Making the rounds last week was video of Dennis Miller on the O’Reilly Factor, criticizing Young Jeezy and Jay-Z for their racially charged diatribe during pre-inaugural festivities.
I’ve always found Miller funny, but give him credit. In 2003, Miller became an outspoken supporter of the War on Terror. Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but circa 2002 the pro-Bush, Republican bandwagon was so crowded that it made last week’s Obamafest look like the Australian outback after a nuclear winter. And among the intelligentsia, this was less-than welcome news; Miller was so reviled as a turncoat that some wondered if he was some Dr. Moreau-esque genetic amalgam of Benedict Arnold, Alger Hiss, and Lando Calrissian. Some on the right even questioned whether Miller’s outspoken conservatism (though he eschewed the conservative tag) was more a finger-in-the-wind capitalization on the post-9-11 zeitgeist from someone who had just gotten booted from the Monday Night Football booth.
But things change and today the only place on TV talking positively about Bush is the Home and Gardening network. For someone in Miller’s position, it would have been easy to embrace Obama’s hope and back away from previous support for Republicans under the mantra of independence.
Yet Miller stuck to his guns – and revealed much about his outlook by proclaiming high hopes and well wishes for Obama even while admitting he didn’t support his candidacy. Miller isn’t a politico: Like most people, he has an informed opinion, but also like most people he isn’t boxed in by an Attica-like ideology that confines “open thinking” to one daily jaunt to the prison yard that is echo-chamber opinion press you always agree with. If the casual political observer like Dennis Miller is still more conservative than liberal based on an understanding and acceptance of principles, there might by a chance to win back the rest of America.
Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.