Greg Gutfeld Wins at Life

I received The Joy of Hate for Christmas yesterday, and devoured it in a day. It’s a quick read, and most of it tells me something I learned long ago: that “tolerance” is a rhetorical slight-of-hand whereby progressives grant themselves a license to demonize, terrorize and condemn. So to the extent that it didn’t reveal anything to me, I was disappointed. One encounters this in reading books by conservatives and libertarians: a lot of “Right on, brother,” and very little “I did not know that.”

Plus, I was looking for something on the order of the book’s tag line “How to Triumph Over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.” Most of the book served to point out the phony outrage, which, as said, I didn’t quite need.

The final chapter “The End of Hate,” however, came close. An excerpt:

A few months ago, I came up with something called the Mirror Jerk Effect. This is how it works: Let’s say Ed Schultz makes a crack about Sarah Palin that I don’t like, because I like Palin and I don’t like Schultz I create a mirror effect. I say to myself, What if, instead of Schultz and Palin, it’s Rush and Garafalo? If I don’t care about Rush’ opinion of a silly lefty, then I shouldn’t care about a lefty’s opinion of a conservative I like. This little mental exercise eliminates so much wasted energy that I now have time to help the poor and needy (i.e., myself).

For the most part you gotta think like one of those lions on the Serengeti, which I beleive is in Canada. Conserve energy and then expend it when you need it most. Responding toe very stupid remark or caustic joke will wear you down. That’s why bitter people look decades older than they really are. I’m told Ed Schultz is really twenty-six.

That’s the kind of happy-warrior mentality that Breitbart, who gets a chapter devoted to him, exemplified. Breitbart didn’t just attack the news; he made the news. He didn’t just snipe at the media; he made them dance to his tune. And they hated him for it, and he reveled in their hate.

This is the lesson that the tag-line promised: the triumph lies in absorbing your enemy’s rage and continuing on anyway, because for all their fury they remain powerless to stop you. Sandra Fluke was supposed to end Rush Limbaugh; he’s still there.

Determine yourself. Know who you are and what you are about. Figure out what you will and won’t stand for, and then the Great Hypersensitive diminish to the background noise in the annals of history that they truly are.

There’s Always An Excuse For Your Slut

Ace fisks Frum on the strained nature of the “Tu Quoque” Fallacy.

These are the same points I brought up earlier, when explaining that I did not care about Limbaugh’s outburst. But as Frum points out, Letterman did apologize for what he said about Willow Palin, as did Ed Schultz when he called Laura Ingraham a slut. And he concedes that Bill Maher did not apologize, but doubled down.

So far, so good. If Frum had stopped there, he would have the better of the argument, if the argument was about why Rush should apologize (which he has done, and which I seemed to bemoan in the comments of my earlier thread, having forgotten that Letterman and Schultz did apologize). The fact that Maher refused an apology does not give Limbaugh a pass, merely underline Maher’s degeneracy.

But Frum does not stop there. He tries to fashion out of straw and manure some manner of contention that Limbaugh’s act was different, a “new low”. He tries to assert that Schultz and Letterman and Maher are unimportant, whereas Limbaugh is the Right. All of which makes his preceding fairness a weak, old rhetorical trick aimed at smearing everyone on the Right with Limbaugh’s words, while simultaneously absolving the Left of everything Bill Maher says.

I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh in years, because I work for a living, and have better things to do ‘twixt one and three than be told things I already agree with. When I was a young fellow, Limbaugh’s mix of iconoclasm and populism set me free to say things already in my head. I don’t need that anymore. He’s not the entirety of the Right. He wasn’t even the entire Right in 1994, at what was perhaps the height of his influence. He’s even less so today.

It would be better if we could just police our own, and trust that the other side would police theirs. To the extent that I implied that Letterman et al. got off scot-free for their calumnies, I was in error with my earlier post. To the extent that Frum pretends that one side’s calumnies don’t matter, he remains in error, and complicit in the error of others.