LiberalYour Wonkette loves a fun fact, and Kevin D. Williamson’s most recent essay for the National Review Online is full of them! The funnest fact of them all is the core argument of the piece, which is that the GOP is the civil rights party, but there are lots more! For example, did you know that Frederick Douglass’ expression of Republican political identity is as “true and relevant” today as it was then? Your Wonkette has always thought so, what with Douglass’ concerns about the inherent moral depravity associated with vast accumulations of private property and his ties to Socialists and the fact that he received the Socialist Labor Party (née Equal Rights Party) nomination for VP. Just obvious, total Republican.

And! Did you know that no one seems to edit anything anything posted on NRO?  As proof, I give you the clumsiest lede in the history of anything, possibly ever, which not only describes Jonah Goldberg’s recent book as an “illuminating catalogue” (within the context of a 93-word run-on sentence) but also follows that sentence with the completlely unironic use of the word “mountebankery.”

This magazine has long specialized in debunking pernicious political myths, and Jonah Goldberg has now provided an illuminating catalogue of tyrannical clichés, but worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the rise of Richard Nixon. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century.

Looks like somebody — we won’t say who (*cough* Kevin D. Williamson *cough*) — just discovered! Anyway, (spoiler alert!) after 3000+ words explaining that not only were the Democrats super racist during the Civil Rights Era, Kevin D. Williamson concludes by arguing that they are STILL super racist because they support unemployment insurance and TANF, and that the GOP is actually the party of civil rights because they want to destroy Medicare. Today’s GOP, it turns out, is like Barry Goldwater in that it is NOT RACIST AT ALL, just principled and Communist-hating:

The Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with the rise of the southern middle class, the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism and the welfare state, the Vietnam controversy and the rise of the counterculture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and the incorporation of the radical Left into the Democratic party…Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades.

What can one say other than commend Kevin D. Williamson for having his finger on the pulse of the  American zeitgeist, other than to postpone the lesson on misplaced modifiers and fix the above statement for him thusly: “white, male, probably heterosexual and most likely conservative U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties.”

For example, “[white, male, probably heterosexual and most likely conservative] voters of all backgrounds and both parties” absolutely agree that there was real “saliency” around the issue of crack, and that the “saliency” of THIS issue was disproportionate relative to, say, the saliency of the issue of cocaine, and that the comparatively harsh penalty meted out to (mostly black) crack users was reflective of the link between crack and  “violent behavior,” which is not at all related to racism. And also that NO ONE SAID the  Cadillac-driving welfare queen  from Chicago’s South Side was a blah person, you racist.

The real racists are the Ron Paultards and lib-ruls who want to legalize marijuana, and we know that because President Johnson used the N-word in an unsourced quote when he tried to convince southern governors that funding Head Start programs, the Equal Opportunity Commission, and the Job Corps was a good idea.

Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.

If only, as Kevin D. Williamson has argued, we would all heed Newt Gingrich’s advice and let poor black children become janitors instead of going to school, the Great Society would be truly realized.

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  • Skullfry Buddha

    Tell a lie often enough…

    • qwerty42

      and Kevin D. Williamson will believe it himself.

  • mavenmaven

    Someone said, oh, we are intellectually bankrupt but perhaps if we use SAT words we'll sound like Buckley again!

    • The Energizer bunny has his drum, this guy has his commas.

  • memzilla

    "That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness…

    Oh, I think the Rethuglicans are plenty fecked up.

    • Callyson

      Seriously–"mountebankery"? Next thing you know, the wingnuts will be blaming the Dems for the banking crisis…

    • tessiee

      I would go so far as to call them feckwits.

      *pleased that I remember at least one word of Gaelic from Irish ex-boyfriend*

  • EatsBabyDingos

    "Southern middle class" means two toilets in the front yard.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      IQ quiz for 'necks:

      Binary fission is to bacteria as –

      a) Your sister is to the back seat of a car.
      b) Uncle Festes is to moonshine.
      c) A cinder block is to a jack stand.
      d) Broken furniture is to your front porch.

      • CivicHoliday

        Oh oh oh, I know this one! "A"!

      • tessiee


    • Fare la Volpe

      And an oven in the back.

    • JustPixelz

      I thought the "Southern middle class" was 2nd grade.

      • thatsitfortheother1


        What's long and hard on a Southern kid?

        Third grade.

  • ph7

    Is it O.K. to not read long posts, and just comment on the funny photo?

    • Naked_Bunny

      There was a post?

  • boobookitteh

    Lol. No.

  • jodyleek

    Why does this asshole think only black people are on welfare?

    • Terry

      Because that's what his reference material, forwarded email primarily, tells him.

    • Fare la Volpe

      Or only black people commit crime.

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Well, the majority of people in jail are black, so obviously….

    • GeorgiaBurning

      He's never been to West Virginia?

    • Millennial Malaise

      He probably knows; the white people just deserve it more.


  • x111e7thst

    It's not racist if they are black!

  • Using 12th grade vocabulary to express 3rd grade thoughts.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Maybe he should be in Congress.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      You flatter him.

  • FakaktaSouth

    Oh facts, how you do get in the way.
    When the LBJ "lost the south for a generation (or 5)" Dems became Republicans, because, racism. "Oh so they're the black people party, now eh? I'm certainly not identifying with THAT!" Coming up with exhausting, convoluted, run-on sentences to console (stupid) people about why it's okay to be a bunch of racists doesn't change anything but your explanation. It's weird though, because the people who feel this way are fine with it – so maybe just stop trying so hard.

    • prommie

      Feckless mountebankery is now my favorite phrase. I want to name a band this, you wanna be in my band, Feckless Mountebankery?

      • FakaktaSouth

        Well of course. Let me see if I can get out of my contract with A Veritable Donnybrook and I'm in.

        • prommie

          Damn, A Veritable Donnybrook is great, too. Thats when you need your shillelegh, when you are in A Veritable Donnybrook. By the way, I don't know anyone who can make music, my "band" is more a band in the sense of a small tribe.

          • tessiee

            You guys should combine forces and be Feckless Transvaginal Donnybrooks.

      • Wile E. Quixote

        Can I be a roadie?

    • Wile E. Quixote

      Have you ever read Rick Perlstein's Nixonland. It's brilliant and it really puts the lie to the whole "LBJ lost the south for a generation". What cost LBJ the south, and the north, and the rest of the country, was Vietnam, not civil rights. If LBJ had told the South Vietnamese and the conservative anti-communists in the Democratic party to go fuck themselves he could have run for re-election in 1968. It wasn't the fallout from civil rights that caused LBJ to throw in the towel and thus help pave the way for Richard Nixon and the southern strategy. It was the fallout from Vietnam.

      The thing is we're still living with Nixon's legacy. The George W. Bush administration was full of the retards and retreads from the Nixon administration. Nixon was like a cancer that infected the American body politic and viciously metastasized.

  • Gosh, I can remember when mountiebankery was kinda hawt

  • FNMA

    I would bet that some of Kevin's best friends are douchebags and that he would be totally OK with his sister marrying a douchebag. Or maybe not…

  • noodlesalad

    Today's Republican Party philosophy – proof that you can have your cross, and burn it, too.

  • sullivanst

    That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness

    No, moron, that Republicans have never mounted more than a token challenge to the accusations of racism is due to two things, first that the accusations are entirely true, and second that Republican electoral viability depends heavily on their base understanding that the accusations are entirely true.

    [Edit: BTW, even were it true that the historical figures cited embodied conservative principles (they don't, but arguendo), the fact that the GOP has been "disconnected" from their legacy would simply be a symptom of the fact that the modern GOP is in no way conservative, they are radical right-wing reactionaries.]

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Wasn't Teddy Roosevelt the last Republican to conserve something?

      • sullivanst

        Certainly feels like it, although there is a difference between being a conservationist (conserve the land) and a conservative (conserve the social status quo). He was clearly the former, not so much the latter (first President to advocate for universal healthcare for example). Even the GOP appears to have given up on trying to claim TR's legacy – I don't think it's a coincidence that the founder of the Progressive Party was a pre-New Deal Republican.

        • thatsitfortheother1

          although there is a difference between being a conservationist (conserve the land) and a conservative (conserve the social status quo).

          And the chasm between the two has grown to Grand Canyon proportions.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    "Pretzel Logic" was also an album by Steely Dan.

  • GOPers love hoodies too. Well, white hoods.

  • Doktor StrangeZoom

    It is not the least bit racist to suggest that black people are gullible welfare-addicted simpletons who have been manipulated by white Democrats because they are too lazy to get to work and make themselves wealthy.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    "crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past."

    In my best Jon Stewart:
    "Oh, reeeeally? Tell me more!"

    • elgin_pelican

      Get a brain, morans!

    • tessiee

      This would also work well with the sarcastic Willie Wonka meme.

    • didgen

      Mema disagrees vehemently enough her falsies fall out.

    • Lionel[redacted]Esq

      crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past

      Or of the average sign at a Tea Party rally.

  • SorosBot

    That's a lot of words to spill the same old tired "But but, Robert Byrd was in the KKK, therefore Democrats are the real racists!" bullshit.

    • Wile E. Quixote

      The Democrats really suck at pointing out that two of the biggest racist assholes their party had, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, became enthusiastic Republicans in the 1960s.

      • tessiee

        Probably because they're feckless.

  • freakishlywrong

    Clearly Kevo has never read the comments on Faux "News".

    • Doktor StrangeZoom

      Every single one of the racist comments on Fox originates from liberal bloggers as part of a massive false-flag operation to make conservatives look bad.

  • V572 Is this him?

    Kevin, you had me at "increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism." Because all previous critiques of communism prior to, say, George Wallace, had this deficiency in common: they were insufficiently trenchant.

    Joe McCarthy: not trenchant. Harry Truman: nary a whiff of trenchancy in his critiques of communism, and thus we lost China. Dwight Eisenhower: total un-trenchant in his Yalta critiques of Stalin, leading to the Iron Curtain.

    Thanks NRO for this new and trenchant understanding of history.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      I like how Kevin broke out his truncheon of trenchancy.

      • tessiee

        You can hardly blame him for whipping out his truncheon of trenchancy and waving it around; his truncheon of trenchancy is a lot bigger than his pinkie of penisosity.

    • CapnFatback

      This is all well and good, but what happens when we reach the trenchant tipping point? WHAT THEN?!

    • thatsitfortheother1

      I'm pretty sure this is what he was on about:

      • V572 Is this him?

        NRO is Reggae HQ, I’ll bet. I can see Jonah in dreads.

        • tessiee

          I dread seeing Jonah, if that's what you mean.

          • V572 Is this him?

            I’ve heard that Fridays at NRO are Rasta Day. You should see Kathryn in her wife-beater and flip-flops.

  • sewollef

    Crap in a handbasket.

    The single sentence that starts, "The Republican ascendancy….", does not end for another 109 words. One sentence. Is that a world diarrhea record?

    Even my eyes were breathless after reading for that long.

    It seems I passed out, only to wake up and realise it wasn't a nightmare of shockingly bad English — but a wide-awake real-world example of shockingly bad English.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Non-Faulkner division. Though WF gets an asterisk for using performance enhancing drugs — hard liquor.

  • Doktor StrangeZoom

    I'm looking forward to an expose of the racist jokes in emails sent by state and local Democratic elected officials. Watermelons, haw haw haw!

    • freakishlywrong

      But Deomonrats are reverse racists, which means they'll send Saltines, haw haw!

  • Fare la Volpe

    Williamson ended his article with a terse "…boy."

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Pronounced "bwah"?

      • Negropolis

        Only on an oversized, Savannah veranda.

      • Fare la Volpe

        Pronounced "n*gger."

  • Beowoof

    So the republican plan to get blah votes is to take away any opportunity to get a job, an education and a decent place to live. That sounds like a giant win.

    • Fare la Volpe

      Don't forget the right to vote.

      • tessiee

        And random tasings of pregnant women.

    • MosesInvests

      Ah, but as we all know, all the blahs want is tight p*ssy, loose shoes and a warm place to sh*t.

  • Baconzgood

    I thing Kevin just couldn't write about race without using the word nigger. But it's ok. He put " " around it and said it was someone else who said it.

  • PubOption

    I thought a mountebank was where a Canadian cop kept his money.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      It's where bankers get laid.

      • Doktor StrangeZoom


        • thatsitfortheother1

          Guy takes two armadillos to the taxidermist.

          "Do you want them mounted?"

          "No, just holding hands."

    • Negropolis

      I thought mountebank was the surname of the British Royal Family.

    • tessiee

      It's a bank in the *shape* of a Canadian cop, like a piggybank is a bank in the *shape* of a piggy. So when you get Canadian money in with your change, you have a place to put it.

  • Frederick Douglass was a Bainster? Derivative history, equity derivatives, credit derivatives, … there seems to be a theme here and the Rethugs appear to be dee X, and we all know dee why. They clearly have mastered the chain rule.

    Next step in the study of the calculus. Rethug and D'Rat roles in the integration, discuss.

  • Fare la Volpe

    GOP 2012: The Great Dumbening of History.

    • Nostrildamus

      See also 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008.

  • Negropolis

    Is "Southern middle class" just another way of saying that the New South racism is done in quiet rooms, because I can assure him that that's only half true.

    BTW, oooo! Look at all the pretty four-dollar words!

    • didgen

      I think some of those words cost $5, $6 bucks at least.

  • Ruhe

    "Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades."

    What's uncanny about that statement…and we'd need Derrida himself to rise from the grave in order to really un-weave that tangle…is that the explicit meaning of the statement, that liberal criticism of some Republican "concerns" as merely "dog whistling" is shallow, manages to function rhetorically as…dog-whistling. I don't have time to work that all out but I have a hunch I'm right.

    • tessiee

      A dog whistle about dog whistles?
      It's a META dog whistle!
      Oh, wait, no it's not. It's the same kind of projection they always do, because they're passive-aggressive cowards.

  • SorosBot

    "Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century."

    And moron, these anti-slavery liberals were not an expression of conservative ideals; the right-wing then was served by the likes of the traitors like Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth. Words have meaning, and these were all fucking liberals.

    • I mean, even the ones who weren't overtly treasonous were fond of expressing support for slavery in terms that made it very clear that they saw it as a modern extension of the social ordering that had made hereditory aristocracy such a good idea. Hard to call that a liberal or left-wing position, by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Doktor StrangeZoom

    I'm genuinely, non-snarkily excited by the successful launch by SpaceX today. It's like some rich nerds decided to put on a space program in the old barn.

    Kevin D. Williamson thought that they should have called the capsule "Grand Dragon"

    • fuflans

      i am petitioning them for my goddamned jetpacs.

    • Wile E. Quixote

      Well played sir. Well played. I'm pleased to see that the NRO hasn't corrupted your POE.

  • CapnFatback

    Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism,

    Or they might argue that the rampant racism is "code" for racism.

  • RedneckMuslin

    Abraham Lincoln needed conservatism like he needed a hole in the head.

  • Steverino247

    Golly, Mr. Williamson. You use your mouth purdier than a twenty dollar whore!

  • NRO just needs to bring back John Derbyshire. He was much more coherent and intellectually honest.

  • proudgrampa


    Who got fecked?

    • kissawookiee


  • GregComlish

    I can't believe he's using the mountebankery canard

    • It nearly gave me the vapors.

      • tessiee

        I had to put my fainting couch on the veranda and sip a julep until I calmed down.

  • Allmighty_Manos

    We all know white Mississippians finally broke with the Democrats over its refusal to stand up for integration and black voting rights.

    P.S.: If you gave that answer on pretty much any history test outside Glenn Back university, FAIL.

    • Doktor StrangeZoom

      No, no, not at all–they broke with the Democrat Party over states' rights. Wasn't racism, it was a matter of principle.

  • Barb

    I love the smell of a good cross burning in the morning. It's homey and comforting.

  • It amazes me that right-wingers never even waited until Strom Thurmond's corpse had cooled, before starting to claim that the incorporation of erstwhile segregationists into the bedrock of the Republican party was a "myth"

  • JustPixelz

    After the Civil War, white southerners were all Democrats because Lincoln was a Republican. Black southerners were Republicans … for the same reason. They couldn't easily vote in the general election (19th century voter ID laws, you might say), but were an important constituency to getting the Republican presidential nomination. Which is why Republican Theodore Roosevelt endured the scandal of dining in the White House with a black man (who was not a servant).

  • Set up computer monitor.
    Read National Review Online.
    Put fist through monitor.
    Order new one.

    Apple Computer probably owes NRO a big fruit basket at the very least.

    • tessiee

      "Apple Computer probably owes NRO a big fruit basket"

      That would be redundant.

  • Yes, and it seems the GOP "would love to tour the Southland with a traveling minstrel show".

    • tessiee

      Now if only we could get them to drink Scotch whiskey all night long and die behind the wheel.

  • DocChaos

    A belated thanks to the KKK for my unemployment checks and medical marijuana. I didn't know.

  • ghblowhard

    I'm pretty sure these same people also thought of MLK as a communist

  • __kth__

    That's why the pigfucker states all voted for Goldwater in 1964, despite having overwhelmingly Democratic senators and governors: they wanted equality NOW! The 44 states that went for LBJ were the real racists.

  • bringmeanaxe

    Having traveled the South, I never realized that all those semi-literate white people living in shacks with no electricity were considered 'middle-class'. Thanks, Kevin, for setting me straight.

  • HelmutNewton

    “white, male, probably heterosexual and most likely conservative U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties.”

    Well, if we're talking about Republicans, we should change that to 'superficially hetero, but really still in the closet'.

  • AlaskaGrrl

    This kind of "history" fit right in with the "Jesus had a pet dinosaur" thinking that GOPer's as so justly famous for.

  • a_pink_poodle

    I think I've said time and time again that the GOP will pull something like this with the gay rights movement in 80 years if the parties exist in their current form today.

  • dopper0189

    Dam us blacks sure are stupid, I thought I was making up my own mind, didn't realize I was a victim of the Pelosi brainwashing machine, thanks for clearing that all up!

  • tessiee

    "the completlely unironic use of the word “mountebankery.”"

    "Smithers, who is responsible for this mountebankery?"
    "Homer Simpson, Sir; he's one of the life forms in Sector 7-G."
    "Simpson, eh?"

  • tessiee

    'GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln"

    Cracka, *please*.
    The Repukes rattle Lincoln's bones almost as often as they rattle Reagan's.

  • tessiee

    "a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act"

    Because, as we all know, passing a law protecting the civil rights of blah people is the *real* racism.

  • tessiee

    "the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism"

    I actually went so far as to look up the definition of the word "trenchant". Here it is:
    "Forceful, effective, and vigorous: a trenchant argument. See Synonyms at incisive"

    Really, this craven apologist for racism thinks his party's tired old flogging of the Communist boogeyman is "forceful, effective, and vigorous"? It's been, at best, a laughingstock, and at worst, exposed for the evil that it really is, since the 1950s, and would now be nothing but a source of embarrassment if these people were capable of embarrassment.

  • tessiee

    Doesn't anyone there own a red pencil?
    You know, even setting aside the loathsome content of Kevin's rant, this makes me sad.
    I tried literally for *years* to get hired as an editor, because I'm a big geek who likes that sort of thing, and never got anywhere.
    Kevin is not only a bad, stupid person; he is also a bad, stupid writer. This piece is exactly the sort of writing that editors are paid to keep off the finished page (or screen).

  • tessiee

    Thomas Pynchon thinks Kevin's sentences are too long.

  • BZ1

    If Kevin D. Williamson says it often enough, he starts to really believe it, now, who else used the "big lie"?

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    I am waiting for Mr. Williamson lengthy essay about how Republicans won WWII, and the Democratic party was in fact on the side of the NAZIs.

  • HippieEsq

    The GOP war on self-awareness enters phase II….

  • glamourdammerung

    The National Review going on about the "real racists" would mean a lot more if they did not have to keep firing people for being white supremacists. Well, not for being white supremacists as much as for that information becoming publicly known.

  • cobweb2

    While Williamson’s politics suck hind teat, his punctuation (MLT Style Sheet) is nearly flawless, and for you state that a lengthy but well punctuated sentence is a run on is slanderous, perhaps even libelous. The only grammatical error in that particular sentence is possibly that since it is a compound introductory prepositional phrase, "…in letting them get away with it" should have been followed with a comma. I won't edit your entire article, but your own grammatical fallibility is easily demonstrable with this construction
    "Anyway, (spoiler alert!) after 3000+ …" This is not only a run on sentence but a poorly punctuated one as well. "Anyway, (spoiler alert!)" is an independent clause understood as "Anyway, this is a spoiler alert!"
    1. Commas are not used before an open parenthesis "Anyway (spoiler…),
    2. End punctuation goes outside close parenthesis "…alert)!

    Let he who is without grammatical errors cast dispersions on another writer's punctuation

    • Negropolis


  • ttommyunger

    They must write this shit for their own edification, 'cause you know the average knuckle-dragging Rightard is not going to wade through this many werds.

  • I used to be a fan of the word feckless. It feels tainted now, somehow.

  • labman57

    Civil rights is not a Republican vs. Democrat cause — it was and still is a conservative vs. progressive cause.

    From the end of the Civil War until the 1960's, the Republican Party was the progressive force behind civil rights efforts. But when LBJ led the charge toward mandating the end of segregation in the South, a dramatic shift in party affiliation began which culminated in the rise of the ultra-conservative Religious Right in the 1980's. As a result, racially and religiously intolerant social conservatives are accurately identified with the GOP of the last half century.

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