The Corner

“Getting Old” Indeed

Sam Rosenfeld at Tapped whines that conservatives play the race card too much when it comes to defending Thomas, Rice et al. “This pose of faux-racial sensitivity that Republicans adopt reflexively whenever a minority conservative gets criticized is really pretty disgusting — and it’s really getting old,” he writes after posting a long excerpt from Hannity and Colmes.

In one sense I think he makes a fair point. But frankly, I just don’t think liberals like the gang at Tapped have much credibility when it comes to this sort of gripe (remember their insistence that Hillsdale is racist because it showed some white kids in an ad with a tagline “remember the good old days?”).

The argument that Hannity uses, I suspect, would not raise an eyebrow (at least not in public) from Rosenfeld and his colleagues were it to come from Mary Francis Berry, Julian Bond et al and if it was aimed at conservatives. Indeed, Hannity’s argument is exactly the sort of thing we hear every day from liberals. He’s pointing to disparate impact, in effect. I think this is a shabby form of argumentation, but if liberals are going to insist that A) this sort of thing is not only fair when they do it, but B) that it is a moral obligation to translate this logic into law and that C) anyone who disagrees is in effect a racist, they should keep their traps shut when their opposition buys into it. Rosenfeld can gripe about bad arguments getting old after spending his entire adult life being accused of racism because he opposes giving the sons of rich black doctors preferential treatment over the daughters of poor whites, Asians, Jews, et al. Or when he applies this complaint in defense of conservatives who’ve whethered such accusations unjustly. Until then he should celebrate the victory Hannity’s argument represents.

But, hey, maybe, I’ve missed Rosenfeld’s color-blind philosophy on display in the past. I eagerly await the opportunity to correct my impression.

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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