Bush’s supremely prejudicial position that his opponents’ position consists of nothing but prejudice

From Laura Ingraham’s site:


“The thing about immigration is it is an emotional issue,” said White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.


It’s not about emotions, Tony, it’s about ENFORCING THE LAW!!!

When Snow says that immigration is an emotional issue, he means that the opponents of the immigration bill have what the president has condescendingly described as “strong feelings” about it, and that these feelings consist of irrational fears and prejudices. The Bush team thus follows what we might call the New York Times Editorial Page View of Reality. According to the NYTEPVOR, there is the Correct Position, endorsed by us, the Decent People, and there is Opposition to the Correct Position, spawned in the Outer Realm of Darkness and consisting of Superstition, Fear, Resentment, Bigotry, and Cynicism. Outside our view of the issue, no rational, fair-minded, or good-faith view exists. Therefore no debate is needed, no response to the opposition’s arguments is called for. The only correct response to our opponents is to denounce them for their Bigotry, Fear-mongering, and Cynicism and to exclude them from the Community of Decent People.

In fact, the Bush White House, the prime devil in the New York Times Editorial Page View of Reality for the last seven years, has been practicing its own version of New York Times-style political correctness during those years. A prime example has been President Bush’s and Condoleezza Rice’s repeated statement that to doubt the viability of Muslim democracy was to be “condescending” and “racist” toward Muslims. This meant that there was to be no debate on one of the most radical and questionable policies ever pursued by the United States of America. Bush’s mainstream conservative supporters never criticized the White House for this blatant attempt to demonize opposition and silence debate, because the mainstream conservatives shared the president’s belief in Muslim democratization and were not the targets of his attack. Nor were the president’s liberal enemies the targets of his attack, since the liberals also did not oppose Muslim democratization per se. They opposed the president’s Islam policy because, in their fevered leftist imaginations, they saw it, not as the hyper-liberal policy it really was, but as a form of greedy fascist racist corporate imperialism. No, the actual targets of the president’s attack were traditional conservatives who disbelieved that Muslims could be made into democrats and who thought the most likely effect of spreading democracy and freedom in the Muslim world would be to liberate more jihadism.

In short, the president of the United States was prohibiting any serious intellectual questioning of his policy from the right, and his mainstream conservative supporters did not mind that he was doing this. But now that the president, when it comes to advancing his immigration bill, is targeting his own mainstream conservative supporters as bigots and seeking to expel them from the Community of Decent People, suddenly they are noticing it and reacting against it. They had to feel it before they could see it.

* * *

Ironically, seven years ago I defended candidate George W. Bush (whom I did not support and did not vote for) when he was caught by the ever-spreading net of political correctness. On March 6, 2000, which by happy coincidence was the day before Super Tuesday when McCain’s candidacy was crushed, NewsMax published my article, “McCain: A Dangerous Man Reflecting the Triumph of Clintonism,” in which I wrote:

While political correctness protects certain groups from scrutiny, it portrays other groups as bigots. Throughout his presidency, Clinton has repeatedly spoken against the forces of “hate,” the voices of “division” and the politics of “personal destruction.” By implicitly describing Republicans as evil (and never being called to account for this, even by Republicans), Clinton has freely practiced, in the name of unity and compassion, the dark and polarizing politics he claims to see in his Republican opponents.

Similarly, McCain’s ceaseless complaint in the South Carolina primary that Bush was committing the dire sin of negative campaigning was tantamount to denying Bush’s legitimacy as a candidate. In his bitter concession speech, McCain said the choice was “between my optimistic and welcoming conservatism and the negative message of fear…. I want the presidency in the best way, not the worst way.”

Adopting McCain’s politics of delegitimizing anyone perceived as right-wing, his liberal and neoconservative allies in the media launched an all-out propaganda war against Governor Bush. Bush’s routine campaign stop at the ultra-Protestant Bob Jones University—a school where numerous politicians have spoken over the years without being criticized for it—suddenly became the moral equivalent of a cross burning, with the McCain campaign telling Catholic voters that Bush supports anti-Catholic bigotry.

Typical of the Bush bashers was conservative columnist Rod Dreher of the New York Post, who compared Bush’s South Carolina campaign to the Russians’ total destruction of the city of Grozny and characterized Bush as “wallowing in the fever swamps of the far right.”

In this amazing turn of events, George W. Bush was portrayed—by a conservative—in terms the liberal and neoconservative elites once reserved for Patrick Buchanan and David Duke. In the McCainites’ version of Clintonism, the realm of the politically incorrect keeps expanding to embrace more and more people, until even establishment Republicans are seen as vile extremists beyond the pale of respectable society.

That was in 2000. And now, irony of ironies, it is Bush who is casting establishment Republicans as vile extremists beyond the pale of respectable society.

- end of initial entry -

James N. writes:

Your description of the NY Times editorial page’s moral framework was excellent. Sometimes it feels like we are approaching a turning point. And yet the Virginians who stepped out of the woods at Gettysburg to assault Cemetery Ridge probably felt that way, too.

Somehow, we have to re-legitimize the healthy fellow-feeling that has become known as “racism.” We all of us, you included, shrink from the charge. The double (or triple) standard is so shocking, though. What is allowed to blacks, yellows, browns and reds is completely forbidden to us. Everyone is allowed a nation and a land—except us. This is so perverse, so bizarre even, that the explanation must lie deep within ourselves.

I’m not sure that we’ve made much progress in naming the problem, much less beginning to understand. White racism is not a problem. Whiteracismophobia, to coin a phrase, is destroying us. And unlike homophobia, it is an actual, true phobia.

What are its roots? Why is it so difficult to talk about? (Well, it’s difficult to talk about because it’s difficult to think the thoughts which would permit the speech, but why is THAT?)

Your work is invaluable. Thank you.

LA replies:

I certainly feel that we need to re-legitimize healthy fellow feeling, the feeling of peoplehood. You say I shrink from the charge of racism. If you mean that I’m afraid of saying things that will get me called racist, I disagree. If you mean that I do not embrace racism, then you are right. This is a standing disagreement I have with many paleos. Paleos, in reaction to PC anti-racism, have embrace racism, an as a result they’ve lost the ability to make any distinction between racial statements/acts that are moral and those that are not.

M. Mason writes:

Whenever I hear a “conservative” political analyst emphatically state that the subject of immigration is “not about emotions, but enforcing the law,” I know I’m listening to someone who is, in the single most important respect, still a liberal on this issue. Of course the issue of enforcing the already existing law is important, but even that isn’t the crux of the matter here.

One of the reasons why simply on a healthy, functioning human level it’s far better to be a traditionalist conservative than something else is that it’s a lot easier to be thoroughly honest and consistent both internally and externally. Far from trying to hide their feelings, traditionalist conservatives are honest and upfront about exactly what they fear about our present suicidal immigration policy and the manifold social and cultural pathologies that result from it. Such a fear does not have to be denied and suppressed as somehow inherently bigoted, irrational and base for the simple reason that it is perfectly understandable, normal and legitimate, and can be fully integrated with intelligent, cogent and persuasive reasoning to support that attitude which, in turn, naturally leads to advocating common-sense, constructive actions that should follow as a consequence.

But people like Limbaugh, the NRO crowd and usual run of “conservative” commentators cannot function this way and so are invariably schizophrenic about the subject of immigration whenever they talk about it. Instead of these silly fantasies of imagining themselves as existing on some elevated moral and intellectual plane untouched by mere emotional influences; the real truth is that in their own hearts they’re just as motivated by emotions as anyone else. The problem is that they’re so emotionally invested in and “blocked” by what they shouldn’t be afraid of—incurring the disapproval of the present administration, losing broadcasting market share, getting trounced in a debate on the issue or suffering social ostracism by their favored political circle—that they’re unable to feel what they should be afraid of—the pervasive and ongoing cultural destruction of this country. Those misguided and unworthy fears are what prevent them from coming to the place where they’ll honestly acknowledge the facts in this controversy and be willing to engage traditionalist conservatives on the crucial importance of the immigration issue.

LA replies:

I agree overall with your general point, but I disagree with your criticism of Ingraham’s point. She was simply putting down Tony Snow’s suggestion that our side is driven by “emotion” rather than the truth which is that our side demanding something objective—enforcement of the law. Her point was fine.

Also you need to recognize that many people opposed to the immigration bill do not share your concern about the culture. These same people would support and amnesty, and increases of legal immigration, if they felt the enforcement side was serious. So remember that this is a coalition of people who oppose the bill for different reasons. Don’t insist that your allies oppose the bill for exactly the same reasons that you oppose it.

Also, I don’t think our position should be phrased primarily in terms of emotion. Yes, absolutely, we ought to refer to the feelings of fear and unhappiness and despair etc that we have at what’s happening to our country. But the main argument must be objective. What’s being done to our country is wrong and unacceptable, and we don’t accept it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 02, 2007 12:38 AM | Send

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