The hard left has revealed itself (yet again) to be vicious, dishonest, violent, ugly, conscience-free.
The media — both mainstream and online — have proved themselves hopelessly inadequate to the task of being fair, balanced and accurate when reporting on stories even tangentially connected to Donald Trump.
The celebrity class — aka the Wankerati — has shown how pathetically eager it is to jump on any twitchfork mob bandwagon in order to burnish its woke credentials.
The Catholic church — which really should have stood up for those boys — has proved itself, in several cases, to be weak, cowardly, disingenuous, too quick to form judgments. But perhaps the people who emerge with the least credit out of this sorry episode — mainly because they should know better — are all those ‘conservative’ voices who hurried forth with indecent haste to parade their virtue by throwing a bunch of innocent high school juniors to the wolves.
These conservatives included talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who — even after the boys’ innocence had been confirmed — remained strangely wedded to the idea that they needed a moral lecture on “respect, forgiveness, courtesy.” (Why?)
They also included the National Review, forced to spike one of its authors’ articles and issue a groveling climb-down, having too-eagerly accepted the leftist propaganda narrative at its word.
January 20, 2019 4:57 PM
Last night, I tweeted that the Catholic high school that apologized over the conduct of its kids at the Lincoln Memorial did the appropriate thing. Then someone shared with me a snippet from a different angle/time that showed the Indian elder/activist approaching the kid in a MAGA hat who looked initially like he was menacing him. I noted that ambiguity in another tweet and said it was still wrong for the other kids to mock the elder’s chant. Now, even more extensive video shows that the elder approached the entire group of kids in the first place and suggests — together with a statement by one of the students — that the kids jumping around and chanting may not necessarily have been mean-spirited. All this took place in the context of a long, poisonous tirade directed at the the students by a group of black nationalists. Anyway, if not a hoax, this at the very least was not what it initially seemed. I deleted my original tweet and we also took down a strongly worded post by my colleague Nick Frankovich that relied on the incomplete video. It’s another reminder — even for an old hand like me — that it’s best not to make snap judgments and to wait for all sides of a controversy to have a chance to be heard.
In his tweet, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele chose race-baiting virtue signaling over the truth (since deleted, worse luck!).
Here’s New York Times house conservative Ross Douthat suggesting that even though it wasn’t the boys’ fault it sorta, kinda was because MAGA hats…
None of these conservatives needed to stick their oar into the debate, but they couldn’t resist.
And we all know why they couldn’t resist: it’s that old, sled-being-chased-by-wolves scenario – which is forever undoing the conservative cause.
The wolves are, of course, the ravening left, ever desperate for right-wing flesh.
The driver of the sled is your typical squishy conservative, determined to save his skin at whatever cost.
So in order to escape the wolves, he has to lighten the load, or distract the wolves with gobbets of meat.
And who are the gobbets of meat he uses to lighten the load or feed the wolves?
Why they are, of course, the conservatives traveling with him on the sled.
Mark Steyn puts it well:
What’s disturbing about this fake hate crime is not that the Twitter mob scented blood in its nostrils and went bounding after its prey, but that a big chunk of Conservative Inc. piled on, as enthusiastically as the left.
I agree. For me, the standout message of this sorry affair is that conservatives have gotto stop playing the enemy’s game; they’ve got to stop confusing virtue-signaling with integrity, decency or moral principle; they’ve got to be more like Trump and less like — well, pretty much any conventional conservative politician you could name, because they’re all at it…
Of course we expect the liberal-left to fall for a basic, emotive, mendacious narrative like “spoilt white, Trump-supporting high school kids disrespect and bully a noble, elderly Native American who served his country in Vietnam.”
But conservatives are — or ought to be — better than that. We prize hard-headed facts over confected emotion. We judge people on how they behave not on who they are.
We don’t — or shouldn’t — see an old Native American guy beating his native drum and incanting the kind of chant that calls to mind Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee — and then instantly go: “I’d trust this guy any day over a bunch of white high school kids because ethnicity and white guilt and that Richard Harris movie where he gets strung up by his nipples.”
When you put it like that, it sounds really shallow doesn’t it?”Let us prostrate ourselves before the Red Man because we are not worthy”.
Like I said, you expect that kind of grovelling, embarrassing, disingenuous, sanctimonious, Uriah-Heepish, virtue-signaling behavior from identity-politics-obsessed leftists because they’re stupid and they’re dishonest and it’s how they roll.
But that’s no reason for conservatives to play that game. Especially when, as in this particular case, the white kids in the MAGA hats turn out to be the good guys. And the guy playing the Native American elder/Nam vet card turns out to be the troublemaker.
What Phillips really is, it seems fair to say, is a left-wing activist who gets outrageously overindulged by a credulous left-liberal media because he looks the part. (He even once appeared in a Skrillex video).
The snaggle teeth, the emaciated weather-beaten face, that whole schtick he does about his forefathers’ traditions— “This is indigenous land. We’re not supposed to have walls here. We never did …for millennia,” he said wiping tears…”
This guy is every virtue-signaling idiot’s dream come true. To take his side, the more passionately the better, is to show to the world emphatically that you are one of the good guys: you are pro herds of bison roaming free, pro ancient traditions, pro living off the land, and really, like, totally against the rapacious white man with his MAGA hats and his massacres and his Iron Horse cutting across the unspoilt landscape of proud, noble people who just wanted to be left in peace.
Hence tweets like this one, which I quoted yesterday and which I’m going to have to quote one more time because it’s so gloriously, collectibly emetic.
So this woman, Edith Bowman, is a BBC DJ — a job, obviously, you’ll only ever get if you display impeccably woke views. And here she is, so overwhelmed with self-righteous rage at the perceived injustice towards the noble Native American that she claims to have “felt physically sick.” Is she going to apologise? Well she has been given lots of chances but hasn’t done so yet…
Truly, there is no form of humiliation yet devised — I suppose Cersei’s Walk of Shame comes close — that could ever give Bowman and her ilk the payback they deserve for their orgy of virtue-signaling cant and hypocrisy over the weekend.
But you expect this kind of nonsense from the left-liberal Wankerati.
You don’t — or shouldn’t — from conservatives. I hope those who’ve made idiots of themselves in this affair have learned their lesson. This incident is — or ought to have been — virtue-signaling’s Gettysburg… the battle that changed the tide of the civil war.