Once again, David Frum says what needs to be said:
In the days since I stumbled into this controversy, I’ve received a great deal of e-mail. (Most of it on days when Levin or Hannity or Hugh Hewitt or Limbaugh himself has had something especially disobliging to say about me.) Most of these e-mails say some version of the same thing: if you don’t agree with Rush, quit calling yourself a conservative and get out of the Republican Party. There’s the perfect culmination of the outlook Rush Limbaugh has taught his fans and followers: we want to transform the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan into a party of unanimous dittoheads— and we don’t care how much the party has to shrink to do it. That’s not the language of politics. It’s the language of a cult.
Commence with the name calling.
When one of us looks up and murmurs, “Hey, guys, there seems to be an avalanche heading our way,” the others tend to shrug and say, he’s a “squish” or a RINO — Republican in Name Only.
Before Limbaugh is compared to another Founding Father, let’s revisit some of his past quotes:
- “Women were doing quite well in this country before feminism came along.”
- “When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”
- “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act. … This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.” –on an ad by Michael J. Fox endorsing Claire McCaskill for Senate for supporting embryonic stem cell research
- “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation…I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of the need to blow some steam off?” –on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal
- “We’re not sexists, we’re chauvinists — we’re male chauvinist pigs, and we’re happy to be because we think that’s what men were destined to be. We think that’s what women want.”
- “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
- “There are more acres of forestland in America today than when Columbus discovered the continent in 1492.”
I hate to defend Rush Limbaugh, but this is silly. Yet another Democratic overreach?
Forget about the debate over who’s the leader of the GOP. The party has a bigger problem — too many self-pitying twits. Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Georgia’s Paul Broun are the worst offenders.
In a recent fund-raising letter, the Athens congressman says he’s “once again the target of the liberal national media.”
For what? “I had dared to say what everyone knows, including ‘Joe the Plumber.’ ”
Broun repeats his post-election charge that Obama is a Marxist. “You know, I know, even ‘Joe the Plumber’ knows it.”
Even worse, the new president “support(s) the radical homosexual agenda to include same-sex marriage and embracing their lifestyle as just another valid ‘choice’ for people to make.”
But don’t worry. Broun remains undaunted. God, and a certain contractor, are on his side.
“Like ‘Joe the Plumber,’ I am not afraid to speak up and confront President Obama with the truth. … I will never, never surrender.”
Conservative commentator David Frum, a former special assistant to Bush 43, warns his fellow Republicans against worshipping fat, er, false idols:
Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined.
But do the rest of us understand what we are doing to ourselves by accepting this leadership? Rush is to the Republicanism of the 2000s what Jesse Jackson was to the Democratic party in the 1980s. He plays an important role in our coalition, and of course he and his supporters have to be treated with respect. But he cannot be allowed to be the public face of the enterprise – and we have to find ways of assuring the public that he is just one Republican voice among many, and very far from the most important.
Just an entertainer? According to a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Committee, Rush Limbaugh is much more than that:
The king of England sat with his advisers, and they read the writings of Ben Franklin. They said, “The colonists will never be successful if they read what he writes.” Just as the king’s successor, who is in the White House, said the other day, that conservatives will never be successful if they listen to Rush Limbaugh. The only way we will be successful is if we listen to Rush Limbaugh!
The echo is deafening.
Two influential conservatives acknowledge what’s been obvious for some time:
If you want to get a sense of how unserious and ungrounded most Americans think the Republican Party is, look no further than how conservatives elevate Joe the Plumber as a spokesman.
Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al. has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism.
“Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
Today’s headlines from the in-house publication of the unhinged right:
Alan Keyes: Stop Obama or U.S. will cease to exist
Claims ‘communist usurper’ plunges country into chaos
Senator questions Obama eligibility
Shelby: ‘They said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate’
BETWEEN THE LINES
Obama’s goal? Directed chaos
Exclusive: Joseph Farah warns, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet’
Then there’s this:
While there’s considerable bipartisan support to allow Sunday alcohol sales in Georgia, one formidable obstacle remains in place.
That would be our esteemed governor, whose religious beliefs allow for questionable loans and conflicts of interest but not for having a cocktail on Sundays.
Is bad hair a fundamentalist requirement?
He’s backed by the fundamentalist right
, led by sanctimonious killjoy Sadie Fields
“That dog ain’t gonna hunt in Georgia,” said the eloquently clever leader of the Georgia Christian Alliance.
Forget that the bill doesn’t mandate Sunday alcohol sales — communities will decide for themselves. Republicans want local control, as long as the locals want what the party’s most vocal constituency demands.
“I think we have to oppose it based on the sanctity-of-the-Sabbath issue,” said Jim Beck, head of the Georgia Christian Coalition.
Codifying religious beliefs — how very Islamic fundamentalist of them.
As long as the Sadie Fields and Sonny Perdues of the world have influence within the GOP, the party will remain at sea. You can’t say you’re for small government one minute and then impose your small-minded beliefs the next.
Democrats are foolishly playing into Republican hands with talk of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk — power brokers within the GOP — actually help Democrats by turning off moderates (see Election, 2008).
Besides, it’s just plain wrong. The government has no business enforcing media accountability (Orwellian phrase of the week). I don’t want a Clinton, or a Bush, dictating what’s “fair.”
Who said the following:
“But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.”
Hint: It’s not David Duke. Follow the link for the answer.
Barack Obama is president because of black racists and guilty whites, according to an African-American panelist on Sean Hannity’s earnestly inane Fox show. I label the panelist African-American because I’m certain it would piss him off.
This same commentator later asserted 96 percent of his fellow blacks are racist. I bet he settled on 96 percent because 100 percent would’ve sounded like an assumption, not “fact”. An associate probably talked him down from 98 percent.
I’m reluctant to accuse anyone of being self-loathing, but cries for help shouldn’t be ignored.
If only Joe the Plumber knew how to fade from the spotlight.
The annoying has-been will be talking strategy with conservative House members on Wednesday.
Are Republicans determined to insult everyone’s intelligence?
Georgia congressman Phil Gingrey plants a wet one on the boss’ substantial ass. The boss responds by groping his own sagging titty:
Never trust a congressman with a mustache
On Tuesday Georgia Republican congressman Phil Gingrey criticized Fat Man and Little Boy:
“I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party.You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing.”
On Wednesday, after receiving a barrage of negative calls and e-mails, Gingrey, uh, backpedaled:
“Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.”
Anyone doubt who really runs the GOP?