Monday night, Texas Representative Randy Weber managed to derail what was until then a very successful round of criticism against the White House. For one of the few times in recent memory, this was a story the mainstream media actually picked up on, and not just as a way to talk about “them crazy conservatives.” President Obama’s failure to attend the unity rally in Paris was a national disgrace, and even the White House had to come out and publicly acknowledge the error. But instead of keeping things sane, Republicans always have to go that one extra step too far.
Tweeting his criticism, Weber said, “Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for the right reasons.”
Come on. Inevitably, this tweet drew attention away from important questions about this president’s commitment to fighting terrorism. Now the focus is on Weber, and the leftwing press has all the ammunition they need to paint all conservatives with the same broad brush. We see this crap happen again and again, and I don’t know why Republicans can’t avoid this trap.
In 2013, Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler said that he would vote for slavery if that’s what his Nevada constituents wanted him to do. In 2012, Missouri Representative Todd Akin made conservatives look like retarded hillbillies when he said that the female body could shut down pregnancy if it came as a result of “legitimate rape.” Arizona Republican leader Russell Pearce said in September of last year that if he was in charge of Medicaid, he would sterilize all female recipients until they could pass a drug test and prove employment. And who can forget Elizabeth Lauten’s ill-advised tweet scorning the president’s children for their behavior at the turkey pardoning ceremony?
This doesn’t need to happen. Any Republican smart enough to hold office (or hold a position of import in the party) is smart enough to know where the boundaries are. Every time one of these fruitcakes gets foot-in-mouth disease, it sets the conservative movement back. We all know what the deal is. The liberal media is relentlessly hunting for their juicy tidbits. That doesn’t mean Republicans have to hand them their story on a silver platter.
There is a divide between talk show hosts and politicians. There’s a line between the Free Republic comment board and Republican party leadership. These people we elect to represent the conservative movement need to be aware of the differences. You can champion the conservative cause without making the world think you’re an idiot. In fact, considering the kinds of policies espoused by the opposition, maintaining dignity should be the easiest thing in the world. The left will hang themselves with their own frayed rope if given the chance.
Unfortunately, too many Republicans jump at any opportunity to save them.