Posted on | August 28, 2011 | 47 Comments
No, I’m not talking about Hurricane Irene, although the storm has turned cable TV news into an endless, boring hype-a-thon, which I consider catastrophic. Joe Biden went golfing before the storm hit, which I consider about the most useful thing Biden could do in any crisis.
Neither am I talking about the catastrophic damage that Irene did to the global-warming scaremongers by failing to live up to the pre-landfall hype. New York Times writer Justin Gillis gives away the game:
The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?
See? Like hurricane cheerleader James Wolcott, Gillis and other liberals wanted Irene to be a disastrous cataclysm of historic proportions — “Katrina Does Manhattan” — so they could claim it as evidence of their pet theory. And this morning, a couple hours after the storm made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., as I watched MSNBC, the anchorette was blabbing about the monster hurricane in an interview with a meteorologist who interrupted her to say: “Uh, tropical storm.”
The meterologist then explained that for Irene to be a Category 1 hurricane would require winds of 75 mph and . . . nope.
Irene may have been Category 1 before it came ashore, but it quickly dropped its windspeed after making landfall so that what hit New York City was, in fact, a mere tropical storm.
F–k you, global-warming hysterics.
But the catastrophic damage I’m talking about had nothing to do with Irene. Rather, I’m talking about the damage that Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is doing to the conservative blogosphere.
Last night, Ace of Spades unloaded both barrels at Pamela Geller and in the course of doing so, mentioned my name.
So I can’t really ignore it, can I?
It would appear that there never was a lot of love between Ace and Pamela, which is OK. Nobody requires bloggers actually to like each other. Geller’s side of the argument involves the accusation that Perry is soft on jihad, an accusation I had never previously heard. If it is true, it is a serious accusation, and seriously must Perry answer it.
Bottom line for me? I don’t care enough about the specifics of Perry’s record to get into an argument about it, and I deeply regret that two bloggers I like have gotten into a public personal war about it. They hate each other, but they’re both still my friends, and fights like this put me into an awkward position against my will. I don’t like when that happens.
When I first dubbed Perry the “Phantom Menace” — “The Sith Lord of Texas,” casting a shadow over the Ames Straw Poll — this wasn’t one of the negative consequences of his candidacy I anticipated, and a blog war between Ace and Pamela is perhaps a minor datum in the grand scheme of things, but also perhaps not entirely insignificant.
Go back to what first concerned me: Why would a Republican campaign go out of its way to “diss” the Iowa GOP in that manner? It is one thing for a candidate like Mitt Romney to de-emphasize Iowa, skip the straw poll and concentrate his efforts elsewhere. It was another thing — an unnecessarily provocative thing — for Perry’s campaign to deliberately upstage the Ames Straw Poll the way it did.
And who was the primary victim of that gesture? Michele Bachmann.
Bachmann won the straw poll, thereby destroying Tim Pawlenty’s campaign, but no sooner had the Republican 2012 herd been thinned by the culling of its weakest candidate — Pawlenty was always weak — than Perry jumped in and vaulted to the front of the pack. This put Perry ahead of other candidates who had spent many months criss-crossing the country and shaking hands with folks at county GOP events and hustling up contributions $50 and $100 at a time.
OK, fine. Congratulations to Team Perry on their Instant Front-Runner status. But I again repeat that I’m getting bad vibes about this development. When all is said and done, my early sense of foreboding will either be vindicated or discredited. But this ugly feud between Ace and Pamela is another ill omen in my book.
What’s this really all about? Maybe it’s about Grover Norquist, as Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:
Ace then turns to the Grover Norquist business. But here again, neither Ace nor the brains of the outfit, David Stein, deal with the fact that Norquist is clearly much closer to Perry than to other candidates. As I wrote here, “Perry and Grover Norquist held a joint press conference in March 2011. Perry appeared at a fund-raiser for Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform group. Also, Norquist actively campaigned for Perry back in 2009. Their association is longstanding: Perry was investigated by the Texas Ethics Commission in 2004 for allegations that the Governor illegally used campaign money to finance a trip to Bahamas; the point here is not the allegations, but the fact that along on the Bahamas trip at his own expense was Grover Norquist.
Ace pushes back against Spencer, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to sort through the evidence and referee the dispute. My larger point, to paraphrase what I said when Geller had it out with someone else a couple of months ago: If Pamela Geller says you’ve got a dhimmi problem, you’ve probably got a dhimmi problem.
And I’ve given Pamela the FMJRA award today, just for the raw hell of it.
Better the blessing than the curse, I say. Now, some old blues: