There were a couple of serious contenders for the award this week (for example, the House Republicans' faux show of bipartisanship with President Obama before abandoning bipartisanship, and the American people, when all of them voted against the Economic Stimulus plan), but there was one clear "winner" this week -
Congressman Phil Gingrey of Georgia.
Gingrey is one of the most conservative members of Congress, usually ranking among the ten most conservative. Normally, he's among the group of Republicans that is most in the pockets of the "culture warrior" type of conservative bullies, those more interested in fanning the flames of ideological conflict and polarization, furthering an agenda that doesn't include constituents or people.
Earlier this week though, even the normally faithful Gingrey had had enough, He called out some of the limo-riding, microphone-wielding talk show ranters and ravers that pass as conservative intellectuals these days.
From Politico on January 27 -
Responding to President Obama’s recommendation to Republican congressional leaders last week that they not follow Limbaugh’s lead, the conservative talkmeister said on his show that Obama is “obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He's more frightened of me, than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn't say much about our party."
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., did not take kindly to this assessment in an interview with Politico Tuesday.
“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,” Gingrey said. “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell."
Have no doubt - Gingrey was and is still *very* conservative. His positions haven't changed one iota, probably since Fred Flintstone lived in Bedrock. :)
However conservative he remains though, he did one of the things that even a dyed-in-the-wool liberal like has to respect anyone for - he stood up to the unrepentant bullies that are dividing the country.
While most, if not all, of his political positions were and are wrong, his stand actually generated a spark of hope that perhaps we can start having an honest public dialogue on issues in this country.
Of course, as is the norm for such intraparty dustups, not too long after his statement, Gingrey backed off of his criticisms.
In and of itself, that fact wouldn't warrant a Crappie Award.
However, the fact that his "backing off" was of a spectacularly groveling nature does.
Gingrey actually called in to Limbaugh's radio show to verbally genuflect and make amends for his temporary apostasy.
From Politico on January 28 -
“Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination,” Gingrey said.
He was so cravenly obsequious that *I* was embarrassed for him, and partisan hack that I am, I normally *revel* in any Republican's embarrassment.
And so for his incredibly