Saturday, October 14, 2023

Marketer for the GOP

The operative term is "shill."

Who's going to tell him?

On the heels of the Republican Party's second loss to Barack Obama, the GOP conducted an "autopsy," resulting in a 100-page report called the Growth and Opportunity Project, which was comprised of

an extensive plan the RNC believes will lead the party to victory with an extensive outreach to women, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and gay voters. Among the plans: hiring paid outreach staffers across the country in a $10 million push that begins right away; backing "comprehensive immigration reform"; abbreviating the presidential primary process with fewer debates, specifically saying the party would like at least half the 20 there were during the 2012 cycle; and moving the convention to June or July, as well as improving the data and digital effort.

Because it was an official plan of the Republican Party, Sean Hannity was all in. Slamming the project a decade later, the Commentary Editor of the conservative Washington Examiner wrote

That document did actually have useful things to say about modernizing how Republicans used data, but in its one foray into policy, the document recommended, “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform.”

Many Republicans took this advice to heart, including 14 Republican senators who voted with Democrats to give amnesty to over 10 million illegal immigrants. Fox News host Sean Hannity and former House Speaker John Boehner jumped on the amnesty bandwagon as well.

Less than three years after the autopsy which urged the GOP to open its door to voting blocs cool to the party and to enact comprehensive immigration reform, reality television actor Donald J. Trump rode down an escalator and announced his presidential candidacy while infamously declaring

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

So much for that autopsy. A harbinger of his party's turn to the left on the cultural front, Hannity had begun to alter his anti-immigration stance days after the 2012 election. Yet by March of 2018 he was falsely claiming that Donald Trump supported the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

During the 2020 presidential campaign

"The media has accused me of going soft in interviews on Republicans," the Fox News host said on his radio show last month. "I plead guilty. I absolutely plead guilty. You know why? Because I want one of them to win."

The admission came after Hannity spent weeks being accused of shilling for Donald Trump. In a rare moment of media bipartisanship, the liberal site ThinkProgress called his show a serialized Trump infomercial, and the conservative site RedState endorsed that characterization. Even Sen. Ted Cruz had accused Hannity of asking pro-Trump questions.

Hannity still is on the Trump train. That will continue as long as the ex-President is on a glide path to the GOP nomination in 2024. But if someone else soars at Trump's expense, the Fox anchor will pivot away from the ex-President. When he accuses Vivek Ramaswamny of not being qualified to be President because he lacks experience in public office, it seems to be an exquisite example of lack of self-awareness. However, Sean Hannity's only principle is expedience, the ideal job qualification to be a shill for a political party itself lacking a legitimate moral code.


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