By Carol Iannone
Paul Gottfried confesses to Schadenfreude over Linda Chavez's having to withdraw her nomination for Secretary of Labor. He feels this because her Center for Equal Opportunity worked to drive paleoconservative Samuel Francis off The Washington Times because of their opposition to his views on immigration. That may be true but the particular "smoking gun" used to dismiss Francis concerned the perennial charge of racism. This interested me because at the time of my nomination to the Advisory Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1991, Francis wrote a column in opposition to me. He agreed with the leftwing groups who said that I lacked scholarly credentials (a figleaf charge they would not have made had I been of their political persuasion, not to mention what trendy nonsense counts as literary "scholarship" for the Modern Languages Association), and dismissed the way I'd been smeared by the charge of racism, saying that few people took such charges seriously anymore. Was he hoist on his own petard when the charge of racism was used to bring him down? Should I have felt Schadenfreude? I didn't. I feel how sad it is that the conservative movement, a beseiged minority movement to begin with, cannot present a united front to the world, but wastes itself in preying upon its own members and settling old scores (which are never settled anyway).