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March 25, 2006

Republicans Are Fun!

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Michelle Malkin occasionally plays a triage-surgeon role among right-wing bloggers -- when infamous Republicans are so heavily damaged that it's not worth expending any resources to save their reputations, she publicly declares that it's time to give them up.  It happened with Michael Brown and Jack Abramoff, and the latest embarrassment to be left dying on the battlefield is Ben Domenech

Decisions like that can earn you enemies among the friends of the fallen, and now there are no less than three diaries on the RedState recommended list bashing Malkin for giving up on Ben, who was long a beloved figure in the RedState community.  As someone who savors internecine warfare on the right, I like the title "Michelle Malkin: Dead to Me", and the diary it links to is pretty nice too.  It's not nearly as great as RedState was in the Harriet Miers days (How can you top a comment that says "Bush is a gutless, abortionist liar. I spit on him"?) but you take what you can get. 

March 25, 2006 in Republicans | Permalink

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Comments

Not to cut her too much slack, but this is one thing that I find salvages a lot of the bad that comes with Malkin: she's forthright in acknowledging that when right wing folks mess up it matters to have a standard and to hold to it. You could do worse than to settle on some standards - which, in this case and a few others, probably has everything to do with her background as an actual journalist.

What's interesting to me is how she can do this without rancor, ill-will or excessive negativity, while at the same time she just can't handle criticizing the left with nearly as much grace or tact. While some see double standard, I like to look on the positive side: at some point, maybe, she'll apply the whole grace and tact thing in an even-handed way because she'll realize all of us should get some basic decency, even when we mess up.

Posted by: weboy | Mar 25, 2006 3:37:59 PM

I don't see it that way, weboy. I think she's driven by obsessive hatred of the left (and anti-Arab racism), and she wants to make sure her right-wing allies don't expend their energies on lost causes and embarrass themselves. A right-winger could do absolutely awful things, but as long as he stayed politically viable, she'd be behind him.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Mar 25, 2006 3:46:17 PM

I think the problem with her is the opposite: she's rigid and unbending in her conclusions, and thus holds people, in many cases, to extremely high standards that guarantee a certain amount of failure. She concluded long ago that lefties lie and obfuscate and generally think about themselves, etc and she holds pretty much every lefty comment or idea to that standard. The flip side of that is she holds Republicans and conservatives to the same standard, except that she feels that their motives are, generally, good and right and true. She's come out early and strongly when she thinks conservatives are messing up, which is what gives her, indeed, some of the limited authority she possesses. She's taken the Bush Administration to task repeatedly over immigration and airport security because she has a level of expectation they simply fail to meet. She's been critical of a raft of appointments, such as Julie Myers, for deliberate cronyism over expectations of good job performance (which is also why she settled in early and unhesitatingly on criticizing Brown... and Chertoff, for that matter).

I think there's far too much subjective assessment in these "anything goes" times of things where one can really put a stake in the ground and hold to it: lying is bad, plagiarism is wrong, taking bribes is grounds for dismissal, incompetence shouldn't be rewarded, etc. If Malkin's critiques were solely batshit crazy subjective, I'd have given up on reading her regularly ages ago - as I have, at this point with both Ann Coulter and much of DailyKos. I respect consistency of approach, and lacking it is not Malkin's failing.

It's the crazy knee jerk rightwing shit and the unpleasant sarcasm I could do without. :)

Posted by: weboy | Mar 25, 2006 4:07:29 PM

"If Malkin's critiques were solely batshit crazy subjective, I'd have given up on reading her regularly ages ago - as I have, at this point with both Ann Coulter and much of DailyKos. I respect consistency of approach, and lacking it is not Malkin's failing."

I don't read Malkin, so I can't address her case specifically. But in general, I'd agree with you. In the blogosphere, intellectual honesty is the coin of the realm.

Hugh Hewitt and Armando are both idiot hacks, even though one of them is on my side.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 25, 2006 4:24:42 PM

Ack. Petey, you can't seriously be comparing Armando to Hewitt. Armando may be a bad debater sometimes, but he's not even remotely comparable to Hewitt in terms of hackishness. Not even remotely. The liberal blogosphere has its problems, but I've never encountered anybody prominent who could seriously be accused of Hewitt-ness.

Posted by: Laura | Mar 25, 2006 9:01:10 PM

One thing I found interesting among the diaries about Malkin was that the criticisms of her were spot on, and almost identical to those lobbed at her by the Left. They essentially say (now that she's no longer part of the team) that she's Ann Coulter-lite & the female equivalant of Bill O'Reilly. They say her blogging style is acidic, devoid of humor & demagoguic(word?). They trash her book as being nothing but a shallow collection of "Barking Moonbat" incidents & they say all she is is a witch hunter who looks for someone to burn and then burns them.

What this tells me is that the Right isn't as ignorant as they pretend. They KNOW that alot of their big dogs are hacks devoid of honesty or integrity. In a perfect world they would rather have someone besides a dishonest hack like Bill O'Reilly as their Lord Protector, but they will tow the line anyway so long as he remains a "brother in the cause" and is of use to the success of the party.

I don't know if that's refreshing or scary.

Posted by: Dustin R. Ridgeway | Mar 25, 2006 10:07:10 PM

Small point Dustin ( offside )
I believe the phrase is "toe the line" as in lining up for a race ; not physically relocating it.
I'd rather have a conversation with someone who is opinionated than a wuss, but dogmatism is another word for "head banging" to me ; what's black is white and white is no colour at all.

Posted by: opit | Mar 25, 2006 11:21:25 PM

I've never been especially impressed with Armando as political strategist, though I do admire him for reaching out to Ed Kilgore.

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Posted by: peterwei | Oct 22, 2007 12:48:51 AM

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