The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Palin Derangement Syndrome Outbreak: There Are Still Five A’s in Raaaaacism

Posted on | September 4, 2010 | 91 Comments

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”
Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind

Some things are predictable — i.e., that the Palin-haters would decide it was a good time to recycle the old SPLC/LGF attacks on me in order to exploit my interview with Todd Palin for a guilt-by-association smear. When Rachel Maddow tried the same trick last fall — based on my friend Lynn Vincent’s collaboration with Sarah Palin on Going RogueI made a few points in my response:

I don’t have to explain myself or prove a negative. . . .
There is no obligation for me to speak a word in my own defense.

Earlier this year, I described the Left’s tactics in dealing with an LGF attack on Dennis Prager:

  • Bad Faith – The accusation that conservatives are motivated by bad faith (mala fides) is essential to the Left’s attacks. Stigmatizing and marginalizing conservatives is much easier than debating them. Cogent arguments about policy become unnecessary to advancing the Left’s political agenda if they can dismiss its opponents as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
  • The Ransom Note Method – By carefully selecting “evidence” of bad faith, the Left is able to present a distorted image of its conservative targets. Out-of-context quotes and controversial biographical data are cherry-picked and re-assembled (in the manner of a kidnapper assembling a ransom note) to present the target in the most damning possible light. This method is particularly effective against conservative talk-radio personalities who engage in polemic battle with leftists. This is why Media Matters devotes such enormous resources to monitoring talk radio in hopes of grabbing a 40-second “gotcha” sound-bite.
  • The ‘Links and Ties’ Method – More than simple guilt-by-association, the Links-and-Ties Method involves presenting a chain of incidental connections to suggest a sympathy of views that does not actually exist. To wit: Target A once spoke at Event B which was sponsored by Group C, co-founded by Person D who once made controversial statement E. By this method, it is implied that Target A actually endorses Statement E.
  • Telescoping and Telepathy – The actions, statements and associations of a conservative target acquire a trans-temporal permanence in the smear attacks of the Left. Once a target is associated (however incidentally) with controversy, this association can be repeated endlessly as evidence of bad faith, no matter how many years intervene. Furthermore, if the target is associated in Year X with a respectable person or organization that becomes controversial in Year X+5, that association can be cited in Year X+10 as evidence against the target – even if the target had no involvement in the cause of controversy. Finally, all evidence of bad faith accumulated by these methods is presented as indicative of the target’s deepest and unwavering personal convictions, as if the accuser were possessed of telepathic mind-reading abilities.
  • Deny, Denounce, Repudiate – The key to these attack methods is the presumption of the target’s guilt. The accuser, having carefully selected the evidence to be discussed in the manner of a prosecutor making an indictment, demands that the target deny the accusation, denounce the bad-faith views involved, and repudiate the persons and organizations to whom he has been connected by the links-and-ties method. As anyone who has been targeted by such attacks can attest, it’s rather like being accused in one of Stalin’s infamous Moscow “show trials.”

What is at the root of this game is the accuser’s moral authority to act as Grand Inquisitor. The accuser arrogates to himself the unquestionable righteousness to judge the accused, who is then expected to attempt to prove his innocence.

If you play that game, you’re accepting the accuser’s authority.

The idiocy of the accusation that I am a “white supremacist” ought to be obvious: What, exactly, does “white supremacist” mean in 2010? Have I ever advocated any such policy? Do I hatefully derogate non-whites or espouse some bizarre theory of racial superiority?

I do not, and never have.

Remember that it is not sufficient proof of such a serious charge to say that, over the course of a long career, I have occasionally made ill-considered statements or that I have associated with people whose reputations may be even worse than my own. In the first instance, I’ve written many thousands of words which my accusers never bother to cite – e.g., my 2008 feature about Lt. Col. Allen West or my April profile of Vernon Parker — and in the second instance, a journalist necessarily makes a wide range of acquaintances.

I don’t like being told what to think or what to say, and I don’t make a habit of letting other people decide who I can be friends with. Some of my conservative friends can’t understand why I’m friends with that horrible reprobate Dave Weigel, for example, while my liberal friends — and I do have some of those — are shocked that I’m friends with that nasty Dan Riehl fellow. (I may even be part of Dan’s “ilk“!)

Having many friends who can vouch for my bona fides — people of good reputation who know me personally and never once had cause to think of me as a racist hatemonger — I expect that many voices will defend me from the likes of Phil Munger, an instigator of this latest attack.

Hate is against my religion. If I am commanded to pray for my enemies, why then should I hate entire races of people whom I’ve never met and who have done me no harm?

If I do not hate, neither will I fear. There are important stories I need to be covering, and I’ve got better things to do than to seek vengeance on a bunch of pissant “progressives” whose only claim to fame is their vicious obsession with the Palins. I’m past caring what such people think of me, but if I am called on to fight in defense of the good name of the Palins, I’m prepared again to invoke the war oath of Clan Cameron:

Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheibh sibh feoil! 

“Sons of the hounds, come here and get flesh!”

And there are still five A’s in raaaaacism.

UPDATE: Linked by Jehuda the Rhetorican — thanks! BTW, if you don’t know who Phil Munger is, here’s a reminder:

Within hours of her death, [Rachel] Corrie was transformed from human being to sacred symbol, an icon revered by the “Blame Israel First” crowd. She was subsequently glorified in a cantata composed by a University of Alaska professor (who has since become a notorious anti-Palin blogger) and in a play that ran for 48 performances on Broadway.
Exploited to advance the anti-Israel cause, this symbolic Rachel Corrie functions in death as the real Rachel Corrie functioned in life, scapegoating Jews and acting as a human shield for terrorists.

Yeah: Munger composed the St. Pancake Cantata. He’s one of those anti-Israel types who constitute the Sirhan Sirhan wing of the Democratic Party. He doesn’t believe in the Book of Genesis, you see, so he doesn’t take Chapter 12, Verse 3 seriously.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

UPDATE III: Let’s see, I went to Wasilla on Thursday and two days later, Joe McGinniss decides he’s moving out? Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

UPDATE IV: Linked by Rich Crowther at Conservatives for Palin, Joe at Valley of the Shadow, No Sheeples HereSissy WillisGathering of Eagles, Pirate’s Cove, and Dan at Gay Patriot

Dave C at Point of a Gun reminds us of the liberal argument: “Shut up!

Now a thread at Memeorandum.

UPDATE V: Linked by Patrick at Political Byline and by Da Tech Guy who describes me thus:

[H]e is an interesting passenger to share a car with, he is on perpetual hyper-drive, smokes like a chimney and is a coffee vampire.

“Coffee Vampires for Palin” would be a great blog name.

UPDATE VI: Piece of Work in Progress is also a great blog name.

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Comments

  • TJ Parker

    “One sad thing about leftists is …”

    The sad things about rightists is that their motto is “my way or the highway”, and their whole modus operandi is herding through fear, outrage, scape-goating and outrage at their imagined victimization.

  • TJ Parker

    “One sad thing about leftists is …”

    The sad things about rightists is that their motto is “my way or the highway”, and their whole modus operandi is herding through fear, outrage, scape-goating and outrage at their imagined victimization.

  • Tide

    Did you see the Julio catch ? Julio Jones is DA Man !

    Also calling Stacy an Alabama Cracka @ss Cracka is a labor of love .

  • Tide

    Did you see the Julio catch ? Julio Jones is DA Man !

    Also calling Stacy an Alabama Cracka @ss Cracka is a labor of love .

  • http://masterlimitedpartnerships.blogspot.com joe cioffi

    First off the Rachel Corrie play was not on broadway but was off broadway ( and i mean way off in a hole in the wall theatre in the east village. I went to see it with my college student daughter and never have i been more surrounded by self loathing anti israel leftists in my life. The play was the longest 10 hours of my life (and that was the first act!). Leaving and listening to the anti-israel rhetoric was enough to make ones skin crawl.

  • http://masterlimitedpartnerships.blogspot.com joe cioffi

    First off the Rachel Corrie play was not on broadway but was off broadway ( and i mean way off in a hole in the wall theatre in the east village. I went to see it with my college student daughter and never have i been more surrounded by self loathing anti israel leftists in my life. The play was the longest 10 hours of my life (and that was the first act!). Leaving and listening to the anti-israel rhetoric was enough to make ones skin crawl.

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  • IForgotMyName

    “The low point of the evening, the point at which I finally started to quietly weep and whisper to myself “Oh, dear God!” was when a courageous young Palestinian-American man was shouted down, with one of the shouters yelling something along the lines of “Shut up, you’re not even human.” Several people then applauded.”- Phil Munger

    Funny how he doesn’t seem to have any trouble dehumanizing the Palins.

  • IForgotMyName

    “The low point of the evening, the point at which I finally started to quietly weep and whisper to myself “Oh, dear God!” was when a courageous young Palestinian-American man was shouted down, with one of the shouters yelling something along the lines of “Shut up, you’re not even human.” Several people then applauded.”- Phil Munger

    Funny how he doesn’t seem to have any trouble dehumanizing the Palins.

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  • jefferson101

    It seems to me that in todays climate, a corollary to Godwin’s Law would be appropriate.

    I see it going something to the effect that “The first commenter/commentator/politician to introduce charges of racism into something to which the charges are obviously irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t have a Master’s Degree in Black Studies or Women’s Studies has already lost the argument.”

    That’s probably racist, too, but since I’m already branded as an “ilk”, I might as well be called racist, too.

    Anyone that the left isn’t calling racist this month is probably a tool anyway.

  • Joe

    joe cioffi, I hear you brother. I hear you.

    Nothing is more pathetic than the secular canonization of Rachel Corrie. She was a misguided and lied to young woman who died being on the wrong side of a cause she really knew nothing about.

  • jefferson101

    It seems to me that in todays climate, a corollary to Godwin’s Law would be appropriate.

    I see it going something to the effect that “The first commenter/commentator/politician to introduce charges of racism into something to which the charges are obviously irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t have a Master’s Degree in Black Studies or Women’s Studies has already lost the argument.”

    That’s probably racist, too, but since I’m already branded as an “ilk”, I might as well be called racist, too.

    Anyone that the left isn’t calling racist this month is probably a tool anyway.

  • Joe

    joe cioffi, I hear you brother. I hear you.

    Nothing is more pathetic than the secular canonization of Rachel Corrie. She was a misguided and lied to young woman who died being on the wrong side of a cause she really knew nothing about.

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  • glenn

    well done RSM, Journalism is not dead, you’ve articulated the the facts, set the meme and discombobulated the propagandists. this story is gonna leave a mark.

  • glenn

    well done RSM, Journalism is not dead, you’ve articulated the the facts, set the meme and discombobulated the propagandists. this story is gonna leave a mark.

  • http://www.leftcoastrebel.com LCR
  • http://www.leftcoastrebel.com LCR
  • http://www.theblogmocracy.com savage

    I got your post coming up on my site this afternoon. Good job!

  • http://www.theblogmocracy.com savage

    I got your post coming up on my site this afternoon. Good job!

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  • swift boater

    I think a White Supremacist in 2010 would be a person akin to the late Robert Byrd or someone who knowingly owns property with racial covenants on it and makes no effort to remove them like the Kennedy’s.

    But since I am obviously a racist what do I know??

  • swift boater

    I think a White Supremacist in 2010 would be a person akin to the late Robert Byrd or someone who knowingly owns property with racial covenants on it and makes no effort to remove them like the Kennedy’s.

    But since I am obviously a racist what do I know??

  • Abe Lincoln

    I would like it very much if that personification of an idiot would stop calling people racist. Everybody is a racist. I was a racist when I was a Senator running for President. I was a racist when I walked all them miles to return just a few pennies. But if it had been fifty dollars I never would of done it. Now Charles Johnson…stop talking about me. Take care o all those Muslims you have on your site. Muslims, atheists and communists. Jimmah and weasil wow what a name of a couple muslims.

  • Abe Lincoln

    I would like it very much if that personification of an idiot would stop calling people racist. Everybody is a racist. I was a racist when I was a Senator running for President. I was a racist when I walked all them miles to return just a few pennies. But if it had been fifty dollars I never would of done it. Now Charles Johnson…stop talking about me. Take care o all those Muslims you have on your site. Muslims, atheists and communists. Jimmah and weasil wow what a name of a couple muslims.

  • http://www.amandaread.com Amanda Read

    I just saw Philip Munger’s post about his interview with Todd Palin. I loved this response of Todd’s:

    “Lots of articles, huh. That doesn’t mean anything.”

    Todd Palin unnerves wusses, and they’re apparently STILL trying to figure out how to unnerve him: http://unliberal.com/2010/08/27/stalking-sarah-palin-the-comedy/

    Because “racist” has essentially become the default insult of the 21st century, I have a difficult time taking it seriously. That’s not to deny that racism existed or exists among some people to this day, but the accusation is grossly inflated.

    What did Munger mean when he said you were bragging? Maybe he stuck that in there just in case “racist” wasn’t convincing enough.

    A losing opponent’s strategy for winning a debate is to redefine the debate. As long as they keep it in the quibble corner they’re comfortable with, they gloat like winners.

  • http://www.amandaread.com Amanda Read

    I just saw Philip Munger’s post about his interview with Todd Palin. I loved this response of Todd’s:

    “Lots of articles, huh. That doesn’t mean anything.”

    Todd Palin unnerves wusses, and they’re apparently STILL trying to figure out how to unnerve him: http://unliberal.com/2010/08/27/stalking-sarah-palin-the-comedy/

    Because “racist” has essentially become the default insult of the 21st century, I have a difficult time taking it seriously. That’s not to deny that racism existed or exists among some people to this day, but the accusation is grossly inflated.

    What did Munger mean when he said you were bragging? Maybe he stuck that in there just in case “racist” wasn’t convincing enough.

    A losing opponent’s strategy for winning a debate is to redefine the debate. As long as they keep it in the quibble corner they’re comfortable with, they gloat like winners.

  • Jimmy Page

    Charlie still is hear broken over the fact that Pammy rejected him.

  • Jimmy Page

    Charlie still is hear broken over the fact that Pammy rejected him.

  • DEZ

    Clowns to the left of me, moonbats to the right.
    Break out the chain guns again…

  • DEZ

    Clowns to the left of me, moonbats to the right.
    Break out the chain guns again…

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  • http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com Charles Johnson

    More smears from the racist McCain. I love seeing my point about the right going over the cliff shown to be true over and over again.

  • http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com Charles Johnson

    More smears from the racist McCain. I love seeing my point about the right going over the cliff shown to be true over and over again.

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