The Woke Conservatism Of Ben Domenech And Fox News

Conservatism,Democrats,History,Populism,Propaganda,Pseudo-history,Race,Racism,Republicans,The State


Ben Domenech continues to sell soothing, snake-oil conservatism on FOX News Primetime.

In fact, Woke conservatism is a good moniker for Domenech’s conservatism .

Fox News, sometimes mistaken for the real deal, has signed this John McCain clan member on as a contributor. It’s how Beltway conservatives keep the wealth and the consensus in the political family.

When TV admits outsiders in, it’s only ever if, like J.D. Vance type elites, they’ve slithered  up through the Ivy League, or the military-industrial-complex; have gotten elected, preferably in moderate districts. There isn’t an independent thinker in the District of Columbia radius.

This time, On August 2, in dulcet tones, Domenech—who has a great speaking voice—was selling some court historian’s idea that Lincoln and his supporters were the quintessential populists.

That is quite funny. Lincoln was “a wealthy railroad lawyer”; “a card-carrying member of the Northern corporate elite“:

Via Tom DiLorenzo:

Lincoln proudly boasted that he had made more speeches promoting protectionism or legal plunder than on any other subject. He stumped for Whig party protectionist candidates for decades, and established himself as the most rabid mercantilist in American politics, the political son of Alexander Hamilton. As the general counsel of the Illinois Central Railroad who had represented all the major railroad corporations in the Mid-West, he was a card-carrying member of the Northern corporate elite who traveled on the legal circuit in a private train car courtesy of the Illinois Central, accompanied by an entourage of Illinois Central executives (See John Starr, Lincoln and the Railroads). As such, the Illinois plutocracy sponsored and financed his candidacy. A key part of their strategy was to use Lincoln’s protectionist credentials to win over the steel-manufacturing state of Pennsylvania which had the second-largest number of electoral votes at the time. Joseph Medill, the influential editor of the Chicago Press and Tribune, sold the Lincoln candidacy to the Pennsylvania Republican party by pointing out what a slick politician he was, “an old [Henry] Clay Whig, right on the tariff and . . . exactly right on all other issues.”

DiLorenzo and His Critics on the Lincoln Myth” is pretty neat, especially as Jim Ostrowski mentions the upheaval caused by the publication, in 2002, in WND of my review of Tom’s The Real Lincoln.

With two of the leading political websites in the world heralding his tome, and, and his book selling like statist intellectuals’ souls, the Church of Lincoln could not ignore DiLorenzo. When Ilana Mercer fired her starter’s pistol, the congregation raced to attack the book before it was even published.


2 thoughts on “The Woke Conservatism Of Ben Domenech And Fox News

  1. Ian “Red” Rivers

    A great post, ilana. I enjoy when you have the opportunity to delve back into American history, which you know so much better than most native born. I’d thought we were done talking about Lincoln for the time being, what with the woke beginning to fell his monuments. But there are still a few neocon remnants extant, legacy progeny from the family into which Ben Domenech married. They must continue to carry the torch for the rail splitter they dragged kicking and screaming into modern conservatism to begin with.

    The saccharine hagiography in which Ben traffics is depressing in the extreme. Turning Lincoln into a saint of course causes everyone who knows better (and that takes in a lot of territory) to guffaw in embarrassment for the hapless writer, but it also makes Abe a lot less interesting. If you read the fairly even-handed biography that David Herbert Donald wrote about Lincoln (or even the glorious evisceration by the poet Edgar Lee Masters), you’ll read a great deal about a man who wasn’t all that great a human being, but at least he wasn’t boring, and, really, isn’t being a bore the one really unforgivable sin? Hmmmm.

    Very fair of you, btw, to credit Ben with a fine speaking voice.

  2. Ilana Mercer Post author

    I must read this Donald book. You make a good point. Libertarians, a tremendously dull lot, always focus on whether a person is ideologically pure or correct. But being a bore is way worse than not being a purist. Myself, most obedient libertarians have considered a deviationist, but nobody has accused me of the other sin. Nicely done, IRR.

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