October 14, 2008
Thank you for spitting!
"Friends such as Roger will criticize him 'more in sorrow than in anger,' but he will still be welcome at dinner parties and other festivities. He will still be welcome in most meaningful conservative circles. He will not be thrust out into the howling winds as he would be if he had been long on the left and declared for McCain."To which Sissy responded:
"I don't know nothin' 'bout 'meaningful conservative circles,' but I, for one, won't be soon forgiving or forgetting the cravenness of young Buck and his fellow 'Northeast Corridor Conservatives.'I agree with Gerard that young Buckley will always be welcome at conservative parties. As I explained in the reply to Sissy, I think that perhaps this is not a bad thing. Civility is lacking in politics, and one of the reasons for that is that the left tends to excuse its own rudeness by pointing to the rudeness of the other side. In my muddled meanderings back and forth across what passes for the political spectrum, I learned that in general (sorry to be general; I know there are exceptions), people on the left are far less tolerant of people on the right. But where it comes to defectors (former leftists who became libertarian or conservative), they can expect to be ridiculed, shamed, scorned and shunned, in a way that Chris Buckley never will be by the right. If you don't believe me, try going to a leftie cocktail party and let it slip in conversation (as I have) that you are a member of the NRA. If you're lucky, they'll stop talking to you. At the trendy Philadelphia party when I told a young radio producer for NPR that I was an NRA Life Member (and also an ACLU member), her immediate reaction was a combination of disgust and shock -- as if I told her I was with NAMBLA. She walked away as if I simply did not belong there and would give her the cooties.
But when I have disclosed my ACLU membership at conservative events, yes, I have gotten a look that suggests "Ah! A liberal!", but yet what I said is seen as an opportunity for polite debate.
This is not a new observation. The right generally hopes to convert people, while the left looks for heretics to condemn. A conservative will regard me as "half right" for saying I belong to the NRA and the ACLU, while a liberal will regard me as completely evil simply for belonging to the NRA.
Anyway, if Buckley is welcomed anyway at conservative parties (which I suspect he would be), it would be another illustration of how the right wing is in general a lot more tolerant and even forgiving than is commonly believed. I've attended a number of conservative events, and I've noticed that even bona fide flaming liberals are welcome. (Assuming they've gone there to be polite and not to engage in Code Pink-style disruptions.) Not that most liberals would ever attend such events, but conservatives are remarkably tolerant in that regard. They are more likely to have liberal friends than liberals are to have conservative friends, and I suspect that polling would bear this out.
As to the Northwest Corridor Conservatives, while I don't know what to say about the shoes, I think Sissy's point is well taken. There is a certain elitist clubbishness that goes beyond the normal liberal versus conservative dichotomy, and which definitely looks down on the little people, even as it patronizes them.
I wrote about this phenomenon in "Oh my God! A real Joe Sixpack in our midst!," and I was shocked to see this morning that syndicated liberal columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. (writing in the Detroit Free Press, but not at the web site) is quite threatened by the Joe Six-Pack barbarians at the gate:
Every politician wants to be seen as Everyman or woman. That's why every primary season brings the curious sight of millionaires in plaid shirts wandering through county fairs eating fried things on sticks. It's why Hillary Clinton hit that bar and Barack Obama went bowling, badly.Bottom line: she is not of our culture!
She is a real Joe Sixpack!
That the media elites (and all pretenders thereto) fear a Joe Sixpack in their midst was precisely the point of my post, and I am amazed (even flattered) to see it openly admitted by a self-styled member of the intellectual classes.
I'd love to see Sarah Palin spit some juice in the right direction.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Before anyone jumps on me, let me say that I realize that Sarah Palin probably doesn't chew tobacco, nor would she spit on the White House carpets.
(But even if she or one of her less couth supporters did miss hitting one of Andrew Jackson's official White House spittoons, surely the stains wouldn't be any worse than those left behind by certain previous occupants....)
MORE: If the comments here are any indication, liberals are already having fits about spit.
posted by Eric on 10.14.08 at 11:27 AM
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