From a spectator stand point, one of the most interesting things to do during any Republican primary election season is watch closely how all of the GOP hopefuls work so tirelessly to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It is nothing new, for we see it during every election cycle. Just when these candidates have the opportunity to explain to the American public how their plans and programs would be superior to those leftist policies either proposed or now in effect, the race becomes a cannibal feast.
The Washington Republican establishment, being as far away from true conservatism as earth is from the moon, cannot even stand the thought of a solid conservative becoming the final choice of the Grand Old Party. Those inside the beltway elitists honestly believe that only “center oriented” politics can win in the United States. They fear the solid conservative candidate, will do anything to make sure he or she does not gain traction and are the first to make sure such a travesty does not occur. By voice and by written word these so called experts are quick to credit any conservative candidate with a long list of political and personal wrong doings.
Right on the heels of the Republican elite come the candidates themselves, who quickly bend to the same philosophy. Long forgotten by those seeking office under the Republican banner is the so-called 11th Commandment. It was written in 1966 by California Republican Chairman Gaylord Parkinson and repeatedly voiced by Ronald Reagan, “Thou Shall Not Speak Ill Of Any Fellow Republican”.
Though this year’s political season started off on that pleasant tone and all candidates promised “positive” campaigns the mood and conduct was very short lived. It didn’t take long for every one in the race to bare their fangs and started chewing on each person slightly in the lead as reflected by never-ending political polls. Does this tactic work? There are political pundits who swear by negative campaigning. They claim that even though the general public abhors negative advertising and comments from candidates, those are the winning maneuvers in any race. They claim that the more you can tear down your opponent, the more you can build up your own image.
It could also be argued that turning into a cannibal and ripping huge bites out of anyone and everyone in your path can prove to be detrimental to your own health. For example, as the campaign started Newt Gingrich kept up a positive tone and even repeatedly had nice things to say about his opponents. His poll numbers started to climb. As he had more and more opportunities to explain his ideas on governance, he also continued giving credit for the positive work and comments of others in the GOP race. His poll numbers climbed even higher. Soon Newt was leading the field. Other candidates started attacking his political and personal failings. This brought on counter-attacks from the Gingrich camp. Soon Newt was taking huge bites out of Mitt Romney…and those poll numbers dropped, dropped, dropped.
Not to be forgotten are all the remaining candidates in the GOP race. They too have joined the cannibal feast and are chewing on anything and everything that Newt Gingrich has ever done or even talking about doing.
In fact, the cannibal attacks have been relentless on anyone who reached the top of the poll numbers around the country. It seems the GOP is very hungry to eat its own.