POLITICO’s Tim Alberta got his start writing for National Review, which means that the Democratic National Committee is pretty sure that he is radioactive, a brain-eating zombie, and quite possibly a carrier of the deadly Ebola virus. Now that POLITICO wants to bring Alberta on as a debate moderator, the Dems are throwing another self-defeating hissy-fit.
It’s their way.
Let’s give POLITICO due credit here because they believe that Alberta’s record of covering both sides of an argument would make him the perfect moderator for next month’s presidential debate, scheduled for December 19. But the DNC is having none of it, because a moderator who might challenge their cherished notions could prove to be a temporary and minor threat to their cherished notions. And we can’t have that.
That’s no exaggeration, either, although I admittedly made up the part about Alberta being radioactive. Dylan Byers reported for NBC News on Monday that the DNC and POLITICO are at loggerheads over Alberta’s “ideological credentials,” which is code for: “We can’t endure dissent, which is only patriotic when we do it.” No conservative himself, POLITICO publisher Robert Allbritton is the one pushing for Alberta to moderate, perhaps because the debates have devolved into total snore-fests of likeminded moderators asking likeminded candidates hard-hitting questions like, “So who here really really really really hates Trump? Raise your hands.”
It isn’t like Allbritton is trying to stack the deck completely against the Democratic contenders. If the DNC would just go along, Alberta would be moderating alongside some of PBS’s best-and-brightest-and-most-leftwing personalities like Judy Woodruff, Yamiche Alcindor, or Amna Nawaz, according to Byers.
Yet as Byers reported, Allbritton’s push for Alberta has “rankled officials at the DNC, as well as some journalists at PBS and even POLITICO.” That’s because, according to Democrats Byers spoke with, “such a journalist is ill-suited to co-moderate a debate meant to better inform Democratic voters about their potential nominees.” Ideological conformity is such a nice, warm blanket that they can’t allow anyone peeling back even one small corner of it. Or as National Review‘s Jim Geraghty put it earlier this morning, “Enough whining and sniveling about the possibility that a moderator might ask a question you don’t like.”
Having watched — well, drunkblogged — all the debates so far, I can tell you with complete authority that these candidates could use a few questions they don’t like. And I don’t mean that in a snarky, partisan way. If I take off for just a moment my t-shirt that says “PLEASE GOD LET THEM NOMINATE THE BIGGEST LOSER POSSIBLE,” and appraise the past debates as objectively as I can, it’s fair to say that having nobody but progressives moderate nobody but progressives…
…well, the results have been bad for the Democrats.
Here’s a prime example.
MSN-DNC newsweasel Chuck Todd probably thought he was helping the progressive cause in that debate last summer, when he asked the candidates to raise their hands like a bunch of kindergartners if they support free health care for illegal aliens. Er, excuse me, for “undocumented migrants,” or whatever is the hip, new euphemism. Every hand went up, resulting in this famous NY Post cover:
(Conclusion below the cover.)
Conformist moderators aren’t helping the Dems or their cause. As someone who wants to see them lose, I’m fine with that. But apparently the DNC is as trapped inside the bubble as Todd is. They can’t see that having everyone wearing the same ideological blinders during a so-called debate is actually bad for them and their chances next November. If the DNC weren’t so blind, they’d beg for POLITICO to bring in Tim Alberta, or someone like him, to moderate at all the debates. But since it’s in the nature of progressivism to silence dissent on college campuses, on network TV, and even at your local Target’s ladies room, it’s too much to expect that they’d suffer any dissent inside their own clubhouse.