A Neutron Bomb Political Endorsement

Political endorsements are normally worthless, but a neutron bomb of a political endorsement came in the form of Pat Robertson coming out in support of Rudy Giuliani.

This caused much controversy, and while I occasionally stop by Michelle Malkin’s blog for a comment or three, I got into a polite but heated discussion today with a social conservative that found this endorsement unacceptable and a betrayal of his conservative principals.

http://michellemalkin.com/2007/11/07/robertson-to-endorse-giuliani/#comments

I have redacted the fellow’s name out of politeness, but the debate was so lively it became a column all in itself. I rarely comment on my own blog, preferring to be a moderator that usually steps in behind the scenes, if at all. However, in this case I went from reasoned overseer to guerilla warrior.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 12:50 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Endorsements are usually irrelevant, but this is a neutron bomb.

Giuliani wants terrorists dead at all costs. That sounds pretty pro-life to me. Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Thompson are all fine men, but to me Rudy is the right man.

Robertson did not do this out of altruism. He did it out of pragmatism. He knows that if Rudy wins without him (highly possible), then Robertson risks becoming irrelevant, the same way Bill Clinton marginalized Jesse Jackson compared to his predecessors.

It was a smart move by Robertson, who has seen his influence wane.

If Rudy wins, Robertson can claim it was because of his endorsement.

eric

On November 7th, 2007 at 12:52 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Also, those on the far right that went with a fringe candidate in 1992 got Bill Clinton…80% agreement is not a 20% enemy…Any one of the top 4 candidates is better than Hillary by a country middle America mile.

Respectfully,

eric

aka the Tygrrrr Express”

I was not expecting hostility towards lovable me on a politically conservative site. While the majority of people that commented about what I had to say agreed with me, I will focus on those that did not.

“(name redacted) Get your facts straight. The people who left the GOP to vote for Perot were not “the far right”, they were squishy moderates like you. And Giuliani agrees with us on 20%, not 80%.”

A great quote by one person who agreed with me said, “As a California party boss once said, ‘Winning isn’t everything, but losing isn’t anything.’”

Anyway, those that agreed with me spoke in a reasonable manner while those that disagreed frothed in a rabid manner. I tried to use humor and satire, which is often lost on those that are too angry to acknowledge healthy intraparty disagreements.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 1:50 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

1) I obey Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment of not bashing other republicans. Calling me a ‘squishy moderate’ is not only insulting, but it is asinine. Anybody who has read my blog knows my conservative credentials.

2) Some social conservatives are unfairly seen as intolerant bigots. Religion is under assault, and social conservatives should be respected. HOWEVER, some people who happen to be social conservatives ARE intolerant, and they refuse to believe that many people can disagree with them and still be good people. They are the right wing version of liberals, and demand 100% purity.

People who win elections govern. Pat Robertson tried to take the entire table awhile back and lost. Now he wants a place at the table, since that beats getting nothing at all by a lot.

Social conservatives deserve a place at the table, but not the entire table.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

On November 7th, 2007 at 2:14 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Also, those that try to take the entire table often find it is a small table akin to a kiddie table while the large table contains a governing majority without them.

I respect all republicans, be they Christian Coalition, Log Cabin, Wall Street Journal, National Review, or anybody else that wants lower taxes and dead terrorists.

We can disagree about divisive social issues, but we must respect those differences without litmus tests for entry into the party.

We can be tolerant, or we can be liberals. I would rather be tolerant.

Respectfully,

eric”

The response was as swift as it was incoherent.

“(name redacted) Reagan himself never observed the 11th commandment.

I’ve read your blog, and I’m underwhelmed by your conservative credentals. You seem to be a pro-war liberal. I don’t mean that as an insult. We need pro-war liberals.

In todays Republican party, is there ANY place for them at the table? It seems not.

But you are diverting from the real problem. Rudy Giuliani is not only no social conservative, he is no conservative of any sort. He is essentally a liberal running on the Republican ticket. His stance on the issues and his experience is no different from those of Michael Bloomberg. Would you try to claim that Bloomberg is any sort of conservative?”

For the sake of honesty I did not answer his question. Of course Bloomberg is not a conservative. He left the republican party entirely, and only joined it to begin with to ride Rudy’s coattails into office.

One fellow who disagreed with me was very reasonable.

“(name redacted) So then you should have no problem with Rudy or any Democrat running; all would be fine with dead terrorists. I on the other hand am not happy with dead terrorists, I need something from my candidate that sets him or her apart from the pack. So far I do not see that in any candidate, Republican or Democrat.

I read up on Pat Robertson and I think he blamed Americans for the 9/11 attacks. As a Christian I cannot support him nor Giuliani’s campaign.

Where do we go from here? (

The off the rails fellow did make a reasonable point.

“(name redacted) Great. I respect them also. But wanting dead terrorists and lower taxes does not make one either a Republican or a conservative. Who does not want these things?”

Despite his question that had many people responding about democrats and liberals, I addressed his prioir, less reasonable comments.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 3:13 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Somebody here just called me a ‘Pro-War Liberal.’

That is the most disgusting thing I have ever been called. First a squishy moderate, now a liberal.

I can handle being called a Nazi, racist, sexist, facist pig, which I am often called by liberals because I am a conservative.

To be called a liberal…Mr. (redacted), have you no decency sir?

As for those who are acting like 5 year olds and threatening to stay home in the hopes the entire party will grovel at your feet, I say “stay home.”

It worked with Pat Buchanan, it will work with James Dobson, and it will work with anybody else that thinks they have the right to force an entire party to agree with them.

Just remember this. If some people advocate staying home, and the republicans win anyway…it will be a very cold few winters for those that stayed home.

Pat Robertson made a very pragmatic political move, and it was to keep himself and his movement relevant.

I need to get the bitter taste out of my mouth at being called a liberal. Off to eat some red meat like the alpha male I am.

Respectfully,

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express”

The response came.

“(name redacted) If the Republicans win as a liberal party, who cares? I’m not going to help them, and I’m not remotely concerned to hear that liberals will then blackist me. How is that different from their current behavior?”

Here was a gem of a comment indicting most of the room, who according to this fellow were not conservative enough.

“(name redacted) What if the GOP nominee is a leftist also? I swear, some of you people would vote for Castro if he ran on the Republican ticket.”

Further debate would have been pointless. Plus, I have an actual job, and quick typing notwithstanding, I had work to do.

 

The bottom line is that there is a difference between having an ideology and being an ideologue. I have an ideology. I am a conservative. I am not an ideologue since I do not subject every single view to a litmus test. People romanticize Reagan, but I am sure if I looked really hard I might disagree with him on something, and I revere the guy.

 

Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy is a big deal not because millions will follow him, but because it shows that not all evangelicals are obsessed only with the abortion issue. His credentials on other issues such as the War on Terror do matter. His support for Israel appeals to evangelicals, as does his fights against pornography and anti-Christian “art.”

Many people are passionate about the abortion issue, but to assume that they are incapable of analyzing other issues reduces them to cartoon characters. They are people like anybody else, and capable of human thought, and often in a thoughtful manner.

 

I still believe that Pat Robertson is the right wing version of Jesse Jackson. He desperately wants to remain relevant, and backing a winner early is a smart move.

 

Comparing Rudy Giuliani to Hillary Clinton is lunacy. They are beyond different.

 

I am thankful that the fellow that lashed out at me does not represent mainstream republican or even conservative thought. Conservatism comes from Edmund Burke, John Locke, Abraham Lincoln, and Barry Goldwater. None of the first three had zero commentary on issues social conservatives hold dear, and Barry Goldwater would not fit in well with the modern Christian Coalition.

 

Ronald Reagan is beloved, but the social conservatives fail to understand that they agreed with him, not the other way around. Everyone agreed with him, and various factions of the republican party all wanted that wonderful man to love us as much as we loved him.

 

Thou shalt speak ill of no other republican. Those that violate Mr. Reagan’s 11th commandment dishonor his memory.

 

Every republican is invited into the big tent for the party, but nobody is allowed to question my loyalty, commitment, and membership.

 

I was called a liberal. I feel orally violated, and not in a Clinton-Lewinsky kind of way.

 

Off to give my eardrums a good scrubbing, and hoping that the dozen people forming a third party all vote themselves off of the island. I deal with enough children on the left, and have no patience for children on the right. We are adults, and had better start acting like it.

 

I have had my issues with Pat Robertson, but he made a grown up decision. Hillary is a liberal. I am not, and neither are any of the top tier republican presidential candidates. To imply otherwise is…there is not a word to describe it…something so…well…liberal.

eric

12 Responses to “A Neutron Bomb Political Endorsement”

  1. greg says:

    Interesting post, eric. Yeah, I have some experience with the same kind of reaction you got when I have posted on this blog.

    As I reading your post, it reminded me of a discussion The Gunny had on his blog the other day, where he brought up a number of things from the 19th and early 20th centuries about Democrats and the issue of race. My response to him (which he did not respond back) was that in those days the Republicans were the liberals and the Democrats the conservatives. The shift came in the early 20th century, especially in the 1930s during the FDR administration but probably not completed until Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” in 1968 and even a little beyond.

    I also got to thinking about Ronald Reagan. He started out a Democrat, was a labor union leader, and eventually shifted to the Republican party in the early 1950s I think it was. And I don’t think it was so much that he changed his thinking as it was the Democrats and the Republicans as parties changed theirs, so I think your comments about him today and how people approach him are right on target.

    Anyway, I was curious, and quite frankly I have not thought much about it either way over the years, but I’m not sure I would classify Abraham Lincoln as a conservative. What is it about him that you identify him as a conservative, especially in the times in which he lived? I really don’t have an agenda or ulterior motive here, just a question.

  2. Jersey McJones says:

    I think you hit Robertson’s reasoning right on the head, Micky. This is about a place at the table – or marginalization. Many pundits have been pointing out that recent polls have shown a lack of interest in “God, gays and guns” issues this election cycle. The war in Iraq, the GWOT, consumer prices, and healthcare seem to be more at the forefront of political debates today. The GOP is simply not going to win running on GGG. They have to espouse their otyher mantras – lower taxes (to zero, I imagine), winning the wars, etc. They can’t run on spending. They blew that. They can’t run on small government. They blew that too. And running on social conservatism rtight now would be suicide by default. Robertson is a lot of things, but he ain’t no fool. The Dobson’s of the world simply have to face the fact that they’ve won pretty much as much as they can for a while. I don;t see any more big victories coming up for them in the near future. On the other hand, if a GOP president could keep taxes low, bring back conservative spending (which might be easy with a Dem Hill, though Reagan would tell you otherwise), and manage some kind of face out of the wars, then the GOP has a chance to rebound. Hardcore rightwingers had better start getting realistic. GGG will get them nowhere this cycle. America has real problems to deal with.

    JMJ

  3. micky2 says:

    Jersey, do you have me on your mind ?

    JMJ said;
    “I think you hit Robertson’s reasoning right on the head, Micky. This is about a place at the table – or marginalization.”

  4. Jersey McJones says:

    LOL! You’re just such a ubquitous presense, Micky!

    JMJ

  5. blacktygrrrr says:

    I responded privately, but was asked to make this remark public, so I did.

    I see Lincoln as a conservative in the sense that he believed that when men were
    free, they could pursue their own destiny. He was against government intervention
    in the economy, although, like our current President, due to the war, his economic
    stances were peripheral.

    eric

  6. greg says:

    Fair enough. I have always seen him, as well as Washington and Jefferson, as somehow transcending liberal versus conservative labels, and even though they were Republican, Federalist and Democrat-Republican, from party affiliation, as well. That’s what made them great leaders.

    A funny story here. Remember John Schmitz? He was a right-wing John Birch Society member from Orange County who served in Congress and ran for president on the American Independent Party in 1976 I think it was (he’s also the father of Mary Kay Latorneau, the Seattle teacher who went to prison for having sex with one of her students, whom she subsequently married and had a couple of kids, but that’s another story).

    Anyway, I got to be friends with John. He told the story of back in 1964, he saw a car with two bumper stickers. One sticker said “Schmitz for State Senate” and another that said “All the Way with LBJ.” He was so startled by the two that he followed the car into a shopping center parking lot, introduced himself to the elderly lady driving the car, and asked why she would be supporting both himself and Lyndon Johnson.

    She said, “Well, I just think they’re two really nice looking young guys.”

    Voters do funny things and sometimes it just doesn’t matter what your ideology is or your political party.

  7. Jersey McJones says:

    I’m with Greg. I think it’s hard to ascribe modern conventions of “liberal” or “conservative” to Lincoln. He was not all that much of a federalist, he often broke with the status quo, he was certainly a small-r repuclican, but hey, he was an original American Republican.

    Great story, Greg. Iasked my mother in law why she voted for Bush and she said, He’s just so cute.” I asked my sister in law and she said, “I don’t know. I just like him.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Americans are not really into politics. That said, polls show they are certainly not into what’s been going on the past 6 years anymore, even though Fox News keeps telling them otherwise. 😉

    JMJ

  8. greg says:

    Finally, someone who agrees with me. Thanks, Jersey, it’s been lonely out here lately 🙂

    And to follow up on my earlier comment about not seeing Lincoln as a conservative, I don’t really see him as a liberal, either.

    I also think that, to a certain extent, Reagan was able to transcend party and ideology, as well. Yes, he was conservative and a Republican while he held office both in California and the White House, and, yes, he is responsible for the 11th commandment of not speaking ill of Republicans, but I think he would have, in his heart, said he was more of an American than a Republican. And that’s why I voted for him for president twice and it’s also why I left the Republican party.

  9. Jersey McJones says:

    You’re welcome. I was watching some old Reagan tapes the other day, and noted the way he harkened back to time when politics were less partisan, which is funny because things sure did seem partisan back then! I don’t think we could’ve imagined today!

    I too was a Reagan supporter at the time, but then found myself going all the way the left over the years. But then, on many issues I break with them as well. Righties call me a socialist, lefties call me a pragmatist. Maybe I’m a Socratist – no that can’t be it. I’m not a big Soctrates fan. Maybe I’m Pracialist. Yeah. I’ll stick with that.

    I recall a lecture on Lincoln by Eric Foner I attended some years ago. After the lecture, I told him that I didn’t want to seem facetous, but that I had been tempted to ask him if he thought modern Republicans got the joke about today’s GOP being the Party of Lincoln. He told me that I should have asked. 😉 I mean, c’mon! Who controls the South now? Who stands more for populist small-d democratic issues? Who adheres more to Federalism and “States Rights?” If today’s GOP was around 145 years ago, Lincoln would not have even been invited to the party – and the Dems wouldn’t want him either! I’m reading a good book about Lincoln now called “Forced Into Glory.” It really puts some things about him into perspective.

    Anyways, you just can’t ascribe today’s political dynamics to that of a century and a half ago. That’s also why I find Constructionism so silly.

    JMJ

  10. charly martel says:

    I will hold my nose and vote for Rudy rather ANY of the dems. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo are longshots. (Either of them would be my top pick.) Motto: Any Republican is a better choice than a jackass. Pat Robertson has one thing right – live terrorists = dead babies AND their mothers, their fathers, their cats, dogs, horses.

  11. Jersey McJones says:

    Martel? You the same guy from Hannity’s board?

    And really? You support loonies like Duncan “DP-2” Hunter and Tom “One Issue Man” Tancredo???

    JMJ

  12. charly martel says:

    No, and if you mean “One Issue Man” stands for wanting the invasion of the USA to be ended…yes. As for “DP-2” I need the term translated.

    I don’t pretend to know everything about all the candidates, but the more I learn about them, the less I want to see them in office. Maybe because the two I like are so far down in the polls, they haven’t had a chance to shoot themselves in the foot like the top tier. But the top tier has definitely shot themselves in the foot one way or another. Guliani, the sanctuary city liberal, McCain-Finegold open borders, Romney the gay marriage governor, Huckabee the nanny stater who never saw a tax he didn’t like, Thompson who refused to impeach the perjurer, Ron Paul the appeaser. Shall I go on?

    Go ahead and disillusion me about Hunter and Tancredo if you can. So far they haven’t managed to do it themselves.

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