Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Who Said Conservatives Can't Dance?

Today is "Super Tuesday", and let's say that (for the sake of argument) John McCain has pulled away from Mitt Romney and pretty much clinched the GOP nomination for the 2008 presidential race. Imagine that you are one of the many conservative talk radio hosts who have made it a point to consistently denigrate McCain to the point that you would look like a complete hypocrite if you turned around and embraced him now that he has proven successful. What do you do? What can you do? Surely you view yourself as a perception-maker, and desperately want to remain relevant for the next 9 months... at least until the Supreme Court has anointed the next Commander-in-Chief. Your pick has already dropped from the race, and now you face the prospect of holding your nose and praising the fart that you had hoped would float away quickly.

These guys (and by "guys" I'm talking about people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, et al.) look even worse than they usually do. I listened to Beck this morning, and he was trying to explain why he now supports Mitt Romney's candidacy. His boy Duncan Hunter was a no-show at the very start, and so he's already descended his own personal ladder of preference. He says he has three criteria for investing his support: 1. The politician has to be honest. (Which of course is impossible for a major party politician); 2. They have to support the Iraqi War. (Which every Republican candidate besides Ron Paul has); and 3. They have to be fanatical about keeping Mexicans out of the country. This last issue narrows the field to one, as Huckabee and McCain have managed to keep one foot on both sides of the debate.

Beck claims to be unsettled by McCain's record of "flip-flopping". He cites some of the points that I have talked about in this very blog (like Bush's tax cuts, Jerry Falwell, etc.), but he adds to that list McCain's wavering stance in opposition to abortion. Apparently he has changed his mind about overthrowing Roe Vs. Wade. Indeed it seems accurate to claim that McCain is pandering to social conservatives by becoming suddenly outspoken about a ban on "baby-killing". Yet what makes this so amusing is that Beck's-boy Mitt Romney used to be pro-choice, as recently as 2004. In addition Glenn Beck's new paramour also flip-flopped on gay rights, gun control and immigration... only recently coming around to his current positions in order to court the base conservative constituency. It would seem to be in Beck's best interest to pick something other than inconsistency with which to attack McCain. But it seems like Beck is just following the lead of the candidates themselves, who are in a contest to prove who is the biggest waffler.

Of course Glenn Beck has an answer to all of this. He has adopted the use of the term "pivot point" to describe a fundamental change in attitude or belief that alters one's political or philosophical positions. In fact he tends to overuse it a bit, employing the words in almost every single interview he conducts. This is simply another example of political hacks appropriating new verbiage to either rehabilitate or condemn a particular idea or behavior. When a Democrat (or in this case a "Republican-In-Name-Only") changes his mind- then he is a weak and untrustworthy waffler. On the other hand, if a preferred candidate has a similar alteration in stated values- then he has undergone some meaningful revelation of profound significance, and is now a better man for it.

It's going to be awfully entertaining to see Republicans across the conservative spectrum flounder about trying to justify the inconsistencies (hypocrisy?) of their particular favorites. What makes it especially amusing will be watching it in light of the severe criticism they directed at John Kerry during the 2004 election. Even more fun will be had as the pundits themselves try to strain and twist, in order to accommodate their newfound respect for whatever GOP hopeful eventually gets the nod. One might think that the political party that claims to venerate consistency in values across time would reject the type of expediency required to transfer loyalties at the drop of a hat (or candidate). Although one might hope that the exposure of such frauds would lead to a subsequent drop in ratings, someone was on to something when he/she warned that the intelligence of the public is impossible to underestimate. Is anyone recording their rabid assaults now?

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Blogger Ryan said...

Easy, they'll support hillary. Remember my newscorp related comment a few months ago?

2:56 PM  

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