On Friday, National Review writer and conservative crazy person John Derbyshire wrote an unambiguously racist piece for a conservative web site that was, well, unambiguously racist. Not a close call, that one.
In response, National Review has fired him. You can read editor Rich Lowry’s statement here, or I’ll save you a link and just provide the probably-more-accurate version:
“My friends, we at National Review are no strangers to racism. I mean, holy crap, have you seen some of the stuff we’ve published?Let’s not forget that this entire magazine was founded so that segregationists would have somewhere to go to feel intellectually superior about their racism, and I think we’ve tried to maintain that philosophy ever since.The one and only essential rule we require of our authors, however, is that they maintain a small bit of plausible deniability. You don’t come right out and say white supremacist things, you simply suggest them, then act outraged when someone picks up on the obvious implications. All of conservatism relies on this distancing between our “suggested” policies and their obviously ridiculous or racist real world results. By breaking that implicit rule, however, Mr. Derbyshire has damaged our future abilities to claim we don’t actually mean it when we suggest obviously racist things.
We are therefore letting Mr. Derbyshire go, so that we can maintain the genteel, did-we-really-mean-that-or-not veneer of our crazy racist founders. We wish him well, and hope to see him say he is sorry, be quickly forgiven and then nobly redeemed in the eyes of the movement, hopefully by next Tuesday or Wednesday, and are at least satisfied that for the rest of his life he will be able to wear this episode as a badge of how very downtrodden racist assholes are in this nation, probably because ethnic people and liberals are meanies and/or fascists. Thank you.”
Did I get it right? Meh, who cares.
By: Hunter for Daily Kos, April 7, 2012
This morning, Jonathan Adler, a contributing editor to The National Review Online, asks:
Why is it that hardly anyone — not the media nor the other candidates — directly challenge Gingrich’s claim to have a conservative record?
I’m going to gently suggest to Mr. Adler that the blame lies with his fellow conservatives, who until recently were loath to question Gingrich’s party bona fides.
Here’s Rich Lowry, the Review’s editor(!), crowning Gingrich “the party’s most important intellectual table-setter.”
And here’s a Gallup survey from 2009, confirming that Lowry’s opinion was widely shared; After Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney, Republican voters chose Gingrich as the “main person who speaks for the Republican Party today.”
I have no dog in this fight — I think Gingrich and Romney are equally, dangerously conservative — but It seems a little odd to question the credentials of the guy who wielded so much power within the party. Maybe conservatives are just embarrassed to have backed a loose cannon for so long?
By: Elon Green, Washington Monthly Political Animal, January 29, 2012