It’s Good To Be Bad

The other day I spotted this on the legacy website PJ Media. I expected to be a recitation of the hate thinkers they think they have “purged” from their thing. PJ Media is not as bad as many others, but it is still firmly locked into the old mindset of the “respectable Right”, which is to say they are not in business to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. They worry more about the trouble makers to their Right than they do the supposed enemies on the Left, because they never want to get in trouble with the Left.

Instead, it was something entirely different. It was a list of mostly Conservative Inc sites allegedly being targeted by social justice warriors. The gist of the piece was to assert that the poodles of Conservative Inc are now being accused of blasphemy just like the toughs over on the alt-right, because, you know, they are just as hip and cool as the bad boys over at Breitbart. It is a fine use of the associative property to claim credit for things they have spent the last two years opposing, but failed to stop. Now they want in.

It’s not just PJ Media. National Review, noticing the collapse of their traffic, has decided they better figure out a way to get in on the action. They have been holding a mock debate among themselves about the role of nationalism, even giving the Tribe the needle a little over the issue of Israel and borders. Rich Lowry is clearly trying to figure out how to get the magazine back in front of the people they pretend to be leading. He has even warmed to Trump, saying nice things about his C-PAC speech.

None of this is shocking. So-called Movement Conservatism is a zombie movement, shuffling along until someone has the decency to put it out of its misery. That does not mean the army of people who have made a living peddling it over the last few decades are going to retire. They are looking for some way to weasel their way into the new thing. They look over at the cool kids raising hell on-line, building their own thing and the old guys of Conservative Inc are naturally jealous and want to be a part of it.

This is not an easy task. Buckley Conservatism was revealed to be nothing more than the candy coating to the Progressive nut inside the prevailing orthodoxy, when they went all in on the NeverTrump nonsense. It’s not that the cool kids will not forgive them. It is that there is no point to it. These are yesterday men with nothing to offer. National Review is one of those abandoned houses in Detroit. It’s only purpose is as a reminder of past mistakes. Otherwise, it can be plowed under and not one will care.

The current relationship of this new thing on the Right to the old conservative movement is a lot like what David Horowitz described as the relationship between the New Left and the old reds from the previous generation. When the New Left got going in the 60’s and people noticed it, suddenly every old commie in the country was trying to get in on the act. They were rejected not because they were old, but because they had nothing to offer.

The Reds of the early 20th century were all about communist orthodoxy and economics. It never made it too far away from being a parlor game for middle-class intellectuals, a hobby to add some spice to their lives. The New Left wanted to smash things, flip over tables and freak out the squares. They were a cultural phenomenon with a vaguely defined political agendas. The old Left was about party discipline and rules, while the New Left was about freedom and action.

That’s why the New Left of the 60’s could not borrow from the old commies and why they could not include them in their thing. Part of what defined the New Left was its rejection of the Old Left. That’s what’s happening today. This new thing going on is a break with the conservatism of Bill Buckley and the Reagan Mystery Cult. The young guys getting banned from twitter are not interested in hearing about how Dutch gave Tip O’Neil the business. They don’t care.

That’s the one thing that the new kids have going for them. They don’t care about the tastes and sensibilities of the people defending the status quo. There’s a delight in getting tossed from social media and an energy to the alternatives. This comes from being outside the rules. There’s a counter-culture vibe to what’s happening because the alt-right, or whatever you want to call it, is a cultural movement lead by young guys with everything to gain and old men with nothing left to lose.

129 thoughts on “It’s Good To Be Bad

  1. Pingback: Which Side Are You On? | The Z Blog

  2. The most striking thing about the PJM article was the special pleading. “…there are numerous mainstream conservative (and primarily just Christian) websites also on the Mediasmith blacklist. This is the real injustice.” “Brands have started taking blacklisting to a new level, including many more conservative sites which should not be lumped in with Breitbart.””Breitbart has come under fire for publishing salacious news and taking a firmly pro-Trump slant, throughout the 2016 presidential election and beyond.”

    I dunno what that bit about “salacious news” refers to — has anyone a clue? — but the attitude seems to be that a pro-Trump site deserves shunning while GOPe sites don’t. As a pro-Trumper myself I’m finding it a bit hard to sympathize with PJMedia. Die, cuckservative scum!

  3. I have wondered since 2009 why talk radio or Fox never gave any credit to the blogoshpere, it all makes sinister sense now.

  4. Just wanted to add that PJ Media does still have some good writers. Michael Walsh is always entertaining, Roger Kimball was skeptical of Trump at first, but he’s been a strong supporter since he became the nominee, and Dr. Helen (author of Men on Strike) has done a good job of exposing the dark side of feminism and modern bias against men.

    While they are fairly middle of the road conservationism and have some questionable writers, they’re far better than National Review and their ilk.

  5. Conservative Inc. is trying to succeed by fighting with the Left over the mushy middle of the voter pool; hence their mindset and tactics. They still believe that they can talk (write) their way to victory. And consequently they have no concept of the fundamentals that underlie the problems we currently face as a society and culture. In short, as a species, we are becoming less self-reliant and less robust because the modern technological world has all-but-eliminated real existential hardship in daily life. As individuals, we are anti-evolving and growing weaker with each succeeding generation. Governments proactively encourage dependence and parasitism because it guarantees collectivism and hive behavior. The future danger is not that the Left may triumph, but that we will continue to devolve.

  6. It’s a miracle Conservatism, Inc., ran its fraud as long as it managed. Its entire purpose was to serve as an unthreatening foil for the liberal neighbors in the deep Blue enclaves it inhabited. Most will be out of business by year’s end.

  7. Heard of RSB Broadcasting? It’s a mom-and-pop Alabama operation of a few family members and a few hires and they helped get DJT elected. They live streamed the DJT rallies and then posted them to youtube. They had a reporter talk to people waiting for the candidate. People were excited and happy to talk. Ordinary Americans. Most importantly, RSB Broadcasting moved their cameras to show a packed civic center – crowd size. They were the ONLY broadcasters to “swivel” their cameras when DJT challenged all the legacy media (who weren’t allowed to film the huge crowds).

    Here is the RSB youtube of my favorite Trump rally – at Wilkes Barre, PA. It was the day after the final debate and Trump was relaxed and had mastered his talking points. My son, voting for the first time in 2016, was watching the rally live streamed and called to me to come see 2-yr old Ned held up by his dad & then go to the stage. The rally and Ned are unforgettable. EPIC..

    • The Sparta Report uses RSB when doing stories about live Trump events. They do a very good job, and cover rallies from beginning to end.

  8. Except for VDH, I view the NRO dinosaurs as incorrigible NeverTrumpers and Benedict Arnolds. I found almost no supporters for DJT on the sites I usually read. Praise goes to Roger L. Simon. I think he saw this election as many of us did – the last chance to slow down or stop our headlong rush to go over a cliff.

    For me, the unacknowledged heroes of the campaign are the young men of the new right. (There’s a few ladies too, but mostly guys. Why? It’s dangerous. Yes, threats and so forth.

    The new right is the future. Age-wise they range from 20s to late 30s Their “chairman”, a lawyer and veteran, hosted the Deploraball in Washington the night before the inaguration. (RSB video is available but isn’t very good because the club likely sandbagged their normal media setup & coordination).

    In case you didn’t know, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas had a mole inside the Antifa movement and exposed the names of antifas who planned to sabotage the Deploraball by placing heat-activated “stink” gas in the hall’s vents. The hoped-for result was pandemonium and stampeding to the exists, quite dangerous. Thanks to O”Keefe’s detective work, those tickets were revoked and the culprits reported to the FBI. Extra security was hired, but even so there were pipe-swinging antifas in the street outside the Deploraball and several of the new right attendees were attacked and hurt. Inside the event, people met face to face who had been twitter names. People took cell phone pictures with each other and celebrated. Leaders and honorary guests spoke. I watched from my home computer that night.

    The new right guys were an unpaid army who campaigned for DJT with social media tools: memes, facebook, twitter, videos, etc. They also fought off misinformation and put out wholly justified memes ridiculing the lies and tactics of DJT’s opponent. Their memes became trending until twitter interfered and “suppressed” their success. It dawned on me that Twitter is anti-freedom of speech, due to progressives running the company and special committees of feminists and snow flakes deciding what is “hate speech”.

    Naturally the new right movers and shakers weren’t invited to CPAC. One CPAC seminar was on the use of social media. This seminar ignored the actual social media whizzes of the campaign and their thousands of hours of success and with many hundreds of thousands of participants and followers..

    If the Republicans get wise, they’ll fix that next year. But of course, many of the CPACers have no idea how an army of young people strategized and conducted information operations to help get DJT elected.

    • “(There’s a few ladies too, but mostly guys. Why? It’s dangerous. Yes, threats and so forth.”

      My sister got a death threat on Facebook for posting something pro-life. She reported the abuse to Facebook, but all that happened is that the threatener deleted that particular comment. Facebook did NOT ban the threatener. Lesson: The bullies are able to do shit because, thanks to their enablers (such as Facebook, news media, Democratic officeholders), they suffer no real consequences.

  9. Agree with the sentiments here about NRO. Listening to their complaints grew tedious. My suggestion is to keep reading VDH, Fernandez and to give a try to the writers at Even there Publius went to work for Trump, there are still some good writers there.

    • American Greatness has become the intellectual locus the Trump era. National Review and similar former opinion leaders, as Zman indicated, are pathetic relics. Looking back, even in their heyday they really didn’t accomplish anything.

  10. If you’re not listening to Trump’s speech, he just declared the American People to be in rebellion against the Government Party. Excellent, just excellent.

  11. So many of the conservatives at CPAC were pretentious old men who don’t realize their rule is over. They’ve been left behind. It’s as if beeper manufacturers held an expo while giving selective invites to cell phone companies and reminding them that they are fringe despite more people at the event having phones rather than beepers.

    When they are mugged by reality, it will be too much. They will have burned any sense of friends they had on the new right and the left already hates them, regardless of how much they virtue signal.

    A new coalition is coming.

  12. The entire idea that new equals something improved or better was old 40 years ago. Its still old. In fact it was old 2100 years ago.

  13. Wretchard has been putting a lot of his best stuff on Facebook and Twitter lately. I sort of get the impression that he’s getting tired with PJM.

    Steyn seems to get fired from just about everywhere. I tend to admire that in a man, but it does make it hard to find his stuff sometimes . My advice to him would be to stop joking about being a one-man global content provider and just be one. He’s in tight with Rush Limbaugh. Maybe Steyn can get him to stake the new business.

    Go easy on Goldman. He’s still working his way through the cognitive dissonance. He gets that America has been good to the Jews, but is just starting to realize that goodness comes from Christian cake bakers and not the coastal elites, who’ve always had a strong anti-Semitic strain. And you’ve been reading his Asia Times stuff these last 17 years or so, you will have seen the paranoid side of him.

    Your essay today, Z, brings us back to something you’ve written about before: once a movement is seeing some success and is starting to grow, how do you filter and screen

    • Opportunists who will capture the movement and milk it to their advantage?

    • Agents saboteur who work for outsiders and will try to subvert the movement.

    • Careerists who just see it as a job and will bury the ideals of the movement in their memos and rule-making.

    I left off cooptation since this has so far been a leaderless movement and I’m not sure that the opposition is at the point where it sees it needs to negotiate.

    As always, interesting to read the histories of the Bolsheviks, French Revolutionaries and the early Christian Church to see how they dealt with similar circumstances.

    Thanks as always for making me think.

    • It’s always a matter of moving on for Christians. There are lots of dead cathedrals around, and busy entertainment centers, but the real thing is more rare.

      “Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born anew. The wind blows where it will, and you hear the voice thereof, but know not whence it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John. 3:7-8)

  14. “PJ Media is not as bad as many others, but it is still firmly locked into the old mindset of the “respectable Right”, which is to say they are not in business to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.”

    These days I tend to end up there mainly if Instapundit posts a link to something that might look interesting. Otherwise there’s not much reason to go there independently. (They didn’t do themselves any favors a while back when they had autoplay video ads embedded into the site; it was more than enough to ween me off going there.)

    “Rich Lowry is clearly trying to figure out how to get the magazine back in front of the people they pretend to be leading.”

    This isn’t really much of a shock; at the end if the magazine wants to stay in business they have to have some sort of audience, at least a few more eyeballs than just some donors propping the thing up. I used to read NR way back at the beginning of the century mainly for John Derbyshire and Mark Steyn. I stopped bothering at all when Derb got the ax and I don’t even bother to think about them at all after they threw Mark Steyn overboard. If they weren’t periodically mentioned or linked to it’d be like they didn’t exist at all for me.

    “They look over at the cool kids raising hell on-line, building their own thing and the old guys of Conservative Inc are naturally jealous and want to be a part of it.”

    Part of it is jealousy probably and some it is mostly likely a desire seem relevant to themselves. Nobody likes to think that their job is meaningless or that they are basically useless. Its even worse if they figure that on top of that everything they have done for the last two decades has been not just for nothing but absolutely wrong. The only way to avoid that is to try and appear relevant; without the Internet it might even have been possible for them to do but in an age when you can’t hide the stupid position you took a few months before, its not likely.

    “Buckley Conservatism was revealed to be nothing more than the candy coating to the Progressive nut inside the prevailing orthodoxy, when they went all in on the NeverTrump nonsense.”

    The mainstream Conservative movement was made to live in a political state of endless US/Soviet Condominium. I could even understand Never Trump in that type of world; but in the here and now, what was the point of it? Trump had no major political experience or connections in power politics; he should have seemed to be the perfect vehicle for the establishment to co-opt or at the very least ride into some sort of permanent position. They didn’t even try to hedge their bets!

    “There’s a counter-culture vibe to what’s happening because the alt-right, or whatever you want to call it, is a cultural movement lead by young guys with everything to gain and old men with nothing left to lose.”

    It certainly has possibilities but eventually a counter-culture has to either take over, become the culture and codify itself (which ironically sets it up down the line to be taken down by a different counterculture) or it just fades off into memory. The 1960s was an example of a counterculture successfully taking over but there were other less successful times that nobody remembers anymore. There were hippies (or if you prefer proto-hippies) wandering around the US complete with every variation of communes and free love in the 1830-1850s that came to nothing. The 1920s was another period that got drowned out by events. I think its still a bit too early to tell.

    • I’m fond of using the phrase “one of us” on Gab and twitter to indicate that some mainstream sort is, in fact, a fellow traveler.

  15. NRO web traffic is up from 10 million 6 months ago to 15 now. So as usual you alt righters are full of it. Also WTF do you have to offer? Trump is doing ok right now but if OCare isn’t gone soon he will be like a fart in a whirlwind.

    My impression of you, “these old conservatives better get on the train” of course followed by, “fuck them we don’t want them”. Without a bunch of old conservatives Trump is sitting around Trump tower, not in the white house. You think they all suddenly became alt righters? No that didn’t happen. Without a bunch of us, all this look at my cock shit wouldn’t be gong on, but that didn’t make them or me like you.

    Like we don’t know politicians haven’t fucked things up, they lie and of course you say we don’t learn. I say where are the 100 or hell or even 50 alt right congressmen? You know why they don’t exist, because you are tiny, Trump was helped by people who were fed up with the regular conservatives who didn’t do what they said they would do but if Trump doesn’t get it done, well one old dude is easy to vote out.

    I didn’t check the web traffic of PJ media, after doing NRO I assumed this was just like your earlier fantasy of Glenn Beck’s network dying and I was right.

    • “NR and guys like me put Trump in, and if we don’t like what he does, well one old guy is easy to vote out. Besides, your ‘movement’ which is less than five years old doesn’t have anyone in office, so you suck.”

      • They used to write off Geert Wilders and Marine LePen and Brexit too!!

        We just have to hang in there — and hope that Trump stays true.

    • Welcome to the discussion, Accomplice. Glad this is a place where everyone can chime in.

      You make a very good point. I often wonder iif we on the “alt-right” haven’t made our own echo chamber, imagining ourselves to be much more numerous than we really are. I know MANY people who voted for Trump not because they liked him but for the simple reason that they loathed and feared Hillary Clinton more than they loathed and feared Donald Trump. Sad but true. My 80-year-old mother actually had her mail-in absentee ballot sitting on her dining-room table for weeks, with every office voted for except one, the one at the top. She knew she was going to vote for Trump — since Hillary was not even in the realm of thinkable — but it was only after weeks of psyching herself up for it, and with many actual TEARS shed, that she finally, reluctantly, figuratively kicking and screaming, blackened the oval for Trump and sent in the ballot. To this day, every time I talk to her, she frets and fumes about Trump. She is NOT a happy camper. I often wonder how many millions of Americans she represents. We in our echo chamber imagine that Trump’s victory was a giant “f*** you” to the establishment — but maybe it was just a nationwide upchuck caused by the nauseating Hillary Clinton.

      I am absolutely crazy about Donald Trump myself — I wake up every day thinking “What new awesomeness is My President doing today?” What a change from the Obama years, when I woke up every day dreading whatever fresh hell was on its way!!! — but I agree with you that for the majority of Trump voters, who are watching hopefully but skeptically, it will all depend on results. Unfortunately, the demonic Left, including its propaganda arm otherwise known as the “mainstream” media, is doing everything possible to sabotage it all. Dangerous times. There hasn’t been such a national hissyfit over a presidential election result since 1860-61. Not a good sign.

      • The graph I posted show that NRO has been in steady decline for a while. Since we now know that big sites like the NYTimes have been using click farms to boost their traffic, it is safe to assume that all the major and mid-major sites have been playing the same game. How much real traffic they have is anyone’s guess. The posters claim of “up from 10 million to 15 million” is the sort of thing someone says who has no idea how any of this works.

        For instance, let’s assume they are generation 10 million page views per month. I generation 2 million per month so far in 2017. I don’t play any games to generate page views so it is a clean number. NRO like PJMedia tries to game the system by having readers click through teaser to get to the article. Even so, NRO is the allegedly the flagship site of their thing and they are just five times the size of a one man blogger/hobbyist? If that’s their traffic, they should consider closing down.

      • I don’t doubt that the Altright is small. It should be small. What the right lacked was a core of thinkers who believed in placing O’Sullivan’s law first. Now we have that. The result is a remarkable evolution in understandings and a growing ability to articulate them. All societies are in time, a reflection of their intellectuals. Ours had degraded tremendously over a century. What is need is not one half of the population to be right wing, but a vastly improved body of right wing intellectuals to guide it (not academic types, but Z types working real jobs inter-reacting with real people). We see that process under construction.

      • First thing, I could never have voted for Hillary. I suppose just getting home from work made me a bit angrier than usual. When I’m told “you old conservatives are done and over with”, when I know we are at least as great in number as you are, I get a bit pissed. Then I get this we put up with anything from conservatives shit from Trumpers, I get a bit more pissed. Believe this, many of us were all for shutting the government down and leaving it down to get rid of ObamaCare, wait till he gives in because sooner or later the president gets blamed and he knows that. Bill Clinton knew it too but the GOP gave in right before he was about to. Dat was back in da day and I don’t even remember what it was about.

        So far so good for Trump, I couldn’t listen to all his speech tonight but in fairness I have a hard time listening to any politician for more then a few minutes. I kept switching to American Dad and The Simpsons. He does things kinda like I’d do them, he throws a damn fit now and then, tweets shit he doesn’t mean but I don’t think anyone would vote for me LOL. As for what I saw of the speech, he waited for applause in places it wasn’t called for even if what he said was good. As for the democrats, they would have sat on their hands if he had said “In America we love children, puppies and kittens”, they were that bad.

        I don’t want anyone here to think I don’t support him in most of what he has done, I do.

      • “often wonder if the alt-right havent made our own echo chamber”…
        IMHO, yes- or getting very darn near close. All very witty here, but labeling all of PJM as equal to NRO is about as dumb as I can imagine.

    • Ocare is as good as dead anyway, since Trump has directed the IRS not to enforce the penalty.

      Today Trump signed a rule rescinding the so-called “Clean Water Rule” that the bureaucrats had promulgated to seize control over 60 percent of private lands.

      You say “if Trump doesn’t get it done, well one old dude is easy to vote out. ”

      Looks to me like the old dude is getting it done.

  16. Once old-style communism slid under the waves, old style conservatism had nothing to sustain it. What the heck does the Repiblican Party stand for?

    Trump (and to a much lesser extent, Bernie Sanders) represents the lynchpin of the overthrow of a bloated, useless orthodoxy. The orthodox minions will not go down without a fight. All of this posturing on all sides is the bluster that precedes a serious, painful restructuring of the way that people will think and interact with each other. Be a fly on the wall, take careful notes, and don’t assume anything. People and institutions will flail about and show their true colors. And keep in mind that people will do anything for a reliable payday. Your obligation is to yourself, your neighbors, and the communities that you interact with. When they go off the rails, try to pull them back. If you cannot, then quietly step away.

    We are all in this together, and few people understand that. They have been blinded by those with an agenda and a mouthpiece.

    • Dutch;

      Contra Horowitz (whom I support), Old style Communism lives on in the actual DNA off the ’60’s New Left, who are many of the outer circle 1940’s commies actual descendants. As in, Brooklyn Red Diaper Babies. At least that was my recollection from being present at a couple of upper Mid-West isolated urban Communist combat outposts at the time. I can still recall the very distinct Brooklyn accent during the protests; “It’s the Syyssteem_! Tear it Doowwn_!”.

      Actually not Good Times.

  17. Also, Conservatism Inc. remains in thrall to DR3. The Koran of DR3, Liberal Fascism, was penned by one of NR’s mullahs, a certain J. Goldberg.

  18. You will find a major reason NR, et al., have lost relevance, on Zman’s home page under the Mokita tab. Conservatism Inc. dare not approach this stuff. It’s like a vampire cowering before a mirror.

  19. At least this election has flushed out the phony conservatives. Some will change their tune like Dennis Miller ( he jumped into the game early ) and others like Glenn Beck will go down in flames.

    Now if we can just get the Millennials on board. No small feat due to leftist media brainwashing.

    Great post Zman ! spot on, keep up the good work.

  20. One of the saddest things to see is an old fool getting seduced and taken advantage of by a young woman. He usually dies broke while she is off working another old mark. Some really great old men go down this path, guys with some real accomplishments. The old right was built to fight old communism. The new right prepared itself to fight cultural Marxism when it found the old right in bed with the new left. We caught grandpa getting sucked off by some young bitch and had to come to the rescue. Now grandpa wants to go back to running his own affairs and ours, too. Sorry old man.

    • This is the tale of the Boomer Man (of which I am one). Seduced by sex, drugs, and rock and roll we were perfectly fine with the bitch sucking us off. Until she ran off with all our stuff. They still try, but Madonna shaking her flabby ass at us oldsters who’ve already seen it all just highlights the shallowness of what we have wrought. I fear not only have us old men not planted any trees, the shade of which we will never sit under, but have cut down the forest to burn in bacchanalian bonfires for our temporary enjoyment. Now I look for a way that I can “go to my fathers, in whose mighty company I shall not now feel ashamed.”

      • As a generational compatriot, I recommend taking your grandchildren – or someone else’s- to the range and teaching them to shoot, go hunting, get outdoors and fishing, etc. no need for shame or guilt- the past is gone, look to the future of your children. Youngsters who learned nothing but envy and gibsmedats from their parents don’t deserve your shame or guilt- they are not your progeny.

  21. In the early days of the Obama admin, PJ Media was a daily stop for Richard Fernandez and VDH. Their commenters were as insightful and thought-provoking,particularly Subotai Bahadur. When PJ did their site revamp,when,2-3 yrs ago,they not only canned many good columnists,they changed the comment section,poorly, Now one must wade thru flotsam and dreck to find the occasional pearl.Whoever thought the revamp was a good idea should be tied to a chair and forced to listen to an endless loop of Jen Psaki State Dept “briefings”. Wretchard,VDH, and Subotai should join forces on their own site.

    • PJM now even occasionally publishes those execrable articles in the form of “12 Best Somethings of Controversy X You Must Read.” And it’s 12 separate pages of something that could easily fit on one. Because page clicks.

    • I am certain Subotai will hear of your comment before noon. I’ve known Subotai for many years, at several sites, even before the birth of the evil Disqus monster. These days he appears more often at The Chicaago Boyz, When Disqus first appeared and incorporated Belmont Club and other sites, Subotai warned of disaster and suggested Richard ought to continue as a stand-alone site. Like Enoch Powell, Subotai was right.

      • One good thing about Disqus is that you can “follow” specific commenters. I’ve got Subotai on my list, so every day when my Disqus digest comes in the email, I check to see if he’s made a comment somewhere and go read the thread. I see him more at Instapundit now, but I will check out the Chicaago Boyz. I notice he almost never goes to PJM anymore, and even has drifted away from Belmont Club, although he does still comment there from time to time. Feels almost like for old times’ sake rather than because it’s a stimulating forum now.

        • Count me as another fan of Subotai, as I have fond memories of the wonderful commentariat back before PJ Media screwed it all up. I also remain a fan of Richard Fernandez- but aside from Instapundit I can’t get any PJ Media site to load in my browser of choice without manually enabling a swarm of javscripts, which ain’t happening. I still occasionally read some of them on my phone, which isn’t quite the same.

          PJ Media has trained me not to bother attempting to consume their product when I have the most time to do so, which seems rather counterproductive to me.

          Shrug. Somehow, I manage to get by, as there plenty of other sites out there to read and or comment at.

          Such as this one. Thanks again, Zman.

          • There are some other good commenters at Belmont Club, such as Eggplant, RWE, and Walt Erickson. But when PJM went over to Disqus the comment sections got bloated with meaningless drivel.

            I was unaware of the follow feature on Disqus, I will check it out.

      • Thanks,Rurik,and Dr Mabuse,appreciate the light in the tunnel. Thanks to our Z-host,in spades,for being Z.

    • It lost me when they added the “Parenting” section, which is nothing but endless narcissistic whining by “conservative” women relating almost exclusively to, of course, their sons. KMN.

  22. Funny thing happened over at The articles took a decidedly left-turn over the past year. I think part of it was an intentional reaction to Trump, and partly an unintentional consequence of some of the more talented libertarian writers moving on to other gigs.

    The commetariat protested vigorously at first as many, like me, are libertarian leaning conservatives (or conservative leaning libertarians?). Then eventually many of the regulars went off and made their own alternative site.

    As of right now, the morning links at Reason has 64 comments versus 265 at

  23. Personally, conservative inc are betrayers of the worst kind. They commit treason of the spirit of conserving what this Republic is founded on. Cunning carpetbaggers of the worst kind.

  24. Just get the OldCons’ (Conservative Inc.)notes and rolodexes then kick ’em to the curb. They only got us here and not in a good way.

    • What fresh Hell is this?? Why is the Right Establishment so afraid of Steyn?? Is he just too darned witty for them to understand?

        • They refunded me promptly for the entire year when I called. The customer service guy sounded like this has been happening a lot.

          I’d love to know what happened. That beautiful set in rural New Hampshire must have been very expensive, and it’s location means it can’t just be repurposed.

      • Most likely continued litigation threats from climate fraud Mann. Steyn’s preferred legal defense has always been to continue calling Mann a fraud. CRTV just like NR doesn’t have deep pockets, and they tend to be pussies.

        • The guy behind CRTV is supposed to be a billionaire. Check out the Salon article Mark links to at steynonline.

      • Sounds like Levin wanted to be the biggest fish in his own little pond. Screw him. Glad I didn’t get around to signing up yet.

  25. Young men with everything to gain…?
    Uh oh, better disarm them from every available tool that even MIGHT be at their disposal.
    Let’s start with their secret private meeting places called bathrooms.
    Let’s start in MANDATORY, pre-school, “free”, all day day care.
    Or at LEAST mandatory “public” kindergarten.

  26. PJM has gone down the toilet. Walsh is the only one who veers toward reality. The rest are hand-wringing neo-cons, charity cases, pop culture click mongers, and worst of all, the ever increasing platoon of middle aged, pearl clutching scolds tsking tsking anyone who will listen to their post modern suffrage. Unfortunate that Instapundit allows so many links from there to his website. IP has become a life raft to several PJM contributors drowning in a sea of irrelevancy.

    This latest article by the David Goldman might be one of the most insane things I have ever read. The man has clearly lost his mind.

    • Agreed. The site itself is unreadable due to popups, embedded advertisements, and multi-page articles. A horrible site with irrelevant writers. Sad!

      • I use Ad-Blocker and Ghostery and view a clean page. I like Roger L. Simon, who was one of the first to break ranks and come out for Donald Trump, giving his good solid reasons for doing so.

    • I just most of it, but quit as it was a meandering rant about Russians, Nazis and probably by the end, little green men from space.

    • you forgot to mention how hacky and boring pjmedia is. even Wretchard has succumbed to their banality (plus he just doesn’t get America or Trump).

  27. The funny thing about NR was their decision to purge the only people worth reading on their entire hopeless webzine: their loyal commenters/readers. Their tendency, just like the rest of the Official Government Party, is to banish people.

    The decline and fall of Conservative Inc. parallels exactly with the decline and fall of our two-party system. One party /two party rule, bipartisan fusion party, call it what you want. I prefer Official Government Party. The State party. We’re seeing it in full force in D.C. since Trump’s nomination and subsequent election. Conservative Inc. Media has simply jumped on that State Party bandwagon. Actually, they were always on it. It’s just now they make no attempt to conceal it.

    Just like the GOP is out of excuses, and their fraud is now fully apparent, so is Conservative Inc. Media. What’s going to be interesting is who picks up the pieces? The number of people looking for something new is not small.

      • ”The key metric is the age. My bet is the real age is closer to 70”.
        I don’t doubt it, probably the median age of it’s readers is 60-65. And while they are now a ”non-profit” (with the miracle of profit becomes impossible) the mag/site is likely having trouble attracting ‘legit’ advertisers.
        I’d heard recently Rush was re-signed to a new contract, but this time the value was not disclosed (as in, most likely, less money). He and NR have always been intertwined which means if NR declines, he’ll be affected too.
        They both have ”Johnny Carson Syndrome” with the audience getting older alongside the talent and advertisers don’t like that. Like with Carson post-’85 it isn’t the audience size that matters, it’s the audience average age. Between ‘brand loyalty’ and declining disposable income, plus their eagerness to purchase is lower, because they’ve had a lifetime of buying stuff already.

        • Buckley always lamented the fact that the magazine never made money. He talked about it quite a bit. About ten years ago he said it had lost about half a million every year of its existence. That’s before donors coming in to fill the gaps. Buckley was a rich man as well. His estate was close to $100 million, mostly due to property.

          These magazines exist because rich guys underwrite them. They would never survive as standalone businesses. Commentary Magazine, for example, has a third of the readers of NR, but manages to pay John Podhoretz $400K per year. Rich guys use these publications to influence public opinion.

          • It’s all bought and paid for. It got to the point at NR where you could more-or-less predict who (or what organization/lobby) was paying for the columns. Doesn’t bother me that people pay to get their point of view “out there”, but pretending they weren’t bothered me quite a lot.

          • I’ve always suspected that someone was paying Williamson for those unhinged Trump rants. Payola is not new in conservative media. The Wilks brothers bought Ben Shapiro. They bought Erick Erickson. My bet is they paid Williamson for those rants.

          • The Williamson collapse was always a head-scratcher. A man with a humble background who looks like he stil lives in a Frigidaire box shitting on middle Americans?

            It seemed like somebody got to him.

          • “Rich guys use these publications to influence public opinion.”

            Which is likely the reason for NR’s change from Disqus comments to Facebook. Had the rich guys spent any time reading the Disqus comments, they would have seen NR provoking opinions absolutely contrary to what the writers were pushing. I’m pretty sure the donors were having dark thoughts about what they were getting for their money.

          • $100M? Where’d you get that? Brimelow says Buckley’s father blew the fortune, iirc, and Buckley leeched off NR. which was of course a donation sink. Google “Buckley” for more on this.

      • Their traffic is way down since September when it briefly bumped up. My bet is people started checking back in during the general election, and then tuned out once they saw the product. My recollection is that their traffic fell off a cliff in July and early August after the Fakebook conversion. This one has them down 32% YoY. Wowzers.

  28. A few days ago I clicked on link to a piece on NRO and was greeted by a pop-up that offered me a free year of the digital edition if I’d only give them my email address. Shocked and horrified, I quickly backed out, as if I’d accidentally landed on a gay porn site or the Huffington Post. I never did read that story.

    They’ve lost me, and I want nothing to do with them. The only thing I can stand is an occasional visit when someone else links to them which invariably remind me why I stopped paying attention to them. Today, when I clicked through to read that piece about their pretend nationalism debate, I was rewarded by a sidebar link to a photo essay about academy award fashion.

    Yep. Geopolitics and fashion, on today’s National Review, because wtf.

    Look here, dummies. You presumably want to be a serious publication, discussing issues that matter. You had an entire issue devoted to attacking Donald Trump, and plainly pine for the days when William F. Buckley got to pick who was a conservative and who wasn’t.

    Photo essays about fashion aren’t helping your cause. But it’s worse, because I know damned well that you fired people who WERE discussing issues that matter, because they deviated from the bootlicking orthodoxy demanded of you by your leftist masters. Ann Coulter, John Derbyshire, Mark Stein- probably more I don’t know about, all chased out because of their badthink.

    That’s not how a serious publication would have reacted. A serious publication- devoted to discussing ideas of importance- would have kept them around, and invited people who disagreed to respond. The resulting controversies likely would have sold magazines, attracted traffic to your site, and perhaps even moved the national discourse forward. Later, when Donald Trump emerged, instead of publishing a hit-piece issue demonstrating your own impotence, you could have had a real impact on the presidential race.

    Instead, now, you’re offering free subscriptions and talking about fashion. That’s what failure looks like, in my view. But that’s the path you’re chosen, so good luck with all that.

    • I go there to read Victor Davis Hanson, then leave. Once they toss him out like every other decent writer there, I’ll be done.

      • Same here. VDH is a national treasure. Didn’t Dalrymple used to be at NR? Is he still there? Also: I didn’t know Ann Coulter had ever been there. Is that correct? If so, she must have been there long before my time. I do remember when Derbyshire and Steyn got kicked out. Shame!

        • Coulter got fired around 2001 for having the balls to suggest that a Middle East war is unwinnable unless we invade their countries and convert everybody to Christianity. You can still read the column today, and Lowry’s rationale if you google L’affaire Coulter.

        • Steyn wasn’t kicked, he walked in disgust at NR’s legal team..

          McCarthy has his faults, but is often worth reading.

          Brimelow is of course a National Review alumni. From that era, O’Sullivan is now rare but generally worthwhile.

          The comment threads took a step down technically, from a not very high place, when they transitioned from Disqus to Fakebook, but at least that disposed of the “Forum Defense Team” sharia enforcement squad. But at least Disqus would preserve your deleted comments on its site. I’m not getting mass deletions by Fakebook or the Fakebook-enabled, but I’m pretty sure some of what I’ve written has disappeared without a trace.

    • “Geopolitics and fashion, on today’s National Review, because wtf.”

      This Simple Trick Can Make Your NR Cruise Feel Like A Hollywood Premiere

    • Firing its best thinkers is a National Review tradition which goes back to William F. himself – Joe Sobran, Pat Buchanan, John O’Sullivan, and many other names from the mid 1960s onward. He kept such “thinkers as Michael Kinsley, Ira Glasser, Leonard Bottstein, and various other ACLU and NPR clones. Buckley wanted to be anointed as a secular pope.

      • Anonymous Conservative posted about the real buckley, with quoted passages from the younger Buckley’s memoirs. papa was a first class ahole and more than a little sociopathic.

      • Buckley never stood athwart history yelling STOP. Buckley sat in the club car asking “”Say, can’t we slow down a little so my friends can get on board?”

  29. I haven’t been able to endure leafing through NR for quite a while. I still go through PJ for Fernandez, and to get lucky. But I enjoy the comment section, especially after one of the Cons is done pissing down his leg, because it’s brutal there. Bless the commentariat.

    • There’s a lot to pick and choose from at PJ, and they’re all high-quality writers, even the ones I don’t agree with. I check in there pretty regularly, maybe once a week. (As opposed to Zman and Ace of Spades, which are daily necessities!) And yes, the comment threads at PJ are awesome. (Speaking of Ace, I’m guessing most folks here don’t approve? But Andrew Breitbart was a huge fan, especially of the comment threads, as am I.)

  30. But is conservative inc even able to figure out their betrayals is what led to creating Alt-Right? If they are going to party with Alt-Right they will have to, it is the only way they can even understand Alt-Right is to first understand themselves. That takes a lot of balls. They ain’t called cuckservatives for nothing.
    Alt-right is in a state of constant evolution, it’s open source, it’s insurgent. There are some seeming conflicting elements in it. No body can pin it down, not even the guys who know more about it and lead the way in writing. It’s more an enigma than a so called movement. It’s basically a new born babe. Everyone is trying to figure out what it is. Like Liberty, it exists, everyone has their own insights opinions and modes of living it, but can there really be a fully adequate holistic definition? It’s as much a context and situation thing as it’s other elements.

    An interesting aspect of Alt-Right and liberty, the enemies of both understand what each is.

    • Doug, you’re right about there being “conflicting elements” in the alt-right. I consider myself alt-right, but I have zero tolerance for genuine anti-semitism (as opposed to honest discussion of certain villains who happen to be Jewish, such as Soros) and genuine racism (as opposed to simply acknowledging the reality of racial and cultural differences). To my dismay, some stuff on some of my otherwise favorite sites, does cross the line, in my opinion, into genuine anti-semitism and genuine racism. I’m also a Christian, and the alt-right includes some pretty hardcore haters of religion in general and Christianity in particular.

      Fortunately, having a man we can all agree on in the White House makes our internecine differences easier to live with.

      • I think you need to live and let live. This whole idea that being a “racist” is a capital crime is only virtue signaling. Too many people buy into it and because you’re buying into it that’s how they pressure you to shut up.

        As long as people don’t visit violence upon anybody, people should be able to think what they want.

        I’m not aware of any hatred of Christianity in the Alt-Right.

        • Nothing in Kathy’s comment can be interpreted as vulnerability to being called an anti-semite or racist. But if you can read the comment threads at, say, takimag or unz without being aware of the presence of nutjobs then you are a nutjob yourself. The question isn’t whether people are able to think what they want. The question is whether people who want to think, e.g., that the world is run by the Elders of Zion are to be treated as if expressions of their insane beliefs are normal. Or, e.g., don’t tell me that Spencer eliciting “Roman” salutes from his followers was a plus.

  31. Excellent read. Love it, love it, love it. I’m 54 and Reagan and Buckley were my Dad’s conservative heroes. For a long time I thought my Dad was the smartest man on the planet when it came to understanding politics and the consequences of elections. Boy was I wet behind the ears. He passed in 2004 thinking W was a fair representation of conservatism. My dad was apparently not as deep as I would have believed a “Firing Line” viewer might be. Big words thrown around that I couldn’t keep up with, very impressive I thought at the time. I don’t have any heroes but I do despise quite a few people and I’ve seen the cesspool that Washington has become for my entire adult life. I hope Trump can break down the Federal leviathan over the next 8 years and show Pence how to continue the dismantling for another 8 years and then we’ll have a chance.

  32. Boomers are clogging up the career pipe because they won’t retire due to divorce number 3. Young guys can’t get traction. It is rife in the public service. That’s what is happening in the conservative news business. Move on old men – you had your chance and you sold us out.

    • “Boomers are clogging up the career pipe because they won’t retire due to divorce number 3. Young guys can’t get traction.”

      That’s an excellent observation too. I might expand on that idea in a blog post on my own, if I may.

    • I don’t accept this philosophy; Boomers need to retire to make way for the youth. Aside from a government leech position, in (more than not) free markets if you have something of value to offer you will get hired. Colleges are turning out many who have little talent or skills due to government funding of anyone oppressed and misdirecting curriculum into worthless studies.

      In the past 10 years and for the next five my company has and will see many highly talented Boomers retire to the detriment of better production and engineering (we are an old brick and mortar company that bends and welds steel into multimillion dollar “fit for purpose” machinery in the USA). It’s hard to find good candidates with a decent work ethic and skills who wants to stay and slug out a career rather than hopscotch into management higher levels having not really learned the hazards from lack of experience.

      In a more true free market there is plenty of room for someone who has talents and skills. My view of the Boombers retiring is that there will be an increase of flawed (or lower quality) product going out to market that will cost my company warranty money, but also our customers down time and increased cost of maintnence, because we lack the experience one can only acquire from years and years of trials aquired from project execution under the wing of the experienced (or from learning through mistakes).

      A boomer retirement will cost us all plenty. They are not in the way, they are the light bearers and when they retire without passing on their experience through mentored guidance we will bump into plenty of hazards that will cost dearly. The pace of progress will be less than what it would have been otherwise and we will all be less prosperous as a result.

      • It’s hard to find good candidates with a decent work ethic and skills who wants to stay and slug out a career rather than hopscotch into management higher levels having not really learned the hazards from lack of experience.

        I’d agree with that too: but I found as a young engineer there was no career path that interested me in the slightest. I looked at the guys in their 40s and saw they were doing much the same as me on slightly more pay, and I was expected to knuckle down for two decades so I could become just like them. No thanks.

        Half the problem is employers either can’t or won’t get rid of useless people, and eventually they forget how to distinguish the good ones from the dead wood. “Experience” is far too often equated with “time served” and “experience” is placed higher than competence.

        • Another “participation trophy winner” Sounds like he wants to be Project Manager with only a year of experience… Get into the back of the bus and shut up, learn to listen instead of flapping your gums. Why did you get into engineering anyway?

          • Yeah, that was pretty much the advice I got at the time, mainly from those who were old, fat, useless, and incapable of getting a job somewhere else. Fortunately I ignored it, and listened to those who had something intelligent to say.

      • No kidding. Happen to be running a turnaround in a division of a global firm that got itself in deep doo doo in the US market. Have lots of reasonably smart kids running around the place, but most have no visualization of what a successful operation looks like. I’m relying on a handful of similar “old timers” that have 30 years in the industry to keep everyone focused on what matters and bring that wealth of “what’s worked” experience to the table. Left alone the kids would all be ruthlessly busy, but ginning themselves in a pointless circle. Have to hand it to them on one part…they can generate endless email, powerpoints, excel models…but can’t pick out what matters and make a fucking decision. See a parallel on the left with their rabid cat approach to Trump. My Facebook feed is clogged with expressions of outrage, insipid memes, daily profile picture changes featuring endless variants of Trump combined with Nazi symbology and invitations to marches of outrage. But don’t see much of substance being accomplished (but that is ok by me)

        • I think it is unfair to lay the blame completely on these young people, given they have grown up watching their parents getting laid off, or losing pay and benefits, while the CEOs continue to receive healthy salary and benefit packages, even after a company fails. What have these corporations, and the senior managers taught these young people? That they are only valuable to the company if the next quarterly results are met.

          Corporations are not spending money to train young people anymore because they know it’s a wasted investment. At the same time, they fail to mentor them to ensure the engineering sages nearing retirement have passed on their secrets and skills. The result is companies keep re-inventing the wheel because they can’t (or won’t) keep qualified people and the new ones they do hire don’t know what they don’t know.

      • The world of political commentary is somewhat different, an inexperienced fresh eye is much more likely to be appropriately horrified by the Leper with the Most Fingers contest that constitutes the GOP leadership contests than well used hardened whores like Little Willy Kristol.

      • considering that the money that an ‘old experienced engineer’ can make is barely enough to pay rent and car for a single man, why blow 20 years in a dead end?

        You want hot new talent, you make sure that your old fogeys are getting golden seat cushions that they can look forward to.

        I understand that the market is not there to support it, but maybe in the future it will be… I just hope for your sake all the old fogeys are not gone before it happens.
        Blame the neocons that sold America out to the Chinese. Blame your fellow business owners that chose 15 dollar disposable chairs from Taiwan for their employees rather than spending 400 bucks on a quality product. It was a vicious cycle, one which the boomers fully supported.

    • Young Guys can’t get traction due to Diversity; And because they’re guys. Diversity is due to Clintonista Elite Boomer 2nd Wave Feminists intimidating the boards of public companies into adding Power Skirts(TM) (just love the bon mot Z Man). Power Skirts got added to places where Sr Management at the time thought they couldn’t screw up them making this years’ bonus, i.e. HR, Marketing & Planning. Power Skirt planning slowed down growth, hence opportunities for new staff and promotion. Power Skirt HR ensured that any promotions featured diversity first. Diversity promotions reinforce the low growth cycle, etc., etc.

      Soon enough the numbers don’t come so the stock price bonuses don’t come so Diversity becomes a bonus factor, etc., etc. Soon enough the Diversity promoted new Sr Management only knows how to sell to the State, which requires Diversity (+ NGO laundered bribery) to get the State’s business, etc., etc.

      Is this a sufficient explanation_? No, but it is a necessary one (for one thing it leaves out Wall St). And I feel better for having gotten it off my chest 🙂

      • There has been an on-going push from all sides to increase women in engineering and technical positions. The argument is they are “under represented in the workforce”. Never mind men are under represented in female dominated areas like nursing, teaching and social work. It’s the left’s (and corporations) never ending attempt to force square pegs in round holes. They fail to recognize men and women have natural talents that makes them better at different things (e.g. natural diversity).

        But if men fail to accept this, they are chauvinistic pigs. And if women fail to embrace it, they are considered to be of no economic value to society. Never mind that stay at home mothers more often than not raise healthy, well adjusted children who don’t become a burden to society. No, they’d rather have mothers in the workforce and their children in day care. The DDR did exactly this and one need only look to see how that worked out.

        “Women are the most underutilized economic asset in our societies.” – Angel Gurría Secretary-General, OECD

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