Jonah Goldberg Thinks "Klingon-Style" Shunning Is Absurd. Has He Told David Frum?
November 03, 2008, 10:57 PM
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On Bloggingheads.tv Ross Douthat and Jonah Goldberg [Email him] talk about various elitist conservatives who have been attacking Sarah Palin. Douthat briefly quotes from a Redstate.com editorial that says

We have been treated in recent weeks to an unfortunate procession of people on the Right lending their assistance to Barack Obama against the Republican presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. These people should never be listened to or employed in any responsible or prominent position by anyone in the Republican Party or the conservative movement again.

One group—including Colin Powell, Ken Adelman, Charles Fried, Scott McClellan, and Christopher Buckley—has explicitly endorsed Obama. Like hostages giving forced confessions, their statements doing so seem to repeat the same basic list of 3 or 4 talking points aimed at swaying wavering moderates. Members of a second group—Chuck Hagel, Paul O'Neill—have declined to formally endorse but have nonetheless made numerous appearances with Obama and lent their good names to his policy initiatives. A third group—David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, George Will, Kathleen Parker—has remained nominally on the side of the McCain-Palin ticket but exerted far more effort tearing down that ticket than on addressing the problems presented by the Obama-Biden ticket, often using the terms and tone reserved for full-throated opposition to a candidate's election.[RedState: Conservatism's Sunshine Patriots Will Never Live Down Their Collaboration With The Obama Campaign]

Jonah Goldberg calls the idea of reading people out of the conservative movement "absurd" and says  it reminds him of the Klingon ceremony of discommendation, where the Klingon council all stood in a circle around Lieutenant Worf, and then turned their backs on him. (Jonah is a big Star Trek fan.)

If you're not a Star Trek fan, the whole idea of shunning within the conservative movement is more likely to remind you of David Frum's notorious attack on what he called "Unpatriotic Conservatives":(Including Pat Buchanan and VDARE.com.)

"War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen—nd the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. Now we turn our backs on them."["Unpatriotic Conservatives", By David Frum, [Email him]National Review, April 7, 2003]
That's the kind of thinking that's absurd.