The Pathology of Conor Friedersdorf - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Pathology of Conor Friedersdorf

Leftist Atlantic writer Conor Friedersdorf is going on about talk radio again. This time (every time?) his main focus is Rush Limbaugh, although there was room for the usual Friedersdorf sideswipes at Hannity and Levin.

The gist of this complaint?

That Rush is somehow a “mass of self-contradiction” and has a lack of “intellectual integrity.”

Yada yada, and so-on and so-on.

It is, I suppose, worth mentioning again that Friedersdorf finally admitted to me some time back that in spite of what others said, he in fact was not a conservative. But instead of dissecting his latest — and since his latest is really nothing more than his usual oldest dressed up as something new — the best thing to do is just go back to one of my own older posts on Friedersdorf. Re-reading it tells me nothing has changed with him. An obsession, I guess, is an obsession. However intellectually bizarre it may be.

Here it is:

The Friedersdorf Charade
By Jeffrey Lord on 4.22.11 @ 12:51PM

One of the annoying aspects of the success of the conservative movement, that success brought to mind by the recent passing of legendary conservative founding father William Rusher, has been noted by our founder and editor in chief here at The American Spectator. Discussed in some detail in R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s book After the Hangover: The Conservatives Road to Recovery

Mr. Tyrrell notes that there is a clique inside the conservative movement — and here he quotes James Piereson, formerly of the John M. Olin Foundation — who “try to establish their bona fides by attacking other conservatives, which will make them well-liked by Liberals, which is the point.”

The latest one of these types to appear on the scene is Conor Friedersdorf over at that well-known non-conservative publication the Atlantic.

From his perch as the designated conservative in this branch of Liberal Land, Mr. Friedersdorf quite deliberately although not especially skillfully plows this thoroughly plowed ground by showcasing his ability to do precisely as Messrs. Tyrrell and Piereson have noted of others. In Friedersdorf’s case, he has decided that what will get him extra strokes from approving liberals is to go after the William F. Buckley, Jr. of today — that, of course, being Rush Limbaugh. A man Buckley himself took under his wing, featured in glowing terms on the cover of National Review and in other instances blessed as his successor and great friend, if in fact there could ever be such a figure to replace the irreplaceable Buckley.

Out of curiosity I googled Friedersdorf and discovered he has almost an obsessive penchant for this kind of thing, this being the latest to catch my attention. He has previously in quite vivid terms called Mr. Limbaugh a “race-baiter” for whom he has “contempt” and …well… yada yada yada. With all the fury of a barking poodle at an 18-wheeler (and with as much effect), on he rattles.

That he does it is his business. Clearly he fits the Tyrrell profile like a glove. But for somebody who clearly wishes to be noticed for his brains one is utterly baffled at his willingness to be taken in on all this race business, which he has used repeatedly to go after Rush. As detailed here and here, liberals have right from the very beginning of their political history in America built what one might call the House of Race and State. Race is always used to build the liberal/progressive state.

Rush Limbaugh has been absolutely fearless in taking on liberals — that is what he does, to the great good fortune of the rest of us. He believes in a color blind society — and he walks the walk. His personal friends, his charitable contributions, his show — all of them speak exactly to the idea of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. In doing this — of challenging liberals with content serious and humorous in a color blind fashion he has drawn fire from those who are mired — willingly trapped? — in the liberal House of Race and State. Purveyors of “skin color liberalism” always demanding to judge by race and not ideas. And he has paid a price in doing this — taking massive amounts of heat in challenging liberal dogma and its phoniness/hypocrisy on this issue.

Friedersdorf with his typically liberal attacks on Rush seems genuinely clueless that he has allowed himself to ask for a bed in the House of Race and State. A house firmly located on the Liberal Intellectual Plantation. Then again, in his latest broadside he winds up going after Rush because Rush is rich, a fire-bell-in-the-night sign of class warfare, the kind regularly indulged in by President Obama and company.

Thus showing his true feelings on race and redistribution of wealth (his envy of Rush’s financial success — something his listeners have long known was both late coming and hard-won — is breathtakingly obvious), Friedersdorf apparently hopes no one will get where his real political soul is, in spite of his “I’m really a conservative, don’t ya know” routine.”

The proof is in his words. I’ve read them. They are the Tyrrell point writ large. For good measure, he doesn’t like Mark Levin either. No, I’m not going to bother linking…Google away.

The real point here is that Conor Friedersdorf is not only not serious, he’s sad. This kind of stuff is by now older than dirt. This isn’t (Tyrrell again) James J. Kilpatrick dialoguing with Buckley or Russell Kirk on conservative ideas. This is “Look ma…I took a shot at Rush Limbaugh on a liberal magazine site on the Internet! And they printed it! Whoooooooo-ha! Did MSNBC call yet???”

My suggestions for Mr. Friedersdorf? One, get a life. Two, read and go learn something about race and economics. And three:

A classy person would apologize to Mr. Limbaugh. And to Mr. Levin. And then get on with getting what those things would begin to provide: a serious education in a life of principle and respect for others.

And the chances any of this will actually happen?

Naaahhhhhhhh. Never mind.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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