Bristol Palin, James O'Keefe, Jonathan Krohn: Young Republican Stars
"Filmmaker?" Really, Fox News?
Most young Americans are pretty liberal. We're down with gay rights, not so down with war, and every once in a while we think it's a good idea for the government to help the downtrodden. But there exists a vocal minority of youthful conservatives, and increasingly, they're on the move. Some are brilliant, and some are a couple of brain cells away from comatose. Here's the rundown of tomorrow's Reagans and Reaganettes.
Nickname: The Prodigy
Description: You know something is seriously wrong with a teen when his Web site "bio" has more important-sounding titles than a vast majority of American adults. Take Jonathan Krohn, who loves being a conservative so much that he's wasted the best years of his life trying to please the old white men of the Republican party. The 15-year-old became a national figure after he spoke at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference. He had already self-published a book titled "Define Conservatism." His second book "Defining Conservatism" was published last month. Oh, and his bio, in case you were wondering: "Jonathan Krohn is a columnist, author, speaker, and political analyst."
Nickname: The Puppet Master
Description: Wetmore is the mastermind behind the breed of hidden-camera stunt journalism being practiced by radical right-wingers across the country. Both Joe Basel and James O'Keefe claim him as "mentor." Wetmore catapulted into Bill O'Reilly-fame after being arrested by campus police at American University for videotaping a Tipper Gore speech in 2002.
Nickname: The Pimp
Description: A self-described "investigative journalist without formal training," O'Keefe updates Nixon-era dirty tricks for the digital age, mixing in his own taste for the theatrical. Last year the 25-year-old more or less single-handedly brought down ACORN by pretending to run a brothel and videotaping ACORN staff advising him how to set up his business. To spice up his investigation, O'Keefe spliced in footage of himself dressed up like a '70s-era pimp. Because white kids dressing up like black stereotypes just doesn't stop being hilarious! His next project, a joint effort with Joe Basel among others, got him arrested and charged with a felony for attempting to interfere with a Democratic senator's phone system. Whatever happens with that case, we feel certain we can expect more, uh, "investigative journalism" from young James.
Nickname: Ann Coulter 2.0
Description: If Rush Limbaugh is the Republican Jabba the Hutt, Sarah Elizabeth Cupp is Princess Leia in her hot slave outfit. Born February 23, 1979, Cupp is the author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right" and the darling of bow-tied tool Tucker Carlson, who called her "one of the smartest, most energetic and interesting people I know under 30." She is also, as Salon wryly noted, "one of the latest young, white conservative women to make a career of saying inflammatory things while looking really pretty."
Nickname: Going Rogue II, Electric Boogaloo
Description: Two years ago, the soon-to-be teenage mother seemed to be a far cry from her mother's staunch conservative values. But Bristol has since pulled a 180. Now a shining spokeswoman for abstinence, Bristol launched her own political consulting and lobbyist firm last year called BSMP. It seems the young mom is now gunning for a future of Rogue status.
Nickname: Lil' Limbaugh
Description: Born August 28, 1981, our boy Ben has already earned himself an impressive right-wing resume. Rising to rightwing fame through his radio show, which he started at the tender age of 13 in Memphis, Ferguson addressed the Republican National Convention in 2004, the same year he authored, "It's My America Too : A Leading Young Conservative Shares His Views on Politics and Other Matters of Importance." Picture a pubescent Rush with a bowl cut and you're halfway there.
Nickname: The Phenom
Description: Born May 28, 1981, in Morris, Minnesota, Schock moved to Illinois where he got an early start to his political career when he challenged his local school board for the right to graduate early. In 2008, became the youngest member of Congress (and the first one born in the 1980s) when he defeated a Democratic incumbent despite the buoying affects of Obama's presidential campaign. Schock lived up to his name with first act: Suggesting the U.S. sell nuclear weapons to Taiwan. Perhaps he could have used a little more seasoning after all.
Nickname: None. Real name too perfect.
Description: A case of fine ale to any reader who can come up with a more apt name for a young right-winger than "Flagg Youngblood." Seriously, we were almost hesitant to rip on the smirking orange-haired bastard, seeing as his name all but predisposed him to sucking any red-white-and-blue Elephant dick unfurled before him (His middle name, very unfortunately, is not Waver). That said, we'll give Youngblood credit for breaking the chickenhawk/armchair warrior stereotype that seems to accompany his pudgy war-glamorizing colleagues. While attending Yale in the mid-90's, the school decided to cut its ROTC program, in which Youngblood was enrolled. Undeterred, the Nashville native decided to make the 70-mile commute to participate at the University of Connecticut's ROTC. Upon graduating, Youngblood joined the Army as an Officer and served on active duty through 2000 with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003-04. The willing pawn currently works with the Young America's Foundation, an organization devoted to rabble-baiting non-issues, most notably military recruiters' right to be heard in high school cafeterias.
Nickname: The Real Threat
Description: She may be only a baby conservative now, but Meghan McCain is building the creds to become a Republican power player. Much, much smarter than most conservatards, the 25-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain and Cindy Hensley McCain registered as an Independent when she turned 18, voted for John Kerry in 2004, then became a Republican out of respect for her father when he was on the presidential campaign trail in 2008. What McCain, a Columbia University art history graduate, has that will give her actual star power is intelligence, balance, a famous name, and a finger on the pulse of her generation. Last year, she told the Log Cabin Republicans: "I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people's lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican."
David Rufful and Josh Riddle
Nicknames: Serious C and Stiltz
Description: Dave "Serious C" Rufful and Josh "Stiltz" Riddle are just the kind of elites that Sarah Palin has warned us about. Products of the exclusive (endowment $107 million, tuition $43,400), and Dartmouth College class of 2012 (endowment $2.8 billion, tuition $38,445), these undergrads use their preferred position in society to preach about we ought to live our lives. In their case, however, elitism's OK. Scott Johnson over at Power Line says so. That's because Serious C and Stiltz are conservative elites, you see. And they have a pretty good schtick: They rap. Seriously. They're the toast of the right side of the blogosphere in their button-down shirts and blazers for lines like this: "Three things taught me conservative love / Jesus, Ronald Reagan plus Atlas Shrugged."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Friendship comes at a price for the new Seward co-op
- Lake Elmo's beautiful greensward threatened by disuse and developers
- U of M student Rahsaan Mahadeo awarded, then arrested for his activism