First and foremost, Happy New Year, especially if you work off the calendar that says today is the last day of 2011 and tomorrow thus is the first day of 2012. I wish peace, happiness, good health and prosperity for you and yours. Now, let's get down to issues.
A few weeks back I wrote an article on the race for the GOP presidential nomination in which I expressed my belief that Texas Congressman Ron Paul's foreign relations viewpoints are dangerous to our country.
A veteran friend immediately threw the "B.S." flag. Except, like the little kid in the Christmas Story who says "Oh F-U-D-G-E" but he didn't say Fudge, he said the Queen Mother of all swear words, my friend didn't say "B.S." He spelled it out with no mistaking his meaning.
My friend is an avid Ron Paul supporter, and let's be frank here, everyone who supports Ron Paul is an "avid" supporter. But my friend obviously had a good view of where things were going for the GOP.
We talked about Paul's positions back on Veterans Day and my friend said he didn't think the foreign relations issues matter all that much because Ron Paul as president couldn't unilaterally dictate American foreign policy without Congressional approval. He also said Herman Cain wouldn't survive the media onslaught against him at that time, which proved to be right on the money.
Regarding the president dictating foreign policy, I admit he has a point, but we currently have a president who is unilaterally setting American foreign policy and Congress isn't saying a peep, so I'm not sure what would change under a Ron Paul presidency.
Nonetheless, Paul is streaking toward the top spot in the polls preceding the Iowa GOP caucuses which take place Tuesday, if you believe the polls. Up there where the air is rare he has joined perennial almost-favorite Mitt Romney, who also has shared top billing with the likes of Michelle Bachmann, now dead last in the polls, Herman Cain, now out of the running, Rick Perry, way, way back in the pack, and Newt Gingrich, dropping like a rock.
The only other person who currently is moving upward at a significant pace is former US Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. To which I say, Good for Him, he wanted it, now he has it. That is, if you believe the polls.
Personally I think this just reflects the American voters' dissatisfaction with the status quo and regardless of how many candidates the media knocks off, the majority just won't jump on the Mitt Romney bandwagon as long as there is someone else in the running.
The media is downplaying Paul's increasing popularity, primarily because the media and the rest of the GOP elitists don't like him … he makes too much sense and he wouldn't be much fun at a Washington D.C. cocktail party. So, the media is dredging up some two-decades-old newsletters that Paul produced that hint darkly at racist tendencies.
The existence of these letters has been reported in the media since the mid-1990s when Paul was running for Congress, and they surfaced again about four years ago on the national scene, but without much widespread impact.
Why the media didn't jump all over this months or even years ago is anybody's guess … well, no it isn't. The media knew about this all along but timing is everything and you can bet that every person in the GOP race who is NOT Mitt Romney has some skeleton hiding in the closet that will emerge at exactly the instant they get too close to taking the first-place spot.
Ask Herman Cain or New Gingrich. They'll tell you. If you think for even a second that the media isn't controlling the outcome of the GOP race, through its "coverage" of these skeletons at precisely the right moments, or the use of these interminable "polls" some of which are laughably transparent, then you aren't paying attention.
The media, and in my case that essentially means FOX News - because I gave up on the networks years ago, never trusted CNN and don't watch MSNBC even though it has some beautiful women in the broadcast booth, but virtually no news credibility - is running this show and decided long ago that this is to be a Barack Obama-Mitt Romney race. Period.
Fortunately the voters are giving the media fits and won't just move en masse to the Romney camp. There is a general dissatisfaction with anyone viewed as part of the Congressional and White House establishment, meaning Romney, and I believe the voting public is far more aware of the media manipulation than the media wants to admit and is reacting accordingly.
Trying to control this race at this point has to be very similar to herding cats.
At the moment voter dissatisfaction is being displayed by continuing shifts to whatever GOP candidate is still standing and I believe this will continue after the Iowa caucuses and then the New Hampshire primary even though some candidates already are being pressured to withdraw – without a single vote being cast! As I noted a couple of months ago, in remarking on Herman Cain's campaign strategy, the Iowa and New Hampshire votes don't really have much impact on the numbers of delegates available – Tennessee has as many as both combined.
What we really get in Iowa and then New Hampshire is the appearance of voter momentum, and presumably higher donations to the top tier candidates. That in turn can be used to buy ad space in larger states and to make huge media buys on Super Tuesday when dozens of states, representing a huge chunk of delegates hold simultaneous votes.
This is really driving this race for the future of America – competition for ad dollars for the large newspapers, as well as network and cable news outlets and radio spots. Imagine that my fellow voters – we are being offered a relatively small number of choices based entirely on how much money the media believes the various candidates will have available to buy ads, and thus pay the pundits' salaries.
God Bless America. Go Ron Paul; and Rick Santorum!