World Affairs Brief, December 21, 2007. Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief
WHAT’S BEHIND THE MCCAIN SURGE?
When several major American newspapers act in unison to endorse the candidacy of someone like Sen. John McCain, who is out of money, pushing a warmongering agenda, and declining in the polls, it is clear there is manipulation afoot. Even Henry Kissinger chimed in with an endorsement of McCain, which is very telling. This week a lot of private phone calls were made as insiders worked their influence behind the scenes to manage media endorsements and reverse negative public perceptions about McCain. Up until last week, The Des Moines Register editorial board was negative on McCain and Clinton. Something turned them around this week to make them endorse McCain and Clinton and it wasn’t the candidates themselves. Last week the media was pushing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his Christian credentials (which they despise) in an effort to dampen the robust lead of Mitt Romney in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Yet, in contrast, there was hardly a word about the real surge in popular support for Congressman Ron Paul, except for the begrudging acknowledgment of his $6 million fundraising day on Dec. 16. This week I’ll analyze why the Powers That Be in Washington are worried this election might get away from them.
The insiders who control both major political parties have three major challenges: First, they need to get one of their own globalist insiders into the Republican nomination. They are planning another World War in the next 8 years and need another FDR type to keep the American people in a unthinking patriotic mode. Second, they have to maneuver a scary Democrat into that party’s nomination in order to drive the “anyone but Hillary crowd” back to the Republicans. Otherwise, Republicans will be hard pressed to overcome the damage to their party from the Bush foreign policy and its massive deficit spending. Third, they need to sandbag any challengers who aren’t controlled and keep them from challenging their favorites–mostly by denying them major media coverage.
The sudden media push for Huckabee was not, I believe, because the PTB really want him to ultimately win–they’d have to manipulate him too much as they did Jimmy Carter. Primarily, they are using Huckabee to anchor the right-wing side of the Republicans, and discourage any of those anti-Giuliani, pro-life voters from gravitating toward Romney or Ron Paul, the only true statesman of them all. When that is accomplished they will let Huckabee drift downward into third place behind Giuliani and McCain, staying in reserve in case the top two fail to gain the nomination. So, what you see happening–the media pushing Huckabee one week and McCain the next–is not because they can’t make up their mind. Both are both being promoted selectively for different purposes.
Denying media coverage for those out of favor doesn’t always work. Romney is wealthy enough to buy his way around it, and Ron Paul dominates the alternative internet media. Last week’s airwaves were full of hype about the Huckabee surge which, in turn, caused a certain percentage of target people to “jump on his bandwagon.” Naturally, when Huckabee’s name is added to telephone polls (usually they only give callers the top two or three choices), his numbers rise. This in turn generates yet more stories and higher polling numbers. It’s kind of a self-inducing spiral, until they decide it’s gone far enough. To stop it they need only stop promoting him or start running stories about Huckabee’s problem record as Arkansas governor. The death knell is to mention that he is dropping in the polls.
Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Dennis Kucinich, who are real threats to the establishment, get no substantive coverage in the mainstream media at all. When they do get a brief mention, the comments are seeded with negative tag lines like, “long-shot candidate” or “dark horse” or that they “can’t win.” Tancredo pulled out of the race this week, endorsing Romney instead of Paul. I’m sure Tancredo saw this as a way of boosting “someone like me who can win,” but Romney really didn’t need Tancredo’s endorsement. Tancredo would have gained a lot more from his endorsement had he used it to boost the candidacy of Ron Paul. Paul has a huge support base on the internet and lots of cash for advertising, which he will use to try and break the media blockade. An extra endorsement would have got him more mainstream news coverage. But, all told, Paul’s chances are slim due to the fact that the vast majority of Republican primary voters are not really sound, independent thinkers. They tend to follow what other national leaders say. That is why newspaper endorsements are so effective: most people don’t think for themselves and prefer to support those who are well known that will not require a lot of explanation or justification.
The only anomaly in main stream coverage this week was Glen Beck’s hour interview of Ron Paul. This was only done in response to Beck being criticized by Ron Paul supporters for Beck’s attack on Paul and his “extremist” supporters-implying they were potential “domestic terrorists.” Beck was also running up against a major contradiction in his open support for W. Cleon Skousen’s view of the constitution and his denigrating attacks on Paul, the only candidate with a track record fully supporting the founding father’s view of the constitution.
While Beck did give Paul a fair amount of time to explain his position, Beck did most of the talking and wasted a lot of prime time poisoning the interview with ridiculous charges-by-inference about 9/11 conspiracy theorists and death threats by presumed Ron Paul supporters. Beck doesn’t seem to have the background on conspiracy to realize that communicating death threats is a common tactic by agent provocateurs to discredit movements the government does like. His introductory comments about 9/11 conspiracy prejudiced the issue by citing extreme examples and then challenging Ron Paul to repudiate those ideas. It was little wonder Paul could only claim ignorance of such assertions, and eschew them–a clear disappointment to many of his supporters who would have expected Paul to have at least acknowledged that there were many unanswered questions about government involvement in withholding evidence surround this event. He could have at least suggested that he would support a truly independent investigation, and invite 9/11 critics to participate. That would have avoided being labeled a conspiracy theorist and still sent a message of being open to a full resolution of the controversy.
As to Beck’s constant harangue about the Islamo-Fascist threat taking over the world, Paul did correctly point out that a few hundred radical Muslim demonstrators in NY hardly meant that all of Islam was intending to or capable of destroying America. And, what increase in Muslim hostility there was, existed in large measure because of our continued intervention in their part of the world.
I have been getting a bit of criticism from Glen Beck fans who are convinced Beck has become a true constitutional conservative because of his vocal support for the constitution. I will admit that my opinion of Beck has been modified lately, positively, by his taking a strong stand on the constitution and his promotion of my uncle’s books defending the constitutional views of the Founding Fathers. Beck is also strong on attacking the president, and the Republicans and Democrats for refusing to stop illegal immigration. So far, so good. However, his demeanor and attacking style of presentation remains habitual and unchanging–much like Rush Limbaugh’s: excessive, rash, over-bearing, brow-beating, and chest-beating–always speaking too fast to hear the warning signals from conscience to be more careful.
Add to that his knee-jerk and unscholarly condemnation of conspiracy–the biggest single threat to the constitution he claims to support–and you have a recipe for doing much damage to the true conservative constitutional cause. Beck has dug himself into such an ideological hole on the Islamo-Fascist threat and his hatred for 9/11 conspiracy that it is doubtful he can ever correct himself or backtrack without a severe loss of face. Sadly, these two issues, which he takes to extremes, keeps him unwittingly wedded to the neocon globalist agenda–intent upon rampaging through the world provoking war and hatred against American sovereignty. If I ever get a chance to give Beck a face to face briefing on these issues, I will certainly do so. His supporters claim he is sincere, and presenting him with a full dose of truth is one way to find out how deep that sincerity really goes.
Dennis Kucinich, the only principled Democratic candidate against the war, will probably stick it out through the primary season, though he lacks the financing sufficient to match Ron Paul’s revolution. In fact, many dissatisfied Democrats are crossing over to support Paul.
The big reason this week for the manufactured surge in John McCain’s fortunes is that the insider’s preferred candidate, Rudolph Giuliani, is in big trouble. The LA Times summarized the problems: “The reasons for Giuliani’s dip in the polls vary. Partly, he has suffered a run of unwelcome publicity. His business deals have come under intense scrutiny. His former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, whom he had recommended to President Bush as head of Homeland Security, was indicted on conspiracy and tax fraud charges. There were stories about how, as mayor, he provided taxpayer-funded security for his wife, who was then his mistress. In speeches, the thrice-married Giuliani tells his crowds right away that he is a flawed man: ‘If you’re looking for perfection, you’re not going to find it. Not in me, not in any candidate.'”
Nice try Rudy, but trying to infer that all the candidates are just as corrupt as you, isn’t going to fly with the core Republican base–even if Pat Robertson was foolish enough to endorse you, to his own everlasting discredit.
It’s my analysis that the PTB are trying to resurrect John McCain because the possibility is looming that, even with media and poll manipulation, they are not going to be able to keep Giuliani’s popularity high. The LA Time’s short, and downplayed, summary of Giuliani’s problems didn’t even come close to expressing the evil this man has been engaged in. The worst, in the opinion of many, was his foreknowledge that three of the World Trade center buildings (1, 2, and 7) were going to come down (with explosives) and his failure to warn fire-fighters and office tenants to get out in time.
So, now comes the McCain surge. It is nowhere better promoted than by Ron Elving of NPR radio [my comments in brackets on this classic case of spin]: “But most important to McCain’s comeback has been the failure of his rivals to fill the void. Giuliani, Romney, Thompson and now Huckabee have all auditioned for frontrunner without nailing the role. [First of all, this nation is so divided, no one is going to nail any role. Second, this comment is essentially meaningless and doesn’t describe anything of substance.]
“So now we all know why John McCain didn’t get discouraged when his presidential campaign came crashing down around him last summer [because he has insider support–which is NOT what “we all know”]…. So he decided to stick around and give people a chance to come around. And come around some have [Nonsense. No one has come around except the big media players endorsing him].
“As the holidays approach, McCain has found gift after gift at his doorstep [the kind of gift only the establishment can give]. First it was the endorsement of the Manchester Union-Leader, the torchbearer for ‘Live Free or Die’ politics in New Hampshire for generations [but hardly libertarian]. Never known for favoring anti-establishment types, the Union Leader still endorsed the Arizonan in a salute to his character and perseverance [as if McCain is anti-establishment… Give me a break!]. Then came The Boston Globe, widely read throughout Red Sox nation, and the Portsmouth Herald, another audible voice in the state that matters most to McCain.
“The Arizonan also won the backing of the Des Moines Register, the largest paper in Iowa, home of the first caucuses on January 3. [which also backed Hillary in the same editorial, which had to be manipulated given that News max reported that the Register was very offended by Hillary during their candidate interview: “Apparently, the editorial board members (3 women, no less) found Mrs. Clinton cold and less than chatty during their all-girl pow-wow.] This may be the least of his converts, as he has far less invested in Iowa than he has in New Hampshire, and the Register probably will not move many Republicans his way [conservative Iowans have never liked the Register’s liberal ways]. Back in New Hampshire, however, McCain completed his sudden surge of support by rolling out his Senate colleague Joe Lieberman, the former Democrat who ran as an independent last year after his party denied him renomination.
“Taken together, all these salutes should help McCain challenge Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, for first place in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary on January 8 [true, because the real goal of the PTB is to make sure if Giuliani falters, McCain is in second, not Romney]. Each of the endorsements speaks to a different slice of the primary electorate, from conservative Republicans to moderate independents, an especially crucial slice for McCain. It could also be that the establishment has already decided against Giuliani’s ability to win, and are trying to move McCain all the way to front-runner status.
“There was always a case to be made that McCain would return to the front ranks before the nominee was finally chosen. His performances in the debates have featured a quiet dignity and self-respect all too rare in recent presidential politics. The other candidates often defer to him or even praise him, seeking to attach themselves to his reputation for decency, his war hero status and aura of independence [Baloney. McCain was simply dull, tooting the same old pro-Bush war drums in the debates which wasn’t going to fly. Besides, if McCain ever gets the nomination, his collusion with his captors in North Vietnam will surely be aired. McCain is not well liked by his fellow POWs anymore than Giuliani is liked by NY firemen after his betrayal of them].”
A late arriving viewer might well wonder why McCain has been so out of it through the past six months… He remained a favorite of the news media [this article proves that bias],.. He seemed the one true conservative who might best draw Democratic and independent votes away from Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama [not true at all]… It was a strong case, but it quickly fell apart. McCain turned 70 and looked less than robust. He was on the wrong side of the polls on the two most salient issues of the year — Iraq and immigration [very true]. His steadfast support of President Bush on both put him at odds with most voters regardless of party [also true]. Moreover, his new willingness to make nice with religious conservatives and others he had fought with in 2000 was widely viewed as pandering — even as his old adversaries refused to be won over [for good reason]. By late spring, severe problems emerged within his operation: too much squabbling and spending and far too little fundraising. When it became known that McCain could barely meet his campaign payroll in the summer months, his candidacy appeared all but moribund.”
It was moribund until this week when dozens of phone calls were made to bring on this sudden spike in endorsements: all for McCain. That’s simple unexplainable given the variety of division in this country and McCain’s unpopular stands. After all, Giuliani is in agreement with nearly everything McCain says, so why did Giuliani get no endorsements? Obviously, the fix is in. His time will come. The PTB held back the endorsements of the more important national papers so they retain some future flexibility. Perhaps Giuliani will need a boost soon, or perhaps they will decide to kill the Giuliani campaign altogether. In any case, these strangely unanimous early endorsements were meant for only one purpose: to bring McCain back into the race in order to damage Romney’s chances of replacing Rudy should he fail.
Even though he has seemingly taken positions against the Bush administration, McCain is a stealth insider. It was McCain, for example that championed the cause of stopping torture, but it was this same McCain that made his secret deal with the White House–approving compromise legislation that provided all the loopholes the administration needed to keep torturing. McCain, the supposed champion against torture, not only sold out his fellow POW’s in Vietnam, but betrayed his wife (morally) after she faithfully waited for him all those years he was in a POW camp. This is a man, like Newt Gingrich in so many ways, who is not to be trusted, specifically because he is a phony conservative and he plays upon the image of trust, falsely.
McCain has other skeletons. As Drudge reported this week, “Just weeks away from a possible surprise victory in the primaries, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz has been waging a ferocious behind the scenes battle with the NEW YORK TIMES, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, and has hired DC power lawyer Bob Bennett to mount a bold defense against charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist! McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee, newsroom insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT. The paper’s Jim Rutenberg has been leading the investigation and is described as beyond frustrated with McCain’s aggressive and angry efforts to stop any and all publication.”
So far, Keller has kept the story under wraps and Rutenberg feels betrayed. “The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation. The woman in question has retained counsel and strongly denies receiving any special treatment from McCain… Rutenberg had hoped to break the story before the Christmas holiday, sources reveal, but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.” No, Keller, it’s an ethics problem when you use the holidays as an excuse NOT to publish a story that would put a crimp into the media promotion of John McCain. Jonathan Martin and Michael Calderone write that Keller himself has violated his own “ethical” holiday excuse before: “A Times reporter who covers national politics said that Keller’s [excuse] is ‘laughable,’ citing two tough stories — one on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fundraisers and one on Barack Obama voting ‘present’ 130 times while in the Illinois state Senate — that jumped off the front page of Thursday’s paper.” –indicating Keller isn’t adverse to publishing negative press close to an election (unless the subject is “protected”).
For those still attracted to Huckabee’s allure as a “Christian Conservative” consider few excerpts from the New York Times magazine’s “The Huckabee Factor”:
“His Primary Chances: ‘He’ll get hammered in New Hampshire,’ the Republican consultant Mike Murphy told me [this was before the media artificially created a Huckabee surge]. ‘A primary campaign is like a book. Iowa is just the first chapter. After that come more chapters. Opponents will hit Huckabee for being soft on immigration, Arkansas allegations, that kind of thing. And at some point, Republican elites will begin to ask, Is what we need a small state governor who doesn’t believe in Darwin?’
“Foreign Policy Advisers: ‘At lunch, when I asked him who influences his thinking on foreign affairs, he mentioned Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist [very dangerous globalist], and Frank Gaffney, a neoconservative and the founder of a research group called the Center for Security Policy [ditto].’
“Huckabee’s Popularity in Arkansas: ‘Which is why many were surprised when, at the end of October, the University of Arkansas published a poll in which state voters, asked an open question about their presidential preference, chose Hillary Clinton. She got 35 percent. Huckabee, less than a year out of the governor’s mansion, tied Rudy Giuliani for second place with 8 percent.'” Telling.