“Barometer Of The Conservative Movement”

The New York Times has a good article about Erick that even mentions Peach Pundit (we’re always on the lookout for PP mentions). It’s worth your time to read the whole thing.

“I always think there are more people who hate me on my own side than there are on the left,” Mr. Erickson said on a recent afternoon as he went from Macon City Hall, where he serves as a councilman, to his favorite coffee shop. “Apparently the only thing that left and right agree on in America is that conservatives shouldn’t be on CNN — they should be on Fox.”

Mr. Erickson, 34, was hired by CNN as a commentator in late March, primarily to appear on the new show “John King U.S.A.” Unlike most of his peers at the network, including James Carville and Donna Brazile, top Democratic strategists with presidential campaigns under their belt, Mr. Erickson is a party outsider who spends much of his time needling Republicans to purge Washington insiders and opportunists.

After he was hired, CNN was accused of pandering to the right and abandoning its commitment to credibility. David Bohrman, the network’s senior vice president for programming, said, “We’re just trying to bring in the influencers who have something to say.”

A friend of Senator Jim DeMint, the conservative Republican from South Carolina, Mr. Erickson was an early supporter of Marco Rubio, now the likely Republican nominee for the open Senate seat in Florida, at a time when Mr. Rubio was polling in the single digits.

Mr. Erickson has shown a pragmatic streak, suspending RedState’s policy of endorsing only anti-abortion candidates in favor of Scott Brown, the Republican who won a special Senate election in Massachusetts. He has banned “birthers,” who question President Obama’s citizenship, from commenting on RedState, calling them “crazies.”

With about 4.5 million page views a month, according to Nielsen, RedState does not attract nearly the traffic of other right-wing blogs like MichelleMalkin.com or Hot Air. But Mr. Erickson said his site fell into a different category, one of advocacy, and he said he measured his influence by the number of Congress members who call his cellphone and the candidates who plead for his attention.

“He has definitely become sort of an arbiter of viability, of your ability to break through, particularly if you’re an insurgent,” said Patrick Ruffini, a Republican strategist and co-founder of the blog The Next Right. “People read Erick as the barometer of the conservative movement.”


      • Lady Thinker says:

        I access the links you posted and read them. So what?

        When politicians run for office they meet with and represent all groups of people. Karen meeting with these people does not make her a gay supporter, a gay activist, or a gay basher. Politicians have to represent all voters in their district regardless of lifestyles. I am sure the other candidates meet with people of similar and differing ideologies, so trying to pin a label on Karen only rather than all the candidates is just wrong. I am sure Deal has met, talked with, and shaken hands with gays/lesbians/homosexuals. While some of that group may be more recognizable than others, one cannot look at a person and declare them to be other than heterosexual. Rock Hudson comes to mind.

        Do gays/lesbians/homosexuals pay taxes or are they exempt based on their lifestyle? If they pay taxes, are they entitled to express their views to politicians and have said politicians listen to them? Are these groups of people considered nonpeople or whatever term or label you want to give them because of their lifestyle? Does this group have Constitutional protections or are those reserved for heterosexuals?

        Before you call me a lesbian for disagreeing with you, let me say that my friends, son, ex-husband, boyfriends, and I, would categorically disagree with you.

        • ReaganRepublican says:

          Meeting with them is not the problem. Aggreing with their platform is a HUGE problem…. Barnes is more conservative on social issues than Handel.
          Let us not forget the time she addressed Georgia Tech and her abortion comment. ” What a woman does with her body is none of any mans business”.
          She is to the left of Barnes…. She is working behind the scenes for Mary Norwood, because she was just like Mary Norwood. Norwood is Handel 6 years ago except, Mary has a better education and is probably from Georgia. On the issues, they are identical when you compare Norwood to Handel 6 years ago….

          • ByteMe says:

            Ooohh, and tell us all about their big scary platform that you consider a “HUGE problem”.

              • Jim Bob says:

                Here you go, LT.

                In full disclosure, this was sent out in an email from the Deal camp. And, yes, I get emails from all the candidates. I’m not pushing Deal here. It just so happens this email happens to be timely AND factual, which is why I have posted it below………

                Records prove Handel’s support of gay adoption, domestic partner benefits
                Former Fulton County chairwoman says charges are “old, untrue.” But you don’t have to take our word for it.

                In an email today, Handel said allegations that she’s on the record supporting gay adoption are “old” and “untrue.” Actually, 2003 isn’t so “old” and the truth is that Handel endorsed gay adoption when she campaigned for Fulton County Commission chair in 2003 while courting votes and fund-raising.

                In a 2003 interview with “Southern Voice,” Handel admits she has issues with the Republican platform.

                “I don’t think, perhaps as a party, [Republicans] have been as open-minded about things as we should have,” Handel said Monday. “Even though I’m a Republican, I don’t agree 100 percent with the things in the platform.”

                In fact, Handel joined the Log Cabin Republicans and actively sought and gained the group’s endorsement.

                “We will be continuing our support for Karen Handel,” Marc Yeager, the group’s president, said in an interview with Southern Voice in 2003 (“Candidate pool narrows for Fulton spot,” Aug. 15, 2003). “She demonstrated in her last run that she was supportive of domestic partner benefits, and she’s supported same-sex adoptions on the basis of the best interest of the child.”

                The same article shows that Handel didn’t stop at adoption. The bipartisan gay rights group Georgia Equality also endorsed her candidacy, citing her support of taxpayer-funded domestic partner benefits for gay Fulton County government employees:

                “Handel also received an endorsement from the bipartisan gay rights group Georgia Equality during the Republican primary in 2002, according to Allen Thornell, the group’s executive director. In the candidate survey Georgia Equality distributed last year, Handel indicated support establishing a domestic partner benefits policy, but opposed creating a domestic partner registry, citing privacy concerns, Thornell said.”

                Creative Loafing took Handel to task just last week for seeming to forget her progressive views of not-so-long ago. You can read more here about her “flip flop” and laugh at the “hyperbole of her hypocrisy.”

                • John Konop says:


                  Remember it is not about you it is about DEAL getting rich!

                  Paid for by the get rich using people foundation 🙂

                  • Mozart says:

                    Who else buys goods and services besides “people?” Not a dog. Not a cat. Not a bird.

                    So, the only way to “get rich” is to do it via “people,” right?

                  • Red Phillips says:

                    John, do you really think it is about “hating” gay people? Gay adoption and gay marriage are moral issues and get at the very nature of the family, the fundamental building block of society since the dawn of man.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      Your understanding of adoption and “gay adoption” are woeful. You should get out more and meet some gay couples. Especially gay couples with kids. Yes, they already exist.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Do you really think a gay adoption is better for a kid than no parents in a foster home?

                      ….In a finding that confronts deeply rooted beliefs about parenting, a new study concludes that parents’ genders have little impact on children — suggesting that same-sex couples are as effective at raising children as heterosexual couples.
                      On average, children succeed most when raised by two parents rather than one. The parents’ genders, however, make little difference in terms of a child’s development, according to a landmark study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.


                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Byte and John, you forget the inconvenient fact that God, the Creator of the Universe, unequivocally condemns homosexuality as an abomination in this little book He wrote.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      Ah, Red, you poor literalist. God didn’t write the book, unless you mean a man wrote it, since man comes from God. In this particular case, something like 4th century man. The section you reference also says that wearing clothes with two different types of threads is also an abomination. So we should keep anyone who has a wool mix sweater from marrying as well. 😆

                      Sorry, the way you play “follow the leader” is just twisted. But I guess it works for you. Just try not to force it down the throat of the rest of us through government mandate, ‘k?

                    • John Konop says:


                      God condemns cheating, lying, speaking ill of other people…..At this rate everyone would be an orphan and we would have no parents. I see life as gray at times and you see it very black and white. I do think loving Gay parents is better for a kid as well as society than no parents at all.

                      I let God do the judging, because I am to focus on my own issues. But it is your God given right to believe what you want. And I do respect that you post what you think and you are not a paid hit-man from a campaign.

                    • Lady Thinker says:

                      It is true, God spoke against homosexual behaviors but he left them here on earth. They live among us, they pay taxes, they have Constitutional rights, they are not going away, and politicians have to talk to them, consider them and their views, represent them, and cannot discriminate against them, as that is against the law.

                      God also said to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and render to God what is God’s, yet some of you are spouting God’s words and His intent while ignoring the scriptures you are professing to believe in.

                      We get that many of you don’t like homosexuals, don’t approve of them, and wish they would disappear but it ain’t gonna happen. So why make it an issue when you can’t do anything about it?

                      The real issues we should concentrate on in picking a candidate is how the candidate intends to handle the state budget, stimulate the economy, improve education, handle ethics charges and investigations, fair tax legislation, healthcare, immigration issues, jobs, Second Amendment rights, transparency in government, transportation problems, and water rights.

                      Concentrating on who said what about gays is self-defeating because they are such a small part of the equation and they are not even on the same scale as the other issues mentioned.

                      Let’s get these other problems resolved and then if there is any time left over, tackle the gay issue.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Western/Christian societies have been using the Bible as a guide for how to structure and organize their societies for the last 1700 (give or take) years. To think it is inappropriate to do so is the recent and radical invention.

                      I am a conservative. Conservatives seek to conserve. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more radical than redefining the family, the fundamental building block of every society everywhere since the dawn of man, to include homosexual couplings. Different family structures have arisen in different environments, but the primacy of the mother child bond is ubiquitous across society throughout time. I challenge you to find me one contrary example. Homosexual couples bringing up children, which by definition they can’t produce on their own, is the most radical novel concept imaginable. On top of the fact that it spits in the face of God.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      God has a face? And we can spit into that? Sounds like your “God” is weak. My God is strong and can kick your “God’s” butt… after spitting in his face.

                  • Lady Thinker says:

                    I wonder how many gay people Deal has talked to or have given money to Deal. I bet Deal didn’t turn the money down.

                    • Jim Bob says:

                      What??? Where did that come from?

                      LT, don’t let your disgust for Deal detract you from the real topic….Handel supports domestic partner issues. Issues which don’t seem to fit with the rest of the conservative platform.

                      This issue (and others) will keep her from making the run-off, which is why she is trying to distance herself from it.

                      Like it or not, you are going to have to look at supporting some other candidate eventually….

                    • Jim Bob says:


                      Spoken like a moderate defending another moderate. But I got news for you, GA Conservatives ain’t buying that hogwash!

                  • Jim Bob says:

                    Both of y’all’s silence on the topic of the post speaks volumes. But then again, look who made the comments. Besides, it was for LT’s benefit.

                    Nice try to change the topic, though…

                    • ReaganRepublican says:

                      Handel is liberal burnt toast. I am so looking forward to hearing her lies on how she really did not mean to say these things. Handel will probably tell us that these interviews were conducted when she was not on her medication. She is to the left of Barnes and will have very little support in North Georgia. These are quotes that she made, impossible to refute, but she will lie because that is what she does.

            • ReaganRepublican says:

              Abortion, gay marriage, gay adoption,govt run healthcare. I know you agree with it, but conservative Georgia has a problem with it.

              • ByteMe says:

                Wait, gays care about abortion?? Since when?? The gay agenda is government run health care?? Since when??

                I could name-call here, but I think everyone’s pretty clear on who you are, so I don’t need to apply pejorative labels.

              • Lady Thinker says:

                I never said I was for gay marriage, gay adoption, or government run healthcare. What I did say is I am for rape and incest victims having the right to an abortion, especially when the victims are children themselves. The rest is an assumption you falsely attributed to me.

                • In The Arena says:

                  “During the 1990s, the Left developed quite the art of playing defense while painting anyone on the Right who pointed out the truth as a “meany.” Rush was labeled a “racist.” Newt and Bob Dole were labeled “mean old white men” by the whiny Left.” Bill Simon 7-25-05

                  Looks like Lady Thinker and the rest of the Handel camp have this common liberal tactic down pat. Because they are liberals. Will the real conservative barometers please stand up?

                    • In The Arena says:

                      Never seen that one John, can you tell me what its about since you seem to know so much about it?

                    • John Konop says:

                      In The Arena,

                      It was very famous movie which became a off-Broadway play many people my age saw and or know about. This might help you. It is an attempt of ironic humor after reading your comments! 🙂

                      WIKI-Reefer Madness (aka Tell Your Children) is a 1936 American exploitation film revolving around the tragic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try “marihuana”: a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors. It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children.[1][2]
                      The film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use.[1] However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit.[1] The film did not gain an audience until it was rediscovered in the 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among cannabis smokers.[1][3] Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film.[3] It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a Showtime film, Reefer Madness, based on the musical……

                  • Mozart says:

                    First, let’s see the Real Slim Shady…then we’ll concentrate on the barometers…

              • NorthGAGOP says:

                While Handel was the Chair of the Fulton County Commission, did she vote for domestic partner benefits? Gay adoption? Sponsor any bills on the issue?

                  • Lady Thinker says:


                    One cannot debate emotion and RR and the Deal camp won’t give any elucid statements. It is sad.

                • Lady Thinker says:

                  Good point North GA but RR and the Deal camp won’t debate the issues.

                  They think the way to go is attack Karen because she is the biggest threat to Deal. They don’t make these types of statements about Ox, Johnson, Chapman, or McBerry, even with McBerry’s scandals. With McBerry, I think they consider him a Christian, they profess to be Christians, so Christians forgive each other regardless of the sin.

                  I am starting to think they have a problem with the fact that Karen is female and that Deal just personally does not like her. Attacking Karen is not going to win anyone the election, having a solid plan for dealing with the issues is the way to go.

  1. Icarus says:

    Shaila came to our Peach Pundit gathering after the wild hog dinner. I have to give her credit, as when I first spoke to her, I did get the impression that she had a bit of a pre-conceived notion of what she thought she would see/meet that night.

    She stayed quite a while, and talked to many of the attendees, many of us for a decent length. She seemed like she really wanted to understand what we were about, not to get quotes to fit her pre-conceived ideas of what Peach Pundit was.

    So far as I know, this is the first she’s written of us (really just Erick), but it does show that she wrote what she’s observed, not what the “lib’ral media” normally would want to write.

    Congrats to Erick on a fair/balanced profile, but also congrats to Shaila for working to write something that appears to be a genuine “reality” piece, with real insight into what I have observed as the Erick I know.

    • In The Arena says:


      That “lib’ral media” joke you keep using over and over is really funny. But the truth is that the media is liberal, and not entirely truthful. For example…

      Take Lady Thinker’s post from above:
      “I never said I was for gay marriage, gay adoption, or government run healthcare. What I did say is I am for rape and incest victims having the right to an abortion, especially when the victims are children themselves. The rest is an assumption you falsely attributed to me.”

      If the AJC was out to get her, this is how her quote would read:
      “I am for rape and incest”

      Marinate on that.

        • In The Arena says:

          I know that this is an extreme example, but it highlights a common practice for the AJC.

          I don’t have a stash of anything except for a stash of the truth. And the truth is some potent stuff. I am glad to share, but it looks like most of yall on here can’t handle the truth.

            • drjay says:

              it’s probably a little more subtle than what arena described, but even in my little run for city council in pooler ga, i was surpised by how wrong, and it appeared agenda driven the media could be…

              for instance their was a zoning issue that was an integral part of my campaign that i discussed at length w/ reporter guy that got nary a mention in the article he wrote about the race…

              i did however mention something in passing about water to a reporter for a weekly paper when i ran in 07 that he played up lke the biggest issue in the pooler since sherman made camp in 64…

              it’s not like i was misquoted or anything but the context of the printed word really did not reflect what i thought happened hen i spoke w/ these cats…

            • griftdrift says:

              I do not disagree with you, jay. However, the element in the room is newspapers do not have unlimited space so editorial decisions will be made. Also, that reporter may have took down every word you said and some editor hacked it six ways to sunday.

              There’s a big difference between they didn’t report it they I would like and they didn’t report it accurately.

              Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the way newspapers work and the mythmakers like Erick use that lack of understanding to blur that big difference until it’s non-existent.

              It never ceases to amaze me that there is so little respect for a craft that was so precious to the founders that its freedom is actually stated in the U.S. Constitution.

              • DTK says:

                @ Grift

                Actually, you’d be surprised at how often reporters already have the lede of their story written before they’ve even left the office for their interviews. Then they go out and accumulate facts and quotes that conform to what they perceived the story to be about when their assignment editor dropped the idea on their desk.

                I don’t think it’s a nefarious liberal plot; it’s more like laziness. But it happens, a lot.

                I’m a former copy editor at a 80k daily, and I’ve seen this more times than I can count. Does it happen with larger dailies that have, presumably, more talented and less lazy reporters? Perhaps not. But I can say that at my mid-size paper, that wasn’t the case.

                • griftdrift says:

                  I don’t doubt that it happens all the time. But (as you somewhat tangentially pointed out) there’s a difference between the story and an agenda and this is where the heart of the misconception lies. I think you would agree that the editors attempt to crystallize the “story” into what they believe their readers need to know and will consume. Sometimes that “story” may not match the agenda of the person being covered and that’s where people get off on screaming bias when it’s really not.

                  Some might consider it lazy to already have the framework of the story but the fact is reporting is usually not a fishing expedition.

                  • DTK says:

                    @ Grift

                    I agree. Newspapers have to play a gate-keeping role; there is, after all, only so much space to print the news. Plus, even if there is ample amount of space, newspapers shouldn’t run stories on crank issues just because a sufficient amount of crazies think it’s important.

                    But, there is some truth to newspapers playing up some issues at the exclusion of other, legitimate issues. And it does come down to editors’ perspective, which on the whole leans left. There is nothing wrong with being liberal and being an editor. But when your ideology affects your editing, then it’s a problem.

                    You’ve accurately described the news generating process about how editors select the “story” of the day. Unfortunately it hasn’t always been that way. In yesteryear, editors truly tried to objectively evaluate what the biggest story was to their entire readership, then they reported on it.

                    It wasn’t until the early 90s or so that “community journalism” became a big fad; that is, a newspaper should pick issues that affect its community, then focus laserlike on writing about them and, in the process, help to solve the problem. In short, editors would pick topics and then agitate on them until something changed.

                    Sounds great, but it meant that newspapers became less tellers of the news and more like advocates. Not uncoincidentally, the public’s trust in newspapers started to dive during this time.

                    The Sunday centerpiece article shouldn’t always be a derivative of the plight of the homeless, payday lending, envrionmental degradation at the hands of greedy businesses, etc. If it is, then the editors let their ideology cloud their editorial judgment. If they throw in stories every other Sunday about bureacratic snafus hampering entreprenuership, anachronistic tax laws affecting the effective allocation of capital, and government transfer payments dampening individuals’ initiative, too, then you’ve got editors that are committed to ferriting out the truth and then reporting on it. Unfortunately, these editors are harder to find.

          • Lady Thinker says:

            I think it’s more of the “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality. I agree with what you said about the way my post could and probably would get skewed.

  2. hannah says:

    Conserving the status quo seems like a paltry ambition until one considers that change is inevitable. Then maintaining one’s status is akin to holding back the tides, bound to fail. But, from an advocate’s perspective, that’s a good thing since failure makes it possible to “try and try again.” In other words, for a politician whose primary interest is longevity in office, a failing agenda is ideal. Advocating a failing agenda and getting paid for it is even better.

    • Harry says:

      Hannah, I enjoy your comments. My comment is, Eric should beware of NYT articles that are too friendly. They would like to co-opt him, it happens. One of the first steps would be getting him to diss his friends.

  3. Red Phillips says:

    “Erick as the barometer of the conservative movement.”

    Yeah, Erick really called it when he banned Ron Paul supporters from Red State. That Ron Paul guy has really faded into obscurity. Even a centrist Establishment shill like Isakson voted for the Paulian (Vitter) version of the audit the Fed bill.

  4. In The Arena says:

    “People read Erick as the barometer of the conservative movement.”

    The New York Times says this because they want people to look at Erick and think the conservative movement is suffering.

    He can move heaven and earth to get his name behind conservatives across the country, but he cannot even vote for Mac Collins over liberal Jim Marshall in the 8th.

    The conservative movement is alive and well, probably stronger than it has been in a while. Erick is not the face of it.

    The New York Times WISHES all conservatives acted like Erick.

  5. griftdrift says:

    Erick is a pragmatist in the sense that he knows what buttons to push on the myth-making machine to stir the masses in a frothy frenzy. Latest example is the story that the Obama administration is going to raid 401k accounts to reduce the deficit. Follow the paper trail on that one and you get a good idea how these things go from a single Newtonian kernel to a full bore spew of air filled, butter slather popcorn.

    I wish we saw more of the nuanced Erick that says things like “I think sometimes there are people on my side who don’t treat the racial issues with the respect they should because they see them being overblown or blown out of proportion”.

    But despite the valentine penned by the pointy heads at the New York Times, it’s just not the case.

  6. Bucky Plyler says:

    Grift, you sir, are not a barometer nor are you a thermostat. You are a thermometer, only gauging the tempature of whatever someone sticks you into !

  7. Mozart says:

    Ever think that the “conservative movement” here may be nothing but a huge bowel movement that Erick is the “barometer” of?

  8. Game Fan says:

    Or I could set some “conservative movement” in a paper bag on your front porch, light it on fire, ring the doorbell, and you could stamp it out. 🙂

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