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Limbaugh is a blessing

Democratic operatives have to be happy to have Limbaugh as the voice and the face of the GOP


 

Who would have expected Rush Limbaugh to become a national figure and the “official opposition” to the Obama administration? Did anyone expect the radio talk show host to garner more attention than the Republican party’s actual leadership? The weekend conference hosted by the Conservative Political Action Committee(CPAC) provided the colorful talk show host with a forum where he once again stole the show. RNC president Michael Steele criticized the controversial Limbaugh but apologized later. Not a good beginning for Steele in the national media. Chalk one up for Rush.

Let’s face it: Rush Limbaugh is filling a vacuum. The GOP is stuck in “no” mode and no spokesperson with any credibility has emerged. Governor Jindal flamed out; Sarah Palin is not serious in the policy department; John McCain is no longer a factor; and Mitt Romney has great hair days, but no one seriously believes he can challenge Obama. Voters also blame the GOP for enacting policies that led to the ongoing economic crisis. Add to this the not-too-distant memory of the unpopular George W. Bush, and Rush starts to look pretty good. But look again.

Conservative columnist and former Bush aide David Frum strongly criticized the love-in with Rush, pointing to Limbaugh’s history with prescription drugs, his infatuation with cigars, and his marital baggage as problems. No doubt Rush is fun to watch and amusing to listen to. And, to be fair, he does express a strong point of view that is conservative and rooted in history. The problem is that his message is one of the past and his persona, while entertaining, is not reassuring to the voter. He speaks to the Republican base, but that base is dwindling. Nowhere in his discourse is he directing the Republican party to reach out and attract new voters.

A close analysis of the last election shows that the Democrats have an increasingly favorable electoral map. Obama did not change America; America has changed and the Republicans are out of touch. The fact that Obama and his officials are humoring Limbaugh makes me suspect they see this as a blessing in disguise. They seem to have given ol’ Rush the bait and he has taken it. Democratic operatives have to be happy to have Limbaugh as the voice and the face of the GOP, especially given that they do not have Dubya to kick around anymore. Limbaugh is bombastic, at times arrogant, and, ultimately, not serious in serious times. I recall some pundits questioning Obama’s run-in with Rush as an example of inexperience. But when I heard Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to Obama, point to Rush Limbaugh as the guiding spirit of the Republican party, it was clear to me that this suits the new president just fine.


 

Limbaugh is a blessing

  1. No doubt Rush is fun to watch and amusing to listen to.

    *yawn*

    And, to be fair, he does express a strong point of view that is conservative and rooted in history.

    And what POV and what history is that, exactly? You know, for the sake of posterity.

  2. Of course the dem’s are using this to it’s maximum advantage it’s from page # 01 : of the Rove manual. The only problem is that most people know exactly what and who the Rushman is so it becomes political white noise and basically disregarded except the hyper partisans. Although they have to be careful about it as it can also backfire … but it sure is one heck of a good fight. The ROC has to have it’s long walk in the snow … they need a proper party system down there something fierce, this idea of no single real leader until the election is absurd.

  3. I think there is a culture war going on within the Repub party at the moment and it’s encapsulated by Steele/Limbaugh argy-bargy. The Repub elites turn their noses up at the likes Limbaugh, Palin while the base love them. Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out over the next couple of years.

    • I remember reading something about this culture war business…where did I put that…ah yes, here it is! Sez so right here in the Bible, Galations 6:7 – “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap,” so you gotta know it’s true!

    • Ah ,the culture wars . The reason people would not elect Rush or Palin as president has nothing to do with elitism . It has all to do with Palin having zero content and Rush having zero appeal beyond the base .

    • It is time for Rush to standup . Heard him at Cpac and was thoroughly turned on .rush for president . Fianally , a fearless conservative.

  4. Heh. My previous comments have gone “into moderation” all of sudden.

    Oh Macleans Online…don’t ever change.

  5. Gee isn’t it great how Obama managed to end narrow partisanship forever his his: “You’re either with Rush, or your against us”

    • Get over it , hose. The Republicans lost.Face it Obama is just smarter than them and Rush is one big dumbass.

    • Yeah, really, he should take a cue from Republican leadership in the House and Senate – after all, they are the very *picture* of bipartisan cooperation.

    • htoh

      I find it curious that no one has a problem with Obama and his senior advisors attacking media personalities. Its only been a month and Obama and his team have already gone after Limbaugh/Santelli. It’s outrageous how this admin is so brazenly trying to influence msm and no one has anything to say about it.

      Get out of line and Obama will come after you is the message, apparently.

      • Several points of disagreement:

        1) This has largely been an in-house family feud. This didn’t start with the White House; the Obama administration has mostly stood on the sidelines and heckled from time to time to keep the fire burning.

        2) Even if this mess had been a creation of the Democratic party, the right-wing noise machine has been demonizing left-wing figures for years. Remember the attacks on Jane Fonda, Barbara Streisand, Naomi Klein, George Soros and – most of all – Michael Moore? These were deliberate tactics to portray these people as 1) weird, and 2) representative of Democrats in general.

        3) Perhaps you can support your claim that Obama has “come after” poor Rush.

        4) “It’s outrageous how this admin is so brazenly trying to influence msm and no one has anything to say about it.” You don’t actually believe this Pollyanna stuff do you? Brazenly influencing the MSM is a key requirement for any administration and has been for as long as there’s been an “MSM”.

        • “Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

          The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

          Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.” Politico, March 4 ’09

          I am glad that you are so sanguine about WH trying to turn media personalities in ‘bogeyman’ but I am not. Yes, the ‘right-wing noise machine’ has tried to ‘demonize’ lefties for years but that’s what both sides do and it’s part of the game.

          This is different because the strategy was created, and executed, from the Oval Office. Limbaugh, no doubt, loves the attention but what about all the other reporters who are paying attention and wonder what will happen to them if they displease The One. Obama is using Nixon tactics of going to war with media from the WH.

          Since when is it ok for White House to single out reporters for attack and ridicule? Obama doesn’t like descent but his hallelujah chorus says nothing to see here folks, please move along now. Or else!

          • Rush Limbaugh is a reporter? Poor guy, subjected to ridicule.

          • 1) Per my later post, the Politico article you cite is thoroughly debunked here: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/new-media-meme-obama-team-solely-to-blame-for-rush-story/

            It’s just not true, and Politico continues to make asses of themselves by parroting insider rumours without verification. I assume you found the Politico piece via Drudge?

            2) You yourself address this in an earlier post: “I think there is a culture war going on within the Repub party at the moment and it’s encapsulated by Steele/Limbaugh argy-bargy. The Repub elites turn their noses up at the likes Limbaugh, Palin while the base love them.

            I actually agree with *that*. The White House didn’t a) write Steele’s speech, b) provoke the furious reaction from Rush’s Dittoheads or c) command the humiliating mea culpa from Steele the next day. All the Dems had to do was point to the culture war that was already happening within the Republican party.

            But your earlier post doesn’t line up with what you just wrote – which is it? A culture war within the Repub party, or Big Bad Obama demonizing poor Rush Limbaugh?

            3) You write: “I am glad that you are so sanguine about WH trying to turn media personalities in ‘bogeyman’ but I am not. Yes, the ‘right-wing noise machine’ has tried to ‘demonize’ lefties for years but that’s what both sides do and it’s part of the game.”

            You’re contradicting yourself in a single paragraph. You’re not sanguine about the WH demonozing somebody and yet everybody does it and it’s just part of the game. So which is it?

            3) Rush Limbaugh is a lot of things, but a *reporter* is NOT one of them. He’s a demagogue and a coordinated mouthpiece for the Republican party.

            You need to think this through, jwl: obviously you want so badly to turn this into Obama (or “The One”, as you quote the lamest of lame right-wingers) viciously victimizing a “reporter” but it’s just not the case and you know it.

            So either go all Kody/Wayne on us and scream the scare quotes or propose something reasonable. You’re thrashing between the two states and it’s not pretty.

          • 1) Per my later post, the Politico article you cite is thoroughly debunked here: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/new-media-meme-obama-team-solely-to-blame-for-rush-story/

            It’s just not true, and Politico continues to make asses of themselves by parroting insider rumours without verification. I assume you found the Politico piece via Drudge’s front page? You need better sources.

            2) You yourself address this in an earlier post: “I think there is a culture war going on within the Repub party at the moment and it’s encapsulated by Steele/Limbaugh argy-bargy. The Repub elites turn their noses up at the likes Limbaugh, Palin while the base love them.

            I actually agree with *that*. The White House didn’t a) write Steele’s speech, b) provoke the furious reaction from Rush’s Dittoheads or c) command the humiliating mea culpa from Steele the next day. All the Dems had to do was point to the culture war that was already happening within the Republican party.

            But that earlier post doesn’t line up with what you just wrote – which is it? A culture war within the Repub party, or Big Bad Obama demonizing poor Rush Limbaugh?

            3) You write: “I am glad that you are so sanguine about WH trying to turn media personalities in ‘bogeyman’ but I am not. Yes, the ‘right-wing noise machine’ has tried to ‘demonize’ lefties for years but that’s what both sides do and it’s part of the game.”

            You’re contradicting yourself in a single paragraph. You’re not sanguine about the WH demonizing somebody and yet everybody does it and it’s just part of the game and you’re feeling pretty sanguine about it. So which is it?

            3) Rush Limbaugh is a lot of things, but a *reporter* is NOT one of them. He’s a demagogue and a coordinated mouthpiece for the Republican party.

            You need to think this through, jwl: you’re thrashing between an Obama-bully story and a reasonable, independent interpretation of events.

          • I don’t need better sources because Politico story is not debunked by the source you provide. And Obama, Emanuel and Gibbs have all made comments about Limbaugh so to pretend that WH is not involved is disingenuous.

            There are two different points. Repubs appear to be having a cultural war within party and I am arguing that WH is supposed to be above the fray and to let their attack dogs do the smearing.

            I am not trying to be partisan here but I don’t recall Bush/Clinton specifically singling out any msm-types for a smear campaign like Dems and WH have done with Limbaugh, and to a lesser extend Santelli. If they did, I condemn them as well.

            When I write about right-wing noise machine, or left wing noise machine, I am talking about usual suspects of reporters, opinion writers, magazines, blogs and pols in Congress. WH not supposed to be part of ‘noise machine’. They are supposed to be above petty distractions like this.

          • You’re right, I overstated – it’s not the Politico piece itself, but a bunch of subsequent articles based on the Politico piece that were debunked, along with a new and growing media meme that this kerfuffle began in the White House.

            Regardless – the Republican party is shooting its own foot off and showing more respect to Limbaugh than their own officials. The Dems (inside or outside the WH) aren’t demagoguing this but they are happy to point out the Repub’s feud.

            Where, exactly, do WH insiders “smear” Limbaugh? Calling him the head of the Republican party is hardly a smear. They’re not talking about the quality of the man – that’s well-known – they’re pointing out that he’s treated like royalty by the Republican party, even to the point of forcing the head of the RNC to make a humiliating apology for daring to criticize Rush.

            Beyond that, again, Limbaugh is not a reporter. He’s a Republican insider and mouthpiece – in the rare cases when he’s really put his foot in it and had to back off his remarks, he has claimed to be an “entertainer” and therefore not subject to the standards of reporters or even op-ed talking heads.

            I point out your own words again: “I am glad that you are so sanguine about WH trying to turn media personalities in ‘bogeyman’ but I am not. Yes, the ‘right-wing noise machine’ has tried to ‘demonize’ lefties for years but that’s what both sides do and it’s part of the game.”

            So is it all part of the game when the right wing does it? Check out the personal attacks on the NYT by the Bush WH: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/oct/19/pressandpublishing1

            What about outing Valerie Plame – and destroying a valuable covert CIA asset and her career – as retaliation for a NYT editorial written by her husband? Rove famously called her “fair game”.

            And what about endless attacks on Michael Moore year over year over year – not just linking him to the Democratic party but actually smearing him and misrepresenting his work?

            Makes pointing out the Republican’s civil war to the press seem pretty tame, no?

            And your smears against Obama; “The One”, “he doesn’t like descent [sic] but his hallelujah chorus says…” “get out of line and Obama will come after you…”. I know you’re not a WH insider, but it’s pretty rich for you to be bitching about “smears”.

  6. Having Rush L. as a main opponent would make the Democrats almost as happy as the Ont. Liberals are to have John Tory. The Republicans really need to pull themselves back from the brink.

  7. So far, no one in the comments section has outdone the cleverness of this blog’s title.

    I don’t think Limbaugh is a blessing. I think he’s a threat. One that can only become greater as economic conditions decline and as no one gets any smarter with a media that’s dumbing us down with accelerating speed.

    • accelerating speed, yummy.

  8. Isn’t it a little disconcerting that a Democratic adminstration with a firm grip on both houses of Congress, a battered opposition party, a long, long time until an election and serious problems to deal with, is this preoccupied with framing their opponents? Well they have to right? After all, “they don’t have Dubya to kick around anymore”. And how can you bring hope and change and heal the planet without having an opponent to “kick around”?

    • Actually, the Democrats really aren’t having to do anything. The GOP keeps scoring one own goal after another.

      Man, if Democrats cowered before Rachel Maddow the way the GOP is scared s**tless of Rush Limbaugh, we’d never hear the end of it.

  9. By the way, this poll from Rasmussen would suggest that this Machiavellian maneuver is actually an utter flop (though that would contend with the widely known fact that the Obama team are all super-geniuses).

    Only 11% of Republicans consider Rush their leader, and 27% of independents. Considering that 44% of Democrats agree with the statement, most of the independents in agreement are probably Dem leaners in the first place. These are pretty bad numbers for an attack campaign, particularly when you consider how this sullies the president’s message of post-partisanship and niceness. Of course he can just say “yes we can” a few times and all will be forgiven.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/just_11_of_republicans_say_limbaugh_is_their_party_s_leader

    • “Of course he can just say “yes we can” a few times and all will be forgiven.”

      Exactly.

      I want Obama’s Democrats to hit harder. Come on Emanuel, grab your steak knife.

    • Maybe only 11% of Republicans SAY they consider Rush their leader, because as stupid and easily led as they tend to be, they’re still juuuuust smart enough to not want to put their stupidity on public display.

    • If the Republican party doesn’t want Rush to be perceived as their leader, they should try disagreeing him with in public sometime without having to recant the next day.

      Nate Silver is right though – the GOP problem isn’t so much that they don’t have a leader , or that Rush is their leader, but that they don’t have a *direction*.

    • I move that, if Rush Limbaugh is going to be a regular topic of conversation again, he can only be referred to by his first name, so that, as it suits our purposes, we Canadians can “mistakenly” imagine that Geddy, Alex and Neil are up to some very strange business nowadays. Seconder?

      • That depends. Is there a band called Newt?

    • Good old Rasmussen Reports! Always known for their unbiased polling. Here was the poll question they asked:

      “Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party — he says jump and they say how high”?

      Given that question, I am surprised that a full 11% of Republicans actually agreed.

      My question for hosertohoosier: Were you unaware of the ridiculous question employed by this “polling” firm, or were you just trying to mislead everyone who read your post?

      • Let’s just highlight that for the sake of hosertohoosier: the Rasmussen poll actually asked the following question:

        “Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party — he says jump and they say how high”?

        I think Maggie’s Farmboy just successfully booted this thread to the curb.

  10. I don’t agree with Rush Limbaugh on much, though I do agree with his assertion that a lot of left wing policies are cruel.

    Of course, I look over at the poor (such as native reserves) who are at the mercy of the social experiments of the bureaucrats for my evidence, rather than Rush Limbaugh.

    • Oh how cruel it is to make sure that poor children have access to health insurance…..those dastardly Democrats.

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