Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    I did not want to write about Kevin Williamson … but

    I did not want to write about Kevin Williamson … but

    then I remembered “The Flight 93 Election”

    I didn’t want to write about Kevin Williamson. I even emailed Kemberlee and Mary earlier this evening and told them I “don’t feel like writing about Kevin Williamson.”

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you must not be on Twitter. Consider yourself lucky. Twitter is a pus pocket.

    The short version of the story is that The Atlantic hired Williamson away from National Review to provide diversity of opinion to The Atlantic’s liberal audience. The reaction was pretty much like the reaction to the NY Times hiring Bret Stephens — an avalanche of recriminations and threats to cancel subscriptions.

    Williamson was a particularly sharp instrument pushing against the liberal bubble because he’s anti-abortion. Very anti-abortion. So anti-abortion that he considers it murder, and that the perpetrators should be treated as murderers are treated in the judicial system.

    While he’s not a big capital punishment fan, in a Ricochet podcast dug up by Media Matters, he reiterated that the same punishments applicable to murderers should be applied to those who kill the unborn, including the death penalty. He half-joked that he’s a fan of hanging. (It’s worth noting that punishing a woman who has an abortion is NOT the view of the pro-life movement, which considers women who have abortions also to be victims.)

    Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief of The Atlantic hired Williamson knowing, at least in a general way, of his views on abortion. But the outcry was so sustained, that Goldberg capitulated to the social media mob, and fired Williamson.

    It’s absolutely true that the firing was, as David French writes at National Review, cowardly. It’s also true that Ta-Nehisi Coates And Jessica Valenti ProveThe Atlantic’sHypocrisy On Kevin Williamson, as Warren Henry writes at The Federalist. And there are many other good takes out there.

    My feeling as I watched this unfold on Twitter was that while The Atlantic certainly has the right to hire and fire people based on their views, the people seeking to get Williamson fired are the type of people who cannot be reasoned with. They need to be defeated.

    But still, I wasn’t going to write about Kevin Williamson. My take was just not hot enough.

    Then I saw a tweet that changed my mind.

    On the Williamson firing. Read this from 2016.

    The Flight 93 Election

    You remember The Flight 93 Election post at The Claremont Review of Books. It published on September 5, 2016, and seemed to be a call to action for the presidential election:

    2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

    Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.

    To ordinary conservative ears, this sounds histrionic. The stakes can’t be that high because they are never that high—except perhaps in the pages of Gibbon. Conservative intellectuals will insist that there has been no “end of history” and that all human outcomes are still possible. They will even—as Charles Kesler does—admit that America is in “crisis.” But how great is the crisis? Can things really be so bad if eight years of Obama can be followed by eight more of Hillary, and yet Constitutionalist conservatives can still reasonably hope for a restoration of our cherished ideals? Cruz in 2024! …

    We’ve established that most “conservative” anti-Trumpites are in the Orwellian sense objectively pro-Hillary. What about the rest of you? If you recognize the threat she poses, but somehow can’t stomach him, have you thought about the longer term? The possibilities would seem to be: Caesarism, secession/crack-up, collapse, or managerial Davoisie liberalism as far as the eye can see … which, since nothing human lasts forever, at some point will give way to one of the other three. Oh, and, I suppose, for those who like to pour a tall one and dream big, a second American Revolution that restores Constitutionalism, limited government, and a 28% top marginal rate.

    But for those of you who are sober: can you sketch a more plausible long-term future than the prior four following a Trump defeat? I can’t either.

    The election of 2016 is a test—in my view, the final test—of whether there is any virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation. If they cannot rouse themselves simply to vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.

    Williamson was Never Trump. In his first and only column at The Atlantic, Williamson also was Never Trump.

    Victor Davis Hanson at National Review took exception to a swipe at him by Williamson in that first and only column at The Atlantic. Hanson wrote (emphasis added):

    In the past, I have often enjoyed Kevin Williamson’s essays. Even when I found them occasionally incoherent and cruel, I thought it hardly my business to object to a colleague’s writing. But I gather, under changed circumstances, such deference no longer applies, given that in Williamson’s very first column at The Atlantic he attacks both me, and in a backhanded way, his former employer National Review for publishing a recent article I wrote.

    Certainly, Kevin has expressed himself freely both in print and in interviews in ways that many thought were antithetical to the values of many conservatives — whether his idea that failing communities of the white working class “deserved to die,” or that those having or facilitating abortions should face execution. I assume that the attitude of the editors of National Review was that in the many millions of words that Williamson has written and spoken, his sometime use of profanity or over the top sensationalism was atypical, although certainly controversial, as he has now discovered at The Atlantic in our age of selective pull quotes that are used to stigmatize a writer’s entire body of work.

    Sadly, I think Kevin Williamson will soon find that National Review was far more tolerant of his controversial views than will be true at The Atlantic. As I noted in the essay in question concerning progressives’ situational regulation, so too the Left also embraces situational free speech. Indeed, well before Williamson had even written his inaugural column, Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic, had defended his hiring of Williamson on grounds that he preferred “all things being equal, to give people second chances and the opportunity to change,” and he further seemed delighted about Williamson’s promise to cease tweeting given that it would be interpreted as “a positive development and a sign of growth.”

    That highlighted sentence was prophetic.

    I take it that Williamson didn’t view the 2016 election as The Flight 93 Election. But it was.

    So is the next one.


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.


    Hat: “the vast majority of conservatives who oppose Trump do not want to hand absolute power over to the Democrats. While they disagree with Trump, they also disagree with the Democrats.”

    Vichy Republicans. I’ve never seen them fight Democrats as fiercely as they fight Trump.

    You talk alot about alienation and party unity. But your assumptions and misrepresentation of Trump supporters tells me you really haven’t bothered to listen to them. It reminds me of the media on election night who just “can’t understand why Republicans are so stupid to vote against their best interests.

    I had a long and thoughtful reply thought out, but I’m tired of explaining the same thing over and over again. I resent having to waste my time repeating myself.

    Besides there’s only one key point I want to communicate – the NeverTrumper response to the election has shaped the battlefield in ways you have not considered – where once we forgave the Stupid Party for failing due to incompetence, we now see that the GOP is capable of fighting fiercely and effectively… when their own self-interests are threatened.

    That game is over. We now view Never Trumpers as Collaborators. We are never going back to the days of Failure Theater and Not This Hill. It was a good con and we fell for it for a long time but we’re on to you now.

    We are under under siege against what often feels like impossible odds. And your side is intent on handicapping us. If the gates break and the city falls, do you seriously believe we would reward such treachery by allowing NeverTrumpers to be appointed to a Vichy Government?

    CleanTowelie | April 7, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Coates and Valenti. Lol. On what planet could it be that these two consider themselves to be voices of reason? The Atlantic are indeed intellectual cowards. I don’t see how aforementioned posers are any better.

    Ragspierre | April 8, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Gotta go do real things now. Turtles can play with himself while I’m gone!

      Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 8, 2018 at 11:19 am

      “Gotta go do real things now. Turtles can play with himself while I’m gone!”

      Oh dear. What will I ever do with my life?

      Probably the exact same stuff I did before I ran across Williamson and a person so stupid they claim that using a historical term is a lie.

      I’ll dash off another few comments but then back to bringing home the bacon.

        Ragspierre in reply to Turtler. | April 8, 2018 at 9:54 pm

        I don’t think I called you a liar for using an archaic term like “factories”. I thihk you were being both intentionally deceptive and an insufferable prig, as elsewhere. Or pretty much everywhere.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2018 at 8:45 pm

          “I don’t think I called you a liar for using an archaic term like “factories”.”

          Except that is exactly what you did, insufferable idiot.

          You even spelled it out, blathering something about “foreshadowing.” Because apparently you thought typing the shorter term was somehow a dog whistle to try and call forward to left wing demonization of corporations in the industrial revolution.

          In spite of having absolutely no roof whatsoever.

          “I thihk you were being both intentionally deceptive and an insufferable prig, as elsewhere.”

          Translation: you had no proof.

          You just assumed.

          And in doing so proved to be something worse than an insufferable prig. An intellectually dishonest insufferable prig.

          Much like Williamson.

          “Or pretty much everywhere.”

          You’ve been caught dead to rights shifting the goal posts on this very thread. In addition to engaging in the completely unsupported conspiracymongering nonsense about why I used a HISTORICALLY ACCURATE if somewhat archaic term.

          You don’ thave much grounds to go about lecturing others on intellectual honesty or deceptiveness.

            Ragspierre in reply to Turtler. | April 10, 2018 at 11:28 pm

            You’ve been caught outright lying. Several times.

            Just another self-anointed “winner” who’s nothing but a lying sack of shit.

            Your whole HBC and EIC bullshit was just a red herring.


          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2018 at 11:36 pm

          “You’ve been caught outright lying. Several times.”

          No, you’ve merely alleged I’ve lied. Several times.

          Without a scintilla of proof.

          Even after you dishonestly Moved the Goal Posts and peddled other logical fallacies in an attempt to do it.

          So who do you think you’re going to convince?

          It is not me. It also is not anyone else reading through the track record here. They can see quite clearly.

          And you certainly don’t need to convince yourself of your delusions.

          So your protests do no good.

          “Just another self-anointed “winner” who’s nothing but a lying sack of shit.”

          Stop hitting yourself.

          And honestly, I don’t anoint myself the winner. In this case you do. Your inability to counter my points shows that.

          “Your whole HBC and EIC bullshit was just a red herring.


          Even if they were pathetic, *they’re not more pathetic than your inability to counter them or back up your assertions.*

          Once again, in trying to tear my claims down you wind up breaking yourself.

    Ragspierre | April 11, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Well, MORE lies. This time about lying.

    You started your attack on me with lies. You told more lies to TRY to save your original lies.

    You’re simply another lying sack of shit.

      Oh fgs, Rags. This is your standard reply, even “stock” reply. Do you just paste it in to replies and then hit send? You’re a broken record and are incredibly tiresome. Oh, sure, sometimes you call people who disagree with “evil” or “crazy” or some other such juvenile silliness, but your one-note “everyone who supports Trump is a lying, crazy, evil collectivist liar who tells crazy, evil collectivist lies” is so shallow and so thoughtless that it amazes me that you even bother. Feel free to copy and paste that and use it as your new troll spam. It’ll be just as interesting, just as effective, and ultimately, just as much a reflection of your inability to construct or support a lucid argument.

        What? My pointing out that you have become a one-note troll shows that I lack integrity? *Yawn*

        That’s non sequitur witless nonsense. Do you have any clue how you sound to normal people?

        Turtler in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | April 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

        “See, this is what I mean, Crazy Sloppers.”

        What you “mean” cannot be trusted. As your willingness to read any damn meaning you wish into the most indefensible positions (like the idea that calling trading posts “factories” is some attempt at foreshadowing and a lie) underlines that.

        “Like the other day when I was defending Ingraham, I was sticking up for Williamson against the pukes who were doing a Snoopy dance over his being silenced (on The Atlantic) because he’s not a T-rump sucker.”

        Firstly chowderhead: Williamson hasn’t been silenced on the Atlantic. He’s been FIRED from it. Or more likely “let go.” DIFFERENCE.

        The Atlantic isn’t holding him in perpetuity in some kind of non disclosure agreement like some companies are wont to do.

        He has been DEPLATFORMED. IE being silenced only by a single platform, in this case the Atlantic.

        That is bad enough and goes back to the totalitarian, collectivist, and despotic nature of the Left. (Which Williamson was at least tacitly willing to go along with to the point he would lend credibility to an organ like The Atlantic need I remind you).

        But Williamson can still get on a blog, bully pulpit, or what have you and screech away as much as he damn well WANTS. The Atlantic merely rejects the idea of paying for him to do so from its property.

        And while I will be the first to say that The Atlantic is a puff powdered goon squad, *even puff powdered goon squads have proprietary rights* and the ability to exercise them.

        The fact that you conflate these two VERY distinct categories in the attempt of heightening Williamson’s martyrdom underlines your dishonesty. It is a lie.

        Secondly: I’m not going to be delivering a snoopy dance over Williamson’s firing, but I also am not going to do much to protest it compared to-say- Ingraham.


        Because Ingraham and her advertisers are the gainful employers being intimidated by a flash mob.

        In this case, the Atlantic is the gainful employer who decided to hang Williamson out to dry because of a flash mob and double dealing by its boss.

        Is that bad?


        But it is still Fair.

        Thirdly: If you lie down with dogs, you get up with Fleas. If Williamson did NOT know what kind of people drove the entity known as The Atlantic or how they are front and center involved in the Kulturkampf, he was stupid. If he did, he was a hypocrite for taking their pieces of silver while bloviating about libertarianism.

        That does not mean that Williamson does not have a claim on my sympathy, even if I find him to be a distasteful, egotistical hypocrite.

        However, someone who partners with collectivist hacksand gets targeted by them has lien on my sympathy than someone who HASN’T partnered with them but has.

        “How’s that “trolling”, liar?”

        This would be more convincing if you didn’t have such an grossly distorted view of what is and isn’t a lie and trolling.

        “You’ve lost all creds you might have once had.”

        Ok, I’ll bite:

        What kinds of creds?

        Creds with who?

        Obviously not some people in here given the up votes coming to them.

        So that’s one possibility ruled out.

        Creds with you?

        You’re an egotistical, stupid, dishonest hack.

        I don’t think too many people are going to care much about creds with you.

        “You allow Fen to publish murder fantasies, 4th Amour Div. and Gonzotx to make blatently racist comments, but you make a practice of dropping down on me with your bullshit.”

        Well, if I see them do that- and NO chowderhead, I’m NOT going to take your word for it, because you have demonstrated your word is worth little- I will call them out.


        Perhaps, but so is trying to blather about “foreshadowing” while trying to claim it’s bullshit to call 18th century Hudson Bay Company factories… Factories. Without identifying how the language has shifted.

        Because apparently the dumbarse who kvetched about my posts being too long and full of BS wants to say that unless they’re even LONGER I’m Bsing.

        There is no winning with Ragspierre’s standards.

        Which menas Ragspierre’s standards are not worth following.

    Ragspierre | April 11, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Turtle publishes LOTS more complete bullshit to buttress his prior bullshit. He’s a remarkably prolific generator of bullshit.

      Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

      “Turtle publishes LOTS more complete bullshit to buttress his prior bullshit.”

      Sorry, but primary sources aren’t bullshit. And they do say what you say they don’t.

      Asserting otherwise will not change otherwise.

      The difference is that I actually provide more than just assertions.

      “He’s a remarkably prolific generator of bullshit.”

      Your use of the word loses ALL EFFECT after we see what you try and apply it to.

      For instance…

      “On the subject of bullshit, why the use of “factories” as relates to the Hudson Bay Company (with intended dark forebodings)?

      Why not explicate the use of the term in its original meaning, liar?

      It had nothing to do with “plants”, as in the modern terminology.”

      The problem, stupid, is that that isn’t “bullshit.” It is an accurate, historical use of the terminology. And it was not meant to deal any “dark forboding” (if anything the old school trading posts were MUCH worse for human liberty than the “dark satanic mills” of 19th century Leftist Bleating).

      But when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      And when someone is an irredeemable bullshitter, everything starts to look like bullshit.

      Turtle is eating you for dinner, Rags. Everyone can see that (including, I suspect, you).

        Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | April 11, 2018 at 7:35 pm

        You’re not different than the slime that couldn’t tolerate Williamson on The Atlantic. You’ll lie just for effect.

        Turtle has been demonstrated to lie here, serially.

        Like Harry Reid, that must be your new standard for “winning”.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2018 at 8:41 pm

          “You’re not different than the slime that couldn’t tolerate Williamson on The Atlantic.”

          somehow, I doubt Fuzzy Slippers runs the Atlantic.

          ” You’ll lie just for effect.”

          The problem is you’ve shown to have an utterly shallow and dishonest grasp on what a “lie” or “bullshit” is.

          As such your accusations to that effect are forfeit.

          “Turtle has been demonstrated to lie here, serially.”

          No, you’ve merely ACCUSED me of doing so.

          But YOU have been demonstrated to Lie about what is and is not “Bullshit” right on down to trying to villifying me for using the term “factories”….

          …. accuse me of being “delusional” for summarizing Williamson’s statement that the Republican party is growing more authoritarian just because YOU didn’t write that in this thread up to that point (you just defended someone who had).

          And moved the goal posts when caught.

          There was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHAT SO GOD DAMNED EVER for you to write this

          “No. Actually I don’t think I’ve used it here on thread once.

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and chalk that bullshit to your delusional nature, instead of just calling you out for another lie.”


          EXCEPT for effect. Or rather the futile attempt to grasp at it.

          You are a dishonest hypocrite grasping at straws.

          “Like Harry Reid, that must be your new standard for “winning”.”

          Again, Stop Projecting, ya dishonest loser.

          You’ve already been defeated several times over. You just make it worse by being determined to lose in the worst spirit possible.

          By lying.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

          “Just more of your transparent and voluminous bullshit.

          You are a veritable “factory” of bullshit.”

          You’ve already demonstrated that you do not know how to define bullshit.

          That makes your throwing it around ineffective.

          Granted, not nearly to the same degree as your admitted inability to “fisk”/completely address my points. But still.

          It takes an awfully hateful, dumb mind to try and pull the stuff you have.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 12, 2018 at 12:47 am

          “You are a veritable “factory” of bullshit.”

          No, YOU are. In the modern, non-18th century trading sense.

          You’ve even begun to mimic an assembly line by spamming the same bullshit over and over again, copypasta style.

          You really expect that to work?

            Ragspierre in reply to Turtler. | April 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

            Concisely identifying what you do works for me.

            Spewing huge volumes of bullshit (evidence abounding above) seems to work for you, too. You’ve declared yourself the “winner” several times.

            You are amazing, in no good way. You’re just another totally dishonest liar. We have a surfeit of those already.

            Ragspierre in reply to Turtler. | April 12, 2018 at 2:51 pm

            Now you lie employing both “spam” and “bot”. I figure you’ll lie about anything, as here.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

          “Concisely identifying what you do works for me.”

          Obviously not, because you’ve still lost.

          And you’ve begun getting into spambot territory to boot.

          “Spewing huge volumes of bullshit (evidence abounding above) seems to work for you, too.”

          Evidence abounds that you have no accurate concept of what bullshit is.

          You’re so desperate to try and get a point in edgewise that you’ve resorted to lying about the historical record. Up to and including saying that it’s “bullshit” to mention HBC had “factories” without providing a dictionary definition.

          ” You’ve declared yourself the “winner” several times.”

          Once again, you don’t seem to get it.

          YOU’RE the one who declares me the winner.

          You do it when you do not refute my points, when you incompetently address the ones you try to, and when you get caught abusing the definition of “bullshit” beyond recognition.

          Your decision to go full spambot is merely you raising the white flag.

          “You are amazing, in no good way.”

          Stop looking in the mirror.

          ” You’re just another totally dishonest liar.”

          You wanna talk about being a totally dishonest liar, chowderhead?

          Again, I need look no further than the nonsense you tried to peddle about the “factories”, or your damnable insistence that a town can NEVER (your word) recover or regrow after losing its original reason for existing.

          The fact that this means that Milford, Cologne, Kyoto, and Santa Clara CA (along with God knows how many other towns and cities) should no longer exist went RIIIIIGHT over your conceited little head.

          You were so desperate to support Williamson’s bully boy writing and your own transparent bullshit that you never even tried to redress these challenges. You just insulted.

          “We have a surfeit of those already.”

          Says Ragspierre, totally dishonest liar and spambot to boot.

          Turtler in reply to Ragspierre. | April 12, 2018 at 5:04 pm

          “Now you lie employing both “spam” and “bot”.”

          Projection at its most stupid.

          Look [email protected]$$, I didn’t MAKE you copy/paste an identical comment and post it twice. Which is very close to the methodology used by Spambots.

          (Linked proof, because apparently, Ragspierre is stupid and dishonest enough to claim that if he doesn’t see it, it doesn’t exist.


          Hence my description of your last two posts as “getting into spambot territory” is NOT a falsehood, let alone a lie. IT IS A PERFECTLY ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF YOUR LAST TWO POSTS PRIOR TO THIS ONE!

          You may not like the comparison, but you have ABSOLUTELY NOBODY to blame but yourself for it.

          “I figure you’ll lie about anything, as here.”

          The irony is stifling because this very comment of yours shows that YOU are the one who is willing to lie about anything. Right up to lying about what a lie is and what “bullshit” is.

          The real kicker is that in spite of your pretenses to being a good conservative unlike “T-rump” supporters, this shows you’re not Good.

          You’re not even Good at being bad. You’re not only dishonest, you’re INCREDIBLY STUPID about being dishonest.

          Now tell me, why would people trust someone THIS stupid and dishonest about who is one of the most important thinkers?

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend