The Other McCain

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

Jonah Goldberg Is Wrong

Posted on | December 28, 2010 | 34 Comments

Goldberg celebrates the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a step toward the “rise of the gay bourgeoisie.” But what is happening is not the bourgeoisification of radicalism; rather, it’s the radicalization of the bourgeoisie. If the American middle-class adopts more and more the radical-egalitarian worldview of the Left, this cannot be sold as a triumph of conservatism, no matter how cleverly Jonah Goldberg or any other Official Conservative Spokesman frames that argument.

The repeal of DADT was a defeat for conservatives, and it will likely prove the harbinger of yet other such defeats. Conservatives spent 17 years arguing that repealing DADT — a policy which was itself originally a compromise — would have harmful effects on military readiness.

We shall wait and see. But it would be a terrible thing if, when the disastrous consequences of this radical policy change become apparent — as I am confident they will — conservatives are afraid to speak up because our Official Conservative Spokemen have declared the issue off-limits.

(Via Donald Douglas at American Power.)

UPDATE: I’m grateful to see Goldberg respond via Twitter:

Ignoring the “strategic b.s.” retort — because I’m not sure what he means by that — I will adduce yet further evidence of Jonah’s wrongness, namely that any argument which begins by citing David Brooks is inherently dubious.

More seriously, I am reminded of the Battle of Chancellorsville, when Joe Hooker ordered George Meade’s corps — which had fought hard to hold the crest of a ridge two miles east of the key crossroads — to pull back. Meade was furious: “If he can’t hold the top of the hill, how the hell does he expect to hold the bottom of it?”

The Senate Republicans’ lame-duck collapse on DADT is analogous: The abandonment of a defensible position which gives the opponent an advantage that is likely to prove decisive.

But it is all as foretold long ago by a farsighted early critic of feminism: “The fantastical project of yesterday, which was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is today the audacious reform, and will be tomorrow the accomplished fact.”


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