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  • Tuesday, August 16, 2005


    No one left to eat

    At this past weekends Kobepalooza, between the AstroGlide Slip 'n Slide and the goat sacrifice to Our Dark Lord The Clenis, we discussed the old theory that, after the fall of communism (shhh...don't tell the Chinese or the North Koreans) the rightwing would turn it's flaccid guns inward on women, gays, the poor, and the Dixie Chicks. Little did we realize that they would also attack war heroes, veterans of the Operation Inigo Montoya, and Gold Star mothers like a pack of feral pomeranians.

    I've always felt that conservatives are the kind of people you could take sailing but who would start talking cannibalism the moment the wind dies down even though you're close enough to wade to shore. So it's not too surprising that they have started to eat their own. First there was the "Not the face!" slapfight at the NRO corral. Now the NRObots who faithfully hang on every word from the Korner Kidz no matter whether it's the boner waving of Victor Davis Clete Boyer Orestes Hanson or K-Lo reading from the book of Duran Duran apocrypha, well, they're starting to get downright obstreperous.


    I'm getting more and more email from them lately. Not sure exactly why, since their explanations are all over the map and often contradictory. Sometimes they complain about specific personalities (yours truly often prominently among them). Sometimes their complaints are built on the assumption that the Corner is NR/NRO and that it reflects our collective and official editorial stance etc.

    This latter point does annoy me somewhat. I like the Corner, obviously. It was my idea and I spend quite a bit of time hanging out here. But if people don't like it, that's fine. If people have constructive criticism, that's great. But the Corner is simply what it is. There are no meetings where we get together and say, "Let's focus on this" or "Let's be sure to ignore that." If nobody mentions one story or another on the Corner it's because nobody was sufficiently moved to mention it. If you took the "consensus" view on the Corner it would often contradict our editorials. I think this is a good thing in the sense it demonstrates the site and the magazine are vibrant. We don't impose party loyalty all the way down. The Corner wouldn't work if we did.

    Apparently, according to one reader, our friend Rush Limbaugh chastised NR/NRO today based on his reading of the Corner. I didn't hear the indictment and I don't want to get into a big snit about it regardless. But the principle applies to lots of folks, including Rush. Don't assume that what you read in the Corner constitutes an attempt to offer a premeditated statement of conservative principles or NR's position on one thing or another. The Corner's a forum and a very good one, I think. In a sense, I guess the criticism is a testament to the Corner's success rather than its shortcomings.

    Regardless, as I told one reader today who was blasting the Corner as proof for all things wrong in the world of conservatism, if you don't like it, don't read it. It's like the old joke about the guy who tells his doctor "Doc, it hurts when I do this." And the doctors says, "Well, don't do that."


    THE ISSUE OF "WIMPING OUT" [John Podhoretz]
    The big question today is whether those of us who have come to be skeptical of the so-called Able Danger revelations have somehow "wimped out" or "sold out." The question is: Wimped out to whom? Sold out to whom? Does anybody think those of us who first believed the story was explosive and now no longer find it credible are getting rewarded for this change of opinion? If you think so, you ain't reading my e-mail, which is almost exclusively insulting. And trust me when I say I'm not getting a) any speaking gigs because of it, b) any writing assignments because of it or c) anything whatsoever except a bad conscience for having promoted a revelation I now profoundly suspect is untrue.

    And for the record, I don't find the Washington Times story to which Andy McCarthy referred earlier especially credible because it continues to feature allegations without any evidence from sole speakers who may or may not be a) honest, b) above board or c) psycho. Andy keeps having to use the word "assume" about every allegation made in the course of that story because there is no evidence other than his word.

    You'll notice that NRO readers started with the two fat ones as they're easier to run to ground, which can only lead us to believe that the popularity of The Lord of the Flies has not waned after all these years.

    I find that oddly comforting.


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