I'm more interested in the conservative pseuds who try to explain it all on the internet, and so far their take seems to be that the preferred viewing choice of your aged relatives who send you pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose doesn't have anything to do with conservatism.
"He Was a Centrist, Not a Conservative," claims Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart. But look where Pollak's baseline is, via his approving quote of some wingnut chin-stroker:
What if we could magically remove the metaphoric glass and see, face-to-face, the average American, once his political views are no longer distorted by media bias? What would we see?
The answer, basically, is Ben Stein.Tell your aged Obama-hating relatives that their avatar is Ben Stein and they'll smack you. I won't even accept that slander on them! Hell, if the average American were the chinless Stein, we'd have receded into the primordial ooze years ago. (Try to imagine Ben Stein without money. He'd be raving next to an overpass. Or at least whining loudly.)
The others are worse. I include the worthless Chuck Todd who, seeking to impress Hugh Hewitt for some reason, "agreed" with him according to this Daily Caller report that O'Reilly wasn't a real conservative, that is, not a fancy intellectual like Hugh Hewitt:
“He was — to me, what he did — he was the tone-setter,” Todd continued. “He was sort of that anti-political correctness.”[facepalm]
“He was the opening act that brought the crowds, but he became almost more fun to watch than the concert itself, sometimes, but he was the entertainer, probably more entertainer than any of the others.”Similarly, gameshow buffoon Trump isn't conservative either -- he just pumps out rightwing policies self-identified conservatives eat up, but he ain't got good taste so when the smart guys stand around in cigar bars with snifters and talk about the Glooory of the Mooovement & Burke & Hayek &tc they shove Trump into a coatroom and blame the smell on the dog.
Plus there's Mark Judge at Splice Today -- "The left is cheering the demise of O’Reilly, but liberals have nothing to boast about," he says, because someone got raped at Occupy and what about that bitch who said she was raped but wasn't, huh libs? And Scott Lehigh at the Boston Globe: "Bill O’Reilly types aren’t just a conservative problem," because all those liberal TV hosts are sexual harassers too and the only reason we don't have proof like with O'Reilly is because chicks lie to protect libtards to keep their precious abortions.
At National Review Ian Tuttle tries a variation: Sure, the old-fogey conservatives go for O'Reilly, but we youngs are modern and a-go-go and we think O'Reilly's trad, dad:
This rough-and-ready genealogy might even include a third generation, emerging now — one whose world was shaped by September 11, Iraq, economic recession, and the hyper-partisanship of the Obama years. These conservatives are not Bill O’Reilly; they’re Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham. Their media are podcasts and Twitter, and while they’re certainly combative, they are more interested in a savvy, cosmopolitan conservatism that goes toe-to-toe with progressivism on its own turf (consider Shapiro’s popular campus-speaking events) than in the countrified, bigger-government, populism-tinged conservatism embodied by Mike Huckabee."Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham??" cry the youth of today. "That's all I needed to hear. Direct me to the scene of their symposia, where I will vape, denounce socialism, and maybe beat up some antifa chicks!"
At least Tuttle's got enough sense to be ashamed, but not enough to see that O'Reilly isn't the problem. You still need someone; that someone could be younger, and maybe even female (sexual harassment is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have for this gig!) or non-white (the murderous psycho Sheriff David Clarke might even do). But you will need someone to summon the clans, and he or she will have to be a scumbag -- and, since this is the age of Trump rather than the age of Reagan, that person also has to let the slavering masses know he or she is a scumbag. Because St. Ronnie wouldn't make it today; they'd see through his unctuousness right away and despise him for thinking them dumb enough to believe he's a nice guy. Shit, even conservatives don't believe in "trickle down" or "law and order" or any of those magic words anymore -- you can imagine what the marks they've been bilking for decades think!
No, for them only the Savage Messiah will do. And if the prissier among the Movement Conservatives have to stand off the side, look as innocent as their careers as childhood snitches taught them, and say oh no this is not what we meant at all, well, they can afford to pretend it's strategy instead of self-deception -- after all, they still get paid.