A Critical Endorsement (sort of) for Fred Thompson

Via Hot Air, Rush Limbaugh on his show yesterday…

There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson. … …we have a campaign now where most of the candidates are not genuine conservatives. They may be saying they are, but in their past they have done some things that are not conservative in any way, shape, manner, or form — and I think a lot of those things are being overlooked even by friends of mine in the conservative media because the obsession is Hillary…

He didnt come right out and say “Fred Thompson for President” or anything like that, but it’s difficult to believe that Rush would say such things if he didn’t support Thompson. But in any case, he’s absolutely right. Many say Thompson won the debate more or less, and from what I’ve heard about it I’d have to agree. Reading that at HA, I thought, boy, it’s gonna be fun to see what the lefty RINO apologists have to say here, and I was not disappointed, not by a loong shot…

Conservatives all need to get realistic and they need to do so now. It doesn’t matter who you would like to see elected. It really doesn’t. You need to decide between the two electable Republicans, Romney and Giuliani. Fred just isn’t going to get the nomination. Neither is Huck or any other candidate out there right now. Put your fantasies aside and choose between Romney and Giuliani.

I’ll certainly admit those of us who vote our guns probably aren’t nearly as politically active as we should be, but if we took the attitude embodied in the above comment, I think it’s safe to say we’d have probably reached the point England’s at long before even England got there. I have very little use for total defeatists like that, and that’s putting it mildly.

Oh come on, Rush! First of all, among the five “major” candidates, three are ex-executives who have not served in significant elected legislative functions, and the other two are Senatirs, who have never served in any significant executive functions. These two senators are actually quite similar when you look at their records in office over the time that they were in office. Fred’s made a lot of headway, apparently, criticizing the others who actually do the work from the sidelines. This is the only way he can be considered more consistently conservative than any of the others.

I really can’t testify as to Thompson’s record vs. McCain’s, but I’m betting the above commenter can’t either. After all, of course, these RINO apologists are quite adept at just pulling things out of their asses and not addressing their own candidates’ blatant liberalism leftism.

I have asked about Fred’s record repeatedly. No one ever wants to have a substantive discussion about it. Usually they engage in deflection and bring up say, Romney’s record or Rudy’s record and repeat “a constant mantra” of RINO RINO RINO.

Now that I think about it, that one’s a bit of a cop-out, if you ask me. I just googled “Fred Thompson’s record” and all sorts of things came up. A sample:

Thompson hit all the right notes from a conservative voter’s perspective: Pro-life; Scalia-like judges; against gay marriage; opposes gun control; would pardon Libby; and supports the President’s surge in Iraq.

Thompson’s record in the Senate from 1995 through 2002 sustained his answers: His lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 86 (out of 100) and his lifetime Americans for Democratic Action (the liberal quotient) rating is a measly 5. Add in his presence in front of the camera as well as his folksy way of speaking, and it’s no wonder conservatives are pressing him to get into the race.

There were a few stumbling blocks, however. On immigration, Thompson had to splice some comments he’s made which make it sound as if he agrees with his friend Sen. John McCain. The very fact that he felt he needed to address that issue means Thompson well understands that the McCain position doesn’t play well with the conservative base. Wallace also asked, though didn’t press, Thompson about his previous support for campaign-finance reform – another McCain albatross.

But there are two questions Wallace didn’t ask. First, he didn’t ask Thompson about tort reform. In 1995, the GOP-led House passed a tough medical liability bill that included tort reform as part of the Contract With America. Things were all ready to go in the Senate under Majority Leader Bob Dole, when freshman – and former trial lawyer – Thompson introduced his own medical liability reform bill, sans tort reform. The bill passed and in conference committee the House’s tort reform package got completely extirpated. Conservatives were outraged and many blamed Thompson.

Second, Wallace introduced his guest by asking, “Is Fred Thompson the next Ronald Reagan?” What he didn’t bring up is that this isn’t the first time conservatives have expected big things from Thompson nor the first time he’s been compared to Reagan.

In a 1999 National Review article by Jay Nordlinger, for instance, we’re reminded that Thompson’s Senate career failed to live up to the hype. Who recalls that in 1994, before Thompson was even sworn in, Dole tapped Thompson to give the rebuttal to an economic address by Bill Clinton? The day after his five-minute retort the New York Times ran a headline “A Star is Born.” The New Republic followed with an article called “Reagan Redux.” Nordlinger wrote, “The mentioning class began to mention him as a possible vice-presidential nominee in 1996, and certainly as a contender for the top prize in 2000.”

My take: Thompson has his flaws, of course, but it would seem from the above, and looking also at Romney and Giuliani’s records at their respective previous posts, Fred Thompson is the most reliably conservative candidate with a chance to win. There are those who say that Fred got in too late and that his showing at this point is proof that he won’t go all the way, but I can’t help but agree with those who say that it’s not that Fred threw his hat in too late, but all the others jumped in too early. At least that’s what I’d like to think…but in any event, there’s a long way to go yet.We’ll see what happens, but I’m betting Rush’s kinda-sorta endorsement gives Thompson a pretty big boost in the long run, especially if Rush keeps hammering home the message he did on his show yesterday. Here’s hoping, anyway.

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