Oh, dear, it looks like our pals in Wingnut America are going all internecine on each other once more. See if you can decide which group of loathsome fucktoads to root for in this one! (The answer is, of course, “None of them, Katie.”) The Daily Caller reports that a group of prominent conservatives — it’s a Who’s Who of wingnuttia — has called for Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads to fire spokesman Jonathan Collegio because Collegio publicly called L. Brent Bozell a “hater.” That’s a whole bunch of people we would never want to be stuck in an elevator with. The only one we weren’t already familiar with was Collegio, so we’ll hold off on loathing him until we find out more, as if working for Rove weren’t enough already. Go get some popcorn and we’ll try to give you the play-by-play on this circular firing squad.
First off, the contexty stuff: American Crossroads is pissing off a bunch of tea party types with its “Conservative Victory Project,” which will try to help “mainstream” (far-right crazies who are electable) Republicans in primary fights against “grassroots” (far-right bugfuck crazies who are unelectable) Republicans like Todd Akin, who Rove “publicly disavowed,” as in fantasizing about how nice it would be if Akin died. So earlier this week, Collegio went on a conservative talk radio show where he called Bozell, the head of the insane, screamy Media Research Center, a “hater” for slagging on any number of GOP leaders, and accusing Bozell of having “weird personal axes to grind.” That’s what prompted the letter, which was sent within a few hours to American Crossroads, and demanded Collegio’s immediate termination (and possibly ritual disembowelment), warning that “An apology is not acceptable.”
And what a strong case the letter makes! To start with, did you know that, in addition to being a ranty red-bearded weirdo, Mr. Bozell is also above criticism because he comes from good people:
Mr. Bozell is what we call in our movement a “legacy.” He has devoted his life to the cause of American conservatism as did his father, Brent Bozell II, who wrote “Conscience of a Conservative” for Barry Goldwater.
Maybe you’ve heard of Brent’s uncle, Bill Buckley, whose words you misquote and twist as the basis for your organization enough to falsely suggest you know something about him.
You may have heard of his other uncle, Jim Buckley, a former U.S. Senator, or Brent’s mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell — both important figures and writers in our conservative movement.
This is one of those shining moments when it becomes clear that, for all their talk about individual achievement and self-made Makers, many wingers have a serious boner for the licking the bootstraps of an inherited aristocracy. Brent Bozell had some famous uncles and a famous dad, so Collegio pretty much needs to be executed for his act of Lèse-majesté. The letter is signed by such shining lights of reason as Tony Perkins, Mark Levin, Richard Viguerie, Phyllis Schlafly (who hired her gay son John to run a sad, small branch of her anti-gay Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund), Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty (daughter of Traditional Values Coalition founder Lou Sheldon) and another achiever who never relied on family connections, Ginni Thomas. Why, this list is missing only his eminence Jonah Goldberg!
As far as defending Bozell for his own efforts on the behalf of the conservative movement, the letter says… um… well, it says that Collegio was really mean and unfair to call Bozell a “hater,” because that’s using “the divisive language of the Left” instead of “engaging in an intellectual debate.”
Media Matters has catalogued a few examples of Mr. Bozell’s intellectual, non-hatey debating points on behalf of conservatism. For instance, he said that Barack Obama looks like “a skinny, ghetto crackhead” (but that’s OK, because he was provoked by Chris Matthews saying mean things about Newt Gingrich). He’s also accused Hollywood of “thrusting garbage down the throats of children” by portraying gay people as actual human beings, said that Whoopie Goldberg reminded him that “muzzles, dog muzzles, for people’s mouths, sometimes are a very good thing,” and compared former President Jimmy Carter to a “college freshman who spouts neo-Marxist pablum after one too many hits on the bong.”*
Even the Daily Caller gets into the piling-on, describing Bozell in its lede as “the relatively undistinguished scion of a prominent political family.”
This really is a lot like one of those sections in Halo where you can just sit back and watch the Flood and the Covenant tear each other up for a while. Enjoy your popcorn.
*(That last one is kind of OK with us, because while we don’t think it applies to Jimmy Carter, we totally knew one of those more-radical-than thou guys in grad skool, and he was a total buzzkill. After he derailed a women’s studies class with a 20 minute rant accusing the instructor — a perfectly fine lefty feminist — of complicity with murder because she hadn’t sufficiently condemned Nestle for selling infant formula in the Third World, we all brought Crunch bars to the next class.)