-By Warner Todd Huston
National Review, one of the nation’s preeminent conservative magazines, recently hosted an online reader poll asking whether or not the attempted coup against House Speaker John Boehner was a good idea. A majority of NR’s respondents said it was.
Over the weekend on National Review’s website the reader poll showed that 66 percent of respondents thought the attempted coup against Boehner was a good idea. Only 34 percent didn’t. 14,090 visitors to the site voted.
National Review did excellent work keeping abreast of the attempt to oust Boehner. Most of its coverage was strictly news-like in its treatment of those threatening a coup by having Boehner ousted as Speaker last week and some NR voices were supportive of the Ohioan.
NR reporter Robert Costa followed the drama and did yeomen’s work reporting the ins and outs of the re-election of Boehner to his Speakership. Through his sources, Costa maintained throughout the struggle that Boehner had nothing to worry about.
Just before the Speaker’s re-election, on January 3, Costa appeared on CNBC’s Kudlow show and said, “I’m going to have to throw a little bit of cold water on all this anti-Boehner chatter. Is there discontent within the rank and file of the Republican members in the House? Yes there is. Is that going to be enough to mount a coup, to mount a revolt tomorrow on the House floor, I very much doubt it.”
As a matter of strict reportage, Costa was right, as it turned out. His sources were dead on.
Speaking of Larry Kudlow, he wrote a piece as late as Dec. 27 saying that we shouldn’t blame Boehner over December’s “Plan B” fiasco. Plan B was “the least-bad option,” or at least the best that could be gotten, Kudlow insisted.
On December 7, Kevin D. Williamson maintained that “John Boehner has not been the catastrophe that many fiscal hawks accuse him of being.” Though Williamson did have criticism for the Speaker.
Not all NR voices were as accepting. Columnist John Fund, for instance, did not swallow whole Speaker Boehner’s claim that the early December purge of conservatives from important positions in the House was anything but just that, a purge.
“It’s one thing for House leadership to play roughly, but it’s quite another to claim the moves don’t represent a purge of conservatives when they clearly do,” Fund wrote on Dec. 6.
In any case, it seems that NR’s readers are not happy at all with John Boehner as the face of the GOP in the House of Representatives.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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