Leonard Pitts, Jr., explores the deep hypocrisy of “thoughtful conservatives.”
Worse, for all the disdain with which they regarded them, “thoughtful” conservatives were never above trying to co-opt the energy the rowdies brought to the table. There was no conspiracy theory too bizarre, no rhetoric too hateful, no tax pledge too restrictive, no Alaskan governor too loony, no reality show host too coarse, mendacious or incompetent, that they could not make common cause in pursuit of power.
Which offers an interesting context to news that House Speaker Paul Ryan was pointedly snubbed last week by a group of eighth-graders. Students from South Orange Middle School in New Jersey were on a field trip to Washington, D.C., when they were offered a chance to take a picture with Ryan, often posited as the most thoughtful of thoughtful conservatives.
Dozens of them declined. The reason, as student Matthew Malespina explained to The Washington Post: Ryan is a man “who puts his party before his country.”
Some observes have huffed that, had this happened to Barack Obama, it would have been called “racist.” Which is laughable, given that Obama spent eight years being snubbed in ways great and small, usually for reasons far less substantive than the one Malespina gave.
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Extra Credit Discussion Question:
Is “thoughtful conservative” an oxymoron? Defend your position.