Republican Establishment media alert: On the eve of the Michigan and Arizona primaries, the Establishment’s new favorite enforcer, Matt Drudge, was at it again. As I have chronicled so many of The Drudge Report’s clever, and cleverly timed, manipulations over the course of this primary season, I trust no one will have the gall to suggest that this latest batch of “headlines” is merely coincidental, or to defend Drudge with the feigned naiveté argument that Drudge himself does not write the stories, but merely posts links to whatever is available.
(To this last argument, which I have heard several times, I will only note the obvious: Have you noticed any loving defenses of Obamacare on Canada Free Press lately? If not, why do you think that is? Surely there are many leftists out there writing articles to justify socialized medicine. And yet, strangely, none of them seem to find their way to CFP’s homepage.)
On the night of Monday, February 27th, TDR’s above the logo headline was this: “Newt on Rick: ‘Big Labor Repub’.”
Why does Newt Gingrich, who is running way down in the polls for both Michigan and Arizona, and whose campaign TDR was instrumental in knifing to death when he seemed a threat to Romney, suddenly warrant banner headline status again? The headline itself answers the question. Gingrich is being used as the Establishment’s surrogate to destroy his own replacement in the anything-but-Romney sweepstakes. After all, hasn’t Gingrich made criticisms of Romney at least as sharp (and at least as justifiable) as this one against Santorum? So why does this remark in particular warrant headline treatment, and on the eve of two primaries in which Gingrich is not a player? You know why.
Other high-ranking news from the campaign featured on TDR on the same evening:
“RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Approval at 45%, Lowest in Month—Falls Behind Romney, Paul….”
As it is now widely acknowledged that the Paul campaign is working together with the Romney campaign to wedge out any challenger to Romney—that is, any anti-Establishment candidate—this poll, coming from a source at least as much in the tank for the Establishment scenario as TDR, is right on cue. Notice that, as with the Gingrich headline, in can only help one person. Paul, like Gingrich, is out of contention in both of the states up for grabs on February 28th. Producing a poll result at this moment that shows both Paul and Romney beating Obama in a head-to-head matchup does little or nothing for Paul, as the result will be nullified by any contrary result released before a primary or caucus where Paul is considered a contender. On the other hand, the result creates bad optics for Santorum—Romney’s only rival in these two states—suggesting that even during his big “surge” of the moment he “cannot” defeat Obama.