The Washington Post

The go-to move for Republican losers

The thing about today’s turn in the campaign, in which Republicans have decided to gang up on the press, is just how tired and pointless the whole exercise is. It is, of course, nothing new; every losing Republican presidential campaign in the last 20 years (at least) has turned to it, from “Annoy the Media, Vote for (George H.W.) Bush” on.

Hey, Republicans! You have a president who has presided over a mediocre economic recovery and just had a foreign policy episode that certainly could be characterized as a mistake: Why are you giving up? Because you know what? To any experienced political observer, that’s exactly what this media-bashing sounds like.

My guess is, too, that it either sounds whiny or just irrelevant to most voters. No doubt it gets terrific responses from hard-core Republican voters, the kind who show up to campaign rallies, but you know what? Those voters aren’t your problem. Your problem is voters who voted Republican in 2002 and 2004 but turned against you because Iraq went bad and the economy went worse. They might be interested in returning, since Barack Obama hasn’t given them all that much, but they’re really, really, unlikely to be convinced that a media conspiracy against your candidate is the whole problem.

For 30 years, every time Republicans have fallen behind, they trot out the same tired press-bashing. It never works. Perhaps it’s time to try something else?

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