Andrew Sullivan thinks that Chris Wallace of Fox News ought to recuse himself from tonight’s debate because he said this about a possible Ron Paul victory in the Iowa caucuses:
Well, and the Ron Paul people aren’t going to like me saying this, but, to a certain degree, it will discredit the Iowa caucuses because, rightly or wrongly, I think most of the Republican establishment thinks he is not going to end up as the nominee. So, therefore, Iowa won’t count and it will go on.
“He’s basically saying that the votes of Iowans do not count in advance if they decide for Ron Paul,” Andrew says. Spare me. Wallace isn’t openly rooting for one side or another here. He’s just making the obvious point that the Republican establishment normally thinks of the Iowa caucuses as a bellwether, but if Ron Paul wins they won’t. They’ll figure it’s just a fluke and move on to New Hampshire.
Given the fact that Paul has always had a dedicated band of fanatic supporters willing to give him money and organize support for him, but at the same time has never in his life managed to gain even double-digit support nationally, this is actually perfectly rational. Ron Paul isn’t going to win the GOP nomination, and if he manages to pull out some kind of freak victory in a small state with a weird nominating process, well, it’s just a freak victory. Why shouldn’t Chris Wallace point out quite accurately that this is exactly how the Republican establishment would view it?