We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.More at the link.
We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary. Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.
I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.
And from George Moneo, at Babalú:
I don't have a dog in this hunt: none of these candidates is my ideal of a conservative Republican in the Reagan mode. That said, however, the sniping, conniving, backstabbing, innuendos and calumnies (from all parties) are beginning to wear thin and piss me off. This is not the campaign I envisioned that was needed to end the Democrats' hopes of reelecting Jimmy Carter II.Yeah, I'll be glad when the primaries are over, big time.
BONUS: From Dan Riehl:
I believe it was Dan Gainor who pointed out via Twitter last night, in essence, the establishment may end up getting Romney through but they are quite possibly costing themselves the election to do it. Mitt Romney IS a progressive Republican who will say anything to get the nomination. The GOP sycophants that call themselves conservative in our Beltway media can shill and hide massive weaknesses for Romney all they want. Come a general election, they will be irrelevant and an Obama-friendly media will be calling the shots. Given the bias of so many GOP pundits in the primary, they will have no right to complain about it, as if it would even matter.