May 30, 2013

Father Andrew Greeley, RIP

Father Andrew Greeley, priest, social scientist, pundit, and bestselling novelist, was a major figure in American intellectual life in the 1970s. I always grouped him with Daniel Patrick Moynihan and James Q. Wilson as Irish Catholics who were very good with statistics and drew conclusions from them that were interesting and not dogmatically liberal. I always thought of those three back then as neoconservatives, but the term has come to mean something very different over the generations.

Greeley's published output was so immense (120 books? 150 books? The priest who gave the eulogy at my father-in-law's funeral had composed two operas about Chicago politics -- not surprisingly, his librettist was Greeley), that it's hard to get a grip on the essence of his contributions. The NYT obituary, for example, concentrates on his steamy novels and battles with Catholic Church officials (Greeley denounced the "lavender mafia" within the Catholic hierarchy, but of course that doesn't get mentioned in the obituary) rather than his social science side.

I would call Greeley the intellectual spokesman for the white Catholic urban ethnics who got hammered by integration and the Great Society (Greeley was born in the same Austin neighborhood of Chicago as my wife), the people who saw up close and personal early on what welfare was doing to blacks. But, who wants to remember that? 

50 comments:

Derek Brown said...

Didn't greely coin the term lavender mafia. Could you say that Greely was the Catholic Peter Berger.

Derek Brown said...

You'll be happy to know that Google lavender mafia is still up and running.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality, corruption, and bride-stealing) said...

"his steamy novels"

I skimmed through one and it was just the silliest thing.

I say make priests marry just so they don't write such tripe.

Derek Brown said...

Eh marriage didn't prevent D.H. Lawrence from writing things like "twinkling buttock." I say we prevent people from writing about sex and let repression sublimate us some culture again.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality, corruption, and bride-stealing) said...

Eh marriage didn't prevent D.H. Lawrence from writing things like "twinkling buttock."
-----------

Trust me, Greeley's stuff would be described by Beavis as boiyoiyoiyoiyoing!

Btw, Lawrence was writing in a repressive age.

Anonymous said...

Five college degrees, over 70 nonfiction books, over 70 novels and no children.

Anonymous said...

OT, Jack Vance died yesterday. Your political bent and sense of humor/writing style hint that you may be a fan. (?)

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know where Greeley spoke or wrote about the lavender mafia? I've heard several times that he coined the term, but I'd be curious to read his thoughts on the subject in more detail.

Baloo said...

I always enjoyed his Chicago detective priest novels, but my God, he was an EXTREME liberal in every sense, wasn't he? Hope you write more about him.

BTW, Jack Vance, a much better writer AND thinker, just died, too.
http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2013/05/jack-vance-r-i-p.html

carol said...

Yes, writing graphic sex scenes is silly.

I liked Greeley but his novels sucked, and he had a liberalizing tendency which really hasn't been cutting-edge in 50 years. (Maybe to some boomer cradle Catholic that sort of thing is fresh, but it's nauseating to a convert.)

We need a Greeley with an orthodox tendency, a Chesterton or Waugh. Peter Kreeft isn't too bad.

Anonymous said...

Lawrence was writing in a repressive age.


No, he was not. If he had lived in an oppressive age he would not have been able to write what he did. He was writing in an age which encouraged libertines. He was a contemporary of the Bloomsbury Group.

TGGP said...

That University of Chicago obit has him downplaying the proportion of gays among the priesthood, and Wikipedia has him as a supporter of immigration (which is in line with the Church's position). I wonder where we can read more about this other side Steve knew.

Anonymous said...

I heard he was nicknamed Father "Feeley" Greeley....

Art Deco said...

1. He was phenomenally prolific. It would be interesting to consult Web of Science to ascertain just how much of his output was ever thought to be of interest to other sociologists.

2. A great deal of his topical commentary was scurrilous junk. It is very peculiar for a Catholic priest to be a Democratic Party press agent, but that's what he was.

3. Some of his short fiction was decently crafted. See All About Women. When he was using characters of the sort he might have known as a parish priest he does well; when he attempted otherwise, not so much.

4. If you read his 1987 memoirs, several things hit you:

a. The long string of broken friendships and trouble in every kind of human relation, the pastor-curate bond foremost among them. From time to time he gives you lists of his friends, as if to assure you he still has any.

b. The Catholic Church (or, more precisely, Catholic parishes) were amusing ant farms to him, or certainly were such after about 1960. As for the Catholic faith, it was for him what G.K. Chesterton called "the religion of the household Gods". He had no manifest interest in sin and redemption.

c. The man absolutely despised other men of the cloth and did not care for women religious either. The whole society of priests disgusted him. It is a reasonable inference that this began in the major seminary but was certainly in full flower at the time of his first parish assignment in 1954. There was definitely a change in how he viewed the Church while in major seminary, but he never explains it.

d. He was not talking turkey about some of the problems he was having with people, particularly his employers. Supposedly he is fantastically productive and can handle any amount of work, completing a dissertation in two years while employed as a curate. Yet, Cdl. Meyer removes him from parish work in 1965 and three successive Archbishops refuse him assignments; we are supposed to believe it was all just spite by chancery flyspecks. He is hired-to-tenure at the University of Illinois at Chicago and then inexplicably resigns, and so forth.

5. All in all, the man was a lousy priest, terribly disobedient and lacking in humility. A priest of my acquaintance explained his ministry thus: "I want to get to heaven, and I want to take you with me". It is impossible to imagine Andrew M. Greeley ever uttering such a remark. Light a candle for the man and have Mass said for him.

Anonymous said...

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Starving-in-China-7629



"For the Western reader, Tombstone presents four distinct sets of questions: Where did the ideas come from that, when implemented with the full police power of the state, led to a peacetime loss of Chinese life greater than that of the eight-year war with Japan? (More even than total deaths in World War I.) Then: How was it possible for this famine to continue for three full years, without the grain warehouses ever being opened? Following that: What does Yang add that is novel to his account, the outlines of which have been suspected for a long time? Finally, the most difficult question of all: How is it that for decades the West almost completely ignored already substantial evidence of the disaster? How was it that this reviewer, an undergraduate at Harvard College from 1967 to 1971 (and then a graduate student), never heard a word about the famine from any of his teachers, among them some of the most celebrated scholars in the field of Chinese studies?"

Commucaust deniers never lost their jobs.

Five Daarstens said...

Christopher Lasch was also a spokesman for the white Catholic urban ethnics. In his book "The Revolt of the Elites", Lasch mentions how the elites, at the point of force, were integrating school districts in Boston via busing. Lasch also mentions on how the Catholic Church was very much for this.

Cyril said...

Yep, my dad grew up in the austin neighborhood, too. Was characteristically *sent* to a seminary as a teenager. Characteristically too his family tried to remain in Austin as long as they could, as a solidarity gesture; they finally buckled when his parents feared for the safety of his sisters.

My dad has a distinct childhood memory in the aftermath of the MLK shooting: he remembers running and telling his mother that some store was apparently giving away free stuff.

Cyril said...

"It is very peculiar for a Catholic priest to be a Democratic Party press agent."

LOL, wut? He wasn't born in 1980.

Steve Sailer said...

Yup, that's my wife's recollection of the night of April 4, 1968 in Austin on the West Side of Chicago: pointing out the window and exclaiming, "Look, mom, free televisions! Let's get some!"

Anonymous said...

gubbler:"Btw, Lawrence was writing in a repressive age."


All ages are repressive;they simply differ over what they choose to repress. For our age, it's HBD.....All things considered, I would be willing to swap our repressions for theirs. Freedom to talk about HBD seems somewhat more important than reading about some guy's "struggle" with his sexuality..

syon

Cyril said...

Austin today. So depressing.

In 2012 this *neighborhood* got close to 9% of the total number of homicides in NYC.

http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/neighborhood/austin/

Anonymous said...

"not dogmatically liberal" ... Yeah, right. Just look at his attacks on handgun ownership via op-ed pieces in the Chicago newspapers.

Tom Piatak said...

Whatever his faults, I am grateful to Fr. Greeley for providing this accurate description of the upheaval following Vatican II:

“Much of the ceremony and art of the Catholic tradition was summarily rejected, without vote or even consultation. The altars were stripped, to use the phrasing in the title of Eamon Duffy’s book on the Reformation in England. The leaders of this secondary revolution banned statues, stained glass windows, votive candles, crucifixes, and representational art from new or remodeled churches. They rejected popular devotions like May crownings, processions, First Communions, incense, classical polyphony and Gregorian chant. They dismissed the rosary, angels, saints, the souls in purgatory, and Mary the mother of Jesus. They considered these old customs and devotions liturgically or ecumenically or politically incorrect. … These various movements subverted much of the richness of the Catholic imaginative and communal tradition in the name of being ‘correct’ and ‘postconciliar.’ There was nothing to be learned from the preconciliar past, from anything that had happened before 1965. … No one seemed to understand that they were destroying precisely that sacramental dimension of the Catholic heritage that was more important than prosaic rules and that held Catholics in their Church regardless of what else happened.”

Anonymous said...

http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2013/05/michael-kinsley-on-same-sex-marriage.html

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113186/ben-carson-and-gay-marriage-police#

Anonymous said...

http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2013/05/au-revoir-to-la-france.html

DR said...

I would call Greeley the intellectual spokesman for the white Catholic urban ethnics who got hammered by integration and the Great Society, the people who saw up close and personal early on what welfare was doing to blacks.

Of course those same urban ethnic whites love, love, love the early New Deal state. Can't get enough it. Welfare for me, but not for thee. Great Society though is little more than a service pack update to New Deal. An inevitability to keep up the flow of warm bodies for the political machine, once the original welfare state beneficiaries quit providing easy new votes.

Essentially this is the same ideology that most everyone on the alt right subscribes to. Sailer, Auster, Mangan. They all dream about the original promise of the New Deal an idyllic state that actually looks out for its citizens and isn't owned by the elites. No such system actually exists in the space of possible political structures.

All you've done is replaced the gilded age masters with progressive masters, who are far more twisted. The robber barons and Tammany hall may have scraped a lot off the top, but their incentives were fundamentally aligned with maintaining a productive and orderly society.

All democracies become multi-cultural democracies given enough time. Reaching further lower into the underclass, until you scrape up third world peasants, is just too juicy to political entrepreneurs. The real tragedy is that even if the alt-right and Sailerites decidedly win they're just going to reset things back to 1950. By that point the die has already been cast.

Very few people on the right offer a truly alternative vision that takes us beyond just another variant of the New Deal state.

DYork said...

I would call Greeley the intellectual spokesman for the white Catholic urban ethnics who got hammered by integration and the Great Society...

The group Pat Buchanan tried to move into the Republican party.

I don't know how often he was on Catholic rebel and gay priests, lesbian nuns, male strippers on mourning TV Phil Donahue's show but I think I remember seeing him on the old Tom Snyder Tomorrow show in the 70s.

He was definitely somebody I associate with 1970s TV talk shows I watched as a kid.

I don't remember what he was talking about but I do remember him being always a bit mean, confident and condemnatory about everything. He always seemed exasperated that things weren't going according to his idea of what was right.

Not what you'd call a Happy Camper.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Yup, that's my wife's recollection of the night of April 4, 1968 in Austin on the West Side of Chicago: pointing out the window and exclaiming, "Look, mom, free televisions! Let's get some!"

Reminds me of the King of the Hill episode where Bobby inspired by a black comic(played by Chris Rock) at Hanks Driving school(?!) to create material based on his heritage.

And thus he naively rips off a bunch of jokes from some white supremacist website and does his stand up infront of a shocked audience

"Im so white that during the riots I went and BOUGHT myself a TV"

A scandalized Hank rushes to the stage trying to rescue Bobby from the angry mob -one of whom yells "who are you, the Grand Wizard?"

Hank: No,no. I sell propane and propane accessories!

One of the best KOTH ever!

Anonymous said...

"Five college degrees, over 70 nonfiction books, over 70 novels and no children."

Touché.

Just about sums it up.

Dahinda said...

I moved downstate from the Chicago Area to a little west of Peoria, IL. The weird thing about Peoria is that it is just now going through what cities like Chicago went through in the 50's and 60's. The middle class is being driven in what is being called "the great move north," up north into huge ne subdivisions and suburbs. There is a lot of flash mobs and crime in what were up to recently (2010) middle class neighborhoods. This is scaring the white population to move north of IL Hwy. 6, which is a freeway and hence a barrier similiar to the way expressways in Chicago were barriers between neighborhoods. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1543212/pg1

http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/Altamont-Park-Mob-Action-Makes-National-Headlines-124575319.html

Sluggo said...

I was surprised to read that Steve thought of Greeley as anything other than a bleeding heart liberal. I used to read his newspaper columns every once in a while, but when all it is is soft-core socialism you just give up and don't bother. There was no difference between Greeley's and Jesse Jackson's positions on most of the major social issues.

pat said...

Greeley sounds like the kind of person who prospers by being in the wrong profession.

There is very definitely a " priest personality". When I was a social worker I knew a couple of them, ex-priests who had left the church but who still gravitated to the "helping professions".

Bing Crosby played such a priest in " Going My Way". There really are men who are so nice as to be almost holy. But of course they never are conventionally successful. The really saintly parish priests do not generally ascend the church hierarchy. Nor do they write dozens of novels and participate in secular intellectual life. Durocher was right.

Real priests are too busy looking out for others to attend to their own careers. God I'm glad that I wasn't cut out be a priest.

Albertosaurus

Art Deco said...

I don't remember what he was talking about but I do remember him being always a bit mean, confident and condemnatory about everything. He always seemed exasperated that things weren't going according to his idea of what was right.

That's an excellent concise description of his common element in his utterances.

Dutch Boy said...

Priests and steamy novels ought not be associated.

Anonymous said...

(off-topic) http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Flenta.ru%2Fnews%2F2013%2F05%2F31%2Feducationgenes%2F&act=url

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality, corruption, and bride-stealing) said...

Tried to see SKYFALL. Lasted about an hour and barely. Couldn't see no more. In terms of art direction, cinematography, and technical stuff, impressive I suppose. But something very wrong here.

It used to be serious directors made serious or adult movies. Peckinpah made WILD BUNCH, not BATMAN movies. Nichols made GRADUATE and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, not SUPERMAN. Zinnemann made HIGH NOON and FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, not FORBIDDEN PLANET.

Or when serious directors made entertainment, they made it AS entertainment. Howard Hawks made some fun westerns. Kurosawa made HIDDEN FORTRESS, a comic action romp. Spielberg made serious movies over here and fun stuff over there. INDIANA JONES movies are fun, not serious. MUNICH is serious, not goofing around.

In the 60s, all the 007 movies were made by 'hacks' or industry professionals. They were made in the spirit of fun. Some were very good for their kind.

But we have a new development with guys like Mendes and Nolan. They make fun movie as serious art, and it's excruciating. SKYFALL takes itself so seriously as if it's John LeCarre material.

Now, an entertainment movie can mix fun stuff and serious stuff, as in first two BOURNE movies which I like. (Third one was too much.) But 007, unlike Bourne, is purely a fantasy figure in a fantasy universe. We may love him, root for him, and etc, but he's not serious material. So, all the grimness around him is bogus.
Same thing with BATMAN by Nolan. Didn't anyone tell Nolan that BATMAN is about a grown-up running around in a bat suit? It can work in the spirit of fun, but it's simply not serious material. Who wants to see a Batman movie as an Ingmar Bergman movie?

The hacks who made 007 in the 60s had no pretensions about what they were doing. They knew what they were hired for.
And guys like Hawks and Spielberg knew when they were working in serious vein and when in fun vein.

But Nolan and Mendes, as art directors working on comic book or fantasy material, try to squeeze all the joy out of funness and turn fantasy into SERIOUS art. SKYFALL may be well-made but it's one of the most misconceived movies I've seen. I nearly lost me mind watching DARK TRITE RISES too.

Maybe art directors feel like sell-outs for taking on such projects and try to compensate by art-ifying the material. But who wants 007 or Batman as tragic hero? Who wants all the solemnity? If one wants solemnity, why even see a movie about a super spy who survives all sorts of ridiculous stunts or some guy running around in a Halloween costume?

I loved INDIANA JONES CRYSTAL SKULL. It was fun done as fun. And TIN TIN was fun too. Spielberg at least knows who to approach different materials.

Maybe trying to turn Batboy into an art film figure is par for the course in an era that elevates a fat black talk show host and some sleaze chicago politician as mother mary and messiah. Or 'gay marriage' as real marriage. Nobody knows nutting anymore. Hype can turn anything into anyone. Our culture is so vapid that people seek meaning from TV shows and art from comic book movies.

Another thing that's puzzling. Movie makers used to be anti-establishmentarian. But movies like CONTAGION and SKYFALL are on the side of the noble government against leakers and rebels who must all be 'terrorists' or some such.
I guess it goes to show liberalism is now in the establishment seat, and so, Hollywood movies want audience to root for the government, whether in SKYFALL, CONTAGION, OLYMPUS RISING OR FALLING(and other movies with noble Negro presidents).

Anonymous said...

Steve, please write more about your fathers experience in the Ethnic Cleansing of Chicago.
At one times, the "ethnics", i.e. Catholic Poles, Catholic Irish, Germans, Orthodox Jews, etc. were seen as an obstacle to Americanization.

Thus, they were moved to the suburbs, and chased out by transplanted southern Black sharecroppers. This was done by the WASP elite to prevent the "ethnics" from gaining power.

"The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing"
by E. Michael Jones

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Slaughter-Cities-Renewal-Ethnic-Cleansing/dp/1587317753

Anonymous said...

Do EPA rules have disparate impact

Art Deco said...

The really saintly parish priests do not generally ascend the church hierarchy. Nor do they dozens of novels and participate in secular intellectual life. Durocher was right.

Real priests are too busy looking out for others to attend to their own careers. God I'm glad that I wasn't cut out be a priest.


Richard John Neuhaus, then a Lutheran, had a long run of years (1961-78) as a slum pastor. He had a side job as a hospital chaplain in order to make rent. He wrote and edited for much of the rest of his career.

Greeley's postings were to fairly bourgeois parishes and most of his work was in organizing youth clubs. After Cdl. Meyer removed him from parish work, he set up some sort of domestic parish which met in a house he owned on Lake Michigan. It sounded like some sort of discussion circle and he never admits to saying Mass in the course of it. It evidently dissolved in rancor for which he offered excuses laden with Freudian terminology.

When Greeley was assigned to his first parish in 1954, there was one other curate on the staff there. That man retired from his last pastorate in 1992 but he is still alive and, at age 91 or thereabouts, still working part time filling in at St. Odilio's in Chicago. Very different path in life...

Cail Corishev said...

"Five college degrees, over 70 nonfiction books, over 70 novels and no children."

And the liberal Catholicism that he championed is dying out with his generation, so that method of leaving behind a legacy failed too.

Anonymous said...

For someone who so often writes so sensibly about the question of “whose side are you on?” Steve has some odd enthusiasms for various enemies of the things he supposedly stands for.

I’d be interested to see a case for exactly how Greeley was in any way a spokesman for the Catholic white working class. What he was really a spokesman for—dogmatic mid-century liberalism—I suppose in some respects intersected with the interests of the Catholic working class, but in most respects not. Especially, as has been pointed out, on the topic of mass immigration, which—like everyone else in the Church hierarchy—Greeley couldn’t get enough of.

W. F. Buckley said it best: why does Greeley stay in the Church? Because he can do more damage from the inside.

This reminds of Steve’s bizarre man-crush on Ron Unz, the man who made a primary challenge to the last (ever) Republican governor of California (Ah-nold the Davos class lib surely doesn’t count), and the last significant American politician to try to do anything to stop or even slow mass immigration. Unz’s challenge was specifically to demonize Wilson’s opposition to mass illegal immigration. Steve lived in Chicago at the time and perhaps he missed the actual arguments made.

A year or two ago, Unz wrote an idiotic (and endless) piece in the AmCon that basically restated the lib line that mean old Pete Wilson alienated the Mexicans and so the Republicans lost California as a consequence. The hero of that piece was the mentally unbalanced Howard Ahmanson, the former arch-right religious conservative who is now a beach bum liberal Democrat.

Steve has never explained these (and other) glaring inconsistencies and I don’t see how he could. He’s a man seriously smitten with many of his own worst enemies. That is, again, assuming he truly believes what he claims to believe.

Art Deco said...

’d be interested to see a case for exactly how Greeley was in any way a spokesman for the Catholic white working class. What he was really a spokesman for—dogmatic mid-century liberalism—I suppose in some respects intersected with the interests of the Catholic working class, but in most respects not. Especially, as has been pointed out, on the topic of mass immigration, which—like everyone else in the Church hierarchy—Greeley couldn’t get enough of.

One should remark that Greeley was bourgeois by birth (son of a stock broker), did ten of his eleven years in parish ministry in an affluent parish on the southern border of Chicago and the remaining year in the neighborhood parish of the University of Chicago, and had a string of academic affiliations which lasted from 1960 to 2008. He had no manifest sense of loyalty to the institutional Church or anyone working in it. He was loyal to a professional subculture (academic sociologists, or at least those who did not refuse to tenure him) and loyal (one suspects) to a mental representation of the parish population he once served: the tribune of the people of St. Praxides against the awful clerical culture. There were not many wage earners at Christ the King when Greeley was a curate (or he did not notice the one's that were there).

Art Deco said...

W. F. Buckley said it best: why does Greeley stay in the Church? Because he can do more damage from the inside.

I think that remark was about Garry Wills, and may have originated with Ralph McInerney. Greeley's a different animal (and had little use for Wills).

Corn said...

Dahinda,
I also live in a rural area west of Peoria. Just as they say white South Africans are "packing for Perth", it's also accurate to say white Peorians are "decamping to Dunlap" or "migrating to Metamora".

explainer said...

Steve’s bizarre man-crush on Ron Unz

Weelll I think that's the guy signs the checks at one of Sailer's other gigs so your attempt at volunteer e-psychiatry is a bit misinformed there. Anyway-- Pete Wilson was a RINO squish on the make (like Brewer today) who was forced to adopt Prop. 187 to win re-election--in a GOP-leaning year!--because it was obviously broadly popular to anyone with eyes & a brain. In case you were out of California at the time and missed the actual developments since Election Day 1994, the feds blocked it immediately and Wilson's successor withdrew the circuit court appeal, i.e. bent over for the anti-187 minority including, yes, Unz, along with Jack Kemp and the local Trekkie Libertarians. You consider this series of events a story of immigration restriction success?

Paddy Overton said...

OK OK, but he wasn't like, a LIBERAL liberal priest. Compared to this Pfleger fellow, for example

Average Joe said...

Weelll I think that's the guy signs the checks at one of Sailer's other gigs so your attempt at volunteer e-psychiatry is a bit misinformed there

If this is true then Steve should be honest enough to acknowledge this fact whenever he gives Unz a positive review. I guess this helps to explain the fact that Steve believes it is bad to pander to Hispanics but good to pander to Jews.

Anonymous said...

Re: Wilson as RINO, no doubt he deviated from Republican orthodoxy in many ways, but so does Steve.

Let’s take the major “RINO” deviancies of Wilson in turn.

1)Taxes. He raised taxes to close a budget gap during a major state fiscal crisis in 1991. Actually, he closed a massive budget gap with 50/50 combination of tax hikes and spending cuts. You can say it all should have been done with spending cuts. Well, OK, find the votes for that. Point out another politician who has balanced a budget that big with 50% spending cuts. Finally, Steve himself often criticizes the national Republican obsession with tax cutting so he would seem to be synched up with Wilson here.

2) Environmentalism. Steve often says that the Republican hostility to all environmental concerns loses them middle class votes, especially in the west where people are very fond of the natural world. So he should be with Wilson here, too.

3) Abortion. Steve rarely writes much about this but I gather he is mildly pro-life. OK, strike one.

4) “Gay Rights”: I suppose they have differences here too.

That’s about it. On immigration, you can call Wilson an opportunist all you want, but he took a stand that no other Republican politician of any significance since has dared to. In fact the entire party leadership is for open borders. To attack Wilson, who was governor of CALIFORNIA, for being “insincere” or whatever about his opposition to immigration when he took a greater stand than any politician in this country has in the last 50 years is idiotic.

Steve gives Unz deserved credit for Prop 227, which ended bilingual ed, but Wilson’s support and political machine helped pass it. Also, Steve is quite opposed to quotas, well, Prop 209 was the first big referendum to outlaw them, and that was courtesy of a coordinated effort by Pete Wilson and Ward Connerly.

Unruh Portfolio said...

Crazy to meet (apparently) one of Pete Wilson's formerly apple-cheeked staffers writing anonymous blog apologia in the year 2013, but Wilson was basically an insincere on-the-fence supporter of immigration restriction. Considering his experience as mayor of SD during the hellish beginning of the 80s, a time when the city was feared to be slipping into the Third World, it's all the more damning that he surrounds himself with open-borders advisory flacks, who transitioned quite easily into the Glorious Revolution we just had with Arnold.

I'm unaware of Wilson ever being a political environmentalist. Unless you also count Reagan as an environmentalist (lotta neocons do write up this blather from time to time). I remember the Sierra Club hated him.

One thing I do credit Wilson with is a kind of managerial/leadership prowess that people like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush were supposed to have despite never showing it in a political setting. This included frequently standing up to lazy unions (another of your bullet points in which he probably differs from Sailer). In 1994 after the single northward freeway artery from the city of L.A. collapsed in the earthquake he got that sucker fixed quick...

Anonymous said...

The secret to his prolificity was that he carried a voice recorder with him at all times and dictated his novels and academic books in spare moments.

Most of his novels were pretty mediocre, but "The Cardinal Sins" was a masterpiece of pulp fiction.