That the Conservative agenda in the current
S. Presidential campaign is one driven by
hatred, pure unadulterated hatred of Barack Obama was largely confirmed by a
report in the New York Times that
documents the right wing’s unapproving attitude towards Mr. Romney and his
campaign. They want an all out vicious,
mean and highly personal attack on Mr. Obama by Mr. Romney.
The key player here is Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox News and the Wall Street Journal (and who is caught up in a huge scandal in
Britain). Mr. Murdoch is trying to get Mr. Romney to
emulate Fox News, with unrelenting attacks on Mr. Obama.
Mr. Murdoch’s wariness about Mr. Romney is similar to the way many Republican primary voters initially felt about the candidate. Mr. Murdoch wanted anybody else, and could not resist getting swept up in the flavor-of-the-week fickleness that gummed up this year’s Republican nominating process. He wrote glowing Twitter messages about Rick Santorum, calling him the only candidate with a “genuine big vision” for the country.
Along with Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, Mr. Murdoch urged Gov. Chris Christie of
to run. Both
men admire Mr. Christie’s gusto and toughness — a sharp edge they have
themselves. “He really wanted Christie,” said one of Mr. Murdoch’s friends. Mr.
Ailes, a former campaign strategist for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, shares
Mr. Murdoch’s disdain of how the Romney campaign is being run, telling people
privately that it is too soft. New Jersey
The amazing thing is all of this is that Mr. Romney is running a near perfect campaign, as he must. As one of the weakest Presidential candidates ever, with a policy record of flip-flopping on every major issue and with a business background that includes making hundreds of millions from buying companies with other people’s money, Mr. Romney is far exceeding his potential. He is about even in the polls, he will out-raise Mr. Obama by hundreds of millions even before third party organizations spend about a billion in addition to what Republican will spend and he has managed to neutralize the press.
One does not have to agree with anything Mr. Romney stands for (assuming we knew what he stood for) to admire the effectiveness of his campaign. But that is not enough for the professional haters like Mr. Murdoch and his employee Roger Ailes and the Wall Street Journal editors. They want a campaign of blood, a campaign where Mr. Obama is not defeated but destroyed.
To hear Rupert Murdoch tell it lately, Mitt Romney lacks stomach and heart. He “seems to play everything safe.” And he is not nearly as tough as he needs to be on President Obama.
The irony is that if they get that campaign they will be giving Mr. Obama about the only opening he could have to win. Mr. Obama cannot win this election, but his opponent can lose it. The easiest way for them to lose would be to go on excessive attacks. Americans will rally to a President they think is the subject of personal rather than political persecution. “Swift Boating” Mr. Obama by rabid Conservatives may be Mr. Obama’s only hope, and so what Mr. Murdoch and his minions want to do to defeat Mr. Obama may in the end be what saves him.
The political gods of irony are strong indeed, and yes people like Mr. Murdoch are too unaware to know that.