This was a frustrating afternoon, listening to news reports from Republican candidates, chiefly Donald Trump and Chris Christie, in response to Obama’s hee-hawing about the GOP’s “cowardice” in shunning the extremely partisan Democrat networks’ debate offers.
Trump, Christie, and whoever else is in their camp, believe that the way to deal with media bullies is to stand up to them in a debate or wherever, not to shrink away as if in defeat. They’re right. The Republicans won the debate against the moderators. The mistake would be to allow themselves to dragged down into another schoolyard battle.
My older brother actually fought a bully on his paper route and fighting back did, in fact, work. It took a good deal of encouragement from my mother and me before he would do it. Reminding him of Mom’s advice (“Get rid of the newspaper sack”), my brother took the guy on and beat him. After that, they became friends.
However, that kid and my brother were of equal strength. During the debate, the Republican candidates were initially diluted in power due to their numbers, at least until Ted Cruz sounded the battle cry. The odds were stacked against them, individually. None of them had more than a few minutes to respond. If they took the bait, they’d lose their moment to put forth their platforms.
Yet, the Republicans united and did not yield to lesser nature. One moderator tried to bring Carly Fiorina back to the insult three times but Fiorina wouldn’t play. Donald Trump noted his moderator’s rudeness, then went on to respond to the actual question. Chris Christie replied to his moderator with humor: “Do you want to answer this question or do you want me to answer it?”
The more courageous candidates need to remember that we, their voters, were forced to sit through all this, that is, if we even turned on a hostile network like CNBC in the first place. Our candidates acquitted themselves marvelously. The only people with egg on their faces were the moderators.
We Republican voters have had enough of Media arrogance. The candidates have proven they can withstand the verbal barrage. Now it’s time to defang the snake and take the debates elsewhere where we can listen in peace. Remember that they’re not just mocking you candidates; they’re mocking us and we have no ability, no forum by which to respond.
Obama can hee-haw all he likes, for all his hypocrisy, since he was one the one caught off-mic sending a message in 2012: “Tell Vlad that I’ll have more flexibility after the election.” Yeah, sure. Obama really told Vlad where to put his nuclear missiles. Right.
His hee-hawing is hollow. No more how giddy Obama might sound before an audience of cheerleaders, a “boycott” of the mainstream Media debates by the GOP would hurt those networks far more than it would hurt the Republican Party or its candidates.
The Democrat networks would feel it right in the pocketbook. No debates, no audience. No audience, no advertisers. No advertisers, no network. Some fear that a boycott would rebound on Fox News. For the Democrats, that’s three television networks, and two cable news networks. Five networks in all, and their revenue down the drain. Fox News, on the other hand, is one Conservative network with virtually no competition and a loyal audience.
In addition, the Republicans would be depriving the Mainstream Media and the Democrat candidates of precious soundbytes they need for their opposition ads. Why in the world should the Republicans serve themselves up as smorgasbord (although they performed admirably at the last debate)?
I didn’t watch the debates because of the media bias of CNBC. Nor did I watch CNN. I waited and read the transcripts the next day. If the Republican candidates have no problem taking Liberal guff, I have a problem with supporting a biased network staffed by Democrat propagandists and I suspect other Conservative viewers do, too.
The fact is, the insults drew attention and resonated, for good or ill. The audience, to their everlasting credit, booed. The candidates took the invectives in stride and denounced the moderators. In the aftermath, the GOP announced it would no longer do business with CNBC. Then the party leaders readjusted their stance, claiming they wanted to negotiate with these overgrown children.
One must be firm with children and follow through, not negotiate a truce.
Our adolescent-in-chief chortled today over the picture of a possible walk-out by the Republican candidates. Personally, I think they should have walked out, leaving CNBC with an empty stage, cameras whirring, scrambling to fill the two hours of airtime, taking calls from furious advertisers, and paying their union crew members for full 120 minutes.
Obama might have hee-hawed over it the next day. But you can be sure that the executives at CNBC wouldn’t have been hee-hawing.
Cases of physical bullying require, by street standards, an equal show of force. That’s a sad fact of life. Verbal abuse is a much easier form of bullying to combat. The Republicans did so, on the spot.
However, wisdom dictates that once you’ve escaped the lion’s den, you don’t return for a rematch. In this case, the arena is a playpen, one easier to avoid for its lack of consequence. “Getting rid of the newspaper sack” is good advice for the Republicans. If they mean to combat the Democrats, they need to relieve themselves of the added weight of the Democrats’ propaganda media machine.
If the Democrats, and Obama, don’t like it, let them pound sand. The Democrats are trying to soften you up before they take you on, while their Media practices softball with them, placing Hillary, in particular, in the best of lights.
Democrats are like the road rage driver; you don’t engage them. You don’t respond to their middle finger. You don’t play traffic tag with them and risk an accident involving innocent drivers. You slow down and let them speed on their way until the current of traffic has carried them off to who knows where.
You have your own destination and the Democrats’ road is definitely not the Conservative Republicans’ road. Let us hope the Republicans don’t follow the Democrats, because they’re trying to lead America off a cliff.
There’ll be plenty of time after you’re president (whoever you are) to prove your mettle in allowing jibes to fall like feathers off your armored chest. Until then, drop the newspaper sack, take the Democrat candidates on mano a mano when the time comes, not by proxy potshot (their proxy) while the actual candidates stand back and observe, on the alert for any signs of weakness, themselves untouched –- and you’ll have the last hee-haw.