"Republication candidate takes novel approach - bypasses press, reaches out directly to voters."
"Chances look slim for Presidential debates taking place."
These are the headlines we are going to see again and again in the upcoming Presidential election. How do we know? Last night, Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity essentially told us that should, and will, be the Right Wing's approach.
Yesterday, Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity's show, discussing Newt Gingrich's appearance on "Meet The Press." Surprisingly, Palin didn't attack Newt, as all her Republican brethren had. She attacked David Gregory, along with the entire political press corps. She even accused David Gregory of racism, because he had asked Gingrich about the his response to criticisms - from other sources, not from Gregory himself - of Gingrich's characterization of Obama as "the food stamp President." Vyan had an excellent diary about this appearance, entitled Palin Calls David Gregory "Racist" You might want to watch the segment again, as difficult as it is to stomach. Watch as Palin and Hannity describe Gingrich's "crime against his fellow Republicans" as actually one more instance of the recuurent sin of the press against anyone Conservative:
Palin and Hannity set it up right there. The GOP candidates will refuse to participate in the "gotcha journalism" set up by the "lamestream media," which only exists to "twist their words," instead of "getting the real answers out" to the "American people who want and deserve real answers."
Palin has been banging this drum ever since her disastrous Couric incident. Now she avoids the press altogether, using Twitter, Facebook and Fox to spread her message. Here, she is stating that hers is the system that all Republican candidates should follow: simply do not deal with the press (or the questioning public) at all. Abandon the traditional media system by which all candidates have been judged for the entirety of this republic's history.
In 2012, the Republicans are simply going to bypass all the traditional paths by which candidates can be questioned about their positions. They are going to want to control all of their appearances, reaching out to the public through Twitter and Facebook where there are no opportunities for follow-ups. The justifications are being created right in this episode: Gingrich is depicted as having to apologize because the press hounded him - NOT because his fellow Republicans attacked him.
The Republican nominee will not answer questions, except on Fox, which is "fair." All that money that Crossroads GPS and Americans For Progress and the US Chamber of Congress are amassing - including the newly formed "Republican Super PAC" - are collecting will go to buying air time. We'll be treated to long infomercials from outside groups with names like "Citizens for Best Government Ever," but the candidate will not go on the Sunday talk shows or meet with national newspapers. He'll consider local newspapers - maybe, if there editorial board is known to be Republican. (Local papers are so much easier to impress and steamroller.)
I'll be surprised if the GOP candidate agrees to debate. The negotiations for the debates, if any are actually held, are going to be protracted and as scripted as a Soviet show trial.
This isn't going to be the election of a President. It's going to be the roll-out of a new "Presidential model." But it makes sense. Any Republican who is elected President isn't going to be any actual source of policy or governance. He is going to be the mouthpiece for the announcement of new Right-Wing fiats developed in the meeting halls of the Koch Brothers soirees and the Aspen Institute.
The country is rapidly rolling down the hill into a New Feudalism, where the royalty lives in palaces in Greenwich, and the serfs grub around in the mud in the rest of the country. There will be a tremendous market in used clothes, car repairs, and liquor. Oh, and private "security forces" to keep the peons in check. Can't have those guillotines clanging again. We will follow the model of China, Russia, Mexico and the oil-wealthy Middle Eastern nations - all of whom have vast gaps between their wealthy 1% and their hardscrabble 99%. We will use our massive military for trade and resource wars (but that's the topic of another diary.)
This time, the aristocracy is playing for keeps, keeps that will have centuries' worth of consequences.
[Many thanks to the Kossacks who urged me to turn a comment into this diary. It's always so heartening to earn the praise of my brethren here.]