Jan 31 2008
I was listening to Laura Ingrahm on the way in and she is trying to adjust to the McCain nomination, but it just ain’t happening. She wanted to know how to build a bridge between the hyper-conservatives and the moderate conservatives. It is an easy question to answer – try some respect. She was trying, but her anger was bubbling just beneath the surface and popped out over and over again. She railed against one caller who tried to call her on all her hostility (to calls it issue discussion) against McCain. She crowed about her knee-jerk response to Harriet Miers as an example of her efforts. But moderates point to that time as the beginning of the purity wars and the end of the governing coalition.
She wrapped herself in the Reagan image, but then let slip about “McSnide” when discussing the debates. I am no fan of McCain, but Laura was dropping right back into that trap of being snide, rude and disrespectful that created this mess in the first place. Her comment reminded me of the ranting by Mark Levin where he called McCain “McLame”, which has many connotations too ugly to tolerate given his physical handicaps from being tortured in Vietnam.
I can confidently say President Bush did do one thing for America – he made the juvenile comments from pundits intolerable by example. I use fun terms like “Amnesty Hypochondriacs” and “Mary Poppins Conservatives” to point out the fallacy and uselessness of certain points of view. It is a deliberate and pointed jab at those who fling invectives and rely on the Clintonian method of personal denigration to try and win arguments. It is also a reminder to those who were once allies that they are not the only ones who can create damning labels that can undercut a view. I have just as sharp elbows as anyone else. My passion is no less than others. I am labeled a moderate (or pseudo-conservative as Levin likes to rant) because I am not as far right as others. But in the ring of political debate if we need to degenerate the debate into this kind of discussion then those on the far right are not the only ones armed with sharp wits and dedication.
I can see conservative talk radio continue to tank into the juvenile politics game. Rush mimics McCain in the voice of a old geezer. Laura calls the potential next leader of the GOP causes “McSnide”. Levin demonstrates his lack of debating skills by the cruel innuendo of his “McLame” comment. I am pretty sure the coalition of conservatives will remain busted if the far right greets McCain as “El President Jaun McLame, head RINO”.
Bush has, by example, reminded Americans who respect each other and avoid the juvenile jabs that politics can be performed with honor and dignity. What the hyper-partisans are learning is the demeaning comments aren’t working anymore and America has matured beyond the nastiness. So we can thank Bush for another accomplishment – the Begala/Carville brand of negative political discourse is now very much out of vogue. So what if McCain mentions respect of Hillary or Sandra Day O’Connor (something that had Laura in full apoplexy this morning)? He is following on with the tradition of respecting each other as we disagree. Something the hyper-partisans would do well to emulate instead of ridicule. They are only hurting themselves when they don’t. And don’t think jumping on a GOP President McSnide will enamor people to the conservative cause – it won’t.
Addendum: I forgot to mention one great comment the caller made that set Laura straight. She was ranting on how the ‘establishment had anointed’ McCain. The caller, rightfully, reminded her it was the voters who ‘anointed’ McCain – which really put her back into reality.