Jonathan Cohn: Mitt Romney Retcons His View on the Auto Bailout Yet Again
Glenn Hubbard Tries to Snooker Jonathan Cohn

National Review Writers Don't Get Out of Their Basement Very Often, Do They?

Come on, John O'Sullivan! Change out of your bathrobe and leave your basement sometime!

John O'Sullivan: Derb and Discourse: [Y]ou soon forget that [Derbyshire is] satirizing articles that stigmatized white Americans by showing how ugly these arguments sound when they are made about Black Americans. But you still notice that they sound ugly.

The paradoxical result is that a piece that begins as a criticism of anti-white racism gradually morphs into something akin to an expression of white racism. It therefore strengthens the anti-white racism it is meant to satirize which, as it happens, is a growing problem in the U.S. — not in the suburbs or backwoods but in the corporate executive suites, the media elites, the courts, the bureaucracy, and of course the entire industry of sensitivity training which used to go under the more honest title of “Political Reeducation” in the gulag…

John Holbo:

needless-to-say-part-ii/#comments">Needless To Say, Part II — Crooked Timber: Republicans stand in steady need of rhetorical forms that are akin to expressions of white racism, but that afford plausible deniability against charges of racism. Thus: anti-anti-racism. But plausible deniability requires that you get in and out in a hurry. And that’s why, as O’Sullivan says, the real problem with the Derb’s piece is… that it was said at such length. If something that hasn’t quite come into clear view quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s likely to morph into a duck, the longer you look at it. That’s just playing the odds….

Here are two ‘spirits’ in which Derb could have talked the Talk:

Kid, once upon a time, good people had a noble, liberal dream of a color-blind society. But reality played a cruel joke on us all, and here’s the way things work and I doubt anything is ever going to change that. But anyway, you don’t want to be mugged…

If he’d said that, he’d have kept his job, to say the least.

Here’s something more in line with what he actually said:

Kid, once upon a time, bad people had a warped, liberal dream of a color-blind society. And reality played a deliciously cruel joke on them. Now the rest of us have to live somewhat artificial lives, in the aftermath of this vain social engineering collapse, but at least we – who are not ultimately the butt of the joke – can derive some vicarious Schadenfreude from the sorry spectacle – which is no small compensation…

Probably then you give the kid some de Maistre to read….

So what gives? You can’t BOTH think liberalism is a noble, albeit tragically failed dream of color-blind racial equality that only conservatives are keeping alive, by heroically protesting against anti-anti-racism AND be delighted by the mischievously self-delighted racism of the Derb’s version of the Talk. So will the real Derb please stand up?

Well, I don’t know. But I’ll bet they are both as real as houses. The thing to see is how easy it is for conservatives to be in this particular state of cognitive dissonance.