Tuesday, June 27, 2006

JeromeGate update

More bloggers should be like Dan Riehl. He is an absolutely insatiable researcher. Once he starts digging into something, he doesn't quit. What it boils down to is the possibility that, under the pseudonym Vis Numar, Democratic political consultant Jerome Armstrong may have continued doing "political astrology" as late as 2005!?

But the weird (and, frankly, ironic) thing is that, if Jerome is Vis Numar, there was also a FreeRepublic poster by that unusual name, who tended to post strictly negative information at FR. And, when it was reported in September 2004 that CBS "60 Minutes" had cancelled plans for a segment about the reasons for the Iraq war, Vis Numar said this:
Who cares. It's not like we need CBS to tell us that trying to create democracy with a bunch of iraqis is stupid.
Wow. Red State has also noticed the "Vis Numar" phenomenon.

The DUmmies were all into Vis Numar. Lots more via Google.

BuckeyeStateBlog has compiled the best JeromeGate/Kosola account of what happened with the Hackett-Brown flipflop in Ohio in October '05.

BuckeyeState also notes -- perhaps some post-Zarqawi bounce? -- that DeWine's approval rating is now over 50% and the Republican Senate incumbent has now opened a significant lead against Sherrod Brown. I know conservatives who detest Mike DeWine worse than they hate Hillary. They'll be disappointed if he ends up getting re-elected because of a backlash against these left-wing Moonbat excesses.

UPDATE 1:30 a.m., Wednesday
Did I say "excesses"? Now the Moonbats have started ranting about "the Israel lobby" ....

Meanwhile, Dave Mangan calls our attention to Garance Franke-Ruta's latest take:
Markos has been complaining for some time that he believes Hillary Rodham Clinton's people have been doing research on him. All I can say after the revelations of the past week is: I certainly hope so. If Warner didn't know, when he hired Armstrong, that this kind of stuff was in his background -- the SEC settlement, the political astrology -- it's a sign his PAC failed to do its own due diligence.
Franke-Ruta espouses the predictably PC left-wing ideas you might expect of a 30-ish Harvard grad, which makes her critique of the Armstrong-Moulitsas affair all the more credible. She's been an ally and booster of the "netroots," her hopeless leftism is intact, so she can't be dismissed as either a "Lieberman-worshipping neocon" or an "enemy of the people-powered movement."

Her view is objective and pragmatic: The gate-crashers just weren't ready to sustain the scrutiny they attacted in the wake of the YearlyKos: Suellentrop's revelation of the SEC settlement, Zengerle's penetration of the Townhouse list, Markos' hysterical over-reaction, and finally Dan Riehl's astrology exposures.

From Franke-Ruta's perspective of Democratic partisanship, it's better that this happened in '06 than to have it explode in the middle of the next presidential campaign. And I suppose so, but it could have been averted -- nipped in the bud last fall -- if only someone in the national media had noticed BuckeyeState's complaints about the Hackett-Brown flipflop. After all, a Columbus Dispatch columnist caught that one in October '05. Then again, the Dean campaign apparently hadn't bothered to check Jerome's background before hiring him for the '04 campaign, so this really comes down to yet another screwup by Howling Howard.

Hindsight, of course, is always 20/20. Which brings us to Trevino's Red State comparison between the John Birch Society and DailyKos. Nice analogy, though quite unfair to the JBS.

The JBS was, at least, patriotic in its aims and, if they were paranoid, at least they had reason to be -- the Commies had stolen the bomb, recruited Hiss and other agents in influential places and had, in 1959, brought Castro to power in Cuba.

JBS actually organized some useful campaigns: Their old "Get U.S. out of the U.N." campaign looks a lot smarter in the age of Kofi and "Oil for Food," eh? And during the 1960s, when crime skyrocketed, the JBS had its "Support Your Local Police" effort.

Finally, the JBS was an early publisher of conservative books and its monthly magazine (now called The New American) did some useful investigative journalism.

At one point during the researching of Donkey Cons, Lynn called to ask me whether I thought we should use The New American as a source for one part of the book. This was Robert W. Lee's 1999 article profiling the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Democratic Socialists of America. (The passage involved is on pp. 95-96 of the book, with three notes, #20, #21 and #23, on p. 244.) As straight investigative reporting, it was solid work, and The New American specialized in researching left-wing groups, much as David Horowitz now does at DiscoverTheNetwork.

A lot of people who eventually went on to productive careers in conservative politics (e.g., Rep. Larry McDonald) were at one time or another associated with JBS. With its numerous activists, the JBS provided a lot of the grassroots juice in the conservative takeover of the GOP in the 1960s. This was especially true in California, where the Birchers played some part in electing Ronald Reagan governor in 1966 (good histories of this era of the conservative movement are just now being published).

So the JBS has done some good things for the conserative cause over the years and they are still around, though greatly diminished in size and influence, more than 40 years after the Buckley purge. I doubt there will still be a DailyKos site in four years, much less 40.

-- McCAIN