November 9, 2002

ADD THIS STORY to my earlier comments about racism on the left: racist attacks on Condi Rice:

“Does they like how you shine their shoes, Condoleezza? Or the way you wash and park the whitey’s cars.”

The Greaseman got fired. What’ll happen to this guy? Answer:

Niger Innis, spokesperson the Congress on Racial Equality, said he sees a double standard at play.

“If Rogers, instead of being a white liberal, were a white conservative like Rush Limbaugh using the type of language that Rogers was using, he’d be kicked off the air,” Innis said.

It’s a controversy that’s been brewing on radio for a while now.

Or is Dale Amon right that it’s all a question of who does the talking, not of what is said?

UPDATE: A reader points out this piece by Dinesh D’Souza, which I hadn’t read, but which has already been savaged by Arthur Silber and Michele of A Small Victory. I think his point — though it was hard to be sure — was that the Right says dumb things, too. Yeah, well, you don’t see me defending the “social conservative” crowd very much.

D’Souza’s piece is just dumb, revolving as it does around this statement: “The Democrats should stop hiding behind ‘freedom of choice’ and become blatant advocates for divorce, illegitimacy, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and pornography.” Actually, I’ve got nothing against these things, so long they’re consensual — “adultery” can be taken different ways, I guess. (I don’t share Peter Singer’s enthusiasm for bestiality, but since I’m happy to eat animals it’s hard for me to consider people having sex with them to be, you know, more exploitative.)

If the Republicans buy into this social-conservative line, they’ll lose. I think they know it. But this doesn’t get the Left off the hook. See, the Left has already shown itself utterly wrong with regard to communism, national defense, the economy and — by the Clinton era — worthless on civil liberties except to the extent they’re important to core Democratic constituencies. So the only real claim to moral legitimacy that the Left has, well, left is the claim that it’s tolerant. But it’s not anymore. Remarks like the one aimed at Condi Rice above are just the icing on the cake. The trend has been obvious for years.

The reader asks me to name one major leftist commentator who has made comments at D’Souza’s level. Well, I guess Neil Rogers, the DJ above, isn’t really major, though he’s probably bigger than D’Souza. And what about the many folks on the Left implying that Bush engineered 9/11? Does that count? Or Barbra Streisand’s suggestion that Bush engineered Paul Wellstone’s plane crash? Or the widespread claims (and political cartoons) during the DC sniper affair to the effect that the NRA favors the murder of small children? I could go on, but frankly anyone who really thinks that there’s nothing on the left worse than D’Souza’s remarks above is beyond rational discourse.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jason Soon says D’Souza’s column is silly.

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