A sane conservative Catholic writes from Oz:
I have seen, of course, a great deal. But never before today was I aware of certain products of the Australian Christianist sewer who compared Robert Mueller – in complete seriousness – to … Lavrentiy Beria.
The exact phrase is a complaint about “blank cheque terms of reference that purport to allow special counsel Rob Mueller to behave as if he were some American reincarnation of Lavrentiy Beria whose theme was ‘Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime’.”
Flint I know slightly. I thought that even he would not stoop to comparing Mueller with the most disgusting grub that even Stalin’s regime produced.
He then adds the following:
Some of us are old enough and principled enough to have been (in our minor way) Cold Warriors We well remember the absolute prohibition that our elders rightly imposed on our publicly equating even the most pin-headed local opponent with totalitarian murderers and rapists who slew and terrorised millions.
Had I dared, for instance, to liken Australia’s 1970s Deputy Prime Minister and commie fellow traveller Jim Cairns to Madame Mao, my old if not always wise friend B.A. Santamaria would have kicked me to the floor. He would probably have continued kicking me until all signs of consciousness were extinct. And he would have been right to do so.
But of course such taboos are long gone in 2018. We now have in SPECTATOR AUSTRALIA a “conservative” comparing Robert Mueller to … Lavrentiy Beria. Who was perhaps the vilest gangster that even Stalin’s regime ever produced.
It is not exactly a secret that editors in the rest of the SPECTATOR world empire – which hires brilliant, educated adults such as Daniel McCarthy and Kelly Jane Torrance – have largely written off the Australian subsidiary magazine as (to quote one such editor’s description of it to me) “bananas”. But what Flint has written here should be grounds for instant dismissal of SPEC OZ’s editor-turned-“editor”.
The scummification of Australian “conservatism” continues apace. Never, thinking back to my own long-past SPEC OZ contributions, have I sympathised more with Jeeves’ rebuke of Wooster. “As I am no longer in your employment, sir,” Jeeves observed, “I can speak freely without appearing to take a liberty.”
My prayer is that the Mad Trump Disease that has overtaken American conservatives (and none more than the insane asylum of the Religious Right) will not infect religious conservatives abroad. People like my correspondent and Pete Vere in Canada give me hope that the madness is an American phenomenon. But the spectacle of an Aussie comparing a man like Robert Mueller to Beria is an ominous warning that the toxic madness of American conservatism might become a global pandemic in the Church.
The longer this goes on, the more gratefully convinced I am that the election of Pope Francis was a sign of God’s providential care for the Church in an hour where a spiritual plague threatens her life. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ for brave witnesses to the Faith and common decency like my reader and Pete Vere.