Posts Tagged ‘Left’
A common refrain I heard from friends this last week or so was “if you are taking flack, you know you are over the target.”
In this case, “flack” was a 7,000 word hit piece on me (along with my company and 501c4 organizations with which I’m associated) by a liberal non-profit called ProPublica. ProPublica was founded by Herbert Sandler, a left-wing banker at the center of the housing crisis, as described by the New York Times:
At the center of the controversy is an exotic but popular mortgage the Sandlers pioneered that helped generate billions of dollars of revenue at their bank. Known as an option ARM — and named “Pick-A-Pay” by World Savings — it is now seen by an array of housing analysts and regulators as the Typhoid Mary of the mortgage industry.
He made billions selling his bank to Wachovia before the housing meltdown, making him the very definition of “evil billionaire.” (Other liberal billionaires like George Soros and Tom Steyer have also supported ProPublica).
Inexplicably, five days after the ProPublica piece was posted on their website, The Arizona Republic ran it as a front page, tabloid-style story. It was a complete “cut and paste” job from ProPublica, and even though the Republic is my hometown paper, they never called me for comment.
There is something a bit surreal about walking out to your driveway and seeing yourself staring you in the eye. The nearly life-size photo on the front page caused one colleague to remark, “That’s a head shot size usually reserved for Presidents or terrorist leaders.” I’m clearly not the President.
The Republic did allow me to publish a response. However, after publishing 7,000 words attacking me, they only allowed 550 for my response. That’s ok – you can read a more full response here.
Here are a few highlights from my response in the Republic:
I firmly believe that anonymous political speech is not a danger to our nation — it has played an important role throughout our history. Anonymity in political speech protects the speaker from retribution, but it also serves a greater good: It allows the public to listen to ideas without any bias toward the messenger.
ProPublica hopes to bully CPPR and other conservative groups out of existence because we’ve been effective. Thanks to President Barack Obama’s mismanagement of the country, particularly the failure of “Obamacare,” liberals know they can’t win against us in a fair fight of issues and ideas.
Instead, the left must resort to intimidation. Their tactics include boycotts, threatening businesses, digging through divorce records to personally embarrass and hurt the families of those with whom they disagree, etc. But, before they can employ these methods, they need to know who to target. This is why they demand the disclosure of donors to conservative causes.
The Republic is my hometown paper; I’ve interacted with its staff regularly and always held them and the publication in high esteem. I was extremely disappointed by The Arizona Republic’s complete lack of journalistic integrity in this instance. The Republic made itself a willing tool of the left. That is a shame and a real disappointment to this lifelong reader.
The Founders would be appalled at this organized attack on political speech by the media (and the government). Consider this: the Federalist Papers were not only anonymously written, they were anonymously funded! Today, Madison, Jay and Hamilton would be castigated as “dark money.” Good grief!
Fundamentally, the Left’s attack on conservative speech is driven by fear. The Left knows it can’t win the hearts and minds of the American public with their nanny-state mentality, so they have to change the subject away from the content of the speech and who is doing the speaking. Therefore, they attack.
I haven’t and won’t let attacks from the Left stop me from advancing the cause. It is disappointing that they have stooped to a level that includes airing personal issues related to my divorce. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a political operative (that is, a non-public official or non-candidate for office) having their divorce records exposed in the news media.
At the end of the day, I remain resolved to continue to fight for the freedoms endowed to us by our Creator, first and foremost among those being our First Amendment freedoms.
“What was that?” My car had just made a very loud thump and I looked in the rearview mirror to see what it was. “It” was 2013 and it was lying motionless in the road behind me, the life drained out forever.
Ok, that was a little graphic, but what’s behind us, is behind us. And we move on.
However, we know that we are supposed to learn from the past so that we don’t repeat our mistakes, so it’s probably worth thinking about what we can learn from 2013.
So, what’s the big lesson learned from 2013?
It’s time for conservatives to assert ourselves and push back on the complete tripe that the Left sputters on a daily basis.
Yes, we took a beating in 2012 – with Romney losing to Obama and losing seats in the U.S. Senate. We were rocked back on our heels and needed to lick our wounds and regroup.
The conservative movement largely sat out of the biggest race of the year in 2013 – the Virginia Governor’s race – and as a result, the king of cronyism and corrupt business dealings, Terry McAuliffe, is now the Governor of Virginia.
So it’s time that we grab our bootstraps and pull ourselves up and make the arguments – from the head and from the heart – that less government involvement in our lives is a good thing.
And I know that we can win the argument. We just need to help people see what is right in front of them.
Think about it. The “Hunger Games” trilogy has been wildly successful and created two blockbuster films. The story is a manifesto against bigger government.
Same goes for “Divergent” which will be released as a major motion picture this year. We (conservatives) lament how the popular culture is working against us, but when something in popular culture makes our point, we need to celebrate it, promote it, expand on it.
The lesson of 2013? Two young girls, each in their own way, asserted themselves to shine the light of truth in a dark world. We need to follow their example.
Here’s to Katniss and Tris – true freedom fighters.
It wasn’t until Downton Abbey was into its second season that I took the time to watch the first episode. After that, it didn’t take long for me to be completely caught up, and searching for ways to get my hands on advance episodes of Season 3.
I love the show. I’m not sure I can put my finger on all the reasons why, but there is great complexity in something that at first blush may seem like a simple story.
The Left in America is schizophrenic about the Abbey. It has had high acclaim in Hollywood, winning numerous awards, but others, like the New York Times, have pilloried the show.
Worse, is this screed by Simon Schama on Daily Beast. Here is an excerpt:
Downton serves up a steaming, silvered tureen of snobbery. It’s a servile soap opera that an American public desperate for something, anything, to take its mind off the perplexities of the present seems only too happy to down in great, grateful gulps.
Yes, I know it’s perfect in its way. Nothing beats British television drama for servicing the instincts of cultural necrophilia.
In response, Jerry Bowyer writes a very thoughtful piece for Forbes entitled, Down On Downton: Why The Left Is Torching Downton Abbey. (WARNING: The Bowyer piece has spoilers if you haven’t seen the entirety of all three seasons)
One of the first things one notices, if one is a regular viewer of BBC productions, is that Downton is unusually ideologically and religiously balanced. One of the other effects one notices when one watches a lot of BBC is that one starts referring to oneself in the third rather than the first person. But one digresses…
If the viewer is expecting vintage BBC, Downton is full of surprises. This is not PG Wodehouse, with Jeeves the butler easily thinking rings around his Lord. This is not Brideshead Revisted‘s take on the upper classes, packed with alcoholic elders and simmering, repressed homosexuality amongst their offspring. It is not Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue with easy satiric shots at the hypocrisy which arises amongst the upper classes and their dysfunctional patter of religious and sexual…yes there it is again, repression.
The upper classes at Downton aren’t repressed, they’re restrained. They are not inbred, intellectually backward fools; they are intelligent and thoughtful. As a general rule they treat their servants well, care about their welfare and are generally respected by them in turn. They are, in a word, admirable. And for a period drama, that treatment is, in a word, surprising. And surprise is an essential element of compelling drama.
Films and series about Edwardian upper caste manners which portray the genteels uncharitably are boring, like the steady, unending (until one turns the switch off) hum of a fluorescent lamp. Downton Abbey is what George Gilder would call the entropic disruption to the background noise of revolt against the old world. To portray Lord and Lady Grantham as anything other than drunks, fools, hypocrites or either sexpots or sexual glaciers (or best of all, alternately both) is itself an act of cultural rebellion.
That’s arguably why the left is bashing Downton Abbey. The New York Times Art Beat column has reported that British critics are ‘torching’ Downton Abbey. Apparently Downton Abbey is snobbish, culturally necrophiliac (and if you don’t yet know what that word means, I suggest you leave it that way) and its popularity in the United States is due to the rise of the Tea Party movement and conservative opposition to the death tax. Even worse, creator Julian Fellowes is the holder of a Tory Peerage. Definitely not the right sort of people.
Having watched all three seasons, I think one of the reasons the Left hates Downton Abbey so much is that it undermines their narrative about class warfare. Lord Grantham is not a greedy overlord looking to enrich himself on the backs of the serfs. He is actually a man who is trying to maintain Downton and the village to keep people employed.
When he learns that he has lost a fortune in a bad investment, he is angst-filled about those who rely on him for work.
And that is what most business owners think about. How to stay profitable and keep people employed.
My guess is that Hollywood didn’t quite understand the nuance of what Julian Fellows was writing because they were distracted by the British accents. But I guarantee that if it had been a show about Sam Walton building and protecting his fortune, it would never have even aired.
The lesson is this: one way to fight the culture war in the U.S. is to mask it with British accents and history.