Is Jennifer Rubin a ‘Real Conservative’?

by John R Guardiano on January 22, 2012


Conservative bloggers are attacking Jennifer Rubin for silly, nonsensical reasons.

I like Dan Riehl, but his criticism of Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin has got to be the silliest thing I’ve ever read.

Riehl says that Rubin is a Jenny-Come-Lately faux conservative who, as recently as 2004, was a John Kerry-loving California Dem.

How does Riehl arrive at this amazing conclusion? Simple: he cites an Internet commenter who says that, when he worked with Rubin in California, she gave the “impression” that she was a Democrat.

Jenn “was mildly critical of some of Kerry’s campaign moves during the ’04 campaign, but she wasn’t in the Bush camp,” says the Internet commenter.

Worse yet in Riehls’ eyes, Rubin earned her undergraduate and law degrees from — gasp! — the University of California at Berkeley!

Rubin, Riehl indignantly intones,

has absolutely no business, nor authority, to be lecturing life-long, long-term and genuine Reaganite conservatives about anything — as she tried to do yesterday. Come to think of it  – and now knowing her background — she even sounds a lot like a Kerry-supporting Berkeley liberal Democrat…

Riehl then quotes from a piece in which Jenn criticized conservatives who dissented from last year’s budget deal. “If I were you,” Jenn, Riehl piously declares,

I’d be extremely careful about throwing the word credibility as a conservative around, [because] from a traditional conservative perspective, you really have none, insofar as I can tell.

Why some folks can’t simply call themselves Neo-Republicans (which more accurately describes what they actually are) is sad, frankly. Co-opting the word conservative for self-marketing purposes is misleading and little more than a media-based scam.

Oh, please. This is so silly and so laughable!

Look, I sometimes disagree with Rubin, but the idea that she’s really a liberal Dem and only pretending to be a conservative “for self-marketing purposes” is absolute nonsense.  Riehl and his supposedly smoking gun Internet commenter are taking social politeness as an indication of political ideology or affiliation.

But most of us who grew up in liberal areas, and who attended liberal colleges and universities, have learned to be socially polite, and not to wear our politics on our sleeves. We’ve learned to try and find common ground with our liberal family, friends and colleagues.

This doesn’t make us any less conservative; it simply makes us socially smart and adept.

As for not being in Bush’s camp in 2004, well, I have no doubt that Rubin voted for Bush. The foreign policy stakes in 2004, what with Iraq still in turmoil, were simply too great to be ignored. And Rubin is especially committed to an assertive, Reaganite foreign policy.

Still, Jenn probably wasn’t particularly enamored of Bush, and for obvious reasons: The man was not the most articulate spokesman for conservative ideas. And, when it comes to Jennifer Rubin, neither is Dan Riehl.

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