The Other McCain

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

Jonah Goldberg Blames ‘Elites,’ By Which He Means, Everyone But Himself

Posted on | January 1, 2022 | Comments Off on Jonah Goldberg Blames ‘Elites,’ By Which He Means, Everyone But Himself

In a year-end column about the failure of “elites,” Jonah Goldberg pretends to be surprised that the Democratic Party went too far in 2021. He makes a lot of good points, e.g., that the reason the Biden administration thought they could ram “Build Back Better” through Congress was that there was no real opposition to their early COVID-19 “stimulus” bill. But there was a pent-up demand for more “stimulus” in the electorate because (in case you’ve forgotten) Democrats had blocked efforts by the Trump administration to pass a second stimulus bill before the 2020 election. They didn’t want Trump to get a boost from this popular measure, and so it was delayed until after Dementia Joe was ensconced in the White House. Biden got “the crazy idea that he could govern like he was FDR,” Goldberg says, and “spent the spring and summer gamboling along thinking he could do no wrong.” If it hadn’t been for the total botch of the Afghanistan withdrawal,which cratered Biden’s approval numbers, this “gamboling along” might have continued, but the bloom was off the rose by late August, and so here we are, with Biden a virtual lame duck after less than a year in office, and Democrats desperate to avert a bloodbath in the November midterms.

Some of this was predictable, a repeat of 2009, which was the last time Nancy Pelosi got her hands on the Speaker’s gavel with a Democrat in the White House. Nancy represents a district no less liberal than AOC’s district, really, so she sincerely believes “the American people” are down for that agenda. The alleged differences between Pelosi and AOC are not meaningful, in terms of the actual policy agenda.

Could anyone have foreseen the Afghanistan debacle? Well, we know that Biden’s military advisers pleaded with him to maintain what we might call a “foothold” force — 3,000 to 5,000 troops to keep Bagram Air Base in operation, at least — and instead Biden insisted on a complete withdrawal, regardless of the predictable consequences. “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up,” Obama warned, and no one now doubts the accuracy of that assessment. But what about Jonah?

How can a pundit maintain credibility — and shift the blame to “elites” — when he himself was part of the failure that he criticizes? Was it not the case that Jonah and the rest of his #NeverTrump cohort did everything in their power to ensure that Joe Biden became president?

Where is Jonah’s mea culpa? Where is the introspective examination of his own failure? Because most of us (using the first-person plural to speak of Republican voters in general) saw the 2020 election as a stark choice. We knew damned well that Joe Biden is a doddering idiot and that Democrats in Congress are swine, and if we did not foresee every consequence of a Democratic victory in 2020, we all realized it would be very bad. So we stuck by Trump, whatever his faults, knowing that he was the only thing standing between us and an absolute catastrophe.

Why couldn’t Jonah Goldberg see this? Or any of the other #NeverTrump pundits, for that matter? Why couldn’t they see what was so obvious to the rest of us? Why did they allow their visceral hatred of Trump to blind them to the predictable disaster that is the Biden presidency? Perhaps they simple don’t care. Perhaps they are just so selfish — so devoted to careerist considerations of their own reputations — that it doesn’t matter to them whether America is utterly ruined by the Democrats.

It ill behooves Jonah Goldberg to point the finger of blame at “elites,” when he refuses to take responsibility for his own part in this disaster.

Having begun the Year of Our Lord 2022 by paying attention to Jonah Goldberg, I’ll now return to my habit of ignoring that ruined man.

Once they go #NeverTrump, they never go back.



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