It is healthy for center-right journalists and conservative bloggers (there is a major distinction between the two — but time doesn’t allow one to address every nuance) to vet candidates. Skepticism is good. As The Jim Antle Doctrine advises conservatives: “A political alliance isn’t a marriage. You don’t have to take a presidential candidate for better or worse. Only when they’re right.”

Others, however, like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, seem to believe center-right media should function simply as “team players” or cheerleaders for conservative politicians. (Note: They get to decide who is “conservative” at the given moment).

For this reason, my well-documented column about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s penchant for earmarks (and farm subsidies, etc.), led Limbaugh and Levin to attack me. Limbaugh actually accused me of being too concerned about purity. He then defended Bachmann’s earmarks, saying: “I have never been one to base my entire view of a politician on whether or not they supported earmarks — ’cause it’s not that much money.”

Levin also had some choice words for me.