Hello, I must be growing

A few readers didn’t get what I was trying to say yesterday when I stated that Vice President Cheney hadn’t “grown in office,” and that, if promoted to Chief Justice, neither would Justice Scalia. For those who have been fortunate enough not to have heard the expression “grow in office” applied to conservatives, let me explain that it is the worst thing a conservative can do. When a conservative is deemed by the mainstream media to have grown in office, it means that he or she is no longer acting like a conservative, at least not consistently. Thus, Justice O’Connor has grown in office. Justice Thomas (who actually stated that he didn’t intend to “grow”) has not. In my view, the media uses the “growth” accolade partly to encourage judges and politicians who exist in the Washington, D.C. bubble to moderate their views. I’ve certainly never heard it said that a liberal who moderated his or her views has grown. Thus, to say that Vice President Cheney hasn’t “grown,” and that Justice Scalia won’t, is my way of applauding their steadfastness.
A final point. One man who clearly has grown in office in the true sense is President Bush. Yet we rarely hear the MSM apply this phrase to him.

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