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?
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