During the course of a conversation with former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin on this afternoon's show, Tucker Carlson described himself as "a real conservative."
But it was just a few minutes earlier, chatting with New Republic editor-at-large Peter Beinart, that Carlson mentioned in passing that he hadn't supported President Bush for president in 2004.
When Carlson stated that he had been wrong to support the war in Iraq [and now opposes it], Beinart retorted:
"You've just made a statement which almost guarantees that you're going to have to support the Democratic candidate in 2008 because there's virtually no chance we're going to have a Republican candidate who says they were wrong to support the war in Iraq. So I congratulate you on flipping over to the other side."
Replied Carlson: "Well I doubt I'm going to support the Democratic candidate. Whether I'll support the Republican candidate is a whole separate question. I didn't last time, I may not this time."
Carlson is also on record as condemning Israel's recent attack on Hezbollah.
It's obviously possible to be a conservative without supporting George W. Bush. Conservatives rightly hold Bush's profligate spending against him, for starters. But since Carlson has told us whom he didn't vote for in 2004, perhaps he'd be willing to reveal whom he did support.
In any case, Carlson is clearly the kind of conservative MSNBC could love - one who doesn't support the incumbent Republican president and opposes the cornerstone of his foreign policy. It's the same phenomenon that explains Pat Buchanan's ubiquity on MSNBC.
UPDATE: Damian G. of conservathink has been in touch to say that in an episode of The Situation, an earlier incarnation of Carlson's current show, he said that he didn't vote for anyone for president in 2004 because he was ' fed up.'