This past week the pro-gay, pro-choice, twice-divorced Republican from a Northeastern state received just two less votes than the highest vote getter in a straw poll conducted in one of the most conservative Southeastern states. Also, at the American Conservative Union’s CPAC convention over the weekend, this “moderate” candidate, again came in second to a different primary opponent. And when you factor in “second choice” votes, he resoundingly carried the field. Meanwhile, at the same conference, a very conservative pundit makes an anti-gay remark and is denounced for it–not just by Democrats, but by most Republicans as well.
I thought that the GOP was supposed to be the hate-mongering christo-fascist theocratic party. What happened?
The conventional wisdom was that a convention that would invite an Ann Coulter to speak would never select the most “liberal” man in the bunch. And yet, slightly more than a third of the convention goers named Mayor Giuliani as one of their two best picks.
The conventional wisdom was that a New York Republican could never carry the very religious South, and yet, the most politically active of the most Republican part of one of the most Republican states nearly selected Rudy, who didn’t even try to win the straw poll.
The conventional wisdom also says that the meanness and anger that often comes forth from Ann Coulter’s lips is characteristic of Republicans.
The truth is that Ann Coulter has never been as popular with Republicans as she is with Democrats who need her to remind Americans why they shouldn’t be Republicans. The truth is also that pro-military, optimistic leaders like Rudy will always have a home in the party of the big tent. And the truth is that Republicans can’t be neatly pigeon-holed into being what some on the left and in the media would like you to believe. Because if half of America really was as ugly and mean as some have made them out to be, there’s no way that their opponents wouldn’t have already left the country after six years of them being in charge.
In order to gauge Ann Coulter’s “popularity” I used the Newsbuckit Methodology and determined that she is mentioned by “left” leaning internet pundits and their readers nearly two-and-a-half times as often as her name is mentioned by bloggers on the “right”.
Just to be fair, I used the “Newsbuckit Methodology” to compare how a divisive figure on the left is viewed by both sides. For better or worse, I selected Jesse Jackson. What I found was that Rev. Jackson was mentioned nearly 40% more often on leading right-leaning blogs than he is by those on the left. (14,959 vs. 10,703)One curious thing, though. Wizbang was responsible for 13,100 (88%) of the hits on the right.
Bottom line: Each side has divisive opposites that they prop up as cautionary examples.
Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost added this in a comment below: “. . . the 114 times that Coulter is mentioned on my blog (Evangelical Outpost) it is to denounce her.” There’s probably quite a bit of that in the 20,000+ pages about her on right-leaning blogs.
Shots Across the Bow: “Conservatism has never been dominated by the religious right the way liberals have always pictures them to be.”
Bill Hobbs: ” . . . perhaps GOP voters are ready to separate the personal from the political. Giuliani’s political weaknesses . . . are well-known. And they’ve become more well-known, not less, as his poll numbers have risen.”