The blog Old Atlantic Lighthouse has no more use for the late Robert Novak than did VDARE’s Kevin Lamb, without perhaps, the same disillusioning personal experiences. nation of immigrants Robert Novak called us xenophobic demagogues August 18, 2009 is a piece in OAL’s trademark style, a briefing book or portfolio of links, considering the later Novak in the context of the recent times. It is very effective.
The pivotal link is to Novak’s column The GOP's Battle on the Border The Washington Post. Thursday, May 24, 2007. This was indeed a very crude denunciation of Republican restrictionists on the traditional ethnocentric grounds of “My-grandparents-from-Russia-were-good-for-this country-so-all-immigration-is-good”
This nation of immigrants has greeted successive waves of newcomers with apprehension stoked by demagogues. It has overcome such past xenophobic impulses. But that will be more difficult in an era of Internet bloggers and radio talkers
Old Atlantic Lighthouse then lays out the heads of objection to Novak’s ignorant assertion - which gave no sign of awareness of the 1924 cut-off - including
Income inequality is an upright U …It was high during immigration prior to 1924, it fell to a low by the 1960’s, and then rose again to the highest ever today.
See chart below from Krugman
Novak laments that the GOP's failure to get on board and pass some variation of the president's amnesty plan will 'divide' the party and 'topple the GOP.'
Well, cry me a river, Novak. I am more worried that the GOP, under the deranged leadership of open borders pimps, cheap labor enablers, and globalists, will topple the Republic.
Now which is more important, the Republic, or the Republican party? I know what my answer is, and I would bet I also know what Novak's answer would be.
OAL concludes (with a well-judged passing thump at “Freeperism”
Freepers are useful idiots of the Left
On real issues that mattered such as immigration restriction, Novak used his position as a seeming conservative to shut down whites from stopping immigration. Novak was a neocon from the beginning. This spirit has captured the Republican party…They have Buckley Disease.
If a Neoconservative, Novak was an unusual one of course, Jewish by birth but Roman Catholic by conversion, whose disapproval of GWB’s Iraq venture earned him a prominent place in David Frum’s celebrated “Unpatriotic Conservative” denunciation. In later years, Novak resorted to the low-rent subterfuge of blaming his clashes with Zionists on his long-time partner, Rowland Evans. As the JTA News Service reports:
In his 2008 autobiography, “The Prince of Darkness,” Novak credited Evans with reporting and writing their columns that criticized Israel.
“But,” he quickly added, “my name appeared on every one of them and I agreed with my partner. The issue was just not on the top of my priority list, then or now.”
When he did return to the subject in the years following Evans’ retirement and subsequent death, Novak did so most often because of his concerns over the fate of Palestinian Christians.
Robert Novak: Feared political columnist, harsh critic of Israel
By Ron Kampeas • August 18, 2009
JTA smugly adds
Several times in his autobiography, Novak wrote about what he described as the efforts of pro-Israel critics to get newspapers to drop his and Evans’ syndicated column. Novak claimed that shortly after being told by the editor of the Newark Star-Ledger in 1975 that advertisers were complaining about Evans and Novak’s “anti-Israel” reporting, the newspaper dropped their syndicated column.
“It was one of about a hundred newspapers that we lost in a surprisingly short period of time,” Novak wrote. “Whatever the reason — and I had my suspicions — we never built back our base.”
One could see Novak as an example of Peter Brimelow’s frequently-repeated concept that political minds formed in the generation after WW2, in the era of the Cold War and a semi-socialized economy, simply cannot adapt to the problems of another era, of which nation-shattering immigration is primary. We have to wait for them to die off.
It is refreshing to read Ken Tomlinson’s informative and affectionate obituary Bob Novak, a Giant of Journalism Human Events 08/18/08 and be reminded that in that bygone era, Novak did make a contribution
Few journalists have ever affected this nation like Bob Novak. Take the Evans-Novak column that ran under the title “the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine” in the early spring of 1976...
State Department Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt had told a London gathering of American ambassadors that Soviet domination of Eastern Europe was actually necessary for world peace. In fact, Poland was a good example of the benefits of Soviet control because that had enabled the Poles to overcome their “romantic” political instincts which had led to so many “disasters in their past.”
Henry Kissinger’s right-hand man was confirming that détente was code for Communist victory over freedom. Within days, candidate Ronald Reagan who was challenging President Ford in Republican primaries, declared the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine meant “slaves should accept their fate.”...
Ford …in his presidential debate with Jimmy Carter…still defensive over the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine…stubbornly insisted that the Polish people were free. The election was over
Did Novak thus cause Reagan?!!!
Also, it is pleasant to find that Novak did have taste:
One day in the mid-70s after he had spent an evening with William F. Buckley, Jr. and friends at the Buckleys’ townhouse in Manhattan, Novak complained how boring the evening had been. “All they talked about was harpsichords,” he said.
Peter Brimlow would agree.