How was I to know?

by Brad Nelson  10/30/13  •  Recently two heavyweight conservative intellectuals were outed as being rubes: Charles Krauthammer and George Will. Both claim that they didn’t know what Obama’s politics were before he was elected (or even shortly after).

There have been many explanations offered around the web by the usual talking heads. Some suppose that they simply fell in love with a fellow intellectual who went to the same types of schools — a fellow beltway maven. Or they supposed that they simply were swayed and awed by Obama’s charm and diction. Etc.

But I think all of these explanations are patently false. George Will, for one, is too intelligent and experienced not to have immediately known who Obama was. As Rush notes, we should remember that neither Krauthammer nor Will were low-information voters. They had been watching liberals for years.

The only possible explanation then for why they feigned to not know who Obama was is that they caved to racial pressure. Remember that Rush caught hell for saying that he hoped Obama failed. But any sensible person would have agreed. You would hope to hell that Obama’s socialist, anti-free-market, anti-American-freedom policies would fail.

To Rush (as it was to me or any person with an honest disposition and will to understand), it was obvious from day-one who Obama was. A liberal is a liberal, and Obama’s past associations and words/votes (he voted twice for partial birth abortion) made it crystal clear that here was not just a liberal but a hard-left one.

But both Krauthammer and Will professed ignorance. Well, it’s obvious to me that they simply were intimidated by racial politics and/or figured that not feigning a kind of stand-offish “fairness” (an obnoxious trait sometimes shared with Bill O’Reilly) would not get them what is their real stock in trade: face time on television and continued book sales. It was, alas, most likely a marketing decision behind the feigned ignorance.

The conservative intelligentsia is infected with this impulse. Will and Krauthammer are be no means alone. And it begs the question: Who will stand up and tell the truth even if it makes people who have been indoctrinated by Cultural Marxism angry? Even if it makes the New York Times angry? Even if it causes despicable RINOs such as John McCain to call you a “wacko bird”? Isn’t the point of conservatism at least to refute the assumptions of the Left? Or is the point simply to sell books and get face time and make sure that you don’t upset anyone?
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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3 Responses to How was I to know?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    My reply at NRO to this recent Krauthammer article:

    More conservative-styled fluff from the establishment media which expresses outrage and yet there is no call for action. It’s analysis masquerading as something more than it is. Does Chuck, for example, support repealing Obamacare and bringing back the free market or is the only point these days to express outrage which goes nowhere, stands for nothing, and changes nothing?

    I’d much prefer a short article that said: Obama lied. Socialism is bad. Scrap not just Obamacare but all the various socialist schemes (including Medicare) which are sucking our nation dry.

    But, no. All we get these days is after-the-fact outrage. But what happens when a Ted Cruz or someone actually pops up to oppose socialism? He is usually roundly criticized by the all-knowing conservative media.

    Chuck, you proved that you are little more than a book seller when you disingenuously said recently that you didn’t know who Obama was before his election. Of course you and George Will knew who he was. It’s just that saying so (as Rush Limbaugh did) wasn’t as marketable then.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    My reply to another poster at NRO. I put it here because it may disappear there:

    My beef is with this echo-chamber of a pseudo-conservative media that is big on after-the-fact outrage but tends to belittle and oppose any actual steps to defeat and repeal the lies.

    The question is, is the conservative media about changing things for the better or just getting face time? This is basically what much of NRO has turned into. There’s lots of after-the-fact pooh-poohing about the bad stuff the Left has done. Fine. But when it comes to supporting efforts to do something, much of the conservative media is laid bare for what it is: A bunch of booksellers who feign outrage over this or that when it is popular to do so but when push comes to shove are not ready to stick their necks out for actual change.

    Again, I don’t disagree with much that Chuck said in his article. But it’s a reminder again to be on the lookout for smoke-and-mirrors. Expressing outrage is not the same thing as supporting the repeal of this stuff. The outrage is easy. The repeal takes guts, wisdom, and leadership. And such leadership is what we are short of right now on the conservative side of things. And we should not mistake the various talking heads for actual leadership.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Racial guilt is probably a significant element, particularly within the Beltway and in similar northeastern precincts. I think of it in terms of the admonition to “stand tall in Georgetown” (from Allen Drury’s Capable of Honor). As long as they don’t go too far, Will and Krauthammer can be part of the DC social circuit. Many years ago, I read in interesting argument that Republican SCOTUS appointees who had stood up to the DC culture remained firm on the Court, whereas those brought in from out of town, even if they had conservative reputations, often started to “grow” (i.e., betray their prior beliefs in favor of those of the Beltway Bandits).

    Another aspect is that most Beltway (and other establishment) types simply don’t want to admit to themselves that leftists like Obama really don’t mean well, that they care more about The People (which in practices means The Cause) than they do about people. They refuse to let themselves be aware that collectivists are unconcerned about the fate of individuals because only the group matters. After all, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” (Arthur Peabody Goodpasture observed in Don Quixote USA that breaking eggs isn’t the same thing as breaking people, but few statists would accept that even if it were pointed out to them.)

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