Call it anti-Heathering.
While the Media Research Center attacks any conservative who dares to even slightly deviate from the right-wing party line, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy uses an April 24 column to defend the record of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
Ruddy rails against a "grossly unfair" attack ad against Collins for supporting a failed effort at expanded background checks on guns:
The fact is, Sen. Collins believes in the Second Amendment. She has earned a solid B-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.
She has also opposed some of the lunacy being pushed by the Democrats. For example, she voted to support legislation in 2007 prohibiting foreign and U.N. aid that restricts U.S. gun ownership. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recently indicated the U.S. would back such U.N. efforts.
On another key issue important to the NRA, Collins voted to support legislation in 2005 prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. In 1998, she also supported a law allowing the sale of guns without trigger locks.
Again, in 1999 she opposed a bill requiring background checks at gun shows.
Ruddy also defended Collins' Republican bona fides:
As for the allegation that she doesn’t “sound like” a Republican, it should be noted that Collins voted against Obamacare, voted in favor of the Bush-era tax cuts and their extension, supported the Iraq War Resolution authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq, and received a 0 percent rating from SANE (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), indicating a pro-military voting record.
On fiscal policy, she is a conservative, supporting the idea of a balanced budget constitutional amendment and enforcing existing spending caps in the future.
Last year, the GOP was within a hair’s breadth in gaining control of the U.S. Senate, but they blew it by putting forward candidates out of sync with mainstream voters.
Republicans could easily make the same mistake in 2014 if some elements within the party unfairly target highly qualified candidates like Susan Collins.
Will the MRC start Heathering Ruddy and Newsmax for being insufficiently conservative? We shall see.