[The] “Hustle” may have been a line dance we did back in the days of disco, but today it’s what GOP leadership and a complicit media are trying to do to the voters responsible for the Republican Party’s successes since Ronald Reagan.

Realistic chances of winning notwithstanding, there are no fewer than 13 Republicans in the contest for the 2008 presidential sweepstakes. But to hear party leadership and the media spin promote the candidates, one easily gets the impression that John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are not just the only candidates, but that McCain and Romney are the opening act for Giuliani as he awaits his coronation.

This is a ruse, a con, and in brief, an attempt to hustle the voters. GOP leadership is trying to “Bob Dole” us. They have, in effect, met in the smoke-filled back room of a private club and decided amongst themselves who they want in 2008. Their problem is how to deceive the voters into believing that said pick is of the voters’ choosing.

Their solution: hand pick the candidate, truncate the primaries, shove the candidate down our collective throats vis-a-vis the media’s promoting, interviewing and discussing (ad nauseam) McCain, Romney and Giuliani, but in such a way as to always have Giuliani shine brighter. Then, when he has garnered the nomination, we the voters will be told, “Yes, it is true he is a little more moderate than we may like,” but if we don’t vote for him, Hillary will win and hell will freeze over.

To which, allowing that same has no basis in theological truth, I respond, “If there be a hell on earth, and it freezes over because I vote my conscience and Hillary wins, I’ll walk on ice until the party lets the voters truly have a say.”

Now, my scenario may not be completely accurate, but you can bet I’m not far off base. One thing is for certain – of the 13 Republican candidates, only three of them are being touted – and don’t tell me it’s the fault of the other candidates, because a week ago this same media (Fox News included) was trying to convince us that the corpse of Anna Nicole Smith was newsworthy.

I watched as Republican pundits, Fox News, GOP talking heads, and other cable news shows all downplayed the tremendous success of presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., in the South Carolina straw poll. McCain finished two votes ahead of Giuliani, who in turn finished four votes ahead of candidate Hunter.

Even though Hunter finished in a statistical dead-heat with each, garnering 24 percent, of the vote, Giuliani was declared “the clear winner” and “the presumptive Republican presidential favorite.” While these comments were without question a slap in the face to McCain, it was Hunter who they chose to disparage the most.

After all, went the reasoning on Fox News, Hunter had his son campaigning for him the entire week before the straw poll – to which Hunter, in classic fashion responded, “You know, I woke up to … one of the commentators saying that the only reason that Hunter beat all those guys in South Carolina is because his Marine son has been there for a week. Well, I looked down at that army of consultants – everybody who was vertical in South Carolina was hired by the other guys – and I said, ‘You know, that is a good match-up: One Marine versus 550 consultants.’ We did have the advantage!” (From Hunter’s speech given at Conservative Political Action Conference, Washington, D.C., March 3.)

My point is this: Giuliani is being touted as the “Nation’s Mayor” and “the presumptive favorite” by the media and most of the GOP armada, but there are a dozen other candidates, and none more honestly conservative than Duncan Hunter.

But the armada and the media don’t want you to know that. They want the voters to think there is a choice of one, and if we don’t go along with said choice the sky will fall. They will tell us that our picks/choices can’t win and we have to go with their guy.

It is not, however, about whether or not their choice can win – it is about whether or not their choice is fit to win. I’ve seen Rudy as a prosecutor, I’ve seen him as mayor, and I’ve seen him dressed up in his blond wig with heavy eye shadow and makeup, strutting about in drag (1997 mayoral spoof of Victor/Victoria).

Now, I’d like to see the media and the GOP armada of talking heads consistently acknowledge that there are a dozen other candidates, and only one of them a true conservative.


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