Monday, June 15, 2009

On relentlessness

You can't beat a man who refuses to admit defeat. You can kill a man like that, but you cannot defeat him otherwise, because he has gotten it in his mind to keep fighting, whatever happens.

Sunday I had a phone conversation with Cynthia Yockey in which she calmly and cheerfully explained that she was going to get David Letterman fired. Republicans are too willing to take that kind of abuse, Cynthia said, but she comes out of the gay-rights movement, and they don't roll that way.

We talked a while, but the main thing I took away from the conversation was Cynthia's determination to fight a one-woman campaign against Letterman. Even if no one else joined her anti-Letterman crusade, she would fight on alone. As long as it takes, whatever it takes, she has envisioned her goal, and intends to achieve it.

Dave has pissed off the wrong lesbian.

The novelist Tito Perdue once said to me, "How many Spartans would it take to bring down America? Ten thousand? One thousand? One?"

What Tito was trying to express was the vast difference between the softness of modern decadence and the adamantine hardness of the ancients. Those Spartans who died at Thermopylae were so much tougher than the average American of 2009, it's almost like talking about two entirely separate species.

Nevertheless, there are those rare few who emulate the ancient virtues, who accomplish great things not because they are more talented or more intelligent or more fortunate, but simply because they are truly determined and pursue their aims relentlessly.
"One of the basic principles of military strategy is to reinforce success. If you see a man who fights and wins, give him reinforcements, and bid others to emulate his success."
It was hardly surprising when Cynthia said of Letterman's latest apology, "Too little, too late." She intends to make an example of him, so that others may learn from the example.

That is the basic relentlessness necessary to success. She will keep fighting however long it takes, and what Cynthia needs is reinforcements.

UPDATE: CBS has already lost an advertiser and plans a protest rally today at 4 p.m. in New York. (H/T: Frugal Cafe.) And here's the part where I agree with Dan Collins that Letterman was engaged in "intentionalism" a la Goldstein.

Outrageous over-the-top humor -- been there, done that. But I've never done it on national TV with a multimillion-dollar contract, eh? And I actually like Dave Letterman.

This isn't about that. It's about "don't f*** with us."

UPDATE II: Heh. Seems like Instapundit's down with the Don't F*** With Us Coalition.

UPDATE III: Let's get medieval on him!


  1. Yeah I posted her suggestions and list of advertsiers both at my blog and over at Ace of Spades over the weekend. The AoS posting had a good response. Over 400 comments a lot of people pledging to participate and trolls trying to dissuade them.

  2. Stacy,

    Thank you for your kind post and links! Tomorrow I will finish my "Fire David Letterman Kit" posts, which will make it much easier for people to press this battle on to victory. Also, I've added to the post you linked an explanation from Eric Hoffer, author of "The True Believer," of why the fate of our nation truly hangs on winning this battle.

    Love and hugs,

    A Conservative Lesbian


    Thank you, Chad. For my fellow bloggers, I have installed Comment Luv, so now when bloggers leave a comment and include their blog's URL, my blog automatically fetches their most recent post headline and links it below their comment. Stacy, you have taught me well about the linky love, sensei!

  3. I read the text. It’s more of the same: wink, wink the audience will cheer and the fools will think I actually apologized.

    The substance is based on the obvious lie that he thought Palin was alone at the game. So it would be funny to make a joke about one of her daughters.

    The tone is of a rationalization wrapped in a faux apology.

    There’s a full paragraph there on how it’s not the “intent”, it’s the “perception” and it doesn’t matter that he was “misunderstood”.

    Which tells me that he thinks we rubes out here in outrage land are too dim to properly grasp his form of humor.

    “Apology. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

  4. I'm still in the fight. Cynthia is not alone.

  5. The apology did express regret. Unfortunately, it also didn't make sense. He thought she went to the game alone? He was shocked to find out Willow was along? Is that why he made an even worse joke about Willow the following night? According to his own words he'd been hearing all day about how she was only 14. So . . . why?

  6. For what it’s worth,
    count me in.

    Speech is free.. and has consequences.

    It’s a lesson Letterman is going to learn the hard way.

  7. Haha. Come on McCain. Stupid manufactured controversies like this are the very definition of modern decadence. You think those students in Iran care about whether Ahmadinijad (much less some Iranian comedian!) made a bad joke about Mousavi's daughter? No, because they have real issues to care about. Sarah Palin is politics at it's most frivolous: all manufactured controversy, no substance.

    Sorry if this is a double post, not sure if my first went through.

  8. Well, personally I do not like Letterman at all, and it's because of this and other types of lechery he perpetrates on any attractive female who appears on his show. And he's just not funny either. He's got a sort of frat boy locker-room type of humor that I just don't find witty or funny. Maybe fire him and give the job to Leno?..........

  9. This makes no sense: "Embassy Suites, part of the Hilton Hotels Corp., pulled advertising on CBS' site because of complaints, company spokeswoman Kendra Walker told The company was not an advertiser on Letterman's show."

    So he "lost an advertiser" that was not an advertiser. Huh?

    And as for this whole apology thing - Gov. Palin only gets attention from the media when she is involved in some over-the-top celebrity tabloid gossip. They'll report this all day long but not one word about her policies. This plays into the lib media campaign against her after the election: She's a lightweight ... she went rogue ... Wasilla hillbilly ... drama queen etc.

    If she does great things in Alaska we won't hear of it. But if she is mad at some B-list celebrity over a nasty comment we'll get wall-to-wall coverage for days on end. Overall, I do not believe this whole sorry affair was a net plus for anyone and I'm puzzled by the reaction from some of her supporters who seem to believe she's helped herself politically by having a very public feud with a late-night comedian.

  10. I was absolutely livid at Letterman for his disgusting attempt at humor, and yeah the apology might have been the result of a bit of arm twisting by sponsors. However, he still gave the apology. Our side was vindicated. We look ridiculous by dragging this thing out. Obama is about to ruin our healthcare system. He is nationalizing our major industries. ABC is going to essentially become the America version of pravda and give him infomercial time like it is state run media. Please folks, let's try and concentrate on this stuff.

  11. I see no reason to try to shut down Dave Letterman. Just turn off the TV and ignore him. Low ratings are worse than mass protests.

  12. I think you misunderestimate the hardness of *some* Americans. I've read about the military in WWII at places like Iwo and Pelieu and Tarawa and it is humbling. And the you read about Falluja and Anbar and realize that nothing has changed, except maybe we got better arty.

    Remember, Letterman isn't America, Todd Palin is America, and I'm sure his wife is keeping him well away from funny-boy.

  13. First, to Anonymous (6/16, 3:11 p.m.): I'm typing this slowly, so you can understand. A business pulled its advertising from CBS, even though it didn't specifically advertise on Letterman, because of the blowback from Letterman's joke. Capice?

    Having said that, I take a diametrically opposite stand from Ms. Cynthia. Contrary to her self-righteous claim that she's going to save the nation, I think this sappho-fatwa does nothing more than entrench the Culture of Offense that the left has used to undermine our civic cohesion for a couple decades.

    I assume those among you who wondered what all the "nappy-headed ho" fuss was about or who hopped to Miss California's defense in the face of the [inflammatory characterization linking Perez Hilton and Cynthia removed by commenter... but I damn well thought it] are at least aware of the hypocrisy of your stand.

    And, if you really did take to the barricades to punish each of those who uttered the statements, congratulations: you have elevated scalp-chasing to an art of foolish consistency.

    Letterman's a prat. His joke was puerile and disgusting. He had to squirm publicly. Spending your life "getting him fired" is a wasteful and destructive exercise... or an act of narcissism.

  14. But you don't understand how the game works.

    The left ridicules, and ridicules ... pushes the envelope making the children of conservatives look like whores.

    If they go too far, hey ... sorry about that. We'll try better next time.

    Then, once the heat is off, and the heat will always go off, they continue on pushing the envelope.

    They CONTROL the airwaves and the newspapers. They don't care if they have advertisers because the hot wind always dies down eventually.

    They can use the airwaves and newspapers to get conservatives. Conservatives cannot do the same, because conservatives are unwilling to invest their money in the apparatus' of power.

    Conservatives are unwilling to put their money where their beliefs are.

  15. Don't give up, people. Don't give up.

    Stay intense for 30 days, and you will achieve your goal.

    30 days.

  16. Really? This protest seems really dimwitted. I agree with Anon 9:47. Aren't there bigger fish to fry? Pick your battles.


  17. I bet the progressives are wishing Michael Moore hadn't invented the "no-name harasses some celebrity for some high-minded reason until celebrity finally tries to have him arrested, then make a movie out of it" tactic.

    Funny thing about propaganda tactics, they work against the goose as well as the gander.

  18. Florida, if the "game" is about generating low ratings and refusing to patronize business that support such bilge, I support it. It's buying into the Culture of Outrage that I think is reprehensible. It just leads to sideshows that distract us from what's really decimating this country.

    I don't just think this jihad-in-miniature is "not nice" or "unnecessary". I think it's destructive, that it takes this country closer to the abyss, and that it enervates everyone and exhausts our abiity to pick the fights that matter.

  19. You know what my problem is with this? It's like the Spartans deciding to fight the Wimpilo's at Chasm Pass instead of Thermopylae.

    Dave Letterman is a self confirmed ass - but fighting Dave and the Wimpilo's at Chasm Pass isn't going to defeat the Persians. In fact they just burnt down Athens. Smooth move Sparta!

    Historical note: there are no Wimpilos

  20. Florida,

    I think you're missing something about "the left". We leftists could not possibly care less about Sarah Palin's latest manufactured controversy. To the extent that any of us are paying attention at all, it's to gawk at the charade. Really people? You're comparing this to the battle at Thermopylae? You've made parody impossible.

    Of course, we've got plenty of other things to distract ourselves with, like controlling the airwaves and the newspapers.

  21. Satya,

    You've got a thing about "manufacturing" don't you? Hmmm, how about Obama and the Donks with their manufactured "crises?" Go ahead, I triple-dare you: read Lord Zero's speeches. Whoa, all he talks about are the "crises" he's conjured out of thin air and that he's going to fix--regardless of what the rest of America thinks.

    Obama: A walking solution in search of a problem.

  22. If the protesters are going to keep this up, they should focus on the fact that comedians are supposed make political jokes about whoever is in power. They went after the Bush administration with both guns blazing every day for eight years.

    Now Obama is President and they won't lay a glove on him. And what's their excuse? "We can't find anything about him to make fun of". Yeah, I'm sure Iraqi comedians said the same thing about Saddam Hussein when he was in power. A good comedian can find something to mock about anyone. No one is so perfect or so mundane that they can't be caricatured. If comedians won't make fun of someone, it's because they either like them too much or are afraid of them.

  23. Oh gawd, the self-righteous indignation is too much, even for you phonies...Look, you jackasses aren't getting Letterman off the airwaves any more than feminists and gays are getting Limbaugh off the airwaves.Epic fail for the delusional wingnuts!

  24. Young 4-eyes - you may be right. But it won't be for want of trying. We're not strong. We're persistent. And frankly, we've had enough. This must end.

    Limbaugh's next. Once we've shown it can be done. Once we've shown that just as bigotry is equal-opportunity, so is the reaction to it.

    We're not out to silence political opposition. Reasonable people can disagree. We're out to show that denigrating women, or gays, or blacks, or jews, is NO LONGER WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES TO THE HIP POCKET NERVE.

    Say whatever you want - but forget about getting paid for it. It's Free Speech, not Paid Speech.

  25. yeah, I'm sorry, I'm with Treacher on this one. The truth is, you don't fight fire with fire, you fight fire with water.

    At the end of the day, David Letterman is a television comedian, not a Democrat in government. You're wasting your powder, and you're not going to win what you think you're going to win. The problem with the Republicans is that they're not tough enough to stand up for freedom, not that they're not mean enough. The man apologized, and now it's our turn to be civil, like it or not.

  26. Obviously, Peter, you've not heard of Red Adair.

    Sometimes, you choose a patch of ground and you defend it, no matter what. Cynthia, et. al., have chosen to rally around a 14 year-old girl who never asked to be the brunt of a rape joke. They aim to take down the man who thought that joke was worth telling and defending twice on national television.

    If you don't like the ground they're defending, fine. Let them do their thing. Eventually, the progressive slur-machine will get around to smearing someone who does matter to you. Except by that time they'll be even stronger and more brazen because you let them punk you here and now.

    Okay, so Letterman apologized (though I don't accept what he said as an apology). So what? Does an apology mean that he gets to skate away from any penalties? Calling for his job is "being civil". STanding up for little girls and making sure the men who attack them learn very well the price of such behavior is something civil people in civil societies are supposed to do.

  27. > Those Spartans who died at Thermopylae were so much tougher than the average American of 2009, it's almost like talking about two entirely separate species.

    I think you confuse the "Average American" with the average libtard. There are a lot of Americans out there with the same kind of guts that it took to land on Omaha Beach, which I think at least stands with the Spartans in feats of human will. You want to know where the gut-check still passes, just look at a county-by-county vote in the last three PotUS elections -- the ones that were 3xRed are the ones passing that gut-check. There are a lot of whiners in the 3xBlues, but that's another issue.

  28. A lot of people miss the political point about the Letterman/Palin soap opera. It is obviously not about public policy. It is about a conservative politician standing up to the liberal media ridicule and win. A very welcome change from the Bush style of offering the other cheek

  29. Letterman's first apology was lame and obviously insincere, more baiting Governor Palin than really apologizing to her or anyone. His more recent apology seemed much more sincere, and was worded as an actual apology. It sounded like someone who realized he was in the wrong and had the courage to admit it. I don't know, I kind of think that should be rewarded, if only by saying, as Palin did, "of course I accept your apology" and moving on.

  30. I agree with peter jackson (comment above) and treacher. Letterman should be forgiven. He's a bitter old man and quite washed up. He has shit writer, all of whom are identical, but. . . that's modern show biz.

    However, I agree completely with your larger point about relentlessness. When it comes to street level activism, the far left has been the only game in town the last few years. Maybe that will change, maybe not. But I remember a favorite expression of an old leftist I used to pal around with, a veteran of decades of political battles. He used to say stuff like "I will make it my life mission to fuck you" - meaning, he was so single-minded and relentless, cared so little for anything in life except small, petty political squabbles, that it was futile to mess with him. He would simply out-claw you. He was right, in the sense that I didn't care about any of the battles he cared about. But at some point we have to decide what we care about.

  31. What the "let it lie" proponents don't see is that Letterman is not just a comedian. He is part of the entire Democrat Sea in which the American people swim every day. They, the “entertainment” part of that sea, create a viewpoint that is terribly destructive to anyone who they don’t like – which includes all conservatives and most Christians. They transformed a very pretty, very popular, populist “just like us” governor of Alaska into a “ditz” who “looks slutty,” “can see Russia from her home,” and who is not the mother of five children who decided to carry a Down’s Syndrome baby to term, but the mother of a teen aged daughter who got “knocked up”. And they did it for political reasons.

    And they will keep doing it until they get more than a hand slap. They will keep doing it as long as they are let off with by a faux “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology. Getting Dave Letterman fired will not solve all these problems, but it’s a good start.

  32. Look, Not only are the folks of 2009 a different species from the Spartans... we're a different species from the Americans of the 1930's! Could you imagine what would happen to the boomers of today if another great depression developed (we may already be on that doorstep)

  33. Letterman is a tool, but give it up. I thought people went WAY overboard with Imus a couple of years ago, and the same thing is happening with Letterman. If enough people think he's a jerk, they'll stop watching and he'll lose his job because of ratings. People still protesting just look like fools, and remind me more of Cindy Sheehan than productive and active citizens.

  34. A couple things people are missing:
    1. This isnt Letterman's first outrageuos political comment. Hes been going down this road for the past few years. People are just fed up, not simply outraged over ONE comment.
    2. He called a Governor of a great state in our union, slutty. I think that he should be held accountable for that as well. Someone made a reference to people from the 30s, so could you imagine if some jerk-wad on a radio program made those jokes back then? He not only would have been fired on the spot, but the radio station would have been fined and / or shut down. Where have our values gone? the same place our focus went. Any socialist / communist would have been shot for treason back then, not elected President, for example.Why? People remembered communism / socialism DESTROY freedom. We need to wake up and re-focus, and start by taking back our media. Its supposed to be for the people, not left wing extremists.

  35. I am not a fan of Palin, but this issue isn't really liberal or conservative to me at all. I think Letterman was out of line.

  36. Gays & Lesbians think they are special citizens deserving special rights.
    Guess again - anyone can make jokes about anyone in America - we don't care what you freakin' perverts think - you try to force your sick perverted lifestyle on everyone, and cry foul when someone jokes about you or doesn't take you seriously. GO back to sodom & gomorrah you freaks - this is the USA - I have a right and so does Letterman to tell it like it is! queer ass losers

  37. hey, anonymous... stop being such a fag.
    come out of the closet and reveal yourself you fairy!

  38. palin is a joke