July 14, 2003

InstaPundit points out that bloggers and pundits are jumping ALL over Pat Robertson for his sleazy connections to, and support of, Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. What he leaves out is that all three of the sources are conservatives, ganging up on an idiotarian conservative. I am still waiting for the left to stage a similar scene. Oh, sure, when Cynthia McKinney accused Bush of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, Joe Lieberman went after her, but for the most part, the left gives their morons a free pass. The whole Trent Lott affair picked up steam after conservative bloggers dogpiled him, and Rick Santorum has been roundly criticised for his statements equating homosexual behavior with incest, bestiality, and polyamory. We've yet to see similar behavior from the left, except for a small group of pro-war liberals such as Meryl Yourish, Charles Johnson, and Laurence Simon, who are truly at home with the term "anti-idiotarian". There's certainly no shortage of big lefty bloggers out there; let's see them go after their idiots with the same vigor that we on the right beat down ours.

UPDATE 14 July/9:30pm—Two more conservative bloggers who've beat on Robertson: Jim Miller and Stephen Green. (Stephen would probably take umbrage at being lumped in with "conservatives", but since he doesn't know I exist, it'll be our little secret).

posted on July 14, 2003 11:38 AM


I rather suspect that you will have a very, very long wait before Leftists, such as the current loons occupying Eschaton, go after their own. On some of these sites, I've recently observed a rehabilitation of folks such as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and other anti semites.

posted by Terry on July 14, 2003 02:21 PM

This sort of ties in with the Left's other incomprehensible tendency: its habit of embracing wildly inconsistent causes with uniform and uncritical enthusiasm. All it demands is that they be opposed to freedom, capitalism, and American national interests.

Ah, well. I suppose everyone should have a hobby.

posted by Francis W. Porretto on July 14, 2003 02:59 PM

Excellent post, and I won't be holding my breath.

As an aside, a closer read would reveal that Santorum didn't exactly equate those things. It's amazing the number of commenters who say he did, though.

posted by Oscar Jr. on July 14, 2003 08:48 PM

You're right, Oscar. But he failed to differentiate them, by saying that allowing one would necessarily require acceptance of the others, which is a false analogy.

posted by Timekeeper on July 14, 2003 09:06 PM

I took a whack at Pat Robertson in a post last night. And I'm very right-of-center--I not only hit him for his Liberian mines, but for bad doctrine. To think I once supported that guy for president...

The left doesn't self-criticize anymore, which is why it tends to embrace all sorts of nonsense and never weeds any of it out. You can be an open bigot and still remain in good standing with the left so long as you equate Bush with Hitler or otherwise tow the liberal line. The right does self-criticize, almost too often in some cases. But Roberston isn't one of those cases. He deserves what he's getting.

posted by Bryan on July 15, 2003 09:41 AM

More directly on point, the left just happens to have a nationally prominent, religious leader, former presidential candidate of their own who has been deeply in bed with the very same Charles Taylor. Unlike Robertson, he apparently has no $ at stake in Liberia, though he, or at least his allies are reported to be the recipients of Sierra Leone diamonds obtained by the machete wielders. Need another hint, he was largely responsible for Clinton administration Africa policy and in particular preventing rebel groups from overturning Taylor and his friends in Sierra Leone. Still no guess? The initials are JJ. See Timmerman in 7/10 NY Post for more.

posted by Lloyd on July 15, 2003 10:38 AM

Lloyd, read Jim Miller's post (linked above) for a bit more on "JJ". Timmerman's book "Shakedown" has a lot of information on the man's dealings with Africa, most of it sordid and some of it probably illegal.

posted by Timekeeper on July 15, 2003 10:56 AM

Timekeeper: What Santorum said is that if a consitutional 'right of privacy' bars laws against sodomy, then it also bars laws against any other private sexual act - including incest, etc. Justice Scalia also thinks so. The issue is not whether there should be laws against sodomy. Justice Thomas wrote that the law in question was constitutional, but ought to be repealed as bad policy. The question is whether there is a right of sexual privacy, and _what_ _other_ _acts_ such a right might protect, whether such protection was intended or not.

posted by Rich Rostrom on July 15, 2003 12:30 PM

Oh, but Bryan, the left most certainly does engage in self-criticism -- like a mudslide, it's an ugly and awe-inspiring sight. All it takes is one leftist saying that another leftist is "carrying white privilege" or "reacting from a self-hating colonized mentality" and suddenly there will be this outpouring of guilt and shame, as all the lefties try to top each other with how far they need to go and how much work they need to do before they become "really progressive." One of the many reasons I'm leaving the Bay Area is that I just can't hang with these people -- as nice and as sincere as they are -- for one more second.

posted by Dan on July 15, 2003 03:34 PM

Ignorance and greed will be the downfall of the conservative right in due time. Anyone who would vote for Pat Robertson is ignorant of the basic fundamentals of democracy and common sense.

posted by Jim on July 15, 2003 06:39 PM

"I've recently observed a rehabilitation of folks such as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and other anti semites."
Um, Chomsky IS Jewish. How can he be an antisemite?
Also, there are plenty of right-wing idiots the right *isn't* going after: what about that guy who lives in Washington and likes to encourage Iraqis to attack USuk troops?

posted by Johnny Proctor on July 16, 2003 06:26 AM

I took on Robertson, too.

In defense of the leftists though, I think we need to differentiate libertarians from conservatives. Most of us from "the right" who criticize the likes of Robertson are in the former camp, certainly including Messrs. Reynolds and Green. Most of us aren't particularly religious or, indeed, somewhat anti-Big Religion. So it's not necessarily a matter of criticizing one of our own.

posted by James Joyner on July 16, 2003 06:29 AM

Johnny—In reference to Noam Chomsky, it is the same mechanism that allows Black conservatives to be labeled as "Uncle Toms" or "Oreos", that allows consevative Asians to be called "Bananas", or conservative gays to be called antigay homophobes. Of course, it's all right when such perjorative terms are lobbed by the left, isn't it? <sarcasm>

As for the slam against Bush, why don't you ask the soldiers who are affected by his statement, such as this guy, or this guy, or this guy; their opinions probably differ considerably from your own. Don't presume to speak for "the troops" to further your own agenda; most of us (here, and over there) don't buy into your particular worldview.

posted by Timekeeper on July 16, 2003 11:39 AM


We get lumped in with the conservatives whether we like it or not. (Despite my distinctly Libertarian bent on social issues, I have been called a rightwingideologuefascist, among other terms, by some of the more energetic lefties). And people such as Jim Miller and Michael Barone are solidly conservative, yet they too have been condemning Robertson.

posted by Timekeeper on July 16, 2003 12:10 PM

Okay. You're saying that, in some way, Chomsky's opposition to Israel's occupation of Palestine is equivalent to, say, voting for someone who opposes your basic civil rights? There's a big difference between supporting someone who seeks to oppress your particular group in some way and telling members of your particular group to stop oppressing others. Saying that a Jew who opposes the occupation of Palestine is an antisemite is as ridiculous as saying an American who opposes the invasion/occupation of Iraq is UnAmerican...oh, hold on a sec.... The point is, being against the occupation is not equivalent to being anti-Israel. Being against the occupation is not the same as being in favour of the (often actually anti-semitic) terrorists who attempt to fight it.
It's also worth pointing out that 'Uncle Toms' and so on don't actively hate their own group, they merely (in the mindset of people who use such terms) betray their group, usually for some manner of personal gain. I don't think it'd be valid to call a black person who voted for a conservative- even an (anti-black) racist- a racist themselves, merely a sellout of some kind. Therefore, even if you believe that Noam Chomsky is in some way betraying all Jews by asking the Israelis to stop occupying Palestine, he is merely a traitor (to his ethnic/religious group) rather than an anti-semite.
And as for the soldiers affected by Bush's statement? How about these guys? They (by which I mean the entire 2nd BCT) certainly don't seemed too chuffed about Bush and co, and I'd wager that those comments of his had something to do with it. I've been looking for the past wee while for any comments by actual soldiers in iraq about the 'bring it on' comments, and can't find any, either on the blogs you linked to or elsewhere. But if I remember rightly, when the story broke there were a lot of veterans, army family and other people affected by his statement that were seriously unhappy with bush for his latest moronism.
I'm not presuming to speak for the troops (they seem very capable of speaking for themselves, and a lot of them seem to be agreeing with me) or trying to further some kind of agenda- I'm really not the agenda-making type. I'm not necessarily asking you to buy into my worldview. All I'm asking is that the right-wingers at least concede that encouraging enemy troops to kill your own country's soldiers is really not a very clever thing to do, rather than coming up with ridiculous justifications for it. If Clinton had done said the same things there would have been outrage from the right (and rightly so). Why do they make excuses for this particular incident?

posted by Johnny Proctor on July 16, 2003 06:02 PM

My reply will be a seperate post.

Update—Response can be found here.

posted by Timekeeper on July 16, 2003 07:49 PM

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