Jeffrey Lord, who has intellectual integrity about equivalent to Bill Clinton’s, has become a purveyor of smear jobs utterly divorced from facts, logic, and decency. After an exchange of about a dozen emails back and forth in which he refused to acknowledge simple facts — not opinions, facts — the time has come to show him up for his growing and despicable hackery.
One of Lord’s obsessions these days seems to be the idea that Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, and formerly of this publication, is “in the tank” for Mitt Romney (oh, really? How about this, Jeff?) and that she has written almost nothing in favor of any real conservative. I noted to him that she has written literally several dozen pieces that are absolutely glowing about Rick Santorum, whom Jeff does indeed accept as a real conservative. Despite easy Google access to the evidence, Jeff continued to refuse to acknowledge this fact, and refused to retract the smears against Rubin (which included smears against Elliott Abrams and others).
So, to set the record straight, here are a number of posts Rubin has written that are favorable to Santorum, or on balance critical of Romney, or more favorable of Santorum than of Romney. Here (way back in August) and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here (“Romney’s lack of connection to voters is precisely the opening Santorum can use to wedge himself in between Romney and a conservative base that has not yet embraced Romney wholeheartedly”) and here and here and here and …. oh gosh, I’m tired, but I could go on and on after these 21 I’ve already cited.
Why does this matter? Because there’s a sick trend out there, which is to try to read between the lines of a writer’s posts and ascribe motives to them that are different from what they actually write — in other words, to accuse them of deliberate deception, based on nothing other than some extensions of logic (as in: hmmm… if somebody is AGAINST Gingrich, AND it is accepted wisdom that this is a two-man race between Romney and Gingrich, AND if the conventional wisdom is right to the effect that Santorum has no chance and that a late entry has no chance, THEN, ergo, anybody who criticizes Gingrich, even if praising Santorum, must secretly be trying to help Romney).
Readers of these columns and blog posts repeatedly accuse me, for instance, of being in the tank for Romney even though they can find not one shred of evidence that I have written in praise of Romney’s substance in the past four years, and even though I have written several full columns and numerous blog posts harshly critical of Romney.
In short, everybody’s integrity is made suspect even without a shred of evidence that there is a reason for suspicion. Jeff did this to Rubin, for instance, through his long, rambling, connect-the-invisible-dots attempt to smear Rubin’s integrity by means of some imagined guilt-by-association-by-association-by-association link to Elliott Abrams’ wife.
Here’s a suggestion: Let’s discard the idiotic labels (Establishment Romneyite; RINO; Right-Wing-nutso; Neocon), and instead just focus on the substance of people’s records, proposals, and, yes, demonstrable public character. And let’s stop asserting that everbody who opposes one’s own candidate is therefore automatically excluded from the conservative club.