On last night's Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas offered assessments of the way in which the independence of two of his fellow conservative commentators is viewed. While acknowledging that the two top-rated talkers have recently chided the administration, he suggested there is a perception that, by and large, the pair lack political autonomy.
In the context of a discussion of President Bush's efforts to shore up support among conservative radio talk show personalities, Thomas stated:
"Even Rush Limbaugh, who is seen as being in the pocket of the administration, has been critical of Republicans not being more like Republicans."
"Sean Hannity, recently - though he's pretty much a cheerleader for the Republican party - has said a few critical things, so it's not all 100% in lock step from all of them."
So, how do readers here score Cal's comments?
Personally, I give him a hit and a miss. I admire Sean and check out Hannity & Colmes most every night. But his comments frequently do have the ring of a recitation of RNC talking points. By the same token, Sean surely played a positive role in 2004 with his barnstorming tour on behalf of GOP candidates.
But I disagree with Thomas's assessement of Rush. As a conservative, Rush will naturally tend to support a Republican, and generally conservative, administration. But I believe Rush's genius, and that which has put him at the top of the pops for nigh on two decades, is his independence of mind. Rush has often mentioned that following his own instincts has been the key to his success. When a big issue breaks, I am always curious to get Rush's take precisely because it is often unpredictable.