Letter from the Editor 

As you may have heard, the conservative website Pajamas Media has sent Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher to Israel to "report" on the conflict there. On his first day, he managed to make one of the dumbest statements ever uttered by a human on television: "I don't think journalists should be anywhere allowed [near] war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what's happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it's asinine."

Yeah, that's right, a guy sent to cover the war says reporters shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the war in order to cover it.

Here in the U.S., professional right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter is making the rounds of the talk-show circuit promoting her latest book, which decries how liberals "play the victim." She says the social safety net is protecting single mothers, who produce "70 percent of rapists, murderers, and other criminals." Her argument, if you want to call it that, is that if we stopped providing assistance to poor people, we'd stop producing criminals.

At least, I think that's the argument. I'm not sure, really. I am sure that if it weren't for Coulter's TV-friendly legs and blond hair, she would be blogging anonymously in, say, Buffalo rather than polluting the national airwaves with her drivel. When confronted by, of all people, Whoopi Goldberg on The View, Coulter complained about being "attacked." In other words, she played the victim.

The conservative movement is wobbling like a punch-drunk boxer in the wake of Barack Obama's knockout victory and widespread public eagerness to say farewell to President Bush and his disaster of a presidency. It is grasping at the thinnest of straws. (I'm still getting e-mails saying Obama was born in Kenya and therefore unqualified to be president.)

The thing is, we need strong, smart conservative voices in the U.S. (Paul Craig Roberts comes to mind.) Democrats are just as capable of screwing up the country as the Republicans and, as we know, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The last eight years have made that quite clear. But as long as the public face of conservatism consists only of clowns and Bush sycophants — Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Joe the Plumber, et al. — the movement is doomed to prolong its temporary irrelevance.

Bruce VanWyngarden


Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment



Tiger Blue

Tigers 70, UCF 65

News Blog

Thousands Join Memphis Women's March

Politics Beat Blog

One Eye on The Memphis Women's March, January 21, 2017

News Blog

PODCAST: Two Flyer Guys and the Portland Protests

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies 107, Kings 91: Game Notes

Intermission Impossible

Hitchcock, Cock Rock, and Bayard Rustin Live on Stage

Tiger Blue

Tigers 70, Houston 67 (OT)

News Blog

Sierra Club Protests Trump's EPA Choice


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Vendor in the Grass

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare

    Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.

    • Mar 31, 2016
  • Bombs Over Memphis

    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Detention Deficit

    Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."

    • Mar 10, 2016
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation