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July 27,9: Calmes traces the history of conservative media, from its founding after World War II to the present-day proliferation Harvard law school optional essays talk radio and Internet personalities. She finds that beyond the big names and outlets such as Limbaugh and Fox, smaller local personalities also exert significant influence over listeners and politicians.
This influence is troubling to leaders in the Republican Party, who Calmes interviewed extensively for the paper. Overview Republicans should still have been celebrating in late January Yet in reality, Republicans were out of control.
They only had themselves to blame, and many did.
So unhappy was Representative Charlie Dent, a six-term Pennsylvanian and one of the few surviving Republican moderates, he emerged from a private party caucus in January to share with reporters waiting outside the complaint he had made to colleagues behind closed doors: Indeed, the coming weeks only got worse.
That owed to a February showdown with President Obama over immigration policy that Republican leaders had teed up back in December, during a lame-duck Congress, when their immediate concern was getting their militant members out of town for the holidays without provoking another government shutdown.
But they knew then that they were merely postponing the inevitable, a battle doomed to fail at the opening of the new, Republican-led Congress.
It predictably backfired and by March the unhappy duo engineered the retreat they had known would have to come. It was a humiliating debut for a party that had promised in the midterm elections that Republicans would show the nation how well they could govern, if only voters would put them completely in charge of Congress.
So when the field began taking shape, once-supportive Republicans including Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie reversed themselves. The baby-faced year-old Deace pronounced Dace is a college dropout, self-described one-time loser, former part-time sports writer and born-again Christian who one day unexpectedly found himself with a radio show in Iowa, home of the first-in-the-nation contest for aspiring presidential nominees.
Nine years later, he is nationally syndicated from Des Moines and a prolific columnist and social media presence with tens of thousands of followers. And, he said, the chorus is loudest in opposition to those actions that are fundamental to governing: How far to the right can you get?
Ornstein, a political scientist at the center-right American Enterprise Institute and co-author with Thomas E. Now, because of social media and because you have a culture of extremism that is not culled out more generally, they can move into the mainstream and actually hijack a major party.
Conservative media, having helped push the party so far to the anti-government, anti-compromise ideological right, attacks Republican leaders for taking the smallest step toward the moderate middle. In that, these Republicans agree with Mann and Ornstein, who wrote in a afterword to their book: Nothing would contribute more to strengthening American democracy than Republicans going through that same experience.
The problem, as they see it: Republicans have changed that. Not surprisingly, talk-show hosts and conservative pundits stoke that fear by inviting challengers to run against incumbents deemed too quick to compromise, and then encourage support for them, including financially.
Among the few Republican losers was a big one: Eric Cantor, the House majority leader. While Republicans quibble over how much Ingraham actually had to do with the result — Cantor had, they agree, neglected his Richmond-area district as his national prominence grew — his defeat left many congressional incumbents further cowed by the power of conservative media, and hardened against immigration.
As further evidence of the Cantor fallout, one House Republican leader recalled in an interview how many Virginia Republicans had defied Boehner in March when he put to a vote a bill to fund homeland security programs for three more weeks to buy time for negotiations with Democrats on immigration.
And not just Virginians, the leader said: As for those in the widening world of conservative media, for all of their complaints about the establishment, they are only too happy to acknowledge their influence in shaping the political agenda. Conservative media, and the conservative activists the media gives voice to, often do not win: Yet those in conservative media, whether in print, online, or radio and TV broadcasting, invariably see these fights as a win-win: They and their audiences repeatedly get to set the agenda, to provoke a confrontation in defense of what they see as conservative principles.
Conservative media can always find a like-minded politician — say, senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz — to say so. And with each loss or retreat, conservative media and its readers, viewers and listeners are only further enraged at the Republican establishment.
That anger was behind the divisive first act of the new Republican Congress: Similarly, conservative media figures see the process of picking presidential nominees as a win-win. By backing the most conservative contenders and enforcing litmus tests, they have forced the ultimate nominee further right — weakening Romney and, before him, Senator John McCain among swing voters in the general election.
In andconservative media did not coalesce around a single candidate. Inmany in the media ultimately supported Romney in an unsuccessful bid to block McCain after their first choices, like former minister and Arkansas governor Huckabee, foundered. But four years later, with several ideological conservatives in the running, most in conservative media opposed Romney as a flip-flopping moderate-in-disguise — a dread RINO, Republican In Name Only.
While those in conservative media generally have not picked recent Republican nominees, they have defined the terms of debate.Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. You can view samples of our professional work here..
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Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s Postbac Program and is a former Accepted admissions consultant.
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