Commentary Magazine


Right Back Atcha, James

I got a good chuckle this morning from this post on something called the Sovereignty Caucus blog attacking me as an out-of-touch Manhattanite because of my pro-immigration posting on contentions:

Get used to it America: your new servants—and your new masters—will be immigrants. So says Max Boot, who is a Fellow at The Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. To such Manhattanites, zooming over the rest of us, lofted ever upward by a jet stream of tax-deductible foundation money, such humdrum issues as legality, and opportunity for home-grown Americans—well, such issues are too small to worry about, or even take seriously. Legal, schmegal—what’s the big whoop-dee-doo diff?

Who is the author of this populist outrage? In what farmhouse in which Midwestern state does he sit shuddering with rage at the bicoastal elites who are “zooming over” his head?

This item was penned by none other than James Pinkerton, a former aide in the White House of George Bush Sr., who was briefly famous for formulating something called the “New Paradigm,” the content of which has long been forgotten by all but the author.

And where does Pinkerton live? I believe in New York, where he is a columnist for Newsday and a contributor to the Fox News Channel. At least I’ve certainly run into him at parties over the years in fancy New York settings. (Perhaps he commutes to these gatherings from Dubuque?) He is also affiliated with think tanks such as the New America Foundation, which are presumably funded with “tax-deductible foundation money.”

But, like Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, and other talking heads, his own membership in the New York-based media elite doesn’t prevent Pinkerton from posturing as the tribune of the common man and castigating those with whom he disagrees as out-of-touch elitists.

More than that, he claims that those of us who oppose immigration-bashing are not true conservatives. He concludes:

Some might wonder: Isn’t Commentary supposed to be a conservative magazine? Maybe, but it’s got it share of globalist neoconservatives, who are anything but conservative.

Gasp! Who knew I wasn’t just a neocon but, even worse, a globalist neocon. (Whatever that is.) I find such arguments—you’re not a true conservative! You’re not a true liberal! You’re not a true whatever!—to be just as risible and tedious as his earlier claim that because I work in New York City I am somehow out of touch.

While being pro-immigration myself, and a conservative, I readily admit that this is one of many issues on which conservatives of good faith can disagree. It would be nice if those with differing views could stick to debating the merits of the case rather than trying to demean the other side with juvenile insults.