Q&A Friday #51: Do Conservative Bloggers Get “Talking Points Memos?”
Question: “Hawkins – Given that RWN has become an important blog for the GOP, I’m wondering if you receive talking points memos from the GOP? If so, what’s your take on them and do you feel obligated to use them? I only ask because I have noticed that you have been falling into line more with GOP electoral strategy, which I think you might normally take issue with.
Take, for instance, your parroting of the line that voting for the GOP is necessary because voting for the Democrats is worse: The Steyn posting, the Pelosi Posting, the Zogby Comment, the Bill Bennett posting, etc. There is a theme here that surfaces much too often to seem coincidental or even reflective of your own convictions, which have tended in the past to focus on GOP positives as opposed to being the lesser of two evils. I would think that this line, while it may resonate as a political electoral strategy, isn’t really a Hawkins thing. It’s too compromised a position for you to take.” — huckupchuck
Answer: Let me answer the 2nd part of the question first with some quotations from a column that I wrote back in 2004 called, Why Conservatives Should Vote For Bush:
“Most conservatives would rather put a “I Love Michael Moore” tattoo on their arm than pull the lever for the Massachusetts liberal and the left-wing trial lawyer in November.
…However, when I think back to all of these disappointing decisions that Bush has made, I always view them in light of one very pertinent question,
“On which of those issues would John Kerry better represent my interests as a conservative?”
The answer is always, “None of them”. Think about it…wouldn’t John Kerry sign the Assault Weapons Ban, too? Kerry would have signed Campaign Finance Reform as well, right? What about the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill? Heck, the Democrats favored a BIGGER package than Bush did. You may not like Bush’s immigration plan, but Kerry is openly promising to put America’s illegal immigrants on the “path to citizenship” in his first 100 days. So what would you gain by having Kerry in office?
…Moreover, we should remember that W. has delivered the goods for conservatives on more than a few issues. First and foremost, how about the tax cuts? You think we would have seen those under a John Kerry presidency? More importantly, do you think we’d KEEP THEM if John Kerry became President?
…Who would you rather see picking 3 or 4 new Supreme Court Justices over the next four years: George W. Bush, an imperfect conservative or John F. Kerry, one of the most liberal members of the Senate?
…In a world where Al-Qaeda wants to strike in the US with weapons of mass destruction, can we trust that a dove like John Kerry is up to stopping them from making an attack that would make 9/11 look like a trip to summer camp?”
Pointing out that the Democratic Party is going to be worse for conservatives on every single issue that they care about than the Republican Party makes perfect sense. Why in the world would you want to kick someone out of office because he disagrees with you on a few issues when his replacement will be someone who disagrees with you on almost every issue?
As far as the “talking points memos from the GOP” goes, if you mean press releases, I get gazillions of them from the White House, RNC, and various campaigns and conservative groups. If you mean “orders” of some sort, give me a break. I’ve flogged the Republican Party on illegal immigration, deficit spending, Harriet Miers, the way Bush handled the Dubai Port Deal, FEMA overspending on Katrina relief, the party taking sides in Republican primaries, and countless other issues — and that’s nothing unusual for a conservative blogger.
On the other hand, if you look at the left side of the blogosphere, you’ll find much more uniformity in the topics they cover and the line they take on those topics — and, let’s face it — they’ve actually been caught coordinating how they’re going to deal with particular issues.
So, if you want to know if bloggers are being bossed around, the answer is, “no,” at least for those of us on the right side of the blogosphere.