The Washington Post devoted an entire page and more in Thursday's Style section to the GOP protest presidential candidacy of gay activist Fred Karger. Post reporter Dan Zak proclaimed: "He can see himself as the moderate voice in a debate crowded with hard-liners."
But late in the story, Zak writes how Karger embraced "the notion of transpartisanship, which allows a politician to revere the Clintons (Fred was a maxed-out Hillary donor in 2008), espouse the word "progressive," vote for Ralph Nader in 2004 (to protest George W. Bush) and 2008 (to protest Obama), and still call himself a Republican. "
Fact-checkers in The Washington Post should throw a red flag at the idea that a someone who's a maxed-out Hillary Clinton donor and a two-time Ralph Nader voter is a "centrist." But even after announcing these facts, Zak declares "The country keeps time by its pendulous centrists."
"Centrist" isn't defined like this: "the GOP needs a pro-choice, antiwar, freedom-for-all, spendthrift compromiser inspired by Nelson Rockefeller and Teddy Roosevelt, he says."
Zak quotes a New Hampshire voter who obviously speaks for the liberal media: "The Republican Party has gotta be tweaked," a self-proclaimed moderate says. But if a two-time Reagan voter were running as a "centrist" to "tweak" Barack Obama, would they get a page and a half of celebration in The Washington Post? That is the most rhetorical of questions.
The two-time Nader voter is allowed to say he's just like Reagan: "'I consider myself a moderate like my boss and mentor, Ronald Reagan,' Fred is fond of saying." The Post website also has a video of his commercial where he touts being an "independent Republican" like Reagan and never quite mentions the gay thing. Zak admits Karger is "fixated on a single issue," but the ad avoids it. The ad keeps Karger in the closet.
Zak also flops badly when he suggests Karger is a "big tent" candidate. Right after the Rocky-and-Teddy line, Zak writes:
The actual delivery of this message isn't as clean. His stump speech is more of a meander that always boomerangs back to his retirement hobby: crusading against Prop 8, the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage.
The students who show up for Fred seem nostalgic for a big-tent GOP they haven't experienced in their lifetimes. But the tent Fred imagines may be a little too big.
"I think he's a fascinating candidate," says Dartmouth senior Katie Pine, 21, a government major who stopped by the Hanover event because she wonders where all the moderates have gone. "He's charming and charismatic, but he sounds like a Democrat to me."
Once again, Zak betrays his own analysis by explaining Karger wants to be "a candidate for everyone, not just gays who want to quash the National Organization for Marriage." Again, this is belied by how Zak notices every question on every issue leads Karger back to his gay crusade against evil Mormons in California. Earth to reporters: Activists who want to "quash" conservatives are not building a "big tent." They're trying to throw social conservatives out of the GOP tent.
It's hardly surprising that Karger's next "tweaking" destination is CPAC, now proudly defining as conservatives a group of activists who are fixated on the single issue of quashing social conservatives like NOM.