When “owning the conservatives” is your mission statement do not expeect others to be impressed.
One of the sidenotes during the CPAC weekend was the amusement to be found with the newly christened and self-appointed “official” voice of conservatism, The Bulwark, sending a correspondent. It was not just that the new Never-Trump site, helmed by Bill Kristol and Charlie Sykes, decided to have a representative but in who it decided to send to National Harbor, MD.
As Streiff detailed, the site that claims its mission statement is “Conservatism Conserved” decided to send an extreme leftist, Molly Jong-Fast, to cover, mock, ridicule, and basically deliver scorn over all aspects of the conference. That Jong, who is a avowed pro-choice left-wing writer, was to be the selective voice for The Bulwark this past weekend says plenty. That she had to resort to lies to deliver her criticisms is revealing.
Jong’s tenure at CPAC was spent delivering strings of Twitter missives and daily dispatches, all designed to somehow reveal how everyone attending was unconservative, according to the woman who defends vivisections on inconvenient infants. This culminated on Saturday with her attending the Trump speech, and some true irony played out. One of the points during the President’s speech concerned the old debate over the crowd sizes of the inauguration, and Molly waded unintentionally into this swamp.
She posted this image to make a comment about the lack of true support for the President.
There’s a standing row in the back but it’s not full. pic.twitter.com/A4wOjRDK0s
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) March 2, 2019
That was exactly how things looked when I arrived at the Gaylord that morning. There was a reason they installed that fencing, and why Matt Schlapp mentioned the overflow. Note the time on Jong’s tweet. It was roughly three hours before Trump takes the stage. Here is the look of the actual crowd.
This was how it actually was filled out just before he spoke. pic.twitter.com/0zyNzIMW5F
— Brad Slager: aka Wuhan Solo (@MartiniShark) March 3, 2019
This has been on par with the rest of the coverage seen from Jong from the conference; ill-informed and full of bile while delivering next to nothing approaching political insight. She already has removed a tweet where she ridiculed the way someone on stage looked, who was a cancer victim. (I thought the Left lectures against mocking appearances??) She does leave up however another tweet of that man’s drooping necktie. (Trenchant political commentary, that.)
This was the entirety of Jong’s dispatches from CPAC. There was no corrective passages, directions on errant policies, nor even listicles detailing the anti-conservative aspects. It was sarcastic cant, self-aggrandizing snark, and base insults. Which again, I have no problem with – it is essentially the way I treat Hollywood. But how does this comport with an outlet that demands it is the bastion of our political salvation?
If the arbiters of proper conservatism want to claim policy superiority how exactly is that accomplished with this stunt? Deploying a hyper-left crank who will never see a benefit to any conservative stance is not about to deliver corrective instruction. If The Bulwark intends to instruct us, guide us from the morass of Trumpism, and lead us back to the shiny city up on the hill why would they not have their top staffers on site to note the problems in the party?
But note that the website has voluntarily abdicated that mission. While Sykes and Co. want to position themselves as the last stand of conservatism they did not send to CPAC any of its staunch defenders of the crown. Would it not stand to reason that if you view the current state of the GOP as going astray then they would have sent their political police to deliver the “proper” message, and admonish those who have gone astray?
Instead the lecturing site decided to send someone who is of polar opposite to anything truly conservative. This itself is not a problem. They can employ a liberal writer, and in fact that is welcomed. But to make her the site’s official word on what transpired at the conference defies the stated thrust of their site. And they appear to have noticed.
Many of the site’s defenders have been unable to explain how Jong aided in their mission, deflecting instead to “snowflakes” being incapable of hearing a divergent voice. (This was Kristol’s read on the reaction.) Others have tried eliding by listing off Jong as merely their “Token Lib”. Then Jonathan Last issued his sidestepping attempt in a lengthy column.
He frames the decision to send her to CPAC by saying the conference is, and always has been a joke – a fair point. But then he becomes more laughable himself, in declaring “the torch has been passed to Charlie Kirk and Seb Gorka and Laura Loomer.” Uh, no Jonathan; no one serious about conservatism considers those serious conservative voices, let alone the new torch bearers of the movement. Then he tries excusing the site entirely.
Some people suggest that there is a special duty of The Bulwark to own MJF’s tweets while she was at CPAC. I have a hard time parsing that position, to be honest. Would it be the case that we are responsible for her Twitter feed last week, but not next week? Or while she was physically at CPAC, but not when she left the building? These distinctions seem to be non-obvious at best and arbitrary at worst.
Now, this might be a palatable theory except for other details. For one, she was not just tweeting. The Bulwark printed her daily rundowns while she was there. And, huh — Jonathan, the one who actually sent Molly to Maryland, touted her pieces for others to come and read – on the site.
Here is the real joke. During her days of scorn Molly Jong-Fast spent her time ascribing any speaker’s position, any objectionable words uttered, and any personality she found distasteful to be reflective of conservatives in total. If it happened at CPAC then conservatives “owned” those words, and conservatives were “responsible” for ANY negative issue plucked during her visit.
By extension, since Molly was at CPAC and was sent there by The Bulwark, then yes Jonathan, you do own her words, and you are responsible. Pretty interesting to see The Conservers, who are so hell-bent on making people accountable for anything Donald Trump does, says, or tweets cannot even accept responsibility for the reporter they sent to an event.