Conservatives Should Adopt “The Joe Biden Standard” On Criticism

by John Hawkins | May 7, 2009 11:28 am

Liberals tend to attack other liberals for one reason and one reason only: that liberal aided conservatives somehow. Maybe the liberal went the conservative way on an issue or maybe that person said something that gave conservatives an advantage, and therefore had to be taken to the woodshed. Those of us on the Right, on the other hand, tend to be much more critical or our own and much less willing to defend each other.

There are pluses and minuses to each strategy.

On the liberal side, they tend to end up regularly supporting some of the most loathsome people and disgusting comments you’re going to hear in this country, simply because those people are “on their side.” On the other hand, liberals never throw anyone under the bus until every last drop of usefulness to the liberal cause has been squeezed out. Only then are they tossed away like a used tea bag by the Left.

Then there are conservatives, who are perpetually fractious, extremely quick to viciously criticize each other, and we far too seldom defend our own. This leads to a lot of very talented, useful people being chewed up by the Left and discarded from the movement — although there is a positive side to that: most (but not all) of the sleazy and embarrassing Republicans tend not to last very long, especially when compared to the Ted Kennedys, Barney Franks, and John Murthas of the Democratic Party.

But, on the conservative side, I think we’ve gone a little overboard. Yes, the conspiracy theorists (Like Alex Jones), self-promoters who trash the Right to get their name in the news (David Frum, Meghan McCain), “Republicans” in Congress selling us out (Arlen Specter until not too long ago), and the truly sleazy, corrupt, and criminal people (Duke Cunningham) on our side deserve to get hit — and that’s a wide array of people.

However, I think we need to be much more willing to defend each other than we’ve been over the past few years, I think we need to work harder to find agreements than disagreements, and I think we need to be a little slower to jump down the throats of people on our side when they make verbal gaffes — incidentally, that applies to me just as much as everyone else.

What we don’t want to keep doing is ripping well meaning people’s heads off on our own side because they made some minor mistake, phrased something poorly, or because the media took what they said out of context.

…..Which brings me to what I like to think of as “the Joe Biden standard.” If a conservative says something that draws criticism, ask yourself: if Joe Biden had said something similar, would liberals be howling? If the answer is “no,” then we probably shouldn’t be making a stink either.

Keep in mind: because the mainstream media has lost so much credibility by being so overtly liberal, the general public tends to distrust what they say about the Right UNLESS they hear it said by a Republican or conservative. After all, the thinking goes, “they’re talking about their own side, so we should be able to trust what they’re saying.” That’s why adopting “the Joe Biden standard” could do more to uplift conservative morale and help us in 2010 than most people may realize.

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