Monday, November 16, 2009

Ben Smith, right and wrong

Shortly after I posted my reply to the SPLC's Dr. Heidi Beirich, there was a miraculous intervention (cough, cough) by which I was inspired to e-mail Dr. Beirich again, urging her to read an item by Ben Smith of the Politico:
The pastor of the San Diego megachurch Vincent attends (with Carrie Prejean, natch) is black. She's also spent most of the last few years on a pair of inspirational books about, basically, racial reconciliation in the friendship between a rich white art dealer and a homeless black drifter, the first of them a Times bestseller. More broadly, she hails from a (large) stream of Evangelicalism that puts racial reconciliation very high on the agenda.
Vincent is -- like Palin -- well to the right, as Blumenthal notes, on abortion; but the race card (in both cases) seems out of place.
So much for the "Lynn Vincent, Secret Racist" meme, then. But in the same item, Ben Smith also writes:

Max Blumenthal goes after Sarah Palin's co-author, Lynn Vincent, in a broadside that focuses largely on her 2006 collaboration with a conservative blogger, Robert Stacy McCain, whose views on race . . . have since made him a pariah even on the right.
This is simply false, and I dare Ben Smith to put forth evidence that my "views on race" have made me "a pariah even on the right."

To begin with, let Ben Smith ask himself, "What are Stacy McCain's views on race?" He'll have a very difficult time discovering the answer, as the sources for this old "white supremacist" smear are a Gordian knot of confusion and error, and in some cases I have been condemned for doing things I never did. (For example, contrary to Michelangelo Signorile's assertion, I never contributed to the white separatist site "Reclaiming the South.")

So if anyone tries to tell you that they know my "views on race" -- and especially if they claim my views are so hateful or extreme as to make me a "pariah" -- you may rest assured that you are dealing with either a Liar or a Fool. Given that so many have demanded some sort of Definitive Statement from me, however, I will now provide one:
I believe that liberals are wrong about black people. Liberals are also wrong about white people, brown people, yellow people and red people. If NASA announced tomorrow that it had discovered a distant planet inhabited by purple people, anything that liberals believed about purple people would be wrong, too. Liberals are not only wrong about race, but they are also wrong about economics, crime, poverty, religion, science, war, marriage and foreign policy. In fact, as evidenced by their global-warming hysteria, liberals are wrong about the weather. Insofar as there is a "liberal consensus" on any particular subject -- including movies and sports -- then the truth is likely to be the exact opposite of whatever liberals say.
One of the things I have sought to avoid over the years is the "some of my best friends" defense. If my friends are aware of these attacks, they will defend me. If they are unaware of the attacks, it would be wrong to involve them in a dispute that is not of their concern. My enemies are my enemies, and I would do my friends no favors by siccing my enemies on them, so as to expose my friends to these guilt-by-association attacks.

However, if Lynn Vincent is both (a) undeniably my friend, and (b) an advocate of "racial reconciliation," then it would behoove Ben Smith to notice that there is a very large non sequitur -- the size of an elephant -- in the room.

BTW, Ben Smith: I'm not merely a "conservative blogger." I've been cranking it out on deadline since 1986, winning national awards before I ever came to Washington, and came to Washington nearly a decade before there was such a thing as the Politico. I've got T-shirts older than you, punk, and next time you call somebody a "pariah," I'd advise you to make a couple of phone calls first.

As my Old School editors always told me, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." To which I would add this corollary: If a liberal says your mother loves you, your mother hates you.

UPDATE: Wow, suddenly everything comes tumbling down. Lynn Vincent "outs" her left-wing lesbian sister Lori and also the lesbian friend who was maid of honor at Lynn's own (hetero) wedding. (Hat-tip: Conservatives for Palin.) I wonder how long before Lynn outs me as a neo-Confederate lesbian?

Meanwhile, it has been noted that I elided the part of Ben Smith's post where he described me as being opposed to interracial marriage. To explain: Both my time and the reader's attention are limited quantities. A full-length explanation of the minute details of the accusations against me is ineffective and wasteful. The larger point is false -- I'm not a "white supremacist" or an "avowed segregationist," etc. -- and a discussion of the details only lends credibility to the accuser. "Stay out of the tall grass."

However, a commenter at the Hot Air Green Room -- "Diane" whose Twitter ID is "infobee" --raised this question quite directly, and I responded at length, citing the research of Dr. Zhenchao Qian at Ohio State University. Further explanation is possible but not, I hope, necessary.

Also see Cassandra at Villainous Company on "second-degree guilt-by-association."


  1. Excellent way to respond to the liberal smear merchants, Stacy. Those infernal villains deserve nothing more.

  2. Possibly he said pariah when he meant piranha.

  3. Ben Smith is a mendoucheous prig and a liar. There, I have said it.

    And Charles Johnson, purveyor of the meme that anyone who disagrees with him is a racist, is sadly unhip sporting a pony tail in his fifties. Sorry Charles, Jerry Goldsmith (may he rest in peace) could get away with a pony tail in his old age. But he did the soundtrack to Patton. So he could sport anything he wanted.

  4. Smitty is right: 'piranha' is more fitting, but sadly Mr. Smith is dead wrong. What's so frustrating about this man is that he is obviously a good writer and, when he actually does research [as with Lynn Vincent's background], he reports what he finds no matter where it leads. The trouble is: he is also a lazy reporter who often cannot muster up the energy to research every road he should travel down. Either that, or he feels compelled to compensate with gratuitous slurs after he's made an uncomfortable point.

    Stacy: this reply deserves inclusion in your greatest hits collection.

  5. I say, Smitty, damned good, that!

    Word Verification: hymens. These things are totally random, right?

  6. Well RSM, where does all this end? Myself, I don't think these false cries of "racism" are EVER going away. Every conservative who sticks his head above the parapet gets clubbed with "racist". Rush, Beck, Buchanan, Coulter, Palin, you, Ace, WFB, Reagan, Nixon - all have been smeared.

    The liberals ain't goin' stop smearing so we'd better start counter-attacking, or not giving a shit. I guess your response is a good start.

  7. Sorry to go off topic, but the libtard pirate whore* Ann Althouse shows why Christopher Hitchens is our favorite athiest since Ayn Rand. Hitchens nails the Nidal Hasan issue.

    * That is the title she got from an Ace commentator after calling Sarah Palin dumb and I say that about Ann with love and respect.

  8. Uh-oh... you've elided some of his text out. His full quote is "...whose views on race -- he opposes, among other things, intermarriage -- have since made him...". I've been reading this site for months, but that's the kind of cut that makes alarms go off. Basic question -- why did you cut out what few details he provided in his charge?

  9. That ellipsis in the quote from Politico is an elephant, too. It must be difficult to try to respond to Smith without addressing the issue he cited.

  10. By "pariah even on the right", is Smith referring to LGF? Hah!

  11. Dude, Max is Sidney Blumenthal's son, non?

    Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right.

    You shouldn't be surprised that a lazy-assed punk like Ben Smith uses Signorile as his source on your position on IR Marriage.

  12. Looks like Ben is already trying to weasel out of it. Check his quote again........

  13. This will never end,as one commenter already said any conservative that pokes his head up is "racist".
    It is more than time to start just taking these people on and calling them what they are; pathetic liars.

  14. Correction: If a liberal's mother says she loves you, she doesn't hate you, she's thinking you should have been aborted.

  15. Hi Stacy,
    Two simple questions. Are you really friends with Bill White of

    Second, people keep alleging that you belong to the League of the South. Is this true?
    Thanks for your time,
    O. Blaupunkt

  16. Hey, I just read the stupid Blumenthal article. He says Palin uses you "as her backchannel to the conservative movement's online faithful." What gives bro'? Either you have been holding out on us or he's just making stuff up.

    Damn, don't you just hate those accusations that you wished were true.

  17. Anonymous at 10:04 p.m. asked:
    Two simple questions. Are you really friends with Bill White of . . .
    Second, people keep alleging that you belong to the League of the South. Is this true?

    1. The Bill White story is a long one, the gist of which I told early in my engagement with Charles Johnson. To make a long story short: Bill White started down the Jew-hating road, a path I warned him against, but he wouldn't heed my warning. Despite his folly (at one point, I turned on my TV and saw White sieg-heiling in a brown shirt) I still remember when Bill was just a crazy anarchist troublemaker, and hope that someday he'll abandon that idiotic neo-Nazi cul-de-sac he chose for himself. Is this a foolish hope? Perhaps, but David Horowitz used to be a Commie, you know. People can change. Hell, I used to be a Democrat!

    2. As to the League of the South, I've explained that a few times, too. Stogie at Saberpoint could clarify that, if necessary.

    Excuse me for not thinking it necessary for me to deny everything, Anonymous. The gotcha-game of constantly demanding that people deny "X," denounce "Y" and repudiate "Z" is a dirty scam beloved by the race-card hustlers. To play along with their game means that all they have to do is to accuse, accuse, accuse, see? Regardless of my own personal stake, to play their game would merely encourage them to keep at it with others. When they were allowed to take down Trent Lott and George Allen this way, conservatives ought to have learned a lesson.

    The point I keep trying to make -- and evidently people don't pay attention -- is that it is the motives of the accusers which ought to be the focus of inquiry. If these people can point to no actual harm I've done to anyone in pursuit of my alleged nefarious agenda, why do they keep recycling the same allegations? What's in it for them?

    A liberal can study under Saul Alinsky, collaborate with William Ayers, attend Jeremiah Wright's church and still get to the White House with no problem. Yet liberals think they are morally entitled to point the accusing finger at anyone.

    Me? I'm a writer, not a candidate for public office. I don't have to worry about my poll numbers or approval rating. Exactly why would Charles Johnson or anyone else feel the need to save the world from the horrible threat of Stacy-ism?

    Think about that. It's a very interesting question.

  18. Doesn't substance come in here somewhere, sometime?

    I've read this blog off-and-on for over a year now, and while I've noticed a bit of a hot temper on the part of our host from time to time (against people who deserve it, so what the heck), I haven't seen anything that is even remotely racist.

    Most of the time is spent bashing liberals, a subset of the general populace who desperately need (rhetorical) bashing.

    About all this controversy tells me (and any fair-minded reader) is, Ben Smith's reporting from here on out should be taken with a mountain of salt, and possibly a polygraph test.

  19. The incident with Carrie Prejean and you are the kind of things that make conservatives doubt the sincerity of the libs that are pushing so hard on the hate issues. Why is it so important for someone to be lynched for cooked-up charges of racism or homophobia? I guess because they are still trying to create a crisis, a battle that they can win. "Look everybody, a homophobe! Get her!" This is the basis of their hate-speech case. I'm sure before long, the Bible will be banned for the "hate-speech" it contains.

  20. Well given your comments concerning liberalism it's obvious that you're a "libe-acist". While you may not be an r-acist, you're an "-acist" of some kind.

    I hope you're proud of yourself. You -acist.

  21. I have seen a few blogs where the commenters are actually,and say so, ashamed they are white.WTF. No cry of racism is going to shut me up. That word racism has lost its shine.
    And part of the reason is Obama. White guilt was part of the reason some voted for him.They have done their due. It's over and done.

  22. Anonymous 4:03 p.m. wrote:
    [W]hy do you not simply say "I have no problem with IR marriage"? I assume that you don't. Am i wrong in that assumption?

    You are not wrong. Given that so many people whom I respect and admire are actually in interracial marriages -- that these are my friends and neighbors, against whom I have no complaint and who have no complaint against me -- why should there be this demand that I deny anything?

    There is at stake here a matter of rhetoric and logic, a principle of discourse. Over the course of many years, Americans have become accustomed to reacting a certain way to accusations of racism: The accused is guilty until proven innocent, which amounts to compelling him to prove a negative, that he is not a racist.

    Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver observed. If you look into how the Community Reinvestment Act has operated in principle for the past 15 years, it has amounted to a federal extortion license for any "community activist" outfit that wanted to shake down a bank. The bankers didn't want a hassle -- no bad P.R., no lawsuits, no regulatory obstacles to their next merger or development project -- and so they played along: "Peace Through High-Risk Lending."

    That the CRA was part of the mortgage meltdown scenario goes to show the awesome power wielded by those who use accusations of racism as a political, legal and economic weapon. If we are ever going to stop that dishonest game, we've got to learn to be skeptical about such accusations, to look at the motives of the accuser and ask whether there is some hidden agenda at work.

    Diane the Hot Air commenter was, in essence, demanding that everyone join her in denouncing her own parents -- or else be denounced themselves. To quote my personal hero, Homey the Clown: "Homey don't play that."

    If Diane has a problem with her parents, let her work that out herself. I've got problems enough in my own life (including an insurance claim for hitting a deer in a rental car) without volunteering as online moral arbiter in such a case.

    Have some consideration for my own vulnerabilities here: If I write one awkward sentence about Diane's family, that will be plucked out and held aloft: "A-ha! Proof!"

    Easy enough for an anonymous commenter to double-dog dare me to take sides, eh? And you'd be surprises -- or perhaps not -- by the number of comments I reject from people accusing me of "cowardice" for not directly engaging every little accusation. These commenters accuse me anonymously, of course. A fine-tuned sense of irony can be quite helpful sometimes.

  23. It's interesting to see you finally address some of these issues after talking up the virtues of silence-inspired notoriety for so long. What changed your mind?

    Your comment about interracial marriage begs a follow-up question: what's the deal with the anti-interracial marriage comments Dennis Wheeler attributed to you in what Stogie calls "the Great Southern League Race Debate"?

  24. Of course, they accuse you anonymously, Stacy. They're cowards [ie: Leftist agitpropers who only want to tear good men like you down].

    Quoted from and Linked to this posting at:
    [also contains a -- if I may be immodest -- stirring defense of you by me]

  25. Anonymous from 4:03 p.m. responds

    Thank you for your response. As I said, I am a casual reader of your blog and do not know you personally, nor who your friends are. I think you underestimate the comfort that people can sometimes take in having their opinion of you re-confirmed with a simple comment rather than an academic study (the point of which you bringing it up was a bit unclear).

    "Easy enough for an anonymous commenter to double-dog dare me to take sides, eh? And you'd be surprises -- or perhaps not -- by the number of comments I reject from people accusing me of 'cowardice' for not directly engaging every little accusation. These commenters accuse me anonymously, of course. A fine-tuned sense of irony can be quite helpful sometimes."

    In no way have I accused you of cowardice nor in any way implied it in my comment, if in fact that portion of your response is directed specifically at me. And whether you believe this or not, my question was not a "double dog dare," but rather an honest inquiry. I would like to like you and to believe you are the genuine article that your packaging and self-marketing promises you to be. But like many people, I'm jaded and cautious. Because of this, I will not take offense at your apparent assumption of my insincerity.

    That being said, your response is a good one and makes a good deal of sense. I myself was rather routinely accused of racism in college for not believing that race is a primary factor in defining a person. Whereas I could just deny it and then write them off as a-holes (what did it matter to me what they thought?), I can see and appreciate that your position is much different. Forgive me for needing to ask such questions, but I've stumbled rather recently into this debate which I do undertand has been going on for some time.

    And if you don't like and distrust anonymous comments, then why allow them? Oops. Another anonymous inquiry for you to question my motives over...

  26. It's a matter of complete indifference to me what you think of inter-racial marriage.

    Just thought you needed to hear that there are people like me out there, and probably a lot more common than you'd think.

  27. It might be helpful to note that Ben Smith is a liar. (And, yes, the objective fact he lied about should be very easy to understand, even if certain other people don't have the integrity to admit they understand it.) If you want to deal with someone's opinions, go after them for lying and misleading about objective facts, and make sure that their potential supporters can see it. Simply disagreeing with them doesn't work since different people have different opinions; you have to show how they can't be trusted because they lie, mislead, or omit facts.

    And, if anyone wants to do something effective and has a site, link to this page about Max Blumenthal, using his name in the link. Or, write your own page like that.

  28. Anonymous at 10:43, your thin skin is showing.

    You get defensive about this quote by RSM, "Easy enough for an anonymous commenter to double-dog dare me to take sides, eh? And you'd be surprises -- or perhaps not -- by the number of comments I reject from people accusing me of 'cowardice' for not directly engaging every little accusation. These commenters accuse me anonymously, of course. A fine-tuned sense of irony can be quite helpful sometimes."

    He's talking about comments he has rejected. You didn't get rejected, so he's not talking about you in this paragraph. No need to get upset.

    Also, you say, "And if you don't like and distrust anonymous comments, then why allow them? Oops. Another anonymous inquiry for you to question my motives over..."

    He never said that. That's a figment of your imagination. He was remarking the irony of anonymous commenters demanding he vet himself on every accusation. He never said anything about anonymous commenters in general.

    Amy K.

  29. Anon from 10:43 and 4:03 @ Amy K.

    Surely R.S. McCain is not a man that would use barbed nuance, suggestion, and subtle implication in his writing... Surely...

  30. There's a logical error, sadly common, in RSM's referenced post at hotair. It is a non sequitur;

    "To advocate the eradication of racism is to propose a course of action — i.e., a matter of public policy."

    All too often, Americans conflate the treatment of a problem with the governmental treatment of a problem. I advocate the eradication of the designated hitter in baseball, but I do not want the government to step in and address it. Even in this post-1960s world, there are things the government can't do, and things society can do without the heavy and clumsy hand of government.

    That said, I am also very much in favor of the President using his/her "bully pulpit" to exhort the population to higher ideals and better behavior. Just don't get the legislature involved...