Malacandra.me

This Week on “Tone Cop!”:  Bret Stephens


I don't know about you, but I'm old enough to remember the dying days of the Soviet Union.  The  1980s when, as part of their last-ditch effort to hold their empire together, the USSR stopped sending grumpy octogenarian party hacks in ill-fitting, standard-issue Communist suits to drone out their talking point to Americans, and instead dispatched Vladimir Pozner to the West to do their talking for them.   From the NYT, in December of 1985:
SOVIET SPOKESMAN ON AMERICAN TV

December 30, 1985

Since Vladimir Posner first appeared on American television in 1978 speaking flawless English with a Brooklyn accent, he has become one of the most visible spokesmen the Soviet Union ever put in front of a microphone.

In dozens of appearances on ''Nightline'' on ABC-TV and other American programs, Mr. Posner has, by satellite from Moscow, defended the Soviet position on everything from the shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983 to Moscow's current objections to President Reagan's development of a space-based missile defense.

Because of his idiomatic American English, stylish appearance and friendly demeanor, Mr. Posner has played a key role in making Soviet propaganda more polished and persuasive, Western diplomats say.

''He sounds exactly like an American,'' one diplomat said...
In every interview, the TV-friendly Pozner -- who went to private schools in America, wore tailored suits and spoke American English with a Brooklyn accent -- would affably concede those things which could not be denied, and then relentlessly pivot-pivot-pivot to defending the obscene system which spawned him with a long list of  "Both Siderisms" and "Whataboutisms".

Which brings us to TV-friendly True Conservative Hero Bret Stephens, who went to private schools in America, wears real nice clothes and speaks American English with a patronizing William Buckleyish accent.   Mr. Stephens, who has made a post-Trump career out of affably conceding those things which cannot be denied, and then relentlessly pivot-pivot-pivoting to defending the Imaginary True Conservatism which spawned him with a long list of  "Both Siderisms" and "Whataboutisms".

Of course, I would write a long vivisection of the Both Siderist tripe which The New York Times paid Mr. Stephens to write today --
Liberalism Pierces Its Tongue, Again

The Democratic Party has become Donald Trump’s unwitting ally.
-- except I already wrote a long vivisection of the virtually identical Both Siderist tripe which The Washington Post paid True Conservative Hero Michael Gerson to write yesterday:


Democrats are playing with fire

One measure of the effectiveness of a political movement is how it changes its opposition. And President Trump is in the process of driving portions of his Democratic opposition insane...

Suffice to say that our fair-weather Never Trump friends on the Right have been never actually been our friends at all.  They have just been horribly embarrassed and inconvenienced by the fact that the unhinged, paranoid, racist base which they've been feeding and flattering in the GOP basement for decades finally kicked the doors off their hinges, elected a racist lunatic who is just like them, and have gone on a two year tear across the face of the Earth. 

A two year rampage which has shown the entire world what the Republican Party has always really been about.

In other words, Donald Trump has not only provided was the final, irrefutable proof that Left has been right about the Right all along, he has also exposed cloistered Beltway True Conservatives like Mr. Stephens and Mr. Gerson -- who, like Vladimir Pozer, have built careers out of dispersing and deflecting every atrocity their party has committed with glitter-bombs of Both Siderism -- as the simpering frauds which we on the Left have always known them to be.

So rather than rewrite everything I wrote yesterday, let me leave you with two thoughts.

First, Tone Police like Mr. Stephens always skip right on over the fact that we already had a perfect, eight-year test case to see what would happen if Democrats walked on egg-shells and treated his unhinged, rage-drunk Republican Party with the kid gloves he believes they deserve.  No loud noises.  No sudden movements.  No talking about their mamas.  Instead, the Democrats twice elected a calm, rational, humane, honorable, compromise-prone Centrist president who -- in the middle of two wars, a global economic collapse and a health care debacle all of which were brought to us courtesy of Mr. Stephens' Republican Party -- offered the GOP every possible opportunity not to be racist, seditious assholes.

In return they told Barack Obama to go pound sand and then elected the King of the Birther.

And for the record, this strategy of cleaning up Republican disasters while sacrificing Liberal policies and the reaching out to the Right at all costs (minus the blowjobs) was a virtual repeat of how the Clinton Administration did business in the 1990s.  In return Mr. Stephens' Republican Party spent six years trying to destroy Clinton at all costs, and then stole the 2000 election on behalf of the Worst President In History Until Trump.

And second, just where exactly have you been all this time, Bret?  Your party sold it soul to Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh at roughly the same time that Barack Obama was studying law at Harvard, which means you and the rest of America's preening, moralizing Republican Tone Police have roughly 30 fucking years to police your own god damn party.

So how's that working out for you?  I mean besides landing you a sinecure at The New York Times, where is list of "wins" your impotent hectoring and finger-wagging has put on the board?

Has it slowed the rise of Fox News?  Did it scare off Andrew Breitbart?  Did Premier Networks finally take Limbaugh and his hundreds of imitators off the air?  Did Jonah Goldberg think twice about publishing "Liberal Fascism"?  Did Steve Bannon abandon his dreams of leading an American white supremacist movement and instead die drunk and brok under a bridge somewhere?   Did my local paper finally stop publishing Ann Coulter's columns and start publishing columns apologizing for publishing Ann Coulter columns?

No?

Well then, since the monster you created no longer gives a shit what you think, by all means please  keep going after our manners as we try to stop your monster from destroying the world, Mr. Pozner.

Because we really, really don't give a shit.


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