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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, 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?”

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.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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