By criticizing a fellow Republican, of course. We see this all the time, and I experienced it this week. I commented on Governor Tim Pawlenty’s CPAC speech here, and said that his nine-iron joke was “a weirdly inappropriate analogy on several levels.” I’ve said many good things about Pawlenty, whom I like and admire, but this is the first time other media outlets have taken an interest in my view of the Governor.
First, the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted my reaction as part of a blog post on Pawlenty’s speech titled “Bad news for Pawlenty, Power Line didn’t like his CPAC speech.” Next, a local television station, the NBC affiliate, picked up on the theme:
While the comment drew cheers and applause from the audience, it also received a lot of criticism. A Pawlenty Facebook fan called the comment “stupid” and one blogger from the conservative blog Power Line felt the analogy was “weirdly inappropriate.”
Finally, the editorialists at the Grand Forks Herald quoted the same post in an editorial titled “Far-right rhetoric repels key voters”:
Even the sainted Ronald Reagan “talked like a conservative but governed like a moderate,” as John Hinderaker of powerlineblog.com noted the other day.
The Herald omitted the other half of my sentence, which praised Pawlenty because he talks like a moderate but governs as a conservative, and thereby missed the point entirely.
What is odd about this is that I’m a fan of Governor Pawlenty. I know him and like him, although it would be presumptuous to call him a friend, and he is currently my first choice for President in 2012. Nevertheless, a word of criticism, however mild, is evidently newsworthy. I’m still waiting for these same media outlets to treat my views of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Barack Obama as breaking news.