Saturday, January 16, 2010

Most Influential Conservatives

The most influential US conservatives: 20-1

by Toby Harnden - January 15th, 2010 - Lodon Telegraph is presenting its second list of the 100 most influential conservatives and 100 most influential liberals in America a year after Barack Obama took the oath on the steps of the Capitol to become the 44th President of the United States.

There are links in the article to all five lists that make up the top 100 Conservatives and the five lists that make up the top 100 Liberals. This article linked here is their list of top twenty conservatives. I have added my thoughts on their ranking of the top 9 below.

1. Dick Cheney - "Dick Cheney has emerged as the principal tormentor of Barack Obama in the past year..." -- I am not sure that tormenting Obama is the sole criteria that I would use for conservative influence. However there is little doubt that Obama's socialist movement has been hurt by the consistent attacks of our former VP.

2. Rush Limbaugh - "The king of conservative talk radio – in fact, any talk radio – continues to go from strength to strength." -- I don't listen to Limbaugh myself, though much of what he says I agree with. On issues of social conservatism, I am too much of a Libertarian and too fond of individual liberty to agree with him. Certainly most Democrats and liberal-progressives agree with this assessment by the London Telegraph. They love to hate Limbaugh and therefore want him to be important. Other than Sarah Palin, there is no one who gets as many smears from the left.

3. Matt Drudge - "Establishment journalism types often decry Drudge but many of them are in email contact with him and crave a link that can immediately catapult one of their stories to the top of their newspaper website’s 'most viewed' list." -- More of a Libertarian than a Conservative, there is still no doubt that Drudge is a dominating presence in conservative circles. I read him every day.

4. Sarah Palin - "Rich Lowry of National Review described her as 'an isotope designed to course throughout our politics and culture, lighting up press bias, self-congratulatory liberalism, Christianity-hating secularism, and intellectual condescension wherever they are found'." -- I think Rich got it pretty close. Palin is powerful because she has more character than her detractors. More character by a huge margin. She belongs in the top 5 of anyone's list.

5. Robert Gates - "Firmly in the “realist” school of foreign policy, Gates still considers himself a Republican and his approach and style could well provide the template for presidential candidates in the post-Bush era." -- I certainly hope not. Gates would serve anyone and do anything to be powerful. He was okay with Obama's attacks on the CIA because the CIA did not report to him. Whether it damaged America meant nothing to him as far as I could see. I don't trust him and I cannot imagine how any Conservative who loves America would ever accept his advise again. He belongs in the liberal, if not the traitor, list.

6. Glenn Beck - "His opposition to 'big government' and Obama has seen him adopted by many in the Tea Party movement as their figurehead. There has been talk of a presidential bid, which will do his ratings no harm. 'I consider myself a libertarian. I'm a conservative, but every day that goes by I'm fighting for individual rights,' explained Beck, who has described his show as a 'fusion of enlightenment and entertainment'." -- Beck is probably the number one Libertarian in America today. I would move him higher in this list, certainly above Gates and Cheney. He is not popular with Republican leadership because they are so much in bed with big business, the number one enemy of individual freedom in our nation. Beck is on the side of small business and individual Americans. That will never sit well with the Rockefeller wing of Republicans.

7.Roger Ailes - "Democratic operative James Carville recently said that if Ailes were a Democrat 'I think there would be 67 Democratic senators right now'. There are currently 60." -- With liberals Greta Van Susteren and Shepard Smith, populists Bill O'Reilly and Chris Wallace and extreme left wing Geraldo, who says that Ailes and Fox News are even conservative? Except for Beck, Libertarians don't get much air time on Fox. Is that because Republican leadership doesn't like it? I like Ailes, and he certainly is the only show in town if you are a conservative. Maybe that is why I am annoyed by him. I don't like that there is no reliably conservative news source period. The best we get, Fox, plays it down the middle.

8. David Petraeus - "As commander of the troop surge in Iraq, General Petraeus became one of the most prominent US military officers in recent memory and was closely associated with President George W. Bush. " -- Does that make him conservative? As politically correct as the military is, it is arguable that Petraeus could be a Democrat. I would need to hear a lot more about his political philosophy before I will concede he is conservative. Look how liberal Colin Powell turned out to be. Beware of Petraeus. No one knows if he is conservative.

9. Paul Ryan - "A budget hawk, he is now the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee and is holding the Obama administration’s feet to the fire just as he challenged the Bush administration to return to fiscal conservatism. Undoubtedly a future presidential prospect..." -- What? I have never heard of this guy and the people at the London Telegraph are touting him as the 9th most influential conservative in America and a future President? I would be astonished if he has that much power.

The entire list of 100 is available thru the links at the top of the article. However from this top 9 you can see the list is not credible. Certainly not if the issue is "influence". I asked over a dozen friends, all active in politics in North Carolina or California, and NOT ONE has ever heard of Paul Ryan. These lists are interesting to look at mostly because they tell you what liberals in the press are thinking.

I did find it greatly amusing that Obama's dog Bo was on the list of most influential liberals. I swear he really is on the list!


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