David Frum delivers a devastating broadside against the so-called paleoconservatives in the upcoming issue of National Review [No, link yet]. I must say I am torn about it though. In general National Review has followed a policy of ignoring the fever swamps which claim to be to our right and I am loath to give these folks even a thimble of satisfaction. They pound on their high chairs and shout nasty curses and think they are great thinkers if anybody pays attention. On the other hand, partly because of the levelling effect of the web, this coalition of cranks and malcontents (with a few decent but mislead types as well) has gained a smattering of influence. And, because Pat Buchanan retains credibility with many for his past accomplishments and his eloquence, some paleo ideas leak like contaminated water from below into mainstream debates. And, sometimes bad arguments must be fought with good ones rather than ignored.
Also, I should point out that I am also a bit envious. David Frum is undoubtedly more qualified to lead this charge than I, but as I feel I have a personal stake in this, I hate it when I feel like others are making my fight for me. Of course, this is larger than me, but the paleos have been goading and mocking me for so long and with such intensity I sometimes expect to find Lew Rockwell sitting outside my house in a gray Buick wearing a trench coat. I have had several email exhanges with several Lewrockwell and VDare authors and scores of their readers. My contempt, with a few exceptions for individuals who’ve mistakenly aligned themselves with these people, is total. With a sophomoric joy one usually finds with skinhead wannabes just smart enough to be dangerous, they call National Review, “Goldberg’s Review” — something they would never do were my last name O’Mally but my politics the same. They talk about preserving the genetic stock of America, they blame their shabby careers on Jews they’ve never met, they compare Lincoln to Hitler and America to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. And the misguided few who don’t write such things, have no problem associating themselves with those who do. They’ve made their bed as far as I’m concerned.
I do not know how long the window on the “let’s ignore them” policy will be, or should be, open. But let me take this brief intermission to salute David on a job well done and the editors of National Review for deciding that the job must be done. And hopefully this sad crowd will continue to scoot themselves ever deeper into the dustbin of history where they belong.