by Mel Griffith
I have been watching the presidential primary campaign with interest, but it changes so fast it's hard to say much about it. One thing that is easy to tell is that Rudy Giuliani is the favorite of the news media. they never fail to mention that he is the front runner even though no votes have been cast and it seems unlikely that his out-of-step views will appeal to many Republicans outside the strange world of the Northeast. Of course the reporters don't want him for president. They just want him to get the nomination, shift the republican party to the left, and then lose to their dream candidate, Hillary Clinton. He's the reporter's kind of guy, a big city liberal, just like them. Most of the news media are big-city people, many of them New Yorkers at some point in their career. Their ideal course of events is for Giuliani to get the Republican nomination and turn the Republican party into what the Democratic party used to look like, while Hillary turns the Democratic party into the American version of the European socialist parties. Based on her statements so far, it is clear that she is a Socialist at heart, not a true Democrat.
It was also easy to tell which Republican the reporters thought for a while had the best chance of beating Hillary. That was Fred Thompson. They never mentioned him without finding some fault with his campaign. Now that his poll numbers have dropped, they rarely mention him at all. He still looks like the strongest candidate to beat Hillary and the voting hasn't started yet, so he may still become the front-runner.
The next election looks like an uphill battle for the Republican party. That's partly because people just like to change directions after one party has been in charge for a while. Some of the problems are due to events nobody could control. But a lot of the party's problems are because too many Republicans forgot what they were sent to Washington for. They were supposed to cut taxes, reduce the size of government, and get rid of unnecessary regulations. Instead, they tolerated crooks in their midst, let spending get completely out of control, and made government even bigger and more meddlesome. They wasted millions on unjustified earmarks. Now after about seven years with Republicans in charge, we still have the death tax, the alternate minimum tax is alive and well, EPA is still running wild, and the IRS is a bigger danger to our well-being than Islamic crackpots. Instead of fewer regulations, we have the Department of Homeland Security, with its paranoid approach to saving us from all dangers except the federal government, while local education is harassed by Ted Kennedy's brainstorm called no child left behind.
Even if Republicans can't elect the next president, the party at least needs to nominate someone who will guide the party back to its proper conservative outlook.