Some of the people on this list aren't conservatives except in their own minds. Others are conservative according to the media. Some used to be conservative and then "evolved." Others actually are conservative-ish but do more to hurt the movement than help it. Overall, here is the list of worst conservatives of the 2000s.
If any one person could serve as an example as to why conservatives dislike politicians and do not want them controlling our lives, that person would be Charlie Crist. While conservatives were always skeptical of Crist (hence the 2010 Marco Rubio
push), Crist claimed to be a conservative and even governed conservatively on many issues. He was strongly in favor of gun rights
, was pro-life, favored school choice
, opposed gay marriage and adoption, and opposed Obamacare. He landed an 'A' grade for tax policy by the Cato Institute, a conservative-libertarian think tank. During the 2010 Republican primary for US Senate he called Marco Rubio the real moderate of the race. When it was clear he was going to lose the primary in a landslide, Crist bolted the GOP to mount an "independent" campaign and had a quick and sudden evolution of both campaign positions and governing style. His campaign website was scrubbed of pro-life references and he suddenly began vetoing conservative legislation he had long backed. Over the next two years, he would continue to "evolve." The man who hoped to be McCain's vice-presidential pick and praised Sarah Palin
was supporting Obama two years later. The self-described "Reagan Republican" was backing gun control and Obamacare and, well, any other position required in Democratic politics.
I'm not sure how Trump ever landed in conservative circles to begin with, but the self-absorbed celebrity has never been much of a political conservative. During the 2012 Republican primary he flirted with the idea of running for president, and suddenly started yelling the most conservative things he could think of, as though he picked up a tea party pamphlet for the first time and was just reading whatever was in the pages. He was also a birther extraordinaire. He was obnoxious and outrageous. In reality, Trump was a long-time supporter of the Clintons, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, and don't be surprised to see him back a Hillary run in 2016
. When Trump was picked to speak at the conservative conference CPAC in 2013, conservative activists were rightly bewildered
Peggy Noonan served as one of Ronald Reagan's top speechwriters in the 1980s and then went on to join the punditry class. But after supporting George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, her country-club-and-cocktail-party Washington elitism took a turn for the worse. She regularly took to print and television to bash both Sarah Palin in 2008 and
Mitt Romney in 2012, claiming that conservatives had privately thanked her
for her criticisms. She also attacked the " rage
" of the tea party. I'm guessing she hasn't been to a tea party rally lately, but "rage" is usually not a word that would describe the atmosphere. Worst of all, Noonan is one of the few conservatives the media love to quote... when she is bashing conservatives, anyway.
Former congressman and Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) lands on this list not for his politics (he was quite conservative) but for being just one more hypocrite than is needed in Washington. Sanford famously disappeared for a week while Governor to carry on an extramarital affair in Argentina. The term-limits proponent then went back on his promise of not seeking office again after just two years of being out of power as he sought re-election to Congress... a position he promised never to run for again. To be fair, Sanford isn't the only politician - or even conservative - to have an affair. He isn't the only one to go back on promises not to continue running for office over and over. But Sanford is doing little to stop from embarrassing himself and the many conservatives who once backed him as well. Sometimes it is just time to pack up your toys and stay out of the spotlight. Oh, and try to keep a promise or two.
will probably run for President
in 2016. He might win the nomination, too. He might even win the presidency. And don't misunderstand me, just about any Republican will look great to conservatives after 8 years of Obama. So if Christie is the nominee I would guess he would get our support. But at the same time, Christie is one of the most aggravating kinda-mostly-conservatives there is. One the one hand, he is actually pretty conservative. And even on issues he is not so conservative on - climate change, for one - he doesn't put those issues on a higher scale of importance than the economy. But when his emotions get hold of him, his instincts seem more liberal than not. On immigration, gun control, and government waste, Christie often let's the feelings-of-the-moment over-ride rational decision-making. And at the same time he is pushing away tea party and conservative groups, he embraces anti-business unions and liberal counterparts to talk about how they all agree 96% of the time. And no, he doesn't say it to be cordial. Bonus irritation: a self-indulgent narcissism on the level of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court decided that Obamacare was constitutional because it could be considered a tax, leaving every other conservative constitutional scholar in the country scratching their heads. The deciding vote on Obamacare was supposed to come down to Anthony Kennedy, the court's "moderate" judge. He voted with the other conservative judges. Roberts single-handily dealt a bigger blow to the constitution and conservatism than any other person in recent memory.