Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Hewitt’

“I predict we’re going to hear a growing conversation on the right about whether it’s better for America, conservatism, etc to have a president who feels he has to placate the conservative base versus having a president who claims to be a member of it,” writes Jonah Goldberg in a National Review TheCorner Blogburst titled One of Us Vs. One Who Owes Us

Goldberg issues a safe prediction.

Every candidate proposes a theory of representation whether explicitly or otherwise, i.e. an account of not just how the candidate as an elected official will advance the issues of his or her constituencies, but an explanation of why he or she would want to do so consonant with the candidate’s values, biography etc.—e.g. I am one of you, I believe as you believe etc.

Romney’s theory of representation is a unique one in our experience. Romney proposes to represent you by becoming you. See:

WSJ: “Plenty of politicians attune their positions to new constituencies—The larger danger is that Mr. Romney’s conversions are not motivated by expediency or mere pandering but may represent his real governing philosophy”

Back to Goldberg

President Bush won enormous good faith — no pun intended — from evangelicals and other social conservatives by saying, in effect, “I’m one of you.” A case could be made that some of Bush’s problems stem from the fact that the White House was internally confused about whether conservatives were simply another constituency or if they were more like a loyal army. I don’t think the distinctions are clean and neat, since there isn’t a monolithic conservative base and the Bush White House has been itself divided between Nixonians (i.e. the Poppa Bush crowd) and Reaganites. But I think we’ll see the conversation emerge as candidates like Giuliani and McCain make “transactional” overtures to the conservative base, saying something like “Support me and I’ll support what you care about” rather than “support me because I am one of you.”

National Review had a similar conversation over Richard Nixon. That didn’t turn out great.

The National Review also endorsed Willard Milton Romney. That hasn’t turned out so great either. See:

NRO organizes conference call to defend questionable decision to endorse Romney— reports that they received not one supportive question, and no one spoke in favor of the endorsement

In other news from the frantic flunkies of the GOP establishment, Hugh Hewitt announces a talk-radio counter-strike against Sen John McCain as he attempts to consolidate his gains.

[…] Expect the talkers, led by Rush but seconded by Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin and me to spend the next few days putting down a marker: McCain is a very weak general election candidate, and if he was to win, would not govern as a conservative in any significant way. Our audiences are not, as MSMers like to imply, not only shrinking but mindless. They are growing, but they are incredibly independent of thought. They also take in and respond to good information, and now the information will be focused on John McCain and the choice before them.

MSM will of course be sending a very different set of talking points into the general population, one that obscures McCain’s record and which refuses to remind voters of the immigration fiasco etc. MSM will focus on Rudy and Arnold and leave the impression of a coalescing around McCain. Romney will battle to keep the issues out front, McCain the process.

But the new media is at work. We’ll see how it plays out […]

So far this hasn’t played out well either. See:

Our question: What possible theory of representation justifies Limbaugh, Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin, and Hewitt himself, denouncing Sen. John McCain and advocating for Willard Milton Romney? Also: what is Hewitt’s object? It is this: To persuade Gov. Mike Huckabee voters to vote for Romney.

[…] If the Huckabee supporters are conservatives, they will recognize the peril to their party’s core beliefs and abandon their favorite who has no chance of winning in favor of Mitt Romney who does […]

Based on analysis by Patrick Ruffini, we discuss why this will not be a simple proposition here:

Romney’s viciously negative attacks on Gov. Huckabee in Iowa still returning rich dividends for the hapless candidate from Bain Capital

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Andrew Sullivan recommends David Brooks’ thoughts on Mitt Romney,” writes the elegant Matthew Yglesias in an blog-burst titled Romney and Institutional Power

[…] Brooks: “The leaders of the Republican coalition know Romney will lose. But some would rather remain in control of a party that loses than lose control of a party that wins. Others haven’t yet suffered the agony of defeat, and so are not yet emotionally ready for the trauma of transformation. Others still simply don’t know which way to turn.” That seems about right. In the progressive blogosphere, this idea circulates under the heading “iron law of institutions” which posits that institutional leaders care more about their own power within the institution than about the institution’s power in the world.

It strikes me as a largely accurate characterization of the choice […]

We followed the elegant Mr. Yglesias’ google link and found the left-of-center blog, A Tiny Revolution. In post titled Democrats And The Iron Law of Institutions, someone—we could not find an author’s name, but neither did we look very hard—elaborates on the theme of The Iron Law of Institutions:

[…] The Iron Law of Institutions is: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

This is true for all human institutions, from elementary schools up to the United States of America. If history shows anything, it’s that this cannot be changed. What can be done, sometimes, is to force the people running institutions to align their own interests with those of the institution itself and its members […]

The author provides this example from an author named Walter Karp:

[…] As soon as McGovern was nominated, party leaders began systematically slurring and belittling him, while the trade union chieftains refused to endorse him on the pretense that this mild Mr. Pliant was a being wild and dangerous. A congressional investigation of Watergate was put off for several months to deprive McGovern’s candidacy of its benefits. As an indiscreet Chicago ward heeler predicted in the fall of 1972, McGovern is “gonna lose because we’re gonna make sure he’s gonna lose”…So deftly did party leaders “cut the top of the ticket” that while Richard Nixon won in a “landslide,” the Democrats gained two Senate seats […]

But it was this example that, for us, connects with the present moment:

[…] It was a Republican state party boss, Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania, who early this century stated with notable candor the basic principle and purpose of present-day party politics. In the face of a powerful state and national resurgence of reform and the sentiments of the majority of the Republican rank and file, Penrose put up a losing slate of stand-pat party hacks. When a fellow Republican accused him of ruining the party, Penrose replied, “Yes, but I’ll preside over the ruins” […]

The emphasis is ours, all ours.

The lame-brained editors at the National Review, Rush Limbaugh, ideological courtesan Hugh Hewitt, Dr. James Dobson—Yes, they know Romney will ruin the party, and probably the country, but they’ll preside over the ruins. Yes, only no, because precisely the opposite is the case: Romney, who bought and paid for their services, presides over them.

If Romney continues his disastrous losing streak, he will take them all down with him.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Apparently, Mitt Romney has hit the panic button,” writes an Exurban League contributor in a post titled “Remain Calm

Huckabee has replaced him in the national polls, kicking Romney to fifth place (ouch!), and is surging in Romney’s “locked up” state of Iowa. How to reverse the damage? Send in Tagg Hewitt (Hugh’s doppelgänger) for another round insisting that it is only a two-man race.

As usual, the message from Romney camp mimics Kevin Bacon’s classic scene in Animal House as the Deltas’ Deathmobile was tearing through the college parade:

“Remain calm! ALL IS WELL!!!”

On the troubled “two man race” theme, we have this to say:

Question: Why are the Romneys always trying to tell us what to think?—if it really were a 2 man race would the Romneys need to insist so vigorously that it is a 2 man race?


yours &c.
dr. g.d.

The by-now-infamous DeMoss memo to “Conservative Evangelical Leaders” must be read to be believed.

It spoofs itself, and it is available here.

Consider the strained reasoning that follows:

… On May 17, my friend of nearly 30 years, Jerry Falwell, went to Heaven. In addition to being my first employer and like a second father following the death of my father in 1979, Jerry was my political mentor in many ways. I learned from him, some 25 years ago, the value of working closely with people of other faiths and religions who shared our convictions about the sanctity of life, support for the state of Israel, the sacredness of marriage and the importance of the family unit, the dangers of pornography, and the value of God in public life. Consequently, the Moral Majority (and many subsequent organizations) was built with coalitions of evangelicals and like-minded Roman Catholics, Jews and yes, Mormons.

Just about six months before his death, Jerry accepted my invitation to a meeting with Gov. Romney at his home outside Boston. He joined me, and about 15 other evangelicals, for an intimate discussion with the Governor and his wife Ann. Jerry was one of several that day who said, “Governor, I don’t have a problem with your being Mormon, but I want to ask you how you would deal with Islamic jihadists…or with illegal immigration…or how you would choose justices for the Supreme Court…,” and so on.

While Jerry Falwell never told me how he intended to vote in the upcoming election, I think I know how he would not have voted. I also know he would not have “sat this one out” and given up on the Supreme Court for a generationhere

This is beneath comment.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.