Freedom Folks

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hugh Hewitt: Tom Tancredo Destroyed The Republican Party!

On the day he officially announced his candidacy for president Tom Tancredo went to the one place he knew he'd find a warm reception, talk radio. One show made an exception, Hugh Hewitt grilled Tom and accused of, among various other things, destroying the Republican majority singlehanded (not bad for a fringe candidate!), and being responsible for the future passage of the McKennedy bill (yeah, we'll see about that!).

After the interview Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters posted a piece lambasting Tom and wondering...
Someone who wants to lead the GOP to the White House needs to answer why he kneecapped the Republican candidate in an election in 2004.
Digger and Lonewacko have the round up, I was reading this before I went to bed last night and noticed a wrinkle I don't think either of them reported on. The comments, at Hewitt's site the comments are running about 20-1 against Hugh, at Captain's Quarters about 50-50ish which is fairly rare I believe. This comment is a fair representative...
I'm not a Tancredo guy, but Hugh's "interview" of him was shameful, and truly reminded me of something Chris Matthews would have done. In a nutshell--and that is where this accusation belonged--Hugh blamed Tancredo for the McCain-Kennedy-Bush Amesty bill. I like Hugh most of the time, really like him, but he was deranged during this interview. Made himself look very bad. He lost it, and lost.
And from Hugh's blog...
Hugh, that interview was an ambush. You allowed your personal feelings toward the Congressman to come out with force. Your were rude and condescending. Whatever points you hoped to make were drowned out by your desire to discredit and embarrass the Congressman. I am embarrased by your lack of professionalism.

Hugh's badgering of Tancredo was disgusting. It was a bad faith interview. Mr Hewitt owes Mr. Tancredo an apology.

Tom successfully turned up the rhetoric on an issue that matters an enormous amount to a relatively small percentage of voters, and mortgaged the majority to a single issue constituency.
An enormous number of voters care enormously about this issue. The small percentage of people are the ones who listen to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
As Digger mentions in his piece, the reason Hugh was so enraged was that Tom supported Jim Gilchrist in his congressional bid (as did we!). To party hacks like Hugh and the Captain I suppose that would be rank heresy, but to regular folks some things rank higher than party affiliation, especially as a conservative who doesn't feel terribly well served by the Republican majority.

One other point, we are constantly being told that this is a "fringe issue." That not that many people really care about it, Hugh says on his blog...
Tom successfully turned up the rhetoric on an issue that matters an enormous amount to a relatively small percentage of voters, and mortgaged the majority to a single issue constituency.
Yet by way of example, most of the posts at Hugh's blog have a fairly respectable, by "big blog" standards average of 6-20 comments. The Tancredo interview has 84! That's a pretty big difference.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, what guys like Hugh and the Captain are scared of here is the volatility of this issue, and yeah, it's a volatile issue and it's not getting any less volatile for being ignored and pooh-pooed by party hacks like themselves.

***UPDATE***

El Presidente over at Slapstick Politics provides his take...here. I particularly like the title: "Supporting the party above principle does a disservice to both"

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