Quote of the Day – Conservative Icons Edition

At some point they are going to realize that making random crazy people the face of “teh movement” is a bad idea.John Cole

He’s referring to yesterday’s firing of Carrie Prejean as Miss California USA, not for her controversial political statements or for embarrassing nude photos that are all over the Internet, but because she was a prima donna who frequently blew off appearances without notice and was insubordinate and incredibly arrogant towards her superiors.  (Also, she’s a horrible speller. That was not cited in the dismissal notice, however.)  He also cites, in passing, Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher.

UPDATE: Charles Austin in the comments below and Kevin Holtsberry via Twitter correctly point out that “face of ‘teh movement'” is overstating Prejean’s prominence.  While I do seem to recall a blogger or two touting her for public office, most of what we got was a defense of her comments as “patriotic” and “you go girl” type exhortations in the face of some pretty over-the-top treatment from those on the left.

Still, I wish conservatives would be more careful about the figures they embrace and quicker to distance themselves from unseemly conduct on their part once more is revealed.

FILED UNDER: General, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    It’s an inevitable feature of setting yourself apart as an anti-elite movement.

  2. JKB says:

    Quick who is the Miss USA for 2009, 2008, 2007? No fair googling. Miss Prejean has brought a little press to an organization essentially ignored except by pageant competing women and gay men. Her dismissal was assured long ago but Trump is not idiotic enough to fire her directly for speaking her mind. She was a disfavored employee of a hostile organization, they’ll get you sometime no matte what. Still, perhaps we’ll see Carrie Prejean in a few months or years or perhaps not, but most of us will give the Miss USA pageant a thought until we see it on the TV schedule next year and decide to watch something else.

  3. Who appointed her the face of any movement? I thought she came to prominence because of the foul manner in which she was treated by a few bien-pensants. The publicity attendent to herself and others defending her from these attacks is far from the same thing as putting her forward as the face of any movement.

    This is what happens when you let your political enemies define you.

  4. Furhead says:

    Who appointed her the face of any movement?

    I don’t know, maybe the people who had her record an anti-gay marriage commercial?

  5. Oh, and if Carrie Prejean is the face of whatever “teh movement” Mr. Cole wants to ridicule, does that mean Perez Hilton is the face of whatever “teh movement” Mr. Cole supports?

  6. Furhead says:

    Read my reply. If you record a commercial for a movement, you are making yourself the face of that movement, literally by definition.

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    Supporting someone who has been wronged is not embracing them and making them the face of the movement and what unseemly conduct are we talking about? Just like Joe the Plumber liberals attack these people, conservatives defend them, and then we’re the fools for defending them?

    Let’s review, she has the same position as President Obama. End of story.

  8. jwest says:

    Cindy Sheehan?

  9. Drew says:

    Maybe I’m out of touch.

    Who is “they?” And how are “crazy people” being made “the face of the movement??”

    Joe the Plumber seemed to me just an average schmoe who asked a common sense question at a random and unscripted meeting. That he (and others) attempted to parlay this into a moment of fame didn’t seem egregious.

    And Miss CA. Like the look. But “face of the party??” Give me a break.

    Maybe its an over reaction, but when Michael Moore puts forth ridiculous leftist positions is he the recipient of scorn from reasonable people. Is he “the face of the movement; the face of the Party???” Nor do the Hollywood left when they put forth ridiculous positions. Is David Lettermen, Brad Pitt or Code Pink cast as “the face of the movement/Party?”

    And yet the right seems to get tarred and feathered as loons when wild positions that certain people take are cast as “the face of the movement.”

    Tell me what George Will, Krauthammer or Romney think. I’ll take a read. But I’m not interested in the notion, or the positions of, Miss California, nor is she the “face of the movement.”

    Now, as to what I WOULD like to do with Miss California……

  10. Furhead says:

    Joe the Plumber spoke at McCain rallies, wrote a book, did a promo tour. Again, he was making himself the face.

    On the other side, Jessica Alba just admitted to helping deface public property while doing some promotion work for saving whales or something.

    Idiots make themselves the face on both sides. Whether any particular person listens to them is their choice. I think most of us here know better.

  11. sam says:

    And yet the right seems to get tarred and feathered as loons when wild positions that certain people take are cast as “the face of the movement.”

    Charles, Drew, guys, all this hoopla wouldn’t come about if there was, you know, someone actually leading the Republican party conservative party now. Oh wait, there’s Michael Steele. I forgot. My bad.

  12. andrew says:

    Quoting John Cole, that’s really scraping from the bottom of the barrel.

  13. Sam, to reiterate, I am not a Republican and do not believe I have to defend them. If it helps to pigeonhole me better, like Matt and Trey, I hate Republicans but I really f#%$ing hate Democrats.

  14. Sam, to reiterate, I am not a Republican and do not believe I have to defend them. If it helps to pigeonhole me better, like Matt and Trey, I hate Republicans but I really f#%$ing hate Democrats.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    People should be able to tell the truth and not be persecuted.

  16. Wayne says:

    “Still, I wish conservatives would be more careful about the figures they embrace and quicker to distance themselves from unseemly conduct on their part once more is revealed”

    Actually I think conservatives are too quick to turn on their own. No one is perfect but that doesn’t mean they are terrible as a whole. Joe “the plumber” never claim or was put up as an Einstein but as a common man. The left were able to put some disdain on the man and the many on the right fell for it. The left will smear anyone popular on the right even if they have to make something up. Many conservative will toss anyone slightly smear under the bus in the heartbeat while the left protects theirs.

  17. sam says:

    Gee, Charles, I don’t hate you. I think Matt and Trey said they hate conservatives, but they really hate liberals. Anyhoo, do you disagree with my main point, regardless of your political affiliation (or lack of), that if the Republican party, conservative movement, whatever, had its shit together, none of this goofy stuff would be happening? As for the Republican party, hah! I’ve been in better organized riots.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    sam gets it exactly right…there is an enormous vacuum right now in the GOP so it makes sense that some might want to make Prejean the “face” of the party…but who really is? Limbaugh? Gingrich? Cheney? Palin? While most Dems and liberals probably love these choices, what about conservatives…who would you pick…

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    As for the Republican party, hah! I’ve been in better organized riots.

    lol, i’ll bet you have……..

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    “face” of the party…but who really is?

    Limbaugh******* Cheney***** Palin****

  21. G.A.Phillips says:

    Triumph**********************************************

  22. An Interested Party says:

    Limbaugh******* Cheney***** Palin****

    Democrats certainly hope so, as this triumvirate will do wonders for the Dem’s electoral chances…

  23. sam, I can concur with your assessment to the extent that classical liberalism seems to have lost all its defenders, Republican or Democrat. I think the Democratic pool is pretty damn shallow as well but they have a sort of protected status in the media. When you consider the media barrage that is so strongly tilted against them, I’m not sure any Republicans can succeed in popular culture. Before you disagree, does the left admire, or at least respect someone like, say, Milton Friedman?

  24. sam says:

    Before you disagree, does the left admire, or at least respect someone like, say, Milton Friedman?

    Charles, can we agree to just drop this “the left” and “the right” bullshit? It obscures more than it illuminates. As for Friedman, well, as I think I posted here some time ago, I had the great good fortune of having a long conversation with him and wife many years ago in connection with an article I was writing for a magazine. I respected him, deeply. I disagreed with his view of things, but never for one moment thought that his positions, philosophically speaking, were indefensible. I thought, and still think, that his views were simplistic, but not, I repeat not, simple-minded. I still cherish my meeting with him. He was one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. And he was intellectually generous to his opponents, a trait not much in evidence these days, alas. My one regret was that I never asked him about his view of Rawls.

  25. KenJ says:

    Furhead: if anyone threw these people into the spot light, it was the left. You have two people, one who asked a question, and one who answered a question who were in the news much, much longer than was necessary for what they did. Everything afterwards was caused by the left’s response. Charles Austin is correct-we have been letting others define us for a long time. You don’t define who we are Furhead, or who speaks for us. I did not “embrace” either of of the two people above, but I damn sure don’t think being humiliated and ridiculed for days and weeks on end is normal behavior either, but sadly it is becoming more and more of a common practice for the left.

  26. sam, you seem to be an educated, erudite and reasonable person. Alas, you are not the Left, the Democrats, or whatever label you deem appropriate for the segment of the political class marching in lockstep to a progressive agenda, or at least pretending to in an historic power grab of legendary proportions.

    Your comment about Milton Friedman’s ideas being simplistic is puzzling. Clearly the subject is far too complicated to resolve in a series of short posts.

  27. Spoker says:

    “Still, I wish conservatives would be more careful about the figures they embrace and quicker to distance themselves from unseemly conduct on their part once more is revealed.”

    Spoken like a true David Letterman fan.”

  28. Furhead says:

    KenJ-

    First off you are making some mistaken assumption about who I am.

    But I’m just curious, how exactly did the left ask Miss California to record a commercial against gay marriage? No one has explained how this doesn’t make her the face of a movement.

    With regards to Joe the Plumber, he was brought up at a debate, but I actually don’t remember if it was by McCain or the moderator. If it was the moderator, and you remember which one and it’s a bonafide lefty, you may have an argument that it was pushed by the left.

    Regarding your silly notion that only the left makes fun of people, holy crap are you blinded by partisanship. Ever heard a conservative talk about Al Gore or any Hollywood character, or for that matter any other liberal? It’s not pretty and it’s often far worse. I’ve heard my share of extremely violent racist jokes about Obama. Just because these jokes aren’t on the Daily Show doesn’t mean people aren’t telling them.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    So…it’s wrong for conservatives to let their political enemies define them, but then we are treated to this…

    Alas, you are not the Left, the Democrats, or whatever label you deem appropriate for the segment of the political class marching in lockstep to a progressive agenda, or at least pretending to in an historic power grab of legendary proportions.

    There seems an inconsistency here…I suppose Democrats and liberals should follow the advice given on some of the comments here and ignore the above statement…

  30. KenJ says:

    Furhead: I am sure you enjoy these little conversations but I really don’t have time to go back and forth all day. I am on my lunch break at this time. My point was this (and I am sure you know full well what it was): after Ms. California answered the question, if Mr. Pretty Pants had simply said, “Thank you”, that would have been the end of it, and her moment of fame. That’s not how it played out. If Joe had asked his question and the press not been aghast at his impertinence in asking a more difficult question than they ever had, then that would have been the end of Joe, and his 15 minutes. The press would not let either die – they were having too much “fun” as you call it. So much fun, in fact, that a government employee was digging through public records for information on Joe. And they really enjoy “making fun” of Gov. Palin. Please feel free to answer with another “talk around the subject” response. I agree with James they shouldn’t be embraced after they are “outed”. But, in my opinion, they should never have been put out there in the first place. And the more we discuss it, the longer they stay out there.

  31. Furhead says:

    KenJ-

    You’re losing me, sorry if you can’t respond any further. The only reason Miss California got in the news in the *first* place is because she claimed she lost because of her answer, and conservatives rushed to say that was an outrage (which I think is a fair point, by the way). Who are you blaming for this? The media, for investigating this outrage? That’s their JOBS, and that’s what they DO.

    Or are you blaming whatever twerps that kept the story alive by releasing semi-nude photos of her? Note that even so, she is at least partly responsible for them.

    Or are you just blaming liberals in general, because Perez Hilton is a (somewhat deranged) liberal who shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions that have little to do with, uh, whatever Miss USA is supposed to be?