Limbaugh, Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin, and Hewitt plan concerted attack on Sen. McCain over the airwaves to promote Romney’s candidacy
“I predict we’re going to hear a growing conversation on the right about whether it’s better for America, conservatism, etc to have a president who feels he has to placate the conservative base versus having a president who claims to be a member of it,” writes Jonah Goldberg in a National Review TheCorner Blogburst titled One of Us Vs. One Who Owes Us
Goldberg issues a safe prediction.
Every candidate proposes a theory of representation whether explicitly or otherwise, i.e. an account of not just how the candidate as an elected official will advance the issues of his or her constituencies, but an explanation of why he or she would want to do so consonant with the candidate’s values, biography etc.—e.g. I am one of you, I believe as you believe etc.
Romney’s theory of representation is a unique one in our experience. Romney proposes to represent you by becoming you. See:
WSJ: “Plenty of politicians attune their positions to new constituencies—The larger danger is that Mr. Romney’s conversions are not motivated by expediency or mere pandering but may represent his real governing philosophy”
Back to Goldberg
President Bush won enormous good faith — no pun intended — from evangelicals and other social conservatives by saying, in effect, “I’m one of you.” A case could be made that some of Bush’s problems stem from the fact that the White House was internally confused about whether conservatives were simply another constituency or if they were more like a loyal army. I don’t think the distinctions are clean and neat, since there isn’t a monolithic conservative base and the Bush White House has been itself divided between Nixonians (i.e. the Poppa Bush crowd) and Reaganites. But I think we’ll see the conversation emerge as candidates like Giuliani and McCain make “transactional” overtures to the conservative base, saying something like “Support me and I’ll support what you care about” rather than “support me because I am one of you.”
National Review had a similar conversation over Richard Nixon. That didn’t turn out great.
In other news from the frantic flunkies of the GOP establishment, Hugh Hewitt announces a talk-radio counter-strike against Sen John McCain as he attempts to consolidate his gains.
[...] Expect the talkers, led by Rush but seconded by Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin and me to spend the next few days putting down a marker: McCain is a very weak general election candidate, and if he was to win, would not govern as a conservative in any significant way. Our audiences are not, as MSMers like to imply, not only shrinking but mindless. They are growing, but they are incredibly independent of thought. They also take in and respond to good information, and now the information will be focused on John McCain and the choice before them.
MSM will of course be sending a very different set of talking points into the general population, one that obscures McCain’s record and which refuses to remind voters of the immigration fiasco etc. MSM will focus on Rudy and Arnold and leave the impression of a coalescing around McCain. Romney will battle to keep the issues out front, McCain the process.
But the new media is at work. We’ll see how it plays out [...]
So far this hasn’t played out well either. See:
- the air-war over Iowa: Rush Limbaugh savages Gov. Huckabee; Romney gets eviscerated by Iowa’s Jan Mickelson
- Rush Limbaugh shills for Romney, continues Romney’s viciously negative campaign against Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain AND against those who support them—BTW: Bain Capital recently acquired Clear Channel Communications
Our question: What possible theory of representation justifies Limbaugh, Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin, and Hewitt himself, denouncing Sen. John McCain and advocating for Willard Milton Romney? Also: what is Hewitt’s object? It is this: To persuade Gov. Mike Huckabee voters to vote for Romney.
[...] If the Huckabee supporters are conservatives, they will recognize the peril to their party’s core beliefs and abandon their favorite who has no chance of winning in favor of Mitt Romney who does [...]
Based on analysis by Patrick Ruffini, we discuss why this will not be a simple proposition here: