At one time National Review was a proudly conservative publication. No more.
Mark Steyn made the mistake of taking the side of Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, in the fascist assault carried out on him by the lobbying group for deviant sexual practices, GLAAD. This got the knickers of his editor, someone named Jason Lee Steorts, in a twist.
I don't know Steorts... and don't much wish to... but he comes across as one of those "reasonable" conservatives, part of the Stepin Fetchit wing of the conservative movement. The cute little house pet conservatives that hang onto the fringes of liberal society craving approval. (In viewing his work I couldn't help but notice that he had pronounced judgment on George Zimmerman long before his trial... Zimmerman was not in danger despite having his head bashed against the sidewalk:
If we set aside legal arguments and assumptions about people’s motives, this much remains: George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin and made a false and unjustifiable judgment that he was a threat.
and he is in favor of gay marriage.
[Steorts is also an advocate of AGW (h/t to commenter ntrepid for reminding us of this gem.)]
Steorts felt it necessary to take to the pixels in The Corner to castigate one of his own writers for opposing the attempt by GLAAD and their fellow travelers to make quoting 1 Corinthians an offense that justified public shunning.
He generates this mealy-mouthed defense:
When it comes to the legal restriction of speech, or the legal coercion of dissenters, I’ll storm the barricade with Mark.
This is pretty much like Paul Ryan on the budget: We'll cave on the sequester and raise spending by $60 billion but we will TOTALLY KICK ASS on the debt ceiling. When he patently won't do so unless the people on our side are sufficiently polite.
Where Mark Steyn has actually put himself in legal jeopardy defending free speech in the hostile environment in Canada. It was doubly dangerous as he criticized Islam in a nation that is lurching towards dhimmitude. I don't know what Stoert's credentials are but I've seen nothing that indicate they exist.
In his diatribe against Steyn, Steort can't be bothered to actually address the subject -- the Robertson mau-mauing -- or the people behind it -- GLAAD. That would probably cost him invitations to the better Christmas Holiday parties. When they call us bigots, according to Steort, we have to be gentle in our response:
By way of criticizing speech, I’ll say that I found the derogatory language in this column, and especially the slur in its borrowed concluding joke, both puerile in its own right and disappointing coming from a writer of such talent.
There in no legal issue yet, that barricade that Steorts is willing to hike up his bloomers and climb over, but he loses track of the fact that speech codes are very real on college campuses and in benighted backwaters like Europe. Once something has been passed into law it is very difficult to eradicate and the preference expressed by Steorts for doing nothing until his publication is made illegal strikes me as a sub-optimal approach to the problem.
Clearly Steort, and increasingly National Review's management who hired this guy, just doesn't understand the nature of the conflict at hand and he doesn't have the guts to stand for anything that makes someone call him a big meany. We are at a point where a person can be the subject of a coordinated attack by the homosexual rights industry for merely stating the obvious to anyone who passed biology in middle school and for paraphrasing the Bible.
And when they do so, guys like Steorts turn their fire on those people defending traditional values.
As one of my RedState colleagues said, their masthead should read:
Standing Athwart History, Yelling Okay Go Right Ahead (We Don't Want to Offend Anyone)