Saturday, March 25, 2006

The "Conservative" Conscience

Serial plagiarist Ben Domenech takes a page right out of W's playbook and heads for the end zone, Bush/Rove Rule 1: When caught in a lie, issue another lie immediately to cover it.

It seems Ben's self-defense on his Red State blog is riddled with what Judge Brinkema might call "bald-faced lies." He blames his plagiarisms on midnight insertions by his editors (Libel anyone?); he makes a false and legally ridiculous claim that a writer gave him oral permission, at a party, to publish that writer's piece under his own byline; and, typical of his ilk, playing the martyr, he claims to have been victimized and harrassed for at William and Mary for his conservative writings, until "...the Honor Council completely cleared my name and the article as the truth."

This last is a very dubious assertion, since the article he links to as the cause of his spurious persecution contains some really bizarre historical fiction. It asserts, among other things, that W&M students rioted in 1622 and killed 347 people. One would think that the giant "1693" that flies atop his alma mater's oldest building and best known landmark would have suggested to him that the college wasn't extant in 1622. English culture was still starving and floundering in the swamps of Jamestown then. So, apparently ethics wasn't the only thing young Ben didn't learn before he dropped out.

It's one thing to note, as Josh Marshall does, that teenagers do bad and stupid things and perhaps we should cut them a break, but then again Ben isn't a teenager now. And Ben's libelous, buck-passing bullshit suggest that Josh errs on the side of charity when he says, "And everyone, or just about everyone, is better and more complex than their public caricature at their lowest moment." The sort of thing Ben was and is clearly in the habit of doing, coupled with his lying defense, suggests that he's something of a sociopath, much like the people he so admires, Rove and Bush. Public caricature must be drawn by real genius to encompass the atrocious reality of this type. I nominate this genius -- George Eliot: "If the cunning which calculates on the meanest feelings in men could be called intellect, he had his share, for under the blurting rallying tone in which he spoke, there was an evident selection of statements, as if they had been so many moves at chess."


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