- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The GOP debate wars continue. In an open letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, independent media maven Glenn Beck points out that the mainstream media treat the GOP debates as “comedies, as propaganda and as ratings and revenue opportunities, even as they mock conservative candidates.” Mr. Beck also notes that his online empire — which includes Blaze TV, TheBlaze.com and the Blaze Radio Network — now reaches, at a minimum, 41 million viewers, listeners and readers.

“We’d like to make our audience your audience by hosting the ninth scheduled debate on Feb. 28,” Mr. Beck advised the GOP, describing his proposed two-hour broadcast as the “first truly cross-platform, digitally engaged debate in the history of American politics.” The date itself is not without controversy. Originally, the debate that night had been awarded to NBC, but was yanked from the network by Mr. Priebus himself after sister network CNBC staged a recent GOP debate fraught with candidate abuse.

“Our plan is straightforward. Rather than being moderated by journalists who ask all the questions, I will host, and I will invite the greatest new conservative thinkers and media voices in American to prepare and ask questions live and by video. The time for theatrics and hyperbole is passed,” Mr. Beck wrote, and went on to discuss his prospects with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who appeared optimistic.

“I hope you get it. I’ll come in disguise,” Mr. O’Reilly advised his guest.

Carly Fiorina is already intrigued by the newfangled format. But what about Republican front-runner Donald Trump? “Sounds OK to me,” he told reporters during an appearance Tuesday in New York City.

RUSH TO JUDGMENT


SEE ALSO: White House says Paul Ryan won’t risk shutdown over lingering budget issues


“I think if I moderate a debate, it ought to be a Democrat debate. I mean, if you’re going even this out and we’re going make this fair, you let me moderate the next debate with Hillary and the socialist and The Abs.’”

— Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, explaining to his listeners the circumstances under which he’d moderate a presidential debate between Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley, known for his toned midsection.

TRUMP BOOK: A REAGAN CONNECTION

Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump: The pair are an automatic draw for conservatives — and Mr. Trump makes a modest link between himself and the 40th president in his new book, “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again,” which drew curiosity and criticism from the press, and a strong response from customers upon its publication Tuesday.

The author compared his personal situation to Reagan, who was a Democrat-turned-Republican in his time.

“He switched, and I switched years ago, when I began to see what liberal Democrats were doing to our country, Now I’m a conservative Republican with a big heart. I didn’t decide to become a Republican. That’s who I have always been,” Mr. Trump wrote in his book, published by Threshold Editions, and currently No. 7 on the top-10 list at Amazon — and No. 1 in the political, public policy and commentary categories.

THE THEOLOGY OF LIBERALISM

Politics is getting murky these days, and some suggest Americans equate ideology with faith.

“How much is liberalism like a religion?” asks Tyler O’Neil, a columnist for PJ Media. “There is a sort of orthodoxy required among liberals. Do you believe in climate change? What about the gender pay gap? Those who do not toe the line often find themselves exiled — not just from the fold, but from the conversation.”

He continues, “At some point, these views have become prescriptive; they have morphed into a moral structure to provide meaning and guidance in place of religion. When political beliefs start to explain why bad things happen to good people, they may be crystallizing into something closer to faith.”

Those who espouse such liberal theology have little patience for those who don’t.

“The accusations are endless. If you don’t believe in liberal positions about climate change, the minimum wage or social justice programs, you must have been bought off — there simply is no other possible explanation. How could you hate the poor so much? How could you doubt established facts? How could you hate yourself?” Mr. O’Neil says.

PROFESSOR MONEY

“Democrat candidates have been overwhelmingly successful at soliciting political donations at universities nationwide. Five out of six dollars donated to presidential campaigns from the top 50 national universities have gone to Democrat candidates,” reports James Mietus, an analyst for Campus Reform, a conservative watchdog project by the Leadership Institute, founded by Morton Blackwell.

“Over 1,200 faculty, staff, and students at the top 50 universities as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report have made contributions to presidential campaigns so far this election cycle. Filings released by the Federal Electoral Commission on October 16 reveal that together, their donations amount to $1.3 million so far this election cycle,” Mr. Mietus says.

“Of that $1.3 million in political donations, over $1.1 million went to Democratic candidates. Hillary Clinton alone raised $917,591, or roughly 70 percent of the total amount. Clinton has been performing particularly well among Ivy League universities, where she received over 87 percent of all donations,” the analyst notes.

POLL DU JOUR

64 percent of Americans say the nation is on the wrong track.

54 percent agree that economic and political systems in the U.S. are “stacked against people like me.”

52 percent would vote to replace every single member of Congress if they could.

45 percent would prefer a Republican-controlled Congress, 45 percent would prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress.

44 percent would prefer a Republican be elected president in 2016; 43 percent prefer a Democrat.

42 percent say that who wins the election will make a “great deal of difference” in their lives; 20 percent say “some difference,” 19 percent say “quite a bit of difference” and 17 percent “no difference.”

Source: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 25-29.

Weary observations, hand-wringing to [email protected]

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