Rubin Version 1.0 returns
As a writer for Commentary Magazine and its Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin consistently defended Sarah Palin against the left's attacks. When the news broke that she had been hired by the left wing Washington Post to write about the right, many conservative bloggers and pundits hailed the hiring as a sea change. Finally, they trumpeted, WaPo had obtained the services of a real conservative to write about real Republicanism and conservatism. And hey, after the Weigel fiasco, any conservative would be an improvement.
We didn't hail that particular bandwagon and ask for a ride, preferring instead to reserve judgment until after we had a chance to read Rubin's Post postings for ourselves. Our skepticism was rooted in recent memory. The 2008 Republican primary race was not so long ago, and we recall that she was a big backer then of Rudy Giuliani, the most socially liberal of all the GOP candidates. We also recall that Rubin was especially critical of Fred Thompson, the only across-the-board Reagan conservative in the Republican presidential primaries.
After reading what she has written in her first five columns for WaPo, we see that Jennifer Rubin has downgraded to version One-Point-Oh. She's conservative on three legs of the four-legged conservative stool, but hold the social conservatism from her order, please. It didn't take Rubin long to start running down Sarah Palin now that the commentator is of the Post. In just her fifth WaPo column, she starts to pick on Palin.
According to Rubin, or at least the WaPo version of Rubin, the notion that Sarah Palin is the front runner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination is just a liberal conspiracy because, you see, they want her to be the nominee, as she simply has no chance whatsoever of winning the general election, even against such a failed president as Barack Obama. Rubin hits all of the talking points from the elites of the left and the right - Sarah Palin has limited appeal among independents; golly, she sure did back some questionable candidates for the Senate, especially that awful Christine O'Donnell; her political judgment during a general election might be just too risky; most elected Republicans don't think Palin is a front runner, etc.
That last one is a real gem. Has Rubin asked "most" elected GOP officials or conducted a survey? We don't think so. Oh well, "when in Rome..." or perhaps better said, "while at the Post..." Are we accusing Jennifer Rubin of changing her own narrative to try to get the "progressives" who account for most of its readership to read her column? Not substantially, no. Only just a little. Actually, for Jennifer Rubin its more a case of her reverting to type rather than making a compromise. She's a Rudy Guiliani conservative again. Apparently that's not too conservative for either the people who buy and read the Washington Post or those who run it. And since being negative on Sarah Palin is part of the Post's program, it's good for Rubin that she has no problem with that. It didn't seem to bother her to go negative on Fred Thompson three years ago, so this Palin-marginalizing should be a piece of cake.