Rightbloggers (Some Of Them, Anyway) Pay Tribute to Their New Friend, Dead Nelson Mandela

tomt200.jpgWhen Nelson Mandela died last week, the internet had its own sort of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which went rather less well than South Africa's.

As Mandela is a well-loved world figure, it's only natural that even his former enemies would want to act like they liked him when he passed; and when they did, several leftbloggers took the opportunity to remind conservatives who were sending tributes where they'd been when Mandela needed them.

But this sort of hypocrisy is only of mild interest to us -- after all, we cover rightbloggers, and noticing hypocrisy in them is like noticing they have two eyes and a nose. We're more interested in the grand, more exotic forms of absurdity they come up with. And, boy, did we find plenty.

Now, not all of them were like that. A very few former adversaries owned that they had misjudged Mandela. Good on Deroy Murdock, for instance, who at National Review came right out and said that on this subject he had been wrong, in boldface capital letters. "Like many other anti-Communists and Cold Warriors," he said, "I feared that releasing Nelson Mandela from jail, especially amid the collapse of South Africa's apartheid government, would create a Cuba on the Cape of Good Hope at best and an African Cambodia at worst," and that Mandela was "just another Fidel Castro or a Pol Pot."

Some observers didn't think much of Murdock's admission, but at least it was, forthrightly, an admission and, as we shall see, more than could be expected from most of the brethren.

It's not entirely true that Mandela didn't have any Republican buddies before last week.
Speaking of integrity, there were many rightbloggers who didn't like Mandela back in the day and don't like him now, and weren't ashamed to say so.

The American Renaissance website, for example, has always taken a hard line on Mandela -- after the 2008 election, for example, correspondent Jared Taylor wrote, "of course, our election is different from the South African referendum but the effect is the same: Whites are placing their destinies in the hands of others. The South Africans did it suddenly; we are doing it gradually." Last week their Gregory Hood observed Mandela's passing with an essay called "Mandela: White Genocide with a Whimper," in which he speculated on a wave of black violence he expected would ensue in South Africa, and saw in that dark dream a silver lining: "If anything, a sudden outbreak of anti-white violence upon Mandela's death would be a good thing. It would give the Afrikaners -- a warrior people if there ever was one -- a reason to fight back... We should mourn the old terrorist's death only because he didn't live to see his destructive work undone on the day when the Boers -- and the rest of us -- are once again free."

Hood did not neglect to mention the role in South Africa's downfall of the Treason of the de Klerks: "Mandela won praise for letting 'Afrikaner leaders' such as F.W. De Klerk serve in his government, but this was nothing more than continuing his working relationship with collaborators."

"Western liberals like simplistic stories and Mandela was their happy ending," said Daniel Greenfield at FrontPageMag. But there's appalling crime "in post-apartheid South Africa where the violence unleashed still haunts the townships" -- as there is in other countries, though Greenfield makes South Africa's more vivid with horror stories. (Others traded gruesome African rape-slaughter tales as well and tsked over the dusky hordes Mandela had led. "It's not about 'education,'" spat Kathy Shaidle, "it's about basic morality, and being able to control one's own savage impulses -- something too many Africans seem unable or unwilling to do.")

While Greenfield didn't blame South African crime directly on Mandela, he seemed to think the nation would have been better off with apartheid, at least the white-over-black kind: "South Africa is just as divided by race as it was when Mandela was in prison... In the new apartheid, the black government represses a white minority... there is a new apartheid defined not by law, but by hate."

Also to blame, per Greenfield, were American liberals: "The more liberals wanted South Africa to escape from its own history," Greenfield wrote, "the more it became trapped in real problems with no easy solutions... They may show up to the theater if Denzel Washington or Jamie Foxx decide to play Nelson Mandela. Otherwise they will comfortably banish the entire country to the dusty attic of forgotten history." If only one of Hollywood's conservatives, maybe Bruce Willis, could get a D.F. Malan biopic greenlit! Then the world would know who the real hero of South Africa was.

"Yeah, apartheid was bad," shrugged The Lonely Conservative. "So was the Wiemar Republic." "Communist Icon Nelson Mandela Dead at 95," celebrated Dave Swindle at PJ Media. "If people want to hail Mandela as a hero, I won't waste energy arguing with them," pffffted Patterico. "The guy was a scumbag, no better than the people he was fighting against," said those lovable libertarians at The Daily Paul, which surprised us -- we thought for sure they'd consider the people fighting Mandela much better.

Speaking of libertarians, David Henderson of EconLog quoted from movement gospel that apartheid was actually "socialism with a racist face" because South Africa had unions, a sentiment echoed by Power Line's Steven Hayward and Reason's Nick Gillespie. Of course in true capitalist societies, such as America before the Civil War, such things don't happen.

"Gone is Fidel's greatest admirer," hissed Carlos Eire at Babalu. "...While he dedicated himself to a noble and righteous cause -- ending discrimination against black Africans in South Africa -- Mandela was not at all opposed to employing violence as a means for his cause." The nerve!

"Hopefully, Castro's toes will turn skyward soon and he will join his comrade so they can both get what they deserve," eulogized "Don Boys, Ph.D." Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch quoted a fellow Christian: Mandela "pushed for the legalization of abortion, pornography [and] homosexual relationships. ... [He was] trying to legalize prostitution. He's a radical liberal." Worse than a communist!

We have to hand it to these cowboys: They ain't pretending to be what they're not. Other rightbloggers affected to praise Mandela, but were not convincing about it, which the more cynical among us might lay to their being full of shit.

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