Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Sentimental Education

Does anyone out there remember Matt Latimer? He was the White House speechwriter who wrote a memoir called Speech*Less that ruffled feathers when he included some anecdotes that were unflattering to W. William McGurn - Latimer's boss - took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a scathing commentary on Latimer's performance and personality, and that seemed to be that; another turn-coat retailing "dumm Bush" stories for profit.

I hadn't paid much attention to Latimer after that, but if you check out his Amazon page, you will see that he has received favorable blurbing from conservative stalwarts like Ann Coulter, Jed Babbin, and Pat Buchanan. Hmm. Now, Latimer has written a short defense of his book on Powerline, and ... well ... HMMMMM! A Word From Matt Latimer

The Republican elites have their own road map, of course, the same one that detoured us over that cliff a few years back. Their plan goes roughly like this. Vote for Charlie Crist in Florida over conservative Mario Rubio. Unseat the conservative governor in Texas in favor of someone more moderate like Kay Bailey Hutchison. Raise money and campaign for a Congressional candidate in New York State who is more liberal than the Democrat in the race.

Let John "the media is my base" McCain redefine the Republican Party in his image (how many electoral votes did he win again, against a relative novice?). Oh, and turn the other way while Senator Lindsey Graham, who told us he was "Mr. Conservative" to get elected, works on a climate change bill with John Kerry (D-France). We need to do these things, our strategists tell us, in order to win an election. Then once we're back in power, we'll be conservatives again, they promise. Where have we heard that before?


Ever wonder why conservatives on Capitol Hill failed time and again to pass landmark legislation - on Social Security reform, for example - even when we had a Congressional majority? And yet we passed McCain-Feingold in a Republican Congress? In fact as my book recounts, conservatives never really had a majority in the party. A merry band of heroes - the Mitch McConnells, Jon Kyls, Tom Coburns, Jeff Sessionses, Jim DeMints and John Cornyns -- routinely were outnumbered by what the media considers principled Republicans - principled whenever they stood against conservatives. Then there were others who let power and privilege get the best of them - like one U.S. Senator who had staff members carry her purse around Capitol Hill.

You should read the whole thing. If anything, you will realize that Bill McGurn's harsh words about Latimer's skills as a writer were simply false. Latimer is a surprisingly good writer with a solid grasp of the state of play in the modern GOP. Rather than a quisling Scott McLellan, Latimer is a true believer worth listening to.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the second look. Would love to talk more. Matt Latimer (mattnlatimer@gmail.com)