Monday, September 29, 2014

Mark Shea is not a liberal

So he points out here.  I respond thus:
Here's an observation. We go to a parish that is moderate to left as a general rule. My 16 year old made an interesting observation. There are Catholics who are liberal in the most modern sense. But after a discussion with his youth group last year, he noted that some Catholics say they're liberal, but compared to the liberal he sees in the world, he thinks they're mainly just anti-Conservative. 
I went back and found, in one month, at least 26 posts on CAEI attacking those on the Right in ways that would make MSNBC blush, taking the assumption that the radical Left's worst appraisal of conservatives and American conservatism is true. I found no more than a dozen or so on the things you're passionately against. And none taking the worst characterization of liberals or liberalism that one might hear on FOX or from talk radio. In fact, you've gone on record lamenting liberalism's embrace of things like abortion since, as you have said, liberalism has so many commendable things to offer. And you openly admire and respect some of our most visible advocates of liberalism, including advocates of some of the things you are passionately against. You have a small handful of exceptions to the rule of conservatives being what MSNBC and Huffpost say they are, but that's all. Your worst rage and rhetoric is aimed at those holding to various ideals associated with conservative viewpoints. 
So not a liberal in the modern, secular sense, though new readers could be forgiven for thinking so. Maybe not even anti-Conservative. But certainly some strange form of bleeding maize and blue while continually declaring your eternal devotion for the scarlet and grey.That is declaring yourself conservative with an overwhelming focus on the worst interpretations of those things to the right of center, with little comparable focus on those things to the left. Maybe a touch of the Nicholson? It should be noted that when something associated with the Left is hammered on CAEI, it is topic focused. That is, abortion, using gay marriage to smash liberty, things like that. The 'pelvic left' is as bad as it gets as sweeping condemnation, and usually only linked to particular issues, not echoing the worst assumptions about liberals in general. 
Oh, and it can't be because of 'readership.' One need only see the high fives and praises given by a wide range of readers for the 'conservatives are what the left say they are' posts to see the readership is nowhere near dominated by people from traditional and conservative perspectives as perhaps it once was. Just something I've noticed. Not falling into party loyalty is one thing, and not a bad one. Not doing so with an overwhelming focus on only one of the parties is another. Bound to cause some confusion.

A reader, who for defending a more conservative viewpoint was banned from CAEI quite some time ago, responds like this:

This whole post is as silly as claiming that you can't be a southerner because of [long list of catholic features] even as you speak with a southern accent, use country slang, and all while eating a plate of grits and washing it down with a glass of sweet tea. 
Signs you, Shea are a liberal: 
1) Conservative commentators on this blog get rebuked and banned more frequently and over smaller offenses than liberal commentators, the examples are pretty numerous. (this comment will probably be deleted and/or myself banned in fact)
2) You're adamant about being centrist, often using as proof that there are people more liberal. Conservatives not only openly admit that they are, but the movement as a whole has instituted a wide taxonomy for it's members. (paleo, neo, reactionary, libertarian, anarchist, many more) If you can't find the proper label to fit you on the right, well then guess what! (you're centrist -> left) Liberals are far more self-delusional about their positions on the ideological scale.
3) Your very use of "thing that used to be conservative" is in the grand liberal tradition of "only good conservative is a dead conservative". And no, that's not a threat or any statement of war, just - as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out ( - liberals love to talk about how conservatives which are dead and gone were "alright" and "good folk" even as they bashed them with as much vitriol as they do current living conservatives.
4) You accepts uncritically the liberal narratives of race (i.e. Republicans are always racist), economics (i.e. the New Deal helped end the great depression!) and parts of history.
5) You speak of "leaders and intellectuals of the right" without... well dealing with ACTUAL leaders and intellectuals of the right.
6) You simply use liberal slang and assumptions smoothly and without pause while never grasping conservative slang and assumptions, in fact you often criticize them not as an insider speaking from firsthand knowledge but as an outsider repeating what you've heard.
7) And the most obvious, as Thomas Sowell pointed out once, you argue and debate as if there are solutions to problems, not trade-offs and often the solutions are the same: government (the few times you've tried NOT having that be the solution, your idea is so silly one wishes you had just went full on leftist).
In summary, while in the great leftist land of Seattle you might practically be Ronald Reagan, in "flyover country" and the halls of actual conservatives, you're a liberal. Not too liberal, there are worst leftists out there, but you're still on the left.
I don't know.  Again, if a guy is dressed up in maize and blue, season tickets to the Big House, and cheering on the Wolverines insists he's a Buckeye at heart, I have to accept it.  The Church says I should take his statements with the best interpretation possible.  And that means accepting that, for whatever reason, Mark still sees himself as a conservative.  I don't know.  Perhaps it's because conservatism has always been a mixed bag of various people 'conserving' different things. Don't know.  Anyhoo, that's what's happening on the always conservative CAEI.


  1. Mark has seemed like such a bitter, vindictive, miserable person lately, it's nice to see him write some lighthearted comedy for a change.

  2. Heh. I've concluded that, whatever Mark claims, he is a pro-life non-conformist with increasingly liberal sympathies and tendencies.

  3. How far does that call to accept someone's words go? I mean if a guy is running around claiming he's a duck while... he's very clearly not, there's one of two possibilities:

    1) He's insane (after all, even if lying, why pick such a poor lie?)
    2) He's mistaken. Perhaps he doesn't understand English or has a poor translation guide and thinks "Duck" means "man".

    Hence why I keep saying, Mark may be a "conservative" in terms of Seattle, but on the whole, going by the full definition, he's pretty obviously on the left and is mistaken about the definitions.

    The problem is that he won't acknowledge his error or accept correction.

  4. For Mark to be able to acknowledge error and accept correction, he'd have to be capable of rational dialogue. You can't reason an unreasonable man into being reasonable, after all.

    Btw, I've gotten banned from his Facebook page too now. Here's a screenshot of the thread what did it. Glad I went down firmly telling him how it is.

    Notice that the last post on there is by me, but from a different account, since I was banned in the middle of writing it. You'll be unsurprised to learn that he deleted it afterward, since as a leftist, Mark follows the Gnostic belief that you can make unwelcome truths go away by declaring them unreal, sticking your fingers in your ears, and shooting the messengers. That's why it's always a good idea to take screen shots when arguing with leftists, if you want to keep your commentary from being disappeared.

  5. Hate to hear another ban. Was a time when Mark only banned people for accusing people of something. The first person I remember banned got the door because he accused Pavel of being a socialist. No accusations. Of course since Mark has accused me of wanting to increase human slaughter in order to disregard the Church, that little standard is probably a thing of the past.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Oh, you da man, Nate!

  8. Dave:

    Of course since Mark has accused me of wanting to increase human slaughter in order to disregard the Church, that little standard is probably a thing of the past.

    Ha ha, of course not. It's merely been relegated to "good for thee but not for me" status like all his other "standards."

    Notice the part in that thread where I said the following:

    Oh the irony:

    "But the way of puritanized right wing Americanized conservative Catholicism is always to seek out culture war enemies and those tainted with ritual impurity and purge them.

    I was quoting Mark himself from the Facebook post IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING the screenshotted one in which he declares Matt Walsh to be Not A Real Catholic. In this case he was smearing conservative Catholics for failing to see Muslims for the "natural allies" they supposedly are and make common cause with them. But a Catholic conservative monster like Matt Walsh? Why, that's different! He's just beyond the pale and a Catholic liberal like Mark (sorry, I mean not-liberal!) couldn't possibly have anything to do with him!

    To take another example, note how he'll bloviate on "the often repeated and very stupid argument of gun culture that we should make it as easy as possible for the dangerously unstable to procure the tools of mass death," even though he can't cite anyone who ever made such a stupid argument, since he invented it himself by outrageously twisting other people's words beyond recognition and then putting them in their mouths.

    But don't you dare point out the obvious fact that he's a liberal, or he will piss and moan about how mean and uncharitable you're being to put words in his mouth and tell him what he thinks!

    So yeah, "no accusations" is still operative, but only as it pertains to himself and members of left-wing client groups. If it weren't for double standards, Mark would have no standards left at all.

  9. One of the primary doctrines of liberalism is that the Christian West and its bastard child America are the sole cause of evil in the world, and the true enemy are those who would preserve the non-liberally endorsed heritage of those cultures.

    That point with Mark isn't just that he hates on conservatives and loves liberals, it's that he increasingly sounds like liberals and seems to accept the liberal narrative.

  10. Mark just posted a post slamming gun rights advocates. I'm the first to respond. We'll see.

  11. Eh, dude, like I explained to TMLutas in my last post under Nate's article, it's not worth it imo. Mark has abandoned reason entirely, and he won't read anything critical of his opinion, so persuasion is impossible. You might as well talk to a brick wall, except brick walls aren't typically as nasty.

    If you insist on talking to him, give him the truth hard and direct in a way that he *can't* ignore, and then let him bear responsibility for shutting himself off from the light when he bans you. The inability to post there will overcome the urge to do so, and you will have the satisfaction of going out with dignity.

    There's no profit to be had in reading Mark. Anything he says that isn't completely inane is said better by people who still have functioning intellects. The only thing that has any possibility of saving him now is to be forced to face the consequences of burning in wrath and isolating himself from every decent human being who cares about the truth or the state of his soul. It's obvious that regardless of what anyone says or how they say it, it goes in one ear and out the other, as Mark continues his mad self-destructive crusade against the great white whale of conservatism.

    Leave him to his dwindling echo chamber of sneering fanatics to stew in his own bile until and unless he's had enough and wants to repent.

  12. Then Shea's recently posted...

    You can’t get me far enough away from this lunacy fast enough

    And in the comments of that post:

    I don't go out of my way at all. This stuff washes up in my FB feed and email everyday. The Right is the home of Crazy. And, in this case, this guy had risen to an important job in the SC GOP. But the Party of Personal Responsibility blames people for noticing the crazy, not for letting lunatics like this rise to important offices in its ranks.

    So, again, HOW is he conservative? I mean besides in the more dictionary definition sense in relation to his religion, but political wise? He's outright admitted he's no longer rightist.

  13. So I went and checked on this Todd fellow Mark's having a fit about...

    From his twitter description:
    *ON DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION* / The Honey Badger of American Politics / Or: Kincannon, The Insult Comic Dog

    Huh. So he's someone who's deliberately provocative for attention and lulz.

    I'm beginning to think Mark's just angry at conservatives that do a better job than he does at outrage and humor. Mark that as another sign Shea's full on liberal now: he feels the need to police & tell people what's funny or not. (at the very least, he can no longer make "dark overlord" jokes from now on, after all if he makes that, someone else might call him crazy)

  14. And the shame of it? He has a post linking to T. McDonald about the subject of ghosts. Was a time, years ago, that such a post would have had at least a couple dozen comments. Sometimes more. People throwing in ghost stories, their own views. Maybe a few quibbles or just affirmations. Now they're all but ignored. Most of Mark's readers are clearly to the left of center, and they sniff around Mark's blog waiting for the 'Right equals Evil' posts. Some of his readers say they are former conservatives, but now they're just Catholic (as if they are only fully obedient and never based on anything other than true loyalty pure and simple). They chime in, too. But that's all. Some of the interesting posts, some of the interesting topics that used to get a decent number of comments now stand virtually ignored. I wonder if Mark sees this.

  15. Nate, quoting Mark:

    I don't go out of my way at all. This stuff washes up in my FB feed and email everyday. The Right is the home of Crazy.

    Yeah, I'm sure Mark just chanced upon the Twitter feed of some guy in the South Carolina GOP by accident.

    Mark sees all the "crazy" on the right because he's surrounded himself with a left-wing echo chamber and gets all his "news" from left-wing hate sites like Rawstory and Jon Stewart. And, as with Kevin Williamson hit piece, the vast majority of the "crazy" he sees is fabricated by his sources, but he never learns that because he's too lazy and prejudiced to ever actually read the "crazy" conservative articles he's lambasting himself. It's pure confirmation bias.

  16. Actually the reference came from one of the comments on his Saturday post. I knew then he would post it this week. So while I couldn't prove it, I have a hunch Mark got that from reading the comments on his own blog. Or the individual sent it to him who also posted it.

  17. Most of Mark's readers are clearly to the left of center, and they sniff around Mark's blog waiting for the 'Right equals Evil' posts.

    Hell, most are left of Marx.

    Some of his readers say they are former conservatives, but now they're just Catholic

    That line is almost self-parodic in its smugness and self-righteousness. Funny how it took two millenia for people to realize that hard-left socialist modernism is simply coextensive with Catholicism.

    Some of the interesting posts, some of the interesting topics that used to get a decent number of comments now stand virtually ignored. I wonder if Mark sees this.

    Of course he sees it, but he's deliberately blocking it out of his mind.

    Look, when Mark attacks a Kevin Williamson article that he hasn't even read based on things that weren't said in it, do you think he's truly unaware that he hasn't read it? When somebody points out that gun control increases the murder rate, and Mark just ignores the unwelcome facts and continues blaming "gun culture" while pretending that he's primarily trying to reduce the murder rate, do you think he's truly unaware that those facts exist and that he hasn't dealt with them? When he claims that socialist welfare is in the Catechism and that those who don't agree with it hate the poor and aren't really pro-life, do you think he really believes that's what they believe?

  18. It isn't that Mark just fails to see these things. The issue is that as a Leftist, Mark is constantly lying to himself about everything. That's why Mark, like other Leftists, is so angry all the time and hypersensitive about criticism. He's dealing with the frustration of cognitive dissonance, the difference between what he knows to be true and what he tells himself. And he lives in constant fear that reality will force its way past his defenses and shatter the lies he has told himself and become deeply invested in. Any critical comment he reads, any article by someone who disagrees with him, risk putting reality in his face and heightening his cognitive dissonance, so he must avoid them as best he can, and if something makes it impossible for him to ignore, he reacts viscerally and furiously tries to delete the ungoodthink.

    And on top of that war with reality that *all* Leftists deal with, Mark also has the impossible task of trying to square his secular liberalism with Christianity as well. So he's got to feed himself BS on that score too (eg, people who think hell is real just want people to go there, socialist welfare is the same as charity and conservatives who oppose it "hate the poor" even though they give more to the poor than liberals do, etc), and loudly engage in "Catholicer than thou" self-righteous preening, to delude himself about the fact that people who actually do care about Christian issues are abandoning his site as he attacks them and espouses a political ideology that is inherently atheistic.

  19. I think you're right. I think much of Mark's rage comes when he is attacking things to do with conservatism while squaring it with being a conservative. He seems much less angry when lashing out against things like abortion or gay marriage. His wrath is almost always locked into his attacks on those who hold to traditional and conservative views.

    But as I said in that post, it's not just that Mark attacks conservatives. One could say he's just holding his own team's feet to the fire, higher standards and all. But increasingly he accepts viewpoints and narratives much more common to the left side of the spectrum. Even regarding things like gay rights or feminism.

    And part of that, I think, is because over the years he has severed ties with various conservative writers and thinkers and warmed up to individuals who are clearly left of center. Now that most of his readers are either the 'used to be conservative but now just a pure Catholics' or flat our liberal, I think echo chamber is appropriate. And yet somehow, deep down, it causes issues. Hence the rage when that occurs.

    But if that chart is anywhere close, you'd think he'd get that this is hurting his blog. But since he gets most of his income now not from his blog, at this point it possibly doesn't matter anyway.

  20. Deuce finally reminds me why I wanted you to post your comment in the first place and the reply I was thinking of, David. lol

    So another sign of differences is that liberals tend to argue for what they want, conservatives tend to argue for what is possible. The big problem is that liberals seem to mistakenly (or perhaps on purpose for some) believe that conservatives are arguing for what they want.

    To use a non-controversial example:
    Liberals-"Everyone should get a unicorn!"
    Conservatives-"Unicorns don't exist."
    L-"Why do you hate unicorns and children so much?"
    C-"We don't."
    L-"Well children like unicorns so will you give them one if elected?"
    L-"Why not?"
    C-"Because unicorns aren't real."
    L-"See? Conservatives are trying to engage in a war on unicorns!"

    Then of course (to over stretch the metaphor), when elected Liberals suddenly realize, uh oh, unicorns don't exist. So they have to issue out unicorn toys to everyone to try and keep their promises. Often blaming conservatives for why the unicorns are in toy form. This pattern happens every. damn. time.

    Hence that's what we see with Mark. He'll propose what he wants, then complain when people try and point out why it's impossible. (like his sarcastic reply of "give up" when people, often ACTUAL engineers, point out why his dream of gun tech is unlikely)


Let me know your thoughts