Leonard Pitts hits another homerun

Pitts has long been my favorite editorial writer. He gave a great talk at Xavier several years ago, and I almost always agree with him, and if I don’t, he often persuades me.

If you don’t always read him, read this one now. He begins by urging the reader to view this video, to which a million people have linked. Then he really gets going, with this Pulitzer-worthy passage in particular:

Some will say it’s unfair to paint thoughtful conservatives with the same brush one uses to tar this blowhard. I would suggest the very need to use that modifier speaks volumes. There was once a day when conservatism was driven by principles: smaller government, less-intrusive government, strong national defense, fiscal sobriety. But in the years since that day, the putative heirs to Reagan have trampled not just those principles, but also principle itself.

The ideology that wanted small government now presides over expanded government, the one that wanted less intrusion now seeks to regulate bedroom behavior, the one that demanded strong national defense has run the military into the ground, the one that championed fiscal sobriety turned a $236 billion budget surplus into a $400 billion deficit. And if thoughtful conservatives see the disconnect, if they have the intellectual integrity to find it shameful, the newsflash is, thoughtful conservatives no longer predominate their ideology.

No, that honor goes to unthoughtful conservatives, the loud, proudly ignorant voices of talk radio, books and television of which Kevin James is now the poster child. Matthews kept asking him to explain the sins of Neville Chamberlain and he kept crying, ”appeasement! appeasement!” clinging to the words like a drowning man to a raft.

That’s what people like him do. They are geniuses at rhetoric (”War on Christmas,” anyone?) that rouses the rabble and lets them feel aggrieved, while simultaneously having the intellectual heft of cotton balls. But they can no more step beyond that rhetoric than Gilligan could step off his island. There is no there there.


4 Responses to Leonard Pitts hits another homerun

  1. Moishe says:

    Wow…I could not agree more with Mr. Pitts. And I’m a conservative. But a conservative who recently changed party affiliation from Republican to independent. I also love reading Pitts’ column. What the Bush brand of conservative and the radio pundits that love him have done is destroy a once proud party and movement. As a result political discourse has become gutter talk and totally vile. Kevin James, Rush and all the others are hateful and thoughtless gas bags.

  2. HammHawk says:

    Thanks for the comment, Moishe. I know there’s hypocrisy all around in both major parties, but the Republican party really has been co-opted by people who aren’t really conservative. One of my biggest beefs with W is that he claims to be conservative, but there’s so little conservative about him. As a non-conservative, I find myself far more sympathetic to true conservative arguments (smaller government does indeed sound like a good thing) than to the buzzword-based claptrap that says you need to prove your patriotism at every turn. I think if true conservatism can take over, people in the country would find that they’re a lot closer to agreement than they feel right now. Maybe I’m naive, but I think that most of the time, people agree on most of our goals, but the process is where we differ.

  3. ‘They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t eventalk the way these people talk: Why you ain’t, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay,Where he work, Who you be…
    And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.

    And then I heard the father talk.

    Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crapcoming out of your mouth.

    In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. Peoplemarched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and nowwe’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.

    The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

    These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500sneakers for what??

    And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics. I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there inan orange suit.

    Where were you when he was 2??

    Where were you when he was 12??

    Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had apistol?

    And where is the father?? Or who is his father?

    People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?

    People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t thata sign of something?

    Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?

    Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and gotall type of needles [piercing] going through her body? What part ofAfrica did this come from??

    We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thingabout Africa.

    With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, andall of them are in jail.

    Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the whiteperson’s problem.

    We have got to take the neighborhood back.

    People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eightdifferent ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.

    We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

    We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs.We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart withseven kids, you are hurting us.

    We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

    We cannot blame the white people any longer.

    Dr. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.

    It’s NOT about color… It’s about behavior!!!

  4. hammhawk says:

    And Bill Cosby now proudly inspiring the right wingers of the world. Sigh.

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