Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Beltway Council of Elite Both Siderists Is Now In Session

Today we open a Major American Newspaper to find a column in which the author...

...praises Mona Charen's media-profile-raising exercise at CPAC where she boldly scolded the most recent and rancid fruit of the Poison Conservative Tree while pretending that the Poison Conservative Tree itself did not exist.
For my money, the best op-ed published in The Times this week was Mona Charen’s Feb. 25 barn-burner, “I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC.” Charen is a movement conservative who worked for Nancy and Ronald Reagan and is a longtime contributor to National Review. One of her books is titled “Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help.” A Bernie Sanders progressive she is not.

But Charen is also a NeverTrumper who chose to speak her mind during a panel discussion on the #MeToo movement at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference...
...delivers the standard Beltway disclaimer that what is happening with the Republican Party is somehow not Republicanism, but an inexplicable freak of nature called Trumpism.
When Trumpism fails, as it inevitably will, who will be the Republican Adenauer?
...celebrates himself and the rest of the so-called NeverTrumpers as the vanguard of a daring-if-outcast cohort of future saviors of the Right...
NeverTrumpers haunt the conservative movement the way Polish or Czech dissident intellectuals such as Czeslaw Milosz and Vaclav Havel haunted that segment of Central European intelligentsia that made its peace with Stalinism after World War II.

The Trumpers (and Stalinists) traded conscience for power; the NeverTrumpers and dissidents chose the reverse. Conscience can be made to suffer, but in the end it usually wins.

That’s why NeverTrumpers matter; why the Trumpers know they matter (which they prove every time they feverishly assert the opposite); and why progressives who dismiss NeverTrumpers as politically irrelevant are wrong.
...and, inevitably, unsheaths the Mighty Cudgel of Both Siderism to take a big 'ol whack at Those Damn, Dirty Liberals:
I write this as a parallel contest is taking shape within the Democratic Party, most visibly in the rift between traditional liberals and the social-justice warriors of what used to be the far left. Dianne Feinstein’s failure this week to claim her party’s nomination for the Senate seat she’s held since 1992 is another depressing indication that the rift is widening.

One side believes in the power of reason, the possibility of persuasion, and the values of the Enlightenment. It champions social solidarity for the sake of empowering the individual, rather than creating a society of conformists. It doesn’t see compromise as a dirty word. Its belief in the benefits of civility and diversity does not override its commitment to free speech and independent thought. 

As for the other side, it thinks it knows what’s True. It considers compromise knavish. It views debate — beyond its own tightly set parameters — as either pointless or dangerous. And while it sees itself as the antithesis of Trumpism, it is, in its raging intolerance and smug self-satisfaction, Trumpism’s mirror image...
And there is one and only one thing I find compelling about this column -- how absolutely depressingly predictable (and predicted) every single Conservative reaction has all been at every step along the way to this moment.  How quickly and completely the Beltway has ritualized its new dogma on the subject of our fucked-up politics.  How the blueprint for Both Siderist op-eds has now become so standardized that when you strip it of its byline and a few verbal tics, this slab of indifferent True Conservative alibi-mongering is so flawlessly generic that it is nearly impossible to guess who wrote it.

Did David Brooks write the dreck you just read?  Or was it Arthur Brooks?  Or was it Michael Gerson?  Joe Scarborough?  Andrew Sullivan?  Kathleen Parker?  David Frum?  Was it George Will?  Ross Douthat?  Bret Stephens?  Rick Wilson?  Steve Schmidt?  Peggy Noonan?  Charlie Sykes?  Bill Kristol?

Shall I go on?

Because that is the point.  That far from "taking some chances" and "recruiting voices that are new to The Times and publishing pieces that press against our traditional boundaries" (to single out James Bennet, editorial-page editor of The New York Times) the gatekeepers of our public discourse have instead created a clone army of Conservative Havers-of-Opinions whose writing about what the actual fuck has happened to the Republican Party they have served their entire adult lives is so anodyne and doctrinaire and full of shit that it all blends together into single, continuous drone of aristocratic self-exculpation.

And you and I are not in it.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


bowtiejack said...

An excellent place to pull up Professor Galbraith's evergreen quote:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Sorry, Charlie, there's no "both sides" aspect to that.

steeve said...

"this slab of indifferent True Conservative alibi-mongering is so flawlessly generic that it is nearly impossible to guess who wrote it."

But we can narrow it down to a republican not seeking election. Because for some reason, each and every republican who wants to run for office, even if a former "never trumper", is no longer a never trumper. Almost as if "trumpism" is some sort of majority position.

JHB said...

"Both sides" did not turn a national major political party into the Party of Ahab, doubling down on every attempt to strike down the White Donkey... err, Whale.

To hear Republicans, one would think the Democratic leadership was the central committee of the Sybionese Liberation Army.

And that ain't a measure of how Democrats have changed.

jim said...

So, the Grey Painted Lady literally refers to its editorial board as "a hive mind of experts" - TMI, girl!


Well worth noting that the "original thinkers" they've had as guest writers include such literary lights as Assad & Putin, because what says journalistic integrity like op-ed cameos from fascist kleptocrat mass-murderers?

Great Mother of "BOB" have they ever been snorting their own supply ... valuing empiricism & equality in Opinion would entail a solid quarter of their senior pundits being given pink slips & cardboard boxes to put their shit in before security arrives to toss them to the curb. Denying indifference to right versus wrong rings hollow after the telling episode of signal-boosting & fluffing Richard Spencer & the (presumably ongoing) fetish with long maudlin examinations of the inner thoughts & aspirations of the red-state political window-lickers who increasingly visibly fail to take their own meat-dream "ideology" seriously.

Dark Phoenix (Nixa) said...

Of course the Beltway Media is freaking out about the Democratic Party not supporting Feinstein; after all, she's a moderate holding a seat that's majorly blue and could absolutely get a more progressive candidate. It's the same reason they're freaking out about the DCCC refusing to endorse Dan Lipinski; they're both closer to the center than the Democratic Party as a whole (Lipinski is pretty much a Republican running as a Democrat because his district is heavily blue and he knows he'd never win as a Republican), and they're both from heavily blue districts that could easy elect more representative candidates. And if there's one thing the Beltway LOVES, it's Democratic candidates that talk like Republicans and/or talk about treating Republicans as if they're NOT trying to burn down North America in general...

trgahan said...

I think I am developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy from all the broad brushes that these media "intellectuals" keep whacking me with in order to construct their liberal straw man excuses for Republican atrocities.

The headache has been bad enough this past week with watching the media, yet again, "discover" that CPAC is a mix between a Klan meeting and Nuremberg rally.

jim said...

Lotusland now importing exotic sparkling fresh Yankee bumper crop of AWKWARD.

Then, shit got AWKWARD(er than that).

All their AWKWARD is belong to whoever.

Robt said...

There is much there to unpack and unwrap. I want to jut unwrap this assumed jewel.

" Dianne Feinstein’s failure this week to claim her party’s nomination for the Senate seat she’s held since 1992 is another depressing indication that the rift is widening."

Di Fi being in the lefty coast of Ca. The sate has changed it balloting. Like all the names go on the "no labels" ballot. Name recognition is still a valued commodity. It does change the one side face off with the other political side.
Where the two highest vote getters will appear on the general election ballot. Which can mean in one scenario. The two top vote recipients could be (both of them Democratic party members. Leaving out the traditional Republican vs Democratic ballot. As I understand it.

So a Di Fi endorsement from the state dem party would be in essence undermining their new system.

Di Fi could end up facing off in the general election like basically the old system where Dem Vs Dem in the primary.

So there's no reason to make the dems in disarray characterization. As far as I can see.

Now perhaps with the new system. If two Dems face off as the top vote getters in the general. I suspect party support may take place but not in the old systems normality of simply endorsing and only supporting.

For them, if a Dem is facing off with a Dem in the general election it is Win or win more.
Where as if the republican candidates do not muster the votes at all. He/ she is not on the general ballot.

No if I got this wrong. Please. Correct me. I just ask if you do. Be kind.