High-level right-wing discourse

Examining the ideas expressed in the last 24 hours from the right's most respectable venue of political thought.

By Glenn Greenwald
March 14, 2008 5:45PM (UTC)
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(updated below - Update II)

Just within the last 24 hours, here is what one learned from National Review, the most respectable venue for "conservative thought" in the country:

Former Dan Qualye aide Lisa Schiffren:

Public sex in Amsterdam's city parks will now be legal. But only for gays. And henceforth dogs will no longer be allowed off their leashes. Read about it here. But I am wondering why the government won't let the poor dogs run free while the gays are "having uncomplicated relations." What are they afraid of?

Conservative columnist Mona Charen:

My own theory, FWIW, is that Obama acquired his far left views at least in part to make himself as authentically black as he could to compensate for having a white mother. His mother, of course, was very left herself. But looking the way he does, and having been raised among only white people (mother and maternal grandparents) he felt the need to better identify with his black heritage. That struggle is what the book is all about.

One can have sympathy for his psychological predicament . But that sympathy certainly does not extend to electing him president of a country that I sincerely believe he does not love.

John Derbyshire:

Here is a 2005 poll showing that: "Almost half of all African-Americans believe that HIV, the virus that causes Aids, is man-made, more than a quarter believe it was produced in a government laboratory and one in eight think it was created and spread by the CIA, according to a study released by Rand Corporation and the University of Oregon" . . . .

Does [] Senator [Obama] believe, as his revered pastor does (and as that pastor's congregation apparently does too) that HIV was made in a government lab? Perhaps someone should ask him. Perhaps someone should have been asking this stuff six months ago.

Lisa Schiffren:

It's funny about those Muslims. Some days I think they need a good dose of sexual liberation. Other days I think their revulsion at current mores makes sense.

So, to recap: Dogs have to be kept on leashes where gays have sex otherwise the gays will molest the dogs. Barack Obama suffers from serious psychological maladies as a result of being black and having a white mother. While Obama's mental illness deserves our collective sympathy, he can't be President because he hates America.

A lot of black people think that HIV was created by whites to infect blacks, so Barack Obama very well might think so, too, and should be asked if he believes that. Islamic radicals pose a grave threat to the U.S. and to all of Our Cherished Freedoms and we must wage War on them forever, but they are right about how depraved, sickly, and excessively liberalized our culture is (and anyone who criticizes America, as Michelle Obama did, is guilty of hating it).


And these are the high-minded, deeply Serious observations one finds in just one 24 hour period in the most respectable right-wing outlet in America. This is to say nothing of what one finds peddled by the lower levels of the right-wing noise machine: Rush Limbaugh, Instapundit, Bill O'Reilly, Drudge, right-wing blogs and the like. But this really is exactly the political faction that has exerted dominant political power in this country for the last 15 years, and has exclusively shaped America's behavior for the last eight years. And, as a result, we have exactly the country one would expect would be produced when people who have these beliefs are empowered.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan notes one other sterling example. Here is what Jonah Goldberg wrote about Obama yesterday:

I don't see any problem with Barack Obama admitting that part of his appeal is the hope that he might help mend the racial divide and turn a new page. But he could also say that he's not running for the President of Black America but of all America and that his qualifications involve more than his skin color. He's more than eloquent enough to make that case.

That's a great observation. How come Barack Obama won't ever say that "he's not running for the President of Black America but of all America"? That's the same Barack Obama who came to fame as a result of a 2004 Convention speech with this defining line: "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America. There's the United States of America," and who inserts lines like this into almost every stump speech, from his victory speech after the South Carolina primary:

I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina. . . .

The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.

It's about the past versus the future.

How ignorant or deceitful does someone have to be to claim that Barack Obama refuses to say that "he's not running for the President of Black America but of all America"? I don't think you can listen to a Barack Obama speech or interview without hearing that point. It's like saying: "How come George Bush refuses to say that we have to fight against the Terrorists"?


Then again, the only thing one really needs to say to make the same point is that the book they're all buying and finding so riveting is one that has a picture of a yellow happy face with a Hitler moustache on the cover, and which argues that Nazis thought about how to eat healthy and keep the environment clean -- just like liberals do! -- and therefore liberals are fascists. That's what they read to convince themselves they're being intellectual, historical and thoughtful.

UPDATE II: One can't help but ponder what must be going on in Lisa Schriffen's psyche that would actually lead her to make the connection she made between the law decriminalizing sex in a public park and the law prohibiting dogs from being off-leash in the park. Would that thought occur to any remotely healthy person?

Then again, here was another Family Values Hero, Rick Santorum, revealing the same mental process:

AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?

SANTORUM: . . . That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —

AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately.

As we learned this week -- when the desire to express public disgust over Eliot Spitzer's sex life was exceeded only by the intense interest in learning every titillating detail about it (and just by the way, here are two worthwhile Spitzer commentaries by women actually in that line of work) -- the places where a person's mind takes them reveals much about who they are.

Glenn Greenwald

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