Remember the parade of 2012 Presidential contest debates in the Republican nomination process? Trust me, Republicans do, and they’ve apparently been quietly steaming about them ever since.
These would be the same debates after which many voters across America started referring to the candidates as “the clown car.” These would be the same debates during which a live studio audience loudly boo’ed an active duty military man who was at that moment in a combat zone, because he happened to be gay.
These would be the same debates during which Texas Governor Rick Perry had his infamous “oops” moment, in which he couldn’t remember the third federal agency he’d promised to abolish, hammering the final nail in his own presidential coffin. They were also the debates during which Mitt Romney bet Perry $10,000 that he hadn’t supported individual mandates while Massachusetts Governor, which was among the first indications to voters that Romney, and anybody else who will just casually throw out a $10,000 bet, probably isn’t exactly your standard issue regular guy.
Aside from the other two Republican distractions of the 2012 nominating process – the un-candidates who didn’t run, but who kept oozing into the headlines anyway, making the clown car more clown carish, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump – the Republican debates showed Americans how out-of-touch the Republicans were with mainstream Americans, and they were key to setting up an Obama re-election.
Turns out the Republicans missed the point entirely. Turns out it apparently hasn’t crossed their minds that it was their own candidates, with assists from their own hand-picked debate studio audiences, who made their butt look fat.
Clearly they think it was the fault of the mainstream news outlets sponsoring those debates which were at fault. The indications are apparent this week.
First, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus threatened NBC and CNN with exclusion from the 2016 debate process if they air a Hillary Clinton feature (which, ironically, is reportedly being produced by FOX, but Priebus also said he isn’t interested in excluding FOX from the debate process – go figure).
Now the GOP is floating the idea of excluding actual mainstream news media from debate moderation, and instead letting figures such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin moderate.
Let that sink in: Republicans actually believe that respected mainstream journalists who acted as debate moderators made their candidates look stupid. It has apparently not crossed their minds that Republican candidates made Republican candidates look stupid. And now Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin might be tapped to solve the problem.
When the national GOP decides that Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin might be the solution, they’ve got quite a problem. I say bring ‘em on. The national ridicule following a debate featuring clown car candidates, moderated by the biggest GOP clowns in show biz, will be something to see. I hope they add Glenn Beck to the list. And after the Republican nominating process winds down, the spectacle will make it even more difficult for their nominee to attract mainstream general election voters.
In the comments section, feel free to write the questions you think moderators like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin would ask the new-and-improved 2016 Republican clown car.