When Hot Air Attacks! Fred Thompson Taking Heat from the Rightroots

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!

17 thoughts on “When Hot Air Attacks! Fred Thompson Taking Heat from the Rightroots

  1. I’m worried about Fred’s ties to the NAU promoting CFR. Tancredo, longshot though he might be, at least seems more inclined to stand up for conservative issues and considering his hard stance on illegals, would be extremely unlikely to work towards some ghastly merger- and would work to bring us some long awaited security.
    Sadly, we may not make it to the 08 elections without another attack on American soil… what then? Even an election won’t change anything unless whoever is elected will kick out the radical islamists and illegals. Election or not, what will we most likely face? Executive orders clamping down on citizens while radical muslims are trying to kill as many of us as possible? We certainly don’t need anyone working to dissolve already weak borders either way…

  2. I agree with you Rob, I do not want a “KOS”on the right. But I completely agree with the comment from Chris. I am for Tancredo!

  3. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Is Hot Air trying to Kos-ify Fred?

  4. I am a longtime reader and commenter on HotAir and a fan of Michelle Malkin. I am also leaning heavily toward supporting Fred! when (IF?) he announces. As I live in Nashville, I also intend to volunteer and donate. Having said all this, I have to take exception with your commentary.
    MM and HA are nothing like “Kos”..no one is allowed to post hatefilled rants that threaten or demean people. I have observed people being banned for any such attempts. There are very high standards on HA and MM commments.
    I have also read the pieces about Fred. NOT ONE of them is a “hit piece”.They are linked and there for comment and dissection.
    HA was on the Fred! bandwagon giving him a LOT of publicity well before most!
    Debbie is sometimes over the top but on Spencer Abraham she is right on the money. This guy is bad news all the way around. From his immigration stance to his terrorist sympathizing, it is a very poor hiring decision. This guy was supposed to be the CAMPAIGN MANAGER..the FACE (other than the candidate) of the campaign. What would it say for an open borders, terrorist sympathizer to be the FACE of the campaign? Not good any way you look at it.
    I suggest you take a step back and look at HA a little more objectively. It seems tome you dont like anyone criticizing anything about Fred. There have been legitimate issues raised. The true telling of Fred is how he responds to them. Constructive criticism or asking questions about campaign hires is not being negative.

  5. Yeah, I’m going to have to disagree as well. This is still the early stages, and Republicans should be informed when deciding which guy should represent us in ’08.

    Hot Air gives information on Fred and every other candidate. Heck, Hot Air even spent a significant amount of time on nearly puff pieces about the man with one of the man characters admitting that he might vote for him.

    If Fred can’t take criticism from the Right about his choices, then he can’t run a campaign.

    Let’s reserve KOS labels for the ones that truly deserve it. Hot Air is not one of those sites. You should visit a few times and better judge for yourself the truth in what I write.

  6. Sorry Rob, but publishing ALL information about a (non)candidate, good or bad, is the right thing to do. I have been a regular at HA and michellemalkin.com for a while now. I can say with confidence that they are hardly the Kos of the right.

    If having all available information about the candidates in order to make a fair decision about them is wrong, then we’re no better than the demoncrats. And disagreeing with them does not automatically earn you a banishment like it does at Kos and sites like it. Trust me, I know of which I speak on that topic.

  7. Labwrs- I wasn’t saying that HA and Kos would literally become mirrors of each other.

    If you think D.S. calling a Lebanese Christian a terror sypathizer, and referencing herslef to prove it, is constructive critcism, I hate to think of what you consider slander. Maybe you shoulfd re-read my post, it’s not about that at all, but about whether or not the right will start forcing candidates to toe a line. I thought we were a big tent party, but HA’s readership is making the argument that we shouldn’t be.

  8. Kelly-I clearly am at Hot Air frequently, as you’d see if you looked around. I agree with them more often than not. Are you saying though that running that piece by Debbie three times wasn’t over the top? And do you think using Debbie’s “If you don’t agree with me you’re a traitor” type of logic makes you better than a lefty?

  9. Personally, I think some of the early posts about Fred got to be over the top. His good old boy conservative tough talk got a little trite but was deemed post worthy anyway.

    The Christian vs. atheists posts get to be a little over the top as well, but they get a lot of comments, same with posts against or for Fred.

    If you do frequent Hot Air, though I don’t recognize your screen name over there, then maybe it’s the comments you should check out a bit more. People at Hot Air go crazy for Fred posts and it’s an understandable consequence that Hot Air will post a lot about Fred, good and bad.

  10. Look for the occasional Rob Taylor comment. I mostly lurk, but if you look around here you’ll see many many links to their site.

  11. Rob,
    I didnt say I agree completely with DS. I clearly state I find her over the top at times but AS’s record speaks to where his sympathies lie and they are with “Open Borders” and Arabs. I dont think a “Lebanese Christian” is a problem..I admire Bridget Gabrielle enormously. I think SA’s lobbying for suspect groups whose members (Muslims) have attacked US soil is discomforting.
    It is obvious in your response to Kelly that you really dont read or comment at HA much or often. I think you are having a knee-jerk reaction to mild criticism and think you should realize any vetting by “our side” of Fred is better than from the “other side”. You, me, the commenters above, MM and HA are the good guys here. Chill.

  12. BTW, I think your posts on this topic on Hot Air explains your position much clearer. I see where you were going and understand how you got to your reasoning. I dont agree but that’s OK isnt it?

  13. labwrs:

    I think Rob was saying that if you look around this blog you would see evidence of the amount of time he spends at Hot Air. He links to Hot Air and Michelle all the time.

    Reading the above post, it sounds to me almost like Rob is disappointed in AP and MM’s inability or unwillingness to disagree with Abraham’s political viewpoints while still recognizing that his political acumen might be an asset to Thompson’s campaign. Reading the recent posts about Fred on Hot Air, I too am disappointed, but mostly in how many commenters are behaving like sheeple – worshipping Fred when AllahPundit praises the “red meat” he delivers, and abandoning Fred when AP and MM criticize him.

    BTW, I’m all for the media and blogosphere helping to uncover all of the facts so we can make our own decisions. Unfortunately, people seem too willing to let AP and MM make their decisions for them.

    Obligatory Disclaimer: I happen to be married to Rob, and though I rarely agree with him 100%, I think he’s on the mark here.

  14. Chill? Is it hard to read my posts back there in 1993?

    Of course it’s OK to disagree, and I won’t even accuse you of not reading the above post, like you and Kelly accusing me of not reading Hot Air despite more than 100 hat tips to the site in my archives. And this isn’t a mild criticism, DS is accusing a man of supporting terrorism, literally lobbying for terorists, are you saying he’s done that? Is that the reason an Arab would be against profiling Arabs? Is that the reason a Lebanese man would be supported by Lebanese people? Because he’s in bed with Al-Qaeda?

    If we’re the good guys, we’d be able to disagree with Abrahim’s politics without assuming he is in fact supporting terrorism, and that Fred is unable to defend us because Abrahim works for him. That sounds a lot like what the “bad guys” are doing, which is what my point is.

    Mathew Hopkins thought he was one of the good guys too…

  15. Actually, I switched my criticism to say you might not be reading the comments section of Hot Air, which cannot be disproved because you’ve posted in the comments a few times. And really, I have no particular beef with you. I just think you’re being a little over the top. There’s just no reason to compare Hot Air to the “bad guys.”

    Personally, I think we can disagree with someone’s politics AND consider that he/she may be supporting terrorism. We can also disagree with someone without the latter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do both.

    For instance, I disagree with Lynne Stewart’s politics, but I’m also completely convinced that she engaged in an act of treason. I won’t throw the t-word around much, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used.

  16. Rob I totally agree. What are we becoming, a foaming at the mouth bunch of hot headed people that can not tolerate any one that siagrees with all of our beliefs. I think Fred Thompson will be a great president and having a Lebanese campaign manager is not like he is aligning himself with Al Queda. And allthis crap about theNAU CFR is getting a little bit tiring. The CFR has been around for a long time and is a oraganization that is trying to get freer trade, is that a bad thing. And the NAU is a crock, what we wnat is freeer trade with Mexico and Canada. Jeez, some of the right are starting to sound like Truthers or the DUmmes/Koskids. Conspiracy theories left and right.

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