Sunday, December 11, 2011


DougJ can't understand why the GOP establishment allowed the party's presidential candidates to be defined by an endless series of debates, which produced an apparently unelectable nutjob of a front-runner and seem likely to drive the electable Mitt Romney way too far to the right.

I read a lot about how Roger Ailes would step in and make sure the primary went well, that it wouldn’t turn into a clown show, that he’d make sure an electable candidate got through. But then Bret Baier (to his credit) got all serious journalist with Romney.

Republicans may still win next November. I’m not making any predictions. But clearly they've shit the bed, thus far. Wha' happen?

Yeah, I read about how Ailes desperately wanted an electable candidate. I read, more recently, about how he's said he's trying to make a "course correction" toward (occasional) genuine journalism and away from relentless right-wing advocacy.

But Ailes, for all his proclaimed desire to settle down with someone marriageable, simply can't resist a bit of rough -- all the time he was proclaiming that he wanted a winner, Fox was plugging the likes of Donald Trump and Herman Cain. And the party is the same: the debates made front-runners out of Bachmann, and later Cain, and finally Gingrich, and party leaders didn't step in to stop the process, because the ratings were good and the voters were getting pumped up, even though it was clear after, say, week two of Herman Cain's reign that they were getting pumped up by candidates who were a danger to the party, culminating in Gingrich.

Did Ailes sandbag Romney with that Bret Baier interview? Was it a sign that Gingrich had won the Murdoch primary? To me it was a weird hazing ritual; Romney was supposed to show he could take this kind of questioning like a man. I'm not sure it changed anything so much as it confirmed the inevitable -- Gingrich was already beating Romney in the polls by then. But Fox and the party don't want to cosset Romney because they still romanticize Republicans who are mad, bad, and dangerous to know. They claim they didn't want this outcome, but as it was unfolding, it was too exciting to resist. It was too in tune with their deepest desires.

1 comment:

c u n d gulag said...

"Did Ailes sandbag Romney with that Bret Baier interview?"

Last I looked, asking expected questions about the flip-flopping of a candidate who's taken more positions than Debbie when she did Dallas, isn't exactly "sandbagging."

"Sandbagging" is now defined as asking a Republican VP candidate a question about what she/he reads.

For instance, I'd like to ask if Newt has read any book except "Future Shock" since the early 70's?
But that would probably constitute "sandbagging."