Pious conservative blogger and innocent Matt Lewis tries to pretend he’s above the fray in a new post in which he creates moral equivalence between lefty JournOlist Matthew Yglesias and RightWingNews’ John Hawkins. But far from demonstrating moral equivalence, Lewis instead shows himself to politically weak-kneed and undependable in political combat.
Lewis objects to Yglesias’s advocacy of lying for political purposes. “Fighting dishonesty with dishonesty is sometimes the right thing for advocates to do, yes,” Yglesias twittered recently.
Lewis is right, of course. Lying for political purposes is wrong. But Lewis errs by equating Yglesias’s unscrupulous position with John Hawkins’ publication (at RightWingNews) of the “25 Worst Figures in American History.”
Lewis objects because Hawkins’ list doesn’t include gangsters, serial killers and mass murders; it includes only political figures. “Too many partisans (or ideologues may be a more accurate term),” Lewis writes,
view their political opponents as actually being more dangerous than serial killers. And thus, in order to beat the bad guys (who, after all, are worse than Manson), they believe lying is justified. . . .
This is certainly true of the Left, which does, indeed, reserve to itself the right to lie, cheat and smear to get ahead politically. Indeed, Yglesias admits this; and JournOlists do this routinely, as we’ve reported here at NewsReal Blog. However, this is certainly not true of Hawkins and other conservative journalists and bloggers.
Hawkins’ list, after all, was compiled by 43 politically-minded bloggers, all of a conservative bent. They surely thought (as did I when I first heard of the list) that it was intended to include political figures, and not gangsters, serial killers and mass murders. Otherwise, as Ed Morrissey points out, “such a list would quickly become a descending-order body count for America serial killers, and would be entirely useless and inane.”
Yet the pious and innocent Lewis feigns shock and outrage over Hawkins’ list. Morrissey’s objection, he says, “is sophistry.” Hawkins’ list, after all,
was not titled “the worst political leaders,” but rather “the worst figures” in American history, and thus, the results seem to betray what we already know to be true: Too many political bloggers view their political opponents as being worse than serial killers.
Oh, brother! Is Lewis that obtuse? I don’t think so. I think he’s trying to suck up to the reigning liberal elite. He’s saying, in effect:
See! I’m not like those big bad, fire-breathing right-wingers. I don’t bite! I’m a good, kind and docile ‘mainstream’ conservative! Can’t I please be a member of your club?!
Like Patton, I’m tempted (figuratively speaking) to slap these conservatives and say: “Pull yourself together, Man! Have a little decency and self-respect! Get your head in the game, because the fight ahead will be long and difficult.”
Conservatives shouldn’t worry about what the liberal elites think. They should worry simply about doing the right — and Right — thing. By trying to stay above the fray, Lewis doesn’t demonstrate his virtue or innocence. Instead, he demonstrates that he’s AWOL from the fight and thus can’t be depended upon to help defeat the Left.
You can follow John Guardiano on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano