The Other McCain

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

Isn’t She Adorable?

Posted on | April 12, 2019 | 1 Comment

 

My buddy Benny Johnson, who I’ve known since 2007, posted this photo of himself with Candace Owens at Reagan National Airport. According to Benny, he was running to catch a flight when he bumped into Owens, fresh from her recent congressional testimony, wearing a MAGA hat and carrying “a sizable amount of Chic-fil-A.”

When I shared that on my Facebook page, a friend commented, “She is such a doll,” and indeed, she is. You may recall the story of how it was Owens became a conservative. She was a liberal, but during the #GamerGate controversy, she was “doxxed” by the Left, and had a road-to-Damascus awakening: “I became a conservative overnight. I realized that liberals were actually the racists. Liberals were actually the trolls.”

In this, she reminds me of Michelle Malkin. When she was a student at Oberlin College, Malkin became an object of left-wing scorn when she dared to question the school’s “diversity” agenda, and that experience — being called all the awful things the Left calls people who don’t “know their place” in the official victimhood hierarchy — galvanized her.

Going back at least as far as Whittaker Chambers, the ex-Communist who exposed Alger Hiss, some of the fiercest conservatives have been former leftists who got disgusted by the hatefulness and dishonesty of the Left. What happened when Owens testified Tuesday was astonishing:

Tensions at a heated House Judiciary Committee hearing on online hate speech boiled over on Tuesday, when conservative commentator Candace Owens accused Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., of distorting her comments on Hitler so flagrantly for the sake of a smear that he must “believe black people are stupid.”
“In congressional hearings, the minority party gets to select its own witnesses,” Lieu began. “Of all the people the Republicans could’ve selected, they picked Candace Owens. I don’t know Miss Owens; I’m not going to characterize her; I’m going to let her own words talk.”
Lieu then produced a cellphone and played a short clip of Owens’ previous remarks at a conference in December, which were widely circulated in February: “I actually don’t have any problem with the word ‘nationalism.’ I think the defintion gets poisoned by elites that want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. When we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people think about — at least in America — is Hitler. You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK then, fine. The problem is, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everyone to be German. …”

Now, let me say here: Owens is exactly correct. No one could have criticized Hitler if his “nationalism” had consisted solely of attempting to restore Germany’s confidence in the wake of its World War I defeat and the subsequent sufferings under the punitive measures of the Versailles treaty. By the early 1930s, many in the West were willing to heed the argument that Germany had suffered enough and, having not read Mein Kampf nor realizing how serious Hitler was about his hatred of the Jews, many failed to perceive the danger in his brand of “nationalism.” This historical context is relevant to what Owens was saying in the audio clip — she obviously is not pro-Hitler — and is also relevant to the dishonesty of the Left’s propaganda about “white nationalism.”

As Victor Davis Hanson said Wednesday on Tucker Carlson, this propaganda is simply about the “demonization of Trump supporters.” While there certainly are people who might be willing to commit criminal violence in pursuit of “white nationalism” (however that term is defined), the Left is using this term as a smear, implying that all 62.9 million Americans who voted for Trump are crypto-Nazis. With that background, we return to the House hearing Tuesday:

Lieu then asked committee witness Eileen Hershenov: “When people try to legitimize Adolf Hitler, does that feed into white nationalist ideology?”
But Owens soon made clear she felt Lieu had intentionally misrepresented her views to drive a false narrative not just against Owens, but also Trump and Republicans in general.
“I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip in its entirety,” Owens said.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY., interrupted, telling Owens, “It is not proper to refer disparagingly to a member of the committee. The witness will not do that again.”
After clarifying that she had not, in fact, called Lieu stupid, Owens continued: “As I said, he is assuming that black people will not go and pursue the full two-hour clip. He purposefully cut off — and you didn’t hear the question that was asked of me. He’s trying to present as if I was launching a defense of Hitler in Germany, when in fact the question that was presented to me was pertaining to whether I believed in nationalism, and that nationalism was bad.”
As Owens went on, Lieu tapped his hands together silently.
“And what I responded is that I do not believe we should be characterizing Hitler as a nationalist,” Owens said. “He was a homicidal, psychopathic maniac that killed his own people. A nationalist would not kill their own people. … That was unbelievably dishonest, and he did not allow me to respond to it.”
Owens concluded: “By the way, I would like to also add that I work for Prager University, which is run by an orthodox Jew. Not a single Democrat showed up to the embassy opening in Jerusalem. I sat on a plane for 18 hours to make sure I was there. I am deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me.”
Turning to her 75-year old grandfather seated behind her, Owens remarked, “My grandfather grew up on a sharecropping farm in the segregated South. He grew up in an America where words like ‘racism’ and ‘white nationalism’ held real meaning.”

 

Her poise in defending herself won Owens millions of new admirers — the C-SPAN clip set a new record (4.5 million views on Twitter in 24 hours) for the cable network. There are some people who’ve just got it — they were born to be TV stars — and she’s one of them. What she’s got, America loves, and I expect her to be a powerful force in coming years.



 

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