Matt Lewis

Jennifer Rubin turns on Santorum

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer recently chastised his colleague, Jeffrey Lord, for alleging the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin was “in the tank” for Mitt Romney. As evidence, Hillyer noted that Rubin “has written literally several dozen pieces that are absolutely glowing about Rick Santorum …”

Hillyer was correct; Rubin has written positively about Santorum. But that was before Santorum posed a serious threat to Romney (or anybody, for that matter.)

Writing “glowing” things about Rick Santorum, it now seems, was merely a convenient cover. It allowed her to write very unkind things about rubes like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry (and others), without appearing to be too in the tank for Mitt.

Her love of the non-Romney candidates, including Santorum, always seemed to come — not just when they weren’t hurting Romney — but when they were hurting other candidates not named Romney.

And besides, it was a win/win: Santorum had no real chance of winning, right?

Wrong.

Santorum is surging, and, coincidentally, Rubin now seems to have discovered he harbors extreme socially conservative beliefs which are simply unacceptable.

At the time of this writing, the last three Rubin posts could be described as anti-Santorum and/or pro-Romney.

The most recent post, titled “Is Santorum the Sharon Angle of 2012?,” is self-evidently critical. Her penultimate post, “Santorum adds fuel to the culture wars,” alleges that Santorum’s “strongly held social views, when uttered aloud in dogmatic tones, sound outrageous to voters who aren’t hard-core social conservatives.”

And her post titled, “Is the not-Romney an improvement for conservatives?” reminds us of ” Santorum’s unconservative economic thinking and his extremism on social issues…”

This is all indicative of a larger issue: Since becoming the Washington Post’s “conservative” blogger, many mainstream conservatives have been critical of Rubin’s hiring. (Ostensibly, she is there to be a conservative voice.)

The latest criticism comes from RedState and CNN’s Erick Erickson, who writes, “Rubin has done more to hinder the Washington Post in the eyes of conservatives as a place willing to treat conservative views honestly than even hiring Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent, both activist leftists who can, at least, put aside partisanship to occasionally engage in good reporting.”