I watched the entire GOP debate last night with the family. It was a fabulous debate, perhaps the best I’ve seen so far. I don’t really know who won because several of the candidates did so well. I’m not going to rehash the debate here. But I do want to point out one small incident that took place that you may have missed, because it provides such a good teachable moment.
Near the end of the debate, Donald Trump scolded CNN for consistently leading Jeb Bush (and others) with questions beginning with “Mr. Trump.” In other words, the moderators were habitually trying to lead the other candidates to criticize Donald Trump to create fireworks. Donald Trump was correct to point out they were doing this for the ratings. I don’t watch CNN. I only watched last night because they were hosting the debate. But CNN’s ratings are abysmal. You could dedicate a network solely to watching grass grow and paint dry and it would get better ratings than CNN. At any rate, The Donald was actually standing up for Jeb Bush because it was, as Trump pointed out, unfair to him to preface so many questions with “Mr. Trump.”
But Jeb Bush would have none of it. Given the choice of siding with a fellow Republican or CNN, Jeb sided with CNN. He’s an establishment Republican who operates under the illusion he can get the media to like him if he’s “nice” enough. He went on to criticize The Donald for scolding CNN, making the trite remark — and I’m paraphrasing — if you can’t handle a little media criticism how can you stand up to ISIS? It was more or less the same thing President Obama said about Republicans who criticized the over the top media bias at one of the previous debates. So way to go Jeb Bush on sounding like the president.
Establishment Republicans still don’t understand who the media really are. They are not our friends. They never will be. The mainstream media, which include the “Big Three” networks, CNN, MSNBC, just to name five, are made up exclusively of Democrats disguising themselves as journalists. And sometimes they don’t even bother with the disguise. I promise you there was not a moderator on that stage last night who has any interest whatsoever in seeing any of the nine Republicans elected to anything. The media’s ultimate objective is getting Democrats elected to office. They are the Republicans’ political opponents. Even milquetoast Republicans like Jeb Bush are the enemy of the mainstream press. Remember what they did to Romney in 2012?
Sometimes as a politician you have to smackdown your political opponent. If these Republicans could bring themselves to properly view the mainstream press as political opponents, they would understand this. Sometimes you have to smackdown the media, as Trump did last night. It doesn’t mean that Donald Trump is too thin-skinned to stand up to ISIS. It means that Donald Trump knows who his political opponents are. Politics requires a lot of gamesmanship and maneuvering, and the media are very much a part of the game. They must be dealt with just like all the other Democrats.