Counterpoint: In Defense of Jennifer Rubin

I must respectfully disagree with my insightful colleague John Nolte about Jennifer Rubin, the resident conservative blogger at the Washington Post.

First, full disclosure: Rubin is a friend. I was privileged to get to know her during the 2010 elections after admiring her work throughout the dark days of 2008.

Jennifer Rubin speaking in Illinois, 2010

There’s a risk for any conservative when going “in-house” at a mainstream media outlet. In my view, Rubin’s held her own and maintained her independence.

[UPDATE: I am reminded, also, that the radical left and their mouthpieces, like Media Matters, hate the fact that Rubin is at the Post because they worry about her ability to use her blog to legitimize conservative views for the newspaper’s liberal readership.]

I think it’s precisely her independence that fascinates–and frustrates–Ben Smith and other mainstream journalists. They wish she could be cast as a shill.

She’s been very aggressive in attacking Gov. Rick Perry–but then, she’s not the only conservative who has done so openly and stridently.

I don’t agree with fellow conservatives who have described her as “establishment,” either (if I had to characterize her views simplistically, I’d say they were “urbane”).

There are plenty of conservatives who are, like Rubin, critical of some of the social or foreign policy views that have emerged among the Republican presidential candidates.

I don’t think a single one of them wants to see Barack Obama re-elected. On the contrary, they want to see the best possible challenger emerge from the pack.

At this stage, I don’t think conservative writers should feel obliged to hold back about the candidates–or each other–when we disagree.

I do agree with John that we ought to be mindful of the context. Conservatives will almost never get respect from the mainstream media unless we are useful to it and its political agenda.

But the Jen Rubin I know is not trying to make herself useful to Politico or the Obama-loving media.

I’ll bet Barack Obama knows it, too.

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