The Loyal Opposition

DeMint In the last few days, I have the sense of deja vu that sometimes hits older historical actors, including the ones who have played very minor parts in long distant political dramas. In the 1980s, when I worked as an advisor to the Department of Education, I noticed that any attempt to “roll back big government” was always thwarted by well-placed insiders, who didn’t “want the situation to get out of hand.” The insiders, in that case, were GOP hangers-on and neoconservative “experts” who were looking for positions inside of an already sprawling department that a Democratic administration had created as a patronage source just a few years earlier. Obviously the change of administration was nothing more than a chance to replace the other party’s parasites with one’s own.

The same thing may now be going on, as the attacks on the arrogant Obama administration, with its media Praetorian Guard, are having an effect. As new revelations about its domestic abuses and mishandling of foreign policy come to light, thanks largely to Fox news and The Weekly Standard, what Peter Brimelow calls “Conservatism, Inc.” is deciding how far the situation should be allowed to drift to the right.  The answer, in a nutshell, is “not too far.” It may be useful at this moment to play on the anger of Tea Party-types, who feel justifiably abused by the IRS, which did a number on them by subjecting them to special, illegal audits. And it may be profitable—up to a point—to stir up my neighbors in Pennsylvania, who hunt like crazy and who think the feds are about to take away their guns. But hell, you don’t want those yokels, whom my fellow-graduate students at Yale used to call “Joe Six-Packs,” to become the face of the Right. And unless certain limits are set at once, this could possibly happen—that is, in some alternate universe.

Therefore warnings have been issued and punishments meted out by the leaders of the “movement” lest too much moving around occurs. No one at elite DC dining spots, or wherever the media gather to swill, should be given the dangerous impression that there are immoderate people directing Obama’s downfall. Establishment-approved people will be picking up the pieces once the collapse takes place. These custodians of moderation will steer things back in a "moderate" direction, that is, toward liberal internationalism and Obama Lite, and perhaps call on their friends on the other side to continue the public discussion with them.

This is how I read certain tea leaves that have revealed their meaning to me, for example, the savage denunciation of Ron Paul’s lieutenants in the latest issue of National Review and the firing of Jason Richwine by The Heritage Foundation, after it was learned this research scholar had brought up IQ disparities in a Harvard dissertation, presumably approved by leftist professors (are there any other kind at Harvard?).  Both seem to be entirely related events, in terms of the message they were intended to convey. Charles Murray may be right that Richwine, who prepared a carefully constructed brief for Heritage on the costs of amnestying illegals, was sacked because the new Heritage president Jim deMint, a recovering Southern conservative, is simply gutless. Richwine was thrown to the leftist wolves to keep the feeding frenzy from growing.

But I think there was something more involved here. The sacrificed researcher had moved in circles that investigated cognitive disparities and that did not follow the liberal-neoconservative line about the equality and interchangeability of everyone everywhere. One didn’t want anyone even vaguely connected to the sociobiological Right working for a foundation that sees itself as an integral part of the establishment. And this seemed an especially necessary excommunication at this point, now that Heritage could get back into clover as the voice of a manufactured Right that is allowed to dialogue with the establishment Left.

The tirade against those who attended a recent meeting of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace in Prosperity, printed in NR and selectively reproduced in the New York Post, is a more obvious warning against the wrong type of “conservative.” Jamie Kirchik, the leftie who went after Paul in The New Republic and then in its sister magazine The Weekly Standard, comes back in The Daily Beast to denounce the libertarian Lew Rockwell, who was present at the meeting, as “the author of Ron Paul’s oddball racist newspaper.” This shared hired gun of the neocons and their liberal look-alikes then directs his fire at another board member, Michael Scheuer, who has had the temerity to speak unkindly of AIPAC.

There any solid evidence showing that my friend Lew Rockwell wrote the newsletters.  If they did however reflect the views of Ron Paul, they do suggest that in the past, the congressman was more critical of the state cult of Martin Luther King than one is now allowed to be. Paul and his supporters also expressed reservations about some of the effects of the civil rights movement, and a few of Paul’s fans may have had a nodding familiarity with some of the data that Richwine may have looked at.  That Scheuer detests AIPAC is entirely to his credit. One cannot detest the smear artists who run this outfit sufficiently, and I speak as someone who is not at all unsympathetic to the existential gravity of Israel’s geopolitical position.

That said, I would not attribute too much importance to the old slanders that Lowry’s minions have revived in order to show who the bosses are. It’s the neocons and the GOP regulars; and you would have to be differently sighted not to perceive the connection among the parts of the Murdoch Empire.  Allow me to do some predicting. The kind of badmouthing and blackballing that has begun will continue and accelerate if the crusade against Obama and the Dems score more hits. This will be a replay of the years after the Reagan victory when the same forces that are now working to marginalize the “extremists” were first honing their denunciatory skills. I would love to see these elites dumped in the trash bin of History but I doubt it will happen.  In fact it would take nothing short of a cosmic cataclysm, perhaps like the Deluge in Genesis, for my wish to come true. To my young hopeful friends: No, a financial crash won’t do it!