Doubting Rush


By Frances Buckley - Posted on 27 February 2009

From Ben Smith, Politico, 2/27/09

Doubting Rush

As Democrats seek to make Rush Limbaugh the face of his party, John Derbyshire worries in the pages of The American Conservative about his influence, and worries that "carny barkers" have "run away with the Right":

With reasons for gratitude duly noted, are there some downsides to conservative talk radio? Taking the conservative project as a whole—limited government, fiscal prudence, equality under law, personal liberty, patriotism, realism abroad—has talk radio helped or hurt? All those good things are plainly off the table for the next four years at least, a prospect that conservatives can only view with anguish. Did the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Savages, and Ingrahams lead us to this sorry state of affairs?

They surely did. At the very least, by yoking themselves to the clueless George W. Bush and his free-spending administration, they helped create the great debt bubble that has now burst so spectacularly. The big names, too, were all uncritical of the decade-long (at least) efforts to “build democracy” in no-account nations with politically primitive populations. Sean Hannity called the Iraq War a “massive success,” and in January 2008 deemed the U.S. economy “phenomenal.”

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. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the impression fixed in the minds of too many Americans that conservatism is always lowbrow, an impression our enemies gleefully reinforce when the opportunity arises. more

 

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Every thinking conservative should read this and pay heed before it's too late!  Thanks for sharing this on our Republican site...more Republicans need to realize what is happening to the party and why. 
Along a similar note, Sean Quinn of 538 shares an anecdote and epiphany of how many people come to resent the government and become Republican for the wrong reasons.
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It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

Huh. I did no know that 538 was run by Democratic-leaning folks. (Or by folks who leaned any direction for that matter.)

 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

They try to be as fair as possible, but they don't take kindly to the GOP leadership or right-wing media, that's for sure. There was a bit of a spat between 538 and Zogby, and they've poked Drudge Report for spin doctoring before.
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It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

Yeah, I checked out their FAQ and I'm looking at other stuff on the site now. Heh, during the election I really only saw them as impartial observers.

It does seem as if they try and keep their politics separate from their political reporting. And that's cool -- I don't expect them to not have an opinion after all. I was just a bit surprised that they did mix the two a bit. 

Hmm, that didn't come across as clearly as I had hoped. Does it make any sense? 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

I understood it, Tin.
Nate Silver is personally very left leaning, but has never allowed that to interfer with the accuracy of his work, IMO.  He was criticised often during the election season for his pro-Obama writings. 
I only caught a small part of Rush's speech but he did target conservative media who dared question the direction of the party or declare the era of Reagan is over. He was clearly going after the media who were critical of Palin or him and his antics. He called them elite and other names. Are they gonna take that without response? I feel a war brewing within the party. Intellectuals who think the GOP needs to raise the bar on conservative talk, aiming for a NPR-like forum and maybe actually generating new ideas(and allowing for Rush to be in the loop as a low-brow choice but nothing more) and those who love the devisive, name-calling, immature Rush-inspired forum in place for so long on the right. You know the side I am routing for. Rush continued the theme of us vs. them, calling the media and liberals/Dem's "the enemy." And he claims to love this country. Last I checked we are all Americans. Sorry Rush, you will probably keep a strong audience/ratings but in the end will be one of those cited for destroying the Republican party as we once knew it. Congrats!

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