Mark Steyn brings his A-game to make much sport of the media’s latest call for an impending crack-up of the GOP due to their support for Terri Schiavo:
Blog maestro Andrew Sullivan decided that America was witnessing a “conservative crack-up” over Terri Schiavo and the embrace of her cause by extreme right wing fundamentalist theocrat zealots like, er, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Nader. Sullivan was last predicting a “conservative crack-up” during the impeachment era, on the grounds (if I recall correctly) that Republican moralizing would dramatically cut into Strom Thurmond’s share of the gay vote. In the ’90s, the Weekly Standard ran innumerable special editions devoted to the subject: Conservative Crack-Up; Conservative Crack-Up 2; Conservative Crack-Up — The Musical; Abbott And Costello Meet The Conservative Crack-Up; Conservative Crack-Up On Elm Street; Four Weddings And A Conservative Crack-Up; Rod Stewart Sings Timeless Favorites From The Great Conservative Crack-Up, etc.
The point to bear in mind when Hollywood producers, State Department diplomats, respected senators, gay mavericks, the New York Times and the rest of the media offer conservatives advice is a simple one: As that great self-esteem volume has it, He’s Really Not That Into You. The preferred media Republican is an amiable loser: the ne plus ultra of GOP candidates was the late Fred Tuttle, the lame, wizened idiot dairy farmer put up for a joke against Sen. Patrick Leahy in Vermont. But, if they can’t get that lucky, the media will gladly take a Bob Dole type, a decent old no-hoper who goes down to predictable defeat and gets rave reviews for being such a good loser. Republicans could well run into trouble in 2006 and 2008, but for being insufficiently conservative on things like immigration rather than for anything the media claim they’re cracking up over.
The notion, for example, that poor Terri Schiavo will cost Republicans votes in a year and a half’s time is ludicrous. The best distillation of the pro-Schiavo case was made by James Lileks, the bard of Minnesota, responding to the provocateur Christopher Hitchens’ dismissal of her as a “non-human entity.” “It is not wise,” wrote Lileks, “to call people dead before they are actually, well, dead. You can be ‘as good as dead’ or ‘brain dead’ or ‘close to death,’ but if the heart beats and the chest rises, I think we should balk at saying this constitutes dead, period.”
Read the rest.
Incidentally, many of the calls for a conservative crack-up were due to polls released by the media which show that the majority of the American public were for Schiavo being euthanized. Lori Byrd reminds us to take those polls with a grain of salt.
Update Speaking of poll numbers, President Bush’s approval rating is currently at 51 percent. Doesn’t sound like he’s alienated the public with his handling of the Schiavo case.