Rue Brittania: UK Ranks America’s Ideologues
As far as British journalism is concerned, there’s much to admire about the Telegraph UK newsgroup. Personally, I have a link to its obituary page on my list of favorites — beautifully written biographies and, for a military history buff like myself, lots of wonderful stories about Britain’s WWII generation.
Less admirable is the paper’s decision to take another run at ranking America’s top-100 liberals and conservatives.
The Telegraph did the same before the 2008 presidential election. Let’s just say, now as then, the view from across the “pond” could benefit from a little lens-cleaning.
For example, back in October 2007 Rudy Giuliani was the number-one conservative; Rush Limbaugh ranked fifth, one spot behind Newt Gingrich. On the left, the top dog was Bill Clinton — he of the triangulating presidency (NAFTA, welfare reform, defense of marriage). Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s controversial campaign guru, ranked third — two ahead of Barack Obama.
The Telegraph just published nos. 81-100 on both sides. Let the second-guessing begin. Jesse Jackson is a mere 97th. I’d argue he has far more clout than no. 84: disgraced former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer (sure, Spitzer may mount a comeback, but an unhappy Jackson could cause Obama headaches in 2012).
On the right, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, hardly a paragon of conservatism, weighs in at no. 93. His challenger for Florida’s hotly contested GOP Senate primary — state lawmaker Marco Rubio — is no. 81. Still other “conservatives” — no. 98 Mike Murphy and no. 85 Bill O’Reilly — probably would rather be known as libertarians.
I think the no. 1 choices on both sides are pretty obvious: Obama and Limbaugh. Care to guess the two top-fives?