Home > Uncategorized > Why Do Only Defeated Republicans Speak Out

Why Do Only Defeated Republicans Speak Out

There is a one-ups-man’s-ship game being played by the more responsible anchors of the three major cable networks. The bait is the same. Each uses a countdown on the number of days some bloke in the news fails to appear on their shows.

This copycat format goes like this:

Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball issues an ultimatum invitation to any Republican elected politician to say he does not take marching orders from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday show issued a Fatah to President Obama for a sitdown interview.

Anderson Cooper of CNN’s 360 show asked the same of any BP  top honcho to defend what it is doing in the Gulf of Mexico oil blowout disaster.

Hey guys. May I remind all of you that you are working for cable networks that cater to and survive by attracting niche audiences. Your networks created the system and this is the price you pay. Like it or not, the networks in this genre have managed to increase the polarization of politics in today’s culture.

Media savvy politicians and Wall Street CEO’s pick and choose the networks where they think they get the most favorable coverage.

Think Rand Paul, the Republican conservative U.S. Senate candidate from Kentucky. Naive or not, he appeared on the Rachael Maddow Show on MSNBC a day after his nomination and was excoriated, at least in the minds of her audience which I think they think his libertarian beliefs are quite foreign and in some cases bizarre.

Because the stakes are so high in Nevada, Republican strategists are doing their best to muzzle, cleanse and re-invent Tea Party Senate candidate Sharron Angle from interviews and appearances where she might espouse what even they know are nutty positions that could cost her an election victory over incumbent Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.

I’m not going to waste time and space here to explain Rand Paul and Sharron Angle for they are neophytes in the national game of politics.

Rather I prefer to focus on the introspection of two incumbent Republicans  who are now speaking out. They would be Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina and Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah. Both were trounced in their re-nomination bids by right-wing advocates in their own states.

Inglis representing South Carolina’s 4th Congressional district from 1995 to 1999 and again from 2005 until his term expires in 2011, says mainstream Republicans are buckling to a poisonous “demagoguery” by Sarah Palin and talk show Glenn Beck that threatens the party’s long-term credibility.

It is only a matter of time, he said, when voters eventually will discover that you’re “preying on their fears” and turn away. He said the polarization has turned the two major parties into warring factions seen in Iraq between the Shias and Sunnis.

“I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading,” he said. “What it takes to lead is to say, ‘You know, that’s just not right.'”

At town hall meetings and during his reelection campaign he refused to bash Obama as to his citizenship and patriotism espoused by his birther, Tea Party and ultraconservative constituents. He was jeered for saying that Beck, a Fox News Channel host, is a divisive fearmonger.

In the June 22 primary runoff, Inglis received less than 30% of the vote, losing to prosecutor Trey Gowdy.

Inglis, 50, describes himself as a disciple of the late Jack Kemp who reached out to minorities. He said in the interviews with the Associated Press that racism is a part of the hatred directed at President Barack Obama.

“I love the South. I’m a Southerner. But I can feel it,” he said.

Utah’s Bennett, a three-term Republican incumbent in a conservative state long before the Tea Party hijacked its nominating caucus, said in an earlier interview that he was being punished simply by teaming up with Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon in what both considered was a reasonable health care reform bill.  Their bill died in the Senate and Bennett was subjected to what he considered misdirected and unwise wrath for doing his job.

What Bennett was saying was that his own state constituents were too naive and too ignorant (my words, not his) to understand the basic governing concepts in the U.S. Senate.

As a result, Bennett thinks this ideology will kill Republican chances in some states and predicts the races in Kentucky, Colorado  and Nevada will go to the Democrats as a result. He thinks the Tea Party is more “mischief” makers than party pragmatists that fail to understand that there is no power of you cannot win over the majority of voters.

He said he also worries that the GOP has no clear plan to govern if they take control of the Senate this election year.

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EPILOGUE

This column was written from the point of view of a moderate Democrat whose sole purpose is to draw the best out of our elected officials despite their party designation. We need to hold them to accountability and judge independently their qualifications. We are being denied that scrutiny under the present system of media review. This goes for members of both parties. This electoral season it is the Tea Party and right-wing Republicans who are attracting most of the media attention. I have no problem with the Tea Party and what they advocate especially towards a more limited federal government and responsible spending cuts as long as they do not decimate the purpose of what those programs attempt to accomplish. But until those elected on a Tea Party platform prove they can govern effectively with people of divergent strategies, they are the wasting their time and ours.

(Photos from top to bottom: Chris Matthews, Chris Wallace, Anderson Cooper, Sharron Angle and Robert Bennett.)

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