June 18, 2009

Patrick McIlheran is not a Nazi

Well, that's good to know. Then again, nobody ever said he was.

But Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel calumnist McIlheran's affirmative denial is typical of the curiously aggressive defensiveness that's lately arisen among a couple of local right-wing commentators/brethren.

They are upset because two opinion columns appeared in the New York Times over the weekend purportedly connecting causally the screaming, weeping outrage pimps at Fox News and elsewhere with some recent celebrated acts of apparently political violence.

That the NYT columnists attempt to make the connection (their success on that account is what's debatable) is in fact evidence of the columnists' own incitement of general animus against conservatives.

Or so the argument goes, as framed by Patrick McIlheran and his intellectual idol, Marquette law professor Rick Esenberg.

In particular, McIlheran & Friends don't much appreciate the references to James von Brunn — an 88-year-old unreconstructed British Israelist-style nutcase who staged an attack on the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. with a Father Coughlin-vintage blünderbüss — connecting him with right-wing ideologies.

Because Esenberg and McIlheran would have you know that they don't wish to be associated with those ideologies. Or something.

Here's McIlheran, approvingly quoting Esenberg on their insipid "Weekly Standard" talking point once again:
[James von Brunn] is also a self avowed socialist whose alternative target was apparently the offices of The Weekly Standard.
The implication, of course, is that because the Weekly Standard is reputed to be a conservative magazine, von Brunn's distaste for it must then spring from a well of leftist (read: socialist) hate.

But that's false. For the extreme right, the magazine and its proprietor, William Kristol, stand for Zionism, and its targeting is perfectly in accord with white supremacism and anti-Semitism.

This is obvious to most observers, I would have imagined, but apparently it isn't, at least to these two, who keep repeating that. The evidence is easy enough to locate, although I'm not placing a link to the renowned liberal David Duke's website on this blog.

For von Brunn the neoconservatives, most of whose movement founders were and are Jewish, are of a part with an ancient and giant Jewish conspiracy "to destroy Western civilization and the Aryan Nation that created it." It says so right in his 189-page manifesto.

Mayhap McIlheran and Esenberg should actually read it, before they start ascribing to von Brunn's views a leftist bent.

In fact according to von Brunn, liberalism, Marxism, and international "Jewry" are synonymous, and he equates the three throughout his deranged screed. A self-avowed socialist? Not exactly.

Prof. Esenberg thinks it's simply "ankle biting" to point this out. Of course he would, since it's central to his alleged debunking of Mike Plaisted's own opinion piece, whose author the demonstrably oblivious Patrick McIlheran ironically describes as "dimwitted."

If your argument that James von Brunn isn't a classic right-wing extremist rests on the false claim that von Brunn opposes the goals of the Weekly Standard crowd with respect to their Israel policy because Kristol et al are conservatives, then you have no argument.

These objections bring to mind the self-obsessed self-righteousness emanating from the political right when the Obama administration released a pamphlet (assembled largely during the Bush II administration) warning of potential right-wing extremist violence.

If they're not talking about you, Ms. Malkin, then why worry about it?

But with regard to the murders of George Tiller and Stephen Johns, the security guard at the Holocaust Museum, that DHS report was right [sic] on the money. (Oh, and James von Brunn hates the Anti-Defamation League as well, and we all know how popular and beloved the ADL is among contemporary American conservatives.)


Rick Esenberg said...

No, actually he's an avowed socialist because he says so in this 189 page screed. And, if he was motivated by anti-semitism, then he wasn't motivated by all that upsets you about Fox News. I have not heard even the most enthusiastic Fox critic accuse Israel loving, Weekly Standard owning Rupert Murdoch of that. (In fact, the anti-semitic fringe spends all sorts of energy trying to show he's Jewish.)

The point about von Brunn and the Weekly Standard was a small part of my response to Mike's extraordinarily bilious post. But if you feel compelled to argue that someone or something in mainstream conservatism led this crazy to shoot people, then make your case. Otherwise you are ankle biting.

Anonymous said...

he's an avowed socialist because he says so in this 189 page screed

O RLY? Let's step away from the learned sages at Teh Corner and go to the source. Here's how Von Brunn defines "socialism:"

"Capitalism and Socialism are how a Nation (Family, People, Race) feels, thinks, and lives, and secondarily are ECONOMIC CONCEPTS... WESTERN SOCIALISM, unlike Marxism/Communism and Capitalism, emanates not from Reason alone but from the ETHOS OF THE WEST. It expresses the instinctive and Intuitive feelings UNIQUE to the Aryan Nation."

Huh. Later on he says, "Marx’s strategy was to instill HATRED between the classes where it was non-existent before."

What does this kinda talk remind us of? Victor Berger? Or the guy McIlheran claims purged the Von Bunns from the conservative movement:

"The central question that emerges--and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal--is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically?

"The sobering answer is Yes--the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the median cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists."

We report. You decide.

illusory tenant said...

"all that upsets you about Fox News."

Fox News doesn't upset me. I actually enjoy it. As a matter of fact, Brit Hume's show (I forget the new guy's name) is one of the better sources of international news on American teevee -- which isn't saying much, but I don't mind acknowledging it.

Until Krauthammer appears, that is, at which point you might as well be watching Comedy Central.

"If you feel compelled to argue that someone or something in mainstream conservatism led this crazy to shoot people, then make your case. Otherwise you are ankle biting."

I never argued that, and have no compulsion to do so. Therefore yours is a false dichotomy.

Clutch said...

Why does von Brunn have to have been a socialist or a fascist to have been motivated in part by the basically apocalyptic tone of some conservative shouters?

I don't really see how his seemingly being a nutbar of indeterminate location on the left-right continuum is particularly crucial to the larger question suddenly so much disputed.

Display Name said...

Go Clutch!

And I'm glad that someone finally brought up Father Coughlin.

Anonymous said...

I think it's rather obvious that the extremists aren't motivated by conservative squawkers.

The conservative squawkers are motivated by the extremists.

Mike H said...

Can't we just call von Brunn and Tiller's murderer what they are: insane, unstable nutjobs?

I'm with Clutch. Cold-blooded murder is evil. Pure and simple. They are on the extremes of each side. They do not exist in the realm of normal politics, certainly not on our domestic political spectrum.

These men, along with PVT Long's killer, are evil. Evil should be denounced regardless of it's origin.

illusory tenant said...

It's fair to wonder where they got their ideas, and who shares them, and what other ideas they might share. Unstable nutjobs I think is a fair assessment. Insanity is a bit more difficult to ascertain (not to mention "evil").