McCain vs. Romney: The Internet has permanently split the Republican party into the WhoYouKnows vs. the WhatYouKnows 2/5/08Posted by Steve Boriss in Republican.
Like momma said, it’s not who you know, but what you know that leads to success, right? But momma didn’t know diddly about the Internet, which has irrevocably changed this rule for Republican politics.
John McCain is the candidate of the “WhoYouKnows” — those in the Republican party and its supporting infrastructure whose livelihoods depend upon having decent contacts and relations with Republican incumbents, powerful Democrats, and center-left media outlets. His greatest legislative triumphs have exclusively been those that made fellow WhoYouKnow Republicans more acceptable dinner guests of Democrats and the Press — generally bills with names that begin with “McCain-” and end with the name of a powerful Democrat, and all of which advanced a purebred Democrat agenda.
Mitt Romney ultimately emerged as the unified candidate of the “WhatYouKnows” — those whose livelihoods depend upon promoting conservative ideas, and emphatically not on their personal ties with WhoYouKnow Republicans or their Democrat and media allies. They can survive almost completely independently of Old Media, as they secure access to their publics on talk radio, Fox News programs with debate formats, and increasingly the Internet. The influence of the WhatYouKnows has grown exponentially since the last Presidential election, and may well be greater than the WhoYouKnows at the next one. So, sorry momma. But if it’s helpful, you can think of it this way. With this emerging trend of meritocracy over cronyism, telling your kids they can be President someday will not be quite so futile.