Derbyshire’s Lesser Sins

In which I agree with Red State:

Derbyshire’s screed was so contemptible, especially in light of his lengthy history, that I cannot imagine a reason that Derbyshire should not have been summarily dismissed within the hour.

Derb’sa racist asshole, and not very subtle about it either, which was the real problem here. That’s always the problem with things like this, with what Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh said that got them in trouble too: Just don’t be OBVIOUS about it, guys, and you’ll be fine. Derb’s real sin here was in saying this stuff out loud, with the same kind of THERE I SAID IT YOU WON’T BECAUSE YOU’RE A PUSS kind of bravado all the greatest fuckers of our time use when trying to pre-empt being pilloried.

Lowry’s prating all day yesterday about the sovereign dignity of the National Review and its need to preserve its sterling reputation by firing Derb now was hilarious. The National Review has been a jerk mag for warmongering bloviators for the past decade, people who decided that we needed to blow up the Middle East because otherwise some Arab somewhere would think our national penis was small, and anybody who said anything differently was anti-American.Here’s Derbyshire in 2002, saying that we weren’t attacking Iraq fast enough:

I favor war against Iraq. I believe a successful war against Iraq would trigger major attitude adjustment in the Middle East, to the benefit of us and the promotion of our values. I believe it would greatly enhance this country’s security by removing a major supplier of WMD to terrorist gangs.But if our leaders believe that “the desire to avoid further slaughter” trumps the desire to take down our enemy; if they believe that Crown Prince Abdullah or Hosni Mubarak will lift one jeweled pinkie to assist our war aims; if they believe that we need the permission of crooks and despots before we act in our own interests; if they believe that Europe is militarily significant; if they believe that the U.N. Security Council is worth anything more than a thimbleful of rat’s piss; if they believe that our fighting men and women cannot carry out their duties without a year and a half of preparation; if they believe all these things, then it would be best if we did not start a war at all.

And here’s Derb using the Iraq elections to say that the dumb browns arevoting the wrong way everywhere:

“We had delegations of sheikhs coming up to lend us their support, but they probably went to every other party as well,” he said, stirring coffee in his villa in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. “They thought they would get some sort of benefits if we got into power. That’s the old way, the Ba’ath Party way, and now the Islamists are doing the same.” [Derb] Multi-culti politics is a study all by itself. The Iraqis are getting a crash course. It’s not entirely new here in the U.S., either; Who was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the white vote?** Wanna place a bet that we won’t, in the next 4-5 election cycles, see the rise of a Hispanic party?

And here’sa real winner:

We don’t particularly care whether the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds of Iraq put down their arms. We only want them to put down their armsagainst us. Henry Kissinger (who has been hanging around on the fringe of the THWTH [To Hell With Them Hawks] clique — come on in, Henry!) famously said of the Iran-Iraq War that it was a pity both sides couldn’t lose. One doesn’t want to be accused of inhuman callousness; but I am willing to confess, and believe I speak for a lot of THWTHs (and a lot of other Americans, too) that the spectacle of Middle Eastern Muslims slaughtering each other is one that I find I can contemplate with calm composure.

You employ a guy after he writes that, it’s kind of beside the point to preserve your purity by firing him when he proudly declares that he tells his kids there are too many black folks at Six Flags on a given Juneteenth.


11 thoughts on “Derbyshire’s Lesser Sins

  1. Everybody has mentioned Derbyshire’s many previous racist screeds, but no one has mentioned his reaction to the Virginia Tech killings — you remember, where he said that the students should’ve counted the number of bullets being fired and jumped the guy, because that’s what he would’ve done.
    I point this out because it occurs to me that I think John Derbyshire is remarkably stupid on many levels. And the one that did him in (apart, of course, from his blunt and vile racism) is his belief that he’s brave, bold, courageous, uncompromising, etc. He believes this from the safety of what’s commonly known as “internet anonymity” — the ability to say whatever the hell you think, right or wrong, from your secret headquarters or Mom’s basement or the nearby Panera Bread Co. or McDonald’s, without repercussion.
    The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t actuallyhave internet anonymity. He signed his name and that of his employer to the freakin’ thing.
    He keepssaying these things, out loud, in public, and I presume tries to convince himself and his friends and allies that he’s some combo of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Oscar Wilde, when all he really is is the kind of drunk frat boy who mouths off about how tough he is and starts fights and then vanishes when the fight actually starts.
    He’s pathetic.
    And it will be quite interesting to see where, if anywhere, he surfaces next.

  2. “Our National Penis”
    Thanks for the brainworm. There should be a Sunday morning talk show by that name.
    Derbyshire was worried about our collective external genitalia after the Virginia Tech shooting too:
    Yes, yes, I know it’s easy to say these things: but didn’t the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes–and like most cliches. It’s true–none of us knows what he’d do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy.
    I remember being slightly impressed with his level of delusion way back then. And what kind of an asshole would write that the day after the massacre?
    Hey, I know! Maybe if we had some Hunger Games around here the college kids in Blacksburg wouldn’t have been such wusses!

  3. His Iraq war stuff is full of these “I read Herodotus so LET ME AT ‘EM THE PUSSIES!” and it’s just so SAD.

  4. As I pointed out on Twitter, Lowry’s post says Derbyshire’s was “nasty,” “indefensible” and “outlandish.” What exactly was nasty, indefensible and outlandish, Rich? Please take us through point by point and attach those labels at the appropriate places. Because you know what? I’ll find those same sentiments expressed with better dog whistling at every “respectable” conservative outlet, including your worthless rag.
    And you know what? I’m guessing you don’t want the gleefully racist hatemongers that comprise your base to swarm in fury on the comments section of the post where you try.

  5. He’s apparently a decent mathematician, but reading him over the years, I’ve often wondered if he’s got Asperger syndrome. The flat affect of his prose, his insistence on returning to the same obsessions over and over and OVER …

  6. He may or may not have any number of mental illnesses and challenges, but none of those automatically make you a contemptible racist assfuck, and I’m hesitant to attribute to a condition what can be adequately explained by stupidity, laziness, privilege, and just generally being a super-shitty writer even when not spewing abhorrent garbage.

  7. I’ll meet Derbyshire far enough to say that in the early 70’s I was in a city high school that had gone the year before I started there as 100% white and by graduation (as a result of white flight to court ordered desegregation) I was the lone white person there. There were a couple of cases where I was the brunt of blacks with a chip on their shoulder. However, I suffered a lot less from that than I did from white bullies with a chip on their shoulder.
    I had a lot of trouble making it though the mathematical gymnastics in his article as it seemed like he had a lot of conclusions and went through elaborate cherry-picking and pseudo-statistical interpretations to make the so-called facts fit his conclusion.
    That being said, I’d question if it is better to have overt racism versus making racism go underground. After nearly 50 years of civil rights, we still have our racist bloviators, but at least you know that they are going to be hostile and can avoid them. OTOH, undercover racism leaves a continuous trail of questioning if this situation or that situation was made by honest choices or if they reflected racism that will never be admitted. Imagine everytime the cafeteria ran out of oatmeal left you wondering this.
    But to Derbyshire’s emotional and intellectual maturity, it is so easy to find places to pop his balloon in what he seems to think are well thought out points. For example, besides the horrid morals of what you quoted on the middle east – even if I look at the MidEast in a totally self interested way, Arabs shooting each other means that we don’t get the oil to drive our cars. See the projected rise in the price of oil should Iran try to close the straits at Hormuz. And iw it any question that violence there will spill onto the USA? And if we show them Aie-rabs that we are a bunch of !@$$ out to exploit them, will they not hold hatred toward us?
    I’d quote “The quality of mercy is not strained…And if wronged, shall we not avenge” Only problem is that a good part of the USA now looks at that as an honorable position rather than the sign of a person deserving contempt with Shakespeare clearly showing contempt by giving it to a minority in his day.

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