Thursday, December 27, 2007

see Hugh spin

I caught a few unfortunate moments of Hugh Hewitt speaking on the radio this afternoon.

In general, he's as good as most conservative talk-show hosts these days: a smart guy who's modestly entertaining and has some good insights, but has become increasingly partisan over the last few years-- as the divorce between Republican politicians and conservative principles has become more obvious and more painful in its implications. I also enjoyed hearing him give a plenary address at the Evangelical Theological Society meetings in DC last year-- when I was there to present a paper related to my book.

But today was not so good. First, I heard him provide a "radio minutes" (or somesuch). He was trying to make the argument that President Bush had held the line on spending-- and so, we should elect a Republican Congress in 2008. As an experienced lawyer, I know that Hugh knows a faulty premise and a faulty conclusion from a supposition-- and we have both here. Bush did not hold the line effectively, since he left his veto pen in his pocket and failed to hold Congress to his "goal" to cut earmarks by one-half. And even if he had held the line, there is no promise at all that the bulk of unprincipled Republican politicians would now morph into fiscal conservatives if we reestablish them in power.

Second, I heard Hugh interviewing a regular guest, Mark Steyn, about the Bhutto assassination. If you don't know, Hugh is a big fan of Mitt Romney's. Today, he and Steyn used Pakistan's problems to attack Romney-rival Huckabee (and Obama) as inadequately experienced. But the real spin was in trying to avoid turning the day's events into a much bigger plus for fellow front-runner, 9/11-maven, Rudy Giuliani. They tried to do this by arguing that efforts to manipulate foreign policy from DC were ill-fated and arrogant. In doing this, they ended up sounding exactly like Ron Paul! Oh, the irony!

How do these guys sleep at night?


At December 27, 2007 at 9:30 PM , Blogger Don said...

"As an experienced lawyer, I know that Hugh knows a faulty premise and a faulty conclusion from a supposition-- and we have both here."

I did a quick double-take at the introductory clause of that sentence and then checked your bio again. OK...still only one lawyer, and one economics prof! But there for a moment.....

At December 27, 2007 at 9:34 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

HA! I could have written that more clearly, huh?

"I know that Hugh-- as an experienced lawyer-- knows..."

Sorry to scare you like that! ;-)


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