A couple of my commenters have made note of something Ed Kilgore wrote about attempts by Republicans to purify their presidential debates:
If there was some way for conservatives to restrict viewership of candidate debates to fellow-conservatives, I'm sure they’d be all for that, too.Leslie Galen wrote this in comments:
If Kilgore is right, they really don't want anyone to see a debate at all. I can't imagine how they think this will help their cause. Maybe they've decided to go full-on black ops, massive voter fraud, blackmail, whatever, rather than present their arguments to America.I don't think that's all that far from the truth.
Chris Taylor is a Democratic state legislator from Wisconsin; she recently attended the annual ALEC conference, then wrote about what she learned for The Progressive. Taylor subsequently gave an interview to the Bill Moyers Web site, in which she said something I think is relevant:
One guy I was talking to, who was from one of these right wing think tanks was saying we need to curb Obama's reckless power with these administrative regulations, and he wanted a federal constitutional amendment saying Congress has to approve federal regulations. I said, I don't think most people are going to want to amend the Constitution for that. I don't think that ignites people. Maybe it does on the far right, but most people don't really care about that. And he said, "Oh, well, you really don't need people to do this. You just need control over the legislature and you need money, and we have both."I know that the group of Republicans who want to purify the debates doesn't overlap exactly with ALEC and its pals (the ALEC crowd would surely prefer President Scott Walker to president Rand Paul), but I'm starting to suspect that the thinking is roughly the same. I think elements of the right don't really care all that much about winning over swing voters -- they think suppression of the Democratic vote (an ALEC cause) plus the banning of all limits on campaign spending plus a few selected hot-button issues will turn out jut enough suburban, exurban, and rural whites (and turn away just enough non-whites and students) to put Republicans in control, certainly in many states, and possibly at the federal level. I think the plan is to forget the reboot of the GOP, ignore swing voters, and just keep the base so angry (in part by preventing any real improvement of the economy from ever taking root) that Republicans can eke out wins in even more states and at the national level.
That sentiment was underscored so many times to me, that they don't want people involved in the political process, or in the policy process. And that seems to be the intent in a lot of ways: You have a think tank in every state and all they do is come up with these very, very regressive policies, you have corporations who are going to benefit so they fund it all, and then you have the legislators as your foot soldiers to carry out the tasks.
And then democracy is moot -- all the legislation is pre-written, and all the Republicans will vote yes on everything. Who needs popular support?
(Moyers interview via Raw Story.