We don’t know how the Washington establishment would react to Congresswoman Bachmann as the Republican presidential nominee. We are seeing their reaction to Speaker Gingrich as the nominee. The Democrats (including the media) are going wild. Check out Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. “I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”
And the Republican establishment may be going nuts. Forget about George Will who went around the bend with the rise of the Tea Parties two years ago. Make no mistake, they are all going nuts over the prospect of a Gingrich presidential candidacy and, more than that, a Gingrich presidency. But now they have a perfect foil —Donald Trump. Newsmax has arranged a presidential candidate debate for December 27 with Donald Trump as moderator.
Karl Rove, who had held his fire so far as Romney stalls, exploded, “Here’s a guy who is saying ‘I’m going to endorse one of you’ so that sort of gives him some leverage over them,” Rove told FOX News on Monday. “So should a guy who’s going to endorse be the ‘impartial’ moderator of a debate?”
He added: “More importantly, what the heck are the Republican candidates doing showing up at a debate with a guy who says ‘I may run for president next year as an independent.’ I think the Republican National chairman ought to step in and say we strongly discourage every candidate from appearing in a debate moderated by somebody who’s going to run for president.”
National Review (Online), the Tea Party of my youth but now the epitome of the Republican establishment wrote:
In announcing that their candidate would not attend the Newsmax debate set to be moderated by Donald Trump in Iowa later this month, the Ron Paul campaign wrote, “The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity.”
We could not have put it any better than the Paul campaign, but it is bizarre that such a response was necessary in the first place. The statement goes on to assert, again quite rightly, that Trump’s participation “will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues” and “contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere.” Paul deserves credit for declining to step into the clown car — as does Jon Huntsman.
Perhaps the leader of establishment Republican radio talkers, Salem’s Hugh Hewitt. agonized in the Washington Examiner, “Not much in American politics surprises or dismays me. The prospect of a Donald Trump-moderated GOP presidential debate a week before the Iowa caucuses most certainly does. … Want a serious debate about who should be the GOP nominee? Ask former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs or former Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force… That would be a debate equal to the seriousness of the times we face. Trump is a man of accomplishment and charisma, but this is wrong. It trivializes, indeed demeans, everyone involved.” Read it all.
Well, how could any of us disagree with that? We certainly do not want to trivialize or demean everyone involved. According to Hewitt (and Karl Rove and the NRO and Congressman Paul) Trump moderating a debate and questioning Republicans is demeaning and trivializing. But, this is December 6th, six months after the first of 14 debates. There has not been a single concern from the Republican establishment about:
- CNN.s John King or WMUR-TV’s Jean Mackin, Josh McElveen and Jennifer Vaughn or New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStaso and Tom Fahey.
- FNC’s Bret Baier aand Chris Wallace or Washington Examiner Byron York.
- NBC’s Brian Williams or Politico’s John F. Harris.
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer
- FNC’s Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.
- Bloomberg/Washington Post/WBIN-TV Moderator Charlie Rose or Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty or Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman.
- CNN’s Anderson Cooper
- CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo Jim Cramer John Harwood
- CBS News’ Scott Pelley and The National Journal’s Major Garrett
No concern among the Republican establishment that Scott Pelley, Brian Williams or any of the rest of these “moderators” might be driving a “clown car” or be ‘partial’ moderating a debate. No concern that a single one on our list demeaned or trivialized “everyone involved.” Worse, not one in the Republican establishment worried at all about the agenda of the Moderators in the 2008 Presidential debates between McCain and Obama. Now there was something that should have dismayed Mr. Hewitt.
Update: I heard Hewitt on his Monday radio show head toward a nervous breakdown because, apparently for the first time, he noticed the country is in trouble. I knew I had to respond to this stupidity thus the above post. I just did my daily tour of Rush. He was all over this on his Monday show. You may want to read it all. He ended the segment with this:
What does it mean? What does all this to mean? Trump, Rove, George, what does it all mean?” All right, notice who is on the attack. Donald Trump is minding his own business. He’s agreed to moderate a debate on something called the ION network two days after Christmas, right? Just that little thing has set off time bombs within the Republican establishment, and they’re all out attacking Donald Trump for moderating a debate. Simply for moderating a debate, they’re out attacking Trump. So Trump, being who he is, is going on television and making phone calls and defending himself.
Donald Trump is defending himself. We’re not used to this on the Republican side. Our guys usually bend over, grab the ankles, and say, “Here, hit me again. I’m not gonna sully the debate by defending myself,” and Trump doesn’t bend over, grab the ankles. So Trump’s now defending himself. Why? Because the establishment Republicans and the Democrats are attacking him. They’re ganging up on him — as they ganged up on Sarah Palin, as they ganged up on Christine O’Donnell, as they ganged up on Sharron Angle — and, dare I say, as they’re ganging up on Tim Tebow. Not the Republican establishment, but their equivalent in the sports media. You see what’s going on with Tebow is the same thing going on here. Before Tebow got the starting job as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, everybody who claims to know their salt in football said he can’t succeed.
“He’s horrible, horrible mechanics, college offense, doesn’t have a prayer!” He better fail or they look like fools. He had better fail or they look like fools, and so the media investment is in Tebow failing. In the midst of winning five games in a row. It’s the same thing with Palin, folks. They told us she wasn’t too stupid, too dumb. They had to make sure she failed so that they don’t look like idiots. Ergo, it’s Trump’s turn now. They’re ganging up on Trump. The Republican establishment and the Democrats together are ganging up on Trump as they ganged up on Palin, as they ganged up on O’Donnell and Angle, as the sports media’s ganging up on Tebow — and (sigh), in limited ways, they gang up on me. But I’m just saying how this works. I don’t care about me.
But you see, people are fighting back now. Trump is fighting back. What Trump is saying is, “Hey, Chuck Todd! Hey, Karl Rove! You are not in charge of this election or any other election. Hey, Chuck? You’re an old time Democrat staffer. You don’t get to tell me what to do on your show.” That’s what Trump is doing here. He’s simply fighting back. The Republican establishment — which contains elements of what you and I think of as the conservative media — are trying to beat back anyone who threatens Romney in any way, shape, manner, or form. It’s just that simple. That’s what I make of this. Trump didn’t start anything; he just agreed to moderate a debate! And all hell broke loose.
It took about five minutes and the Sunday shows were organized around it! It’s on some network nobody’s ever heard of, except me, the ION network. It’s channel 305 on DirecTV, FYI; but I don’t have cable so I don’t know if your cable system has it and I don’t know what channel it would be on your cable system. But the Tea Party is like Trump; they don’t care what the Washington socialite, inside-the-Beltway Republicans and Democrats have to say. The Tea Party’s the conservative movement. By the way, Newt and Trump have announced — where is it? — apprenticeships. Newt and Trump have announced apprenticeships for ten needy kids in New York City to help teach them the work ethic in America. Now, stop and think of that. We need a program, a special program to teach ten kids the work ethic, ’cause if you work and earn money, you are the enemy in America today.