Skip to comments.George Will is wrong on Fred
Posted on 06/11/2007 8:54:25 PM PDT by Politicalmom
George Will has made a splash in Newsweek by raising a good question: Does Fred Thompson have substance, or is he just a pretty face?
Fortunately, in the Age of the Web you can get the answer right here and now on your desktop. For example, just listen to Fred Thompson's podcast.
As far as I'm concerned, Senator Thompson tells more home truths about the world in his sixty seconds than Mr. Will's friends at WaPo and Newsweek manage to publish in, oh, about a decade. All about Africa and the UN, for example. By that test, Fred Thompson looks like a pretty good conservative candidate.
I've always wondered how an elegant conservative writer like Mr. Will survives in the Holy Sanctums of the Left. Surely he wouldn't be the WaPo's messenger boy to Republicans at critical times in the election cycle? Could he?
I really don't know. I'm just beginning to wonder.
George Will is a Rudy shill. And he’s been a boring Pill. He should see Dr. Phil. He’s way over the hill. He should retire and chill. A monkey with a typewriter has more skill. His opinion about fred means nil. He wears dresses and calls himself Lil.
Do you have a link to the Fred Thompson podcast?
Isn’t George Will a Rutard?
But everyone knows him as Nancy...
It must have been really tough for George Will to endure all those wedgies in Junior High and High School.
Will Swings And Misses
George Will attempts to pop the Fred Thompson boomlet in his latest Newsweek column. Unfortunately for Will, Fred Thompson is not the lightweight cipher he dismisses so casually, and the normally excellent Will winds up looking a little bit of a lightweight himself:
Some say he is the Republicans’ Rorschach test: They all see in him what they crave. Or he might be the Republicans’ dot-com bubble, the result of restless political investors seeking value that the untutored eye might not discern and that might be difficult to quantify but which the investors are sure must be there, somewhere, somehow.
One does not want to be unfair to Thompson, who may have hidden depths. But ask yourself this: If he did not look like a basset hound who had just read a sad storysay, “Old Yeller”and if he did not talk like central casting’s idea of the god Sincerity, would anyone think he ought to be entrusted with the nation’s nuclear arsenal? He is an actor, and, as a Hollywood axiom says, the key to acting is sincerityif you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
This is, of course, all about another actor. Republicans have scrutinized the current crop of presidential candidates and succumbed to the psychosomatic disease Reagan Deprivation. It is, however, odd that many Republicans who advertise their admiration for Reagan are so ready to describe Thompson as Reaganesque because he ... what?
First and foremost, Will has both Reagan and Thompson wrong in the same manner that people dismissed Reagan in his political career. Thompson has a long career as more than just an actor. Thompson’s acting career was accidental; his political career was much more deliberate. He made his name as a reforming activist lawyer, first with Watergate, and second in exposing corruption in the Tennessee governor’s office. And like Reagan but in a much shorter time frame, he has spent the last several months delivering speeches and papers on issues.
Thompson first came to national attention by working with Senator Howard Baker on the Watergate committee. It was Thompson who brought out the Oval Office taping system that captured all of Richard Nixon’s incriminating conversations. Thompson also asked the critical question: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”
Afterwards, Thompson pursued a case of pardons-for-bribes corruption in Tennessee. He represented Marie Ragghianti, a whistleblower who uncovered the corruption. With Thompson’s help, a number of Tennessee state officials went to prison, and while Governor Ray Blanton managed to remain free, his political career was finished. The film Marie tells the story based on the Peter Maas book, and Thompson played himself. That started his improbable Hollywood career; he did not train to be an actor, but a lawyer and a clean-government activist.
Will’s description of Thompson manages to miss all that, as well as the eight years he served in the Senate. That isn’t an extraordinarily long time, but it’s the same amount of experience Ronald Reagan had as a public officeholder when he ran for President in 1976 and 1980, although Reagan’s experience was as an executive. Reagan had ten years on the lecture circuit talking politics before he won election as California’s governor, but Thompson has had plenty of real-life experience in politics before he became, in Will’s dismissive tone, “an actor”.
Thompson is a lot more than 99 percent charm. His speeches and writings have very clearly defined his driving philosophy as a federalist, and his track record as a reformer needs no apologetics to anyone except Will. He has to answer for his record on campaign-finance reform as well as the rest of his votes and actions, of course, but that’s what all candidates have to do when they run for President.
George Will mostly hits home runs with his columns, whether on politics or baseball. In this case, he whiffed.
I know of NO serious person who quotes George Will on anything. He is a MSM dinosaur.
He still walks funny.
George Will jumped the shark many years ago.
George Will is a has been......
George Will IS smart, but his opinions are not relevant. He has consistently shown that in the many dustups following [and including] the impeachment wars.
LOL, that was awesome! You could be the fourth Beastie Boy, you got a LISCENCE TO ILL!
Will would never lasted a month on ABC if he was a true conservative. He runs with the RINO’s. I do like some of his humor.
Screw Will and the horse he rode in on (also, while I'm at it, SCREW liberal RINOS like RINO-rudy and "Maverick" MOONBATS like crazy-ass-mcinsane).
Long live TRUE CONSERVATISM and the likes of Thompson and Hunter.
“Does Fred Thompson have substance, or is he just a pretty face?”
Fred is many things, a “pretty face” is not one of those things.
I wouldn’t think anything of it. A few weeks ago I read a Will column and I mentioned to my husband that Will actually got something right for a change. He’s been pretty wishy-washy for awhile now.
George Will should stick with something he’s good at — like being a sports nerd.
It seems an affectation to me. Like the bow tie.
George has actually been doing better during the past year or so. He’s getting a little more ascerbic.
No need to trash George Will, here...
George Will has stated the obvious truth, that Fred Thompson is going to have to demostrate himself as part of this campaign. Fred is not a known quantity because he has been out of governmnent for a while. Fred has some things he has been associated with in the past (CFR, for one) that he is going to have to explain away.
But I have no doubt that Fred Thompson will do so admirably. He starts from the right place, so I am confident that he will finish in the right place. George Will needs to see more substance before he will share my confidence.
Hey, that’s cool. The first primaries are still a half a year away. Fred Thompson can fill that time giving all of the answers that George Will and others need to hear. That is plenty of time. More than enough, really. One good speech, delivered around about Labor Day, should really do a lot of it.
You know, I think you’re right. Can anyone remember the last time Will had an opinion that made a splash, or stood out from others? I can’t.
Geroge Will is suffering from a bad case of ‘pundit vaticinator dyspepsia’ (PVD)which is defined as a sour outlook on life when no one listens to you anymore.