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Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Right Blogosphere Demeans, Distorts and Demagogues vis a vis Fred Thompson

A few weeks ago prominent right blogger, Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House, wrote this inflammatory piece about Mike Huckabee.

But Mike Huckabee is not a conservative – at least not any kind of conservative that I would recognize as such. His tenure as Arkansas governor was marked by a corn pone populism – part Huey Long and part Jimmy Carter along with a massive increase in the tax burden on the individual taxpayer in his state as well as a sharp rise in spending.

Huckabee channeled the ghost of Huey Long in his funding of state road improvements – largely through a hefty gas tax increase and a controversial bond issue. He also put a $5.25 premium on nursing home patients and raised the sales tax in the state. The Club for Growth detailed his “conservative” tax policy and ideas:


But that’s just a drop in the bucket. While Huckabee claims to have cut taxes 90 times totaling $378 million, the state’s Department of Finance and Administration says he also raised taxes 21 times that brought in a whopping $883 million. Under his “conservative” governance, the “average Arkansan’s tax burden” went “from $1,969 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1997, to $2,902 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2005, including local taxes.”

A liberal couldn’t be prouder of such a record.


We don’t need another George Bush. We don’t need Mike Huckabee. What we need is someone who will fight for conservative principles in government and wear out a veto pen in nixing excessive spending and any increase in taxes proposed by a Democratic Congress.

Now, I couldn't believe how scathing this piece was. After all, even if you don't support Huckabee, why would a fellow conservative treat him with such venom? The fact is that most of the candidates, short of Fred Thompson, have at one time or another been treated with unbelievably venom on the right blogosphere. This is across the board: from prominent sites like Redstate and Michelle Malkin to all sorts of small blogs all over the place. Huckabee isn't the only one. In fact, I noticed Huckabee's treatment because it was eerily similar to the way my candidate, Rudy Giuliani, was treated earlier in the campaign season by many of the same places.

Here is how Michelle Malkin put Huckabee, Giuliani, and McCain through the illegal immigration guantlet.

Just last year, Huckabee lambasted opponents of the bipartisan shamnesty bill providing a mass pardon to illegal aliens as “driven by racism or nativism.” He called strict immigration enforcement — the kind he now supports — “sheer folly” in his campaign-timed book released earlier this year. He actively invited the Mexican government to establish a consulate in Arkansas — giving its office a $1 per year special office space rate — so that its foreign officials could start dispensing securityundermining matricula consular ID cards to illegal aliens for banking and employment purposes. And he’s not only for government in-state illegal alien discounts, he’s for expanding them far beyond what the federal DREAM Act proposed.


Bringing up the false convert rear is Sen. John McCain. Earlier this year, he was the most vocal critic of grass-roots conservatives who mobilized against the amnesty bill. He now says he has learned his lesson and supports securing the border. He has learned nothing. During the shamnesty debacle, he called Rush Limbaugh a “nativist;” over the weekend, he repeated such contemptuous “straight talk” at the Univision debate by assailing what he called anti-Hispanic rhetoric. In an interview with the New Yorker, he irritatedly dismissed immigration concerns in Iowa as marginal and irrational — just a bunch of “senior citizens” in Iowa caught up in the “emotion” of a cultural assault.

Bad enough that the Democrat candidates are still stuck in a 9/10 mentality on the nexus between immigration and national security. The question for conservatives is: Would a Republican immigration drag queen be any better — or worse?


Rudy “I supported sanctuary policies before I was against them, but my sanctuary policy wasn’t really a sanctuary policy, anyway” Giuliani now quotes “the advice of a great man, Father Hesburgh, who said, ‘We must close the back door of illegal immigration in order to preserve the front door of legal immigration.’”

This was all part of one piece. Just yesterday, she demeaned McCain in this mocking piece.

Here’s some straight talk about John McCain from New Hampshire voters, via the Boston Globe. The voters’ main concerns: He’s a Ted Kennedy shamnesty supporter and he’s too old:



is depressingly right about this:

I’m not looking forward to nine months of “well, he beats the alternative” posts next year, but then we’re pretty much guaranteed that no matter who wins the nomination.

Now, for full disclosure, I don't know who Michelle supports however if she has attacked Thompson I haven't found the attacks. To say that voting for McCain is simply the worst of two evils though is absurd. McCain has a long and distinguished careeer in public service. He is a hero. He was the only one to stand by the surge while everyone else ran for cover. He was one of the few Republicans to call the Iraq policy out while it was still in its infancy. While he may not be my first choice, it is totally unfair to claim he is only the best of two evils.

Frankly, everything that everyone here says about all of these candidates may in fact be true. The fact is that if anyone's record is examined long enough, anyone can find all sorts of problems with it. Each of the individuals that has been attacked has a long history of public service, and their records are isolated in some cases, or simply not put into perspective in other cases.

Therein lies the rub. Thompson has no record. He served undistinguished in the Senate for a few years. Big deal. That is why I would never support him. To me, a few years as an undistinguished Senator doesn't qualify anyone for the most powerful office in the world. I could care less what their position on anything is. Anyone's record is easy to attack. That's if they have a record. Thompson has no record. He only has campaign promises. Those promises are purely conservative. It is easy to be a pure conservative when you haven't actually governed. Governing ain't easy I like to say. That sort of perspective is lost, in my opinion, on the right blogosphere. Thus, I have heard that Romney's, Huckabee's, Giuliani's, and McCain's election, would all doom the Republican party at one time or another.

Can it really be so that the election of any of these individuals would doom the party, or maybe, just maybe, that is the narrative being driven by an increasingly desperate and intense group of folks that occupies the right blogosphere? To me, the intense criticism of every other candidate that the right blogosphere engages in can be summed up by this Shakespeare line

thou dost protest a bit too much

Like I said, I support Rudy. I think that there has never been as accomplished and gifted a leader in the years I have followed politics at least. Leadership, to me at least, is the most important thing. That said, I have no problem with any of the other candidates short of Ron Paul. I would never spend more than a sentence or two to bash any of the other candidates. Their records are really of no consequence to me anyway. No one even comes close to Rudy in terms of the things I am looking for and thus a deep analysis of anyone's record is unnecessary.

The same cannot be said of Thompson supporters. Every single other candidate's record has been hyper analyzed by Thompson supporters for any hint of something that they would consider unforgiveable. McCain is unacceptable because immigration, CFR, and too tight a relationship with the other side. Rudy can't be trusted because of abortion and New York policy on illegals when he was mayor. Romney once supported abortion and his health care plan was too close to universal health care. The list goes on and on. Only Thompson who has only words and no record can be trusted by the blogosphere on the right because he has said, and never done, all the right things.

Keep in mind that most of these candidates have now said all the right things also but because they have a record their record is compared to their words. Not so for Thompson...he has no record and thus everything he says is taken as gospel.

Now, as Thompson's campaign increasingly shows signs of problems, they begin to demonize all they consider responsible. The most obvious target now is the mainstream media.

Fred didn't follow the media's rules. He didn't enter when they said he should have. He hasn't kissed up to them. He didn't run around for a year trying to curry their favor.

2. Fred is a real conservative. The last thing the MSM wants is a Reaganite Republican running the table on them just like Reagan did. Fred is consistent on the issues and more than any other candidate can carry the conservative message without a lot of baggage.

3. Fred's personality. He is not the MSM's type. Blunt. Plainspoken. Not too interested in what they think. They'd rather have someone running around courting them (like McCain and Romney).

That seems to be the conventional wisdom on the right blogosphere over the last few weeks. The Thompson campaign would be doing better if only the MSM gave him a fair shake. What a bunch of nonsense? Since when did the MSM ever decide a Republican primary? If anything, this would be a boon for the Thompson campaign. The fact is the MSM is not responsible for Thompson's lackluster poll numbers. To supporters of Thompson the MSM should ignore a surging candidate like Huckabee and focus on a candidate like Thompson, who is in single digits.

What the right blogosphere refuses to accept is that most primary voters aren't purists like them. The only reason to vote for Thompson is that he is the most conservative. If that is what you look for, then he is your guy. He isn't the most qualified, the most exciting, the most charismatic...he isn't anything but the most conservative. The right blogosphere is struggling with the idea that there are actually folks that vote in the same primary that don't consider a pure conservative pedigree to be the most important thing.

Their rationalizations and explanations range from absurd to amateurish

Fred Thompson is viewed favorably by 77% of likely Iowa Republican Caucus goers according to Rasmussen’s latest Iowa Polling (Dec 19). That is the highest favorable rating of any Republican candidate. Romney’s favorability rating is at 73%, Huckabee 67%, McCain 63% and Giuliani 58%. The trend to watch: Huckabee’s favorability rating dropped from 81% to 67% in just one week. This poll was taken as Fred’s “Hands Down” bus tour began in Iowa. Fred will continue to campaign in Iowa exclusively until the caucus, maximizing his opportunity to turn those high favorable ratings into votes.

Again, I find it disingenous and manipulative whenever anyone isolates one poll and draws conclusions. Here, not only is one poll isolated but favorability numbers are used rather than simple numbers.

For fairness, here is the latest average of RCP where Thompson finds himself just south of 10% and in fourth place. Nationally, he is at 11.5% and also in fourth place. Now, his supporters can give all the upbeat spin they want, however those numbers speak for themselves.

Then, there is this...

There are many reasons we need to keep Fred in the campaign. He's the reliable consistent etc etc CONSERVATIVE. He respects the Constitution. I think we here are all clear on the reasons to support Fred!

Now I want to share with you, gentle reader, one reason that is specific to me. Fred's loyalty to the Constitution stands between me and the wild side. That's right...

My only response is huh?????

The reality is that Dick Morris was right when he analyzed Thompson as such.

He’s A Political Light Weight and He’s Not Ready For The National Stage

In his first week of campaigning, Thompson has shown that he has neither the substance nor the experience that is essential for a serious presidential candidate. One wonders what makes him — and his supporters — think that he is, in any way, up to the job.


The Political Insider

Thompson is not at all the outsider maverick that he claims to be. In fact, he’s the ultimate Washington insider. He was a successful lobbyist before he went to the Senate and he returned to lobbying after leaving it. Until very recently, he worked for Equitas, a British insurance company trying to squirm out of paying for asbestos/cancer claims. He also represented a TennesseeSavings and Loan, Toyota and Perrier.


Turmoil Within

All summer, the war has raged, not pitting Thompson against his Republican rivals, or even his Democratic opposition, but featuring a battle of Mrs. Fred Thompson against virtually her husband’s entire campaign staff.

The list of axed, fired, or forced-to-resign employees would distinguish a campaign of far greater tenure, but coming in a candidacy yet even to be announced, it is truly unique.

and on and on. Whatever savior Conservatives thought they had in Thompson the reality was much weaker than the idealized version of the man that refused to officially enter the race for months. His supporters can say what they want however the candidate is just not anything special and that is why he has no traction anywhere but the blogosphere. No amounts of distortions, demeaning, and demagoguery will change that.


Anonymous said...

I think it is interesting that you state that all the charges made against these candidates might be true, seems to me a weaselly way of getting out of admiting there are true and if not that then please explain how someone who is following the race so closely close enough to have choosen a candidate to back does know enough about their records to judge if such charges are true or not.

Yes I support Thompson I admit it and I believe that anyone that does any research could easily find that he does have a record, but then that takes us back to the point where you have already shown that you have done no such research. As far as the other candidates I do very much respect McCain, but his record on illegal immigration is so abysmal that I can not support him. As for Rudy I consider him a flawed amoral charecter a kind of New York City version of Bill Clinton whom the New York Fire Department members would quickly 'Swiftboat' if he was the nominee.

mike volpe said...

You Thompson supporters make it too easy for me. The name of the piece is The Right Blogosphere Demeans, Distorts, and Demagogues...

you have done all three.

What I said was that anyone who has governed as long as Huckabee, Giuliani, and McCain could have their record disected any which way. Again, they have a long record. Thompson has no record despite your un backed up claims. His six years of undistinguished service in the Senate is peanuts compared to the records of those three men. If you govern long enough you will eventually do plenty to tick someone off and plenty in fact. So what. It is easy to pick apart their records for things you don't like. They have been governing for twenty some years in one capacity or another.

The only thing Thompson has is his words, which are frankly no different than those three. They have records which can be match up against their words, whereas Thompson has no such problems. It is easy to be a pure conservative when you haven't actually governed anything. All anyone has on you is your claims and ideas. It is easy to be a pure Conservative when you don't govern. Try governing as a pure conservative when your legislature is 90% Democrat like Giuliani. Try governing as a pure conservative when many times the other party is in charge as McCain often did.

That is why I don't take any stock in such hyper analyzations of people's records. Once you have a long record your opponent can make of it what they want. I certainly don't take much stock in backer's of one's opponents hyper analyzing someone's record. That was my point.