Clueless Con

Writing about the recent Limbaugh kerfuffle, Catholic turned Orthodox and self described "Crunchy Con" Rod Dreher writes the following passage notable for its insensitivity and abject cluelessness.

Victor Davis Hanson begins a post on NRO thus:

All these highbrow conservative attacks on Limbaugh keep missing the point.

Boy, this is getting awfully tiresome, and I'm sorry to see someone of Prof. Hanson's caliber descend into this kind of rhetoric. What is it supposed to mean to describe conservatives who have a beef with Limbaugh's views or rhetoric as "highbrow"? Are the opinions illegitimate or mistaken because they supposedly come from a vantage point of cultural sophistication? Even if that were true, which I doubt, since when do conservatives look down on sophistication itself? Since Joe the Plumber became the Whittaker Chambers of the Mongoloid* Right?

Really Rod? Mongoloid? Obviously not so clueless as to be unaware of the minefield into which he has wandered, Dreher offers this update to the post by way of explanation for the use of this obvious term of derision.
I use "Mongoloid" in the Ignatian sense -- that is, as a reference to dopes. No reference to Down syndrome sufferers is intended; I just like thinking about Mongo-Cons, and see virtue in referencing the Fifth Gospel -- known to Muggles as "A Confederacy of Dunces" -- at every opportunity.
Ignatian sense? Yeah, ummm?. No. I do not suspect Mr. Dreher of any malice but rather of a deplorable cluelessness especially for a Christian supportive of the culture of life. The use of this term in any context helps no one, least of all Dreher.

To be fair, the post does accomplish its objective. Mr. Dreher used this unfortunate term in his own defense from Victor Davis Hanson 's jab at certain "highbrows." After reading this lamentable post it is quite clear that the term highbrow does not fairly apply to him. Well done, Mr. Dreher.


  1. To be fair, I think Dreher meant "ignatian" to refer to the books MC.

    (Shamelessly cribbed from Wikipedia as I've never read it:

    The story is set in New Orleans in the early 1960s. The central character is Ignatius J. (Jacques) Reilly, an intelligent but slothful man still living with his mother at age 30 )

    But I ceased to understand Dreher ages ago-- apparently his love of organic food infected his common sense! Maybe it's all the toxins from the bugs and mold.....

  2. In Rod's defense, he's being eating that organic granola with too many nuts in it and they've cracked more than just a few incisors.
    As with Deidre, when I see the name Rod attached to Dreher, I simply move on.

  3. I think there is something to Rod and Ross Douthat's concerns about the effect of Rush's template on the ongoing internal conservative identity debate.

    But the term he used was singularly unfortunate.

  4. Check out Shaidle's reference to him. I bet this isn't the first time he's been beaten up by a girl.

  5. It's funny that Rod can't see the irony in his response...talking about the "Mongoloid Right" and looking down on those who identify with Joe the Plumber.

  6. I suppose I'm one of the "Mongoloid Right" myself; I have a small bust of Ronald Reagan on my windowsill.

    But I don't like Rush Limbaugh anyway; the funny, brilliant, and fresh observer and commentator of not so long ago has become a cranky, stuffy self-parody.

  7. Mongo-Con merely pawn in game of life.

  8. Why would anyone be in the least offended by the term "highbrow" to begin with? On the otherhand, rather than using "mongoloid", he could have just as easily gone with troglodyte, pedestrian, plebian etc. Regardless, something obviously struck a chord with him. And it shouldn't have, since "highbrow" implies someone who is thinking things through, as opposed to a sheep.


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