DUI: Mel Gibson Swerves Into a Conservative Catch-22

By now most of us have heard that actor Mel Gibson was popped for driving under the influence a couple of nights ago. In and of itself, an entertainer getting busted for DUI in Malibu is about as rare as spotting a bruise on Courtney Love, but with Mel, especially since he made “The Passion of the Christ,” this won’t go away. Mel’s often described as a conservative, though, to my knowledge, he’s never said that himself.

But that’s neither here nor there, because Gibson made an accurate religious movie that Christians flocked to see, so, as far as Hollywood goes, he’s not only conservative, but a religious nut.

Hollywood has a self-applied “victim meets hero” label for certain people who get into trouble. Actors coming forward to admit drug and alcohol problems in Tinseltown are called courageous– provided they met with prior liberal approval.

This won’t be the case with Gibson. He’ll just be “the dickhead who was drinking and driving.”

Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” made a fortune in box-office cash – surpassing many huge films, and perhaps even Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson’s amateur movie, “Dumb and Hummer,” in total worldwide earnings. Hollywood took note.

Like sharks with chum in the water, the arousal factor of that much cash floating around is what puts the “wood” in “Hollywood.” I’m surprised there hasn’t been a mainstream Hollywood attempt at another bible film. Maybe one is in the works.

The fact is, most of Hollywood is incapable of making a movie like “The Passion.” Why? To do so requires more than just a “passion” for money. Mel Gibson had that passion, and as a result, the suspected conservative Gibson ended up being lauded by Christians everywhere for at last making a movie about Christ’s crucifixion that wasn’t ridiculously overwrought with inaccuracies and/or have an obligatory car chase scene.

The problem for Gibson

When you’re a conservative – or even suspected of being one – the rules change. Robert Downey Jr. was known as “poor Robert Downey Jr.” after his many battles with drugs. There are literally a ton of other examples.

Gibson screwed up big time, and he’ll be the first to admit that, but if he comes forward and perhaps admits a problem, he’ll not be called “courageous,” but rather “hypocritical.” This is the tough thing about being right of center.

As conservatives, we preach personal responsibility and accountability. When we screw up, there’s nobody to blame it on, and we’re automatically hypocrites for not practicing what we preach, as it should be.

It takes guts to be a conservative, because we know going in that nobody’s perfect, including ourselves. It would be so easy to be a liberal. When we got into trouble we could just blame the stress of the times or the fact that we’re suffering from a “disease.” We conservatives have no such out, and wouldn’t be allowed one if we tried (without converting to liberalism), as Mel Gibson’s about to discover.

When you think about it though, being expected to live up to a higher standard is a compliment. Who wants to be part of a philosophy where the expectation of screw-ups, failure, and excuses for both when they happen is the norm? The answer is: apparently, way too many people.


It’s been reported that Gibson went on an anti-Jewish tirade during his arrest, and later apologized. Like I said, it’s all about personal responsibility. Mel didn’t possess any that night. If this is true, Gibson will be the first person I’ve heard of to blame the Jews for getting pulled over for DUI. Most drunk drivers blame the cops.

Also, Gibson has subsequently called his problem a “disease,” so maybe he’s moving to the left a bit so the press and everybody else will lighten up on him. It won’t work, but it’s a nice try. Another conservative bites the dust.

For those commenting that this is just another conservative whining about liberal bias, please re-read the post. Nobody said Gibson’s a victim because he’s a conservative… it’s that he shouldn’t consider playing the victim because he’s conservative (allegedly).

He’s obviously already considering playing the victim.

Here’s a quick and rather rhetorical question. Who’s going to get more negative press in the coming days from the mainstream media for their anti-Semitic comments: Mel Gibson, or Hezbollah?


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. MichelleMalkin.com alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: WriteDoug@Live.com.