MULLINGS/Rich Galen – Running in tiny circles


With the exit of Gov. Mitt Romney there is no doubt that Sen. John McCain will be the Republican nominee.

The Popular Press is running around in tiny circles, eyes wide, arms waving, mouths agape selling themselves on the theory that McCain’s impending nomination will signal the end of the Republican Party.

The Main Stream Media has a vision of the GOP which is that Republicans are a bunch of narrow-minded, widely-condemning, high-handed, low-opinioned, under-educated, over-critical brutes who subscribe to a political orthodoxy which brooks no deviation from a belief set laid down by disciples of Aimee Semple McPherson

Not all. But many.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and the others are doing the work of the New York Times and the rest of the popular press by railing against McCain all day, every day.

It appears on the surface that their goal is to make Conservatives stay home next November 4 and hand the White House to Hillary or Barack.

But the reality is they are doing it because it means good ratings. When their listeners get tired of hearing them beat up on McCain, they’ll switch to something else.

If they were to ask for my advice (which they most assuredly will not) I would suggest they take on the issue of the Democrats in the Senate holding up – according to the Wall Street Journal – 208 nominees: 180 nominees to executive branch positions and 28 nominees to the Federal bench.

If Rush, Sean, Laura and the rest wanted to really do a favor for America, they would get their tens of millions of listeners amped up about the nominees who are being held up – some for as long as two years – by Senate Democrats who will not allow the President to govern and will not allow the Judicial Branch to function.

But, I digress.

It is not a surprise that Mitt Romney got out of the race yesterday. After spending some $40-50 million of his own money and perhaps $100 million overall, he needed be able to have said more than “I did somewhat better than Mike Huckabee” after Super Tuesday.

Huckabee would never have gotten out of the race as long as Romney stayed in, so Romney found himself in an untenable political corner in which he was boxed in by McCain on his left and Huckabee on his right.

Huckabee will likely stay in at least until next Tuesday (the “Potomac Primary” – Virginia, DC, and Maryland) to see how he fares without having to share the right side of the ballot with either Romney or, as in South Carolina, Fred Thompson. After that Huckabee will get out leaving the field clear for McCain.

I don’t have any idea that this has actually happened, but I would be surprised if surrogates for Charlie Black (McCain) and Ed Rollins (Huckabee) haven’t been on the phone laying down the ground rules for a discussion about what role Huckabee will have in the campaign and what role his delegates will have at the Republican National Convention.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, John McCain showed confidence and courage by standing before the very group which Rush, Sean, Laura and the rest have been attempting to agitate like a washing machine on steroids against him.

Watching the speech on television – first on Fox then on CNN – it appeared those in attendance appreciated McCain showing up, his willingness to openly speak about their differences, and his recitation of his Conservative creds.
It did not hurt that former Sen. George Allen stood with McCain as he was introduced, thus demonstrating that a favorite of core Conservatives – Allen – was pronouncing McCain satisfactory, acceptable, and OK by him.