George Will’s article about Fred Thompson is so damaging that Jonah Goldberg suggested Gov. Romney’s campaign people order a U-Haul truck of paper so they can start faxing it around the nation.
Since we’re pro-trees and pro-Mitt, we’ll link to it instead. It begins:
Fred Thompson’s plunge into the presidential pool — more belly-flop than swan dive — was the strangest product launch since that of New Coke in 1985. Then, the question was: Is this product necessary?
He paints Sen. Thompson as an out-of-touch politico who knows neither his opponents’ nor his own positions. Mr. Will also chimes in on Sen. Thompson’s recent revelation about his “kitchen table values:”
Is there, however, a huge cash value in the role for which he is auditioning — darling of religious conservatives? Perhaps. But their aspiring darling recently said in South Carolina, “I attend church when I’m in Tennessee. I’m in McLean right now. I don’t attend regularly when I’m up there.”
“Right now”? He has been living “up there” in that upscale inside-the-Beltway Washington suburb, honing his “Aw, shucks, I’m just an ol’ Washington outsider” act, for years. Long enough to have noticed that McLean is planted thick with churches. Going to church is, of course, optional — unless you are aiming to fill some supposed piety void in the Republican field.
Let’s stipulate for argument’s sake that Fred Thompson has no good explanation squaring his conservative principles with his support for McCain-Feingold. It’s a legitimate issue. However, if you support a candidate who has taken the wrong positions on the First, Second, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments, and whose view of the Constitution led him to endorse government-funded abortion on demand, then you have to wonder about that candidate’s conservative principles, do you not? That candidate is Rudy Giuliani, and among his first supporters was George Will. So, the question for George Will is, what standard are you using to evaluate these candidates? The standard in Rudy’s case appears to be his management skills as a mayor. I imagine Will doesn’t support Rudy for his position on the war given that Will is opposed to the war. In Thompson’s case, Will complains Thompson’s not conservative, pointing to McCain-Feingold. But in 2000 Giuliani told Wolf Blitzer that he was a very big supporter of McCain-Feingold and had been for a long time. And, in recent weeks, Rudy said if he wasn’t running for president, he’d support McCain. I think Will needs to square his own thinking. If anything, his approach underscores Rudy’s weaknesses, and apparently his own.