Republican Party Plans Fewer Debates, Dumber Reporters
According to Peter Hamby of CNN, a special party subcommittee is considering dramatically reducing the number of Republican debates and taking control over which journalists get to moderate them.
This is not being done in the name of reform. This is being done in the name of “let’s stop kicking ourselves in the groin.”
The theory goes like this: The more the public sees the potential Republican nominees for president, the more the public tends to dislike them. One reason is that the potential Republican nominees dislike the potential Republican nominees.
In February 2012, Newt Gingrich, while running for the Republican nomination, said that Mitt Romney was “fundamentally dishonest” and “pro-abortion, pro-gun control and pro-tax increase.”
Accusing a politician of being fundamentally dishonest is like accusing a ballerina of dancing on her toes. No big deal. But accusing a Republican of being for abortion, against guns and for taxes is serious stuff. Naturally, Romney had to prove that he was none of those things.
My own view is that this is a result of the quest for political purity. If the great majority of a party’s candidates fall into a narrow ideological spectrum, then differentiating yourself becomes in most ways stylistic, and the surest way to sink a rival is to get people to see him or her as being outside that spectrum.