Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Best Of The Best

A recent poll of right of center blogs and websites rated 85 prominent conservatives. Here are the results.

In ascending order, the top 25 --

25) Rick Perry
25) Dana Loesch
25) Darrell Issa
25) Trey Gowdy
25) George W. Bush
24) Mark Levin
23) Dick Cheney
20) Tim Scott
20) James O’Keefe
20) Ben Carson
19) Ted Cruz
15) Allen West
15) The Koch Brothers
15) Jonah Goldberg
15) Matt Drudge
12) Glenn Reynolds
12) David Limbaugh
12) Megyn Kelly
11) Bobby Jindal
9) Rush Limbaugh
9) Condi Rice
5) Mark Steyn
5) Antonin Scalia
5) Michelle Malkin
5) Charles Krauthammer
4) Mia Love
1) Scott Walker
1) Clarence Thomas
1) Thomas Sowell

For the racialists keeping score, surprise! - seven of the twenty five are black, including three of the top four. (And I'm not counting Jindal who's Indian or Cruz whom the NY Times would characterize as a "white" Hispanic).

And the least admired conservatives (including some who aren't) --

20) Arnold Schwarzenegger
19) Ron Paul
17) Christine O’Donnell
17) Mike Huckabee
15) Mitch McConnell
15) David Frum
11) Donald Trump
11) Joe Scarborough
11) Colin Powell
11) Dick Morris
10) Bill O’Reilly
9) Peter King
8) Chris Christie
7) Jeb Bush
6) John Boehner
5) Alex Jones
4) Karl Rove
3) Lindsey Graham
2) John McCain
1) Megan McCain

The design of the poll isn't ideal. Instead of soliciting opinions about a pre-selected list of people, the pollsters should have asked the respondents to rank their top 25 and bottom 25 choices from the entire universe of conservatives. Why are lightweights Fred Thompson and Donald Trump on the list while John Bolton and Kevin Williamson are not?

My own list includes journalists, ranked not necessarily by the magnitude of my admiration for them but by my opinion of the quality of their writing. (In no particular order within tiers) --
Tier One -- Kevin Williamson, Krauthammer, Steyn, Goldberg.
Tier Two -- Victor Davis Hanson, Andrew McCarthy, Theodore Dalrymple, Bret Stephens, Dan Henninger, Dennis Prager, Steve Hayes, George Will, Jay Nordlinger, Charles C. W. Cooke, James Lileks, Rich Lowry, Deroy Murdock, Roger Kimball, Conrad Black.
Tier Three -- Sowell, Amity Schlaes, Larry Elder, Donald Boudreaux, Ann Coulter, Ed Morrissey, Allahpundit, Byron York, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Guy Benson, Kate Pavlich, Roger Simon, John Podhoretz, Walter Williams, David Burge (Iowahawk), John Stossel, Mona Charen, Ramesh Ponnuru and Dorothy Rabinowitz (though her political columns are about as rare as a truthful word from the president).

Video producers par excellence - Bill Whittle and Andrew Klavan.

Politicians -- Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Gowdy (the C-Span superstar whose evisceration of Jonathan Gruber is a joy to watch), Walker (arguably the most effective conservative since Reagan), Jindal, Tom Coburn (soon to be retired), Jeb Bush (who was a popular and highly effective governor from a swing state and who is, contrary to his reputation in some quarters, a solid conservative - more so than his brother or father), and Perry (who was governor of the state that produced the vast majority of the nation's job growth during his tenure), stand out among the mostly decent bunch of Republicans in Congress and in governor's mansions. This includes McConnell and Boehner who have done well under difficult conditions.

And in the middle ground encompassing journalism and politics and SCOTUS -- Carson (though if he was serious about politics, he should have run for senator from Michigan, then maybe for president), John Bolton (prime candidate for Secretary of State in a Republican administration), Scalia, Thomas, Rudy Giuliani, Mitch Daniels, a trio of political analysts - Michael Barone (the undisputed king of pundits), Jay Cost, and Jim Geraghty, Mitt Romney (a wildly successful and profoundly admirable gentleman both inside and outside of politics), Cheney (a major irritant to people deserving to be irritated and the staunchest advocate of taking all measures necessary to protect the country), G. W. Bush (unlike the current president, a man of integrity who took the measures necessary to protect the country), and of course Sarah Palin, (unlike Hillary) a self-made woman, the scourge of the feminazi left, the ultimate anti-Julia.*

* (added 12/28) -- This from M. Joseph Sheppard, writer for Politico --

Governor Palin endorsed 22 candidates for various offices during the midterm finals, including senators, governors, lieutenant governors, congressmen, and attorneys general.  Of those so endorsed, an incredible 20 were elected – contrasted with, for example, Hillary Clinton's record of 8 wins out 24 endorsed candidates.

...For all her detractors’ cries of "irrelevance" and "she's just a reality show entertainer" (those two being among the nicer epithets), Palin goes on, election cycle after election cycle, populating Congress with her endorsed candidates in a cost-effective manner...

...After Russian president Putin invaded the Ukraine and annexed the Crimea, video surfaced of Governor Palin's 2008 speech where she predicted exactly that occurrence should then presidential candidate Barack Obama be elected. Palin sounded a deserved note of triumphalism in March:

"Yes, I could see this one from Alaska," Palin posted on Facebook, saying she said "told-ya-so" in the case of her "accurate prediction being derided as 'an extremely far-fetched scenario' by the 'high-brow' Foreign Policy magazine."

"Here’s what this 'stupid' 'insipid woman' predicted back in 2008," Palin said. "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."

Palin's post has been shared by more than 16,000 Facebook users and "liked" by more than 70,000.

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