Skip to comments.Hugh Hewitt: Just say no to Nancy Reagan
Posted on 11/15/2010 9:04:22 PM PST by roses of sharon
With all due respect to Nancy Reagan, her proposal that the first Republican debate of the 2012 season be held at the Reagan Library in the spring of 2011 is worse than a nonstarter. The country needs to focus on the hugely important congressional debates this spring, not on made-for-MSM, liberal-dominated GOP wrestling matches.
The idea is itself an insult to conservative activists and new media. A quick rejection by GOP candidates of the presumptuous declaration of inevitability by Politico.com and NBC that they would be in charge would go a long way toward recognizing that these outlets, like most of the Beltway-Manhattan media elite, went in the tank for President Obama in 2008 and won't be allowed to dictate the terms of the 2012 presidential race.
Full disclosure: In addition to my radio show, I write for The Examiner and Townhall.com. I used to receive an occasional invitation to write for Politico or to appear on MSNBC, but as those outlets have gone left -- slowly, in the case of Politico, or rapidly and without reservation for NBC and its Olbermann subsidiary -- those invites have stopped. That's fine. I still enjoy having Politico's Mike Allen on my show as a regular guest most Tuesdays, and I read Politico every day.
But both outlets are significantly biased to the left, and not just to the president, but to the whole Beltway culture which is inherently big-government oriented and dominated by the conventional big-government wisdom about every debate. Very few Beltway media voices retain any connection to the conservative grass roots or the GOP's base, and those that do don't work at Politico or NBC.
In fact, those journalists never appear at these debates, which are instead given over to lefties like the affable Anderson Cooper, the professional but still MSM-driven Wolf Blitzer, the amiable Brian Williams or the talented-but-still-Beltway-driven John Harris or Jim Lehrer.
Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP's primary electorate. The process of choosing a GOP nominee should not be mediated by the left-wing media -- again.
I discussed this topic with one of my favorite Beltway pundits, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, on Friday's radio show. Cillizza gamely defended his guild, but here's the key exchange:
HH: OK, objectively, what would get more ratings and be more interesting, a panel of Brian Williams and John Harris and Anderson Cooper asking eight Republicans questions, or a panel of Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Medved -- four different radio networks -- asking the same people questions? What would be more interesting, Chris?
CC: And I don't want to sit on the fence, but I think, I mean, I think there would be two different sets of questions, potentially.
HH: Oh, hugely.
CC: But I don't know that either of them would be uninteresting.
Beltway liberals asking MSM questions would indeed be different than opinion journalists of the center-right, and I suspect far less intelligent and challenging as the questions posed by my panel, which would probe things like the constitutionality of the individual mandate while avoiding questions from plants in the audience, Santa Claus, and the endless abortion questions which marked 2008's "debates" and which the liberal MSM "journalists" manufactures to advance the left's agenda on a four-year interval.
There are scores of conservative journalists to people the panels and center-right outlets to sponsor GOP debates when they begin, which hopefully will not be until the fall of 2011.
With all due respect to Nancy Reagan...Hewitt is correct.
Hewitt is exactly right, and he should be on that panel.
No, how about some unknown people who understand the Constitution asking hardcore questions? Why does it have to be celebrities?
Enough with the celebrities.
I agree with Hugh here, time for a change in Republican debates.
I may get flamed for this, but it’s also time to move on from the Reagan adoration.
I strongly believe in understanding history, honoring it, and learning from it, but the continual references to Reagan are wearing thin. He has been gone for decades.
The conservative argument must be made for today and for the future, not looking backward. Continually talking about the Reagan years makes it look like today’s conservatives want to live in the past and have no answers for today’s problems.
Reagan’s place in history is assured. He was right about many things. But a huge percentage of the electorate has no personal memory of his Presidency.
We need new leaders who can articulate conservative principles for today’s world.
Agreed, and I am sure Hugh does too...most of us would like to see a panel of “celebs” maybe just once, it would be fun and serious too.
What would be interesting would be to have this panel, sans the simpleton Hannity, as moderators and questioners for the Dem primary debates.
Oh yeah. It’s time to STOP letting the libs and Rinos define the debates or the where these debates will happen. Open forum, head to head with only a mediator for enforcement of the time limit.
Libs, Socialists and Rinos will be destroyed in this setting.
That damn old truth will be destroy liars in the light of day and it’s enemies will be exposed.
People tend to forget history and have to be reminded of past heros. Reagan was a champion against oppressive government and for individual freedom, individual rights and therefore individual empowerment.
He was truly the Great Communicator of timeless principles. He cannot be spoken of enough.
Why are we even talking about Presidential debates next Spring. This is rediculous 18 months before a Presidential election and 8 months before the 1st primary. It’s time to roll this back to have Presidential Primaries in the Spring instead of immediately after New Years 2012.
I have an idea for the ultimate presidential debates, which could apply to a primary debate.
Let the participants select questioners. They would no doubt pick heavyweight supporters, and the strategy of picking who will go after your opponents would be very interesting.
NO-NO-NO to letting liberals control the early agenda!
I agree and glad someone spoke out against it.
Would half the candidates dare show up?
I don’t mind the adoration for Ronald Reagan, he was a great President and his ideas are timeless. Michael Reagan is best at representing his father now.
President Reagan loved Nancy, but she either doesn’t remember or the absence of being the target for many years that these left-wingers who now kind of admire her or use her conveniently, said the same thing about her and her husband that they are saying about any Conservative now.
If I am thinking about running I would politely decline for now since I have not made the committment to run. I think Hewitt is also correct, in 2008 the Democrats would not have a Fox News Debate and eventually would not debate on CNN if Lou Dobbs or any moderator that wasn’t a leftist were not suitable for them.
Conservatives should not debate on MSLSD, they aren’t interested in debates, they are interested in destroying the Republican field and promoting the RINO’s to divide the party.
But can someone explain to me the problem with having the debate at the Reagan Library? I don't see how the two issues are connected, or what Hewitt is getting at with respect to Nancy Regan. It seems you could obviously have a conservative dream team panel, but still have it at the Reagan Library. What gives?
It’s a debate. When have they actually been allowed to debate what matters? They have become boring and predictable just like the nightly MSM news. (All left wing all the time.)
We have Parties ... Tea Parties, no debate necessary, SH Politicians just need to do what Hillary said she wanted to do “LISTEN”
I think we just shouted pretty loud, we can Shout even louder 2012...
I’m tired of Politicians PERIOD ... they better hear us soon or they better get out of the way ... by 2014 we may be able to retire the Majority of “Career Politicians” and one of the first cuts is their RETIREMENT! (I actually have a four or five page Rant in my head, I’ll share it later)
I could be wrong...
Maybe the Reagan Library is working with Politico and NBC to schedule the debate?
It sounds like that is what Hewitt is describing here.
My rant is very short:
I suspect that Nancy Reagan already rejected that idea, or Hewitt would not have openly criticized her.
Today we have Career Politicians combined with MSM, Together they become a
“SELF LICKING ICE CREAM CONE”
(Don’t have any idea why Laz has to be pinged, just thought I would... maybe he could supply a dash of levity to such a horrible recipe of our current reality)
Don't want to get into a Hannity war, but I truly believe he is a conservative and doesn't get enough credit for the work he does (second largest audience in talk radio).
If you wanted brutal conservative honesty, Mark Levin would be the man. No liberal crap gets by him.
Don’t know if it’s possible but a single short little Bill that simply says “What applies to Us applies to You”
No Perks Bill and We Prosecute all Politician /Lobbyist relationships (Repeal... “WE ASK THEY DON’T TELL”)
“No, how about some unknown people who understand the Constitution asking hardcore questions? Why does it have to be celebrities? “
I want a FReeper debate :)
In return, Rush moderates the inevitable Dem debate that ensues when Obama is challenged in 2012, along with a panel including Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and/or Laura Ingraham or Ann Coulter. Maybe Greg Gutfeld. Or any combination thereof.
No ground rules.
I can dream can't I? ;)
TT that self licking cone is a first for me. Almost blew my Dewars out my nose.
Didn’t mean to give impression that I didn’t think Hannity isn’t a major force for our side. And he does do many good things - more than what is know, I bet.
I’m not impressed with the way he interviews liberals - it just seems he’s more concerned with wanting to be liked more than going for the juggler.;)
IMO, he’s swayed by what’s expected of him or what others may think of him. So with this, he would think he’d have to be hard for ‘show’. Again, IMO. Besides I’m not sure where his allegiance is - to the rino’s or conservatives. I haven’t listened to him in years - my schedule changed.
In fact, let’s have Rush, Hannity, MedVed, Coulter moderate the Democratic debates.
I’d take Rush or Levin, but I’d have to change the channel everytime hannity called everyone a great American and started throwing a football around.
We need a constitutional amendment that requires the House of Representatives and the Senate to be moved every two years. At least part of the reason the capitol was located in D.C. was because it was a swamp and it was thought that the lawmakers wouldn't want to de camp there year round. With legislators meeting part-time, it was correctly thought that this would result in less federal mischief.
Additionally, our founders wisely believed that the principle of divided gov't also included preventing the capitol city from becoming a power unto itself.
As for examples of what happened when a nation's most populous and wealthy city also became its capitol, the founder had only to look to Europe. Inevitably, locating the capitol in London or Paris or Rome led to an unhealthy concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of those who controlled the capitol. This pattern has been repeated in most countries with the notable exception of the United States.
But now we see Washington D.C. becoming a metropolis until itself with 7 of the 10 most wealthy counties in the United States all being located around Washington D.C. So I say the time has come to neuter Washington D.C. and to start rotating the capitol among the fair states of this land. Do it by lottery or do it by vote, but however it is done, do it quickly before Washington D.C. devours the nation it is supposed to serve.
Medved would not be able to hide his anti-Palin, anti-conservative bias.
Yeah, something is funny, Hewitt is no rebel, he is a Mitt Romney worshiper who actually wrote a book promoting Mitt Romney to Christians.
I think I heard Col Allen West mention the self licking cone in one of his speeches (he was making fun of something)
I just stole that part and added it to “What do we get with Career Politicians and MSM... a Self Licking Ice Cream Cone”
My concern is the freaking Ice Cream is melting and making a mess and you know them whiners are going to want another cone from our kids, and one from their kids etc... and that’s just this batch of MSM/Politicians, what will the next batch of MSM/politicians want? and the next?
This just needs to end... these clowns have not measured up .. they ain’t tall enough for the Ferris wheel, let alone the ride you and I are on.
Fan yes, worshiper no. And that book was a commercial success.
But I agree with you that something is going on here, there is a back story.
I agree, the MSM NBC Olberman types will drench our candidates with pisspots of low ball questions and smears.
How about Judge Napolitano on the panel? We would very quickly learn who knows the Constitution.
Yeah, the same way we’ve moved on from other Presidents of the past, like FDR, Lincoln, Washington. Reagan is the greatest President of our generation. Why would we want to move on from the legacy he left? His legacy needs to be remembered and shared with the next generation, not forgotten!
Maybe not THOSE guys, but Conservatives would ask TOUGHER questions because WE EAT OUR OWN!
You are absolutely right, and make my point perfectly.
We look up to the great Presidents of the past, and Reagan stands proudly among them.
But we don’t run our candidates on their records.
I don’t know how old you are, but I’m getting up there. Reagan may have been the “greatest President of our generation” for many Americans, but we are rapidly approaching the point where most of the electorate have no recollection of his time in office.
I’d laugh at a politician who was continually referring to a President who left office before I was even born.
It’s time to apply Reagan principles to new policies and own them instead of invoking his name continually. It sounds old, stale, passe, to too many voters, and that’s a mistake.
"Welcome back, dad. Even if you're bearing children and wearing a skirt."
Creepy at best.
We are in agreement. Reagan was an exceptional president, but we cannot wallow in the past. It makes the GOP look like navelgazers who have a dearth of ideas. Outsiders instinctively shirk away from perceived oversentimentality.
Thank you for saying it much better than I did.
I just want to win elections, and I fear that this “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan” mantra is beginning to hurt the cause, make us sound like we don’t have today’s answers to today’s problems.
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