Moreover, it is notable that most of the paleocons' British associates are at least broadly on the Left, and would definitely describe themselves as such: Neil Clark, Rod Liddle, Brendan O'Neill.
Even Peter Hitchens supports public ownership of the railways, the utilities and the Royal Mail, with a restored Central Electricity Generating Board once again tapping into this country's vast reserves of coal while also making mass use of nuclear power, the principal lobbyist for which has always been the trade union that is now Unite.
Peter gets around this by pretending that that kind of thing has nothing to do with whether or not one is left or right-wing. He is on his own there.
The American Conservative, the only publication in the world to have paid directly for my bylined work this year (admittedly, the days of being paid for that look increasingly to be coming to an end), and which approached me for it rather than having me pitch, publishes articles advocating Presidential runs by Elizabeth Warren and Jim Webb, while making it clear that it could not support any likely Republican candidate other than that hugely improbable nominee, Rand Paul.
Against Hillary Clinton, I rather suspect that Neil, Rod and Brendan would also support Paul. I certainly would. Against Jeb Bush, we would all, I am sure, support Elizabeth Warren or Jim Webb. As, very clearly, would The American Conservative.
There is a real difference in that Neil, Rod and I, and I suspect Brendan as well, would support Warren or Webb against Paul, whereas the paleocons would take the other view. If the choice were between Bush and Clinton, then we should all be together on the first flight to Mars.
But then, ever dividing us, there is race. Isn't there?
Well, is there. Herewith, two of my associates.
First, the Southern Avenger himself, Jack Hunter:
Reuters reported on Tuesday:
But will the Republican Party escape its fate as a political party black Americans and most other nonwhites are convinced hates them?
The question enrages conservatives, who raise some pointed queries of their own.
If Scalise shared David Duke’s racist views, why has it taken more than a decade—and some liberal trolling around hate websites—to reveal it?
Some of them claim to believe conservatism is inherently racist; others simply employ the charge as a political weapon.
They cannot be appeased, so why keep handing them Republican scalps?
Al Sharpton has a long, documented history of racial demagoguery, yet he is welcome at the White House. Jesse Jackson called New York City “Hymietown,” an anti-Semitic slur.
Scalise’s claim to be unfamiliar with the racist ideology of an obscure group is more plausible than Obama’s assertion that he was unfamiliar with Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white rants.
Democrats tolerated a former Ku Klux Klan member in their Senate leadership team as recently as the Obama administration.
Avowed segregationists were part of the New Deal coalition, appearing on presidential tickets with Franklin Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson. Progressives like Woodrow Wilson held Duke-like racial views.
All good points. I’ve made many of them myself and will continue to do so, as liberal Democrats should be held accountable.
But conservatives shouldn’t stop there.
As the Bible says, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
I was among the conservatives who thought Trent Lott back in 2002 (coincidentally, back when the Scalise talk allegedly happened).
Not because I thought his complimenting Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign was anything other than flattery, blowing smoke up an old man’s posterior on his 100th birthday.
But I did think once a controversy arose, the Republican leader of the Senate—a successor to Everett Dirksen, who helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Bob Dole, who voted for it—should be able to manage a more convincing denunciation of segregation than Lott proved able to muster.
As Michael Brendan Dougherty , however, “I can’t think of a more unattractive pose than arguing that the Democrats have awful standards and the GOP should sink to them.”
First, the GOP has a much bigger burden in trying to win over minority voters than the opposition.
The Democrats recovered from their legacy of supporting slavery and segregation; Republicans have yet to recover from Barry Goldwater’s vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Second, Republicans have a harder case to make to minorities and many white voters that their opposition to social welfare spending, unchecked immigration, racial preferences, leniency toward lawbreakers, overly expansive anti-discrimination laws and hate crimes legislation are all motivated by something other than animus.
Making that case becomes impossible if conservatives associate with people who advocate white supremacy, speak disdainfully about African-American intellectual abilities and appear to believe the worst thing about slavery is that it brought black people into the Western world in the first place.
Or maybe conservatives don’t associate with such white racists, but merely conclude they are no worse than the National Council of La Raza. David Duke is about as bad as it gets.
We should downplay this fact because of Sharpton and Wright? That’s not to say conservatives should always retreat in the face of racism charges.
There should be no abandonment of conservative principles or individuals who are falsely accused. But conservatives should be smarter.