The Corner

Andrew Responds

I’ll post his response in full:

This strikes me as a revealing comment by one of the most enlightened conservatives at National Review, Jonah Goldberg:

“Most conservatives who don’t regularly write about “gay issues” refrain from doing so for a fairly simple reason: they don’t care about them very much one way or the other. Speaking solely for myself, I don’t track every event in the world of homosexually oriented public policy. The first time I hear about most of these sorts of things is from reading Andrew Sullivan’s site. I think this is a sign of my generally libertarian attitude toward gay stuff. I don’t think the silence of conservatives on such events as those in Virginia is a sign of our approval, my guess is it’s a sign of our ignorance.”

This is a cop-out on many levels. National Review regularly and rightly publishes many, many articles on the issue of marriage rights and gays. They have recently run several pieces about the issue in Norway, Holland and Scandinavia – even down to nuances such as variations within Norway. They are covering the national debate as they should. How many pieces have you read about Massachusetts in NRO? But a major state has done something just as radical as Massachusetts in reverse. And Republicans who have said they do not seek to harm gays do not comment when Virginia does such a thing. This cannot be an oversight. It is deliberate blindness to their own extremes. Jonah’s second point is simply insulting. If one half of a gay couple cannot visit her spouse in hospital minutes away from where Jonah lives, he’s not interested enough to worry about it. And I repeat: Jonah is the best of them. Conservative opinion on gays ranges from boredom to outright hostility and animus. There are times when I prefer the animus. Hating someone at least takes that person seriously. Not being able to be bothered while a minority is persecuted (and that’s the only interpretation of the Virginia law) is the moment when inactivism becomes indistinguishable from moral abdication.

I’ll have more to say about this in a few minutes.

Update sorry for the bad formatting of this before. I fixed.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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