Paul Gigot and the Far Right

Steve Benen‘s write-up on the Karl Rove resignation notes that, “Rove gave the big scoop to Paul Gigot, the far-right editorial page editor of the WSJ.”

Paul Gigot = Far Right?

Conservative pundits really don’t get much more Establishment than Gigot. He was Mark Shield’s amiable sparring partner on PBS’ NewsHour and his columns are mostly from the viewpoint of the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party. He’s consistently alienated many Movement Conservatives on a wide range of issues, most recently immigration reform.

Frankly, if Paul Gigot is “the Far Right,” so is forty percent of the country.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Andy says:

    It would be indeed be slightly more correct if it read, “the editor of the far-right editorial page of the WSJ.”

    But Gigot is certainly not in sync with 40% of the American public. Not on Iraq, Social Security, etc.

  2. James Joyner says:

    It would be indeed be slightly more correct if it read, “the editor of the far-right editorial page of the WSJ.”

    I don’t think the WSJ editorial page would qualify as “far right” by any meaningful definition. Pat Buchanan, James Dobson, and others qualify. But WSJ is pretty mainstream.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    Its all relative. If you grant the proposition that Kos is the center, then Gigot must by definition be the far right.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Everyone is the center of his or her own universe so it shouldn’t be too surprising that so many people self-identify as moderates or centrists. It isn’t until you’re able to measure your position against some reasonable external standard that you can determine where you actually fit in the political spectrum.

    yaj has it right: where you sit depends on where you stand.

  5. Grewgills says:

    Left, right and center are of course all relative. Where I live now I am a cetrist, perhaps even a little to the Right. If I moved to Alabama I would be considered far Left. In the context of American politics Right and Left are largely defined by movement conservative and movement liberal positions. Universal health care is considered a liberal position even though it has about 60-30 support. The pro-choice position is considered liberal even though enjoys similar levels of support.
    Being far left or right should indicate holding to many of the positions including positions that are generally unpopular.

    Its all relative. If you grant the proposition that Kos is the center, then Gigot must by definition be the far right.

    Gigot is at least as far right as Kos is to the Left.

    Lay it down issue by issue and I think you will find that Kos has more mainstream views on many issues than does Gigot. Certainly on Iraq, Social Security, and Universal Healthcare Kos is closer to the mainstream, if you believe that polls reflect peoples opinions.

  6. Eneils Bailey says:


    Kos is the center….

    Here’s an eye poke, a gut punch, and a head-slap….

  7. carpeicthus says:

    Gigot is a very specific sort of ideologue — he’s part of the corporate right, which is different from the grass-roots right (look at immigration stances). To some, only the grass-roots right could look “far right” because they do things that are sillier. But Gigot is as far into his ideological corner as a human being could be without assimilating into a hive mind of money and “bourgeois riots.”

  8. yetanotherjohn says:

    Kos declared himself the center. He is not. Are there people further to the left of him? yes. Is the vast voting majority to the right of him? Yes.

    One point to remember is look at the last 40 years of presidential elections, the democrats got a majority of the popular vote 1 out of 10 elections (50.08% for Carter in 1976). 9 out of 10 presidential elections, a majority wanted someone other than the democrat. 5 out of the 10 elections, a majority of the popular vote went to the republicans. The republicans average 5%+ higher than the democrats.

    So in finding the center, the presidential election votes say that the democrats aren’t it. The republicans aren’t either, but they are closer as they at least half the time including the elusive center in their vote.

  9. Andy says:

    Kos is with the majority of Americans on far more issues than Gigot ever has been. In some cases, by a margin of 40-50%. Kos is obviously left, but not as far left as Gigot is right.

    As a big city elitist, Gigot’s not very conservative on social issues, but on issues of economics and government Gigot is far to the right of the mainstream. Gigot supports changes to Medicare and Social Security that are opposed by 70+% of Americans.

  10. 50% + 1 is going to be the death of us.

  11. Andy says:

    50% + 1 was Karl Rove’s motto.