Apparently Dave Weigel feels like he’s been getting a lot of crap from conservatives lately, because he takes to Bloomberg News to give a spirited defense of Rudy Giuliani with a classic “Well, I’m just informing you what conservatives think” angle.
Suddenly, though the calendar reads February 2015, Democrats were in October 2016 gaffe-police mode. Conservatives rolled their eyes at socket-singeing speed. “Raise your hand if you think ‘but they won’t say whether Obama loves America” could really put Hillary over the top in Nov 16,” joked Commentary editor-in-chief John Podhoretz. The Washington Free Beacon compared the media coverage of Giuliani tothe far skimpier coverage of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s money to foreign donors. The media seemed to be covering the story Democrats wanted them to cover. There was more at work, though.
The media was lecturing from inside a bubble. All Thursday, the offices of potential Republican candidates were asked to react to Rudy Giuliani. “The gist of what Mayor Giuliani said — that the president has shown himself to be completely unable to speak the truth about the nature of the threats from these ISIS terrorists — is true,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Senator Ted Cruz declined to comment. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said through a spokesperson that he did not “question President Obama’s motives.”
And of course we have this:
This is a deep source of conservative frustration. They want to accuse Obama of radicalism the way that they once accused undergraduate Saul Alinsky-scholar Hillary Clinton of radicalism; the way that they see the media reading into Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand-fandom, or the Koch brothers’ patriarch being a member of the John Birch Society. And when they try, they’re accused of othering, and racism.
They’ll keep trying. Some of the anger at Obama grows out of the belief that, as a candidate, he was sold as more moderate than he was. He was challenged not by a Rudy Giuliani, but by Arizona Senator John McCain, who prevented aides from attacking Obama over the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and waited until their final debate to bring up former Weather Underground terrorist and Obama friend Bill Ayers.
At the 2008 Republican convention, one speaker went so far as to argue that Obama had a great, uniquely American life story. McCain and Obama, this speaker said, “they’re both good and patriotic men with very different life experiences that have led them to this moment of shared history.” He mocked Obama, but then he came back around to praise. “His rise is remarkable in its own right. It’s the kind of thing that can happen only in America.”
Now, Weigel thinks he’s being clever here by again presenting this entire thing as “what conservatives believe” rather than it being what he does, but that’s a nice little device that allows him to write 95% of a Daily Caller rant and get away with it.
Nice work if you can get it. Classic “view from nowhere” stuff.