Friday, May 22, 2009

Ah, the joys of guilt by association!

So, I walk into the Reason magazine party Thursday evening and the first person who greets me is my old buddy David Weigel. "Hey, your girl got the deal!"

Eh? And then he told me that Lynn Vincent, with whom I co-authored Donkey Cons, had been signed to collaborate on Sarah Palin's book. Son of a gun, it's true, it's true, it's true.

And as we have come to expect, the usual suspects launch the usual smear attack, complete with recycled idiocies about me.

After I clocked my first million hits here, one of the things I decided to do was to write a proper "Who is" bio, and in that bio I included this:
The "racist" smear. A long, long story that began on May 9, 2000, when I published a news feature with the headline, "Researchers Say 'Watchdogs' Exaggerate Hate Group Threat." When the smears started, my bosses decided that the best response was a non-response. The smears were thus elaborated year after year on the Internet, errors compounding on lies with additions of libels and distortions, like a metastasizing cancer.
Had I been permitted to respond initially in my own defense . . . well, "if" is the largest two-letter word. Trying to unravel it all at this late date would be a waste of time and energy.
Along the way, I've discovered the amazing professional value of a bad reputation. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it's better than being anonymous. The harm to my career and my reputation was more than recompensed by the acquisition of virtuous character attributed to A Man Who Has The Right Enemies -- the same parasitical assassins who attack me have also attacked inter alia Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle and other worthy souls more eminent than myself.
At this point, if it pleases anyone to think of me as a neo-Confederate white supremacist xenophobic bigoted nativist hatemonger, the accusation is too delicious to deny and if anyone wants the full explanation, they can pay me for it. (I write for money.)
So there you go. Now, let me defend Donkey Cons against my friend David Weigel:
It was an uncomplicated book, its thesis being that if you compared the number of Democrats who’d committed some sort of crime and the number of Republican lawbreakers, the Democrats were, objectively, the more criminal party.
This is an underestimation of the book. It is the most comprehensive chronicle of Democratic Party corruption ever published. In Chapter 2, "Rap Sheet," Lynn took on the task of counting every serious charge of corruption or criminality involving members of Congress since 1976, and found 46 Democrats to 15 Republicans. So it's certainly true that Democrats are the more criminal party -- by a 3-to-1 margin!

Critics of the book simply couldn't get their heads around this immense disproportion. Even some conservative radio talk-show hosts who interviewed us were skeptical. Ever since Watergate, Democrats have benefitted from the notion that somehow it is the GOP that is more corrupt -- even while dozens of Democratic congressmen were either convicted of felonies or censured for ethical violations: Jim Trafficant, Mel Reynolds, Robert Torricelli, Jim Wright, Corrine Brown, Barney Frank and Alcee Hastings to name a few.

That the Democrats would win a congressional majority in 2006 based on their promise to clean up a "culture of corruption" in Washington is a testimony to how little public awareness there is of the extensive tradition of corruption in the Democratic Party, a tradition traceable in a direct line all the way back to the party's co-founder, Aaron Burr.

"Uncomplicated"? Check out Chapter 4, "The Gang's All Here," about the Democratic Party's long association with organized crime, Chapter 5, "Look For the Union Label," about labor union corruption, and Chapter 8, "Scene of the Crime," about the tragic consequences of liberal urban policy.

"Uncomplicated"? A serious accusation! Unfortunately, Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE: Over at the American Spectator, I congratulate Sarah Palin on her choice:
Congratulations, Governor. If you didn't hire the best writer in the business, at least Lynn is very close to the best writer in the business. She's also got an excellent sense of humor,
Kathy Shaidle also has an excellent sense of humor. I've found a sense of humor indispensible to dealing with this kind of "scandal," because the nature of the accusation is so manifestly absurd. As I explained:

However much I sincerely admire beauty, there are few things that interest me less than who wins beauty contests. Yet in the case of Miss Prejean, we see a perfect example of the totalitarian thought-control impulse of modern liberalism, which marginalizes dissent by coercive approval: Disagreement with the liberal agenda disqualifies one from any position of social prestige, and invites the accusation of mala fides.
In the case of the liberal agenda on gay rights, those who disagree are diagnosed with “homophobia,” a mental illness apparently afflicting a majority of the electorate in 30-odd states which have approved measures prohibiting same-sex marriage. Beyond its implausibility as a psychological disorder -- conservatism as a species of insanity being a favorite theme of the Left at least since Theodor Adorno’s “scientific” study of The Authoritarian Personality -- the problem with the “homophobia” smear is that this allegedly dangerous tendency does not correlate with any actual evil.
Read the whole thing. By the way, I am still the blog king of the "Carrie Prejean nude" Google-bomb (among others of relevant interest that need not be explained here). I mean, you wouldn't want liberals to monopolize that traffic, would you? And because I'm a giver, I shared this valuable knowledge with Marie Osmond's lesbian daughter.

Je suis un bloggeur capitaliste. I'm also a "top Hayekian public intellectual." I write for money. See Rule 5.


  1. One degree of separation from The Guv..

  2. One could argue, or attempt to argue, the idea that not all crimes are created equal, and that the scope and nature of the actual offenses should count for more than their mere number: that if you had, say, 46 Democrats convicted of parking violations vs. 15 Republicans convicted of murder, an assertion that the Democrats are the "more" criminal party would be disingenuous as best.

    But I'm less interested in that actual comparison than in the propensity of people to move the goalposts depending on which side they're on. If you're a Democrat, suddenly the nature of the crimes is more important than their number. If you're a Republican, the number of the crimes is more important than the nature. And if the ratio were reversed, the priorities would reverse as well.

    Goalpost-moving is one of the subtlest and most dishonest rhetorical tricks out there, which is why I tend to be on guard for it wherever I see its possibility.

  3. Damn, RSM. That last line was POWERFUL.

  4. Stephen J.:
    You should just buy the book and decide for yourself whether any goalposts were moved. The book not only names all 46 congressional Democrats found guilty of crimes or sanctioned for ethical violations, but also names all 15 Republican offenders -- including Bob Packwood, John McCain, Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham.

    No favoritism or bias was involved in this compilation. And no liberal publication ever reviewed the book, because liberals are afraid of the facts.

    Kathleen Willey's cat could not be reached for comment.

  5. "neo-Confederate white supremacist xenophobic bigoted nativist hatemonger"

    You say that as if it were a bad thing! :)

  6. And as anybody familiar with a certain extremely NSFW internet meme knows, it's better to be the giver than the receiver.

  7. Well I bought the book on Amazon, although I go it used because I'm poor. This is the first I'd heard of this book.