Returning to the topic, and no I did not intend for them to come out one right after the other–this is going to take a few installments and I planned to spread them out a bit. Gives me time to make sure I haven’t forgotten anybody.
Bill Whittle: I’m leading off today with one of my absolute favorite conservative commenters and educators, who in fact probably runs a close second behind Rush Limbaugh for the greatest ever in my opinion. Bill is a little boy who dreamed of flying jets and spaceships clevely disguised as a middle aged man in a suit, and that sort of wonder, quirkiness, and sense of humor comes out a lot in his presentations. I discovered Bill through his Firewall and Afterburner series on YouTube and I honestly recommend them to anyone who not only wants to get a bite-sized and sugar-coated dose of the truth, but also who wants to understand conservative beliefs and the underpinning that holds our side together. A gentleman and a scholar, Bill came out with timely and relevant videos throughout Barry’s administration on every subject from terrorism to gun control to taxes to just standard leftist malarkey like “the parties switched sides.” His humor can be biting and he can get forceful but one of Bill’s best qualities is he manages to be the gentleman warrior at all times. He keeps it clean and above the belt and still manages to deliver knockout blows with eloquence and powerful imagery. Recently his work has not been quite so compelling–it was a blast watching him in a room of NeverTrumpers on election night (Bill’s position was even if Trump wasn’t perfect, he’d just vote for the hat) with a growing grin on his face and a shout of “coward!” when Hillary Clinton refused to show her inebriated face to concede, but otherwise he has been doing a lot more unscripted vids such as his “Right Angle” series with Scott Ott and Steve Green, and it’s pretty clear Bill can think on his feet but is really best when he’s working from a script. Which is understandable. Can’t recommend this guy’s material highly enough.
John Hayward: I discovered Mr. Hayward first on Breitbart.com and later on Human Events (which he has since apparently ceased contributing to). From my understanding he started out on Twitter and his own blog under the handle “Doctor Zero” and combined a highly logical, intellectual perspective with a dry, acerbic wit, artfully managing to make his case clearly and mock the left in ways that many of them wouldn’t even understand. I still can’t help but snicker when I remember him referring to North Korea’s “People’s Glorious Dumbass Rocket Squad.” Hayward remained my favorite author on Breitbart for as long as I was a regular there and combined that kind of sharp humor with an ability to get his points across powerfully and succinctly. Like Bill Whittle, he keeps it clean while being clear on very specific occasions that the Marquis of Queensberry rules can only constrain so long. He alone is worth going over to check out Breitbart.com and he’s the only person whose Twitter feed I regularly check for the feed itself.
Ann Coulter: The woman the left loves to hate, Kellyanne Conway version 0.1, Ann Coulter is as well known for being a firebrand as she is for things that aren’t true about her. She’s a prolific writer and really an unabashed pragmatist in addition to being a true pro at saying stuff just to set leftists off, whether it’s about illegal immigration or Joe McCarthy or just wishing that we could end women’s suffrage (including hers). While some people like Bill Whittle don’t come across as strong when they’re doing improv, it’s truly Ann’s strength and one of the reasons that Democrats hate her guts–not only is she a conservative woman but she can engage and destroy them no matter how big the crowd is with their applause cues. She was a famous “early adopter” for Donald Trump in the GOP primaries and last time I checked she was still riding that wave. Interestingly enough, her version of pragmatism often ends up bringing her into the areas where I don’t like what she has to say so much, usually when she’s had time to think about it–for example, her pick for Trump’s vice president would not have been the rock-solid Mike Pence but rather former Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, a moderate GOP squish who would not have brought the same conservative bona fides to the ticket that Pence did. So you can’t win ’em all Ann. But she can win most of ’em.
James O’Keefe: In an era where the media likes to think of themselves as “brave,” James O’Keefe actually is. His Project Veritas exists to expose with hard evidence the truths that we conservatives all know but that the media tries to cover up, using video in an age where the mantra is “pics or it didn’t happen.” O’Keefe’s major cause has been voter fraud, from back when he and Andrew Breitbart collaborated to take down ACORN to the last election run-up where he got Clinton campaign workers to acknowledge that they had been “bussing in people to deal with” Republicans for decades and were not about to stop, and also had hired paid thugs to go start trouble at Trump rallies so the press could report about how awful and violent Trump people were. He has also worked to expose general Democrat dishonesty and hypocrisy in many contexts and famously pulled a stunt where he repeatedly crossed the U.S./Mexico border while dressed as Osama Bin Laden and was not approached by border guards. O’Keefe’s tactics were successfully emulated by the Center for Medical Progress in their sting operations against Planned Parenthood clinics for selling baby parts and hopefully continue to inspire truly courageous individuals to engage in actual reporting. O’Keefe’s detractors like to point out how many times he has been arrested and fined for his activities as if that discredits him, like powerful unethical people have never before used the police to silence voices they didn’t want causing them trouble. Nope. That’s never been a thing at all.
Ben Shapiro: Ah, Ben. For a long time Ben Shapiro was one of conservatism’s young rising stars, taking the fight to the media on Breitbart.com and beyond, producing almost as many books as Ann Coulter, demolishing Piers Morgan on gun control after handing the Brit a copy of the Constitution (yes folks, Khizr Khan “plagiarized” Ben Shapiro on that). And he continues to be great in a lot of ways as one of the voices who routinely gets protested and chased away from leftist college campuses by special snowflakes chanting “safety” and accusing him of being a Nazi white supremacist. Note to the snowflakes: he’s Jewish. So I want to be clear that I like Ben in a lot of ways, just not all of them that I used to. Early on in the 2015-16 campaign cycle, when conventional wisdom (especially among conservatives) was that 2016 was ours to lose and no matter who we ran from our absurdly deep bench would dismantle Crooked Hillary, Ben’s position from the beginning was that it didn’t matter who we nominated, we were going to lose. This got even worse as Trump entered and dominated the field, and Shapiro became one of Trump’s harshest critics. I don’t know that Shapiro ever went full NeverTrump but he was close. And I’m sorry Ben, I know you’re a pessimist by nature, but you just cannot do that to your side. You never bet against something that you want to happen. Actively trying to own goal your side, especially in a matchup like we just had, is almost unforgivable. That said, he was in Bill Whittle’s election night group and as the returns came back Ben was the one in the room tracking them the most closely, and I have to say he didn’t seem the least bit upset that Trump was winning. Maybe it was Hillary losing that helped him, I don’t know. Ben’s not beyond help but I am not the fan I once was.
Part III coming soon…