Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stupidest endorsement of the day

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Stupid because it comes so late, with the endorsed candidate already in steady decline and without much of a hope of winning anything, stupid because the endorsed candidate is running a pointless campaign lazily and without much enthusiasm, stupid because the truth about the endorsed candidate long ago broke through the imaginary facade that had been propping him up, his supporters basing their shallow opinions of him largely on fiction, specifically on the qualities of the fictional characters he has played on television and in the movies.

Yes, it's Fred Thompson, who has been endorsed by Human Events, a "Reaganesque" publication that has featured such right-wing luminaries (and crazies) as Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Oliver North, and Pat Buchanan. And, sure, it does make Thompson out to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan -- or at least preferable, in ideologically conservative terms, to the other candidates in the field, all deeply flawed: Giuliani, Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Paul. Reading through the endorsing editorial, you get a good sense of what matters to conservatives these days, of what it means, in the U.S., to be a conservative: "We conclude that Thompson is a solid conservative whose judgment is grounded in our principles." On abortion (anti), guns (pro), taxes (anti), gay marriage (anti), and the environment (anti), Thompson holds all the right positions. Human Events would have liked him to support the Clinton impeachment, to have opposed McCain-Feingold, and to have opposed the efforts of trial lawyers to oppose "limitations on liability in defective product and medical malpractice cases," but, well, no one's perfect -- and perfectly crazy.

No, this is not a joke. This is what conservatives -- the real, hardcore kind -- think. We can all have a good laugh over this, their endorsement of one of the genuine losers of this election season, but it's helpful to come to terms with their despicable agenda as we work to defeat it as decisively and as definitively as possible.

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Whatever the results on the Human Events scorecard, it seems to me that the publication gets Thompson wrong, exaggerating his conservative record and platform and overlooking his more maverick past.

For more, see here, here, and here.

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