‘In the Famous Wordsof Rahm Emanuel . . .’

And you know what those two words are, don’t you, Rod Dreher?

Lately, Dreher has endlessly whined about talk-radio personalities he considers uncouth lowbrows. In March, Dreher said that Limbaugh’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference “made clear that the GOP and the conservative movement are stuck on stupid.” In April, Dreher said Glenn Beck was “giving crackpots a bad name.” Then Friday, Dreher called Mark Levin a “cretin,” a “creep” and a “trashmouth.” . . .
“Cretin”? A magna cum laude graduate of Temple University, Levin served in the Reagan administration, ultimately as chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese, before becoming president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. All of this Levin accomplished before beginning his successful radio career and, most recently, authoring the No. 1 bestseller Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto.
That Levin employs hyperbole and sarcasm on his show is only shocking to people who don’t listen to talk radio. More importantly, Levin believes conservatives are in a fight they cannot afford to lose, against implacable adversaries determined to win at all costs. When a guy begins a fight by slamming a barstool into the back of your head, the Marquis of Queensberry rules do not apply. If you respond by ripping open his carotid artery with the jagged edge of a broken beer bottle, whose fault is that? (“He needed killing,” as Texans like to say.) . . .

Please read the whole thing. Of course, Levin is fully capable of defending himself, and does so at length at Dan Riehl’s blog, including back and forth in the comments with Conor Friedersdorf. This is all part of the same problem I’ve been talking about for months, so also see:

You will find unfavorable reference to me in a series on “Conservative Renewal” at The Ordinary Gentlemen. What manner of conservative is Freddie DeBoer? Beats me, other than to say he’s the kind of conservative who doesn’t like me — a potentially formidable coalition there, I’m sure.

Unfortunately, there is so much competition for anti-Stacy market share that the numerous Gentlemen could manage only 45K visits in April, less than a third of what we racked up here with just me and Smitty.

I’m the pinata at this fiesta, so Clark Stooksbury gets in a whack, as does Friedersdorf. (What, Larison took a holiday?) The experience of being bear-baited like this, when I have so much to do that I can’t even keep up with my e-mail, is one reason I’m sympathetic to Levin:

Levin, who served as Ed Meese’s chief of staff, must defend in detail everything he says during 15 hours of weekly radio time against whatever specific criticism any blogger might make, or else be presumed indefensible.

It’s absurd, you see. Friedersdorf lashes out and then, if Levin considers it unworthy of his labor to respond point-by-point, Friedersdorf shouts that Levin didn’t address his “substantive criticisms.” Like Zell Miller said to Chris Matthews, it makes a fellow nostalgic for the days of the code duello.

Tim Blair of the Telegraph is at least amused my enumeration of behaviors that distinguish one from the wusses of Beltway elite journalism. OK, Tim, you want more?

  • If you’ve ever paid your rent with proceeds from ticket-scalping;
  • If you’ve ever had a search warrant served at your home;
  • If your high school yearbook was signed by at least one person later sentenced to life without parole;
  • If you have at least one scar as the result of a motorcycle accident;
  • If you’ve ever been in a fight that ended when your sister-in-law pulled a pistol;
  • If you know all the words to at least one David Allen Coe song;
  • If you’ve ever eluded a pursuing police car;
  • If you’ve ever been on the front row at a ZZ Top concert;
  • If you’ve ever worked in a strip club;
  • If you got fired for “fraternization” . . .

Well, the list could be extended ad infinitum, I suppose, but my wife reads the blog. And I must point out that I used to be a Democrat, so that the charge of “conservative hypocrisy” doesn’t apply. Of course, the main thing that separates me from the Beltway elite wusses is that none of them ever sported a Speedo in such fine style.

UPDATE: Thanks to Freddie DeBoer, Sully has now named me “the Malkinyest of Malkin Award winners.” Hey, I’m just “a kid from the South Bronx,” yo.

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