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I was not asked to be a part of Pajamas Media. That was just as well, as I would have declined to participate for three reasons. The first was that I regarded it as a stupid business plan, about as well-conceived as the idea of selling dog food over the Internet. While there is some genuine demand for news and opinion, the supply approaches that post-scarcity vision of which neo-Marxian economists happily dream.
The second reason was the much-publicized involvement of various individuals I neither like nor respect. That’s completely subjective, of course, but is closely connected to the third reason, which is not. This third reason was that it was clear from the start that many of those involved with Pajamas Media saw the mainstream media as a club to which they hoped to be admitted, not an unnecessary evil better disrupted and left for dead on the roadside of technological advancement.
The chief role of the media in modern American society is to act as an intellectual gatekeeper, determining which thoughts are to be deemed permissible and which are not. To give one of many possible examples, it is considered unacceptable to doubt the verity of the Holocaust or global warming, lest one be labeled a ”denier,” whereas identical doubts about other, equally well-established facts merely causes one to be described as a ”skeptic.”
With regards to politics, the rule applies to the concept of ”electability.” Electability has nothing to do with whether a candidate is actually considered electable based on any rational grounds such as his achievements, electoral record or appeal to the voting public, but rather how acceptable he is to the gatekeepers. Thus, a comedian, a lisping, thrice-married man holding political positions diametrically opposed to his nominal party’s or a confirmed satanist serving time for child rape and murder will all be described as being more ”electable” than a popular congressman without a hint of scandal whose best-known political cause is supported by 80 percent of the American public.
”Electable” in this context merely means ”acceptable.”
As I wrote nearly two years ago, it is the Democratic faction’s turn to take over the White House, which is why the ruling party’s other faction is, according to the rules of the great game, staunchly determined to nominate a wildly unelectable individual in the Bob Dole mode. It doesn’t matter if it’s Giuliani and his speech impediment, McCain and his speech-banning impediment or Romney and his sacred underwear impediment, none of these men have a ghost of a chance of beating any Democratic candidate for president, let alone the Lizard Queen and her scorched-earth political destruction machine. Ironically, that’s precisely what makes them ”electable” for the purposes of the nomination.
Conservative Republicans understand this on some level, which is why so many are depressed about polls showing that the lisper has a lead on the speech banner. (No one ever took the Mormon seriously, except those who get overexcited about executive hair. Our presidential selection process would be about as genuinely democratic and would definitely be more fun if we simply had Romney and Edwards stage a Zoolanderesque hair-off for the White House.)
And the truth is that there are alternatives, genuine alternatives to the three-part multiple choice quiz, but the mainstream media is, as always, doing its best to prevent anyone from considering them. And in their best freshmen-at-the-frat-house fashion, Pajamas Media is playing precisely the same game, as evidenced by their 2008 Pajamas Media Presidential Straw Poll.
The eighth week of the PAJAMAS MEDIA PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL has officially begun. Bill Richardson and Rudy Giuliani were again winners in the seventh week with over 70,000 votes now cast. Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich (undeclared) were runners-up on the Democratic and Republican sides respectively.
What the headline fails to mention is that in the Feb. 19 Pajamas Media poll, Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and now a declared candidate for the Republican nomination, roundly defeated Rudy Giuliani, 43.1 percent to 20.1 percent. Moreover, he did so by winning more votes, 1,769, than Giuliani subsequently did in winning the Mar. 4 (1,431) and Mar. 11 polls (1,158).
The innocent observer might wonder how Ron Paul could slip so much in three weeks that Giuliani could surpass him with fewer votes, or that a disgraced adulterer and non-candidate for president like Newt Gingrich could claim second place. Did his actual declaration of his candidacy on Mar. 11somehow inspire a backlash against him? No, the truth is much more simple.
Because they didn’t like the results, Pajamas Media simply dropped Ron Paul from the poll, while retaining the likes of George Pataki, Tommy Thompson and other no-hopers who aren’t even running for president!
Pajamas Media has thus declared Rep. Ron Paul to be unelectable on the basis of his demonstrated respect for the United States Constitution, his allegiance to Republican ideals and his commitment to human liberty. This speaks rather better of Ron Paul than it does of Pajamas Media and their naked ambition to tell the American people what they are and are not permitted to think.