Feb 06 2008

Conservative Talk Radio Ain’t Dead, It Just Smells Funky

Published by at 6:15 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Welcome Instapundit Readers!: I would like to go on the record as someone who has always opposed John McCain for President, but who also understands that the conservative movement has more to lose with Obama and Clinton in the WH than with McCain in the WH. I second Glenn in recommending this companion piece at Powerline. On the flip side James Dobson is trying to rip the right apart even more. Hope you look around the site and find it worthwhile – Thanks, AJStrata

Super Tuesday was not the end of conservative talk radio – it will always have its listeners. But listening to the talkers continue their rants today against the direction the party is going (which is as fast away from them as possible) I realized they have jumped the shark. The laughable part was how they attempted to blame everyone else but themselves for their predicament. Most of the blame was on Huckabee and his supporters for not supporting Romney (who ran a dismal 3rd across the South). They are truly Mary Poppins Conservatives who have devoted all their efforts in convincing themselves they are the ‘pure’ conservatives (and yes, Hannity used that exact term to describe himself).

The worst part of listening to conservatives tell us how pure and true they are is how they attempt to wrap themselves up in the clothes of Ronald Reagan. The irony and duplicity of these claims is incredible. Reagan was a great uniter, someone who strived for a big tent and demanded respect to principles AND reasonable differences. His 11th commandment was an effort to stop the civil wars which focused on differences and get conservatives to respect each other and form governing coalitions.

Message to Sean Hannity: dude, you are no Ronald Reagan. Not even close. And please don’t tell me you are closer to Reagan than me or any other conservative. It is this “Holier Than Thou” attitudes behind the purity wars on the right which destroyed the coalition. Some complain my fun jabs are just as bad as the harsh and over the top jabs of the Mary Poppins Conservatives (who by definition are practically perfect in every way). But kidding someone about their attitudes towards supposed allies is not the same as calling an ally a traitor or fascist (quisling). And for those who cannot discern the difference I can only say they are lost causes.

I have the same message for Laura Ingraham – you ma’am are no Ronald Reagan either. Look at how your rants this morning shrunk the conservative tent.

Lord help me. I just went out for a short drive and made the mistake of turning on Laura Ingraham. Rarely have I heard such biased vitriol directed against anyone as she directed towards John McCain this morning.

(To think that I imagined things might calm down!)

Now, she obviously defines conservatism as agreeing with her. I don’t know what conservatism is, but to Ingraham, McCain’s 82% ACU rating obviously isn’t that.

Laura, drop the “Holier Than Thou” schtick – it ain’t working and we don’t need three hours a day of listening to you tell us how great you are. Mark Levin – I don’t see you able to come back from the edge – you lost it and us at the same time.

I have also had to ponder those who cannot consider the impact of a Democrat President on our troops we put in harms way as a mitigating factor in supporting a McCain candidacy. I realize they are not hurting McCain – they are hurting themselves. If McCain loses (and I think he will because of the vitriol on the right) then everyone will remember who decided to ‘punish’ America for not agreeing with their narrow (but truly pure, honest) views. There never will be an alliance with people who would do such things to our troops out of exaggerated self importance. This is where this has left the shrinking but pure conservative movement:

After seven years of watching and fighting against Americans who wish to see the country suffer so that they can get at George Bush, the last thing I wanted or expected to see was conservatives saying they would rather see the country suffer than support John McCain over Clinton or Obama, so that they can “get the blame.”

A retreat before victory is assured in Iraq cannot be undone in 2012. And mandatory, single-payer, universal health care, once established, will not EVER go away either.

I am not impugning anyone’s motives. I believe I have a reasonable understanding of principled behavior. But if your goal is to see the country punished because—

You can stop right there. If your goal is to see America punished, and her people open to attack and/or ruined financially in order to prove a point for any reason, then you do not deserve politial power nor are you likely to achieve it.

Is conservative talk radio dead? Nope, but it is clearly not enticing people to their cause by trying to berate them. Like all things whose time has passed conservative radio is just starting to smell a little funky.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. I would be more than happy to ally with conservatives who can respect others who may disagree on the margins. But those who berate others who disagree on the margins simply end up on the margins themselves. And that is why conservative talk radio has lost its influence and clout. McCain’s success is a sign the GOP voters are tacking away from those who once were considered its standard bearers. How did these one time standard bearers lose their vaulted positions with the broader conservative voter block?

Well, if they were objective about it they would realize their demeaning comments struck a chord with these voters. These voters realized the anger vented at Bush, McCain, Warner, and all the others who worked out progress on conservative issues, included them as well for supporting the progress that was made or attempted. They connected more with the impure “RINOs” than the ‘pure’ conservatives. So until the Mary Poppins conservatives realize they were the cause of their current problems, and they will reach out to repair that damage, they will continue down this self destructive path. However, my opinion is these people don’t care that they insulted their one time allies in governing, which means they are more than happy to continue on their path and fade away more and more.

By the way, Hugh Hewitt provides a shining example of how to lead and not berate.

34 responses so far

34 Responses to “Conservative Talk Radio Ain’t Dead, It Just Smells Funky”

  1. Klimt says:


    I admire you. I really do. You are a hard working, intelligent, and accomplished individual to be working for NASA — even the success of this blog is no easy task. You hardly miss a day posting either. You are a dedicated man. Thank you for creating it!

    I want to point out that nothing I ever say is personal. Never. If I find something you say to be ignorant, I will point it out — no one is shy, certainly not you, about pointing out where I am wrong or anyone else for that matter. I always try to keep in mind that I am the one who may be wrong. And when I am shown to be wrong, I’ll adopt what is proven to be correct. I won’t take it personal. These constant debates are often fruitful — for me at least.

    I know you have issues with McCain, but I think you always liked him better than the other candidates besides Rudy. I could be wrong — but I don’t care and I’m sure you don’t care. All the candidates are flawed. I never said you were being dishonest, I just think you like him more than it appears.

    I just want to add this: Whether the country is lead by a democrat or republican is not that important to me — as long as they are not along the edges — what is important is that they are competent leaders! If the United States of America is producing leaders along the lines of Hillary and McCain we are in trouble. I see them both as incompetent. I hope I am wrong!

  2. jb_ says:


    Playing the “supporting the troops” card isn’t going to get you very far. Not anymore.

    See us “Mary
    Poppins conservatives” realize that the troops also need a country to return to.

    McCain’s current promises to conservatives are all worthless lies. His history says otherwise.

    AJ, you think you are a clever little RINO. But the other side is ruthless and just as clever. They would use McCain to push their socialistic agenda, and he would willingly comply, because he is not a conservative out of conviction. Even in the prosecution of the WoT he has bought into “waterboarding=torture”. There are very few NYT memes he could be trusted not to fall for.

    If McCain is elected he will find a way to push through amnesty, creating a millions strong 2-1 democrat electoral slice, make sure tax cuts “on the rich” never happen (yeah, fiscal conservatives talk like that – ha!) Your glee over moderates taking over the GOP should be tempered by the realization that the party you would own would be a permanent minority party.

    Don’t you dare use the troops to guilt-trip conservatives, while selling out their country to McCain-Liberal behind their back. It is a low tactic. The war for freedom is not an isolated issue. It is fought at home as well as abroad, and your idea is to compromise with the enemy as ruthless as AQI.

    It is no secret that you’re a McAmnesty supporter, hiding behind “compromise”, “moderation” and other RINO bullshit buzzwords.
    I don’t know your motivations behind your stance, and frankly they are irrelevant. All I know is, not enough conservatives trust McCain to do the right thing here.

    So Obama most likely it is.

    But hey, you can always compromise with him and stuff. That should come naturally to you.

  3. Terrye says:

    I have no problem supporting McCain. I am not ashamed of it. I think that if people like Giulliani can support him, I can too.

    I also think that some of the charges brought against him by socalled conservatives are underhanded and backstabbing. They are just sore losers who could not get people to vote for their guy so they are more than willing to abandon the troops, marginalize their party, demonize McCain and make outrageous charges against, accuse people who did not support Romney of being religious bigots, and all manner of stuff to avoid this reality: people did not see things the way they did.

    I hear people saying they can not support McCain because he did not support the Swift Boat guys, well…neither did Bush. And what would the reaction have been if he had? I saw a post over at Captainsquarters about an idiot named Jack Wheeler who was trying to circulate the story that McCain was not in a POW camp, he was in some hotel being serviced by prostitutes, so said the KGB. No evidence, nothing like that, just the disgusting little tale. Did it ever occur to anyone that stories like this which have been used against McCain in the past, might have something to do with why he was less than enthusiastic about the Swift boat attacks?

    No, he just betrayed veterans everywhere. Well, it seems from the vote tallies the veterans do not feel that way.

    And it is not just McCain, when it looked like Huckabee might actually win the vitriol was all directed at him. In fact Mark Levin said that Huckabee was a divisive figure. I thought, what a joke, Levin calling someon else divisive.

    I think anyone who abandons our troops after all the sacrifices they have made is in no position to question McCain’s motives or patriotism.

    Romney lost because people did not want to vote for him. He is the Republican John Kerry. Talk radio not only did not help him, they hurt him.

  4. Terrye says:

    In fact I would say that allowing Democrats to win in November just because your guy did not win the primary would be petty, mean spirited, and vindictive.

    I know I would have voted for Romney if he had gotten the nomination. I might not be perfect, but I am no hypocrite.

  5. AJStrata says:


    I don’t “play” at supporting the troops. I scour the news every day to find the unreported stories, and I don’t do it as some kind of charade. BTW, anyone who would sit out the election and let Dems win is backstabbing the troops. You planning on some back-stabbing this fall JB>

    Figure it out – there is no Mary Poppins and no one is perfect, or even close.

    Now for your one and only warning. If you dare call me a liar again you are outta of here. This is the kind of small minded crap that has left the purists on their own. I am not a McCain supporter. If you had the guts you would look through the 2008 posts and see all my posts about how bad McCain is.

    Yes, I support the comprehensive immigration bill, so do a lot of conservatives. Get over that too.

  6. AJStrata says:

    Well thank you Klimt, but realize when you said I was hiding my true feelings for McCain (and you are not the only one who has done this) then you are implying all my posts against McCain are lies, fakes put up to hide my feelings from the readers here.

    That was were you crossed the line. Be careful when you try to rationalize things. I say what I mean with no regrets or apologies. Note I have no ads on this site. I don’t post to attract traffic. I am not a Michael Savage who is nothing more than a staged act. And I don’t like it when people try to say I am a fake – who would?


  7. Sailfish says:

    “Did it ever occur to anyone that stories like this which have been used against McCain in the past, might have something to do with why he was less than enthusiastic about the Swift boat attacks?”


    Very good point. I’ve just emailed the swiftvets asking if they would consider coming out with a statement in support of John McCain’s heroism, excluding any statement of support or non-support for his candidacy. That would go a long way on stopping these bogus attacks on his past heroism.

    We’ll see.

  8. dhunter says:

    WOW, so many errors so little time. Talk radio is alive, well and growing as are Consevative blogs and web-sites it is the mainatream media , radio, tv, and print that is rapidly loosing support and barely alive.

    The reason Mitt does well in the midwest and west is we are individuals who do not like the federal gov’t ruling our lives, we go to work each day and feed the rest of the nation and ask just to be left alone. Less gets done in D.C. the better.

    I didn’t know Mitt from nothing until he came to Iowa and expect the rest of the nation knows little about him.

    If not for McCains wingman Huck, Mitt would have won the southern states as well.

    We know all we need to about the backstabbing McCain. Again I asked have you watched him debate? Its’ all “I was for the surge I was a prisoner of war”. Thanks for your service to your country John ,I really do appreciate it , but I hardly see where getting captured qualifies one to be president he is obviously old, angry, and a mental and emotional midget compared to anyone either side of the isle.

    Unfortunately the whole thing was setup, frontloaded so those with name recognition would have a huge advantage . This is the best thing Senators do re-elect themselves. After that they are mostly in the way of progress thus their approval ratings of below 20% and this is who we get to choose from.

    Shame on the Republican party apparatus and moderates for being asleep enough to allow this to happen.

    By the way some of us believe in fair play and it is no way fair to allow illegal border hoppers to jump in line in front of thousands of other people worldwide waiting to enter these United Sates for the opportunities offered here. Just because one evaded our border defenses does not mean they should automatically become citizens otherwise maybe McCain should have become a citizen of Vietnam and spared us his condecension, arrogance, and mean spiritedness.

  9. Cobalt Shiva says:

    John MEXcian is the worst choice.

    Leon Wolf over at Redstate–no liberal he–correctly pointed out that when you post crap like that, you’re making it very clear that you don’t dislike illegal immigration, you just dislike Latinos in general.

  10. Terrye says:

    What is interesting to me is that Hillary supporters say that anyone who does not vote for her is not a real feminist. And of course a vote against Obama is just another form of racism and it seems that anyone who did not vote for Romney in the primaries hates Mormons. So I guess what we need to do is a find a black female Mormon who promises to make it a law to shoot illegals on sight and then we will have the perfect candidate.

  11. Terrye says:


    I agree, cute little plays on McCain’s name tells us a lot about what kind of person we are dealing with doesn’t it?

    So not only do we have Obama and Clinton in a contest to see who can surrender first, we have Obama supporting drivers licenses for illegals. and yet these guys see no reason to vote for McCain.

    Why? Well, since McCAin has not evidenced enough mindless hatred against hispanics, he is the enemy too.

  12. owl says:

    Mercy. I have been watching that twit Laura Ingraham at CPAC. She introduced Romney but first went into a speech about ‘calm down’ to shoot at McCain. Romney withdrew.

  13. dhunter says:

    McCain wants them to have drivers liscenses and our social security benefits plus amnesty or have you forgotten how hard he fought for the amnesty bill and tried to sneak it through in the middle of the night when no-one was watching. Says he has heard us and will build the fence first now ,yea right . Sorry, based on his past actions I find it hard to believe much that he says.

  14. […] of the conservative blogosphere rallied behind him. Alas, it wasn’t enough. The question of how much influence talk radio has is being asked as well. Look…people think for themselves. That’s a good thing […]