NY Times: RNC Signals a “Pullout” From Presidential Debates

Republicans are finally growing a spine, it seems:

Anything that’s described by the New York Times as “long-established” or a “fundamental institution” is almost invariably going to be a liberal-run wolf in sheep’s clothing.

They’ve done this with everything: the American Medical Association, the entire news media, the military, the FBI, the CDC, the NIH–all of them are presented as nonpartisan “expert” organizations that only care about the truth and the public interest. And they’ve got a lot of people believing that nonsense.

In reality, almost all of these “institutions” are liberal-run organizations that care about nothing but the interests of the Democratic Party. They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing, all of them. They’ve got so much of the public fooled.

People think “The Commission on Presidential Debates? Why on earth would anyone oppose that?! Debates are good!!!”

But that’s confusing the idea of the Commission on Presidential Debates with the reality of it.

The idea of it is good: a nonpartisan commission to organize and hold presidential debates.

The reality of it isn’t: a heavily-liberal group dedicated to protecting Democratic candidates and kneecapping Republicans.

Let’s get into the New York Times piece:

The Republican National Committee is preparing to change its rules to require presidential candidates seeking the party’s nomination to sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Republican committee officials alerted the debate commission to their plans in a letter sent on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. If the change goes forward, it would be one of the most substantial shifts in how presidential and vice-presidential debates have been conducted since the commission began organizing debates more than 30 years ago.

This is all factual. This is all reporting.

Now here comes the liberal bias (the article is written by Maggie Haberman, a “journalist” who was revealed in the Wikileaks emails from 2016 to be little more than a Clinton campaign operative–another example of a of a wolf in sheep’s clothing):

The nonprofit commission, founded by the two parties in 1987 to codify the debates as a permanent part of presidential elections, describes itself as nonpartisan. But Republicans have complained for nearly a decade that its processes favor the Democrats, mirroring increasing rancor from conservatives toward Washington-based institutions.

Wahhh, Republicans are undermining our precious institutions!!!

Republican criticism is always portrayed as baseless, conspiracy-driven ranting and raving. The target of Republican criticism (in this case, the debate commission) is always portrayed as some morally spotless paragon of virtue–a Pillar of Democracy.

The move by the R.N.C. was an outgrowth of those long-held complaints and came after months of discussions between the commission and party officials. According to the R.N.C.’s letter, the chairman of the party’s temporary presidential debate committee, David Bossie, began discussions last year with the debate commission’s co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf, a former Republican official.

The Republican Party chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, had demanded that changes be made to the commission and how the debates were held, writing in a letter to the commission in June that the party and its voters had lost faith in the commission.

Republican voters have not forgotten about the crap Chris Wallace pulled in last year’s Presidential debate.

The change requiring candidates to refuse participation in the commission’s debates is to be voted on at the R.N.C. winter meeting in Salt Lake City in February. If the R.N.C. moves forward with it, it is unclear what that would mean for future debates. But it would change the approach to be similar to what happened before the commission existed, when the two parties or campaigns had to negotiate directly and agree on terms, or no debates would take place.

This country was just fine for many decades without the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“The C.P.D. deals directly with candidates for President and Vice President who qualify for participation,” the commission said in a statement. “The C.P.D.’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to help the American public learn about the candidates and the issues.”

Yeah, sure.

One major concern for the R.N.C. was the timing of the first debate in the 2024 election cycle.

In 2020, more than one million ballots were cast before the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 that year, after some states changed their election rules because of the coronavirus pandemic and expanded both absentee and early voting. The party has been pushing the commission to host a debate before early voting begins in 2024.

There is no reason for the GOP to defer to the CPD on this. The GOP should schedule its own debates as it sees fit.

Former President Donald J. Trump has criticized the commission since his first campaign, against Hillary Clinton in 2016, when he complained that one of its co-chairs, Mike McCurry, was a White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton. He also complained then that the debates were being held at the same time as N.F.L. games. Mr. McCurry later condemned Mr. Trump’s attacks on the media as president.

And this is the problem with the CPD and all these others supposedly nonpartisan “institutions.” They’re stocked to the gills with liberals, and yet insist there’s no conflict of interest.

Officials with the commission told the R.N.C. in December that one of the party’s demands in particular was unacceptable: having nonvoting representatives of either the R.N.C. or the Democratic National Committee at the commission’s board meetings. The commission wrote that it was still studying that and other concerns the R.N.C. had raised, including the choice of moderators, as part of its review before the 2024 campaign cycle.

So much for transparency and honesty.

“We take the R.N.C.’s observations and suggestions seriously and, as we have said previously, we will give them careful consideration,” the commission’s letter read. “In furtherance of our position as a nonpartisan, neutral body, which neither favors nor disfavors any party or candidate, we do not negotiate the terms or conditions of our operations with anyone.”

We’re so totally nonpartisan and neutral. Did we mention that?

And by “anyone,” they mean Republicans. Because the Committee is full of woke Democrats.

But in her letter on Thursday, Ms. McDaniel replied that the commission’s response seemed designed to “delay any reform until it is too late to matter for the 2024 election.”

She added that the Republican National Committee’s duty was to ensure that its candidates debated their opponents on a level playing field.

About time.

“So long as the C.P.D. appears intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the R.N.C. will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere,” Ms. McDaniel wrote.

Accordingly, she added, the R.N.C. would start the process of amending its rules at the winter meeting “to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in C.P.D.-sponsored debates.”

This needs to be the start of a broader trend of Republicans refusing to feed into the lie that so many of these left-leaning “institutions” are nonpartisan and neutral.

It remains to be seen what, if any, new entity the Republican Party will choose as a host for debates and whether Democrats will agree.

Anything is better than the CPD.

Republicans have long complained about how the commission handles debates, going back to the 2012 campaign, when Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the Republican nominee against the incumbent Democrat, President Barack Obama. The moderator of the town hall-style debate, Candy Crowley, then with CNN, fact checked Mr. Romney in real time about a claim he made about Mr. Obama, prompting an outcry from conservatives.

Maggie Haberman neglects to inform her readers that Candy Crowley was completely in the wrong on her “fact check,” and that Mitt Romney was actually correct in what he said.

Mitt Romney said that Barack Obama failed to label the Benghazi attack in Libya as an “act of terror.” Candy Crowley “fact-checked” Romney and said that Romney was wrong, Obama had in fact called it an act of terror.

But Candy Crowley was wrong. Obama didn’t call it an act of terror. And Candy Crowley even admitted she was wrong after the debate.

Damage done, though. Romney looked like a fool up there and Obama came away unscathed. The “moderator” of the debate had directly intervened and lied to save the Democratic candidate.

But the intensity of frustration with the commission has increased since Mr. Trump first became the Republican nominee in 2016.

Mr. Trump’s adviser, Rudolph W. Giuliani, argued with the commission at the second debate with Mrs. Clinton, when he tried to seat women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct near the stage. Mr. Trump has also complained about moderators repeatedly, insisting that both the former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and the NBC News reporter Kristen Welker were biased against him (Mr. Trump said after the debate that Ms. Welker had been fair).

Mr. Trump announced three days after the first presidential debate in 2020 that he had been infected with the coronavirus. He had appeared sick to some onlookers at the first debate, and his former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, wrote in a book about the presidency that Mr. Trump had in fact had one positive coronavirus test in the days before the debate, followed by a negative one.

The commission changed the second presidential debate to a virtual format, prompting Mr. Trump to withdraw from it after a contentious debate with the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, for which Mr. Trump was heavily criticized.

Mr. Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Bill Stepien, wrote a blistering letter to the commission after the second debate format was changed, accusing the commission, among other things, of omitting the topic of foreign policy to try to help Mr. Biden.

Of course they were trying to help Biden. The Committee exists to help Democrats. They wanted it in a “virtual format” because Basement Biden would’ve been the beneficiary.

There is no need for Republicans to participate in these sham debates anymore.

They can host their own primary debates and stream them on YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitch and other streaming services. They don’t need to go through the corporate media anymore.

And not just for the debates, either.

What’s stopping the next Republican President from, say, refusing to seat the White House Press Correspondents in the press briefing room? Why do they allow some liberal group (the White House Correspondents Association, WHCA) to determine which media outlets are allowed in the press briefing room with access to the White House Press Secretary and the President?

Why don’t Republicans just say, “We’ll decide which media outlets are allowed access to us”? They could tell NYT, WaPo and CNN to go pound sand. Democratic Presidents don’t allow Breitbart and OAN into the press conferences. Why should Republicans allow liberal media outlets in, then?

Look at the current seating chart:

The only Republican outlets in the room are: Fox News, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, NewsMax (which is barely even Republican anymore), and Daily Caller.

Stop allowing liberal groups to determine the seating chart.

Republicans need to stop “playing ball” because “playing ball” means deferring to liberals.

Social media and the internet are now at a point where Republicans can completely sideline the leftwing media. Cut them out of the picture entirely.

Politicians no longer need to rely on the media for exposure and “getting the word out.” It’s archaic thinking to believe that this is the way things have to be.

Republicans need to take control of their political fortunes. Stop relying on liberal “institutions” to call a fair fight. They never have, and they never will.

Republicans are constantly fighting on the Democrats’ turf. Time to put an end to that.

This is another important factor. Legacy cable media outlets are hanging by a thread in the ratings department. Do not provide them with anything that can boost their ratings–debates included. Deprive them of ratings and watch them wither away.

The legacy media needs to be sidelined as much as possible until it’s made irrelevant.

Let Joe Rogan moderate a Republican debate. Let Tucker Carlson moderate.

No liberal partisan Democrat should ever be allowed to moderate a Republican debate.

Then, when it’s time for the general election debate, the two campaigns should negotiate and agree on a moderator or a panel of moderators.

There is no need for a “Commission.” Anytime a “Commission” is formed, Democrats get to work on figuring out how to stock it full of Democratic activists and game the system.

No more.

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