Ed Driscoll

Liberal Arts: The Public Education of Kirsten Powers Continues

Ahh, another year, another moment when Daily Beast/USA Today columnist and Fox News token lefty Kirsten Powers gets “surprised” by reality. Add the above link to her discovering, the hard way, in October of 2013 that conservatives were right when they predicted she’d lose her healthcare, despite being a rah-rah Obamacare cheerleader just a few months before.

Earlier that year, she surprised that her fellow leftists in the media did everything they could keep the Kermit Gosnell abortion mill trial out of the press, and wrote in USA Today, “We’ve forgotten what belongs on Page One.” “We” didn’t “forget” — news that’s doubleplus ungood for the Inner Party will of course be tossed down the memory hole.

Last year, Powers discovered that those on the right really aren’t the demonic alien Other of her childhood nightmares:

Cannon began by asking Powers how she is treated by her Fox colleagues. He recalled that New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks was not well-received when he first started writing for the Times and asked if Powers had encountered a similar experience.

“People are really nice at Fox,” Powers revealed. “It’s been good for because I – before that, I lived in a real liberal bubble.”

“All my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family,” she continued. “I had a lot of ideas about conservatives and then I got to Fox and just, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re not all evil and stupid.’”

As I wrote at the time:

I realize she’s speaking glibly and off-the-cuff, but the inference is that on some level, Powers actually did believe that all conservatives are evil, thus butting up against fellow Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer’s law of politics from over a decade ago. “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Krauthammer wrote in 2002.

And now Powers is discovering the hard way that the modern left really does hate free speech and independent thought. As someone responded today on Twitter:

She seems like an earnest person, and it’s nice for a change to see someone sympathetic on the left rather than the usual gargling with rusty nails and gasoline that self-described “nuanced” “liberals” often employ when forced to deal with the other side of aisle. Ronald Reagan has been quoted as saying, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor,” and I’d extend that percentage much further than 80 percent. But I’m not sure how someone so prominent in the media can go through life continually being surprised by reality.

Update: At Reason J.D. Tuccille writes “Lefties Are Too Good and Right to Talk to You and Me:”

Frankly, Powers has plenty of fodder for her contention that much of the political Left has gone from arguing with its opponents to screaming “shut up!” and clamping delicate hands over easily offended ears. But, as mentioned, she has a slot at Fox News. She’s also a born-again Christian. That will probably make it easier for her nominal political allies to wave off her warnings of crimes against free thought and free speech. Whatever Powers’ bona fides among progressives, though, the evidence of a real problem on the Left speaks for itself.

In the latest example, just days before the pub date for Powers’ book, Rebecca Roache, a Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, reacted to the unexpected Conservative win in the U.K. election with a…tantrum. She announced online that she was “unfriending” all of her Conservative Facebook friends.


Because their preferred policy prescriptions are supposedly, on their face “as objectionable as expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic views.”

OK…So yet one more lefty academic is emotionally ravaged by disappointment at electoral outcomes. Big whoop. Except that this post wasn’t on a personal blog, it was on the University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog. You know—a place to discuss ideas and stuff. That’s wonderfully ironic (as pointed out in the interesting comments) and also wildly problematic in terms of her relations with colleagues and, especially students (also pointed out in the comments). This window into the hermetically sealed thinking inside academia has turned the incident into a minor event.

In contrast to Powers’ nuanced tones and continual surprise, Kurt Schlichter is far more blunt at Townhall: “Speak Free or Die.”

Maybe that’s because in the 1990s, Schlichter saw the tribal endgame of “Progressivism” up close and personal in Kosovo.