I have thought this more times than I can count.
Prefatory statement: there are two kinds of people in American society. Okay, three:
- Those who realize that the MSM (mainstream media) are, in reality, the public-relations arm of the Democratic Party
- Those in denial about that established fact
- Cheap kitchen appliances with no moving parts
- Print a series of articles about how "divided" the GOP is, how "evangelicals" are drifting away, how blacks are still devoted Dem-voters (these articles always feature words and phrases like "mounting," "growing," "growing chorus," "increasing," and the like)
- Find some poll to back up the above, report on it selectively
- Find some event (preferably huge, but low-level will do just fine), and label it a "scandal" or "_____-gate"
- Report on it ceaselessly, 24/7
- Make it out as a grave threat to the Republic
- Find big names to quote to underscore how grave, serious, and unparalleled this scandal is for Republicans
- Appear unable to find anyone, anywhere, who is able to articulate an opposing view
- Experience acute and chronic state of historical amnesia as to far graver matters, usually perpetrated by Bill Clinton (or, if not, some other Democrat), and always minimized by the very same people who are "concerned" and "alarmed" by the current "crisis"
- Speak frequently and exclusively of "the GOP's woes" or "worse and worse news for the GOP," of "voters" as "unlikely" to vote for GOP candidates, and of "rising Democratic hopes" for tightening their grip on the country's throat
- Rinse, and repeat as necessary, until the last second
- Then, months after the vote, print tiny and well-hidden articles "discovering" that the previous articles were entirely bogus, thus establishing (to their satisfaction) the MSM's creds as objective and unbiased
Now, I'm no rocket scientist, and I know all this. What of these six-and-seven-figure consultants and leaders the GOP relies on? None of them knows this? Not one has ever heard the expression "October surprise" up in his penthouse? The term "proactive" is absent from their lexicon?
I know no other explanation as to why this hits them as if by total surprise every single time.
Now, if the same guy built the same house on the same bank of the same river every year, and every year had that same house washed away in some moderate storm, and still he did the exact same thing the next year -- wouldn't we say he was an idiot?
So what shall we say of Republican leadership, sucker-punched by the exact same punch every single election cycle?
And so once again I say, if Republican leaders were smart, and if they could manage even a ghost of the discipline the Dems show, every Republican who speaks in public would start making this his "Carthago delenda est," from about mid-August on.
No matter what he was asked to speak on, nor in what venue, he'd be saying things like "I just wonder what the media and Dems will pick this year for their 'October surprise'"; "I just wonder what 'scandal' the media and Dems are sitting on now, so they can fixate on it in October"; "Well, as you know, Katie, the media/Democratic playbook runs the same way every election year." They'd run down my entire scenario above, again and again. They'd make it more well-known than "Apply directly to your forehead."
And then, when the MSM/Dems play their one trick, every American with a brain would say, "Yep. Just like they do every election, and just like ____ said they would." And it would fizzle like a wet firecracker.
If the Republican leadership were smart.
Postscript: too bad Hugh Hewitt's pc evidently can't get this blog. I think he'd like this.