Yesterday, I alluded to a “grand plan” that seems to revolve around our presidential campaigns, especially on the Republican side. That was deliberate — it kind of obligated me to follow up on it.
I dunno if it quite qualifies as a “plan,” but it seems to be a pattern. And it’s one I really don’t like.
It seems that early on in the process, the media tends to pick who will be their frontrunner. Then, through the process, they choose what Sarah Palin called “the flavor of the month” rival, builds them up, and then tears them down — one by one eliminating the rivals to their chosen one.
In 2008, the chosen one was John McCain. Before he sewed it up, though, the favored candidates were Romney, Giuliani, and even Huckabee to a certain extent. All three were eliminated before McCain was set up for the win. This was most blatant with the New York Times, who endorsed McCain for the nomination — and then released a fabricated smear story that he was having an affair with a lobbyist.
This year, Romney is the chosen one. And so far, look at how his rivals and potential have been treated — John Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin. Those who are seen as “reasonable” (as in, acceptable to liberals) are praised and highlighted — until they actually might pose a serious threat to Romney. Then they are turned upon. Those who are seen as “unreasonable” (as in, acceptable to conservatives) are allowed to rise to their peak on their own, then torn down.
The narrative has been written for us — it will be a tough struggle, but eventually the moderates and “reasonable” Republicans will prevail, the conservatives will grudgingly accept reality, and Romney will win the nomination — only to lose honorably to Obama. Every bit of dirt gathered or fabricated on Romney (and his running mate) will be hurled and leave its mark, but Romney — being the decent, stand-up guy he is, will take the high road to defeat.
Anyway, that’s the script for us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a big fan of ad libbing and improv…