2014: The Year of Peak Stupidity

The year just ended saw one leftist narrative after another collapse under the weight of reality, and the Republicans still sucking their thumbs, turning the other cheek, and failing to effectively respond.

My online friend, hit and run, characterized the usual political dialogue:

Prog[ressive]s: "We need a national conversation on race!"

Conservatives: "No, we don't."

Progs: "See? That just proves you're racist!"

MSM [Mainstream Media]: "Race. Race, race. Race, race, race. Also, race."

Conservatives: "Fine. Let's have a conversation. Looking at the stats, it is worth noting that in the black community......"

Progs: "How dare you talk about race, you racist!"


Progs: "We need a national conversation on rape culture!"

Conservatives: "No, we don't."

Progs: "See? That just proves you're pro-rape!"

MSM: "Rape culture. Rape, rape culture. Rape, rape, rape culture. Also, rape culture."

Conservatives: "Fine. Let's have a conversation. Looking at the stats, it is worth noting that rapes on college campuses have declined......"

Progs: "How dare you talk about stats when even one rape is too many, you rape apologist!"

For decades, greenies have said we must impoverish ourselves and switch to costly, inefficient sources of energy because we are approaching “peak oil” and the world will soon run out of this valuable resource. With new sources of petroleum energy turning up almost everywhere on earth, the claim has proven hollow. In his usual colorful language, Rick Ballard characterized the left wing’s dilemma, playing off that phrase:

I'm sure a Gruber can be found to gin up a model to contrast with reality but prog[ressive]s are finding chimera invention and maintenance rather exhausting. Perhaps they should combine a few to make their lying lives easier? What's wrong with 'Peak SkyDragon Oil Glut'? Or 'Increased Thug Deaths Accompany Fraternity Gang Rapes'?

Alternatively, perhaps we've reached Peak Stupidity.

In a more leisurely romp through the years’ progressive belly flops, Robert Tracinski calls it the year of Ben Trovato, a name taken from an Italian adage meaning “if it’s not true, it’s a good story”.

Among the false narratives peddled by the left last year, he counts the following:

  1. That Michael Brown had his hands up, indicating surrender, when he was shot by a Ferguson police officer;
  2. Michelle Obama was the victim of racism at Target when someone asked her to get something from a top shelf;
  3. Gruber’s truthful account of how Obamacare was foisted on us, made that a totally Ben Trovato operation from the outset;
  4. The rape culture at the University of Virginia “where everybody forgot about Charlottesville’s real-life rapist and serial killer and spent weeks in a frenzy over a rape accusation that was not only false but had its corroborating details plagiarized from “Dawson’s Creek”;
  5. The made-up story about a high school student making $72 million trading stocks on his lunch hours;
  6. The Australian “I’ll ride with you” campaign after the jihadist hostage taking and shootings in a coffee house, which was based on an utterly made-up story about a Moslem woman fearing harassment after the crime. The story inspired those who “thought the real victims of the siege were Muslims who might get dirty looks in the subway”;
  7. The claim by defector Snowden that NSA tapped Angela Merkel’s phone;
  8. Climatologists caught “omitting 80 years of data in order to support a bogus claim that global warming is causing deadly acidification of the oceans”;

I’m sure with time we could all add to this list of Ben Trovato’s work this past year, but climatology, rape, and sexism seem to have led the way.

Speaking of racism, it’s way past time that when accused of it, the Republicans stop sucking their thumbs and whenever any colleague is accused of it, quit dashing for the exits.

Last week saw the rise and fall of Ben Trovato’s hit job on Congressman Steve Scalise, who was accused of speaking 12 years ago to a group affiliated with David Duke. When sandbagged by the charge -- leveled by the son of a former opponent whom he’d trounced -- Scalise said he remembered speaking to a lot of civic groups in the period about fiscal matters and indicated if one of those groups was involved, he was sorry. No one even charged that he was a racist-- even Democrats in his home state denied that, as a matter of fact. No one even charged that he’d endorsed Duke’s racist remarks nor challenged his assertion that his speech was on fiscal matters involving the state.

From that came the usual -- white toga conservatives, more concerned with preserving a spotless reputation than with standing up for fair treatment of their colleagues -- demanded he resign his position as House Majority Whip .

As the week wore on, it appeared the story was false. He’d not spoken to that group, but to another civic group earlier that day as the organizer of both events admitted and the program of the Duke supporters revealed.

Jimmyk, posting before the entire story collapsed, discussed the dynamics of the Republicans’ failure to adequately respond in Scalise’s defense: “Scalise's faux pas was clearly an aberration, an oversight from more than 12 years ago. There is no pattern of behavior that I'm aware of. However he handles it, it's clear GOP politicians are afraid to attack Democrats for much more blatant associations like Sharpton and Rev Wright, so the dirty work is left to politicians who are perceived as more on the fringe, like Bachman or Newt, and it becomes self-reinforcing.”

In any event, it’s clear that even when the story falls apart and there is no “racist” angle, the press will continue to bang that drum: Friday’s Washington Post contained an editorial by Eugene Robinson with the erroneous facts stated as truth, and Saturday's Post ran a cartoon from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, showing Scalise addressing the Ku Klux Klan.

To refuse to strike back is to once again let the leftists seize the ground.

Thomas Sowell said it nicely

There are few modest talents so richly rewarded -- especially in politics and the media -- as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.

Republicans complain when Democrats call them racists. But when have you ever heard a Republican counterattack? You don’t win by protesting your innocence or whining about the unfairness of the charge. Yet when have you heard a Republican reply by saying, “You’re a lying demagogue without a speck of evidence. Put up or shut up!”

I couldn’t agree more. At some point you have to stop defending cowardly behavior as high-minded civilized turn-the-other-cheek behavior, and start telling the unvarnished truth about the attacks and attackers: to refuse to defend your colleagues against base, unproven or overblown charges is just plain pusillanimous. Stop it.