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By:Thomas Fleming | February 25, 2015
  As Some day it may happen that a victim must be found
  I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
  Of society offenders who might well be under ground
  And never would be missed, who never would be missed.

A recent comment of Robert Peters (a pleasure, as always, to read) reminds me how remiss I have been in doing my duty as online columnist. If I were a newspaper columnist, this would be the time to write the column that is the literary equivalent of “jumping the shark,” namely, a column on why I am having trouble writing my column. I’ll spare you that and limit this preface to supplying a few excuses.

First, I am working on a book, which we are going to post serially (for $$$) on a website linked to this one. When I am not actually writing or contemplating the chapters of this book, I am reading and studying. To make matters worse, my time has been absorbed by preparations for the Charleston Winter School—now, alas, over—and for the forthcoming Convivium in Northern Italy. Ask me something about Cangrande della Scala or Doge Marin Faliero, but don’t expect to hear anything enlightening about our Irish president, Barry O’Bama, or the cast of a thousand clowns that hopes to take his place.

Second, it is the bleak mid-Winter here in the land of Narnia, where the snow never ceases to fall and where, if animals could actually talk, they would make more sense than the two-legged beasts I am forever running into here in the frozen North. They have an official acronym now, of course: SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. We used to call it “the blues,” but such a term is too evocative, too poetic, too redolent of real-life sadness.

Some therapists speak of depression, but that is, again, a technical term that suggests a medical condition that should be treated with drugs. These blues, though, are a kind of seasonal acedia that inspires sane people to read detective fiction (my recent list would include Magdalen McNabb, Gladys Mitchell, Robert Parker, J.S. Fletcher, “Sapper,” ands—sinking to the bottom of the barrel, S.S. (stands for double sissy) Van Dine. I don’t even have the mental concentration to watch a decent film—last night we cheerfully watched a particularly stupid episode of Midsomer Murders, in which we are asked to believe that entire English village is possessed of the Second Sight.

I should be taking to drink, but it is Lent, and I am sticking quite successfully to my resolve to drink nothing stronger than sherry, and not much of that. Then here’s to the cheap but excellent wine of Douro!


All that out of the way, as we might say in Latin, let me get down to one group of people who, if they were eliminated, never would be missed: professional conservatives who run organizations like CPAC. Dr. Trifkovic, with whom I lunched yesterday, must have concluded that I suffer from low blood pressure, since he sent me this piece from

The political geniuses at CPAC—the people who perform period salaams in the presence of Ms. Palin and Newt Gingrich—have decided it is safe to invite a Log Cabin Republican—to speak at their meeting, so long as the speaker confines himself to bashing Putin and the Russians. The topic will not be just any old theme of the Russophobes, but how the evil Putin is persecuting GLBTs.  

Let us, as the academic philosophy profs would say, unpack this decision.

The article-writer is under the impression that Log Cabin Republicans are “gay conservatives,” though in fact they are and always have been gay liberal Republicans. Most of them,  more or less, believe that market solutions are on the whole better than government policies, many if not most seem to favor the imperialist policies of their party, and all of them, obviously, are opposed to the enforcement of traditional moral standards, but there is nothing distinctively conservative in the group’s outlook.

Then, in essence, CPAC is saying that Putin is a greater threat to the America they believe in than gay rights, and the [sic!] Ukraine, with its corrupt and abusive government, is more important than South Carolina, Alabama, and other American states in which there is still some persistence of Christian morality.

Let us be sure to be clear about this. Log Cabin Republicans are not simply Republicans who happen to be homosexual in private lives that they keep private. Frankly, I have absolutely no wish to pry into anyone’s bedroom, especially a politician’s. I have been shown the casting couches in senators’ offices, where nasty old men bed the interns whose parents have sent them to Washington to “learn the ropes.” Alas, the ropes and knots they learn are not from the Boy Scout Handbook but from Fifty Shades of Gray. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may not have been a good policy for servicemen, but if we apply it to politicians, it is a bit like holding our noses when the car rolls over a dead skunk.

Log Cabin Republicans are open advocates of a “lifestyle choice,” which CPAC members claim to abhor. In any honest group of Christian American conservatives, a denunciation of Putin as a gay-basher would inspire an immediate backlash in his favor. In making this opening to the Gay Agenda, CPAC is telling conservatives what everyone should know by now. Like the entire GOP leadership, their only principle is: Show Me the Money!



Bryan Fox
2/25/2015 06:27 PM

  "I have been shown the casting couches in senators’ offices, where nasty old men bed the interns whose parents have sent them to Washington to “learn the ropes.” Alas, the ropes and knots they learn are not from the Boy Scout Handbook but from Fifty Shades of Gray. " I know several former staffers who worked for the retired New Mexico Republican Senator Pete V. Domenici. The salacious side of myself will now inquire if PVD had a couch in his office. He had a bevy of openly homosexuals working in his Washington office, which was typical. My Wife worked on Capitol Hill for several years, not for PVD, and upon meeting me she remarked how much of pleasure it was to meet a decisively heterosexual man, but I digress. History was altered and to what degree we can only speculate. Senator Laxalt of Nevada was Reagan’s top choice for VP in 1980 yet it was Texas carpetbagger George H. Bush who was given the nod. We’ll never probably know what the elitist Baker told Reagan about the tawdry trysts between Domenici and his 20 year old intern which was (is) Senator Laxalt’s daughter. Would Laxalt had used his Vice Presidency to glide up to next office and not ask Americans to read his lying lips? We'll never know. For the record I never worked for a politician nor resided in Washington City. While courting my wife I was exposed to many Congressional staff workers and came to understand how Congressman can hold us we huddled masses in contempt. Their light in the feet, flaming employees did. As for the Laxalt harlot she lied to her Illegitimate son for decades speaks volumes about her character.

Ken Zaretzke
Bellingham, WA
2/25/2015 06:31 PM

  I remember attending CPAC in the early '80s. Especially memorable was Stan Evans saying he had three messages for Ronald Reagan: "Fire Jim Baker! Fire Jim Baker! Fire Jim Baker!" This drew the kind of wild cheers that now are reserved for rabid denunciations of Putin and, coming soon, for eager proclamations of "marriage equality."

San Antonio
2/25/2015 07:05 PM

  Dr. Fleming I hope it is not too late to suggest a nominee for those Mencken-Barnum awards. I heard Jerry Springer's name mentioned a few times, but he is an imitator. The person truly deserving of an award is named Phil Donohue. The Phil Donohue Show was sleaze central before internet social media, Reality T.V., cable T.V., and home video. For 29 years and almost 7000 episodes Donohue primed the sleaze pump. What he did was create "Shock Journalism" by putting microphones in front of every feminist, crook, pervert, and any & every other Weirdo he could find. As a result every troll and troglodyte now think they have a right to a microphone and a T.V. camera to get their 15 minutes of fame. By the time his show ended he had a whole army of imitators/enforcers and the explosion of sleaze was heard around the world. Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey, Morton Downey, Jr., Geraldo Rivera, Richard Bey, Maury Povich, Sally Jessie Raphael, Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, Queen Latifah, Rosie O'Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey and the people on The View & The Talk etc. would not have polluted the airwaves with Cultural Marxism if it were not for Phil Donohue. Could he have done other things? Yes since his show ended he became an important voice on the Left against interventionism in the Middle East. Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, and Johnny Carson may have been liberals, but they were never sleaze peddlers. Donohue weaseled his way into American homes by marrying well. His second marriage to Marlo Thomas gave him respectability since his father-in-law was the now late great Danny Thomas. Thomas was one of America's favorite T.V. dads in the 1950's and as a patriotic comedian second only to Bob Hope in my humble opinion. Danny Thomas also founded St. Jude's Hospital one of the most important charities in the world. So Donohue should be at the top of the list for a Menken-Barnum award. Cultural Marxism got a big boost from a sleaze showman named Phil Donohue.

San Antonio
2/25/2015 07:09 PM

  Dr. Fleming perhaps watching the Danny Thomas Show would lift you out of the winter doldrums. He and Angela Cartwright were very cute together as father and daughter on that show.

2/25/2015 07:41 PM

  It is not too late, and within a week, I shall be narrowing the field. Some day, remind me to tell you all of my experience on the "serious" TV show Phil Donohue co-hosted with Vlad Pozner.


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