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George Will on Fred Thompson, Tulips and the Republican Rorschach

MSNBC commentary:

Some say he is the Republicans' Rorschach test: They all see in him what they crave. Or he might be the Republicans' dot-com bubble, the result of restless political investors seeking value that the untutored eye might not discern and that might be difficult to quantify but which the investors are sure must be there, somewhere, somehow.

One does not want to be unfair to Thompson, who may have hidden depths. But ask yourself this: If he did not look like a basset hound who had just read a sad story--say, "Old Yeller"--and if he did not talk like central casting's idea of the god Sincerity, would anyone think he ought to be entrusted with the nation's nuclear arsenal? He is an actor, and, as a Hollywood axiom says, the key to acting is sincerity--if you can fake that, you've got it made.

Glad to see that the well-known punditry is beginning to view Fred the same way I've viewed him all along.

Andrew Sullivan has a triple-play on him today: Here on the abortion issue, here on the shady character he does radio spots for, and finally here, where he comments on the George Will article. He closes by saying:

I have yet to see an iota of evidence that Thompson's candidacy is any more than a manifestation of complete Republican panic and bankruptcy.

That's a little harsh, but he's spent the last three years nailing the Republican party on their betrayal of traditional conservatism. I'd say that Thompson is wish fulfillment. All the Republicans who have been angered by the parcity of quality candidates have taken the pabulum his campaign has delivered and turned it into the tastiness of their dreams. But sooner or later, he'll have to either actually run for office or give up the tease. No matter how much he'd like it, he cannot be nominated and elected on the basis of internet clips and blog entries.

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Comments (2)

Lee Ward:

From the LA Times article reporting on the "shady character" radio ads:

In Thompson's commercials, the deep-voiced actor recounts a tale of military heroism in Iraq, then introduces himself and says LifeLock's service can stop identity theft and is offered free to deployed members of the military.

"While our heroes are protecting us, we have a duty to protect them," Thompson says in his familiar, folksy cadence.

Patriotism for a price - Thompson is just an actor, and one who looks Americans in the eye and says whatever he's been told to say - paid to say.


Thompson was formerly the sleazebag minority counsel for the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee. He did his damndest to obfuscate and worked mightily to enable Nixon to escape from his crimes.

Thompson proved long ago that he and his Republicans have no principles when it comes to the Constitution.

Republicans would love this follow-on to the presidency after Bush, who has essentially demolished the Constitution, because it is a document which has always gotten in the way of the kind of government they want.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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