The GOP Loses Its Mind
November 10, 2015
For the past several decades, the Democratic Party has been blissfully unaware that the mainstream media’s primary purpose lies in feathering its own nest and not in informing voters about the issues. The Republican Party (i.e., GOP), on the other hand has been aware of this and has used this fact as a part of its strategy for defeating Democrats. The GOP discovered that by the time the truth gets on its boots, a deceitful frame could sway half the journalists around the world and obfuscate their narrative about the stories they report. An example of this is the mainstream media’s focus on the supposed GOP victories of the very off year elections on Nov. 3 (no Presidential or Congressional elections). In a few elections, Democrats did not fare well, mostly because of the extremely low turn-out that is normal for off year elections. The misleading frame of a GOP rout of Democrats did not serve either the GOP or Democrats in the long run. It did, however, infuse these few elections with some drama and boost interest in the media.
The GOP discovered that by the time the truth gets on its boots, a deceitful frame could sway half the journalists around the world and obfuscate their narrative about the storied they report.
Recently, Democrats have been intensely aware of the tendency of the mainstream media to serve itself. For example, the media has pounded one Democratic front runner with erroneous and incomplete reporting about her whether she inappropriately used private email and servers. Some in the media have tried to justify this biased reporting by framing the story as a fight for reporter’s access to information and the accusation the Secretary Hillary Clinton’s actions somehow prevented them having information to which they were entitled under Freedom of Information.
Following the attention focused on one front runner, Democrats have been surprised to learn that the other front runner, Bernie Sanders has “gone negative.” These so-called negative attacks have consisted of contrasting his position on certain issues with that of the other front runner. For example, Senator Sanders has quite rightfully said Secretary Clinton’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership occurred after she made statements of support for it while Secretary of State.
The GOP has benefitted from the mainstream media’s self-serving bias by the lack of follow-up questions when Republican claim they have plans to replace the Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare) with something better or their lower taxes for the top 1 percent and austerity for the 99 percent leads to economic growth. Apparently, the GOP thought the mainstream media’s collusion in bashing Democratic economic approach meant agreement with its larger political goals.
The GOP ceded its control of who would compete and finally represent the party in the Presidential election to the cable networks. The GOP decided to let the cable networks decide who would be in the debates and how those debates would be structured: “main stage” and “kiddie’s table.”
To make this relinquishment even more bewildering the networks decided to use the tools by which their political analyses live and die: the political polls. Unfortunately, mainstream media routinely misuse polling because it fits their “horserace” narrative of elections. First, the media seldom seem to temper their interpretation of polling results by acknowledging the ability of polls to predict behavior diminishes the further the behavior is from the poll. Second, the media does not fully take into account the tendency of polls measure factors such as familiarity or preference for the behavior other than the intent to behave in a certain way when the poll is taken far in advance of intended behavior. Third, the media too often blurs the differences in results of Presidential polling due to who the respondents are and whether the poll is national, state, or local. Without adequately accounting for these differences, the cable networks were allowed to purge contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination from the debates.
The result of this insanity is that Chris Christie, a truly gifted establishment politician, who has finally shown some life will be relegated to the kiddie’s table and a sitting Senator, Lindsey Graham, whose war mongering ways represent a major segment of the party, will not be in the debates.
Ceding something as important as the selection of its candidates to the networks, hardly serves the GOP. More importantly, the horse race coverage of elections, the negative aspersions cast on the frontrunners, and the purging candidates who might arouse voters does not serve the country. The net result of these mainstream media shenanigans is to undermine interest in elections, and thus, turnout.