Here’s another, related hypothesis:
1. In the early 1970s, Big Media switched from generally favoring the Democratic Party to essentially defining the liberal agenda, with the Democrats piggy-backing on this agenda to hold onto office.
For example, AFL-CIO boss George Meany, an elderly ex-plumber, went from being The Man for Democratic-leaning newspapers to being an embarrassing relic in a few years.
2. This happened because: a) Big Media had far more presence in front of voter eyeballs, in both news and entertainment, than a Democratic Party badly fractured by Vietnam and Civil Rights; b) Big Media was far more accustomed to pleasing and persuading readers-viewers-voters, since they make a living at this; c) Big Media was more unified in its view of how things should be than even Democratic politicians, who have to deal with different constituencies and with the consequences of dreamy policies.
3. For the next 20 or 30 years, Dissident Conservative Media, on radio and TV talk shows and in a few publications, devoted itself to opposing the idiocies of the Big Media-Democratic liberal agenda. This Dissident Conservative Media influenced but did not define the Republican Party’s own program.
4. During roughly the last ten years, Dissident Conservative Media has grown in presence and power and has begun to play the same role for Republicans as Big Media does for Democrats. And for much the same reasons. As media, it has far more daily contact with readers-viewers-voters than the shreds of the old Party organization and more power than even new grass-roots organizations like the Tea Party. As Media, it pleases for its daily bread and is skilled at persuading.
5. In its role of now defining the Republican Party and conservative agenda, Dissident Conservative Media is affected by some of the same factors that affect Big Media. Certain subjects are simply too unpleasant and difficult to speak about to a general audience, while retaining this audience and the revenue it brings in. These troublesome subjects include race, ethnicity and the transformation of even American whites into a slob-and-slut society.
6. So Dissident Conservative Media sticks with safer, less-offensive arguments about political principles on foreign policy, domestic policy and market economics.
I don’t think this is the whole explanation, but I think it is at least part of the explanation.
By the way, why do Republican insiders, media and wonk, really want to reclaim the White House in 2012? A second term for Obama would likely be a halcyon age for Dissident Conservative Big Media, while a first term for Romney would likely put them on the snooze-inducing defensive?
My guess is that the real reason Republican apparatchiks in Washington desperately want to win in 2012 is so that they can put in a couple of years as an assistant deputy undersecretary of this or that, making $147k or whatever, then resign and make approaching 7 figures on K Street because they have White House Experience.
Okay, I can understand that. But what's in it for the rest of us, other than the thrill of seeing Our Team Win?