Monday, April 16, 2018

Kevin Williamson and the Thought Police

Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg.  Like Goldberg, I think the problem with this isn't what Williamson said or didn't say.  Obviously he was making a point about the legality of abortion.  If the man otherwise tends to disapprove of the death penalty, there's a large chance he was making a  broader point than merely advocating for hanging women who had abortions. 

But this is today.  Now.  The only point of discourse is to plant a flag on your side and destroy the other.  Anything the other says, by definition of being the other, means we already have Nazi/Hitler.  And we all know Nazi/Hitler must be destroyed.

And so it is, but in typical form, it is done inconsistently.  Those advocating for the Left can say, well, anything.  At least you can say anything that doesn't challenge the dictates of political correctness, which is just a pithy way of saying liberal values.  Otherwise, it's blank check.  Call Sarah Palin a c[whoops]t and it's fine and dandy, if not worthy of polite disagreement.  Rush Limbaugh makes an off color dig at Sandra Fluke, and it's weeks of outrage, with journalists calling for his show to be removed.

I think the best observation in the entire piece comes here:

The left plays by new rules. The right still plays by the old rules. The left laughs at us for it — but also demands that we keep to that rulebook. They don’t even bother to cheat. They proclaim outright that “these rules don’t apply to our side.”
Yep.  I've said the Left cheats.  But I was wrong.  It passed the point of cheating years - decades - ago.  It hasn't needed to cheat for some time.  It now can say it has no need to cheat, since rules simply don't apply.  Rules only matter when it benefits the Left. 

True, inconsistency in itself is not necessarily unique to the Left, or any particular side.  But because of the monopoly of ideals that the Left has in popular culture, education and journalism, it can play this way without challenge.  In fact, those same institutions are more than happy to use their craft to support the Left's claim that rules only apply to everyone else. 


  1. And as Jonah notes:
    He never made that argument for National Review.

    Which again goes against Shea's insinuations. Unless his original post was to shame NR for even associating with him. I mean how dare they associate with tax collectors and prostitutes! I mean uh... conservatives who disagree with him.

    I marvel sometimes that it doesn't get tiresome for the left to be so angry all the time. On the other hand, they fight with a fervor and zeal in the public square that is to be envied.

  2. Another good quote from Jonah:

    Meanwhile, extreme views on the left are simply hot takes or even signs of genius. Take the philosopher Peter Singer. He has at least as extreme views on a host of issues, and he is feted and celebrated for them. He is the author of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry on “Ethics.” He holds an endowed chair at Princeton. He writes regularly for leading publications. And he argues that sometimes it’s okay to kill babies, as in his essay “Killing Babies Isn’t Always Wrong.” “Newborn human babies,” he writes, “have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.”
    . . .
    he should be free to make his arguments anywhere willing editors want to publish them. We have a right to be wrong.

    But that’s not the point: Singer’s work does not render him anathema in elite circles, it earns awards, praise, and celebration for its ruthless consistency and edgy provocation. He is not fired for what he writes never mind what he thinks. I have no doubt some people don’t think this is a perfect example of a double standard, and I could come up with some objections to it myself. But if you can’t see why some people — fellow American citizens — see it as a glaring double standard, you are part of the problem.

    1. I'll give Mark that, I don't think he's ever given Singer a pass. I know he's let fly at him, but I don't recall a time where he deflected criticism away from him.


Let me know your thoughts