Recently, I wrote that because “Conservatism, in the US today, is convincing people to sit through ads for Goldline”, wildly inaccurate pundits like Peggy Noonan, Dick Morris, and Karl Rove “were just doing their jobs. They should all get raises.”
I also wrote that “John Boehner (and Eric Cantor under him, and Kevin McCarthy under him) has every incentive to attack moderate proposals from the president (or their own leadership) as not merely unwise but tyrannical. … There are no GOP actors with the political sway, or perhaps even the inclination, to return to rational discourse on public policy.”
Well, two recent news stories disagree with me. First, on Fox News:
Fox News chief Roger Ailes, a canny marketer and protector of his network’s brand, has been taking steps since November to reposition Fox in the post-election media environment, freshening story lines — and in some cases, changing the characters. According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules.
House Speaker John Boehner is under fierce attack from conservatives in the blogosphere and on Twitter over his “purge” of several conservatives from top congressional committees, as well as for his offer to fend off the fiscal cliff.
“#purgeboehner,” tweeted Michelle Malkin, following committee changes that hit members, including Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).
“You saw just a conservative purge in the House, you’ve seen the Washington insiders all saying, ‘Well we have to back off of our principles, and get away from certain issues and compromise on others,’” former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum told POLITICO.
“Tomorrow we should all call John Boehner’s office to remind him to call Congressman Amash,” tweeted RedState.com’s Erick Erickson.
Those comments come as several conservative Republicans were this week removed from top congressional committees. For example, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) lost his spot on Agriculture, and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) won’t be returning to Budget.
Now, it’s too soon to say that I was 100% wrong. The Fox News move could be purely cosmetic; they could continue their Pravda-style coverage with different talking heads, and maybe eventually bring Rove & Morris back in to do the same thing all over again. Boehner could simply be engaging in a power struggle; and he still isn’t acting especially reasonably on revenues.
But I thought Fox News would simply carry on pretending that there was no problem whatsoever with any of their pre-election prognostication, and that Boehner had no stomach for any kind of confrontation with House Republican Malkinites. So I sure wasn’t 100% right.