Matt Lewis

On his popular radio show, conservative Sherpa Rush Limbaugh has recently been inveighing against the "conservative" panjandrum who have metastasized into nothing more than a bunch of skeevy scribblers who have quickly jumped ship on Sarah Palin.

If anyone has the credibility and the audience to forcefully abjure this behavior (and hopefully discourage future perfidy that generally goes unpunished), it is the "Doctor of Democracy," himself.

At the risk of sounding like a prig, but there is good reason to be concerned with the recent "conservative" avant-garde's apostasy.  Because of the amount of attention that has been garnered by "conservative" Palin critics (see Kathleen Parker's piece in the WaPost today) it is not clear to many Americans that only a hand-full of "conservative" writers have had the temerity to do a 180 on Palin -- some going so far as to call for her to step down. 

The mercurial nature of the pundit class has long concerned me, but this is perhaps the most extreme case I have ever witnessed. The consequences are damaging; even grassroots conservatives -- the folks who tune into Rush every day, and were excited by the Palin pick -- have become morose since the criticism began. It's hard enough to fend off liberals, but having to avoid fragging is outright depressing.

There is, unfortunately, a perception that this is pervasive. I know this, because I have been asked by several intelligent and worldly non-conservatives if it was true that most conservatives have turned on Palin.  They were surprised when I told them that this probably constituted of less than one percent of conservative opinion.

It has been amazing to me how quickly these perfidious "conservative" writers lost their moorings. One might assume it has something to do with the milieu; most of these writers are denizens of DC or New York City, after all.  And granted, Palin has come under heavy assault lately, but if these folks are willing to bail on Palin already, one wonders how quickly they will jump ship when the Left really attacks a conservative.  Simply put, if I were going into battle with someone, I certainly wouldn't want one of these writers in my fox hole.  When the going gets tough -- they get going (in the other direction). 

Keep in mind, there is a vast difference between asking a conservative to be blindly loyal to the GOP -- something neither Rush or I would suggest -- and asking a conservative to simply not become a liberal.  In my estimation, Limbaugh is rightly doing the latter.

... Speaking of calling these folks out, Erick Erickson did a fine job of pointing out some spurious "conservatives" yesterday.  When he calls someone out, he does a very good job of it.  We need more of this.

Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is conservative writer and blogger based in Alexandria, VA.

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