Josh Barro Admits He’s Not a Conservative. Gives Froggie Hope.
Jonathan Chait did a hagiography piece on Josh Barro. The title called Josh Barro “the Loneliest Republican.” The rest of the article made it clear, though, that Barro is a “conservative reformer.””The 28-year-old Bloomberg View columnist is—or, arguably, was—the most precocious of a coterie of conservative reformists,” Chait wrote. He continued,
The debate had cut to the heart of what separates Barro from most of the other conservative reformers: Barro increasingly sees their refusal to confront the reality of the Republican stance as a kind of intellectual dishonesty.
Over at Politico, Dylan Byers reported on Barro leaving Bloomberg View for Business Insider writing, “Josh Barro, the 28-year-old Bloomberg View blogger and rising star of moderate conservatism, is joining Business Insider as politics editor.” He went ton to reference the Chait piece noting, “The Atlantic recently labeled him ‘the loneliest conservative’.”After my overnight post on real conservative reformers and poseurs like Josh Barro, Barro now admits he is not a conservative.I take that as a win. I assume Jonathan Chait, Dylan Byers, and the rest of the fawning liberals in the press who have set Barro up to be a reasonable conservative will now refer to him as he refers to himself — a neoliberal.But Barro goes further than that. In his rebuttal to me, in which he admits he is in favor of higher taxes and pleads no contest on being a liberal, he gives hope to Froggie.Back in 1998, I worked as coalitions coordinator for a candidate in Georgia. If we wanted all the various conservative groups to get on a similarly themed message about our opponent, I was the guy who bridged the gap between the campaign and volunteers who cared about these issues. I also oversaw volunteers in the office.One of the volunteers was a guy we named Froggie. He . . . well . . . he looked kind of like a bull frog and rather had a toad like personality. He stayed in the back office licking envelopes, putting stamps on envelopes, and avoiding public interaction. It just wasn’t his thing. He eventually developed a crush on the campaign manager and we had to ease him out the door.A decade later, by the way, I started working with a local company and Froggie was now a manager. At his new office, his nickname was, yep, Froggie.Anyway, Froggie had a real passion for politics, but he just wasn’t cut out for it and never went beyond being a campaign volunteer. He now has reason to hope. I noted in my post on Barro that, “Barro has never had a job in responsible policymaking or politics of any kind. He has worked no campaigns. He has answered to no constituency.” Well, Josh informs the world that back in 2002 he volunteered for Mitt Romney’s gubernatorial race. Actually he got paid a small sum and then — oh my — a 2004 Pennsylvania congressional campaign. Wonder which one.He sure seems to want us to know about his mediocre low level jobs in politics as a way to bolster his credentials to be a voice we should all listen too.* Still, imagine that. He was an 18 year old volunteer for Mitt Romney in 2002 went on to never having a job in responsible policymaking or politics of any kind, not working on other campaigns, and having no constituency and he still was able to become a writer for Bloomberg and now the politics editor for Business Insider.Froggie too might one day go far in politics if he sets his mind to it and gets the right connections. There is hope.*Added the italicized portion after Josh’s tweet extolling his limited resume in politics.