As I explained in my 1991 column questioning Miss Iannone`s qualifications for the National Humanities Advisory Council, it was not clear to me that she possessed the academic credentials and professional experience the position demanded - credentials and experience that are not a "figleaf" and which a number of paleo-conservative as well as neoconservative academics did possess.
Also, Miss Iannone was then a neo-conservative herself; as such, her main concern was with opposing the Political Correctness of the Left, using the NEH as a neo-conservative perch, and imposing a neoconservative Political Correctness in place of that of the Left.
There was no indication that she, NEH chairman Lynne Cheney, or their neoconservative supporters held any interest whatsoever in the paleo-conservative goal of dismantling the NEH itself, a Great Society agency that, with its sister the NEA, serves as the cultural enforcement branch of the managerial state.
Nor was there ever any suggestion that qualified paleo-conservatives be appointed to the NEH council or similar positions. If and when that was suggested (as with the Mel Bradford controversy in 1981), neocons were the first to work with the left (usually surreptitiously) to sabotage them, but paleos are expected to tamely support and endorse any and all neocon appointments.
Miss Iannone may whine today about "how sad it is" that all conservatives can`t "present a united front" and work together, but M.E. Bradford, Professor Gottfried, the Rockford Institute, Joe Sobran, Peter Brimelow, Pat Buchanan, and I and almost all other paleo-conservatives of any eminence have learned exactly how "united" neoconservatives are when it comes to supporting us against the left. Why the hell should we support the neo-cons?
Finally, Miss Iannone`s claim that what happened to me at The Washington Times is comparable to what happened to her when her nomination was rejected is invalid - except perhaps in so far as my being fired was neocon revenge for opposing them and their agenda. I lost my job and (in certain quarters) my reputation; she merely failed to be confirmed to a federal appointment.
In my 1991 column questioning her credentials, I explicitly rejected the accusations of racism against her. I acknowledge that I was perhaps naive about such charges being taken seriously; they are certainly taken seriously by neoconservatives and others on the left who do not hesitate to use them against their rivals on the right, as neoconservatives like Chavez and her cabal at the CEO who were plotting to attack me used the charge of "racism" and similar leftist codewords for the explicit purpose of ruining me. In short, my critique of Miss Iannone was confined at the most to questioning her credentials for a particular appointment, while the neo-conservative attack on me was intended to harm me and my professional career, "to run Sam Francis out of polite society," as one of Chavez` lackeys at the CEO said, and to get the Washington Times to "kick this guy out."
I leave it to others to judge whether I today remain in "polite society" or not, but certainly I find the atmosphere I inhabit far cleaner and fresher than that exuded by the neo-conservatives with whom I once was obliged to associate.
Samuel Francis is a syndicated columnist.
January 20, 2001