Note: This post will be written in the unschooled, uncouth first-person ‘I’ quite a bit, instead of the hoity-toity- editorial “We” style I usually use because, well, I (we) don’t want to be hoity-toity today.
I like Jonah Goldberg. I really liked his mom a lot, especially when she and Linda Tripp got their heads together and advised Monica Lewinsky to “Save That Dress!” Not that their advice forced the MSM and the Progressives to relegate the man from a place called Hope to the dustbin of history, just that it muted their baying and braying for a while.
Jonah Golberg (b. 1969) is a wit and a wag and can pronounce, profess and project conservatism with the best of them. But his piece in NRO today is an object lesson in why the elite conservative establishment, while whining that they are only trying to save us from ourselves, in reality would do well to save themselves from themselves.
Jonah goes to great pains to pretend he is mocking the liberal establishment, by giving us example after example of how the liberals mock and deride the plainspoken, cowboyesque, swaggering, ungravitas-oriented politicians, mostly governors, from across the wheated plain. In fact, he goes on and on so much that, after a while, he has protested quite enough, thank-you Jonah. Ultimately, he gives up altogether and just flat out admits, in wordages more or less so, that he agrees with the rest of the Washington Wags – people like Perry, however correct on the issues, are an embarrassment. He defends Perry, and Bush, and by association Palin against the left wing assaults and then tells ‘us’ that he is just weary from doing so and daunted at the prospect of having to do so for four more years. There is no other way to translate that than ‘I have been apologizing for all those rubes and they still refuse to learn how to speak correctly, and I am tired (at age 41) of the constant embarassment.’ So sorry for your trouble, Jonah.
Bush’s inability to articulate arguments had nothing to do with his Texan-ness or his Christianity, but a lot of folks on the right defended him as if that were the case. “He speaks American, don’t you get it?”To which I’d reply: “No, he speaks badly.”
Again, so sorry you have to hear badspeak, Jonah.
So that’s my problem with Jonah’s problem. As to “our” problem, well, it depends on what “our” meaning of “our” is, doesn’t it? See, Jonah’s usage of it in his title can be taken in two ways. One, he is saying it is conservatism’s problem, which he explicitly does in his piece. The other is that it can be taken as National Review’s problem. Jonah, an editor-at-large for NRO, is not alone at NRO in his usage of the word “problem” in the same sentence as “Perry”. Just one example is here. And not that I am picking on NRO necessarily, for other instances can be found of “Why can’t we find a clean, articulate candidate like Barack Obama for our side? ” at other establishment conservative venues.
The point here today is that Jonah, and NRO, and the National Republican Party, and other ‘conservative pundits’ and the gullible public, while claiming to be soooo not into the liberals’ game of labeling and defining the issues, are as guilty as sin in accepting the premises and letting the liberals create definitions and labels for the candidates, and while so doing are themselves ignorant of the fact that they have been complicit in also letting the liberals establish the framework, set the ground rules and dictate the premises for the debates surrounding the issues all along. Else, with any reputable poll or scholarly paper showing the nation to be center-to-center-right in political bent, how could the nation have gone so far left in it’s governance without our betters from the East Coast Corridor constantly falling into the liberal traps?
Jonah Goldberg is tired of covering for plain-spoken conservatives? Oh, I (we) do so beg your pardon, Jonah. We (I) didn’t understand that it was “all Bush’s fault” that we have had a liberal ascendancy ever since you and your fellows learned how to write.
I really do like Jonah. Really I do. And I like Rich Lowry, too. But he (they) (thems), whatever the correct misunderterminology you want to call them, are my (our) problem. Just as much as any left-wing scribe you (y’all) would care to articulately nominate.