The Blog Post That Should End Two Careers (Updated)

No, not this one. This one. [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AT LINK.] My NewsRealBlog colleagues David Swindle and Jenn Public have compiled an absolutely stunning, sickening array of evidence exposing the pedophile tendencies and sympathies of former NRB contributor – and current FrumForum contributor – Alex Knepper. Knepper, you may recall, got canned from NRB and retaliated with a persecution story that didn’t hold water. At this point, it goes without saying that this should be the final nail in Knepper’s career, and if the reaction of Breitbart and NewsBusters is any indication, it may very well be.

But ultimately, Knepper’s a punk of limited significance. More importantly, this post should be the final proof that David Frum has hit rock-bottom, that he doesn’t care about the degeneracy of those who prove useful to him, and is therefore as unprincipled as they come and deserves to be ejected from the few remaining corners of the conservative movement in which he somehow isn’t seen as a disgrace. Frum apologists and lapdogs like John Guardiano – at least, the ones who still claim to have scruples – can no longer ignore the evidence of Frum’s indecency. Those who refuse to abandon this sinking moral ship deserve to go down with it.

UPDATE: Predictably, the pro-dishonesty Guardiano has chosen the sinking ship. That he accuses David Swindle – a socially-liberal blogger with a clear record of supporting not only gay rights, but also (some) gay political causes – of homophobia should be all the proof we need that Guardiano simply does not believe in holding himself to any meaningful standards of honesty and ethics.

John Guardiano Responds, Fails (Updated)

As much as I once applauded and cited some of John Guardiano’s work, I could never get over his devotion to the deplorable David Frum, whose dishonesty should repulse all men of goodwill, regardless of political leanings. But his increasingly-hyperbolic attacks on Islam’s critics – including falsely accusing Andy McCarthy of wanting to strip Muslims of First Amendment protection – have confirmed that he and Frum are two peas in a pod.

Guardiano has responded to my post on that point. Since the evidence he originally offered was bogus, he now claims the proof is in McCarthy’s latest book, where McCarthy discusses how Islam is not merely a religion, but also a comprehensive social and political program, and therefore not everything that falls under the banner of “Islam” is constitutionally protected.

The problem, of course, is that McCarthy’s right about both Islam and the general principle that not every “religious” act is covered by freedom of religion. Witch-burning is just one of many things that members of other religions could claim their faith demands; would Guardiano say that by making such an obvious statement, I’m advocating denying First Amendment protection to Puritans? Further, neither statement comes close to claiming that Muslims deserve no religious liberty, or that no aspect of Islam is constitutionally protected.

So, yes, John, you lied about Andy McCarthy, because – like the deranged blowhard you work for – you are psychologically disposed to assume the worst from people who say things the “wrong” way.

I just have three more things to say to John. First, how can you in good conscience write for such a dishonest, demagogic website as FrumForum? Second, as David Swindle has noted, you have yet to clearly demonstrate that your foes’ assessment of Islam is wrong.  Lastly, yes, I believe the Founders would respect Muslims’ true religious liberties, it’s worth noting which assessment of Islam our forefathers would find more accurate. Hint: it’s not yours.

Update: In response, whining about “nastiness.” If I were him, I’d be more concerned about having allied myself with the dishonest “Right” rather than the “vitriolic.”

NRB vs. FrumForum: Gee, I Wonder Who’s Telling the Truth?

David Horowitz and David Swindle have decided to can one of NewsRealBlog’s contributors, Alex Knepper. Knepper, who also contributes to David Frum’s FrumForum, claims that he was punished because “Horowitz is not interested in posts that take Ann Coulter to task over the war in Afghanistan,” and Frum eagerly repeats Knepper’s claims, taking them as—surprise!—more evidence that right-wingers are circling the wagons around their “extremists.”

David Swindle responds to Knepper’s allegations here, explaining that the tone of his Coulter critique, not simply the act of critiquing her, was the issue with his final NRB submission, and that either way, he wasn’t simply fired over a disagreement over tone—it was the last in a string of disappointments (including some, um, interesting views about sex) from Knepper. Knepper fires back here.

As NRB’s editor, Swindle is in a much better position to respond to the specifics if he so chooses than I am, so I’ll leave that to him. But I do have a couple thoughts about which side has more credibility.

First, the idea that NRB can’t take criticism of Coulter is preposterous. I should know—my very first post for the website did just that.

Second, the website is extremely comfortable with passionate disagreement among contributors on a lot of issues, many of which are arguably bigger than what somebody thinks about a particular pundit. A few examples:

Third, as I pointed out last week, we already know that David Frum’s standards of honesty are scandalously low – up to and including REPEATING SLANDER against people if it supports Frum’s agenda. Until Frum owns up to his past misdeeds, every word that appears on FrumForum should be read with extreme skepticism by the handful of readers who still waste their time there.

Speaking of Ignoring the American Founding…

Concluding NRB’s recent drug legalization debate is a post entitled, “This is What Happens When the Founders’ Philosophy of Government Is Ignored.”  Setting aside the fact that just how the Founders would have treated drugs remains very much an open question, it seems to me that, given another recent NRB debate, a reminder of what else can happen when America’s founding principles are disregarded is in order. (Content Warning) Continue reading

Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part II

In Part I, I argue that it would be politically foolish for the Right to further backpedal or abandon the pro-life cause. Here I want to make the case that the right to life truly is inseparable both from core conservatism and from any meaningful effort to advance conservative ideas—that, in fact, pro-abortion tendencies actually endanger the prospects of those who value limited government, the free market, and strong national defense.

As I explained on June 15, abortion is an affront to the Declaration of Independence. As the unjust taking of a human life, it is wrong for the same reason slavery, theft, assault, honor killings, rape, eminent domain abuse, and individual health insurance mandates are wrong: they are all violations of human liberty and natural rights.  Accordingly, society justly protects its citizens from them via law for the same reason.  As long as conservatism still “holds these truths to be self-evident” that all men have “certain unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and as long as conservatism still accepts that “governments are instituted among men” for the purpose of “secur[ing] these rights,” then philosophically-consistent conservatives have no choice but to oppose legalized abortion. Nobody can support abortion in good conscience without either honestly confronting this conundrum head-on, or asking himself what definition of “conservatism” he’s been operating under all this time.

That pro-choice views are an egregious exception to conservatives’ and libertarians’ pro-liberty rhetoric should be obvious. What may be less obvious—but is no less true—is that such dubious thinking cannot help but undermine other core conservative principles and efforts. Continue reading

Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part I (Updated)

The more I reflect on The Great NewsReal Abortion Debate, the more convinced I am that I made a critical error.

I want to revisit the issue of whether or not the pro-life cause is central or peripheral to the conservative movement.  I made clear where I stood on that question—as an egregious deprivation of human rights, abortion should be opposed by every lover of liberty with every fiber of his or her being—but I fear I didn’t go nearly far enough in explaining the implications of the answer.  This essay will explore the practical aspects of the matter; my next one will address the moral and philosophical.

I conceded that I could “basically support” the kind of ‘truce’ David Swindle was talking about, i.e. candidates centering their campaigns on the “two unifying issues” of the free market and defeating Islamofascism. That’s more or less how wartime Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have run for office anyway (in Reagan’s case swapping out Islamofascism for the Soviet Union), and that’s okay.  I don’t have a problem with our candidates emphasizing some issues more than others to put voters’ most immediate concerns front and center, or to address crises that demand immediate resolution.

However, that doesn’t exempt a candidate from talking about the right to life at all, or from being pro-life.  I have already argued that pro-life principles are inseparable from core conservatism, and that abortion cannot be regarded as merely one issue among many, and I’ll elaborate more on those points in the next post.  But it’s also important because whether or not one is capable of recognizing abortion for the evil that it is, and is willing to do something about it, tells us something about what he or she is made of. I know there are exceptions (Ron Paul is pro-life but deranged, Joe Lieberman is radically pro-abortion, but firm on the war), but I truly believe that strongly pro-life candidates will tend to be of a higher caliber than pro-choice candidates in several qualities that will benefit public servants, and the American people, in all areas: Continue reading

Pro-Life: Not Down, Never Out

As promised, here is my response to David.  However, he also made another point that needs to be addressed, so let’s tackle it here:

The Anti-Abortion Movement has had decades to convince people and change minds. It’s failed […] There isn’t some magical argument that the anti-abortion movement is going to stumble upon that’s suddenly going to change the tides.

John Nampion had a good retort:

Basically you’re saying the Pro-Lifers should just give up because they haven’t succeeded in their cause. Are you kidding? Israel hasn’t been very successful in swaying world opinion towards its side…so it should just yell “Uncle”? Please…if the fight is valuable, it must and will go on!

Excellent point!  One wonders if David thinks we should apply the “unless you win in X number of years, you must surrender” standard to any other political causes.  Dismantling ObamaCare?  Decriminalizing drugs?  Reforming the federal role in education?  Immigration policy? (24 years have passed since Reagan’s amnesty bill, and the border still isn’t secure.)  Israel? (62 years since declaring independence, they’re still persona non grata in the international community’s eyes.)

Indeed, American slavery was not abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment until 1868—92 years after we declared independence! And it took another 96 years after that to pass the Civil Rights Act.  The 36 years since Roe v. Wade don’t look quite so definite now, do they?

As I pointed out in the article, abortion has on its side a tremendously powerful propaganda machine (plus plenty of self-professed “conservatives” and Republicans fixing to purge the Right of social conservatives).  And even so, American support for life is moving in the right direction.

I’ll take my chances with principle, thank you very much.

PS: David wraps things up here.