Friday, November 02, 2007


The London Telegraph has now identified its top 20 most influential U.S. conservatives and liberals. The conservative list is particularly absurd -- George W. Bush doesn't make the top 20 because "the list is about the future rather than the past," but Newt Gingrich comes in at #4? Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin outrank Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly? Mike Huckabee (aka God's Paul Tsongas) is #11, ten positions ahead of Bush? Rupert Murdoch (who is, after all, a U.S. citizen) doesn't make the list? And, er, a production error really wasn't responsible for the inclusion of Drew Carey?

Will Bunch of Attytood very sensibly argues that Rush Limbaugh should be #1 (the Telegraph has him at #5; Rudy Giuliani's #1). I'd give it to Limbaugh (for two decades of uninterrupted agenda-setting) ... or Bush and/or Cheney, still. Were told by The Telegraph that Bush "has lost control of the agenda in Washington." Oh, so the war in Iraq is over, then? An Iran bombing is off the table? The tax cuts have been reversed? The Justice Department is on a firm course to oppose waterboarding and other forms of torture? S-CHIP is fully funded, and we're well on our way to universal health coverage? We have a serious plan in place to reduce greenhouse gases? And there's no chance whatsoever that the next president will continue Bush's policies? Sorry, guys -- it's still Bush and Cheney's country; we just grumble to pollsters about it.

Kevin Hayden at the American Street thinks there should have been a list of moderates to go along with the other two lists. He provides three interesting top 20s (the Telegraph's #1 liberal, Bill Clinton, is his #1 moderate). But I think if there's going to be an additional list, it should be of fake liberals and moderates who really serve the right-wing agenda. Maureen Dowd. Chris Matthews. David Broder. You can fill in the rest. They're the balance-tippers in this country. Their political influence is vast.

And as for a list of influential liberals in America, well, I can't help wondering if such a list should be completely blank.

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