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The Dubya List

I’m not being snarky when I say that the best thing George W. Bush has done for conservatism has been to withdraw almost completely from the national stage, and to devote himself to private life and doing low-key good works. He has nothing else useful to say or to do in American politics. So, bless him, he’s saying nothing.

I thought about Bush’s good example this morning when I read this quote from Dick Morris [1], from “Hannity”:

Sean, I hope people aren’t mad at me about it… I spoke about what I believed and I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said. And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right.

Got that? Dick Morris believed it was his “duty” to go on TV and say that Romney was going to win this thing, because everybody on Team Romney at the time was depressed. It’s hard to know whether Morris really believed what he was saying, as he claims to, but there can be no doubt that he saw his role as cheerleading for the Republican candidate, not offering straightforward analysis.

Dick Morris is a conservative figure who really ought to never be heard from again. He’s a hack. I say give him a Dubya Award for Meritorious Service To The Conservative Movement, and push him off the stage. (“Meritorious” in the sense that, say, a boss who is firing an employee for screwing up makes an insincere but face-saving statement about how much the company has benefited from the employee’s service, and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors).

Which other prominent conservatives should get a Dubya? Newt Gingrich is one. He has nothing left to say or to do, except go on whatever the GOP version of the dinner theater circuit is, where celebrity has-beens go to live out their senescence. Karl Rove is another. Megyn Kelly, bless her, sealed Rove’s place on the Dubya List, when, listening skeptically on Election Night to Rove trying to spin bad Romney news into a GOP victory, said to him: “Is this just math you do to make yourself feel better as a Republican, or is this real?” [2]

We need a lot more of the spirit of Megyn Kelly among public conservatives.

So, let me put it to you: Who else is on the Dubya List — Republican and conservative personalities (politicians, pollsters, pundits, et alia) who ought to be retired because their advice and analysis is not credible, and/or they are a source not of new, smart, and innovative conservative thinking, but are only good for saying things that make Republicans feel better? Please don’t post names of conservatives you don’t happen to like, or merely disagree with. It’s possible for a conservative to be abrasive or wrong about this or that issue, but still be a valuable source of insight, commentary, or leadership. I’m thinking, for example, about Rick Santorum, but there are many others.

I’m looking for conservative leaders — media and political — who are well and truly tapped out, but don’t know it. Who’s on your Dubya List?

UPDATE:  Please give a reason or reasons for your selection, and make them thoughtful. I’m not going to approve posts that just throw somebody’s name out there.

170 Comments (Open | Close)

170 Comments To "The Dubya List"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 17, 2012 @ 11:36 am

Miss Coulter:

I feel silly defending people with whom I have been disappointed with. But Miss Coulter is not incoherent as much as incomplete in her analysis of some very complex issues.

Very few people are wrong about everything, including Miss Coulter, her unique angular analysis is often poignant and humorous – conservative do need bold outspoken women – could she use fine tuning — I agree. But I see Miss Coulter as a woman in transition. Her analysis has shifted from her early years, and that is an indication she responds to new information and aware. Those conservatives are valuable.

I am not sure what her dillemma is about blacks, she is certainly bright enough to know that they are primarily responding to a political and social dynamic they did not create. That does not exonerate them from error any more than whites.

Smile. Being reactionary and conservative are not synonymous. She is no m,ore reactionary than her friend Bill Mahaer or Jon Stewart, but her dance between entertainment and politics/policy can be confusing. There are some things about which conservatives have not ben reactionary enough. Her desire to win, to have republicans win, that passion along with a keen mind — conservatives need. Incredible vulnerability there —perhaps, my defense is more heart than head — but I don’t think so.

I sincerely appreciate your observation as to education. But we are going to have to do more than engage in intellectual reasoneddiscussion. We need conservatives on the front lines from elementary to university education. There are plenty of intelligent conservatives who possess reasonable rhetorical skills. But invites as guest lectureers will not get the job done.

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 17, 2012 @ 11:59 am

Caveat: Miss Coulter’s rhetoric/analysis currently is cenetered on white liberals — who have somehow catered, pandered or controls black minds . . . not sure how much of that she believes.

#3 Comment By mobilebay On November 18, 2012 @ 7:55 am

Jeb Bush is my choice and all the Bushes to come. A few years of their leadership and we’ll be the next third world since we’re well on our way now, thanks to the last few administrations.

#4 Comment By Louis On November 19, 2012 @ 9:58 am

We wish Senators McCain and Graham would go away. They are not conservative and yet they always seem to be the loudest voices in the Republican Party. Neocons like these have been holding the conservative movement hostage all these years. Before elections Republicans pretend to be conservatives and then promtly cave in on everything Americans want and cowardly bow to everything the neocons want. What’s Next? Will Boehner and McConnell come out of the closet? They will after they hand over the Capitol keys to the Chinese and turn over military control to the Israelis. None of this would surprise me. Republicans in Washington, D.C. are useless idiots.

#5 Comment By EarlyBird On November 19, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

It’s been a while since she’s really been on the public stage – perhaps she actually has the capacity for shame – but Sarah Palin needs to go far, far away and never come back, never “write” another book.

She is not stupid, she’s something worse: proudly ignorant. There has probably never been as vapid, empty of a “conservative” as Palin who’s gone as far in her career as she has.

She doesn’t know the first thing about governance, and her record as governor of Alaska shows she has no interest in actually implementing ideas and policies and doing the hard work of governing, but she instinctively knows how to throw red meat out to the base, rallying the worst instincts among the right with crypto-racist and fully reactionary nonsense about “real Americans.”

These are the people that make the electorate think, “the Republicans aren’t able to govern.”

She’s a disgrace to American politics, and an indictment of how off the rails the GOP has become in recent years. That she was such a darling for so long is jaw dropping.

#6 Comment By Louis On November 20, 2012 @ 9:51 am

The only ignorant people are the ones who overlook the damage done by Republicans in Washington, D.C. What was Sarah Palin’s big crime? There isn’t one. I would prefer her as president to any of the Bushes any day of the week.

#7 Comment By Kathryn On November 20, 2012 @ 11:03 am

I wish Grover Norquist would go away. Nobody elected him, yet he impedes the good governance of the country like few have ever done. It’s creepy!

#8 Comment By Andrew On November 20, 2012 @ 11:49 am

Posted this on another, older article, but the same message applies to this article. Keep up the good work!

To everyone on this board. I am an extremely left-wing liberal on the political spectrum. That being said, this is my first time visiting American Spectator and I am truly amazed by what I have found. Over the past couple of election cycles I have grown increasingly despondent over the state of the Republican party and their decent into a hateful, paranoid, conspiracy fueled, proudly ignorant, self-righteous, your with us or against us Fox News coma. It has made me and many of my friends truly question the idea of American exceptionalism and our ability as a country to overcome our serious challenges. How can I have a rational discussion about what we need to do as a country with someone who truly believes that the leader of my party (the President) is an anti-colonial, foreign-born, America hater who must be opposed on every issue, regardless of merits? Oh and I forgot, he’s a socialist, nay, a communist!
So it is with great pleasure that I find that there are thoughtful people on the opposite side of the political spectrum that reject the craziness. I appreciate that there are those on the other side that see that liberals do not take the positions we take because we hate America, we are anti-white, we hate the rich, because all we want is “gifts” or because we are lazy good for nothing SOBs. Reasonable people can disagree on policy. I was truly beginning to believe that you guys didn’t exist (my fault for not finding you sooner). Keep up the good work!
As for the left-wing side of the equation, we have our crazies too. Please don’t take them too seriously, lets engage on the issues.
On another note, it is interesting to see how much a liberal like me agrees with many of the policy positions that people on this site take. I’ve always thought that the two ends of the political spectrum might actually be a tied together to form a continuous loop, with deep conservatism and liberalism closer on a lot of issues than it would seem. Perhaps that is blasphemy – perhaps not. I’ll keep reading to find out!

#9 Comment By Leo Reilly On November 20, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

Everyone who ran for the Republican nomination for President with the possible exception of Rick Perry, weak though he was. This includes Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, Bachman, Palin–o.k. she never ran but she did drive a bus across country while she “thought about it”–and Donald f**king Trump, whose eleventh hour offer of “Five….million….dollars!” reminded every voter just before they voted of just how truly bizarre the Republican Party had become. I will take anyone with a pulse who can provide a serious conservative vision on the economy and foreign policy. And yes, that includes Jeb Bush.

#10 Comment By David On November 21, 2012 @ 6:08 am

I’m not a conservative, but a moderate independent who leans libertarian. I was very pleased to see this article b/c, though I think conservatives are almost half the problem, one thing they are at least more correct about than liberals is the economy, and without that, none of the rest means very much. So, right now, without the third party I want anywhere near organically developing (Ross Perot was the last time and Ron Paul and John McCain not having the desire in 2000 and 2012), I want a lot of conservative leaders to go, and let the people who actually know how to govern take a shot.

The article singles out two gentlemen, one being Dick Morris, who is merely making an excuse now for being the worst political prognosticator of his generation No one should believe what most political partisans have to say in the first place, but he leads the pack. But, more important of the two was Gingrich, who momentarily excited evangelists and people who really wanted to believe he was the new Ronald Reagan, but angered at his own failures, showed the left how to trash Romney, giving it credence when they did it, and even continued to call him a liar when he was supposedly stumping for him. He can be fun, but so can carnivals. You don’t want the guy guessing your weight to be president.

One commenter mentions Sarah Palin and I think she is right. Whether it is fair or not that she has been so demonized by the left, that only her own political growth would have helped. But, she shows no sign of educating herself. I personally like her but have concluded that she simply has no idea where her sentences will take her when she starts them, and so the emphasis on different words comes out wrong.

I can’t agree about Karl Rove. He did get lost in the partisan mindset at the end, but, before that, was frequently the most informed person in the room. He needs to eat crow and acknowledge partisanship got to him.

But, where the article goes astray is with Santorum. He needs to go away too. I strongly believe that too many independents, the most important group out there, rejected the moderateRomney, even voted for Obama, because he had to suck up to the religious right, as all the moderates seem to feel they have to do. But, independents do not want anyone in the White House who would be religiously divisive, and, of the main debaters, that would include Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Santorum and even Pawlenty. They need to be replaced by Daniels, Christie, Jindal, Haley and other solid Republican governors who don’t seem to have evangelist agendas. Two who are also not the answer, though I think some conservatives and Republicans seem them as demographically desirable, are Rubio, a pleasant man who still has not grown enough and Allan West, who is not pleasant enough — he has a terrible temperment for anyone who wants to be president.

But, my main contribution is not a person — its Iowa, and there is no sign it is going anywhere. Already Rubio has made his first trip there and he will “just happen” to make many more, I’m sure. Iowa is simply a terrible predictor and throws off Presidential nominations. The process should pick random states and voting should be in four or five blocks of states. As long as Iowa is the first state and S. Carolina also so early, it will tip the process to the evangelicals who are waying the party down.

Another who is a terrible Republican leader is Rush Limbaugh. I know he is not going anywhere, but I wish he would change and lead other hosts like Sean Hannity with him to a more moderate position. At least Rush figured out this time that they needed independents, but Sean never figured out that he would not gain a convert by “vetting” Obama. No one cared. Either conservatives have to stop listening to radio and tv hosts whose motto seems to be that liberals are always alway always wrong and evil to boot, or, those hosts have to get real. Let MSNBC be mindless and entirely biased. They should not compete on that level but stand out because they are different. That would mean that Sean has to stop having his favorite guests on and Rush has to stop pretending he is 99.7 % right.

Last, you know who else needs to go? Ronald Reagan. At least, the legendary Ronald Reagan who they pretend was the conservative lion, but actually turns out to be too moderate to be deemed to be anything but a RINO today. More RINOS are exactly what is needed by this party.

#11 Comment By Mark Vadnais On November 22, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

Greta Van Susteren deserves an honorary dubya because she gives a nightly neo-con platform to John Bolton, Liz Cheney, John McCain or Lindsey Graham.

Also, Brett Bair because he gives a nightly neo-con platform to Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes, Fred Barnes or Jonah Goldberg.

#12 Comment By Bill On November 22, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

but after that, I’m not going to approve anything else unless you trouble to come up with a specific reason or reasons for why they should be on the list. Thanks. -RD

Okay, fair enough. But what I find interesting is that what many of the posters here list is almost exactly the same ones that the more progressive folks do.

Lets take Bill O’Reilly. Every year he starts this “War on Christmas” thing. I dont fit ideologically into any group [Bastard Prole =] but the Christmas thing he is actually supporting is materialist and consumerist.

When was Jesus either one?

So Bill O’Reilly, IMHO, should be on the dubya list.

#13 Comment By Kat On November 23, 2012 @ 12:48 am

Like Andrewabove, I’m a “leftie” but I’ve been coming to this site reguraly for over a year to read intelligent “conservative” ariticles and comments. I don’t have to agree with everything to respect this site and think it’s by far one of the best around.
I don’t believe people like Rush Limbaugh, Trump or Sarah Palin help anyone’s cause. They are both delierately devisive in their rhetoric with the intent of dividing “real” Americans from themselves and others like them who are simply bitter, ignorant, uniformed or attention seeking.
When I ask people what they think a “liberal” or “conservative” is I get answers that usually show no knowledge of the differences in the ideologies. Both words have simply become “dirty” words depending on which side of the spectrum you think you belong on or what news you listen to. It’s not that simple except for simple minds.
I do wish there was an honest explanation and discussion among people who are news-makers and writers about this issue instead of the constant name-calling and extremeness. Being extreme is easy, just get angry. Being thoughtful and wise is harder but it’s time the grownups tell the unruly children to sit down, be quiet and listen.

#14 Comment By delia ruhe On November 23, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

Perhaps the stupidest thing recently said by a Republican was said by Mitch McConnell — namely, that making Obama a one-term president was the GOP’s primary agenda item. What a dumb and dangerous thing to say in a country suffering from sky-high unemployment, homelessness by foreclosure, sky-rocketing poverty and income inequality, and über-wealthy criminal bankers at large. Mitch’s statement, oft repeated in the media, symbolized everything that has gone wrong with the GOP. It was stupid the first time it was uttered and sounded even stupider when Obama won a second term. McConnell has to go.

#15 Comment By fnn On November 24, 2012 @ 9:02 am

Dis anyone mention Karl Rove?

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 24, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

Kat:

Extremeis does not by definition derive from a position of anger. I tend to think that extreme positioning is the precursor to anger.

Extreme positions posit a hardline – linear perspective that when butted against real word results may cause one to chose anger as a response. I am not an extremist because I am angry, but I am angry because my position is intractable and black and white, that they do not match a myriad of other possibilities of my concept of right and wrong.

We have treated extreme positions as some form of an indication of of some mental deficiency. The reality is that each of us has some position about which are unmoveable – especially on questions of value or ethics.

#17 Comment By Jeremy On November 25, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

Let me join the chorus mentioning Trump. He’s become a punchline in the media and is just getting worse. Jumping the gun and assuming that Obama was going to lose the popular vote, and posting half a dozen tweets calling for revolution just sort of sealed the deal. I have no idea why anyone listens to him.

#18 Comment By Kat On December 1, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

Elite,
“Extremism does not by definition derive from a position of anger”…
“I am not an extremist because I am angry, but I am angry because my position is intractable and black and white…”

Good logic. Thanks for correction.

#19 Comment By David Giza On December 6, 2012 @ 9:51 am

Delia Ruhe: That has been the goal of every political party when they don’t have the presidency. I agree that it probably shouldn’t have been stated publicly by McConnell but they all have wished it. It’s a part of politics.

#20 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 6, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

Kat,

Your comment is greatly appreciated. And I a not sure it’s so much a correction as an addition –very kind of you.