New at LifeSiteNews: The Atlantic Hypocrites Fire Kevin Williamson

Here’s my latest commentary at LifeSiteNews. Spoiler alert: Jeffrey Goldberg isn’t the only one I have words for.

Well, that was quick. After publishing just one piece at his new gig, liberal magazine The Atlantic has already fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson.

On March 22, Williamson announced his departure from National Review, saying he viewed the new job as an opportunity to “be an apostle to the Gentiles,” taking his commentary to an audience where exposure to conservative ideas was the exception.

That might have been a nice theory, but how it fared in practice was entirely predictable. A left-wing mob immediately swarmedThe Atlantic, ostensibly outraged that a “reputable” publication would allow an extremist to supposedly darken its door (though Huffington Postwriter Noah Berlatsky let slip liberals’ real motivation with the simple declaration that “conservative ideas aren’t worth debating”).

The mob has gotten its wish. A memo to Atlantic staff has gone public, in which editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg confirms that the publication has fired Williamson. Goldberg said some of Williamson’s past “intemperate” tweets were not initially deal-breakers, but that was before the left-wing Media Matters unearthed a 2014 podcast in which Williamson doubled down on one of his most controversial remarks: that women who have abortions should be hanged (pro-life leadersdenounced Williamson’s comments at the time).

“My broader point here is, of course, that I am a – as you know I’m kind of squishy on capital punishment in general – but that I’m absolutely willing to see abortion treated like a regular homicide under the criminal code,” Williamson elaborated in the podcast.

Read the rest at LifeSiteNews.

Related reading: Ace on what Williamson’s original writing said about the “respectable” Right, and Victor Davis Hanson refuting a swipe Williamson made at him in his only Atlantic piece.


The Simple Solution to Roy Moore None of His Enemies Want to Talk About

Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, Michael Steele, Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, David French, Kat Timpf, Guy Benson, Kimberly Ross, David Harsanyi, and the many other right-of-center figures who want Alabama Republicans to refuse to vote for Roy Moore in today’s election are right about one thing: it is despicable to not care whether Moore is guilty of molesting or assaulting children, to find any degree of rationalization or justification for his alleged actions, and to not care whether a pedophile joins the United States Senate. Reasonable questions have been raised about some of the accusations, but holes have also been poked in some of the Moore camp’s denials (chiefly by Moore himself), so while his guilt is uncertain, nor can we be confident in his innocence.

Here’s where they’re wrong: it is equally despicable to be okay with Moore’s Democrat opponent, Doug Jones, joining the Senate despite the confirmed fact that, according to his own words, he supports the legal ability to kill children at virtually any point in pregnancy (there are numerous issues on which Jones defeating Moore would be a net harm to the American people by further narrowing the GOP’s majority, which is already too thin to consistently pass conservative legislation, but here we’ll focus on abortion, as it best clarifies the moral stakes).

So what do we do? Excuse pedophilia in the name of the preborn? That’s how some of the above have framed the choice. While refusing to directly address the evil of Jones’ abortion position, they argue that we must sacrifice the Senate seat to the Democrats to demonstrate our integrity.

But there’s another option that doesn’t require us to give a possible predator a pass or add another prenatal execution enthusiast to the Senate: vote for Roy Moore, then have the Senate launch an ethics investigation into the charges against him once he takes office. As I wrote at TFPP:

If Moore is cleared of assault and molestation, then the issue is closed and the “honor” of a chamber that counts Teddy “Swimmer” Kennedy and Robert “Sheets” Byrd among its distinguished past members is unaffected.

But if Moore is guilty — or even if he perjures himself while the facts of the charges remain uncertain — then the Senate has an actual basis for expelling him, at which point Alabama Governor Kay Ivey appoints a Republican replacement and the Senate seat has been kept out of the hands of both a child predator and a child killer.

Despite all the hysterics #NeverTrump types have spewed over the predicament, the solution has always been clear. The path laid out above doesn’t require anyone on either side to compromise any of our principles — we don’t have to rationalize preying on children, we don’t have to take the Washington Post or Gloria Allred’s word for anything, and we don’t have to accept that giving Democrats one more vote with which to harm the country is the price of demonstrating how “virtuous” we are.

It has since been reported that the Senate Ethics Committee will “immediately” take up the matter. Especially after Al Franken’s resignation (which may or may not actually happen, but I digress), Republicans will have every incentive to get it done, and most of the people listed above consider Mitch McConnell a principled and effective leader, so he should be more than capable of getting Republicans on board for an expulsion vote (that is, assuming Republicans even need to be pushed).

So what’s the problem? Why isn’t every conservative advocating this path? Why do we have to preemptively surrender the seat to Jones? Nobody listed above will say. It goes suspiciously unmentioned in their columns and tweets and TV appearances. For weeks, I’ve been posing this question to several of these folks on Twitter, and none of them have answered (despite routinely taking the time to highlight and swat back softballs from fringe accounts).

Perhaps it’s because for many in the Beltway-based, moderation-inclined, and establishment-friendly corners of the Right, implementing conservative principles and protecting the American people from the Left aren’t really their top priorities at all.

Maintaining one’s image of (supposed) moral purity is more important. Conservatism needs to be more moderate. Some GOP agenda items matter more than others. The Right needs to be punished for not picking our candidates and appreciating our wisdom. And heaven forbid the mainstream press get the impression that we’re not the respectable kind of conservative!

To varying degrees all of these animate the vast majority of center-right pundits possessed by NeverTrump/NeverMoore fever. And above all, they simply refuse to see the Left for what it is.

Case in point: a couple weeks ago, many of the above ganged up on philosophy professor Tully Borland’s Federalist op-ed arguing that Republicans vote for Moore even if he’s guilty, because Jones’ abortion position is the greater evil. Critics rightly criticized Borland’s passage about adults dating teenagers, but conveniently ignored that his actual overall position was “Elect Moore and support the Senate not giving him a seat. This would bring about another special election”…and none of them seriously grappled with Borland’s ultimate point about abortion’s evil.

In fact, Jonah Goldberg’s response (which doesn’t refute the point; he just frets that he dislikes the implications) inadvertently demonstrates just how morally twisted the “respectable” Right has become:

But because Moore’s opponent is pro-abortion, Moore is the superior choice — despite the fact he is the more evil man in his personal conduct […] His argument isn’t that Doug Jones is an evil man per se, it’s that the Democrats are so evil and the Alabama Senate seat is so important, Republicans should abandon any standards of personal conduct that are inconvenient to victory [emphasis added].

Note how Goldberg distinguishes between policy evil (without expressly agreeing that abortion is evil, by the way) and personal evil–as if there’s a difference. The laws enacted by government take effect in the real world, not SimCity. Abortions kill real human beings just as surely as Stephen Paddock did. How is an enabler and defender of literal child murder not every bit as much of an “evil man per se” as a child predator, just because his evil manifests in his professional conduct rather than personal?

It’s of a piece with this crowd’s hostility to the idea that politics is a figurative war. But whatever one thinks of that framework, it’s apparent their alternative goes too far in the other direction–treating politics like a game in which the other side is granted some bare minimum level of respect no matter what and elections can be thrown without feeling a basic obligation to even address their outcomes’ policy impact on millions of Americans.

Mo Brooks, not Roy Moore, clearly should have been the nominee. But unless somebody knows where to find a time machine, there’s nothing we can do about that now. All we can do now is elect Moore to keep out the proven evil, then demand that the Senate set to work confirming and ejecting the alleged evil. This isn’t a call to settle for the lesser evil over the greater one; it’s a call to exercise patience and strategy to protect the country from both.

Lies, Damned Lies, and NeverTrump: A Defense of Dennis Prager

Note: an abridged version of this column appears at The Federalist Papers Project.

Dennis Prager set the conservative blogosphere ablaze last week with a column asking why there are conservatives “who still snipe (or worse) at President Trump,” who “remain anti-Trump today” despite the fact that for the next three and a half years, he’s our only means of getting national conservative policies across the finish line.

Prager’s first suspected reason:

While they strongly differ with the Left, they do not regard the left–right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do […] To my amazement, no anti-Trump conservative writer sees it that way. They all thought during the election, and still think, that while it would not have been a good thing if Hillary Clinton had won, it wouldn’t have been a catastrophe either.

Exactly right, and a crucial point that NeverTrumpers, for all their self-righteousness, never seriously addressed.

Prager’s conclusion:

They can accept an imperfect reality and acknowledge that we are in a civil war, and that Trump, with all his flaws, is our general. If this general is going to win, he needs the best fighters. But too many of them, some of the best minds of the conservative movement, are AWOL.

I beg them: Please report for duty.

Amen! This column was a much-needed reminder of the big picture, which NeverTrumpers tend to sorely lack. And sure enough, a string of pundits jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate that they’ve done no introspection whatsoever since the election. Continue reading

Of course: Trump prepping Kristallnacht, according to deranged, abortion-enabling ‘Catholic’

It shouldn’t need to be said that Simcha Fisher’s latest screed—“‘Pro-life’ Trump is engineering an American Kristallnacht”—is pure demagoguery, but after seeing it shared on social media by more than a few people who should really know better, apparently it does.

And before anyone affords the attack added weight because the author professes to be a pro-life Catholic, recall that Fisher has a history of hysterical slanders such as that Republicans “openly encourag[e] people to despite the weak.” So it’s not about Donald Trump being uniquely awful; she would be telling monstrous lies about any GOP president, and it’s disturbing that anyone other other than hardened leftists would approvingly spread her deranged, hateful rantings.

Now, you would think to any ethical author — especially any author who claims to accept “thou shalt not bear false witness” as a direct order from the Creator of the Universe — an accusation as severe as replicating an infamous Nazi massacre that was part of a years-long program of actually oppressing an entire group based solely on their religion would require a pretty high burden of proof. So Fisher must have caught Trump doing something really, horrifically beyond the pale, right?

Wrong. Fisher is the one using a paper-thin pretext to (in her words characterizing Trump) “whip up fear, suspicion, and outrage. To make people feel unsafe and angry.” The entire basis for her fear-mongering is that Trump has ordered DHS to publicize crimes committed by aliens, particularly illegals in sanctuary cities.

That’s it.

To any rational, competent adult who’s been following the illegal immigration debate for more than five minutes, the legitimate purpose here is obvious: draw attention to suffering caused by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, thereby increasing pressure on politicians to support real enforcement.

But if Fisher admitted that, it wouldn’t be as easy to fear-monger. So instead, she maliciously attributes racism to the objects of her own prejudice. The closest thing to a counterpoint she even tries to muster is pointing out “immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States” — a statement that (a) omits “illegal” before “immigrant,” as leftist propagandists always do, and (b) is beside the point. The issue is not whether illegals are more criminal; it’s that the total number of crimes they commit, whatever it may be, is a needless addition to native-born crimes. The only reason they happened here at all is because our willful negligence let them in/let them stay in the first place.

Lastly, since Fisher so casually throws around Nazi references and the fascist label, it’s worth reminding people that she voted for Hillary Clinton and has in past elections said she was “thrilled” to learn a GOP candidate wasn’t pro-life because it freed her to vote Democrat. So even as she invokes Holocaust Remembrance Day to falsely accuse Trump of “openly trying to engineer” mass slaughter of Mexicans, she has no problem supporting those who perpetuate the actual holocaust of abortion, not to mention the party that champions literal curtailment of our individual rights and the democratic process.

Presumably Simcha Fisher’s audience is largely confined to the lunatic fringe, but I have observed that, bizarrely, she also attracts a small handful of more moderate fans who embrace her hate as a legitimate expression of Christianity. Heaven only knows how she pulls that off, but I certainly wouldn’t want to trade places with her when she finds out whether God concurs.

New at TFPP – ALERT: McConnell STABS Pro-Lifers in The Back; Colludes With Democrats

Today’s annual March for Life in Washington, DC comes as the pro-life movement has its first opportunity in years to make real progress toward ending abortion. But Republicans being Republicans, they may yet find a way to squander it.

Politico reports that during a GOP retreat this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on his House colleagues’ hopes of saving babies anytime soon:

Rep. Trent Franks had a simple question for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a private GOP meeting here Wednesday: Would he take up anti-abortion legislation the House passed? McConnell shot back that it would never get through the Senate because Democrats aren’t “pro-life” and have the votes to stop it.

So why don’t you just change the rules? Rep. Bruce Poliquin demanded moments later. McConnell dodged, suggesting it’s not going to happen […]

They’d love to kill the filibuster, a nuclear option the tradition-bound McConnell is loath to deploy.

“The public doesn’t want to hear about process; they want to see us get stuff done,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). “I think there is a very low threshold of tolerance among our electorate right now for historical process (and) precedent.”

No, Leader McConnell, Democrats don’t “have the votes,” because they don’t have the majority. You are choosing to let them hold bills hostage.

Read the rest at The Federalist Papers Project.

New at TFPP: Pro-Life? Why Voting Your Conscience Means Voting Trump

This is it. Election Day is tomorrow, and despite what #NeverTrumpers will tell you, the differences between a Trump administration and a Clinton administration will be enormous.

At the Washington Examiner, Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life have an incredibly important editorial urging pro-lifers to vote for Donald Trump. The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s the bottom line:

If Clinton and the Democratic Party get their way and repeal the Hyde Amendment, as many as 60,000 more babies would be aborted every year, paid for by taxpayers. We must not cross that Rubicon.

Then there are the estimated18,000 children a year who would die in painful late-term abortions. This would go unimpeded by Clinton, who says a baby on its due date has no constitutional rights. That adds up to 312,000 human lives lost over one presidential term.

The fact that this even needs to be said—to other pro-lifers, no less—at this late date is downright scandalous. But it does, because the maniacal sophistry of the #NeverTrump movement has convinced a sizeable minority of conservatives that protecting their self-image is more important than the election’s impact on the lives, freedoms, health, safety, and prosperity of more than 324 million Americans.

On abortion alone, one need not like, respect, or trust Trump (speaking just for myself, I certainly don’t) to understand that there’s an enormous difference between him, a candidate who may not have personal ideological investment in the pro-life cause but has every incentive to listen to the right people, sign the right bills, and appoint the right judges (and no incentive not to), and Hillary Clinton, a candidate who:

Read the rest at the Federalist Papers Project.

Conservative Standards Is Now on Facebook!

I’m pleased to announce that Conservative Standards now has an official Facebook page, a one-stop shop for all the new writing I do here, for Live Action, or anywhere else on the web, plus original bite-sized commentary on the news of the day, conservative principles, and the battle for America’s survival. So please like Conservative Standards on Facebook and share with anyone else who may be interested. Thanks!