Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Media Whips Up Phony Iowa Primary Frenzy

By Alan Caruba

We are, once again, witnessing what the media does best, whipping up a public frenzy over an event or, in the present case, the primary elections they are seeking to influence.

The most current example is the forthcoming Iowa caucuses and, as Michael Barone noted in a December 27 Wall Street Journal commentary, Iowa is hardly a bellwether predicting who will be the Republican nominee to oppose Barack Obama.

In “As Iowa Goes, So Goes Iowa” Barone, a respected political analyst, noted that “the Hawkeye State has voted for the eventual Republican candidate only twice—in 1996 for Bob Dole, in 2000 for George W. Bush—and only once was the Iowa winner elected president.”

You would not know that from the 24/7 election coverage of the cable news channels, nor the print media coverage. For Republicans, the greatest concern is that a literal handful of Iowans might vote for Rep. Ron Paul who is to the left of Barack Obama on most issues.

For my part I have tried to ignore Ron Paul as much as possible, but he is getting the full media treatment, including an appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. The views he expresses are pure lunacy. He supports legalizing drugs, shrinking the military, isolationism, and all manner of policies that would incalculably harm the nation.

The whole primary process, along with the many debates, is intended to winnow out the weakest candidates. Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain are already gone. After the Iowa caucuses, no doubt Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman will cease to be serious contenders. Rick Perry has proven himself to be a good governor, but a poor national candidate. Newt Gingrich is waning under close examination.

Mitt Romney is beginning to look like a paragon of experience and rationality.

Insofar as the national media catapulted Barack Obama into the White House, we need to be especially wary of the media’s enthusiasms for one candidate or the other and, at this stage, its “horse race” mentality.

Elections are a study of mass movements, the gathering of supporters coalescing around a particular candidate, and they say much about the national mood.

If the polls are any indication, Obama’s consistently falling approval numbers, despite the occasional blip, suggest that most voters with the exception of diehard liberals are deserting him after three years of crippling national debt, continued high unemployment, flatlining housing prices, his war on energy and the states struggling to deal with illegal immigration. Even liberal news media are pulling back from the adoring coverage he once generated.

Years ago in the 1950s a blue collar philosopher, Eric Hoffer, penned a book, “The True Believer”, that became a national bestseller. Hoffer had devoured the works of great thinkers as he rode the rails during the Depression years, worked in the fields, and became a longshoreman.

Hoffer’s book, still in print, had some insights regarding mass movements that are well worth revisiting. It was written in response to the likes of Hitler and Stalin, but it holds true for the current enthusiasms of Ron Paul’s supporters and those who cling to Obama’s myths.

Well before Obama’s vacuous offer of “hope and change”, Hoffer wrote, “For the hopeful can draw strength from the most ridiculous sources of power—a slogan, a word, a button. No faith is potent unless it is also faith in the future; unless it has a millennial component”, i.e., a hoped-for period of happiness, peace, prosperity, and justice. Obama has not delivered on any of these.

“Every established mass movement has its distant hope, its brand of dope to dull the impatience of the masses and reconcile them with their lot in life.” Americans, however, may be the most impatient people on Earth.

The utter failure of the Obama administration and the wreckage it has left in its path quickly mobilized a leaderless movement called the Tea Party. Its rejection of Obamacare and other administration policies and programs is the background music to the battle in Congress between those advocating the failed programs of the Democratic Party and the large contingent of newly-minted Tea Party-supported Republicans is evidence of a mass movement that the media continues to disparage.

Even those who do not identify themselves as Tea Party patriots will play an important role in the 2012 elections. Their power is revealed in the Democratic Party’s announcement that it will not seek votes from white, middle class working people, but concentrate instead on those on the government dole, union members, and those who want the status quo.

A national election is an exercise in propaganda, but Hoffer noted that “The truth seems to be that
propaganda on its own cannot force its way into unwilling minds; neither can it inculcate something wholly new; nor can it keep people persuaded once they have ceased to believe.” That is Obama’s dilemma and downfall. His endless speeches fall on deaf ears these days and will in 2012.

The 2012 elections will not be decided, nor even influenced by the outcome of the Iowa caucuses. For that we need to watch New Hampshire on January 10, South Carolina on January 21, and most especially, Florida on January 31.

We need more faith in a future without Barack Obama; one that is barely a year away.

We need more faith in the U.S. Constitution and continue to demand that it be obeyed.

We need more faith in our communal past. Hoffer wrote, “It was not the irony of history that the undesired in the countries of Europe should have crossed an ocean to build a new world on this continent. Only they could do it.” America continues to be a work in progress.

Pay no heed to the media’s arrogance, wedded to failed socialist programs. Pay no heed to Ron Paul’s lunacy. Pay no heed to Obama’s lies. We shall win through to a restored America.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


Lime Lite said...

What people fail to notice (or maybe not) is that no matter how much money Romney pours into negative campaigning, he still can't rise out of the sub-25%support amongst Conservatives. People just don't like or trust him. They prefer Gingrich, who happens to be who I support - and I'm sitting, looking at the race from Australia so I'm not influenced, I only see what he can do for America. Romney is a moderate Democrat/RINO and if that is who the GOP wants to take on Obama then I think you're in for a rough ride. The Obama machine will eat him up and destroy him - he's weak and flip-flops all over the place. And if Romney is the candidate and if he starts doing well against Obama, then look at an independent joining the race to split the GOP vote (either Paul or Trump) to ensure an Obama victory. No matter how they do it, Obama is set to get re-elected and he will be - his ego dictates this. Again, let's see if I'm right in November. PS. Obama's approval rating is back at 47% vs 45% disapproval - if the people are still supporting him after all he's done, then America really needs help!

Anonymous said...

A Ron Paul win in Iowa means one thing, and one thing only, Paultards turned out in droves...

Apparently they run in packs, or herds maybe??

And IF Iowa were a bellwether, Mike Huckabee would be POTUS...

Iowa needs to stick to doing what Iowa does best, raise hogs and grow corn...

Alan Caruba said...

@Lime Lite: You are essentially just repeating what the mainstream media are saying. Not only do they have an agenda, they are frequently behind the curve on trends.

The Gingrich star is falling and Romney, by the Florida primary on Jan 31 will be the likely GOP nominee. Republicans will back him no matter what reservations they have (they did so for McCain).

Alan Caruba said...

@Fred: Right...er...far right as always, Fred! :-)

Anonymous said...

Far Right?? Moi??

Alan Caruba said...

@Fred: So there's no truth that you have a big statue of Attila the Hun in your back yard?

Anonymous said...

Attila was a wuss...

Gustav said...

I, too, support legalizing drugs. I can understand why someone might disagree with this position, but not why it is deemed radioactive.

What about the freedom principle? Why must we be so selective in actually supporting what we purport to believe in?

Isolationism is similar. For blooming decades now I've been hearing smarty-pants pundits insisting they know just what we need to be doing all over the globe. This escalated when GHW Bush broke his no-new-taxes pledge and, needing a diversion, started Gulf War I. 20 years of havoc ensued. By what objective standard can we measure the success or failure of these costly efforts? Excuse me for being skeptical.

That said, I agree Ron Paul is squirrely, and not presidential timber. I'd just like to see more balance in the conversation with my conservative peers.

Ronbo said...

@Lime Lite:

Well said!

Like millions of Radical Republicans (radical only in the sense we are radically for the U.S. Constitution) we will hold our collective nose and vote for RINO Romney.

We provided the same service for McCain in 2008, but we don't expect the politically correct Mormon, who lacks the guts even to call out the socialist president, to win either.

As you said, the Obama Hate Machine will eat him alive on his flip flops...If somehow this doesn't work, then they'll go after him on his Mormon faith.

Never forget the Obama Hate Machine destroyed the Clinton Hate Machine in 2007/8.

Finally there will be the "October Surprise" - In 2008 it was the Leftist designed Wall Street putsch that sunk the rising McCain poll numbers. I'm sure the Demo-Rats have something already planned along these lines that has already been computer modeled and focus grouped.

My analysis is that without a major miracle RINO Romney will be the OFFICIAL Establishment Republican Progressive Candidate for Socialism Light who will lose to Socialism Heavy under Obama come November.

Yes, the GOP is likely to win both Houses of Congress...But with the Progressive Republicans in charge of the agenda, this assembly of corrupt millionaires and drunks will amount to nothing more than a latter day post Hitler German Reichstag that will rubber stamp the Dear Leader's decisions.

...And if they don't...well buildings can be burnt down by "The insane Tea Party", can't they?

Thus will die the Republic in the coming years...


Ronbo said...


As is well known, Radical Republicans like Texas Fred have a statute of the Father of the American Revolution in their backyards - SAM ADAMS!


Lime Lite said...

@Alan - I have to disagree with you. The media are pushing Romney and you have to ask yourself why. To be honest, I'm not impressed with any of the candidates, but Gingrinch seems to be the one with the oldest and wisest head on his shoulders. However, the nominee will be Romney, and with Romney you'll have an Obama victory because he's no different to what Obama offers. You need someone completely different to get the voters excited - not as exciting as Paul of course!

Harry Dale Huffman said...

Those who think Obama will beat Romney forget just how much the American people hate what Obama has done, and particularly how he has done it, by locking his political enemies out of the process through presidential fiat and radical-minded czars, and thereby imposing his will, as a tyrant, upon the people. Personally, I don't want to see Obama lose the 2012 election -- I want to see him impeached and forbidden to hold, ever again, any office with authority over the people.

Harry Dale Huffman said...

So I prefer only impeachment over Romney, and I will take whatever I can get over Obama. That is the statement that America needs to make, loud and clear, in 2012.

Unknown said...

Given the history of economic conditions affecting the voting for the president, and looking at the liklihood for the economy in 2012, I don't see how Obama is anything but toast.

More and more people are finally learning that government cannot fulfill all the promises which are seen as having come from the Democrats.

More and more people are finally coming to see our foreign military adventurism as a misuse of our people. While "national interest" is not a common phrase, it's inherent in the question, "But, why are we there?"

The War on Drugs has actually been a war on the Bill of Rights. It's another case of legalize drugs, declare victory and quit suborning the Constitution. Drop violent crime by a tremendous amount, as well.

Me? I never called Jesse Helms a communist, but I always figured he was way too liberal. :-)