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Is John Podhoretz a degenerative condition?
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January 21, 2006, 08:15 PM
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A squabble broke out this week on NRO about immigration. It was not, as might have been expected from the priorities of these Beltway courtiers and groupies , about how Randy Pullen`s courageous resolution to the Republican National Committee this week should be handled. On that there was total, utter silence. It was about a remark, spectacularly dumb even by his standards, by John Podhoretz. In response to a post by Katheryn Lopez reporting that a correspondent had said:

It is important that conservatives be reminded - again and again - that the WSJ`s editorial board holds an absolutely indefensible position on our current immigration policies, and that the WSJ - again and again - uses vile and incendiary rhetoric to attack Republicans who hold different opinions on this issue.

Podhoretz said:

You want a warning label? Here`s a warning label: There is no one conservative position on immigration.

By definition, conservatives are sceptical about change. As the Eunomania blog noted, even his collegues flinched. Jonah Goldberg (infrequently praised here) made a totally reasonable statement, summarised as:

Goldberg does have it right for once—conservatives do need, at a bare minimum, to accept the conditions he set down to still be conservative, and those who can`t aren`t really conservative. This is what the folks at VDare, Chronicles and TAC have been saying about the Open Borders crowd for years.

Back in July, Clark Stooksburyhad it right as well:

In a just world, Poddy junior would be selling shoes with Al Bundy, instead of being a nattering nabob of the neocon punditocracy. He currently holds forth at National Review`s the Corner, which more and more resembles the Web equivalent of a high school study hall.

Anyone who has ever been in the presence of JP`s father, Norman Podhoretz (as I was, just last fall) realises that this is a spectacular case of regression to the mean. Norman is a very serious man.

But the question is, are the Podhoretz men, able or not able, good for America?