Sunday, March 8, 2009

Limbaugh v. Obama

When Michael Steele told D. L. Hughley that Rush is an "entertainer" and that some of the things he says are "incendiary" and "ugly," it's hard to imagine that the Obama administration's political operation had predicted such a perfect event to crown their decision to engage Rush directly, after Rush's "I Hope the President Fails" became a cassus belli. Nevertheless, I have to say the spectacle appears to be one of the most spectacularly successful examples of ratfucking (cf) I've witnessed, on this scale. The image of Michael Steele kissing his ring and backing away apologetically under Rush Limbaugh's steely gaze (now indelibly the Face of the Republican Party) is an image that stings on so many levels I've lost count.

The O's can count the entire episode as a big win. It's clear to me what Rush get out of this. His ratings are way up. Rush in Opposition is Rush's strongest stance - just look back to the Clinton years. The Republican party is the obvious loser. Republicans ought to be asking themselves what it is they're getting out of their alliance with Rush.


  1. What else have they got? Don't you think that by sticking to the wingnut base and praying (what else would a wingnut do?) that America eventually turns on Obama and that the base will be the center of real political power, they at least have a dream (what else can a wingnut have)?

    The "moderate conservative" is lost to them for as long as Obama has any degree of success. There is no point in them suddenly adopting a rational position.

    A wild, and potentially violent, conservative backlash is their only hope and sticking with the followers of Rush puts them in the sweet spot should that ever happen.

  2. Oh... and as to what might CAUSE such a backlash, imagine our current economic problems times 2 or times 3. It's not outrageous to contemplate. Bush did everything perfectly, if you want a complete economic melt-down. Short-sighted (and short memory) Americans will almost certainly blame it on the Democrats. Hell, I have already seen mainstream articles questioning whether Obama is making things worse.

    Give it time. I'd guess that's what the GOP is banking on.

  3. John, you have good points. But we have to hope that the people running the party aren't stupid. (I can't think of a better way to completely screw up the Democrats than by denying them worthy opposition.) Fear of Rush, and fear generally of losing the support of the dittohead army are not irrational fears, but eventually the leadership is going to have to do the sums and decide how little support they can live with. And paraphrasing you, where are the dittoheads going to go?

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  5. Ep - fair point re: where will they go (other than to stay home. If your base isn't enthusiastic, it's quite hard to maintain, or gain, power).

    But, REALLY, you are hoping the GOP power structure will act as responsible opposition? Really? :)

  6. But, REALLY, you are hoping the GOP power structure will act as responsible opposition?

    Heh. Let's just say that hope and expectation are not the same things.