Home / General / “And what was all that shit about Benghazi?”

“And what was all that shit about Benghazi?”


Shorter some random NRO sixth-stringer: “Barack Obama calling the Holocaust senseless, fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”

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  • One thing about the NRO the bench is deep but the talent is shallow

    • JKTHs

      They’re like the Memphis Grizzlies of publications.

      • Jerry Vinokurov

        The Grizzlies are fourth in the West right now! Don’t insult them that way!

        • I still have my Vancouver Grizzlies t-shirt. Sob.

          • Njorl

            If the Memphis Grizzlies make you sad, how are you going to feel about the Oklahoma City Cannucks?

        • JKTHs

          I know. I was grasping for a good example but it seemed close enough in the wake of the Gay trade.

          • Pupienus

            gay trade

            I find your ideas intriguing. Do you perhaps have a newsletter to which I might subscribe?

      • Joseph Slater

        Hey, the Grizzlies just got Tayshaun Prince. . . .

  • Violence can never fail; we can only fail violence.

  • Ginger Yellow

    Scott, this isn’t a second amendment issue

    • J R in W. Va.

      They are ALL Second Amendment issues! Read the Constitution, and this time read the Bill of Rights too! Only enumerated rights are granted to the government, all else is granted to the people!

      Vote for -what’s his name, the minister from Arkansas, Hucklebee , Huckabee, something like that.-
      For president! Save American freedom!

  • Sherm

    I don’t blog on shabbos!

    • And I don’t think NRO writing something ridiculous qualifies as an emergency.

  • ploeg

    Nazism is part of the Lord’s Plan to gather the Jews of the Diaspora back to the Promised Land and accelerate the Rapture and Second Coming (with the attendant nuclear holocaust, famine, etc.). Sure, it might seem senseless to you, foul heathen.

    • Loud Liberal

      Finally, a voice of reason!

  • david mizner

    Easy there, cowboy, that’s Powerline’s Scott Johnson’s daughter you’re taking on. You could be in for a real intellectual tussle.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Wait, are you telling me there’s nepotism at the National Review? Next thing you know, you’ll tell me that NRO contributors publish books edited by Saul Bellow’s idiot son.

      • Loud Liberal

        I learn something new every time I visit this site.

    • Jonah Goldberg II: Electric Boogaloo

    • Njorl

      I suppose it’s reassuring that such a person was hired due to connections rather than ability.

      • NonyNony

        For people who publish in NRO, I think connections and ability are pretty much the same thing, aren’t they?

        It’s the only way to explain, for example, Jonah Goldberg.

        • Loud Liberal

          It is for those who read it.

      • JC

        Ability over connections? No, they’re conservative! God chose them for their positions by causing them to be born in those families.

        • socraticsilence

          Now I want to read more on Calvinism to see if the parallels go deeper than just born on third base/the select.

          • cpinva

            no, that’s pretty much it.

            “Now I want to read more on Calvinism to see if the parallels go deeper than just born on third base/the select.”

    • socraticsilence

      This gives me an idea- an LGM Tourney: Dumbest conservative offspring, a commenter voted tourney March Madness style- Jonah vs. Bill, Powerline Girl v. Adam Bellow, etc. if need be we can expand it to include other famous nepotism cases- Luke Russert, Times and Wapo folks, Alex “my dad was one the greatest philosophers of the mid-20th Century” Rawls.

      • Scott Lemieux

        If Alec Rawls had a job I think he’d win hands down…

      • IM

        Isn’t poor nutty Alex Rawls rather renouncing his father?

        I am not a Rawls expert, but I never heard senior obsessing about crescent shaped memorials

        • I didn’t know Lou Rawls had a son, wait that’s not right

      • Warren Terra

        Top prize in counseling for the poor sod who read enough of these excescences’ foul oeuvre to have a shot at winning.

  • Dr. Mengele makes objects into women, man.

  • Worse tragedy since 9/11 which was totally Clinton’s fault. See it’s all Clinton’s fault!That’s been the meal ticket for the NRO for two decades now.

  • Leeds man

    If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! What?

  • David Hunt

    It’s reassuring in a way that they’re that blatantly offensive. A normal human being (or a wingut trying to mimic one) might think, “I’m attacking the Kenyan Usurper for a negative statement he made about the Nazis. Although it is part of my job description to attack everything he says no matter how reasonable and uncontroversial, I should probably tread lightly here lest I look to be defending Nazism.” Although a large percentage of the NRO readership will look favorably on anything that criticizes Obama, I find it encouraging that these putzes either don’t care to try to appeal to anyone outside that demographic or are simply incapable of mimicking normal human emotions and this was the result of them actually trying to appeal to such people.

    • NonyNony

      A normal human being (or a wingut trying to mimic one) might think, “I’m attacking the Kenyan Usurper for a negative statement he made about the Nazis. Although it is part of my job description to attack everything he says no matter how reasonable and uncontroversial, I should probably tread lightly here lest I look to be defending Nazism.”

      Really? I’d think that a normal human being would think something more along the lines of “It’s my job to find reasons to attack the President from the right. Here’s something he’s made a negative statement about Nazis and over here, here’s something else where he’s talking about anything other than Nazis. Let’s talk about that one.”

      • daveNYC

        If they had any brains they’d use it as a chance to agree with the President, thus giving the centrist worshippers the warm fuzzies. Bonus points for making a pivot from the ‘Nazis Bad’ argument to a ‘Obama bad because Iran/North Korea/Whoever is just like the Nazis but he’s not seeing it’ line.

        • NonyNony

          If they had any brains they’d use it as a chance to agree with the President, thus giving the centrist worshippers the warm fuzzies.

          It’s NRO – they’re not interested in making centrists feel warm and fuzzy.

          But, given how often they’ve had posters called out for racist nutjobbery, should at least know enough to leave this one alone. Apparently, lesson not learned.

          Bonus points for making a pivot from the ‘Nazis Bad’ argument to a ‘Obama bad because Iran/North Korea/Whoever is just like the Nazis but he’s not seeing it’ line.

          Hm. Hard to do when he’s talking about the Holocaust, and not just totalitarianism in general – even given what we know about how awful North Korea is, any comparison between it and Nazi Germany would invite cries that the poster is belittling the Holocaust by the comparison.

          Not an impossible pivot, but more than I would expect anyone posting on National Review’s blog would be capable of.

          • daveNYC

            Not an impossible pivot, but more than I would expect anyone posting on National Review’s blog would be capable of.

            Considering that they screwed up posting “Yes, Nazis are bad.” I totally agree with you on that.

            The pivot for Iran is pretty easy, just play up the whole thing about the jewish people facing another existential threat angle. North Korea would be a bit harder though, it’s true.

          • even given what we know about how awful North Korea is, any comparison between it and Nazi Germany would invite cries that the poster is belittling the Holocaust by the comparison.

            Based on what’s been learned in the last ten years, I’m not sure that’s true. It’s a different sort of mass atrocity, to be sure, but a half century of it…

            We may never truly grasp it, any more than we grasp the Holocaust. We may be able to document it, if there’s a merciful end to it, as we document the Holocaust.

    • The funny thing is that she might’ve had a reasonable point. See Ta-Nehisi Coates’s discussion of Hobbes the other day*:

      I say the similitude of Passions, which are the same in all men, Desire, Feare, Hope, &c; not the similitude or The Objects of the Passions, which are the things Desired, Feared, Hoped, &c: for these the constitution individuall, and particular education do so vary, and they are so easie to be kept from our knowledge, that the characters of mans heart, blotted and confounded as they are, with dissembling, lying, counterfeiting, and erroneous doctrines, are legible onely to him that searcheth hearts. And though by mens actions wee do discover their designee sometimes; yet to do it without comparing them with our own, and distinguishing all circumstances, by which the case may come to be altered, is to decypher without a key, and be for the most part deceived, by too much trust, or by too much diffidence; as he that reads, is himselfe a good or evill man.

      But let one man read another by his actions never so perfectly, it serves him onely with his acquaintance, which are but few. He that is to govern a whole Nation, must read in himselfe, not this, or that particular man; but Man-kind; which though it be hard to do, harder than to learn any Language, or Science; yet, when I shall have set down my own reading orderly, and perspicuously, the pains left another, will be onely to consider, if he also find not the same in himselfe. [snip]

      “Read Thy Self” is the standard method I use to investigate slavery and the Civil War. At some point you tire of yelling about the evils of Nathan Bedford Forrest, and you settle into a much different frame. I believe, as Hobbes lays out here, that I am subject to the same whims as any slaveholder. I don’t feel that there is anything in my bones that makes me any more moral. Thus the question becomes not “How awful was Robert E. Lee?” but “How could I have acted as he did?”

      These are important questions, which she sort of alludes to with the line about all the Germans who willingly participated. Hitler’s Willing Executioners gets into the extent of it, if you can stand to read hundreds of pages of brutality descriped in unending detail (Hey, it worked in 2666?).

      Unfortunately she framed it as nothing more complicated than “har har we have an infantile moron as president as my pointless pedantry will prove,” at which point Jonah Goldberg snuck behind the reader and farted.

      *I’ve re-formatted because I’m not sure if I can embed one blockquote inside another. In case it’s not obvious, that’s Hobbes in italics and Coates in plain.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        These are important questions, but she’s not actually interested in them. The NRO piece is just two-bit fisking.

        Also: if one is actually interested in these questions w/r/t German behavior in the Holocaust there are far, far better accounts of it than Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Goldhagen’s answer to Coates’s question is too easy and very problematic: Germans behaved this way because they were Germans and thus infected with “eliminationist antisemitism.”* In a way Hitler’s Willing Executioners un-asks Coates’s question, instead explaining why, in fact, we (Americans and/or people living after 1945) simply could not have acted as Germans did during the Holocaust.

        There are huge problems with Goldhagen’s story, not the least being that many perpetrators of the Holocaust weren’t German and that other nations, most notably the Soviet Union, were nearly simultaneously engaged in other bouts of mass killing of civilians whose relationship to antisemitism was, at the very least, a lot less direct. Tim Snyder’s Bloodlands is an excellent portrait of this larger context of mass killing. As for a more searching and plausible account of German behavior, you could do a lot worse than Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men.

        * To be more precise, Goldhagen argues that they behaved this way because they were Germans before 1945 and thus were infected with “eliminationist antisemitism.” He does admit that, somehow, Germans after 1945 totally didn’t have this virus anymore…though he has no good explanation for its sudden disappearance.

        • I appreciate the recommendations; I read Goldhagen for a class and at the time I mostly appreciated the chronicle of pre-Hitler anti-Semitism. There was another book I read for the same class that I thought did it all better, but its title was simply The Holocaust and I can’t think of the author’s name.

          • Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.

            Could it be Martin Gilbert, a British historian?

        • herr doktor bimler

          There are huge problems with Goldhagen’s story

          Among them, Goldhagen’s penchant for simply making stuff up if he couldn’t find the evidence he wanted.

          • I’m actually embarrassed I mentioned it now.

            • Magatha

              I’m actually embarrassed I mentioned it now.

              Don’t be. I actually just finished the Goldhagen book not long ago. I was impressed, and really the only thing that bugged me was how relentlessly Goldhagen attacks historian/writer Christopher Browning in the footnotes, just over and over. And not just Browning.

              So I start thinking, wait, WTF, how did everyone get it wrong except Goldhagen? Then I started reading about the book itself, and you may refer to the useful comment of the incomparable Incontinentia Buttocks, above. Which is not to say the Goldhagen book is useless.

        • herr doktor bimler

          they were Germans and thus infected with “eliminationist antisemitism.”

          “Warrant for Genocide” is interesting — Norman Cohn documents how much effort the Nazis had to put in, stoking the background anti-Semitism and dragging the Germans collectively on board with eliminationism.

        • Matt

          +1 for “Ordinary Men”; both fascinating and disturbing.

          For me, some of the greatest insight on the how-could-the-Holocaust-happen came from two classic experiments – the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment. Taken together, they make a fairly persuasive argument that it’s distressingly easy to turn people into (what we imagine as) inhuman monsters using just the appearance of “authority” and a practice of “depersonalization”.

          • cpinva

            only in that particular situation, with a few people at a time. the nazi’s had to convince an entire population, and not under controlled circumstances.

            “Taken together, they make a fairly persuasive argument that it’s distressingly easy to turn people into (what we imagine as) inhuman monsters using just the appearance of “authority” and a practice of “depersonalization”.”

            what those experiments left out, because they really couldn’t re-create the exact circumstances, is the situation germany found itself in, post wwI and treaty of versailies. already reeling from both the economic and manpower cost of wwI, in a losing effort, germany then got dumped on by both the reparations required by the treaty, and the hit of the great depression. by the time hitler and his thugs were attempting to come to power, the average german was primed to blame anybody for their bad fortune. already having a strain of anti-semitism, as part of the national id, employing the jews, as national scapegoats for the kaiser’s fuckups was a natural.

            no experiment can possibly replicate those unique circumstances.

      • J R in W. Va.

        Once, on a long driving trip, we got too tired to safely drive any longer, and stopped at the next Comfort Inn Suites. Then we drove into town looking for dinner.

        Let’s see, “Honey, where are we tonight, anyhow?”

        Well, we were in Forrest City, Arkansas… When I looked on the Google for places to eat, it couldn’t find Forest City, AK…

        Forrest, hmm, that rings a bell somehow. Bedford Forrest, maybe?

        Nathan Bedford Forrest, where have I seen that name? Hmmm?

        Oh, yes, yesss, founder of the Ku Klux Klan, fraternity of honorable and wealthy southern war heros, Traitors in Defense of Slavery, all of them.
        There we were, past a Christian school, at a Mexican restaurant.

        In a town named for the founder of the KKK, leading into extra-legal slavery, debt peonage, lynching, hatred, bombings, little girls killed. Too late to leave, we’d already checked in…

        Anyway, carry on!

    • herr doktor bimler

      For bonus laughs, the writer starts by saying that Americans collectively condemned the Nazis, and Obama still does… apparently everyone else has moved on and it’s only Obama who’s stuck in the past, still going on about who killed who.

    • herr doktor bimler

      The most charitable construction for Johnson’s words is that she wants Obama — whenever he talks about Nazis or Iran or Al Qaeda — to say “The violence wasn’t senseless, these people had reasons for what they did”… and then go on to refute the arguments that had been used for killing Jews or Americans.

      If he does that, NRO will stop denouncing him for being sympathetic to terrorism.

  • JKTHs

    I see a pattern emerging.


    20 children dead = Librul hoax.

    Millions of people dead = Logical.

    • FLRealist

      Yes, this.

      I work in a small office, and I’m the token liberal. I’ve had to listen to rant after rant about Benghazi and OMG, how horrible! (Which it was)

      But Newtown? OMG, 2nd Amendment rights!!! and Dead children? Nah, Obama staged it all.

      My head hurts from the constant bashing against the keyboard it gets.

      • BigHank53

        It does get a little easier to deal with once you realize that a substantial portion of the GOP “base” is simply made of people who want that awful black president to just go away (for whatever political, economic, or racial reasons you care to imagine) and will seize upon any shiny object* they think might do just that. It’s the shouting of three-year-olds that don’t want to take a bath, and signifies as much.

        *Benghazi, the long-form birth certificate, “Barry Soetoro”, ACORN, Bill Ayers, and Mitt Romney, for example.

      • cpinva

        there’s your problem,

        “My head hurts from the constant bashing against the keyboard it gets.”

        you’re bashing the wrong head against the keyboard.

      • Cody

        Sometimes I feel like I’m the token liberal for the whole state…

        Welcome to Indiana, my friends!

        I need to move back to my home in Southern Indiana where everyone is oddly liberal (like Louisville). Then again, maybe my standards are just low.

    • Jonas

      Well, I do remember how outraged conservatives were over the government intelligence failure that allowed thousands of people to be killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. At least once they realized it could be blamed on Clinton.

  • So building a jungle jim out of the bones of children isn’t insane as long as it is structurally sound?

    • Hogan

      Excitable boy, they all said.

      • dave

        +1 for content

        +1 for synergy with the blog title.

    • Speaking as a structural engineer, that’s more difficult to do than you’d think.

      • Pfft, I bet you haven’t even tried!

      • cpinva

        not if you use the right adhesive.

        “Speaking as a structural engineer, that’s more difficult to do than you’d think.”

  • PSP

    Personally, I want Obama to issue a nice innocuous statement about grandmothers, their wisdom and the benefits they provide to society. Then sit back and wait to see how long it takes for some wing nut to start arguing grandmothers are leaches on society who should be left on mountainsides to die of exposure, thereby releasing the job creators from the drag of paying for grandma’s social security and medicare.

    I think the over/under would be about two hours.

    • Anna in PDX

      This is a great idea! He should also endorse apple pie.

      • Alan in SF

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Obama came out for respiration, we’d be a one party state within two minutes.

        • Malaclypse

          Obama needs to issue a Health Care Mandate to not drink Drano.

          • JC

            You laugh, but think what happened when Michelle Obama came out in favor of healthy eating and reasonable exercise.

            • NonyNony

              You remember how wingers reacted in ’08 when Obama made the observation that people can do small things to improve energy usage, like keeping their tires properly inflated?

              Yeah – I should have realized that was going to be a preview for the next few years.

              • JKTHs

                It’s a shame that didn’t lead to wingnuts puncturing their tires and driving around all over the place.

            • cpinva

              i didn’t notice anyone laughing.

              “You laugh”

              when an entire segment of society goes clinically insane, laughter is probably not the appropriate response. unless it’s like, insane laughter.

          • Sev

            And perhaps Bloomberg could restrict it to 16 oz servings.

    • Loud Liberal


    • UserGoogol

      Well that’s a bit unfair. Republicans wouldn’t go so far as to attack Grandmas. You’ve gotta put an quasi-intellectual spin on things.

      The wisdom and benefits grandparents provide? Is that all people are to Obama, just means to the end of promoting a Marxist collective good? The founding fathers created a nation presupposed on the idea that all men are granted equal dignity from the Lord. But of course, Obama wants to place himself as a false idol replacing God. Since he can’t admit that he wants to send our grandparents to death panels, he claims that they will be able to earn their keep by being forced to share their wisdom. But the cult of godless rationality and its so-called wisdom will not prevail as long as real Americans draw breath.

      • redrob64

        I’m not certain, but I think that I could convince one of my co-workers to post that on his door if I gave it to him with the right set up — and he teaches political science to impressionable youth for cryin’ out loud.

  • Jay B.

    The “intellectual” flagship of movement conservatism digitally publishing the following sentence: ‘Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” ‘ because 1/3 of Germans voted for Nazis and they ALL couldn’t have been crazy.

    It leaves me wondering why Johnson is sticking up for lefty thought like that (given the Goldbergian transitive argument of rubber/glue.). These people are beyond hope.

    • Malaclypse

      1/3 of Germans voted for Nazis and they ALL couldn’t have been crazy.

      33% has got to be within one standard deviation of 27%.

      • Njorl

        Nazi Germany had one more standard deviation of standard deviants.

    • Karate Bearfighter

      I have absolutely no idea why an NRO blogger would feel compelled to defend the rationality of a violent fascist ideology famous for using racist kulturkampf rhetoric to play on the financial insecurities and fears of middle class voters.

      Also, I’m not sure why they would publish this article defending the rationality of Nazism.

      • BigHank53

        Well, there are a few possibilities here:

        1. They’re actually a fascist.

        2. They’re actually a racist.

        3. They’re actually really dumb.

        4. All of the above.

        Don’t forget: raised from birth by Scott Johnson of Powerline.

        • Resume entry

          “Father once called himself ‘Big Trunk’ on a website”

          • BigHank53

            I see the need for some alternative lyrics for “My Humps.”

  • DrDick

    They are not even pretending not to be fascists any more.

  • If I’m reading him correctly, Eliana is also making a defense of pandering to Nazis. Would it be Godwinning to suggest this post is, in part, the author trying to defend her own job?

  • Alan in SF

    It just gets so confusing. Was it senseless? Was it terrorism? Was it Pure Black-Hearted Evil Inspired by Beelzebub? It’s really important that the President use the proper word to characterize violent incidents.

    Maybe Obama could take a lesson from St. Ronnie and simply say, “I forget.”

    • NonyNony

      Could you imagine the screams of wingnut outrage if Obama answered a question that way? No matter how unimportant the question was?

      I now want someone to ask him what he had for dinner six weeks ago, have him respond with “I can’t recall” and have it turn into a six month long DINNERGATE investigation. (Hey at the very least it would give the nuts in the House something to do).

      • Could you imagine the screams of wingnut outrage if Obama answered a question that way?

        I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that Eliana Johnson has been on the “OMG Hagel hates the Jews!” beat.

        • For having the temerity to refer to the Jewish Lobby as the Jewish Lobby? I still don’t understand that one

          • sharculese

            Jewish lobby really isn’t an okay thing to be saying, as it implies that Jewishness is synonymous Zionism, and specifically militant hard-line Zionism.

            But it’s a relatively minor thing that Hagel’s shown contrition about, and this anti-Zionist Jew, at least, does see the need for crackers to get offended on his behalf.

            • That actually clears it up a bit for me thanks

              • sharculese

                no problem

            • sharculese

              *doesn’t see the need, obviously

            • Loud Liberal

              I don’t understand the mentality of an anti-Zionist Jew. Would that be a Jew who opposes a safe haven/homeland, where Jews know they will always have a place to go, when needed?

              • sharculese

                My home is the United States?

                • Loud Liberal

                  Until it isn’t!

                • Loud Liberal

                  And, BTW, it’s not just about you.

                • The Dark Avenger

                  And there’s not much difference, genetically, between the Palestinians and Jews.

                  Another team, lead by Almut Nebel at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, took a closer look in 2001. They found that Jewish lineages essentially bracket Muslim Kurds, but they were also very closely related to Palestinians. In fact, what their analysis suggested was that Palestinians were identical to Jews, but with a small mix of Arab genes – what you would expect if they were originally from the same stock, but that Palestinians had mixed a little with Arab immigrants. They conclude:

                  We propose that the Y chromosomes in Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin represent, to a large extent, early lineages derived from the Neolithic inhabitants of the area and additional lineages from more-recent population movements. The early lineages are part of the common chromosome pool shared with Jews (Nebel et al. 2000). According to our working model, the more-recent migrations were mostly from the Arabian Peninsula…

                  So, as far as male lineage goes, the genetic story is very clear. Palestinians and Jews are virtually indistinguishable.

              • John

                As another anti-Zionist (half-)Jew, I certainly oppose the idea that it is moral to create such a safe haven/homeland by expelling most of the previous population and treating the rest as second class citizens, at best.

                And as an American, I have absolutely no interest in ever moving to such a homeland, and no belief that such a thing would ever be necessary or even desirable for me or anyone I care about.

                • cpinva

                  the “previous population” was jews, roughly 2,000 years ago, before the roman conquest/occupation/diaspora.

                  “As another anti-Zionist (half-)Jew, I certainly oppose the idea that it is moral to create such a safe haven/homeland by expelling most of the previous population and treating the rest as second class citizens, at best.”

                  it’s funny, how conveniently that seems to be forgotten. the palestinians were, at best, squatters, on land historically ancient israel, if you want to go the “historical” route. not that i’m suggesting that i am in full agreement with every single action, committed by the modern state of israel, since its founding in 1948, i am not.

                  as a half-jew, who had relatives murdered by the nazis, i can also appreciate the desire, of a people persecuted for millenia, around the world, for a country of their own, safe from the depredations of their enemies. when that country actually happens to historically be their ancestoral homeland, all the better. i can also appreciate their paranoia, based on those millenia of persecution, the most recent resulting in 6 million dead.

                  times are changing however, and hopefully, israel will be more amenable to addressing the injustices they, in their desire for freedom from persecution, have themselves perpetrated on innocent parties. violence tends to beget violence, a lesson that all parties, to the current conflicts in the middle-east, may finally be starting to learn.

                • Dave

                  Squatters? For TWO THOUSAND YEARS? I really hope you’re attempting a parody here, because if not, you’re insane.

                • Loud Liberal

                  First, you’re premises are false. Second, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

                • Loud Liberal

                  Actually, cpinva and Dave, Arabs did not leave the Arabian peninsuala until the 8th century. Ancient Egyptians, Philistines, Babylonians and Assyrians are not arabs. Further, there have only been 3 sovereign nations in the land of Israel: the two Kingdoms of Israel and the modern Nation of Israel. Hope that helps.

                • John

                  Genetically, the Palestinians are descended from the people who have been living in Palestine for all of recorded history. They are Arabs because they began to speak Arabic after the Arab conquest, not because they are (for the most part) descended from Arabs who left the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century.

                • Anonymous

                  Also, the idea that the “historical” route, whatever that is, leads naturally to Jewish possession of Israel 2000 years ago is absurd. There are still Palestinians alive today who were expelled from their homes in 1948. Their children and grandchildren have been forced to be born and grow up either as stateless refugees, unwanted by the states in which they live and with few economic opportunities there. The ones who didn’t get expelled live either as second class citizens in a country that has little use for them, or under the heels of a brutal occupation.

                  This is a real injustice, happening to real living people in the present day, that is pretty close to a necessary result of Zionist ideology, which demanded a Jewish majority in a territory that had not had one for all of modern history. The idea that something that happened 2000 years ago is in any way comparable to this real, modern injustice is just absurd.

                  That’s not to say that the solution now is to reverse the last 100 years and kick all the Israelis out. That would obviously be just as great an injustice as what happened to the Palestinians. But it seems to me that it’s plenty to say that the Zionist project was inherently flawed, and to reject it in theory. The fact that whenever anyone points to the reality of hundreds of thousands of people being expelled from their homes and prevented from returning, and then having their property seized and given out to new people, all within living memory, is somehow answered by pointing to injustices committed by long extinct empires in ancient times, just shows how bankrupt the case for Zionism is.

                • John

                  That last was me. To continue, I’ll concede that the injustices that happened to the Palestinians are not unique, and that the twentieth century has seen many such injustices. I’ll concede that our own country was built upon similar injustices against the previous population.

                  That’s all true, and we live in the world that was created by those crimes and can’t really make up for them. But accepting the world as it is is not the same thing as defending it as a positive good, which is what Zionism demands. Zionism demands not just saying, “the state of Israel exists now, it is home to the millions of Israeli Jews who live there, and we have to accept that and not try right one wrong by committing another.” It demands saying nonsense about how the fact that ancient Jews lived in the region 2000 years ago somehow justifies expelling the people who’ve lived there for thousands of years, and pretending that there was no injustice there because they are “at best, squatters,” and all kinds of other lunacy – this coming from a commenter who from what I can recall is, on other subjects, perfectly sane.

            • JSC_ltd

              Also, Dude, “Jewish Lobby” is not the preferred nomenclature.

            • Pupienus

              Perhaps instead of “Jewish lobby” he should have said “the Likud lobby, AIPAC.”.

    • Davis X. Machina

      It was sensible terrorism. Check out their shoes.

    • Trollhattan

      Speaking of Ronaldus Maximus(pbuh) the Wonkette post about the NRO bimbette’s piece included this:

      Those who perished as a result of Nazi terror, millions of individual men and women and children whose lives were taken so senselessly, must never be forgotten.–Feb 2, 1983

      Of course, there was the whole Bittburg cemetary thing, which I guess puts Ronny square with our winger Freunden.

  • thebewilderness

    They appear to be objectively pro ethnic cleansing so long as it is done on the basis of “an ethos”.
    Good to know.

    • herr doktor bimler

      That’s Ethic cleansing.

  • Izzy

    As an exercise in rhetorical analysis, I recommend trying to determine what definition of “senseless” she’s using.

  • tomk

    You may want to credit Wonkette, unless they took the dude, ethos from you.


    • Izzy

      I heard the joke twice within five minutes of first reading the NR entry last night. I think it occurred to a massive number of readers. It just fits so perfectly.

      • Malaclypse

        Yep, DeLong used it as well.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          It was honestly my first thought, too, when a FB friend linked to the NRO piece this morning.

          • Auguste

            Yeah, I tweeted it about 30 seconds after the article went up, MFers.

            (In other words, it was a seriously obvious joke.)

            • Scott Lemieux

              Yeah, I really didn’t plagiarize it; I made a really obvious joke.

              • NonyNony

                I believe that making this Blues Brothers quote when it comes to any mention of Nazism is what is known as an “internet tradition”.

                It is, at least, among the many of which I am aware.

                • Anna in PDX

                  They hated illinois nazis. This is Walter from the Big Lebowski.

                • Tyto

                  You mean, “I hate Illinois Nazis”?

                • Incontinentia Buttocks
    • Loud Liberal

      “Fuck you, Reagan. Fuck you.” OMG! Too funny!

  • herr doktor bimler

    Eliana Johnson has no frame of reference here.

    • Kurzleg

      I beg to differ. Rather, Eliana is out of her element. Also, the Kenyan Usurper here is not the issue here. We’re talking about unchecked ethos mischaracterization. Against this mischaracterization, you do not…

  • Kurzleg

    Listen, Eliana, I’m sorry if your father is a wingnut…

  • Kurzleg

    Dude, wingnut is not the preferred nomenclature. Teabagger, please.

    • JKTHs


  • Kraftwerk

    And let’s also not forget–let’s not
    forget, Dude–that keeping wildlife,
    an amphibious rodent, for uh,
    domestic, you know, within the city–
    that isn’t legal either.

    • Kurzleg

      What are you, a (government-dependent, taxpayer leaching) park ranger?

  • Surreal American

    Oh, come on, Scott. They were threatening heads on sticks! Are we gonna split hairs here?

  • herr doktor bimler

    From NRO:
    a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points

    Has NRO considered recruiting writers who speak English? Johnson means “a platform consisting of 25 non-senseless points”.
    Or “25 non-senseless points comprising a platform”.

    I figure that this is one occasion where I can afford to be pedantic without anyone calling me a Grammar Nazi.

    • IM

      The platform was considered by everybody from Hitler down as quite unserious. Hitler argued against any demand of changes with the argument that for propaganda reasons you should stick with your talking points, everything else would just be confusing.

    • Loud Liberal


    • herr doktor bimler

      Part of the issue with Johnson’s screed is that she lists three examples of these points to show how non-senseless they are.

      The first is “unification of all Germans”, which you can read and think “Yeah, that’s a fair request”.
      The second has a certain face plausibility (“land and territory for the sustenance of our people”) until you realise that it’s about annexation and ethnic cleansing…

      So we come to the third example, knowing by now that Johnson picked it out because she agrees with it as well — and it’s “no Jew can be a member of the race”.

    • Laughing Loafer

      Well, to give the devil her due, that’s actually a perfectly fine use of comprise. The word means “to be made up of,” more or less. Your first alternative is a reasonable alternate rendering, but the second is actually not a viable phrase, since it suggests that the 25 points are made up of a platform.

      Otherwise, yeah, that post is hella stupid.

    • dms

      You might think you can afford to be pedantic, but you’d be wrong, because you are wrong. The whole comprises the parts.

    • J R in W. Va.

      Wrong Again!!

      You Grammar Nazi!!

      There, was that good? Did it ping your nerve endings?

      Oh, you’re welcome!

  • JKTHs

    Senseless?!? Who’s the fucking wingnut here!!

    • Kurzleg


  • I almost never click through links like this, but it was worth it. Not only is the article precisely as described, but the comments are a torrent of white-hot disdain, including a quote from Reagan saying almost exactly the same thing.

  • JKTHs

    You know who else defended Nazis?

    • IM

      conservatives, generally.

    • wjts

      The ACLU in Skokie?

    • Cody

      I was reading through the whole thread hoping not to see this joke just so I could make it!

      Consider the all-important internet tradition honored.

  • Tyto

    Her brain probably kidnapped itself. It’s like Lenin says, “follow the stupid.” Young, trophy columnist; big bad black president who won’t give in to her policy preferences…

    • JKTHs

      I am the walrus.

      • The Dark Avenger

        The Second Doctor: You see, he is one of me.

        Jo Grant: Oh, I see. You’re both Time Lords.

        The Second Doctor: Well, quite. Well… not quite.

        Jo Grant: Oh.

        The Second Doctor: Not JUST Time Lords, we’re the SAME Time Lord.

        The Doctor: Now, please, you’re only confusing my assistant. Jo, it’s all quite simple: I am he and he is me.

        Jo Grant: And we’re all together, goo-goo-g’joob?

        The Doctors: What?

        Jo Grant: It’s a song by the Beatles.

        The Second Doctor: Oh, how does it go?

        The Doctor: Oh, please be quiet.

    • BigHank53

      At least this one didn’t try to carve an initial on her own face. On the other hand, that would have healed up pretty quickly, and this…well, Google never forgets.

  • Michael

    Accurately edited quote:

    “[The Nazi] political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including . . . that ‘no Jew can be a member of the race.'”

  • laura

    haha, no NRO sixth-stringers are “random”.

  • Here’s her unapologetic followup, which concludes:

    The hysterical reaction elicited by my post underscores precisely the point I intended to make–that the notion, now deeply ingrained on the left, that violence is by definition senseless and incomprehensible poses an enormous impediment to understanding the world and the forces at work in it.

    OK, I get it. Liberals are sandal-wearing pussies, who spend their days chanting give peace a chance and are unwilling to grapple with the realities of human violence.

    On the other hand, I thought we were also all closet Leninsts, eager to use the violence of the state against our enemies. It’s so confusing.

    • I love the appeal to the dictionary. Always a winner.

    • I knew that was her point (Orig.: “The idea that all violence is “senseless” violence is one that has taken deep root on the left; it’s also, unfortunately, one that poses a major impediment to understanding the world.”) & typed as much elsewhere. You dare not impugn guns or violence of any sort in their little world, you leftist wimps & weenies.

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