners. The vast majority of these citizens
no more want the return of Jim Crow than they want the
return of summers without air conditioners. But they do
bear normal human feelings of loyalty and affection
toward their parents, grandparents, and more distant
ancestors – which are expressed through various
exercises in symbolism, or through mere politeness.

A huge fraction of
all Republican office holders are from the South.
Virtually every one of them
is on record committing
Lott`s Sin: saying something nice about a representative
of the Old South.

In the feeding frenzy
of the last week, we`ve been treated to one story after
another about how all Republican victories since Kevin
Phillips wrote

The Emerging Republican Majority
in 1969 were illegitimate because they
were based on white Southern voters.

I believe the

success
I`ve had as a voter analyst stems in large
part from my taking a moral stance that happens also to
be a factual reality. I believe in the equality of
American citizens
. I refuse to fall for the
increasingly common assumption that "While all voters
are equal, some are more equal than others." I try to
remind everybody that they still count everybody`s vote
the same.

For example, for 20
years the press has been telling us that the gender gap
is going to devastate the GOP. But it never happens,
because a man`s vote counts exactly as much as a woman`s
vote. And men, although the media doesn`t care, tilt
just as much to the Republicans as women do to
Democrats.

Similarly, Democrats
have often succeeded in delegitimizing Republican
victories won with white votes. This isn`t just
symbolic. Democrats have actually scared Republicans
away from strategies that worked in the past.

For example, George
H.W. Bush`s 1988 campaign against Dukakis` softness on
crime was

permanently libeled as racist
because the best
example of Dukakis` foolishness was a furloughed
murderer named Willie Horton – who happened to be black.

Similarly, the GOP
has been

brainwashed
into believing that Pete Wilson`s
spectacular comeback in 1994 is now off-limits because
it appealed to The Wrong Kind of Voters.

Well, I`m too much of
a small "d" democrat to believe that there are Wrong
Kinds of Voters—there are just voters.

But that`s going to
be an increasingly rare view as the fallout from the
Righteous Right`s temper tantrum continues.

Great going, guys.
Thanks a Lott.


(Email

David Frum
,

Andrew Sullivan,


Glenn Reynolds.
)


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]

December 22, 2002