The Corpse Walk

     An old metaphor for an attitude of gleeful, even vindictive opportunism is “he’d walk over his colleagues’ corpses.” I’ve used it rather frequently in recent years. There are a lot of conscience-challenged opportunists in the world. They make their presence known when disaster befalls others.

     I’ve seen a lot of corpse-walking lately, especially among commentators and political analysts. To any of them who are readers of this humble blog: Folks, it’s not a good look. It reveals things about you that you really should keep to yourself. Time will pass and many things will be forgotten, but even a glimpse of a corpse-walker attitude sticks in the memory like dried egg yolk.

     Many careers in conservative-oriented commentary have gone down in flames these past few years. The rise (and fall) of Donald Trump, the widely beloved 45th President of these United States, is the most common reason. You know some of the names. Now that events have revealed how utterly anti-American it was to support Joe Biden over President Trump last November, we’re unlikely to see them at perches of their former prominence.

     But that doesn’t make a walk over their professional corpses any more attractive.

     A brief but relevant tangent: One of the reasons I maintain this site – indeed, the strongest of them – is to serve others. Some Gentle Readers might find this surprising; nevertheless, it is so. I don’t get paid for what I do here, and neither do my Co-Conspirators. Indeed, it costs me several hundred dollars per year. (As for my novels, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I draw a generous monthly pension from my former employers.)

     Whether it’s a service of any kind to chide a corpse-walker in the hope that she’ll refrain henceforward – and to dissuade others from emulating her – I’ll leave for you to decide.

     Emerald Robinson’s essay is as self-indulgent a piece of prose as I’ve seen in my nearly seventy years. It’s self-exaltation in pixels, at fallen others’ expense. Whether her intimations of having personally brought down the Weekly Standard and the television careers of Stephen Hayes et alii are accurate, I cannot say – but does it matter? It’s simply not a good look. Gloating never is. Gloating combined with bragging is an order of magnitude worse. And people will remember.

     The old saying “Watch what they do, not what they say” is one I’ve used here quite recently. It has great value, but it omits an important point, one that’s especially germane to the world of commentary: What they say is what they do. Readers might forget the exact words a pundit uses in some specific instance, but they’re unlikely to forget the pose he strikes. A smart writer doesn’t leave himself open to castigation for a haughty attitude. This is especially true of one who has smacked his lips at – and perhaps taken a hand in – the fall of others.

     Just a few early-morning thoughts. Please continue with your daily routine.


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    • Toastrider on August 25, 2021 at 8:31 AM

    I gotta be honest here. Mr. Porretto is a better man than me.


    Let’s not mince words. The NeverTrump contingent decided they were so wounded by Trump and his mean tweets that they’d rather climb in bed with the Democrats than deal with real issues. They deserve everything they get.


    So yeah. For me, it has little to do with humility, and everything to do with spite, and a desire that these people never again enjoy a position where they can urinate on us and loudly declaim that it is, in fact, rain that will make the crops grow.


    • jwm on August 25, 2021 at 11:04 AM

    A little OT. File under conversations with the CSO:

    I’m out back, head to toe all over dust and dirt, and getting ready to put up for the day. Mary appears at the back door.

    Wife: Are you going to take a shower?

    Me: Not just yet.

    Wife: I’m just finishing up in the kitchen. Now I’m all greasy, and I need to clean up. I had a lot of little bits of this, and that, and I mixed it all in this batch. It came out greasier than usual. I’m not sure how good it will be.

    Me: You always say that, but your cooking is world famous. Your burritos are always a work of art. Who cares about a little extra grease? Besides, I’m skinny, and I can use the  calories.

    Wife: I was talking about making my hand lotion.



    1. You got me laughing so hard I nearly hurt myself.

    • Daniel K Day on August 25, 2021 at 12:15 PM

    Maybe it says something bad about me, but I’m with Toastrider. She’s welcome to a victory lap or two over that bunch.

  1. Let me suggest to Toastrider and Dan (MNTY) Day that it may be a bit premature dancing on these graves.

    I’ve made the case these many years that we are battling with a powerful segment whose moral guidelines are diametrically opposite that of people still attempting to live their lives with some level of live and let live decency. You don’t believe they are as willing to sacrifice in the short term for long term gains of their moral precepts as have our martyrs of the past?

    They — and this may apply even to Trump himself — may be unseated in disgrace from their preferred platforms. But their patron forces seem to have succeeded in upending America quite a bit (understated!) on the road to what the Prog Project always dreamed.

    The current situation has resulted in most of us here searching for a solution, new leaders, hope and prayers when we are not disgusted or, worse, despairing.

    So I, like our host, am not laughing at the current state of those “corpses,” albeit for apparently a sadder reason than he. He who laughs last laughs best.

    • Tracy C Coyle on August 25, 2021 at 5:18 PM

    Hmmm, seems I am with the detractors this time.  I’m not one for the high road when the ankle biters got their comeuppance – though I would have preferred ritual suicide, suicide by ideology worked just fine for me.  Taking a victory lap, for coming in 2nd, just doesn’t help support ‘I told ya so’ though.

    I was a big fan of the neo-con pundit class in the 90s, but became more and more disillusioned with them as we progressed with Bush.  By 2005 I was disengaging and McCain just burned the bridges and salted the land between us – and the neo-cons were cheering his efforts.  I actively stopped listening, reading, viewing the entire bunch by 2012…..until 2016 when I took them as solid contra-indicators of appropriate political stances.

    I was not sorry to see the Weekly Standard go down in flames, I gladly would have added kindling to the bonfire had I any to offer.  I think the article was aggrandizing, but I’ve certainly seen plenty of it over the years that it doesn’t bother me.  Too few people of character left in the world of media.

    Frances, you are a product of an era that has been left behind by the ‘era of the moment’.  Too many believe that what happened yesterday is of no relevance – even if they were fully engaged with it THEN…it is just, so, so…..over and done.  Move on.

    I tend to agree, but I can never forget the acts of ‘treason’, even if I no longer demand their heads for it.

    • Seether on August 26, 2021 at 7:51 AM

    Our favorite barbarian described what is best in war  – to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. So it is in politics, which after all is war without mass, overt bloodshed. The enjoyment from corpse walking over the careers of that list of Quisling demented reindeer can only be exceeded by the subsequent relief of my bladder on their graves. May we see many more accounts of such victories over the pieces of human feces who have done their utmost to reduce this country to the wretched state we confront now.

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