Don’t Get Fooled Again

by Michael Walsh

Re that Marco Rubio interview in GQ, it’s the opening salvo in the 2016 presidential race, sure, but it’s much more than that. It’s also the opening salvo from the Big Berthas of the media to start softening up potential Republican candidates, especially overtly conservative ones. It’s an extension and refinement of the Sarah Palin Strategy, in which the long guns pound the reputation of the victim into rubble by marginalizing him or her as an “outside the mainstream” kook. The easiest way to do this — just ask surefire, can’t-lose senators like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock or, for that matter president Mitt Romney — is to slip in a question that reinforces the Left’s beloved “narrative” that conservatives are Christian racist know-nothings, seething with animus against the post-Marx “modern” world and then let them hang themselves. I thought Rubio handled the burning question “How old do you think the Earth is?” pretty well – 

“I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

– not by directly answering it but by changing the subject to freedom of opinion. The Stalinist Left can never accept such jiu-jitsu, of course, since any deviation from current orthodoxy must be stamped out. And why not? They just rode George Stephanopoulos’s planted question about contraception during the Republican debates all the way to the White House. 

Still, the fact is that GOP candidates, by and large, are not particularly well-versed in dealing with the media. As the Washington Generals of this particular sporting event, they’ve been cast as the slow, clueless white guys who got no game, and it must be said that they usually play their part to perfection. Which is why, effective immediately, conservatives need to develop their own, non-Fox media operation, in part to return fire and in part to educate prospective candidates in the ways of the media. You think the Democrats leave this stuff to chance? The way forward is to use their weapons against them.

The truth is, Republicans think the point of being interviewed is to politely and honestly answer the interrogator’s questions, while Democrats know that the purpose of any interview is to use the question as a stick with which to beat the other side into cowering submission. We can laugh all we want at the risible character known as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but guess what? Her side just won:

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