Friday, March 24, 2006

The self-rejuvenating conservative

The right's defense of itself and President Bush's lapses in conservative faith increasingly has taken on the tone of Florence King's "Southern Ladies and Gentlemen."

Not having a copy handy, I rely on these notes from
King introduced the term "self-rejuvenating virgin." The self-rejuvenating virgin could have sex with a man and still consider herself "pure" because certain types of sexual activity "didn't count." For instance, "it" didn't count because "I was drunk." Or "I kept both feet on the floor." Or "it happened in New York."
The president's fans must also be fans of Florence King. This president can have sex with an intern or break the law and still remain pure.

The last couple of days the liberal blogosphere has been busily deconstructing the Washington Post's choice of Ben Domenech of, the Republican blogger (and apparent serial plagiarist) hired by to write for its new "Red America" blog. His tenure has already ended. He just resigned.

Some of the comments posted about Domenech have been personal and nasty, and that does not reflect well on the left. In a "nasty posts" contest, both sides come out looking bad.

Playing defense as it has had to lately, conservative America has shown it will defend almost any behavior perpetrated in the cause, however it's defined. But faced with side-by-side passages Domenech "borrowed," even conservative bloggers could no longer defend him. And that makes this incident unusual. The facts actually broke through. Ordinarily, as others have observed, conservatism never fails. It cannot fail. It will not fail.

When an avowed conservative commits a crime, or worse breaks ranks with fellow conservatives, it doesn't count against conservatism. It merely outs the culprit as not a true conservative. As one of the sharper Freerepublic posters observed:
"the problem with this sort of approach is that you have dismiss the opinions of ever larger numbers of thoughtful conservative commentators; if they are elected they are RINOs, if unelected, 'who do they represent?', if current members of government they are said to be 'disloyal', if they have left government service they are attacked as 'traitors', and so on."
Thus, conservatives will soon dismiss Mr. Domenech as a closet liberal.


Rereading Michelle Malkin's piece on Domenech, there was this:
It is one thing to paraphrase basic facts from a wire story. But to filch the original thoughts and distinctly crafted phrases of a writer without crediting him/her--and doing so repeatedly--is unacceptable in our business.
As someone who has worked in daily journalism for 14 years, I have a lot of experience related to this horrible situation: I've had my work plagiarized by shameless word and idea thieves many times over the years. I've also been baselessly accused of plagiarism by some of the same leftists now attacking Ben.
Right. Spin, lying and distortion is just good advocacy journalism. But stooping to stealing others' property? Nothing makes "property rights" conservatives madder.

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