Pamela Geller Looks Longingly at Communist China

In the ongoing metamorphoses of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism into a social movement that manages to get almost everything wrong, here is one of its Shapers of “Thought” hoping against hope that America would just grab the One Ring, and transform itself into a mass-murdering Communist despotism (and the one with more blood on its hands than any other Commie regime) in order to keep itself safe. This is why I am utterly alienated from the bizarre intellectual detritus that is all that is left of conservatism.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord our God.

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  • Andy

    The com-box comments were truly frightening – and then we wonder why much of the world looks at us with dismay and disgust.

    • orual’s kindred

      Just took a peek at the thread. Sigh. And was that a genderbent/androgynous Atlas holding the globe?

      • Andy

        i missed the artwork – now I wish that I had not returned to see it. One indeed does wonder.

        • orual’s kindred

          I am heartily sorry for having contributed to your discomfort!

          • Andy

            NO problem the fault is with the author of the website and not you.

            • orual’s kindred

              :-) Well, I did point it out though.

      • KM

        “And was that a genderbent/androgynous Atlas holding the globe?”

        I think that’s supposed to be Geller as she imagines herself.

        • orual’s kindred

          …that’s…I…

    • Dave G.

      I’d like to think a couple dozen comments on a blog, no matter how chilling, wouldn’t justify anyone’s dismay and disgust toward, well, anything except those couple dozen comments on a blog.

      • Andy

        If it were only this blog I would agree, but from many blogs I see the same sort of responses – one also need only listen to the radio, watch some TV and see that Ms. Geller and her associated kindred presented as a face of conservatism in the US – if we want to regain respect in the world it is not through might of arms, it is through being aware of how we are perceived and remedying the perceptions.

        • Dave G.

          Then by that, we are justified in our dismay, and even disgust, at other nations or cultures or beliefs based on the poor presentation of ideals by their members. Granted, when you add to it the equally frightening things said by liberals in America, you begin to diminish the amount of positive witnesses to the American way. But likewise, it’s not hard to turn a critical eye toward any part of the world, where sometimes the worst examples are the loudest, and universal condemnation is not always easy to find. For me, I try to hesitate picking bad examples and taking swipes at entire groups. Apart from groups that, by definition. are unacceptable (thinking Nazis or KKK or similar), I try to run with the idea that people are far more complex than media labels would suggest (for instance, is Ms. Geller really a face of conservatism with such open support of socially liberal agendas?).

          • Andy

            I am not sure that America right now has much of a “positive witness” – we have in so many ways moved into this era of American Exceptionalism – a worship of America if you will that damn, we can’t see our faults.
            I am sure that Ms. Geller is a complex person but that complexity is lost in her behaviors. That is a large part of the issue – not recognizing or refusing to recognize how others will hear what you say or see what you do. And then being surprised at how others respond. Yes both conservatives and liberals are guilty of that.
            I am not saying we shouldn’t look critically at other parts of the world, but when it comes to presentation we “pride” ourselves on a clarity of view, after all there is the American way and we expect everyone would like to be like us. We pride ourselves on how well we can communicate – at least we say that until we disagree with what is said. Witness the way our political leaders, such as the are, respond to events. If we cannot see how our words/actions are interpreted or may be interpreted do we have the right to condemn others – I don’t think so.

            • Dave G.

              I think we can’t see our faults now. We have no problem seeing the sins of our past. I’d say we can see virtually nothing else in our heritage at this point. Like my rather witty 16 year old quipped when we visited Colonial Williamsburg last year: how did they have time for a Revolution between all of their slaughtering Native Americans, beating slaves and oppressive women? Now our sins today, I think you’re right. It’s those we don’t see (perhaps focusing on the sins of the past to avoid a critical look at the here and now) Though honestly, we can see them, we just blame them on anyone else’s ideas. As for exceptionalism, it does exist today, but in a new form: America exceptionally sucks and is the sole cause of suffering in the world. I heard a fellow from Nigeria some years ago speak to this; this idea Americans have that the rest of the world can’t do evil on its own that America isn’t the primary cause. It’s exceptionalism alright, just a flipped upside-down version. And yes, we still export our values, such as our take on democracy, women’s rights, gay rights, reproductive health. That’s not changed. We’re just split down the middle on which values we should be exporting. But on the whole, I really don’t think we’re much worse at grasping the world’s ideas of us as the world is at grasping our ideas of them. In fact, the more I work with people from other countries and cultures, the more I realize just how unexceptional we are, either positively or negatively. Which is why I tend to take our foibles and failings at the same value I do those around the world.

              • Andy

                I agree with much of what you have said – my only “exception” is that I think there is two versions of American Exceptionalism – one that we, as Americans push- we are exceptional and all should be like us and we act nay for good and all that, and then what the person from Nigeria perceives as American Exceptionalism – we have to be wary and steer I would hope away from both.

                • Dave G.

                  The odd thing? First, I think you’re right. But the odd thing is that sometimes, in my talks with people from other cultures, there are also two brands. That version that sees Americans swaggering about with a shotgun in one hand and a a flag that says hug me in the other, and those that can’t figure why Americans are so critical of their country, which they perceive as wonderful beyond measure. I remember dinner with a fellow from Nigeria years ago (in my ministry days I worked with folks from Nigeria, among other places – hence my constant exposure to opinions from there). He’s the one that said the thing that blew him away about America was our trains. He said he was shocked at how critical Americans are of their country. He couldn’t figure it. He thought it was the greatest country ever (not that he didn’t see its flaws, but he focused on the greatness). He more than gladly said if his home could only be half as good. So it seems that there is a constant divide on the subject no matter where we go. Which is why care and caution are to be exercised when making any statements that could be seen as too sweeping.

  • CJ

    No one should seek to emulate the Chi-Coms, but I don’t see what was objectionable about this. The “terrorists” lawyers didn’t seem to argue that they were innocent, just that China isn’t addressing the “root causes”.

    • chezami

      The subtext of the piece is that we need to become as ruthless as the Chicoms to save ourselves.

      • David Naas

        Yes, we should destroy ourselves in order to save ourselves.

      • entonces_99

        Executing convicted murderers is not particularly “ruthless.” If Geller were talking about conducting warrantless house-to-house searches to rough up inhabitants and search for suspects, executing suspects without trial, or extracting confessions through torture, then we could start talking about ruthlessness.

  • KM

    “This is why I am utterly alienated from the bizarre intellectual detritus that is all that is left of conservatism.”

    Hear hear! How did current “conservative thought” devolve to this point? One reason may be that it seems to be dominated by a small clique of egotistical personalities who all reference each other and get their ideas widely promoted at Drudge and Fox News. Geller knows Hoft/GatewayPundit who is cozy with Breitbart’s people, Loesch and others of their ilk — an incestuous cesspool of narcissistic groupthink.

    There are just a couple of good conservative magazines left as you pointed out in a previous post on a similar subject.

    • Dave G.

      It probably joined the rest of the thought in our age. I read things like this and I shake my head. And yet how many times have I heard ‘if only like China….’? I take it as a sign of the times that so many seem to agree, just for different reasons.

  • Elmwood

    things associated with terrorists get a little complicated by the fact they are trying to overthrow governments through violence. i’m not sure executions are completely immoral in this particular situation: it may be too dangerous to keep them alive if it gives future cause for more terrorist acts.

    i’m just speculating based on the fact that terrorists demand their prisoners are released when they hold school children hostage.

  • David Naas

    Anyone who titles her blog after an Ayn Rand story has already pretty much resigned from rational discussion (and twice that for her followers).

    The “female Atlas” in her banner did not make me think of the execrable book so much as of Charlie Chaplin toying with the world

    If one has no permanent moral anchor (wasn’t that what “conservatism” was supposed to be all about?), one will justify any expediency in the name of … I WANT IT!

    I keep telling myself it’s all just a bad dream, that I’ll wake up and Russell Kirk and Bill Buckley will still be alive and Rush Limbaugh has permanent laryngitis.

  • kirthigdon

    It’s a little bit silly to talk about Communist China and Chicoms as if this were still the era of the Cold War. Far from being Communist, China is now the world’s leading example of pirate capitalism and oligarchy. Even the culture has changed. In the era of the Maoist Communist Red Guard, Confucian scholars were tortured and killed and the grave of Confucius was desecrated. Now the Chinese government finances well over 400 centers world-wide for the study of Confucianism. The Chinese government is still authoritarian and brutal at home, although nothing compared to the mass murders of the Maoist era. Abroad, the Chinese government is far less aggressive than the evil empire of Mordor on the Potomac.

    Kirt Higdon

    • chezami

      China combines the worst features of Western capitalism and draconian communism. And Pam Geller wishes we would emulate them. The anti-charism of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism is epic in its ability to back the wrong horse.

      • kirthigdon

        I think that Rush Limbaugh is far more typical of the TTUTBC than Pam Geller and he is always condemning Communist China and Chicoms. He’s about the only person outside this blog whom I’ve heard using those terms currently, but the conservative commentariat as a whole regards China as still another “existential threat”. Pam Geller is an outlier in this respect, but then she has never struck me as typically conservative – more monomaniacally ultra-Zionist and anti-Islamic. Her model Ayn Rand was also the former and probably would have been the latter as well, had she lived into the post 9/11 era.

        Kirt Higdon

      • “Brinton”

        it’s state capitalism, the thing communists have been railing at since Lenin lost the thread.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    For whatever reason, when I saw that headline, my brain read “Pamela Grier Looks Longingly at Communist China,” and my first thought was, “This is the weirdest sequel to Foxy Brown I could possibly imagine.”

  • Cypressclimber

    Your analysis has everything going for it except some justification for Pamela Geller being a representative of conservative thought. When’s the last time something like this sentiment was posted by someone on the National Review site? When has Rush Limbaugh said this? I’m not denying many of my fellow conservatives are seduced by arguments for torture, but that’s not what we are talking about here.

    • Guest

      By allying herself with various “conservative” bloggers and anyone else “no matter how repugnant” (per SPLC), her ideas slowly seep into and poison mainstream conservative thought and discourse. She seeks to influence conservative thought through her constant narcissistic self-promotion, and it seems to have been effective since modern “conservatism” — as recently evidenced by various news outlets, blogs and comboxes — seems to be sinking into the sewer.

      See http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/pamela-geller

      • Cypressclimber

        Well, I just went and looked at her Wikipedia entry — it says she’s pro-gay marriage and pro-abortion. I also googled her name with “National Review,” both to see if she’d been published there, or commented on by the NR. I did find the latter; someone at NR criticizing her.

        Yes, she has shown up, apparently, on Fox; and she did speak at CPAC, so that does connect her to people on the right.

        But here’s why I’m reacting. I’ve been involved in rightward politics for 30 years. I know a lot of the people who are working the field, as it were. I barely know who she is. Maybe that’s more a reflection on me, but…I do know a lot of these folks.

        • Guest

          Mark Steyn praised her in 2013 at National Review, and Andrew McCarthy and Mark Steyn praised one of her books. If you google her for images, you’ll find pictures of her posing/preening with various people like Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Andrew Breitbart, Mark Steyn, John Bolton, Sean Hannity, and Eric Cantor. She certainly likes to be seen with influential people, almost like a stalker.

          • Cypressclimber

            Good points; I missed that.

  • Cypressclimber

    God bless you, but you have a penchant for taking rather obscure items and blowing them up to be representative of vast swathes of people.

    • chezami

      Pamela Geller is not obscure.

      • Cypressclimber

        OK; how does one measure such things? I readily admit, my having barely heard of her is not an objective measure.

    • Guest

      [Geller’s] writings, rallies and television appearances have both offended and inspired, transforming Ms. Geller from an Internet obscurity, who once videotaped herself in a bikini as she denounced “Islamofascism,” into a media commodity who has been profiled on “60 Minutes” and whose phraseology has been adopted by Newt Gingrichand Sarah Palin.” – “Outraged, and Outrageous,” NY Times, Oct. 8, 2010

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/nyregion/10geller.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • jaybird1951

    Thomas Friedman of the NY Times, no conservative he, has also expressed his admiration for the way that Communist China operates. I think more people have been influenced by him than by Pamela Geller, who is, despite what Mark claims, not that influential or representative of “conservative thought.”

    • Guest

      Pamela Geller is a relentless self-promoter. SPLC notes that “Geller will ally with virtually any individual or movement that expresses stridently anti-Muslim sentiments, no matter how otherwise repugnant….Geller’s incendiary rhetoric…hasn’t prevented her from gaining a measure of mainstream acceptability.”

      She gets her views out in any forum she can including Gateway Pundit (which unfortunately has a large “conservative” readership) and white supremacist sites. Even Anders Breivik cited her and her blog in his manifesto.

      http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/pamela-geller

    • Dave G.

      As I said, looking longingly at China is all the rage nowadays. And it’s not confined to a single ideological niche.

  • KM

    She has often been a guest on Sean Inanity’s Fox News show. She appeared on his show just a few months ago for her predictable spiel, a little after Inanity approved the continual “baptizing of terrorists.” So her admiration of China’s bloody political totalitarian ruthlessness comes as no surprise.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

    This article has a bit of a disconnect with actual Catholic teaching so perhaps a quick primer is in order.

    1. Were the people guilty of a capital crime?
    2. Does the state have the ability to assure that these criminals would not kill again?

    In a nutshell, the justness of capital punishment in a Catholic context is a yes in answer to question 1 and no to question 2. Not actually going to the trouble of Catholic analysis is understandable in a jewish ethnic who is likely an objectivist style atheist. It’s much less understandable in someone who wears the label of Catholic blogger.

  • TheOracle

    Uh…what in the world is the problem with executing terrorist murderers?


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