The British Telegraph has utterly discredited itself by posting a list of “the 100 most influential US conservatives”. On that list of purported conservatives, they posted liberal Republicans such as Bob Gates (ranked 5th), George Bush (ranked 12th), John McLame (ranked 16th), David Brooks (ranked 25th), and David Frum (ranked 33rd).
Not only did they label these liberals as “conservatives”, they also lied in their biograms. For example:
“Aides protested that history would vindicate him [Bush] and already there are signs that this is happening. The Iraq “surge” of 2007 unquestionably won the war and has helped establish a viable democratic state in the heart of the Middle East.”
Gibberish. The surge unquestionably FAILED, and Iraq is not a viable democratic state, nor a viable state of any kind. Kurdistan is a de facto independent state with its own government, flag, currency, and anthem. Terrorist attacks and civilian casualties are back to pre-surge levels. Iraq is so decrepit that Robert Gates flew there last year to try to convince the Kurds, the Sunni Arabs, and the Shia Arabs to maintain a coherent Iraqi stated. He failed, because his mission was “Mission Impossible.”
Nor is Iraq a democracy – unless a country that has legalized spousal rape and female genital mutiliation counts as a democracy. The truth is that Bush’s Iraqi policy FAILED. As a historian, I can tell you that historiography will NOT judge Bush favorably.
“the former Vietnam prisoner of war came through with his honour substantially intact, not least because he declined to go strongly negative against Obama and raise issues like his relationship wth the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.”
Gibberish. His decision not to go strongly negative against Obama and not to expose Obama as a follower of Jeremiah Wright was one of his worst mistakes. He should’ve told the American people that 1) Obama is a vile man; 2) Wright hates the US and called on God to damnate America; 3) the fact that Wright had been Obama’s pastor for 20 years, by itself, disqualifies Obama from the Presidency.
“Plenty of fellow moderate Republicans have privately and publicly questioned the wisdom of picking Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential candidate, but in the end it was perhaps no more than a gamble that didn’t pay off.”
Gibberish. Palin has made her share of mistakes, but she was an asset. As Steve Schmidt admitted, without Palin, McCain would’ve been defeated by an even larger margin than he actually was.
“His objections to Obama’s July 2011 to start bringing home troops from Afghanistan had a credibility rooted in his long foreign policy experience and advocacy of the successful surge in Iraq.”
Gibberish. Obama did announce a date for a drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan (as he should have), but not a date of withdrawal. McCain’s policy of opposing this date for drawdown is not credible, and McCain himself is not a credible foreign policy wonk. McCain knows NOTHING about foreign policy. He has learned nothing during the 22 years he spent as a sailor, and nothing during his 27-year-tenure as a member of the Congress. And the Iraqi surge – as I wrote above – failed. No intelligent person would credit McLame.
Toby Harnden (who wrote the list) couldn’t even write accurate biograms of genuine conservatives. For example, here’s what Harnden wrote about Ed Feulner (the President of the Heritage Foundation): “Founded by Feulner, Heritage has grown in Washington from a nine-member staff working out of a rented office on Capitol Hill in 1977 to a 242-person organisation occupying two huge office buildings close to the US Capitol.” That’s true – except that the HF was established by Paul Weyrich, not by Ed Feulner.