Republican brand

The Rick Santorum Show (Splat and Burn)

Plant workers in Cabot, Pennsylvania watch former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum declare his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.  (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

As gifts go, I’ll take a Wire show, but I really won’t complain about the Frothy Clown akwardly probing for his seat in the 2016 GOP Clown Car. Trip Gabriel drew the short straw over at the New York Times:

Rick Santorum, the runner-up in the Republican nomination race four years ago, announced his second presidential bid on Wednesday, pledging to restore a middle class “hollowed out” by government policies.

A former United States senator from rural western Pennsylvania, he appealed primarily to social conservatives four years ago. But he has donned a new mantle of economic populism, one he calls “blue-collar conservatism.”

“Working families don’t need another president tied to big government or big money,” he said, criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton and “big business” for pro-immigration policies he said had undercut American workers.

Mr. Santorum, 57, was the surprise winner of the Iowa caucuses in 2012, thanks to evangelical Christian voters, and he went on to win 10 other states, dragging out Mitt Romney’s quest for the nomination.

Still, he has struggled to catch on this time around. He is in danger of not making the 10-candidate cutoff for the first Republican debate on Aug. 6, which will be determined by standings in national polls.

(more…)

The Conservative Way (Tuckomatic Mix)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 7 - Tucker Carlson, a conservative pundit, at the office of the new website, the Daily Caller, on January 6, 2010, in Washington, DC.  The site, at which Carlson is editor-in-chief, has been branded as a "conservative Huffington Post". (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

All hail FOX News.

Unless your name is Mickey Kaus.

The blogger Mickey Kaus has quit his job at The Daily Caller after the conservative site’s editor-in-chief, Tucker Carlson, pulled a critical column about Fox News from the site, Kaus told the On Media blog on Tuesday.

Mickey Kaus (via KausFiles)“It’s pretty simple,” Kaus said in an interview, “I wrote a piece attacking Fox for not being the opposition on immigration and amnesty — for filling up the airwaves with reports on ISIS and terrorism, and not fulfilling their responsibility of being the opposition on amnesty and immigration…. I posted it at 6:30 in the morning. When I got up, Tucker had taken it down. He said, ‘We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.'”

Carlson, who co-founded The Daily Caller in 2010, is a conservative contributor to Fox News and the host of its weekend edition of “Fox & Friends.”

Kaus says when he told Carlson he needed to be able to write about Fox, Carlson told him it was a hard-and-fast rule, and non-negotiable.

“He said it was a rule, and he wouldn’t be able to change that rule. So I told him I quit,” Kaus explained. “I just don’t see how you can put out a publication with that kind of giant no-go area. It’s not like we’re owned by Joe’s Muffler Shop, so we just can’t write about Joe’s Muffler shop.”

(Byers)

It would not be fair to wonder specifically why Kaus, a self-described neoliberal, would want to work for a conservative propagandist like Carlson, who once used a platform on msnbc to denounce San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome as a Nazi for showing compassion to undocumented immigrants. Yes, really, Carlson called Newsome a Nazi for not going after minorities. But neither can we demand that our public discourse be wholly segregated; in this case, it just didn’t work out, because whatever Kaus’ priorities are, Carlson is focused on marketing the conservative brand.

Then again, who knows what to think of Kaus’ implication that he would be happy to tank coverage of his employer.

Maybe that was his common ground with a shill like Carlson.

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Byers, Dylan. “Mickey Kaus quits Daily Caller after Tucker Carlson pulls critical Fox News column”. Politico. 17 March 2015.