Kejda Gjermani her miscellaneous musings

22Sep/09147

The Other “Other McCain”

The Other McCain

The Other McCain

Unprovoked and unchallenged, Robert Stacy McCain has been harassing Charles Johnson of LittleGreenFootballs relentlessly over the past ten days—twenty posts and counting since September 15th and the archive of hatred and verbose distortions runs deeper. Yesterday, seemingly unsatisfied at the breadth and depth the coverage of Johnson’s evils had received from his own blog, he launched a new outlet for seething against him, carved out of HotAir with its administrators’ approval. From McCain’s inauguratorory remarks, we learn that creating the Green Room—as he colorfully calls it—had become necessary because both at his blog and at HotAir, “commenters have been hijacking every thread to discuss the disastrous self-immolation of Charles Johnson.” That HotAir and the Other McCain are plagued by hordes of commenters who care for nothing but trashing Johnson—to the point of needing a separate forum custom-made for this purpose—speaks more about these blogs’ readership and appeal than it does about Johnson.

But let me speak about Charles Johnson for a minute. He does not need me to defend him, but if I keep silent, a few facts may remain understated: For one thing, he never started a blog war with Robert Stacy McCain. All he did was note—in a discreet comment at his site—that Stephen Green of Vodkapundit was promoting McCain, whom Charles rightfully labeled a white supremacist. When Green responded with a passive-aggressive post making excuses for McCain, Charles provided sources to back his assertion. See that? Only two hyperlinks in the next-to-last sentence, because two posts, mainly consisting of outside sources and direct quotes—the most damning ones from McCain himself—were enough to establish McCain’s racist bona fides. Truth is succinct, truth is crisp. It does not seethe, it does not prevaricate, it is not affected.

What McCain has responded with are long-winded heaps of nothingness, shot through the ether in rapid succession. Does he ever address the direct quotes and facts Charles has laid out? No. Here is an example of what he does instead:

Johnson's attack on me at LGF depends largely on convincing his readers that, because I am an obstreperous Southerner . . . well, nudge, nudge. You know how those people are.

Except when they aren't.…People who hate the South—and I think Charles Johnson might fit that description—will not permit you the leisure of merely saying, "Well, we're not all bad."…

Charles Johnson was not [at the Tea Party]. I was. And so were lots of people from Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia… oh, wait. I forgot. All Southerners are ignorant racists, right, Charles?

One dull, pathetic lie that is…. Charles never said or suggested any of the above. He merely related a simple fact to his readers—that Robert Stacy McCain has been a member of the neo-confederate League of the South. Does McCain dispute this much? No. In fact, he digresses:

[T]he point is that I was pursuing my professional duty when I first came into contact with the League of the South, and of my subsequent involvement, there are many things that people think they know—on the basis of SPLC reports—which are not necessarily true. And there are many, many thinks [sic] that people do not know.

To what mysteries do you allude, Robert? Are you a member or not? Have you ever been? The League’s secessionist intentions are a matter of public record, as is her pro-slavery stance. One of her cofounders, Thomas Fleming, makes a cameo appearance in my exposé of Serge Trifkovic, where some of his blatantly racist pronouncements are quoted in full—no one can accuse me of taking him out of context when he openly defends the Klan and rejects the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So, Robert, care to elaborate on that subsequent involvement of yours in the League? Neither do you deny being a member of it nor do you wish to utter anything unflattering about it. Then why the caveat when you link to fellow-Leaguers (emphasis mine)?

Meanwhile, keeping in mind that a link is not necessarily an endorsement, League of the South blogger Old Rebel offers his own idiosyncratic [sic] of Chronic Degenerative Lizardmania: [Deranged screed follows—ed.]

Do hedge your bets, Robert. Leave those modifiers dangling too—they make it easier to claim later that you’ve been misunderstood in whichever way it conveniences you to be misunderstood….

In response to my husband—the “an anonymous a—hole”—who calls him out on the friendship and business relation with Richard Spencer of TakiMagazine, McCain retorts:

Richard Spencer, as I have written before, is a young radical intellectual who has read too much Nietzsche. Should he be shunned therefore?

Oh dear…. I will gladly capitulate to Godwin’s Law if it means pointing out that Hitler started out as a young radical intellectual who had read too much Nietzsche (and Schopenhauer). Spencer, McCain’s friend and intermittent source of paychecks, is a notorious white nationalist—he will freely reveal himself as such if you meet him in person; at least he has to me and to MPH, the “anonymous a—hole.”

More evasions from McCain:

[Johnson’s] attack on me at LGF is a classic "ransom note method" attack—the assembling of this, that and the other to create a collage, like a kidnapper glueing [sic] together words clipped from magazines.

Pretty vivid imagery there… of a collage… stitched together from quotes and facts. The horror! But who would dare ransom this quote from McCain?

[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sister-in-law, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

This, from someone who feels reluctant to shun Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and other assorted bigots, primarily out of strategic considerations:

You cannot build a successful political movement by a process of subtraction, and building a winning coalition is impossible if you organize on losing principles. Allowing your opposition to dictate the terms of acceptable discourse is a losing principle, as Jeff Goldstein has striven to explain. Ergo, Johnson manifests a defeatist tendency when he pronounces Geller and Spencer "untouchables" because they attended a European conference whose promoters included some unsavory characters.

Robert, I assure you: If only you could discriminate less against people of different skin color, you would safely afford to discriminate more against would-be allies of stained character or reputation. And on aggregate, the numbers in your winning coalition would not suffer one bit from this shift—trust me, I’ve done the math. McCain further writes:

The point is that, in attacking me as a "neo-Confederate," Charles Johnson arrogantly supposes that the facts he knows (or rather, believes he knows, as there has been so much misinformation propagated over the years) are the only facts that matter, and that whatever facts he doesn't know must be irrelevant.

This is where the Hayekian insight comes in handy. Friedrich Hayek understood that central economic planning could not work because the information contained in prices is too complex, diverse and localized to be supplanted by decisions made by "experts."

In the same way, our individual opinions on subjects of controversy—including, but not limited to, public policy—are shaped by our personal experiences and knowledge.

Sir, I see your gratuitous invocation of Hayek’s information theory and I raise you Henry Hazlit’s elaboration of opportunity cost—from one Austrian economist to another:

A bridge is built. If it is built to meet an insistent public demand, if it solves a traffic problem or a transportation problem otherwise insoluble, if, in short, it is even more necessary to the taxpayers collectively than the things for which they would have individually spent their money had it had not been taxed away from them, there can be no objection. But a bridge built primarily “to provide employment” is a different kind of bridge….

The bridge exists. It is, let us suppose, a beautiful and not an ugly bridge. It has come into being through the magic of government spending. Where would it have been if the obstructionists and the reactionaries had had their way? There would have been no bridge. The country would have been just that much poorer. Here again the government spenders have the better of the argument with all those who cannot see beyond the immediate range of their physical eyes. They can see the bridge. But if they have taught themselves to look for indirect as well as direct consequences they can once more see in the eye of imagination the possibilities that have never been allowed to come into existence. They can see the unbuilt homes, the unmade cars and washing machines, the unmade dresses and coats, perhaps the ungrown and unsold foodstuffs. To see these uncreated things requires a kind of imagination that not many people have. We can think of these nonexistent objects once, perhaps, but we cannot keep them before our minds as we can the bridge that we pass every working day. What has happened is merely that one thing has been created instead of others.

Take that, and apply it to your strategic reasons for tolerating fascists, white nationalists, and religious supremacists in polite company. Their presence in a movement is palpable—hey show up in a head count—but how many sane thinkers who might otherwise sympathize with a cause or idea will never join, out of sheer disgust with its co-optation by fascists and bigots? We’ll never know…. This consideration applies not only to the involvement of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, or Ann Coulter in the “conservative movement,” but also to your own trafficking in Austrian circles—Hayek is rolling in his grave as neo-confederate cranks twist his ideas in their defense.

Now, back to Charles Johnson… I may disagree with him on any number of issues and still find debating ideas with him a pleasure. He has never given me reason to doubt his integrity or his sanity, and for enduring—without so much as a flinch—the storm of excrement blowing his way from “conservative” quarters of the blogosphere, my hat goes off to him. Refusing to break bread with outspoken bigots should not constitute a tense moral dilemma. It’s basic decency—the kind we should safely take for granted in others and in ourselves. As Charles’s alter ego Lao Stinky put it, “Refusing to dive into a sewer doesn’t mean you’re cleaner than everyone else.” No one deserves a medal for refusing to descend into vitriol and bigotry, but basic virtues are becoming so hard to come by on the Right that they must be spelled out anew. And it’s embarrassing that it has come to this.

White nationalist Robert Stacy McCain now prominently blogrolls lgf2, a hate site run by a couple of dangerous whacks prone to physical violence—and encourages its commenters to congregate at Hot Air. He brings up the nicknames of commenters banned from LGF—apparently, they’re no longer "anonymous a—holes" when they play his game—and encourages them to seethe at his site. Could there be a move pettier than cultivating disgruntled ex-commenters banned for good reasons from another site? I mean, at least from “one of the top Hayekian public intellectuals in America”?

To all those "pundits" who should know better—Vodka, Allah, Insta, I am pointing at you—some candid advice: Get your neo-confederate protégée to shut up, because the more he talks, the deeper the hole he digs himself into, and the more uncomfortable you will feel when you come to his defense.

UPDATE: I've learned that Hot Air's "Green Room" was not created specifically for hosting Robert Stacy McCain's diatribes against Charles Johnson. It's rather a platform for all "outside bloggers" who contribute to Hot Air. I did not know this because I have not read Hot Air in a long time. What McCain did was use an existing platform to publish a thread exclusively dedicated to trashing Charles Johnson. There... is that better?

UPDATE: Over at “The Other McCain,” Stacy is already reacting by, you guessed it, weaseling his way around my arguments. He pretends to respond by quoting a sentence of mine—cherry-picked for its relative irrelevance to the charges against him:

White nationalist Robert Stacy McCain now prominently blogrolls lgf2, a hate site run by a couple of dangerous whacks prone to physical violence—and encourages its commenters to congregate at Hot Air.

Then he proceeds to “debunk” it by informing me that “there are these things called facts,… and there are witnesses to those facts.” These “facts” Stacy links to and their respective “witnesses” are nothing but photos of his son with his football teammates, of whom some are black and one is Asian. So his offspring has been caught on camera looking friendly among blacks, in front of witnesses. Stacy, you’ve humored me. If this is the best you can muster in your defense, I rest my case. The idea of having blacks for in-laws still repulses you. But to your credit, you have established that not only you don’t mind transacting business with a black bank clerk, but you will even tolerate your son playing with black kids. You are much more open-minded than I had realized and I am not above admitting it.

From another update:

Now we see where Kejda Gjermani is getting her misinformation. A commenter identifies her husband as software entrepreneur Michael P. Hussey…[so MPH was not an anonymous a—hole after all—ed.] Apparently "mph" encountered Richard Spencer—perhaps at a libertarian event? some sort of Paulista gathering?—in New York, where they both live, and words were exchanged…. Alas, "mph" has made serious mistakes by recycling materials of dubious credibility, and—if it is true that "mph" is Hussey—he has committed an even more serious error by involving Gjermani in what appears to be some sort of personal feud with Spencer.

Leaving aside the misogynistic presumption that it must have been my husband who fed me “misinformation” or “involved” me in anything, I must correct Stacy’s allegation that it was at a libertarian event or “Paulista gathering” that my husband and I met Richard Spencer. For someone so ostensibly committed to not jumping to conclusions without knowing “the facts,” Stacy is sure making up a lot of stuff from thin air. For the record, we met Spencer at a debate titled “Is Zionism Racism?” There was a show of hands, and guess which way Richard Spencer voted? To this day, I remain wholly confused as to what his vote revealed about his attitude to Israel, because he seems to consider racism a good thing.

To top it off, Stacy taunts us:

Pay close attention, idiots: Just because I haven't bothered to deny something doesn't mean it's true. The burden of proof is on the accuser, and good luck proving some of the things you have so flatly asserted. There are facts. And there are witnesses.

He doesn't bother denying any of the charges against him. But he does bother writing dozens of articles, each over 1,000 words long, to harass whomever brings up unflattering facts from his past. Facts that he doesn't deny, but pleads with his readers not to believe.... I need some Advil....

If you like this post - buy me a coffee




coded by nessus
Comments (147) Trackbacks (4)
  1. There are 2 big problems with all of this. First, You and CJ somehow believe that you have the ultimate moral authority to decide if someone is a racist or not and then to declare either we agree or… we’re racists. Doesn’t matter that others, some who know him personally, have looked at the evidence against RSMcCain and found it lacking, they’re obvious racists too. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that you have a habit of crying “raaacist!” but you cannot say the same about Johnson. He continually misrepresents what others have said/done (Malkin/Ed/HotAir comes to mind most recently) in some sort of twisted way to make them out to be white supremacists. If you haven’t learned over the last year the lengths he’ll go to smear people, then you haven’t been reading enough CJ. Don’t tie yourself to a guy who’s throwing himself off a ledge.

    2. If you’re going to charge someone with racism, then you better be absolutely sure. It’s like saying someone is a rapist, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not a lot of people are going to believe it is based on the accusation alone. Look at what happened to that cop in Cambridge or the kids at Duke. Continued false accusations of racism weakens an actual problem. He’s cried “racist!” so much I wouldn’t believe him if he were actually telling the truth.

    BTW, don’t know about McCain, don’t read McCain, Don’t care in general about McCain, same with Beck. If I had kids, I’d make sure to get them there shots. I’m an atheist so I.D. doesn’t make any sense at all to me, and really don’t care if others hope it’s true. Don’t watch Foxnews/CNN/MSNBC. My family has multiple interracial couples and I have attended schools where I was a minority. I hate to add such a huge disclaimer but if I don’t someone at lgf will try to make me out as some “teabagging apologist”, which reminds me, I don’t know anyone who has ever attended a teaparty of any kind except my wife when she was 4.

    • So if someone told you that the interracial couples in your family filled them with “altogether natural revulsion”, you wouldn’t call that person racist?

      And if not, what the hell is wrong with you?
      .-= peterb´s last blog ..Next Next Gen =-.

  2. Thank you for this fantastic blog post! I bookmarked your blog and intend to read you often. I learned so much today.

  3. I only have one comment about one small slice of the issue.

    I have seen before this argument: “I can’t be a racist. Look, I have some friends/acquaintances/people I don’t spit on/etc. who are not white.”

    Specifically, I saw it as a defense when I used to prosecute civil rights violations.

    The argument depends upon a hidden premise: that it would be irrational for someone to be a racist and also have friends of a different race.

    That, in turn, hides yet another premise: that racism is rational.

    Just to state that premise is to demolish it. Racism is no more rational than any other human dysfunction. So why, exactly, would we be surprised to find racists inconsistent in their racism? That’s like being shocked when the crazy homeless guy on the corner doesn’t have a coherent narrative thread running through his delusional shouting at squirrels.

  4. If you go over to the Green Room at Hot Air and read three pieces by Doctor Zero you’ll discover the true nature of the Green Room and might even learn something along the way.

  5. peter, maybe you misunderstood me. I wasn’t defending anything said or done by McCain, I don’t really care enough. What I find more troubling is this idea that someone else gets to decide who’s a racist and then tell me unless I agree I’m a racist too. All I know about the whole situation is Johnson has a bad habit of being disingenuous and calling a lot of people “racist”. He noticed Instapundit linked to RSM, wonder how long it is before he calls out Glenn Reynolds as a racist too?

    • Whether or not the statement that considering interracial couples causes an “altogether natural revulsion” is racist is not a matter of opinion. That statement is practically a definition of racism.

      This is not about whether Johnson is good, bad, or a space alien from the planet Mergatroid. This is about Robert Stacy McCain being a dog, and the people laying down with him waking up with fleas. I don’t know who Instapundit is, but if he’s hanging out with white supremacists and quoting them for truth, then yes, he’s a racist too. You can’t sleep with a syphilitic whore and then claim then pretend to be virgin.
      .-= peterb´s last blog ..Next Next Gen =-.

      • You sure are opinionated. Also smug and arrogant.
        >>”That statement is practically a definition of racism.”
        Thee are as many “definitons of racism” are there are people to have opinions. For instance, one opinion is that the definition of racism is opposng Obama’s health-care plan, or any part of his agenda.

        • > You sure are opinionated. Also smug and arrogant.

          Yep. Most importantly, I’m also _right_.

          Are you actually disagreeing that anyone who says interracial images cause an “altogether natural revulsion” is a racist pigfucker, or are you just trying to change the subject?

          If you ARE trying to say you think that statement isn’t racist, then for God’s sake be a man instead of a worm, stand up, and say so. You’ll be wrong, of course, but at least you’ll be wrong and honest.

          If you AGREE with me that that statement is racist, then maybe you should think very carefully about whether laying down with Robert Stacy McCain is really something you want to do.
          .-= peterb´s last blog ..Next Next Gen =-.

          • >>”Are you actually disagreeing that anyone who says interracial images cause an “altogether natural revulsion” is a racist pigfucker, or are you just trying to change the subject?”
            I’m pointing out that the definition of racism is not what you think. Look the word up in the dictonary. The definition is not the one you are giving. You are telling me your own feelngs, not some objective truth.

          • What a typically liberal, moral relativist answer.

            Just because you’re too much of a moral coward to accurately point out racism when you see it doesn’t mean that such descriptions are a matter of opinion.

  6. RSM: My own enthusiasm for the 10th amendment is notorious, if widely misunderstood. For some reason, the phrase “states’ rights” has an unusual effect upon some listeners, when the phrase is delivered with a Southern accent. I do not dwell in the past, but find that liberals frequently demand that I discuss 19th-century American history . . . on their terms, of course.

    http://www.ordinary-gentlemen.com/2009/09/general-welfare/

    For some reason… “As [Wallace] said on several occasions in attempting to dismiss the significance of that speech, he should have said, “States’ rights now! States’ rights tomorrow! States’ rights forever!” He was never against black people; his oratory had nothing to do with race.”

    • Then why are you bringing up “states rights” in a thread concerned with a neo-confederate racist?

      • Is that a question for RSM or myself? That shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of RSM’s disgusting remarks or Wallace’s. RSM’s inability to see why “states’ rights” is distasteful in reference to events in the 20th century as well as the 19th might explain why he just can’t get why people are saying he pals around with racists.

      • Kejda,

        So those of us who believe the federal government has abused the commerce clause to inject itself into state issues, when they have zero constitutional authority to do so, are racists too? I think your brush might be a little broad (as in “wide” so I’m not accused of being a misogynist).

        Charles has already let us know that the use of the word “monkey”, regardless of connotation or context, is racist. Are you letting us know that being concerned with the feds taking over where the states should have final say is also racist? I have a couple of black libertarian friends who are going to be surprised to hear they’re racist.

        • Not knowing what’s distasteful about “states’ rights” rhetoric in a 20th century context is, at least, evidence of ignoring decades of abject racism.

          And, regarding the constitution, you’re actually worried more about the general welfare clause than the commerce clause, and that beef between Hamilton and Madison was settled, for better or worse, 200 years ago, and the constitutional precedent was clarified 80 years ago. Every sitting supreme court justice and likely 99% of appellate judges see this interpretation as utterly uncontroversial. Scalia takes the Hamiltonian position. Indeed, dissenters in the New-Deal-era decisions didn’t question whether the government had the constitutional authority to levy taxes to pay for national welfare programs; they questioned whether the government could dictate how states could act in their role in these programs.

  7. Zach,

    Lets see, the feds use the commerce clause to force the states to adopt seat belt laws, drug laws, to subvert property rights, and force gun laws amongst many others abuses but it’s the 10th Amm. we should be worried about? Walter Williams has been railing about these issues for decades, he must be a closet racist. Those pesky federalist people must be high up on that racism chart Johnson and Kedja seem to be putting together too.

    Am I missing any other racist groups I should shy away from? It’s getting to be such a big list maybe we should all just stay in our homes and not interact with anyone lest we get tainted with the rampant racism in american society.


Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge