Hot Air, Michelle Malkin’s very successful conservative website, has run several negative pieces about Fred Thompson, coinciding with Michelle’s own blog running a hit piece on Thompson. Much of the angst aimed at Thompson is based on a Debbie Schlussel post. You heard that right, a Debbie Schlussel post.
This piece as a matter of fact. Read it if you can, but the summary is this: Debbie didn’t like the politics of Fred’s new campaign manager when he was a Senator, so Fred Thompson cannot be a good President, because he doesn’t hate this Spencer Abraham with as much passion as Debbie. For those unfamiliar with Debbie, who I do read and enjoy by the way, Debbie Schlussel is the rightosphere’s version of Keith Olbermann, except without the lying and sexual ineptitude.
What she does have is an overwrought polarized view of the world where people who disagree on an issue are bitter enemies for life. Further, Debbie thinks a bad Senator (and it does indeed look like Abraham was “bad” at least on some base issues) can’t be a good temporary campaign manager. Or even a good person! Here’s a snippet of pure Schlusselian venom:
Don’t believe Thompson’s claim that he understands the Islamist jihadist threat to America. His announcement, yesterday, of his choice of Spencer Abraham as campaign manager, told us everything we need to know. Although Abraham, of Lebanese descent, is a Christian, he is a career water carrier for Islamists of the most extremist stripe and made that the cornerstone of his failed, one-term Senate career and equally lousy tenure as Energy Secretary.
As a conservative–but more important, as an American concerned about the future of this country in the face of a terrorist threat–Thompson’s choice of Spencer Abraham was the final nail in the coffin for me in opposing Fred Thompson’s quest for the White House.
I know Spencer Abraham. He wrote one of my recommendations for law school. And the Spencer Abraham that I and all of America have since experienced is bad news for everyone except CAIR, ADC, MPAC, ISNA, and all Islamists who want to endanger America.
In 2003, I wrote the definitive column on Spencer Abraham a/k/a Spence a/k/a Edward Spencer Abraham (which was quoted in The Washington Post), and I re-publish it below, with several additions I’ve made, updating it. At the time Spence was still Energy Secretary, but he left to become a lobbyist for Islamist countries.
As a Senator, he took marching orders from James Zogby of the pan-Islamist Arab American Institute, opposing profiling of Arabs, the use of secret evidence against Muslims (at the behest of Muslim groups), attempting to repeal the Clinton counterterrorism package, refusing to fund computer tracking of student and other foreign aliens, giving millions in our tax money right to Hezbollah, and putting CAIR on the map on Capitol Hill (taking the group’s officials around to meet other Senators and Members of Congress). He took campaign contributions from the relatives of Hezbollah-backed top Lebanese officials after he got the group millions in our tax money.
What this breathless attack is basically saying is that this guy, who she was glad to get a rec from to get into law school, was a lobbyist. Being Lebanese, he lobbied for Lebanese groups and enjoyed the support of the Lebanese community. She goes on with a laundry list of his crimes, citing her most reliable source: herself. It’s a convincing hit piece that would make me not want to vote for Spencer Abraham.
But I’m not voting for him. I think this guy’s been hired because of his ability to make things happen and organize, and if what she says about him is true I’ve no doubt he can put a campaign together pretty well. How does this disqualify Thompson or reflect on him in any way? He’s stated his positions on immigration and the middle east in speeches, radio reports and interviews, and it sounds like he’s hired a guy who he doesn’t agree with 100%. To people like Schlussel, and Malkin, that says something bad about Fred Thompson’s character. To me it speaks well of him and let me tell you why.
I have lived in the northeast all my life, and for a good chunk of it I worked in non-profits, mostly in childcare programs. Most of the people that hired me were liberals, I have always been on the right and we often disagreed on many things, but they all respected my skill at coordinating either after school programs or summer camps. They hired me and kept me around because kids like me, I run a safe, state compliant program and I’m damn good at what I do. Period. They aren’t less liberal because I administered this or that grant, the Y.M.C.A.’s I’ve worked for aren’t secret enclaves of Republicanism. They were places that needed me at that time and gave me a job.
But apparently Thompson’s campaign doesn’t have that option, and the Senator is being held to some pretty high standards, including only employing people who line up with his views, or I should say Debbie’s views, and Michelle’s views and AllahPundit’s views and Bryan’s views…
Well you get the point. No one could pass that test, including Michelle Malkin who I suspect disagrees with her chief blogger Allahpundit in several key categories. Do I think Michelle Malkin is less of a Christian because she hired AllahPundit, who’s an atheist? Of course not. Is Fred Thompson less suitable for the Presidency because his new campaign manager wouldn’t make a good President? They seem to think so.
But they’ve got other axes to grind: he’s not raising enough money, he sponsored CFR (which I oppose, by the way) and worked as a lawyer for abortion groups though he himself is pro-life. That last thing is a stretch frankly, because saying a man who’s personally pro-life (but isn’t running on a platform of overturning Rowe vs Wade) can’t work for a pro-choice client is like saying a man who doesn’t believe in murdering people can’t represent murderers. It’s a childish and naive view of law practice indeed to think that lawyers don’t represent people they may not agree with.
In other words, this all amounts to nothing, so why beat this drum anyway? Is it because after the defeat of the Immigration Reform Bill, which sites like Hot Air rightly take credit for, the rightroots are feeling powerful enough to try to entrench themselves in the Republican party the way the netroots on the left have taken over the DNC? Is this just some muscle flexing? Are they testing out on Fred Thompson how far they can push? It seems that way.
If they can force Fred’s hand and make him cave in on this, they’ll prove that they’re the DailyKos of the right. They’ll sit in silent judgment ensuring that Republicans toe the new party line, a line drawn by the consensus of a tiny sub-section of American society. They’ll steer the GOP as far to the right as Kos and friends have driven the Democrats to the left. I don’t think that’s a good idea, and I hope Fred doesn’t either.
I don’t want a Kos on the right, because we’re better than that. Hot Air joyously cost Fred support, at least according to their comments pages, because they didn’t like who he hired more than a year away from the elections. This isn’t like when Ron Paul courts truthers and racists, this isn’t some scandal, this is just spitefulness that Fred Thompson hired a Republican, and not a “conservative” who marches in lockstep with the blogosphere. I thought the right was better than that, maybe I’m wrong.
I don’t care who he hires, I’m with Fred!