For a long time I felt comfortable among self identified conservatives because they made a point of not stooping to the level that the Left routinely does. Conservatives policed their own. Knowing that the media was stacked against us we recognized we had to, because to overlook bad behavior on our side while attacking it on the Left would be rank hypocrisy. That doesn’t seem to bother as many people today as it once did, or at least seemed to.
Having hitched their wagons to Trump, many on the right are losing their way. Even many who only reluctantly backed Trump because the threat of President Hillary was too great a risk are nonetheless taking the path of her 1969 thesis, a paean to Saul Alinsky titled There Is Only The Fight. The problem is there is a lot more than just the fight. Recognizing that used to be one of the strengths of the Right. Ironically, choosing only the fight is an act of surrender. It’s saying that nothing really matters other than sticking it to the guy who stuck it to you. Being better than that guy used to be something for which we strove, but we’ve given up on it.
Yesterday began with President Trump lashing out with controversial attacks on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Many on the right cheered, because there is only the fight, and it no longer matters how we fight. There is nothing wrong with President Trump calling out members of the media on Twitter. Doing it with childish and personal insults is 1) disrespectful of his office and 2) it is counterproductive. His early morning tantrum made it so the news cycle was dominated by discussion of his lack of impulse control rather than the House’s passage of Kate’s law, a key part of his agenda.
Trump is no conservative but to the extent that his policies align with conservatism, his irrational and childish behavior hurts the conservative agenda. Defending him when he does something stupid is arbitrary tribalism. It’s sacrificing yourself for a letter on a Chyron graphic, and it only encourages more bad behavior. When the response is a bunch of supporters chanting “IN YOUR FACE” at the targeted media figures, there will be more of that behavior. The only reason I can see for conservative pundits not to encourage the President away from stupid behavior is that they only care about fighting. They don’t care about fighting intelligently or for a specific goal. They just care about fighting in a way that entertains them, so the more shocking and outlandish the better.
The ideal thing would have been for Trump to keep his rage at Morning Joe to himself like an adult. Failing that, he could have tried to point out Joe and Mika’s hypocrisy without acting like a mean 14 year old girl.
I am happy to see Laura Ingraham starting to venture out of her knee jerk Trump apologist rut. She’s absolutely right here.
Elevating vindictive cable hosts w/ anemic ratings by tweeting abt them is ill-advised. Elevate the agenda. Elevate America.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 29, 2017
Suggesting such things is heresy to the new right though. Whatever President Leeroy Jenkins does is good and anyone who suggests otherwise is a leftist or a cuck and they should be the next target.
Many on the Right have simply adopted moral relativism as their philosophy. Right, wrong, smart, stupid—they’re all measured by who does it, not by what they do.
Let’s look at what was deemed unpresidential only a short time ago and compare it to the behavior that is routinely defended in the Trump era.
Vague campaign ads about “energy voters” were once too undignified for Trump-surrogate Sean Hannity.
@DanaPerino Pathetic and beneath the dignity of office.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 23, 2012
Also offensive and unpresidential for Hannity was Obama’s choice of condiments on his hamburger. Yes, I know RedState poked fun at Trump’s ketchup on steak habit, but keep in mind that Hannity tried to portray Obama as an out of touch elitist for wanting dijon mustard on a burger. Today he does his best to convince us that a guy who lives in a gaudy gold plated penthouse is a man of the people.
Newt Gingrich finds a way to rationalize virtually anything our current reality television game show host President does but celebrity presidents who aren’t up to the job weren’t always his thing.
Gingrich called Obama a “false president,” saying he has a propensity to shirk his duties.
“This is a man who in an age of false celebrity-hood is sort of the perfect president, because he’s a false president,” he said. “He’s a guy that doesn’t do the president’s job.”
Today Gingrich is telling people that Trump is a glorified parrot repeating a sales pitch for health care legislation he doesn’t understand, and that’s totally ok. Trump promised to repeal Obamacare on numerous occasions but he has utterly failed to lead or even demonstrate a grasp of the issue, but that’s ok with Newt. (Newt’s opinion is brought to you by the letter “R.”)
Remember when a photo of Barack Obama with his foot on the Resolute Desk made people’s “blood boil?”
— Tea Party (@TeaPartyOrg) September 2, 2013
It heated up Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant.
Ronald Reagan never entered the Oval Office without a jacket. Obama poses for crotch shots with foot on desk pic.twitter.com/eLdICkID7D
— Ezra Levant 🇨🇦 (@ezralevant) September 1, 2013
Here’s the sort of thing the mastermind behind the Shakespeare shakedown was retweeting yesterday.
Trump's tweets are beneath the dignity of the White House, where presidents diddle interns with cigars and run guns to Mexico.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 29, 2017
It's OK to lie about Melania doing porn or to mock Barron for being autistic, but don't you dare say Mika Brzezinski had a facelift.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 29, 2017
It’s all about whatabout-ism and youtoo-ism. Anything is acceptable as long as you can find an equal or worse behavior on the other side. When nothing is objectively good or bad, you have moral relativism.
He’ll defend any action of Trump’s as a stroke of strategic genius but Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft once considered the following video a presidential “melt down.”
Here’s Hoft’s idea of what a president “losing it” looks like.
Insulting women on social media however is the epitome of self control.
Before he was President and shooting himself in the foot with unnecessary and ill advised tweets, Donald Trump had serious issues with some of Obama’s most terrible behavior.
The way President Obama runs down the stairs of Air Force 1, hopping & bobbing all the way, is so inelegant and unpresidential. Do not fall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2014
Come on, people. We can fight the left without becoming them.