December 16, 2014

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Mocking treasured liberal slogans is as easy as shooting (bicycle-riding) fish in a barrel.

They helpfully print them on T-shirts and bumper stickers, for one thing”€”although over the years, in this as in all material matters, quality has taken a hit. At least the notion of Pentagon bake sales exhibited a sense of absurdist, curlicued whimsy. Those rosary-battered ovaries, though? Thud.

And yet, despite our mockery and their lack of creativity, the left keeps winning.

It doesn”€™t help that our side’s mottos are even less digestible”€”or incontestable.

Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics are, on the evidence, false, for instance.

Law #1: “€œEveryone is conservative about what he knows best.”€”€¨”€¨Actually, almost every conservative I know transmogrifies into a flaming liberal when he mounts his favorite hobbyhorse. The gay ones clamor for same-sex “€œmarriage.”€ The straight ones demand the abolition of corporate welfare for every industry but their own.

Law #2: “€œAny organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.”€

If such an exception to the rule exists, then explain what happened to Preston Manning and his eponymous Centre, formerly as “€œexplicitly and constitutionally”€ conservative as they come. And is anyone at, say, National Review sufficiently small-government or anti-immigration enough to qualify as “€œright-wing”€ at this point?

“€œI”€™ll admit it: I emailed the story of Ruenzel’s murder to a bunch of my friends with the subject line “€˜ha ha ha ha.”€™”€

Law #3: “€œThe behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.”€

So “€œbureaucratic organizations”€ are staffed with conscientious good guys who seem to be rendered comically incompetent by a few saboteurs? Anyone who’s faced off against a stupid, stubborn public-facing rank-and-file functionary knows that it’s “€œenemies”€ all the way down.

The last time I started off a column with the epigram, “€œA conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged,”€ I attributed it (sort of) to Irving Kristol, and was informed via email by not a few readers that the real source of the quotation was the late Philadelphia police commissioner turned mayor, Frank Rizzo.

Interestingly, both men were born in the same year”€”1920″€”making them middle-aged (and sufficiently crusty) when that giveaway word, “€œmugging,”€ was at peak usage.

Whoever coined the phrase, it may not have ever been true beyond the sprocket holes of a few 1970s urban vigilante movies”€”a case of (Death) Wish-ful thinking.

Aren”€™t liberals far more likely to make excuses for their muggers, especially lately? And especially if those liberals are white and their muggers are not?

“€œI Was Mugged, and I Understand Why,”€ editorialized one Oliver Friedfeld in Georgetown University’s school paper not long ago.

“€œWho am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as “€˜thugs?”€™”€ he asked. “€œIt’s precisely this kind of “€˜otherization”€™ that fuels the problem.”€

The op-ed quickly went viral on the right, with Jonah Goldberg nominating the spindly beta male for “€œLiberal of the Year.”€

Competition for that dubious title is pretty stiff right now. I”€™m guessing you”€™ve already met this guy, the beardy Berkeley bicyclist in the homemade “€œCops: Stop Killing Black Men”€ shirt who was busy getting himself killed by marauding, hammer wielding black men until cops rescued his lily hide. How dare he try using his “€œwhite privilege”€ to prevent homies from liberating more champagne, I say!

Or we could hand the trophy”€”a gold-plated flogger, perhaps?”€”to Tonight Show writer Jason Ross. He started the (again: clumsy and uninspiring) hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite, via which, explains unimpressed black conservative Derryck Green, “€œself-loathing white people tweet about crimes they got away with to “€˜prove”€™ the racial double standard that exists within the criminal justice system.”€


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