Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hugh Hewitt

I respect Hugh Hewitt. He is intelligent and good natured and he's not a screamer like Michael Savage. I like how he tries to get liberals on his show. I put all this up front because I am about to get negative.

I first realized there was something wrong with the Hugh Hewitt Show during the California recall election. He spent show after show calling for Tom McClintock to drop out of the race, at one point literally shouting, "Get out! Now!" Hewitt wanted McClintock out because he feared the Republican vote might split and the Democrat would win. There was very little discussion of what Arnold Schwarzenegger actually stood for or whether he would be a good governor. Writers such as George Neumayr revealed that Arnold had radical environmentalists advising him; nothing like this was touched on Hewitt's show. It became obvious that the Hugh Hewitt Show is dedicated not to the advance of truth, but merely to the advance of the Republican Party. There is a difference.

Hugh Hewitt thinks too much like a political operative. I once heard him berate a caller -- a caller! -- for going off message. The caller was a Republican who was unhappy with Bush over something. Hewitt cut him off, saying something like, "This your chance to talk to millions and you waste your precious seconds going after Bush?"

Now, Hewitt does take the occasional (mild) shot at Bush, but it's just something he can point to when he gets criticism such as this. The other 99% of the time he toes the party line, and all too often that means spin.

Hewitt's political mindset embarrassed him in the Miers nomination debacle. He immediately endorsed Miers, calling her a B+ nominee before he knew anything about her except that she was the woman Bush chose. Conservatives who were able to think in principle rather than just as political partisans saw that Miers was hopelessly unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court. With each revelation of the mediocrity of the nominee's mind, Hewitt was more embarrassed, but he remained Bush's loyal soldier all the way.

At this point I suspect everything Hugh Hewitt says. If he opened his show with, "It's raining outside," I would wonder how a weather report helps the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is a party in crisis. It now controls all branches of government, and yet the liberal welfare state continues to thrive. Government grows. Spending skyrockets. The war is fought neither hard enough nor well enough. America continues to appease deadly enemies such as Iran. Republicans succeed at getting elected, but fail at governing with principles. Partisans like Hugh Hewitt need to reorder their priorities; getting Republicans elected is not as important as advancing freedom and individual rights.