The best form of beef comes from sacred cows.
When paying homage to the legacy of ‘dear leader’ comes at a price of the truth, it’s high time to jettison the idol.
The interesting thing about these four factors Ned explores is that each may have a Planet X of its own. For example, if there is something that may be isolated as notably Jewish about the opposition to American Betrayal, it may in fact be related not so much to Judaism but to liberalism — in this case, FDRism, to which most Jews, as liberal then as they are now, subscribed. This includes Jews who would decades later emerge among the neoconservatives.
So long as FDR’s sainthood remains in American eyes pure and untarnished by the massive boring from within he enabled/tolerated/was duped by (all three, I think), the erstwhile liberalism, Marxism, Communism, even Stalinism of these ex-Leftist seniors remains protected, beyond challenge, cloaked in the “great” president’s heroic context. So long as history keeps FDR on a pedestal, these former Marxists still retain a rationale for having supported the Evil Empire, because so did FDR — and, after all, he won WWII, the “Good War,” America’s shining moment, all thanks to Stalin (is the myth). Once FDR is deposed as a flawed and failed commander-in-chief who defeated one tyranny while assisting the rise of another, both abroad and, at least ideologically, at home, that ample mantle is gone.
American Betrayal and “Planet X”
The war on American Betrayal launched from the Right continues to perplex people. I hear the same question everywhere I go, and notably from people who have actually read the book: What is inside the covers of American Betrayal that could have inspired the no-holds-barred smear campaign against it waged by putative political allies?
Now, Ned May of Gates of Vienna, a leading counterjihad site that distinguished itself during the hottest weeks of this battle in its defense not only of my book and me personally but also free and civil debate more generally, has published here his further and deeper thoughts on the controversy. These also include Ned’s take on the crashing silence on the part of professional commentators on the matter.
Titled “American Betrayed, Part 2: Planet X,” the essay opens with an apt metaphor:
The 19th-century French astronomer Alexis Bouvard deduced the existence of an as yet undiscovered eighth planet of the solar system by measuring the discrepancies between the predicted path of the planet Uranus and its telescopically observed positions at different points along its orbit. Later astronomers discovered “Planet X” — which was eventually named Neptune — in the precise orbital position laid out by Bouvard’s calculations.
We are in much the same predicament regarding the controversy over Diana West’s book American Betrayal. Based on perturbations in the scholarly orbits of numerous illustrious writers and editors, we may deduce the existence of a massive undiscovered black body. It’s out there somewhere, exerting its gravitational influence on its planetary neighbors in the ranks of conservative American literati. We can’t see Planet X, but we can observe its effects. We know it’s there.
No firm conclusions can be drawn about this mysterious astronomical object. Without access to sources on the editorial boards of FrontPage Magazine, Pajamas Media, National Review, etc., there is no way to determine the motivation behind the repeated, virulent, personal attacks against Diana West.
However, after pulling together information from a variety of sources, it’s possible to make some educated guesses. Although its exact position is not yet determined, Planet X is beginning to take shape out there in the night sky, blotting out segments of the starry host as it wanders past. …
Thus, the Baron trains his telescope on the dim forms and currents under which the events and actions of the past several months took shape, locating some points I hadn’t seen so clearly before.
1) Despite what has been by all accounts a vigorous, private lobbying effort by my original detractors to enlist others to publicly condemn American Betrayal, only one figure of any note (or at least notoriety) took the bait and joined the trash-AB-team: Radosh, Horowitz … and Conrad Black. After four months, that’s it. The glass is more than half empty here, but, in this case, that’s a good thing.
However, it’s worth remembering that all but one of the targeted luminaries failed to join the Two-Minute Hate against Diana West. This tells us that the case against her was unable to withstand close scrutiny. A careful examination of the screeds against her reveals nothing except straw men, misrepresentations of what she said, and contemptuous name-calling, mostly written by people who had never read the book. No substantive criticism ever emerged. One may conclude that conservative writers of integrity and judgment examined the case and found it lacking on the merits.