Oh Please Stay by Me, Diana

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Golly—for a blogger who's "pretty disappointed in the Republicans now," Glenn Reynolds makes an effective promoter for Republican candidates. In less than 24 hours he's had three posts about Diana Irey, a Republican challenging Rep. John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th district. First he noted a "sudden surge of enthusiasm" about the long-shot candidate (she's raised less than $30,000 to Murtha's $1.5 million). Then he announced Irey's appearance on Fox News this afternoon. After the appearence, he helpfully linked to a video for readers who missed it.

There's nothing terribly interesting about Irey, outside of the support she's getting on the blogs. She's a sacrificial lamb in a seat that Murtha has never won with less than 58% of the vote. Her Fox appearance followed in the form of an angry press conference she gave after Murtha took the lead pushing the Haditha story—pro-war boilerplate about "defending the troops" and how America will win in Iraq as long as our army stays there forever.

But then there's that blog support. What makes Instapundit, among many other pro-war (or at least pro-GOP) blogs, so obsessed with defeating Murtha? Conservative pundits like (former Reason intern!) James Taranto often complain that Democrats work especially hard to defeat black Republican candidates, because the party's afraid of a dependable voter base seriously evaluating the party and finding it less appealing than the opposition. I wonder if there's a similar factor in play that makes Republicans apoplectic upon spotting Democratic veterans who oppose the Iraq War.

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  1. So if some one says they are disappointed by the republicans, and then promotes some fresh republican blood, there’s a contradiction how?

  2. Follow the link. Reynolds was challenging Hugh Hewitt’s idea that the GOP can build a “permanent majority.” GR suggests that would be a bad thing, and it would be better if the GOP was running scared. So, boosting a Republican candidate – who would expand the GOP’s majority – seems to be a flawed plan. It would make more sense for him to back pro-war challengers (GOP or Dem) to anti-war Republicans like Walter Jones or John Hostettler.

  3. “better if the GOP was running scared.”

    Presumably he’s talking about the ideal GOP majority, and would still prefer a flawed GOP majority to a GOP minority.

    Meanwhile, it makes sense to support the Republicans you like, even if they happen to be running against Democrats you don’t.

  4. That would be a good general point, David. But I really don’t like Murtha. And it’s not like I’ve been easy on Hastert, Bilbray, etc.

  5. Hope you send her lots of $, Glenn. That will only sweeten the experience of watching her lose.

  6. Maybe it’s just because Murtha’s a pinched loaf.

    Now, I’m off to the beach, again. 🙂

  7. Looking forward to the inevitable crudely photoshopped pictures of James Webb with Jane Fonda.

  8. What is it with Reason’s hard on for Prof. Reynolds?

  9. The thing about Glen Reynolds is that he’s a sniveling coward. It’s one thing to back up your truly held positions with consistently dishonest rhetoric and factual distortions. It’s another thing entirely-a whole new level of cocksuckerdom-to pretend that you have positions that are different from your true postions.

    Glenn Reynolds is the servile water boy for the Republican Party. There’s nothing wrong with that. Plenty of people are Republicans. But why should he cower in the dark like some 1950s Hollywood communist? This sniveling mendacity is unbefitting for a law professor at the legendary University of Tennessee.

  10. So, how is Reynold’s carrying water for Repubs when they support his pet cause of staying the course in Iraq different from Dave Weigel’s carrying water for Dems when they want to help his cause of ending the occupation?

    Am I being equivocal between both sides, yes. But I really don’t see the difference since it seems that either will do the political thing by holding their noses (Reynolds vs Repub-bioconservatives, and Weigel vs Dem-antitrade populists) in support of the side that best carries out thier pet cause, and ain’t that the point of politics…

  11. Reynolds is obsessed with beating Murtha for the same reason he fell hook, line and sinker for the Swift Boat Veterans during the presidential election, and anything to discredit Joe Wilson.

  12. Wow, Rev, nothing like raising the tone of the discussion!

    As to why some people are “obsessed” with Murtha, check out his Meet the Press appearance, where he suggested our Iraq forces can be redeployed to Okinawa “almost instantly,” and from where our fighters(!) can respond in trouble in Iraq “very quickly.”

    Also note there are more than a few hints of corruption about him. He was even an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal, if any of you youngsters remember that one.

  13. The thing about Glen Reynolds is that he’s a sniveling coward. It’s one thing to back up your truly held positions with consistently dishonest rhetoric and factual distortions. It’s another thing entirely?a whole new level of cocksuckerdom?to pretend that you have positions that are different from your true postions.

    Glenn Reynolds is the servile water boy for the Republican Party. There’s nothing wrong with that. Plenty of people are Republicans. But why should he cower in the dark like some 1950s Hollywood communist? This sniveling mendacity is unbefitting for a law professor at the legendary University of Tennessee.

    Yadda, yadda, yadda…
    I haven’t seen Rev’s name before, is he someone from Atrios or something because even the regulars here who don’t like Reynolds at least don’t have all the unessecary rhetoric,
    “This sniveling mendacity is unbefitting for a law professor at the legendary University of Tennessee.”
    (rolls eyes) Yes, because teaching law is all about honor and not about how best to use the law to f’ the shit out of the other side, ok, yeah, sure…

  14. I’m mainly liking Instapundit less and less as a useful source of interesting links. It’s all predictable now, and I can find Althouse on my own.

  15. What a spectacular failure of a post. Pro-war bloggers work to defeat anti-war Congressman; Reason.com exclusive!

  16. I can’t think of a single black Republican who doesn’t come off as elitist. When they stop giving that impression, they might crack into the 92% or whatever support for the Democratic party.

  17. Also, why is Reynolds considered by some to be libertarian when he isn’t?

  18. Henrick and his friends,

    beats me, I’ve never really gotten that. I mean Chomsky used to write for Cato back in their better days and occasionally says libertarian stuff about less government, smashing the state, etc. but you don’t see a lot of people around here or other popular water holes wankn it for ‘Chomsky the libertarian’.

  19. Everyone has a curmudgeonly relative, usually not an immediate relative, but occasionally so, who can be counted on to rant and rave about the Republican boogeyman of the day. So back in 2002, you had to sit around during Thanksgiving dinner as he complained about how Tom Daschle was Undermining America. Then he regaled you in 2003 about how Richard Clarke — and then, later, Joe Wilson — was a big dishonest liar. What raised the ire of this person so much that they chose to rant and rave against those people right at those specific moments? It was because these people were the targets of right-wing attacks. What all of these boogeymen have in common is that they, in some way, make Bush “look bad.”

    Today that boogeyman is John Murtha, and Glenn Reynolds is playing the role of that angry relative. The noise machine demands that Dear Leader be defended from this boogeyman, and the minions are doing their duty, claims of ideological “libertarianism” notwithstanding.

  20. Today that boogeyman is John Murtha, and Glenn Reynolds is playing the role of that angry relative. The noise machine demands that Dear Leader be defended from this boogeyman, and the minions are doing their duty, claims of ideological “libertarianism” notwithstanding.

    And then there are those who regard people like John Murtha as Dear Leader, and can’t countenance the idea of anyone opposing *him*.

  21. “…makes Republicans apoplectic upon spotting Democratic veterans who oppose the Iraq War.”

    Are there any Republican candidates for office who are vets, pro- or anti- war?

  22. X-boy,

    McCain comes to mind. There are others, I guess the question is if by vet you mean someone who actually saw combat or just served in the military in Germany or something…

  23. Speaking of veteran candidates, I found what happened to the manly Paul Hackett to be disgusting. Sherrod Brown is damn fucking boring.

  24. Instapundit posts are always enlightening.

    I was under the impression that the American Spectator crashed and burned at the Mena airport.

  25. All political magazines go off the rails at times: does anyone else remember the Reason cover story on securing Israel by running a pipeline filled with radioactive waste along the border?

  26. “Also, why is Reynolds considered by some to be libertarian when he isn’t?”

    Other than matters realting to the war, can you come up with a single issue in which Reynolds’ view isn’t at least similar if not identical to the standard libertarian position?

    See libertarians are constantly wanting to kick people out of the treehouse for lacking 100% purity on all issues. Reynolds supports the war and so he’s out, despite being essentially a lock-step libertarian on just about everything else. If I happen to express a fondness for mass-transit and public transportation, out of the treehouse I go.

    Reynolds could be a potential ally to libertarians on a whole bunch of issues besides the war, but apparently allies are less emotionally satisfying than screaming “HERETIC!” once a week.

  27. “Also, why is Reynolds considered by some to be libertarian when he isn’t?”

    Other than matters realting to the war, can you come up with a single issue in which Reynolds’ view isn’t at least similar if not identical to the standard libertarian position?

    See libertarians are constantly wanting to kick people out of the treehouse for lacking 100% purity on all issues. Reynolds supports the war and so he’s out, despite being essentially a lock-step libertarian on just about everything else. If I happen to express a fondness for mass-transit and public transportation, out of the treehouse I go.

    Reynolds could be a potential ally to libertarians on a whole bunch of issues besides the war, but apparently allies are less emotionally satisfying than screaming “HERETIC!” once a week.

    Comment by: Again at June 20, 2006 01:34 AM

    Bingo.
    Not too mention the ironic fact that Reason magazine ITSELF is leeching on Reynolds popularity to help its sales via the promos displaying Reynolds name front-in-center, but then it’s pretends as if that if they act bitchy enough they can distance themselvs from using Reynolds as part of their marketing strategy.

    I mean, even a tapeworm doesn’t take it’s host for granted.
    Well…that last comment was shitty of me, and Reason is probably the best magazine I have EVER read, but Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ I never saw a magazine jump so many hoops via it’s staff distancing itself from the guy they EXPLICITLY use for sales.
    I bet National Review could really boost it’s sales by jumping on this bandwagon, such exoanding their sales pitch acting more ecumenically to sympatheic liberal say by accepting kind comments from Joe Lieberman on NR’s great articles on the Iraq War for their November Sales Fest of NRODT!, and then get Jonah Goldberg and Joh J Miller on The Corner to call Joe a progressive douche-bag for calling for the expansion of the welfare state…
    I mean it’s not like David Frum or Rich Lowery are calling Lieberman a douchebag, it’s only a couple of it’s editors…

  28. One final thing, I haven’t heard anything yet, but it seems to me that Reason is VERY lucky no one on the Dems side has so far called them out on their Janus-faced treatment of Reynolds.
    Is he or is he not a member in good standing with the libertarian movement? And if he still is, then can the libertarian-progressive marraige work?
    Dems needing a good reason to reject Kos’ possible hooking up with Reason-type libertarians will just see Reynolds blurb and just assume that not only are we cold-hearted bastards, but also schizophrenics as well; not a good combo for forming a coalition…

  29. Sorry to go back on topic, but I went to Irey’s page and didn’t notice much of what she stands for other than being not-Murtha. In the accomplishments, she has voting for 7 balanced budgets with no tax increases (there’s not context) and making prisoners work for no pay. How about some policies and viewpoints?

    Conservatives complain about Dems campaining as not-Republicans, but what about some policies from her?

    I hardly call Dave’s comment very incisive. He was simply observing that for someone that thinks Republicans need a kick in the pants, he’s shilling for Republican candidates. This one, it seems, just for not being a Dem he disagrees with.

    Glenn,
    If you’re still reading this post (I wouldn’t be surprised if you stopped due to the unnecessary venom). You have been easy on Bilbray. Your comment on his pork, mere days after he entered and broke his promises was, “Not very impressive in a guy who’s only been in office for a couple of days. But maybe he’ll do better.” Take the kid gloves next time, he’s only been in there for a week and unless Busby wins in Nov, it’s likely to get worse not better.

  30. Frank said: “Is he or is he not a member in good standing with the libertarian movement?”

    Frank, “movement” would imply some sort of progress was being made.. The big-l Libertarians seem to be more interested in arguing about who is the more ideologically ?pure? libertarian, than actually getting anything done. It is little wonder that they feel Glenn Reynolds is the ?enemy? when I have watched this place slide ever closer to the KOS/Democrat Underground abyss.

  31. Reynolds is quickly turning into another Taranto. I didn’t know Taranto used to consider himself a libertarian, you certainly couldn’t tell now. Both Reynolds and Taranto are simply water-carriers for the G.O.P. It is certainly true that libertarianism is plagued by a “purer-than-thou” mentality, but if you have to stretch the definition of libertarian to encompass people like Glenn Reynolds, who is basically no different politically from the Hugh Hewitts and Jonah Goldbergs of the world (except that Reynolds is far more dishonest and mean-spirited), what does libertarianism even mean?

  32. I agree with Constantine – Reynolds is one of those media sources, like Drudge, who likes to maintain an independent pose, but who can be absolutely counted on to attack the RNC’s target of the week.

    Reynolds is to libertarians what Lieberman is to Democrats – wrong on the war, yes, but that’s not really the big problem. Both groups have lots of people who differ with the majority on the war. The problem is the way each of those men works so very hard to advance the Republican party’s tactical political efforts. When there’s a debate about the hot-button issues, you can count on them not only to side with the Republicans, but to adopt their language and spin in framing that debate. Reynolds’ eargerness to join the pack when they turn on whichever Democrat is out ahead is just one facet of this.

  33. Reynolds is to libertarians what Lieberman is to Democrats – wrong on the war, yes, but that’s not really the big problem. Both groups have lots of people who differ with the majority on the war. The problem is the way each of those men works so very hard to advance the Republican party’s tactical political efforts. When there’s a debate about the hot-button issues, you can count on them not only to side with the Republicans, but to adopt their language and spin in framing that debate. Reynolds’ eargerness to join the pack when they turn on whichever Democrat is out ahead is just one facet of this.

    Comment by: joe at June 20, 2006 10:14 AM

    Well from what I remember, the liberal/Democratic community didn’t treat him all that right from the get-go when Atrios started that bullshit campaing of calling Reynolds a racist via his wearing a “Celebrate Diversity” t-shirt featuring a variety of handguns over red, green, and yellow.
    That color scheme according to the good Doctor, Duncan Black, was meant as a “in-the-know” shirt for racists for mocking the tri-color scheme of pan-Africanism, so Reynolds supporting the design is racist.
    (rolls eyes) Whatever you say Dr. Black.

    So, considering that a major represnative of liberlism considers Reynolds, Wanker-Extraoridnaire, on account of his own bullshit interpretation of the shirts, I don’t exactly see why Reynolds should make attempts to court more established liberal support…

    Also, you make not like this style of Democratism joe, he has been supportive of Democratic Tennessee govenor, Phil Bresden, and even had a very informative podcast with Harold Ford, Jr where his supposed hacking for the Repubs was minimal.
    I think the hype of his being a Repub water-boy is a bit much in IMAO…

  34. Glenn Reynolds, who is basically no different politically from the Hugh Hewitts and Jonah Goldbergs

    I’m not a fan of much of Reynolds’ foreign-policy rhetoric, which more often than not smacks of knee-jerk Southern jingoism and semantical games aimed at apologizing for the Bush Administration, but I’d say there are a lot of differences between him and the likes of Goldberg and Hewitt on domestic issues. Among other things, Reynolds opposes the drug war and has been unequivocally in favor of abortion rights and gay marriage. He’s also bashed a number of court rulings that were detrimental to civil liberties.

    Only thing is, those subjects aren’t half as effective in bringing in page views as the intellectually lazy foreign policy and political scandal red meat that he throws out for GOP mouth-breathers, so he tends to keep them on the backburner.

  35. “It is certainly true that libertarianism is plagued by a “purer-than-thou” mentality, but if you have to stretch the definition of libertarian to encompass people like Glenn Reynolds,”

    And again, I challenge you, other than the war detail a policy belief by Reynolds that isn’t pretty close to the standard libertarian position.

    Now, granted, the war _is_ his biggest issue and that’s reason number one why he’d prefer Murtha’s opponent and why he’d seem like a GOP water-carrier on that issue (because he agrees with them). But outside of that issue he’s been harshly critical, or at least as harsh as he gets toward anybody. I mean he’s never been a rabid attack dog to anybody.

  36. I wonder if there’s a similar factor in play that makes Republicans apoplectic upon spotting Democratic veterans who oppose the Iraq War.

    Obviously not, since there are multiple anti-war Democratic veterans and they don’t receive the treatment that Murtha does. Murtha has been singled out because he keeps pushing a cut-and-run policy; there’s nothing more to it than that.

  37. Again,

    He’s been pretty blase about domestic spying…

    but yes, he tends to lean libertarian.

  38. BRING THE TROOPS HOME…

    …from Germany, Japan and Korea.

    And hope they don’t have to stay as long in Iraq.

  39. You can be a libertarian and vote Republican (or Democratic), but when you get to sucking the party’s dick, you lose your libertarian street cred. Reynolds is as libertarian as George W Bush.

  40. Calling Reynolds a cocksucker from the safety of the backside of your computer screen is the very definition of snively cowardice. Unlikely that Rev would have the balls to do that in a face-to-face in my fireplace room. Besides, I’ve met Reynolds a couple of times and I like him.

  41. You can be a libertarian and vote Republican (or Democratic), but when you get to sucking the party’s dick, you lose your libertarian street cred. Reynolds is as libertarian as George W Bush.

    Comment by: Herrick and His Balls at June 20, 2006 04:17 PM

    Then how do you compute reynolds support for Phil Bresden or his partisanship-free podcast with Harold Ford Jr? That ain’t exaclty gonna get him and Mrs. Reynolds invited to Tenessee Repub social events…

  42. Calling Reynolds a cocksucker from the safety of the backside of your computer screen is the very definition of snively cowardice.

    And cowardice aside, anyone who claims Reynolds spends his time “sucking the Republican Party’s dick” has no grasp of reality whatsoever. Given that Reason and its regular commenters have long since succumbed to the mentality that everyone who doesn’t hate every last molecule of George Bush’s being is a Republican toady I shouldn’t be surprised, but seriously — people who either don’t read Reynolds or can’t be bothered to understand his extremely short and simple posts should just keep their mouths shut about him, rather than fantisizing that he spends his time in praise of Republicanism. The closest he comes to saying nice things about the Republican Party is to say that the Democrats are worse — which, from a libertarian perspective, they ARE.

  43. I’m thinking the heat on Glenn Reynolds is a little misplaced. He’s certainly pro-Iraq war, which we can all argue about, but that alone doesn’t make him a non-libertarian. And I’m not sure that even I am completely opposed to the continuing operations in Iraq, despite being against the war in the first place. At least I see it as debatable.

    Reynolds does seem like he carries water for the GOP at times, which I don’t like, but I think it’s just his politics, not a Hannity-like shillarama. Also, as a right-libertarian, he probably sees the left as more of his enemy than the right, though anyone with any libertarian credentials has to be appalled at what’s going on in D.C. today (and I think he is). Which explains why he enjoys taking shots at the more shrill folks on the left. Also, he’s shown a consistent distaste for unlimited government, and shows a very libertarian preference for advanced technologies. Not to mention that he’s linked to Balko’s site, Cato, Reason, and other purely libertarian web sites. Given that NRO, for instance, thinks libertarians are completely off the reservation, I’d say his obvious sympathy for libertarianism means that he can’t be rationally excluded from the libertarian ranks.

  44. Reynolds does seem like he carries water for the GOP at times, which I don’t like, but I think it’s just his politics, not a Hannity-like shillarama. Also, as a right-libertarian, he probably sees the left as more of his enemy than the right, though anyone with any libertarian credentials has to be appalled at what’s going on in D.C. today (and I think he is). Which explains why he enjoys taking shots at the more shrill folks on the left. Also, he’s shown a consistent distaste for unlimited government, and shows a very libertarian preference for advanced technologies. Not to mention that he’s linked to Balko’s site, Cato, Reason, and other purely libertarian web sites. Given that NRO, for instance, thinks libertarians are completely off the reservation, I’d say his obvious sympathy for libertarianism means that he can’t be rationally excluded from the libertarian ranks.
    And yet again, BINGO.

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