Ed Driscoll

Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

Kathy Shaidle spots Timothy Noah of the New Republic (link safe; goes to Hot Air) with a bad case of the vapors over the newest revelations concerning JFK’s improprieties, in article titled “JFK, Monster:”

Afterwards, Alford says she was “deeply embarrassed,” and as she climbed out of the pool she “could hear Dave speak in as stern a tone as I ever heard him use with his boss. ‘You shouldn’t have made her do that,’ Dave said. ‘I know, I know,’ I heard the President say. Later, a chastened President Kennedy apologized to us both.” Alford believes that Kennedy showed “his darker side … when we were among men he knew. That’s when he felt a need to display his power over me.” Kennedy didn’t just have a thing for Social Register girls; he had a thing for humiliating Social Register girls. He also had a thing for humiliating his fellow Irishman, Dave Powers.

Maybe Kennedy wasn’t this much of a creep all that much (though Alford also tells of him once forcing her to take an amyl nitrite “popper” in Bing Crosby’s living room). But the poolside ritual of humiliation is not easy to reconcile with any kind of worldly tolerance for Kennedy’s peccadilloes. Perhaps the fairest conclusion to make is that Kennedy did some good things in his public life (and also some bad), but that he was capable of monstrous cruelty that’s hard to forgive and also hard to equate even with that of successors like Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon (or with any in his less polished younger brother Ted, whose own private life had plenty of dark moments but whose public accomplishment ultimately outshone JFK’s). Clinton shared many vices with President Kennedy, but I can’t imagine him ever doing anything like this.

“I can, very easily. So can my readers,” Kathy writes, dubbing Noah’s response a textbook example of liberals as “naive sophisticates:”

As a matter of fact, isn’t one of the most famous quotes about the Clintons that of the female Democrat who claimed she’d have blown Clinton, just to thank him for keeping abortion legal? [Nina Burleigh, then-White House correspondent for Time magazine — Ed.]

It’s always surprising what liberals claim they “can’t imagine,” despite all the stubborn protestations of “backward, paranoid” right wingers.

You don’t usually have to “imagine” it, guys. It’s usually right in front of you, and you’re just refusing to see it, because we’re the ones showing it to you.

Which dovetails into a related post of mine from November of 2010:

Ann Althouse spots an endless reoccurring cliche amongst Leftwing Elites:

Welcome to my world: Dane County, Wisconsin, home of people who tell themselves they are the smart people and those who disagree with them must certainly be dumb. They don’t go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do. But how would it feel to be intelligent, informed, and well-meaning and to think what conservatives think? Isn’t that the right way for an intelligent, informed, and well-meaning person to understand other people? If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don’t agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?

What is liberal about this attitude toward other people? You wallow in self-love, and what is it you love yourself for? For wanting to shower benefits on people… that you have nothing but contempt for.

You see this worldview manifested endlessly among the left, whenever you hear the hyperbolic phrase, “I can’t understand why anyone would be a conservative/Republican/libertarian/vote for Bush/vote for Reagan, etc.” Well, why the heck can can’t you? Is it really that difficult to mentally spend a few minutes in our shoes? We’re always asked by the left to celebrate diversity, and to try to understand those not like ourselves. How hard it can be to get a handle on why someone has a different view on say, income tax rates, transfer payments, small business, and government handouts than you do? Or why he likes to get his news from channel #360 on his DirecTV dial than say, channel #202 or #356?

Another example of this mindset can be in the title of Harry Stein’s terrific book last year, which grew out of a conversation he had with a self-described “liberal,” when Harry dared to supply the voice of reason at a dinner party in 2008 and suggest that the young would-be emperor, soul-fixer and lightworker had no clothes.

Perhaps the ultimate mote in a far leftist’s eye can be found here.

Also Related: Paul Rahe at Ricochet on “American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil.”