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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Response to Goldberg

Every now and then a journalist from the big city ventures into the hinterlands to tell his readers at the home publication about the rubes. We rubes -- who have hinterlands of our own to tend (the Gazette called eastern Kanawha County the hinterlands) -- have a one-word test for these visitors. Use of this word disqualifies them as serious thinkers.

The word is hardscrabble. Its a very plain word which identifies the hard work and struggle that goes into a project. But when used to define a town or a country (territory) it is a lazy and laughably inaccurate term. And of course, Kevin Williamson used it in his piece, "The Father-Führer," in the National Review on March 28, 2016.

"If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn't Beijing. It wasn't even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn't immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn't any of that," Williamson wrote.

Let me pause from my whelping of the children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog to respond. I'll send the kids to the gas station to get my smokes. (Yells after them, "Use the change to buy Moon Pies for your lunch.")

Williamson described a people who were not very hardscrabble at all. No one works in the Kentucky, New York, and Texas that Williamson sees. They are just a bunch of white people who are collecting disability checks and whelping children in between their highs on OxyContin. Or as he so elegantly put it, "And that’s where disability or other government programs kicked in. They were there, beckoning, giving men and women alternatives to gainful employment. You don’t have to do any work (your disability lawyer does all the heavy lifting), you make money, and you get drugs."

You see, America, it is not the invasion of 11 million illegal aliens or 22 years of unbridled free trade that are gutting America. It is all these white people insisting on living in Nitro long after Monsanto closed the plant and moved it to India.

Surprisingly, a few people paused from their whelping of children with the respect and wisdom of a stray dog to object. The staff at the National Review is defending his trashing of white America as Nazis. After all, who follows "The Father-Führer" but Nazis? Why, all Williamson did was suggest white people move, like he did.

"Kevin has ably defended himself from the tsunami of bile that has crashed down upon him, and I don’t want to speak for him. Though I will say I think people misinterpreted his point. He wasn't writing from a position of loathing and hatred for the white working class (from which he came). He was arguing that if you are stuck in a community or family that is holding you back, you should do what you can to liberate yourself from those shackles rather than demand the federal government fix problems it cannot fix. That’s not hatred, that’s closer to good, tough-love, advice. It is also so squarely in the American conservative tradition, I am shocked by how many conservatives refuse to see it," Jonah Goldberg wrote today.

Boo ho hoo. You churn out a tsunami of bile, expect two back. That's the rule.

As far as defending himself, Williamson merely wallowed in the criticism from Joe Scarborough on MSNBC and Rush Limbaugh. Well, who wouldn't? He meant every word he said and that's that.

But I am reminded of what Limbaugh said in response to one of Williamson's childish rants about Trump last June: "I like Kevin Williamson; I wish Kevin would write something like this about Hillary. I wish some in our conservative media would let go with some of this stuff for Democrats."

Goldberg objected to my post that said it is the Trumpkins, not The Donald that elites fear.

I have misjudged Goldberg. He does not like Trump for personal reasons. When people look at the issues Trump raises, Goldberg assumes something is afoot.

"You know what it means when defenders of Donald Trump refuse to defend the actual man Donald Trump? It means he’s indefensible," Goldberg wrote.

But as readers of this blog know -- and I love every one of you, even the trolls -- Trump is defensible. I have defended his honor multiple times. Remember the farm he saved? The help he gave the terminally ill Miss Wisconsin? The rebuilding of that ice rink? The aid he gave on 9/11? While others pursued political careers by currying favor with the leadership in Washington (even Hilary kissed the ring of Bob Byrd), Trump was rebuilding Manhattan and having a load of fun. And along the way, he gave and earned the respect of his co-workers.

Goldberg does not like Trump. OK. He sees the man as unfit to hold public office. OK.

But Williamson touched on what Washington really fears or should fear -- the Trumpkins. They want a change that threatens the livelihood of everyone in Washington.

Well, the kids are back and I have to go beat them because instead of bringing me back my change, they bought Moon Pies. Where's my belt?


  1. You nailed it. I'm putting together a post on the Trump phenomenon - have to leave off watching Europe swirl down the drain to watch us hardscrabblers talk above our paygrade, dissing our betters.

    Here where we live, the county is so poor real estate prices are dropping. So is the real estate tax, thank you Board of Supervisors.

    We're so poor that only one health insurance company will offer coverage...

    Hey, I see a #meme coming...


    And fill in the blank.

    (I once bought a moon pie into work so the transplanted Yankees in Charlottesville could see one)

  2. I don't actually hold a brief for Kevin Williamson, but I certainly do think he's a bright guy and an admirable writer, and if he gets it wrong he can handle it fine himself. But I should say that when I was a boy I was taught that "hardscrabble" was a an actual technical term and referred to the kind of land and soils that you get in the eastern Canadian Shield. That geology extends into upstate New York and so technically, it seems to me that he was right to refer to that country as "hardscrabble".

  3. How dast we question our betters is what it really comes down to.

    Buckley is spinning.

  4. Once again, the only people you can safely put down are working-class white folks. Kev, there, is riding with Tommy Franks' gang and wondering What's The Matter With Kansas. Neither one knows. Neither one WILL know. Asking all the wrong questions gets you all the wrong answers.

  5. The somewhat obvious downside of Trump, from my point of view, is that he is on one end, while Hillary is on the other end, of the 'quid pro quo' crony capitalism problem in Washington.

    The obvious upside is that Trump is on the end that is typically not in Washington.

    1. Yeah, he made kissy face when the Hildabeast was a Senatrix, but that does not constitute crony capitalism unless he got something out of it.

    2. So, he made kissy face with her because he a) supporters her and her liberal policies, b) got something from her for making kissy face with her (which would constitute crony capitalism), or c) is a tiny man with a huge ego who has to hang on to celebrities to have self worth and isn't smart enough to realize how demeaning that is. Tough choices, but I'll go with d) all of the above

    3. How many Federal contracts or Federal tax dollars has Trump's "crony capitalism" kissy face with Shrillary netted him over the years?

  6. When I stop to think about it, I'm not surprised Jonah is in lockstep with the GOP Elitists. By the looks of what's become of, it's fairly obvious that his mother, Lucianne, is not all that fond of Trump, either, and that breaks my heart. I've been a regular at since the beginning; she was wonderful to me when I began blogging in '04. Unfortunately, her site has been dominated by the nasty #NeverTrump-ers.

  7. Trump is a leftist. An abortion supporting, higher tax supporting, men in the womans bathroom law supporting, high tariff supporting, lover of the government whip, progressive.

    He is willing to go along with rather than fight leftists on their too many of their central beliefs.

    His reaction to the North Carolina law is a perfect example.

    He wants to change the GOP platform to accept abortion when its politically convenient.

    He has no knowledge of Austrian economics, and bad mouthed Reagan's tax plans, even after they turned the country around and led to 20 years of economic expansion.

    Also, Trump is a pathological liar, and an intellectually lazy, egomaniac. He knows that he doesnt know what he is talking about, but thinks you are too stupid to care. Those of us who refuse to accept his uninformed, ignorant answers on basic policy questions refuse to give the man a pass because he isnt a "politician".

    Yet, Donald is the establishment. He has funded Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and Anthony Weiner. He funded Mitch McConnell's primary fight against conservative Matt Bevin.

    Donald is either so dumb as to not know Mitch McConnell is the establishment or so politically illiterate as to not understand the current political climate....but he is an outsider, somehow?

    Hiring a bunch of lobbyists to run his campaign screams outsider...right?

    Purely as a candidate, Donald Trump is a dumpster fire who cannot beat Hillary Clinton. He is tailor made for a corrupt, identity politics slinging, lifetime politician like Hillary. She will never have to talk about issues running against Donald. It will be 4 months of playing the victim to Donnie's douchebaggery. Worse, Donald will make Hillary look like a policy genius, and consistent stable presence.

    Every single argument for Trump hinges on ignoring reality. Donald own words, his deeds, his lies (still waiting for that Cruz sex scandal blockbuster) his support for left wing policies, His ignorance of important issues, and most of all his resume of failed, selfish business practices that left everyone around him with empty pockets....and sometimes even fraud lawsuits. (The Trump University case is still ongoing)

    I am not dumb enough to think i could speak for Jonah Goldberg, but i do know that my steadfast opposition to Donald Trump has nothing to do with such odd charges as a love for the establishment, or such asinine charges as an abandonment of conservative values. It is a refusal to ignore all the evidence in favor of a faith driven, cult of personality campaign.

    As a #NeverTrump person, you have a right to ignore me and everyone who has taken that position.....but at least be honest and admit YOU are the one abandoning conservatism, and willing to accept your candidate on faith, not evidence.

    Trump is the antiReagan, and if you want to support be it. Just dont beclown yourselves by acting like those of us supporting a man who has spent his entire career fighting for the Constitution....are the sell outs. Its delusional.

    Have a good weekend.


    2. Whew! I almost wore out my finger scrolling down to the end of this screed.

    3. Trump 2016!

      Steve in Greensboro

    4. Thank you Alecj. Wit and truth, delivered with brevity.

      Trump is the fresh-faced Lt. who shows up in Vietnam to teach the front-liners who've been fighting all along... (Cruz et al)... how to fight.

      I'll go with the proven fighter, not the wannabe who needs his ego stroked, and who has been fraternizing with the enemy most of the previous campaigns.

      Don...Trump wouldn't know a thing about threatening the livelihoods in D.C. He has thrived on and in the Bureaucratic State...our real shadow government.

      EPA, IRS, FTC, name it. That's where the true power lies, and Cruz will go after it root and branch. Trump? Please.

      In his worldview, rich men become powerful men, and consolidating power in the Executive Branch is what Trump will continue to do.

      It will be Obamism played out as populism from the heartland.

      Won't be overtly Socialist, like Obamism, but the same result.

    5. ..and he's gonna be YOUR next President because losers like YOU have spent the past thirty years turning the Republican Party into the Party of Donors. Good job. Go enjoy your "honorable" loss.

  8. ...Fetch me that gin, son, 'fore I tan your hide...

    Steve in Greensboro

  9. Gotta love Goldberg's partly self-aware followup from yesterday, "No, when I published the phrase 'masses of beer-muscled goons and sycophants stomping their feet over the object of their man-crushes' last week, I was referring to something unrelated to Trump supporters, honest."

    I never thought I'd use the phrase "mask slip" in the same sentence as "National Review." They won't even let you hold your nose to vote Trump and block Hillary in the general — oh, no, the "rightmost viable candidate" doesn't apply, because post-WFB, it's apparently just about commentariat power.