Mark Steyn, NRO, Liberal Fascism and the Conservative Coward

Taking note of the Duck Dynasty fracas, Mark Steyn wrote what we expected – a witty and devastating critique of a culture being bound hand and foot by liberal fascist control freaks.  To illustrate his point, Mr. Steyn noted a couple of old jokes from ancient times (ie, the 1970’s):

…Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American television. But you can still find them in the archives, out on the edge of town, in Sub-Basement Level 12 of the ever-expanding Smithsonian Mausoleum of the Unsayable. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:

“I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

For Hope, this was an oddly profound gag, discerning even at the dawn of the Age of Tolerance that there was something inherently coercive about the enterprise. Soon it would be insufficient merely to be “tolerant” — warily accepting, blithely indifferent, mildly amused, tepidly supportive, according to taste. The forces of “tolerance” would become intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.

Second joke from the archives: Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra kept this one in the act for a quarter-century. On stage, Dino used to have a bit of business where he’d refill his tumbler and ask Frank, “How do you make a fruit cordial?” And Sinatra would respond, “I dunno. How do you make a fruit cordial?” And Dean would say, “Be nice to him.”…

This caused the editor of NRO – Jason Steorts – to first make a tut-tutting criticism of Mr. Steyn for not understanding that being a meany is bad and then, when massive criticism was directed at Mr. Steorts, he just doubled down:

The point is basic courtesy, Mark. It’s that you could mount your opposing argument without insulting people. Sure, you have the right to insult people, but I can’t sympathize much with someone who exercises that right just to prove it exists, which seems to have been part of your rhetorical strategy. What I would like to de-normalize is boorishness, whatever its content…

And this, in turn, prompted a small comment from me:

No, Mr. Steyn cannot mount an argument against the left without insulting them. To disagree with them is, in their view, to be insulting. We’re not dealing with rational people, here. We’re dealing with people who are, in the largest sense of the word, insane. For crying out loud, they really think that its ok to kill a baby! When you’re dealing with that sort of irrationality, trying to keep it polite is the least of your concerns. Our job, as sane people, is to drive these people entirely out of power. We won’t do that if we try to pretend that lunacy has a proper place in the debate.

I don’t know Mr. Steort from Adam – until just yesterday, hadn’t the foggiest clue who NRO’s editor was, or that they even had one.  But the fact that someone like Mr. Steort is editing the on-line descendent of the magazine William F. Buckley founded to “stand athwart history yelling, ‘stop!” speaks volumes about how low we’ve fallen.  Per the comment at Red State, that has now been changed to, “Standing Athwart History, Yelling Okay Go Right Ahead (We Don’t Want to Offend Anyone)”.  Red State also noted that Mr. Steort is in favor of gay marriage, but that isn’t as important as the discovery, by me, that in reading Mr. Steort’s article in favor of gay marriage, I also discovered that he’s in favor of insanity, as well.  To quote:

…Romantic attraction is a unique type of desire in which a person is wanted in his or her unity and totality, and sexual activity is the unique expression and bodily dimension of such desire. The desire is thus unique in both its “inner” (“subjective,” “mental”) and its “outer” (“objective,” “bodily”) dimensions, and its fulfillment is intrinsically good…

If this is conservatism, then we’re in trouble.  Its basically a statement that “if it feels good, do it”…and its good.  As G. K. Chesterton noted, the purpose of Progressives is to go on making mistakes, and the purpose of Conservatives is to go on preventing the mistakes from being corrected.  A Progressive comes up with a completely stupid and insane idea and immediately puts it in to effect – when it all falls apart and destroys everything in its path, here comes the Conservative to say, “we can’t change it; it is part of the sacred inheritance of the past!”.  Mr. Steort exemplifies this.  I really can’t say this is a matter of stupidity, however; Mr. Steort is clearly not a dumb man.  But he just as clearly doesn’t want to offend against the liberal world view.  That would be bad.  It would get liberals mad and they’d say nasty things about you.  And, so, I’ll put it down as cowardice.  Much easier to write pretend-conservative pieces where you essentially concede the liberal argument while making small asides which claim you still respect and honor that old time religion.

As I noted in my small comment, liberals are essentially insane.  Not in the clinical sense where we could diagnose and treat them, but in the fact that what they propose flies in the face of facts and logic.  That what they propose, if really and fully implemented, would utterly destroy human life on earth.  People who think that babies can be killed, that tax increases cause prosperity, that crony-capitalism is a good idea, that government employees are altruistic, that a small elite can better decide things than people on their own; that a hack, Chicago politician is a new messiah – these are not rational views to hold.  Added to their irrationality and completing it is a mercilessness which knows no bounds.  You can rely on it that no matter how nice and polite we are, the left will still seek to destroy anyone who dares to dissent.  This is not a call for us to start being mean and merciless – but for pity’s sake, don’t just sit there and be a punching bag.  Hit back.  And keep on hitting because until we completely remove the left from all ability to effect policy in this nation, we will not be able to reform and save it.

32 thoughts on “Mark Steyn, NRO, Liberal Fascism and the Conservative Coward

  1. Rudy Carrera December 23, 2013 / 6:36 pm

    What can one say? This is spot-on, and that Steyn is being harassed by the EDITOR at National Review shows how out-of-touch they’ve become with their readership.

  2. Keith Levet December 23, 2013 / 6:46 pm

    “I can’t sympathize much with someone who exercises that right just to prove it ”

    If you do not exercise a right you lose it.
    By exercising the right Mark Steyn protects it for everybody.
    So Steorts wants to have the right but does not really approve of Steyn protecting his access to that right.

  3. Mark Moser December 23, 2013 / 6:50 pm

    It seems time to stand and be counted, if for no other reason than to get a feel for where we are as Christians in this country. More and more we see our values being forced out of the mainstream of public opinion – where I believe they actual reside – onto the outer fringes of our society. The tactics of bullying and sarcasm have been used quite successfully by the left to silence the majority thus far, but these only work if we remain silent. There is strength in numbers.
    Where, specially, in the constitution did our forefathers designate hate speech was excluded from free speech and how was hate speech defined by the founders? I found myself screaming at the TV as the GLAAD rep made his ridicules diatribe concerning the offensive nature of Phil’s remarks. I think the guy really believes the 18th century men who wrote the constitution intended GLADD make those determinations. Their arrogance is astounding. Their position threatens not only free speech, but freedom of religion too.
    Faith can’t be legislated away. If tolerance is not enough for those radical proponents of homosexuality, perhaps overwhelming numerical superiority will convince GLADD ajnd there like-minded ilk of their minority status. If not, perhaps it’s time to stoke the fire under caldron of tar in the backyard and start plucking some chickens! Who’s got the rail?

  4. Paul Newby December 23, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    Kudos, you hit it right on the head, It seems that this NRO editor would politely hold his executioners sword. Reagan refused to move to the mushy middle, since it never attracts Liberals anyway, and undermines the true base of Conservatives. I like to think this guy will “get it” but maybe not. Some people don’t understand “manly” men. Steyn is a Canadian Treasure.

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 1:37 am

      Thanks – and we do have too many people who are afraid. And then I realized that I’m one of them. I do self-censor. Its not that I’d make crude jokes all the time – that is really just not the sort of person I am. But I do hold back for fear of offending. This can be a good thing – I don’t actually want to go out of my way to offend. But I must speak what I believe is the truth – and if that offends, then so be it.

      • Amazona December 24, 2013 / 11:42 am

        It comes back to the saying that if you don’t understand history, you are bound to repeat it.

        When I have tried to bring up historical precedents to what we see happening in this country, and show the progression from where we are now to where we will inevitably be, the Lefty harpies have gone hair-on-fire insane. The actual phrase used was that I am TRAPPED IN HISTORY !!!!!

        This has served only to show how threatening facts are to the Left. But there are extensive historical data showing the progress of restriction of personal liberty, and the patterns are consistent and clear. The only thing that is not consistent is the rate of erosion of those liberties. Sometimes it is nearly instantaneous, as in the revolutions in Russia and France and Cuba, where sudden cataclysms of violent overthrow of existing governments resulted in nearly overnight impositions of tyranny. Sometimes it is a creeping cancer, as we have seen in so much of South America, where the citizens are encouraged to gradually move to the Left until suddenly they look up and realize they are imprisoned in dictatorships.

        But no matter what the rate or style of Leftist incursion into freedom, there are certain elements that always exist. One is the determination to silence all opposition, and this is the easiest to recognize. That’s what we are talking about here, and that’s what has been going on in this country for a few decades now. We lost the free press to the Left, which has made it into a fawning lapdog I call the Complicit Agenda Media, media which no longer even pay much lip service to the concept of actual journalism but which openly parade their partisanship and their support for the Left and its agendas.

        Along with the efforts to silence any opposition we have the emergence of the Thought Police, the determination to make actual thoughts criminal. So now we have a society with different levels of different laws applied to different people depending on their different classes, depending on the State’s interpretation of the THOUGHTS of a criminal at any given time.

        When we couple the complicity of the media in promoting Leftist causes and agendas with the move toward criminalizing actual thoughts, and then consider the classic Leftist tactic of trying to weaken and then compromise the three biggest competitors with the State for authority—-God, the family, and schools—–we can see the same patterns emerging here.

  5. Steve Stoddard December 23, 2013 / 8:04 pm

    Faith clearly cannot be “legislated away,” but faith cannot support and defend freedom and individual rights. Faith in God, or faith in the State — neither is reasonable and practical.

    • Amazona December 23, 2013 / 10:52 pm

      Another anti-faith guy.


    • Denise Kelly December 25, 2013 / 3:00 am

      So we should put our faith in … you? lmao. Go back to nothingness school.

  6. Jan Vones December 23, 2013 / 8:34 pm

    Steyn’s comments were cheap, and you don’t need to be a member of the Left to see that. Steyn can be a lot funnier than quoting Bobe Hope, gets paid a lot to do so, and our holding him to a higher standard as an audience or an editor is no insult.

    • Amazona December 23, 2013 / 10:59 pm

      “…you don’t need to be a member of the Left to see that….”

      Yeah, you pretty much do.

      Anyone wanna bet on how long it will take either of these poseurs to reveal his true Leftist self? (In addition to using a fawning homage to a disgusting Lefty hero as a nom de blog, that is..)

      This exquisitely honed hyper-sensitivity is really getting quite tiresome. Can’t you people give it a rest? People get offended all the time, yet there is only a tiny, shrill, hysterical minority that freaks out when it happens. Of course, when your radar is set to see every possible potential insult, and to react as if there is one when there isn’t, you are going to spend a lot of your time being insulted.

      There is only one reasonable reaction to this odd determination to find something upsetting in everything anyone says——waaaaahhhh waaaaahhhh waaaaahhhh

      • Denise Kelly December 25, 2013 / 3:03 am

        I like Amazona… (snicker) Lefties really are hysterical babies. This is just too much fun. Thank you.

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 1:35 am

      His standard is very high – the article in question is very funny and biting in its ability to expose the nature of the issue.

    • GMB December 24, 2013 / 10:35 am

      “you don’t need to be a member of the Left to see that.”

      Who is it that always uses this? I can’t quite put my finger on it but someone I know of always uses this kind of line. That tiny little hint that they are not a proggie.


      It will come to me.

      I know it’s…….!!!!!

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 1:34 am

      Thanks – I appreciate it. This is something that is really bothering me these days. We’re dealing with something just so entirely outside of what America is about that I’m fearful for our future.

      • Denise Kelly December 25, 2013 / 3:08 am

        Just keep pulling for us, M. We’re all just a little battle fatigued these past few years. We’re here! We’re God Loving! Get used to it! I’m never backing down again. Stand strong and we’ll stand with you.

      • M. Noonan December 25, 2013 / 1:10 pm

        I agree – but we’ll just keep at it.

  7. haakondahl December 24, 2013 / 2:30 am

    Bypassing several detours into justification, the real point is this: Steyn does not need to justify the jokes. Every time some lefty shill gets you justifying things on this merit or that, you’re losing. Why? Because they don’t care what you say, and now you’re off-point, on defense.

    NRO is currently begging for cash from conservatives for a legal defense fund regarding a separate Mark Steyn piece. As I commented on that column (the recent begging for cash one), there is a difference between fighting for a thing and commenting upon things. Steyn is fighting for a thing. And I’m commenting up their legal fight: I wish them well.

    No cash for RINOs.

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 2:40 am

      Others have pointed out the incongruity of pleas for first amendment funding while the editor condemns first amendment activity. I think, though, that NRO sees the light.

  8. DDoSCapitol (@DDoSCapitol) December 24, 2013 / 1:02 pm

    The present editors at NR have internalized the media’s constant demonization of their own readership. They self-censor to avoid “media criticism” as shown by tepid comically intellectualized writing like the meandering romantic attraction quote above. They are afraid to clearly state a conservative position on any issue for fear of offending “the youth vote” or other demographics courted by the Republican party.

    NR now chases polls and panders to existing public sentiment rather than working to shape public opinion as it once did.

    The editors have little sense of history in believing themselves to be uniquely assailed by the media and “out of step” with cultural trends. Buckley kept NR in the “controversial” forefront during the height of the countercultural revolution. By presenting a clear alternative, he helped shape public opinion and paved the way for Reagan when Carter proved to that generation that the Left was intellectually and morally bankrupt.

    Now that another such opportunity exists, we need to look elsewhere for inspiration. NR’s present editors would rather follow than lead. Erickson at Red State hit that nail on the head with his recent reprise of “The Hungry and the Well Fed.”

  9. Retired Spook December 24, 2013 / 1:06 pm

    This is not a call for us to start being mean and merciless

    But that’s undeniably where we’re headed, and I, for one, am at the point where I don’t have a problem being mean and merciless to the Left.

    Good to see a bunch of new people here while I’m on vacation.

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      Well, I’ll still hold to being merciful – its a Catholic thing.

      • Amazona December 24, 2013 / 3:05 pm

        Just think of it as tough love—it is not merciful to passively watch people march, or stagger, to their own destruction. And it is not merciful to stand by while liars deceive people, and therefore harm them.

        Don’t confuse “mercy” with lack of fortitude or hesitation to get involved.

        Jesus was not the passive wimp portrayed by the Left. He was tough and He was strong, and He brooked no nonsense—and He was the cornerstone of what became the Catholic Church. I doubt that the moneylenders being driven from the temple would have described Him as “merciful”.

      • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 3:19 pm

        We could go the Churchillian route – once they surrender, we can be nice.

    • M. Noonan December 24, 2013 / 3:20 pm

      Not too much of a surprise – all those old stars used and re-used jokes. Hope’s skill was in his masterful timing of the joke.

  10. Robert Fisher December 26, 2013 / 4:14 pm

    We do need to hit back. The passive Neville Chamberlain strategy doesn’t seem to be working. This idiot dares to call Steyn “boorish” given the likes of Alec Baldwin, Martin Bashir, Jon Stewart and David Letterman? Braying imbeciles sputtering spiteful profanities so stupid as to make Beavis and Butthead look like profound philosophers. The Alinskyites are winning with the tactic of being aggressive. It’s about time that we respond as aggressively as well. Steyn has done this without stooping to their level, which is what is needed, so more power to him.

    • Amazona December 26, 2013 / 5:52 pm

      I agree, we do need to fight back. But we have to be smart about it. The Left has perfected the art of being absolutely awful and then when called on making the Big Eye of injured innocence and claiming we are the bad guys.

      We need to do it the Tony Snow/Dennis Miller/ (recently) Jay Leno way. The most potent weapon is ridicule, but it has to be deft and not heavy-handed.

      I still like the idea of first calling out the Lapdog Media. I’d love an exchange where Tiny George tries to set up a Republican with some dopey question about, say, birth control, and the candidate good-naturedly comes back with “What’s your point, George? Do you want to talk about my religious beliefs? Because if you do, I don’t think this is the proper place for that. When I am elected to the Senate I will take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not promote my personal religious beliefs. And I’m pretty sure you know that. And I’m pretty sure you know enough about how our government is structured to know that nothing about birth control is a duty or responsibility of the Senate. So, do you want to talk about the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty and the Constitutional restrictions on federal power, or do you want to keep trying to get a juicy soundbite my opponent can use?”

      You don’t have to be mean, you don’t have to be nasty, but you do have to be firm, and consistent, and relentless in always sticking to the point, which is after all how the nation should be governed. I like the idea of making the Complicit Agenda Media gun-shy, making them have to stop and think before trying to set traps for conservatives, making them twitch a little as they weigh a soundbite that can be used by a Lib against the downside of being spotlighted as a political illiterate and Constitutional ignoramus with no journalistic integrity.

      I think I would save the big guns for the media, and when it comes to opposition candidates just stick to the message that a vote for either one is not a vote for any issue but is a vote for a specific type of government, so we need to focus on the contrasting views of how best to govern the nation. When the opposition gets nasty, as we know they will, I would advise our candidates to just calmly point out that these attacks are proof that the other guy knows the truth about the government model he represents is very ugly, with a history of unrelenting failure, so of course he is trying to distract voters by coming up with attacks and hateful claims.

      I think a powerful statement is “The reason people lie is because they know the truth will hurt them”. So I’d never hesitate to say that and then say “…and Jimmy Joe over here is lying, so let’s take a look at the truth he is trying to hide from, and keep from you, and see if we can figure out why it is such a threat to him.”

      One way I would get very aggressive would be to have a nationally coordinated campaign theme, repeated at all levels of national office: “DID (fill in the blank) VOTE FOR A BILL HE NEVER READ AND STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND? FIRE HIM !! ” I’d have it on billboards, bumper stickers, 10-second TV and radio ads. Simple and to the point, it says that our elected officials have the responsibility to know what they are voting for, and if they fail that responsibility they need to be replaced.

      I would not get aggressive on any issues, because the Left OWNS issues, this is their bailiwick, and we will never beat them at that game. And it IS their game. I’d go for their real areas of vulnerability—-the fawning lockstep voting with Obama on every single thing even when no one had bothered to read, much less understand, the bills they were asked to pass, and of course the miserable failure of every Leftist form of government ever tried which is why the Left tries so hard to bury that reality in a lot of noise about ISSUES.

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