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« The Albany Mall | Main | Elsewhere »

August 12, 2005

Michelle at Oberlin

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Always fun to take note of instances of lefty illiberalism. Here's a nice one, from an interview with the conservative columnist Michelle Malkin in American Enterprise magazine. While a student, Michelle -- who attended lefty Oberlin College in the late '80s and early '90s -- had to buy subscriptions to Commentary and National Review because Oberlin's library didn't carry the magazines.

Ah, how mind-opening it can be to attend college ...

Michelle Malkin's website and blog are here. Shouting Thomas thinks that leftists just have it in for high-achieving Filipina immigrants like Michelle. John Massengale highlights another instance of elite illiberalism, starchitecture division.



posted by Michael at August 12, 2005


Left liberals (the term misleads, really; even "left reactionaries" is better) hate, fear and attack Michelle not because she's a Filippina or married to a white Jew. They just can't find any persuasive arguments against her reasoning, so they resolve to calling her names where they think it hurts most. Which, of course, shows how well they have absorbed their own "progressive" ranting.
Same story, relly, with Ann Coultier - they can't beat her in substance so they "doubt her gender" or blog about their impotent S&M fantasies about her.
Talk about high moral ground...

Posted by: Tatyana on August 12, 2005 4:31 PM

Hmmm....I always thought of the two of them as right-wing equivalents of the "left reactionaries." As an Oberlin alum myself, I knew plenty of the latter. I suppose an environment full of left-wing jerks is likely to produce a few right-wing jerks.

But I seriously doubt that left-wingers dislike Malkin because she's a successful Filipina. That just doesn't sound like anyone I know.

Posted by: JW on August 12, 2005 4:56 PM

Eh, I don't know about casting Michelle Malkin & Ann Coulter as martyrs to lefty illiberalism. I'm a rightie myself, but the sloppy research & shoddy reasoning that characterizes a lot of their work makes them legitimate targets for scorn. I find that they can be as closed-minded and reactionary as the leftists they mock.

Posted by: alan on August 12, 2005 8:30 PM

And Michelle can't write, either. Her success seems a tribute more to how far energy, work ethic and fearlessness can take you than it is to any brilliance or style she possesses.

Now Ann, she's got some chops.

Posted by: PatrickH on August 12, 2005 8:52 PM

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but the posting was less about the greatness (or non-greatness) of Ann and Michelle, and more about what a hoot it is that a "liberal" institution should be so non-liberal as to not even carry Commentary and National Review in their library. "Liberalism" as a function of thought control, I guess. But I'll get out of the way now.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 12, 2005 9:21 PM

"But I seriously doubt that left-wingers dislike Malkin because she's a successful Filipina. That just doesn't sound like anyone I know."

Thanks for the mention, Michael.

You have to be involved in a white male/Filipina relationship or marriage to understand just how the left hates this most politically incorrect relationship. Nobody talkes about it, that's for sure.

I'll write about this topic again today, because I found that even my friends in Woodstock were completely unable to see what was happening to me and my wife, even when it happened right in front of their faces.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on August 13, 2005 8:16 AM

On the usenet newsgroup soc.culture.filipino there was a leftist American guy who slammed most American-Filipina marriages as exploitation. He performed some "research" that basically held all white guys are racists and so on.

Posted by: Marcus Aurelius on August 13, 2005 12:16 PM

JW: I'll let this to speak for itself (link taken from this page on Ms.Malkin' blog). Also, do you think she made this all up?

MB: I do appreciate your fun with liberal institution's restrictions on liberty. I just thought your linking to others in your post had some inner connection.

Alan and Patrick H: right, you dislike her writing style (or can't find facts to oppose her arguments?), so you approve of admirable stylists calling her "Flat-Nosed Fillipino Bitch"?
Hmm, where have I recently heard this type of reasoning? Ah, right, on this here blog...

Posted by: Tatyana on August 13, 2005 1:36 PM

Yeah, Atrios is married to a Hispanic chickie and we all hate him for that. So is Kos, but he's Hispanic / Greek himself so we only hate him because he's a successful immigrant, not because of his wife.

Like Tatyana, Malkin throws out lots of vicious, ill-founded accusations, and the people accused, (may the good Lord forgive them) aren't always good sports about it.

Posted by: John Emerson on August 13, 2005 3:54 PM


I was simply responding to the characterization of MM as a 'high achiever', and pointed out that her 'energy, work ethic and fearlessness', not her brilliant prose style, account for her achievement. I wasn't talking about her politics at all.

I read her site regularly, agree with some of what she says, some not. I'm glad the nothingman who sent that poisonous email lost his job over it.

As for the campus non-diversity that Michael so gently suggested was a topic for this thread, I'm not at all surprised that Oberlin was not carrying dreaded right-wing pubs like NR and Commentary. Look at the time period...late eighties, early nineties...the height of campus political correctness, speech codes, date rape hysteria, etc. Not at all like the seventies, when I was a student. Funny, that awful era seems so innocent now, pre-AIDS, pre-PC, pre-9/11. I don't miss it exactly, but it seemed to lack some of the overweening self-consciousness of today.

And you could get NR and Commentary on campus.

My question would be, is Oberlin carrying NR and Commentary now? Has the PC tide retreated at all since MM's student days?

Posted by: PatrickH on August 13, 2005 4:26 PM

What a rowdy bunch! A small word from the host: good sportsmanship is appreciated, and while verve of expression and vigor in disagreement are valued too, let's try to watch the name-calling and let's minimize the taunting, por favor. But, y'know, the occasional fistfight is fun to watch too.

PatrickH -- The '70s do seem awfully far away, don't they? Not exactly sane, but maybe earthier, despite all the drugs and craziness. Plus you've got me remembering just how bad the PC hysteria circa 1990 was. Did we really live through that? And put up with it? How'd it happen? Where did it come from? It seemed part and parcel of a lot of craziness. Remember the day-care Satanist scares? What was it all a function of? AIDS nightmares crossed with ... with what? Feminism and victimization chic? But why then? Why there?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 13, 2005 4:52 PM

Patrick, I agree Ms.Malkin doesn't always impress with most creative writing (wouldn't be nice everybody were like Mark Steyn, H.Hewitt or Lileks?), and the topics she writes about are limited.

I can't say either that I always agree with what she says or admire every post on her blog, but I do respect her for being principled, reserved and thorough - and for calling on her side to admit mistakes when they are made, something I am yet to see from the opposite party.

If Ms. Malkin achieved some notoriety though, it's not "due to" but "in spite of", and in that her story is a typical first- and second- generation immigrant story. Notice in her interview (linked to in original post) she mentions the first issue that attracted her to politics was affirmative action policy, which she was (and is, I trust) against of. The Left is not very forgiving of minorities who reject this little incentive bone thrown to halfwits by their betters.

I find it funny, if predictable, how the very people who rave against all kinds of prejudice display that very prejudice when run out of arguments in civilised discourse. Racist slurs directed to Malkin by her political opponents are on par, in my eyes, with that lesbian remark thrown to Cheney's daughter.
Makes one think, who's really "moved on"?

Posted by: Tatyana on August 13, 2005 5:34 PM

Getting back to your original point - I attended a liberal arts college (Hillsdale) that's as conservative as Oberlin is left-wing, and I have to admit that while I could get conservative magazines at Hillsdale libraries, I never saw any copies of the Nation, Dissent, Ms., etc. or any other lefty magazines there.

So, I don't think it's just an illiberal lefty problem. Colleges that are as self-consciously left-wing & right-wing as Oberlin & Hillsdale are tend to encourage tunnel vision, lack of interest in/demonization of the other side, and persecution complexes.

Posted by: alan on August 13, 2005 7:40 PM


Ah, universities. What was it someone called them? "Islands of oppression in a sea of freedom"?


I agree with you about MM. I believe that her story is, in an important way, a good one. Her stance on affirmative action, and on current immigration pathologies, is brave and principled. And in the face of that, cavils about her "lack of style" seem somehow beside the point.


You are the first person that has drawn a connection between the Satanic day-care hysteria and PC that I know of. And yet the connection seems obvious now that you've made it. I'm going to have to give this some thought.

Maybe a post exploring some of this? Selfish of me, but it can't hurt to ask.

Posted by: PatrickH on August 14, 2005 6:47 PM


You speak about PC as if it's in the past. Do you really think so? Sure, you don't have some of the more overt sillyness, but I think that's because we've all learned to keep our heads down - PC has been so internalized that everybody knows what they aren't supposed to say. But there are still regular show trials - need I bring up The Larry Summers fiasco?

Posted by: jimbo on August 15, 2005 1:44 PM


>. Remember the day-care Satanist scares? What was it all a function of? AIDS nightmares crossed with ... with what? Feminism and victimization chic? But why then? Why there?

That was stupid. People are still in jail for that nonsense.

I see the day-care Satanist scares as the result of 3 things:

- anxiety about daycare. This anxiety was especially high for fundamentalist christian women who were working out of the home but had a belief system saying that this was bad.

- a network of fundamentalist christian cops who went around convincing other cops about the existance of satanist groups with very little real evidence.

- The recovered memory movement which did have somewhat feminist roots and created a network of psycologists willing and able to induce kids to make stuff up.

Posted by: joe o on August 17, 2005 6:36 PM


just thought you'd like to go to and see for yourself if they actually have these periodicals. cause it seems they do.

i work in a library. and i like being skeptical and it's real easy to check. evidence is fun.

Posted by: rich on August 18, 2005 11:02 PM

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