EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Michael Medved Wants A Different Conservative Base
What is it with Salem Radio’s major hosts? Geez. You want to find out what the Romney campaign thinks, flip on Michael Medved or Hugh Hewitt or a number of the other Salem Radio hosts and you’ll find a host fully in line with Mitt Romney and fully out of step with the bulk of the conservative movement. In fact, it is striking to find Salem’s radio hosts so in the tank for Romney when the top radio shows in the country from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck to Mark Levin to Neal Boortz to Laura Ingraham have all either stayed on the sidelines or gone largely against Romney.And if being out of step with the larger conservative movement on this issue weren’t enough, Michael Medved has decided to trot out the newest pro-Romney talking point with some serious condescension. You see, it is not Mitt Romney. It is you hicks, rubes, and idiots that are to blame. “Dammit, why won’t you like him??!!??” Medved comes close to asking.Mitt Romney has not changed. You people have! This follows an earlier Michael Medved lament where he threw out every straw man he could at both Rush Limbaugh and me in the name of defending his Massachusetts Moderate.Most interesting, in that earlier opinion piece Medved claimed the Republican Party had to abandon conservatism to win in 2012. This time around, Medved claims Romney actually is a conservative. It’s just conservatives have become radically conservative. He seems to be shifting positions as often as Mitt Romney.To paraphrase Bertolt Brecht’s “The Solution,” it seems a lot of Romney’s ardent supporters have viewed the base of the Republican Party and decided the base should be replaced with a new base rather than admit the their candidate is the problem.Many Romney backers, as indicative of Medved’s latest column, do seem to want another conservative base instead of the one that exists since the majority of the one that exists keeps rejecting their candidate of choice.To believe Michael Medved we must accept that Mitt Romney has not changed since 2008, but rather the party has changed. Except Romney has morphed on immigration (again), taxes (again), has scaled back his language on conservatism and is, in fact, running very much as John McCain did in 2008.We must also ignore the fact that more of the base was focused on Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson in 2008 than on Romney. Medved may have been consistently for Romney as a lot of Republican oriented opinion leaders have been, but the base never was. Romney supporters who claim Romney has been wholly vetted forget that in 2008 all eyes were on Giuliani till his collapse, shifted quickly to Fred Thompson, and then spent a good deal of time dealing with the unexpected rise of Huckabee.Romney is only just now being more fully vetted by conservative voters. A lot of the opinion leaders who supported Romney in 2008 and reject him now supported him in 2008 as a way to stop McCain and also did not expect the post 2008 Romney to revert to a brand of Massachusetts moderation.In fact, it is largely accepted that Mitt Romney is running from McCain’s play book this time while in 2008 he ran against and to the right of John McCain.That the base of the party sees it, resents it, and has redoubled their distrust in Romney because of it, Medved not only does not see it, but drips with condescension at the base because of his willful blinders.About the only thing we can learn from Michael Medved’s piece is that the Romney campaign serves up some powerful kool-aid. But hey, at least now Medved doesn’t think we should abandon conservatism in favor of moderation. No, now it is that Mitt Romney has always been conservative and the rest of us are just too radical now.