Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Here’s the good news.
It’s 2017 and Republicans control the White House, the Senate, the House and more statewide offices than you can shake a big bundle of fake news papers at. And, potentially soon, a Supreme Court that takes its guidelines from the Constitution not Das Kapital and the National Social Justice Party.
Here’s the bad news, Republicans are still Republicans.
Whether it’s Flynn, Bannon, Gorka, Kushner, Clarke, they are all too eager to fall for the latest left-wing scandal. The media throws some chum in the water and watches the bloody fun as Republicans go after Republicans. Scandals are manufactured and strategically aimed to divide and conquer Republicans.
But the real target is the conservative agenda. Bogging down the White House in scandals keeps it from dismantling more of Obama’s regulations and orders. Every milligram of oxygen that foolish conservatives give the left’s narratives is a milligram taken from the lungs of the conservative agenda.
At the National Review, Jim Geraghty, who has loathed Trump since Day 1, seizes on the latest scandal targeting Jared Kushner. In recent days, the National Review has run four pieces on the fake scandal.
That’s an odd preoccupation for a conservative publication that ought to be more concerned with conservative policy priorities than parsing the shibboleths that the left is firing at President Trump.
But the National Review occupies a peculiar space between the Never Trumpers who have found cushy jobs on MSNBC and at the New York Times and mainstream conservative support for President Trump. It isn’t ready to leave the movement, but instead it insists on echoing media criticisms in a softer tone.
The Review takes the tone that it’s just asking questions. Those questions just happen to be the same ones that the media keeps on asking. If the mainstream media reads like an angry partisan blog, then the National Review sounds the way that the media used to when it was just biased instead of fake.
It just so happens that the Review is full of innumerable stories and posts about every media scandal. And its preferred pose is innocence. Like the rest of the media, it’s just asking questions.
What’s the big deal?
“What I don’t get is any reflexive defense of … Jared Kushner. Trump earned your vote, and presumably, some amount of trust. What did Kushner ever do for you?” Geraghty protests.
Presumably. In Geraghty’s world, winning the votes of conservatives, shouldn’t necessarily earn trust.
Conservatives though understand it’s not about “loyalty” to Kusher, Flynn, Gorka, Flynn, Clarke or even Trump. Instead it’s about loyalty to a conservative agenda. All politicians and political appointees are flawed. The left wins by using Alinsky’s Rule 4. Conservatives lose by falling into the trap of Rule 4.
“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
The left doesn’t care about any supposed back channel to Russia. This is the radical movement whose great leader was caught on the microphone assuring Putin’s bag man that he would have more “flexibility” after the election. Obama didn’t just have back channels to Russia, he had back channels to Iran and Hamas.
It’s about destroying the conservative agenda.
Anyone who thinks that the left has problems with them because of anything they did or said has forgotten that NKVD boss Beria’s “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” is the premise of his fellow leftists’ “resistance” to democracy.
And that, as no less a lawyer than Alan Dershowitz has said, is the kind of case we’re dealing with here.
It’s a swamp of innuendo based on anonymous sources, investigations fed by illegal eavesdropping, scandals in which the outrage comes before the evidence whose purpose is to overturn an election.
Passing the conservative agenda requires that most elusive of qualities, conservative solidarity. That means realizing that it’s not about loyalty to Kushner or even Trump. It’s about not letting the left drag the conservative agenda off the road and into its putrid swamp of lies and manufactured scandals.
Lately the National Review seems far more interested in conservative scandals than left-wing ones. There are few mentions of what Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Tom Perez and the likely 2020 contenders are up to. There has been nothing this month at the Review on Cory Booker, nothing direct on Biden and glancing passes at Elizabeth Warren. But Republicans are more fun to attack.
“The only time Republicans show an appetite for blood is when they are fighting each other,” David Horowitz has said.
And that is exactly what is happening here. Republicans are more eager to investigate each other than Hillary Clinton’s crimes or Barack Obama’s shocking spying on his conservative political opponents.
But it’s safer to fight other Republicans. No one will call you a racist. The media might even praise you.
Never Trump Republicans think that the media hates Trump. It doesn’t hate Trump. It hates them. Republicans have varied reactions to Trump. Leftists have only one reaction to anyone to the right of them. It’s the same reaction you get if you send an ISIS member into Temple Beth Shalom.
The leftist faction lecturing Republicans about decency, national security and the rule of laws punches political opponents in the face, creates back channels to Islamic terrorists in Iran, smuggles billions to fund their terror, and sends the IRS after political opponents. Is their moral authority worth anything?
No conservative agenda will ever be passed without conservative solidarity. Until the left gets the message that it will never overturn the results of this last election, it will keep trying. Conservatives can squash this fascist fantasy only by making it clear that there will never be an impeachment and that they will respond to investigations the way that Rep. Elijah Cummings did to the investigation of Benghazi.
The left can’t stop a conservative agenda. Only the lack of conservative solidarity can do that.
As David Horowitz pointed out in Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America, Republicans lack the will to fight the left on its own terms, because they fail to understand what drives the left.
The media drives the left’s narratives in the name of fulfilling its agenda. A conservative media ought to drive conservative narratives instead of regurgitating the agendas and ambitions of the mainstream media.
When the National Review echoes the left’s political narratives, it achieves the left’s political agendas.