According to McCain, the debates “are driving down our candidates favorable ratings” and are making it harder whoever the nominee is to defeat President Obama in November.
The statement begs the question, is John McCain losing his mind, or has he already lost it?
McCain’s objection to the presidential candidates having as many as 19 debates in the last 8 months is both dumb and a quintessential example of establishment thinking. Only a true established member of the political class would take issue with politicians having to discuss the issues and defend their records and policies in front of an audience comprised of the American electorate. The political elite may not like being held accountable in a forum that is not scripted so tightly that it allows for a one way conversation of the candidate telling the voters what they think the voters want to hear, but voters do appreciate having the opportunity to see their potential President have to think on their feet.
Furthermore; even if John McCain is correct in his assertion that all the debates are responsible for driving down the favorability numbers of the G.O.P. candidates, then so be it. If it is true that the more the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination talk, the more they less people like them, then we do not deserve to win the presidency in November. If we as a Party can not find a true leader based upon the realistic expectation that they can effectively articulate our cause and the solutions to our problems, than we deserve to lose.
But what it comes down to is that John McCain can’t actually believe his own words. He can’t really be suggesting that debates are a bad thing.
What McCain is really suggesting is that Newt Gingrich survived this campaign and surged in it because of he outperformed the man that McCain is supporting……Mitt Romney. And it is clear to McCain that had there not been 19 debates, Mitt would not have been dominated by Newt on 19 different occasions. So here is Senator McCain actually calling for fewer debates because they are not helping his hand picked choice for President win voters over.
What it comes down to is this.
McCain’s call for the debates to stop is offensive and counterproductive. It is typical establishment, inside-the-beltway, thinking that is designed to shelter the political class from those whom they seek to govern and it is quite arrogant and antithetical to democratic process. It is the type of thinking that could only come out the mouth of a from a person who has spent over thirty years in the bubble that is Washington. They are certainly not the words or thoughts of a so-called “Maverick”.
I will concede that it is quite unfortunate that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have resorted to attacking one another with distortions that are absolutely over the top. I feel it is a shame that Newt Gingrich saw fit to travel down the same low road that Mitt Romney and the establishment led us down and that Mitt Romney finds it impossible to build himself up without first tearing down everyone else down. However I will not go so far as to say that the answer is to stop the debates and limit the discussion to sanitized forums which do not allow candidates to raise and debate legitimate issues before the American people.
To his credit, Mitt Romney has not taken the same position as his establishment surrogate, Senator John McCain. So while I will not hold McCain’s ignorant and offensive comments against him, but as someone who can easily support Romney if he is the nominee, I would like to suggest to him that he stop trying to embrace the political establishment so tightly. Instead of using the Dole’s, McCain’s, and Tom DeLay’s of the political world as a ladder to which he can climb to power with, Mitt Romney should be running away from the establishment and building himself up as a candidate of independent, conservative thought, who brings to the table something that the establishment doesn’t……real life and business experience.
Whether Mitt realizes it or not, the establishment support he is receiving is not helping him among the voters he needs most. The anti-establishment voters who are far removed from the political class and who are disdainful of Beltway politics. Another thing that Mitt should realize is that the more the political establishment attacks Newt Gingrich, the more the anti-establishment coalesces around Gingrich.
In other words, Mitt Romney should tell surrogates like McCain to shut the hell up.
While he might think that the public pitches that Washington insiders are making on Romney’s behalf are helping him in places like Florida, he should realize that every time the establishment wins, the voters rally behind the anti-establishment candidates. So even if Romney does wins Florida, if he does so through a strategy that employs tactics designed at assassinating the character of Newt Gingrich through the political class, then the voting class will lash out against him somewhere else, primarily in Minnesota, Missouri, and Arizona, which hold their nominating contests in late february and early March.
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