The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Hero vs. Hero Battle You Haven’t Been Waiting For, True Believers!


Perhaps when you write a Morning Jolt late enough, and a weekend is looming, the mind begins to see strange comparisons…

The Conservative Civil War Multi-Issue Crossover Event!

I think a lot of the discussion among conservatives Thursday can be summarized in one Twitter exchange:

Guy Benson: It would be awesome if people on our side would stop angrily questioning each other’s motives.


(John’s kidding.)

This isn’t the Civil War of Conservatism in the context of the Union vs. the Confederacy. No, that conflict looks simple and clear in its divisions: North vs. South, slave-holding and non-slave-holding, secessionist vs. unionist, etc.

No, this is messy, with lots of longtime allies and friends surprised to find themselves in opposition. This is the conservative version of the Marvel Civil War, a comic book storyline in which all of the publisher’s most prominent heroes took sides on the institution of a “Super Hero Registration Act,” in which any person in the United States with superhuman abilities register with the federal government as a “human weapon of mass destruction,” reveal their true identity to the authorities, and undergo proper training. Those who sign also have the option of working for a government agency, earning a salary and benefits such as those earned by other American civil servants. 

(Perhaps young powered Americans have been listening to Derb’s “get a government job” lectures!)

Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four supported the act; Captain America and Daredevil opposed, and the storyline tossed away the familiar story of heroes fighting villains to the surprising, unpredictable, and incongruous sight of popular, noble heroes fighting other popular, noble heroes, each convinced that their view is the right one and the best way to protect their values.

Not as outlandish a metaphor as it seemed two paragraphs ago, huh?

Now we have Rush Limbaugh vs. Thomas Sowell!…

…In the next issue, we have Sean Hannity vs. Ann Coulter! Mediaite gives a rundown: “It’s a rare episode of Hannity that includes a segment where the show’s host exclaims “you are dead wrong!” indignantly at Ann Coulter. This is one of those gems. Sean Hannity could not understand the argument that Republicans were in jeopardy should Cut, Cap, and Balance pass the House but not the Senate, and Coulter attempted to explain that the spin would be unfavorable to them… This came after an extensive talk on the perception of the debt debate from the average American’s perspective who wasn’t following the whole debate. “Republicans will be blamed,” she argued, even though they were playing “a game of chicken with the Democrats offering nothing.” As “Cut, Cap and Balance” is expected to fail, Coulter argued, “that will fit into the counterfactual narrative of Tea Partiers refusing to compromise.” Hannity didn’t buy this line of thinking at all. “Why don’t they pass Cut, Cap and Balance, cross their hands, and say ‘your move’?” Coulter replied that the problem was that the casual observer would know only that a Republican bill failed– “some stories are big enough,” she argued, using as an example that she had no power over the fact that she was aware of the existence of Snooki. Should Cut, Cap, and Balance fail in the House, too– especially if the Tea Party representatives are the deciding vote, she concluded, “the narrative is going to be ‘These crazy Tea Party Republicans shut down the government.”

But wait, this special double-issue of Hannity features an explosive showdown of Pat Caddell vs. Hugh Hewitt! The Right Scoop has the video, summarizing, “Okay, it wasn’t like a pop in the jaw, but in a contentious debate Caddell gets so frustrated at Hewitt interrupting him that in the heat of the moment he strikes him on the arm which kinda surprised Hugh.”

To be continued in the next spine-tingling issue!

Tags: Conservatism , Debt Ceiling , Republicans , Rush Limbaugh


Subscribe to National Review