Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Do We Care if the Internet Lynch Mob is After Richard Cohen?

Probably not, say Stacy McCain: Richard Cohen and a Plate Glass Window
It probably seemed like a good idea: Trash Iowa, trash the Tea Party — an easy day’s work for a Washington Post columnist, and hey, why not throw in a cheap shot at Sarah Palin for good measure?
. . . Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah (considered to the right of Cruz, if such a thing is possible), Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s recent vice presidential candidate and its resident abacus, and the inevitable Sarah Palin, the Alaska quitter who, I think, actually now lives in Arizona. If this is the future of the GOP, then it’s in the past.

None of these candidates bears the slightest resemblance to Christie. And the more literate of them — that’s not you, Palin —– must have chortled over post-election newspaper columns extolling Christie as precisely the sort of candidate the GOP ought to run in 2016.
His publisher hailed the column as “brilliant,” but it was just another 750 words of the useless op-ed drivel Richard Cohen has been getting paid to write for decades. Except ...
Richard Cohen Has Written Something Insane About Interracial Marriage
– Gawker

Richard Cohen on Black-White Marriage
– The Atlantic Monthly

Racist Op-Ed Columns Are a Strange Business Strategy
– Slate
Yeah, he went there, thinking to make a clever attack on conservatives without considering the fact that the Young Turks of the online Left have had him on their target list for some time. It’s not fair that this old liberal should have that prime op-ed real estate, you see.

These Young Turks wanted Cohen gone, and his clumsy race-baiting (even though aimed at Republicans) was sufficiently offensive that they decided (in the memorable phrase of Spencer Ackerman) to smash Richard Cohen through a plate glass window.

Should we care? Probably not.
Cohen is one of the regular, conventionally liberal columnists at the Washington Post. While he can be counted on to say something sensible once every few months or so, which no doubt angers the 'Young Twerks' of the left, that's not often enough for me to miss him if he should vanish from the punditosphere.  It would be particularly sweet if the his downfall were the result of a campaign of deliberate misdirection by his own political allies.

And since Stacy left out the actual quote that led to the high dudgeon by the commentariat:
People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America.
Do the leftist media goons now consider themselves to be those with the "conventional views?"  String him up!

UPDATE: Althouse makes precisely this point:

But when Cohen (complacently, predictably liberal) said "conventional views," he didn't mean liberals, even though liberals (including, notably, him) are quite conventional. He meant those other guys — the bad guys — and he had no idea that anyone could think of him as anything other than one of the good guys — the liberals — because that's how conventional he was!

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