Conservative Warrior Proves Nasty Is Not a Good Look; and Probably Doesn’t Work Either

Written by Steve Pauwels on May 20, 2016

Certain conservative spokespersons regularly show up on TV or radio; and, instantly, I know I can kick back, breathe a sigh, relax — it’s a slam-dunk they’ll represent our side’s concerns with persuasive forcefulness. Michelle Malkin, comes to mind; Ralph Peters, (on matters military, at least) would be another; Mark Levin? Who wouldn’t want “the Great One” on their God-and-Country-Loving debate squad?

Then there’s Dana Loesch: for me, she also falls into that category. You know her: dark-haired, feisty, 2nd-Amendment-touting, socially conservative talk-radio host-cum-Fox News regular-cum-author who routinely makes hash of adversarial Lefties and their harebrained policies. When Ms. Loesch is on the case? I know a constitutionally grounded, unapologetically articulated blast of soundly reasoned conservatism is soon, almost surely, en route.

Which is why I was so disappointed hearing about her recent, searingly superfluous, low-rent attack on CNN pundit and fervent Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany. The latter had flown the admittedly goofy accusation that #NeverTrump folks who reject the Manhattan Mogul for being insufficiently “conservative” are themselves the actual non-conservatives. Loesch, understandably, wasn’t amused. Her brutal retort?:

[B]aby-cakes, this was more than just going on television and flashing them pearly whites and your flat-chested red dress over sprayed bleach blonde hair while you sit here and preach all this stuff about who is or isn’t a conservative … I don’t care how mean I sound. …Don’t want nuthin’ don’t start it.

Flat-chested“? That swipe was pertinent to the topic under discussion precisely how? Answer: it wasn’t. And, as Ms. Loesch obviously intuited immediately, the volley sounded “mean” — because it was mean.

Things got worse for the combative firebrand: the Daily Caller was first to unearth this cringe-inducing nugget: Ms. McEnany had, in fact, undergone a “preventative mastectomy” several years ago; both breasts surgically removed. “I had eight aunts who got breast cancer,” she confessed … The doctor … said ‘You have this.’ ” Following the procedure, McEnany received implants and plans to have her ovaries removed after she’s had children.

My Dana-disappointment only intensified as she spun energetic rationalizations for the cruel slam; proffering nary a word of regret. As soon as those mean-spirited sentiments had seethed from her mouth, she’d pled, unconvincingly: “You like Trump? Let me act like him for a minute … I bet you love me now.” Shortly thereafter, she unhelpfully added this defensive follow-up: “I’m sorry for the struggles [McEnany] had but perhaps being the ‘victim’ of my words can give her an insight into the kind of harm Trump’s words inflicts on others.”


If, indeed, Dana Loesch really was aping the bloviating billionaire, she’s apparently still stuck in that groove; her dogged apology-boycott persists just as Trump, similarly, never comes clean on his many lapses (by his own profession, not even to the Creator). He underscored as much in his latest back-and-forth with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, during which he tip-toed up to, but never actually embraced, any ardent contrition for the cornucopia of awfulness he’s disgorged toward so many throughout his adult life. It’s one of the multitudinous character deficiencies, in fact, rendering Trump unfit for the Oval Office. Moral slobs need not apply.

There’s no denying Ms. Loesch is a physically beautiful woman. All the same, her catty swipe at Kayleigh McEnany – whether mimicking “The Donald” or merely spontaneously vicious — was one ugly moment; made uglier still by her dug-in refusal to acknowledge, and then repudiate, it.

Not all apologies are necessary, mind you, particularly in our too frequently timid, comically over-sensitive day; fixated as it is on political correctness. Some well-meaning, but misguided, remorse even ends up itself affronting common decency. (Memo to Barack Obama and Company: America need not bow and scrape over her decisive, “Fat Man”-and-“Little Boy” termination of World War II; neither ought she ever hang her head over her Judeo-Christian heritage; the shame quotient inherent in clear-thinking repudiations of phony — i.e., homosexual — “marriage”? That would be: Zilch.)

Still, when a person steps in it — as we all do, eventually, no exceptions — the guilty party’s only acceptable response is to admit it, deplore it, and make it right in whatever way available. An apology is in order, not because some daffy pc protocols were breached, but for an unignorable offense genuinely committed; Donald Trump’s currently fashionable, non-stop excuse-making notwithstanding.

Putting the boot to a loopy diehard’s block-headed, destructive or deceptive proposals? You bet. Go for it every time; with élan and gusto. But belittling him/her personally? Stooping to cheap ad hominem screeds? I was under the impression that’s not what Constitutional conservatism — rooted as it is in biblical and enlightenment values — is supposed to be all about.

Conceded: sometimes in today’s fraught ideological climate it can be effective – hey, downright necessary — to shock, just a bit, in order to seal an argument. There’s even a time and place for occasional harsh ripostes (Proverbs 15:10); or, dare I say it, once-in-a-while name-calling? (Sometimes a “clod” simply needs to be verbally identified as such: see the words of Jesus (Matthew 23:33; Luke 13:32) and the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:10; Philippians 3:2). Although, please note the qualifiers in that concession: “sometimes”, “occasional”, “once-in-a-while”.

When, however, the reflexive reaction toward those who dare differ with us is to rhetorically tear out their jugular? Or when we’re prompted to react that way merely because we’re miffed or our feelings have been hurt? Hard to justify; and it rarely turns out well.

Recall, the One who ripped the Pharisees for their cancerous hypocrisy, also warned — ominously — against making a casual, automatic habit of tarring as “Fool” everyone who crosses or irks us (Matthew 5:22).

There’s an operational drawback, moreover, when conservatives and Christians default to insult-first mode: It’s counterproductive. We distract from our cause’s reputable merits; our noble efforts become besmirched, discredited. It’s behavior that should be expected from unscrupulous, secularist Lefties – not from those whose convictions are anchored in godly principles.

Who today, for instance, is trashing Kayleigh McEnany’s original, baseless attack on anti-Trump voters? All the focus, instead? It’s trained on Dana Loesch’s vindictiveness.

We patriotic “traditionalists” get the “hater” epithet falsely lobbed at us regularly. What a shame, then, when one of our own, even momentarily, lives down to that slander.

When the Sturm und Drang of cultural and political conflict curdles the souls of those promoting America’s founding principles, noble Judeo-Christian provenance and the revival of society’s general dignity, not only the nation suffers; our exertions to restore her take a hit, as well. In short, when conservatives comport themselves like nasty Progressives – or, indeed, like a certain New York presidential hopeful whom Dana Loesch’s “victim” so loftily esteems: Ouch.

Come on, Dana! Extend a more-than-fitting, public mea culpa to Kayleigh McEnany. Donald Trump never would — that alone ought to convince you it’s the right thing to do.

Image: Dana Loesch via photopin (license); Gage Skidmore

Share if you agree: “Nasty” isn’t the way to go when trying to make your points in a debate.

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.