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If they can make it there, they'll make it anywhere...

Yesterday, I read a comment that wondered why conservatives tend to adore Hollywood actors who go into politics. Considering how much the right tends to bash the entertainment industry, it seems a tad hypocritical for them to then rally behind people like Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston, Fred Thompson, and even Sonny Bono and Fred Grandy.

I have an idea why that might be so.

Conservatives tend to bash "Hollywood" (as a shorthand term for the entertainment biz) because it tends to be so outspokenly, in-your-face, flagrantly liberal. That's usually coupled with a decided lack of intellectual heft to back up their arguments, which tend to gain glowing support from their peers and entourages and other sycophants. Conservatives have learned that it's best to shut up, to "go along to get along," and not draw too much attention to their beliefs. That means that for entertainers to be openly conservative is a very risky career move.

So when one of them does, they tend to lose a lot of work.

For a conservative to emerge, successful, from their "outing" is very rare -- and a testament to their appeal to the public.

In that sense, the Hollywood environment has an almost-Darwinian affect on conservatives -- it's really a "survival of the fittest," and those that can not only endure, but emerge successfully, from the crucible serves as a testament to their strength.

With that in mind, is it any wonder that conservatives tend to like Hollywood conservatives? If there is any environment that serves as a good proving ground for a national campaign, that has to be it.

And anyone who'd like to stack up Fred Thompson's intelligence and political acumen against Alec Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell, or Barbra Streisand (or all three together), I'd be willing to put up some money.


Comments (27)

Annex Austria.======... (Below threshold)
kim:

Annex Austria.
=========

It's not fair to lump Thomp... (Below threshold)
Strick:

It's not fair to lump Thompson in with most of the folks you list. He's a working lawyer/politician first and foremost. Not to diss his efforts, but from what I hear, Thompson doesn't really do that much acting. As I hear it told, he occassionally goes and lets someone film him being himself.

There's a big difference.

There's also the fact that ... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

There's also the fact that a lot of lefty showbiz types run their mouths a lot, but never actually get into politics. Babs likes to talk a lot, but put her in a position where she has to make actual policy decisions, and she'd be a trainwreck.

I look at Reagan and Thomps... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

I look at Reagan and Thompson as politicians first and actors second. I don't think you can really associate Thompson with Hollywood given his past. Reagan of course, but not Thompson. And with the exception of Heston, I really don't see a lot of conservatives rallying around the other 3.

Good thoughts. I like the e... (Below threshold)

Good thoughts. I like the evolutionary Darwin...survival of the fittest idea the best!

I see the need for something conservative out of Hollowood(my term for the 'biz') and when one does, conservatives do observe. We may not do anything else, but observe, but we do take note.

I've never seen Sen. Thomps... (Below threshold)
carly:

I've never seen Sen. Thompson act nor do I really want to. I'm looking at what his message is and how he relays it. When Reagan ran, I was voted against him as I thought it was an embarrassment to have a former actor in the White House. (Now I am embarrassed at my rejection of that great man, but I honestly didn't know any better! I was politically ignorant.) I feel comfortable with Thompson because I believe he is a straight shooter and has courage of convictions. I don't expect perfection, but I want honesty and integrity in a candidate. I was so grateful to have Bush elected as he didn't owe alot of people in Washington! I hope our next President will have an ability to act decisively in the short term and temper that with a long term vison. Also to act independently of the power brokers in Washington when need be. I pray daily for our President, his remaining term and the 2008 elections. Give us a man with a backbone & who will be guided by God Himself in these treacherous times. May we never have Ahab & Jezebel in the White House again!

I think Thompson has appeal... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I think Thompson has appeal because Bush's inability but moreso his unwillingness to promptly reply to criticism. This has undermined efforts in Iraq and fighting terrorism more than anything else.

A delay in refuting accusations, even absurd ones, let's them take on the air of validity to those who want to believe them. And if the moonbats and party loyalists espouse it as fact, peer pressure sets in like dominos to those who are more moderate.

Isn't the creator or produc... (Below threshold)
suhnami:

Isn't the creator or producer or something of 24 a rare republican in the Hollywood arena? I hadn't seen an episode of 24 since the first season then watched seasons 2 and 3 in like a week because that show rules. Seeing 48 episodes in a row can't be healthy can it? Right or Left that is entertaining stuff. I think it supports torture.

Technicality:In... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Technicality:

In that sense, the Hollywood environment has an almost-Darwinian affect on conservatives -- it's really a "survival of the fittest," and those that can not only endure, but emerge successfully, from the crucible serves as a testament to their strength.

The phrase "Survival of the Fittest" is not Darwinian per se, but was actually coined by Herbert Spencer, who applied a loose understanding of Dawin's ideas to social phenomena.

"Fitness," in evolutionary/Darwinian terms, related to reproductive success.

Spencer related fitness to genetic/social success, and suggested the idea that poor people, for example, are poor because they are inferior members of the human family. Such ideas, while population during the late 19th century and early 20th century, have been widely discredited.

Ideas relating to the "Survival of the Fiitest" would be more accurately called "Social-Darwinian," since Spencer's ideas are often related to Social Darwinism, which are very different from what Darwin went around saying.

Just sayin...

(sorry, i'm a dork)

Actually on this topic:... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Actually on this topic:

What matters most is the ideas and solutions of a candidate. Whether or not a person is or is not an actor is beside the point. Railing on people simply because they are part of Hollywood, or play a lawyer on TV deflect the whole discussion.

We should be talking less about Thompson or any other person's past career, and more about what ideas/positions/issues they are discussing.

If the next president is well-spoken, articulate, and full of brilliant ideas I don't care whether he/she worked for MIT, NASA, or McDonald's.

Such ideas, while popula... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Such ideas, while population during the late 19th century and early 20th century, have been widely discredited.

Should read:

Such ideas, while POPULAR during the late 19th century and early 20th century, have been widely discredited.

I value your contribution r... (Below threshold)
89:

I value your contribution ryan, I really do. And as you say, success in our world does not only mean producing offspring. In the past, it was often the "upper classes" that had lots of children. Now it's the poor. So perhaps the poor are more successful than the rich, then.

Thompson is a paragon of a ... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

Thompson is a paragon of a sleazy lawyer who would resort to any tactic to cover up misdeeds.

He was the shyster lawyer for the minority on the Watergate Committee who did his damndest, using every possible obfuscation he could manage, to help Nixon escape responsibility and accountability after he, Nixon, had criminally shredded the Constitution.

Just what is needed in a post-Bush era following eight years of Constitutional excess, if not abuse, by the chief executive. Thompson's standard is any kind of executive abrogation of power that can be hidden from the people with deceitful lawyerly skill. Thompson is a charlatan.

Your heroes are so impressive.

Don't forget about <a href=... (Below threshold)

Don't forget about Clint Eastwood.

Wieder is long on rhetorica... (Below threshold)

Wieder is long on rhetorical accusation and short on evidence.

Thompson did nothing while working as minority counsel during the Watergate investigation which aided or abetted crimes.

If Wieder has any evidence tending to prove his assertions, I would like to see it.

I am betting we will see nothing further from Wieder on this.

Wieder just a sad loser who... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Wieder just a sad loser who wants everyone to share in the misery of his pathetic life. Too bad he must not be a successful individual, so he has to bring everyone down with him.

Go back to your traffic intersection with your sign.

Hey Weider:<blockquot... (Below threshold)

Hey Weider:

He was responsible for Baker asking one of the questions that is said to have led directly to the downfall of President Richard Nixon--"What did the President know, and when did he know it?" Also, Thompson's voice has become immortalized in recordings of the Watergate proceedings, with him asking the key question, "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?

In 1977, Thompson took on a Tennessee Parole Board case that ultimately toppled Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton from power on charges of selling pardons.

From Wikipedia

I'd say that was rather impressive.

vnjagvet, a few starting po... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

vnjagvet, a few starting points...

"One of Thompson's 1994 campaign spots noted that he was the man who, on July 16, 1973, asked Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield the damning question: "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"

Far from a surprise attack by Thompson, this question had already been answered by Butterfield the previous Friday, during questioning by investigators of the minority and majority staffs. By Monday, even the White House had been prepped for the revelation; Thompson had phoned White House counsel Fred Buzhardt over the weekend to inform him the committee knew about the tapes. After some debate, it had been decided that Thompson would ask the key question during the televised hearings as a show of the Republicans' commitment to uncovering the truth. This was typical Thompson, says former Watergate investigator Scott Armstrong. 'All of the investigating was done in private, then Thompson would try to set it up so that if there was a kill [during the hearings], he'd look like he was in on it'"

As for Armstrong....

"While serving as a senior investigator for the Senate Watergate committee, Mr. Armstrong conducted an interview with White House staff member Alexander Butterfield that led to the discovery of the Richard M. Nixon White House taping system."[2]

That's just a touch of virtuous Thompson's hand in the Watergate hearings.

Add to that, the constant refrain, "What did the president know, and, when?" designed to create a weasel's escape route for Tricky Dick.

That's how Thompson cared about constitutional gaovernment.

wieder: "Add to that, the c... (Below threshold)
Drago:

wieder: "Add to that, the constant refrain, "What did the president know, and, when?" designed to create a weasel's escape route for Tricky Dick."

How does working to establish exactly what the President knew and when he knew it serve the purpose of creating an escape route?

Could it be that by establishing the fact that Nixon did not know about the breakin prior to the fact would only serve to undermine the case for impeachment? Does it matter that its the truth?

In the end, it doesn't matter. Once he (Nixon) did know, he conspired to keep it secret.

Game. Set. Match.

wieder: "That's how Thompson cared about constitutional gaovernment."

Yes, that's "how Thompson cared about constitutional gaovernment."

Whatever.

Wieder's historical sense i... (Below threshold)
kim:

Wieder's historical sense is warped by bias and his speech by hyperbole.
=========================

win-ne is already shaking i... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

win-ne is already shaking in his boots and old Fred is not even in the race yet. lol

Yeah, the amusing thing is ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Yeah, the amusing thing is that he knows it is a meme that will resonate. Why was the 30 year old Republican the man who asked that question? Wieder is sure trying awfully hard to put a negative spin on it.
============================

Clinton is a paragon of ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Clinton is a paragon of a sleazy lawyer who would resort to any tactic to cover up misdeeds.

Fixed that for ya, Weider.

He was the shyster lawye... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

He was the shyster lawyer for the minority on the Watergate Committee who did his damndest, using every possible obfuscation he could manage, to help Nixon escape responsibility and accountability after he, Nixon, had criminally shredded the Constitution.

You really are retarded, aren't you?
He later served as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal, (1973-1974).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Thompson

Yeah, that's some real obfuscation there.

Damn it, Drago, you beat me... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Damn it, Drago, you beat me to it again! Ugh!


lol.

Just as well, my snippet ab... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Just as well, my snippet about "What did you know and when did you know it" got cut off anyway.

You know, Wieder, there are... (Below threshold)
kim:

You know, Wieder, there are some people who don't remember anything of Watergate except missing minutes of tape and 'What did Nixon know, and when did he know it' and now you tell me Thompson is responsible for both of these. Do you realize you are heroically mythologizing him?

Tin, lead, these don't work. You need depleted uranium for your hat, or Rove Rays will get you every time.
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