Well, the London Daily Telegraph finally reached the top 20 most influential conservatives in the United States and the number one is absolutely disturbing.
According to the Daily Telegraph http://telegraph.co.uk, the numero uno, the big cheese is. . .former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
As noted in earlier postings on this week-long series in the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper if it is reflective of what the British think are conservatives, they are really on something and it is not good.
Mr. Giuliani has at various times admitted that he is a Republican in name only and not very conservative. Mr. Giuliani's whole reason for running for the Republican nomination for president is 9/11, period. If Mr. Giuliani were running just on his record as mayor of New York City, minus the terrorist attack of 9/11, his poll numbers would be slightly higher than Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo, and that is in the single digits.
Mr. Giuliani has taken pains to say that he would appoint "strict constructionists" to the federal courts, especially the supreme court. That is to placate social conservative Republicans that want to ban abortions or at the very least overturn Roe vs. Wade. Mr. Giuliani still says that he is "pro choice" on abortion. Mr. Giuliani has not changed his views on same-sex marriage, he is for them. And Mr. Giuliani has not exactly been clear on his economic policies. On the most pressing issue after the War Against Islamofacsist Terror, where he is excellent, illegal immigration, Mr. Giuliani is all over the place. No real position.
So, how does the Daily Telegraph figure that Mr. Giuliani is the most influential "conservative" in the United States? Because he is the Republican presidential front runner and supposedly can beat Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-NY) is a head to head match up.
But, enough of an outrage over the alleged number one influential conservative in the United States.
Much of the rest of the top 20 is more about placement rather than outrage.
General David Petreaus, the head of the coalition forces in the Iraq theatre in the War Against Islamofacsist Terror comes in at a surprising second place. The Daily Telegraph sees Gen. Petreaus as a possible presidential candidate. Now, that is interesting.
Matt Drudge http://drudgereport.com is in as the third most influential conservative in the United States. It is really too bad that Mr. Drudge retired from his radio program earlier this year. While Mr. Drudge has real serious critics on the left, the Drudge Report is, more than anything, a clearinghouse of news, sports, features from Dinosaur, Drive-By, Mainstream Media publications as well as websites on both the left and the right.
Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, comes in at number four. I think a bit high but a real top-20 conservative.
The Maharushie, Rush Limbaugh http://rushlimbaugh.com, comes in the fifth spot. Clearly, even after 20 years as a national radio talk show host, Mr. Limbaugh is the most influential conservative in the United States, hands down. No host can claim credit, when there was no serious conservative talk radio or the Internet or other alternative conservative media, for bringing the Republicans control of congress in 1994. It is because of Mr. Limbaugh that there is conservative talk radio, the Fox News Channel, conservative bloggers, and other conservative, alternative media. How he did not get to be number one is amazing.
And I am thrilled radio talker Laura Ingraham http://lauraingraham.com is the fifteenth most influential conservative in the United States. I just finished her latest tome, "Power To The People" and it is one that really hit home. Not just the personal battles she has faced, but her common sense approach to solving problems and a positive outlook. It is something that should, but has been used by most Republicans in recent years. Please, if you have not gotten "Power To The People", get it now.
Vice-President Richard Cheney is in at sixth most influential conservative. The shocker is that Vice-President Cheney is ahead of President Bush, who came in at 21. BTW, the Daily Telegraph explains why that turned out the way it did.
This whole series is very interesting and rather strange as the British have a very interesting perspective on what is a conservative in the United States. A lot of the top 100 should not have been there in the first place. Being totally wrong on the most influential and because of some of the people that did make the cut, really influential conservatives were left off the list.
This is prompting me to think long and hard who are the 100 most influential conservatives in the United States. I think you know who I think is number one, but maybe you think it should be someone different. Any suggestions?