Erick Erickson writes a blog called Red State that generally advances the most conservative position on any issue and spends a great deal of time vilifying the Republican leadership. But in criticizing former governor Jon Huntsman Erickson seems to have gone, quite frankly, bonkers.
He professes not to be opposed to Huntsman for a long list of conservative heresies. Nevertheless, he painstakingly lists many of these supposed offenses. (“No, it is not his terrible record. It is not his lefty record on the environment. Nor is it Huntsman’s willingness to stand against 70% of Utah’s voters as Governor and come out for civil unions without anyone asking him. . . .And no, it is not because Jon Huntsman’s Presidential bid is largely a creation and fixation of the media and backed by key John McCain advisers. . . . And you know what? It’s not even that Jon Huntsman chose to go to China as Barack Obama’s Ambassador that I will not support him.)
What’s got Erickson’s goat?
The reason I will never, ever support Jon Huntman [sic] is simple: While serving as the United States Ambassador to China, our greatest strategic adversary, Jon Huntsman began plotting to run against the President of the United States. This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition.
What in the world is he talking about? Erickson offers no evidence that Huntsman neglected his duties. He offers no evidence that Huntsman broke any campaign law or any other statute. He does not say that Huntsman talked behind President Obama’s back. So what is he saying?
It seems the new standard for loyalty to one’s country is that one can’t think about one’s own political career while serving in another administration (“you don’t sit around contemplating running against the very same President you serve”). This is bizarre, to put it mildly.
And by the way, the president sure doesn’t feel betrayed. He and his advisers are spending time tweaking the former ambassador by praising him to the hilt (in the same way they make Mitt Romney squirm by praising RomneyCare). So it’s just Erickson — on Obama’s behalf, mind you — who’s offended, outraged, he tells us.
I frankly wouldn’t bother with such unhinged stuff if it were not for the accusation that Huntsman was disloyal to America. This is outlandish and entirely beyond the pale. Really, is this the best Red State can do as a matter of critical analysis?
Huntsman may have many flaws. If his record from a conservative perspective has some clunkers, as Tim Pawlenty would put it, that will certainly come out in a campaign. He’s certainly going to have to explain his decision to serve in an administration that was not only of another party, but that also conducted an obsequious policy toward the totalitarian state in which Huntsman represented America. But disloyal? No.
This is one of those instances in which the antagonist does more to discredit himself that the subject of his attack. Perhaps it’s been a slow month at Red State, but this is not a respectable way to gin up the Web traffic.