The Other McCain

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Basic Rule of Politics: Never Lose a Friend By Trying to Placate Your Enemies

Posted on | October 21, 2010 | 14 Comments

When it comes to a fight, the only true measure of a friend is, “Will they fight?” Befriending cowardly punks is a waste of time. Say what you will about Pamela Geller, she has never backed away from a fight.

Two weeks ago, the New York Times did a hit piece on Geller that I ignored because (a) it was published while I was on my way to Boston; (b) it mostly recycled old stuff that has been floating around the Internet for months or years; and (c) the article was a smear intended to distract us from the current election campaign.

The New York Times can’t expect my assistance in publicizing an article that includes details from Geller’s divorce settlement and the amount of her late husband’s life insurance policy, details which in context amount to fostering a hateful stereotype: “She’s a rich Jew! She’s rich, rich rich! And, oh, by the way, did we forget to mention she’s a Jew?”

The obvious purpose of such an attack is to discourage people from contributing to the causes Pamela advocates, to create the impression that she is rolling in bucks and doesn’t need or deserve the support of readers.

Had Pamela Geller kept silent, had she avoided controversy or only spoken out in defense of fashionable and popular causes, she would never have been subjected to such shameful treatment. But she keeps fighting when others back away and so she is honored with a hit piece which cites that eminent arbiter of online probity, Charles Johnson: “[W]hen people like Pam Geller are the loudest voices out there talking about it, it drowns out everything else and makes everyone look crazy.”

Yeah. He’s an expert on crazy.

Pamela Geller is a fighter who has encouraged and supported other fighters. Go back to March 2007, when she published a column by an Army officer deployed to Afghanistan whom she praised as representing “the best, the very best of America.”

Perhaps his name will ring a bell: Lt. Col. Allen B. West.

All patriots are now praying that Allen West is less than two weeks from being elected to Congress from the 22nd District of Florida. I first interviewed him in June 2008, at which time he couldn’t get the time of day from the national Republican establishment, but he always had the staunch support of Pamela Geller. She promoted his fundraising events and demanded that the GOP leadership wake the hell up and get behind his 2010 campaign.

Knowing how valuable Pamela’s support has been to Allen West and other candidates, I was stunned beyond words this morning when I received an e-mail alerting me that some idiot at Christine O’Donnell’s Senate campaign had decided it was a convenient time to throw Pamela Geller under the bus:

It is a pity that a “maverick” and “outsider” would lack any spine and exhibit such incredible political cowardice.

This was in response to a Salon item by ex-Wonkette Alex Pareene that repeated the now-familiar LGF-inspired defamations.

My dear friend Pamela Geller is entirely justified in feeling offended by this slight. Yet my guess is that her endorsement was removed from O’Donnell’s Web site without the knowledge or authorization of the candidate. Some gutless GOP staff puke, at the behest of a stupid consultant or “strategist,” decided to try to unring an Internet bell.

Yeah. Good luck with that, genius.

Permit me to refer you to an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic Monthly, in which he talks about “the personal willingness to meet violence with violence” as a cultural marker of the “street mentality,” and observes that “the willingness to fight isn’t just about yourself, it’s a signal to your peer group”:

To the young people in my neighborhood, friendship was defined by having each other’s back.

Amen, Brother Coates. Having taken my share of abuse for instinctive displays of the Signifying Jive — is there really any need to explain? — I reckon the Street Code of West Baltimore isn’t much different than what my folks taught me growing up in Douglas County, Georgia: “Don’t ever start a fight, but don’t ever run away from a fight.”

Being a natural-born joker, I generally succeeded in averting violence through humor. But certainly the greater safeguards were (a) having an older brother who was notoriously willing to kick the ass of anyone who messed with me, and (b) being a known associate of redneck hooligans who would do the same.

The implicit bargain of what Ta-Nehisi Coastes calls the Street Code is that you sometimes have to take shit from your friends — who reserve the right to give you an ass-kicking when you deserve it — but you never have to take shit from your enemies. And as Coates says, the invaluable protection of your friends is dependent on your faithful observance of the street commandment:

Thou Shalt Not Be Found a Punk.

Da Tech Guy asked me why I was willing to take shit from Dan Riehl, and that’s your answer: Because Dan Riehl is not a punk.

When it comes to a fight, Dan Riehl is always ready to mix it up and there was never a moment in all of Christine O’Donnell’s fights with the GOP Establishment punks that Dan didn’t have her back.

Same thing with Pamela Geller.

Christine O’Donnell comes from a working-class background and surely she knows the Street Code as well as anyone. I don’t know what worthless punk on the O’Donnell campaign staff thought it politically convenient to treat Pamela Geller as persona non grata, but I fully expect that punk to get a memorable ass-kicking today. I also expect Geller’s name to be restored to the O’Donnell endorsement page, and I expect Pamela Geller to receive a personal apology from Christine O’Donnell.

When you’re a Jet,
You’re a Jet all the way,
From your first cigarette
‘Til your last dying day.

We’ve got your back, Christine. Do the right thing.

And don’t hang around with punks who run away from a fight.


14 Responses to “Basic Rule of Politics: Never Lose a Friend By Trying to Placate Your Enemies”

  1. Charles Johnson
    October 21st, 2010 @ 9:10 am

    Pam Geller made the mistake of rejecting me. Me. No one rejects me. I am from decended from Olympus, a god if you will. She could have had me all, and there is sooooo much now to have. Something that Wild Irish Rose or Sharmuta would have killed for. Something that Cato the Elder and Kilgore are just a poor substitute for.

    So I have never forgiven her. And I never will.

  2. KingShamus
    October 21st, 2010 @ 9:47 am

    Well said, RS.

    The funny thing about the internet is that once you put a statement out there, it’s been set free. It also means you can’t retrieve it without having to do a lot of rhetorical legwork.

    It would’ve been infinitely better had the O’Donnell staffer/douche just done nothing.

    Politics just isn’t this staffer’s game; perhaps a spelling contest?

  3. Adjoran
    October 21st, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    Sounds to me like Dan is mad because Pamela didn’t do more for O’Donnell. Apparently little issues like the Ground Zero mosque/community terrorism center, the economy, and the nearly 500 other national and gubernatorial elections should not have distracted her from the One True Duty of True Conservatives, so she must be a RINO.

    Because, as we know, the job of every True Keeper of the Faith is to root out heresy wherever it is found – or imagined. And there can be no greater or more abominable heresy than failing to be fully and enthusiastically behind O’Donnell, 24/7/365.

    What’s got into Dan? Ask Screamin’ Ray Hawkins: