A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Word with Kathleen Parker

Timothy Birdnow

Recently the esteemed Kathleen Parker wrote a diatribe against conservatives such as myself, affirming Paul Begala's claim we are the "Stupid Party" and trashing much of what we believe. I wrote a rebuttal to her, and am posting it here.

Here is the WaPo piece in which the genteel former conservative attacks us.

Here is my reply:

Dear Ms. Parker,

Your essay of 11/18 "The Palinization of the GOP" was a model of mischaracterization and myopia worthy of any on the Left, and you should officially acknowledge that you no longer consider yourself a conservative as a result.

First, quoting Paul Begala may be interesting if one were to illustrate hypocrisy or folly masquerading as wisdom; Begala hardly loves our side of the aisle, and he is not calling us The Stupid Party because he loves or admires us. In point of fact, he is trying to tar conservatives with this label. Yet you merrily go along with him, agreeing in large part throughout this essay. This in and of itself is disturbing. Were you quoting someone revered in the Conservative Movement it would be different, but Paul Begala? That you agree with him speaks volumes, and not about your subject matter.

You claim;

"Democrats couldn’t agree more. And quietly, many Republicans share the sentiment. They just can’t seem to stop themselves."

Yet offer no supporting evidence. Who, precisely, thinks this? Perhaps Peggy Noonan, or David Brooks, but certainly nobody outside of the clique of Washington Insiders who make their living as conservatives to the liberals.

And I am sorry, Ms. Parker, but William F. Buckley was universally admired by the Right not for his pedigree but for his ideas. It should be pointed out that Ronald Reagan, the most admired conservative in American history, was accused of these very traits by people similar to yourself. Reagan was hardly an Ivy Leaguer; he attended Eureka college, after all, and he did not obtain any advanced degrees. By your own definition Ronald Reagan was part of the Stupid Party. Ditto Barry Goldwater. who attended just one year at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

You say;

"Meanwhile, the big tent fashioned by Ronald Reagan has become bilious with the hot air of religious fervor"

Prove it! I notice you make many assertions without any corroborating evidence. This is more of the same. Yes, conservatives don't have room in their tents for liberals, but they never did and should not. I would like you to explain what the "hot air of religious ferver" consists of; there is less discussion of religion now than when Buckley was alive. And this discussion was good enough for the Founding Fathers, who you would doubtlessly refer to as bilious religious zealots. There is plenty of room in the GOP tent for different people, but not for those who are fundamentally opposed to our views. We have been letting agent provocateurs in for far too long.

Oh, and you argue for kicking out John Birchers yet complain of the lack of room in the Big Tent. Doesn't that make you a hypocrite? You seem to want those who the liberal media and academics approve to be allowed in, but not others who are not. Frankly, I approve keeping out a whole host of people who would join us, like Klansmen. But by your own reasoning we are being bigoted, bilious bastards.

Uh, Ms. Parker, asking for scientific evidence hardly constitutes fundamentalism, and the old saw about the war between faith and science well beneath you. This was a template created by a number of Progressives like John William Draper, Andrew Dixon White, and popularized by journalists like H.L. Menken. It was an artificial construct of the late 19thl - early 20th century. Men like Copernicus, Galileo, and Isaac Newton would be shocked to learn that religion had been in conflict with science. Even Galileo; he was in conflict with the Church heirarchy, not the faith itself. That you fall so easily into this assertion is disturbing.

And Global Warming? You cannot possibly be that ignorant! The science of Global Warming is seriously in dispute, with the twenty some odd computer models failing miserably to explain the pause in warming since 1995 (one must subtract the extreme El-Nino year of 1998, which gives us a pause of sixteen years, acknowledged by none other than CRU head Phil Jones himself.) These same models failed to predict current conditions when programmed with past data. I suggest you Google "Chaos Theory".

Which scientists have proclaimed that this is settled science? Huntsman obviously did not consult Roger Pielke Sr., nor Patrick Michaels, nor the late Frederick Seitz, nor S. Fred Singer, nor William Briggs. The government has documented quite a few of them.

And were this simply a debate about science it would be heated, yet this goes far beyond science into matters of huge amounts of money, of the alignment of the international order, of regulations on the national, state, and local levels. The skeptics demand proof before embarking on a scheme to fundamentally reorder our industrial civilization. You seem content to accept what you read in your own newspaper.

You say;

“When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said"

Do you understand a single thing about that statemtent? Aren't you aware that the question was put in light of "is the climate changing" and "do you think humans have something to do with climate changes". OF COURSE the answer is in the affirmative! Climate changes all the time, and it was far different in 1910 from 1710, for instance. Did you know that the end of the Medieval Warming Period coincided with the collapse of the Mound Builder civilization in North America, as well as the beginning of the end of the Mayans? Climate changed during this period - and human activity was part of it! Slash and burn agriculture made for windier fields and accellerated soil erosion. Roger Pielke Sr., for instance, argues that land use changes are a major forcing in our current warming. The urban heat island effect also skewes the temperature data. These are human contributions. The scientists were not asked if global warming was real and driven primarily by human emissions of CO2.

You also seem to accept the notion that the temperature data is accurate. I would suggest you visit to see how badly corrupted are the data.

Yet you feel free to tar what is ostensibly your own side with a liberal smear of "anti-science" based on "Fundamentalism". You have this turned precisely 180*; it is the skeptical community that is demanding science be done. The CRU e-mails show that there was an inner core who purposefully worked to subvert peer review and to pressure journal editors not to publish work by "deniars".

Frankly, you owe me and the rest of the skeptical community an apology here.

By the way, why do you hate Sarah Palin so vehemently? She is popular because she is genuine, not because she is an intellectual Titan. I would think you would have had enough of the Titans with Barack Obama, the man the media anointed as so intelligent he is bored with being President. Certainly the public has had enough of being led by our media-anointed betters. YOU should swim against the tide in Washington instead.

Ditto Herman Cain; he is popular because he's an outsider, and he's willing to make mistakes and open to admitting them. I am mindful of Spy magazine taking in a number of American politicians by asking them their opinion of the ethnic cleansing in Freedonia. Well, most of them bluffed it out rather than admitting they had never heard of said nation. (They would have had they watched their Marx Brothers.) Frankly, I would rather my politicians admit they don't know anything about it than to bluff their way through. I'm not alone in this; this is a big part of Cain's appeal.

Ms. Parker, you just don't seem to get it; the public knows exactly who led us into this mess the nation wallows in, and they don't want more of the same. The public is desperately seeking an outsider, someone who will reject the status quo, someone who will end the politics of the last half century. It was a huge part of Barack Obama's appeal, and it is part of the appeal of Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, etc. The "bright and beautiful" elites are reviled these days, because it was their policies that have wrecked everything. Granted, the public eagerly went along when times were good, but now that they are bad nobody wants to continue on the same course. And the public is right; we have been careening down a highway that ends in an incompleted bridge. The elites of both parties told us lies. The rank and file of both parties are in open rebellion right now.

This rebellion should not be mocked or discouraged, either; the time has come to clean house. We cannot continue with business as usual. You are on the wrong side of this.

So I'm not sure what you think hysterical rants against those you ostensibly identify as your own side will accomplish. We can support moderates; that really has accomplished miracles in the past. I seem to remember we tried that with McCain, with Dole, with Bush Sr., with Gerald R. Ford, etc. You don't seem to like conservatives who don't come from the Ivy League/intelligentsia.

This column of yours really does nothing but strengthen Democrats. Was that your intention?


Timothy Birdnow

Hat tip to the American Thinker

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by