Tag Archives: CPAC
First, read Ben martin’s very good editorial about Rush’s sudden move to the forefront of the news cycle entitled Rush Job: Inside Dems’ Limbaugh Plan.
Now, take a look at this excerpt from Conservative David Frum’s latest opinion piece on NewMajority.com:
(This will not be my first time admitting that David Frum may have just hit the nail on the head. Blerg.)
President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party. Here’s Rahm Emanuel on Face the Nation yesterday: “the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican party.”
What a great endorsement for Rush! (And we know Rush is fond of compliments – listen to his loving account in his CPAC speech of the birthday lunch given him by President Bush just before Inauguration Day.)
But what about the rest of the party? Here’s the duel that Obama and Limbaugh are jointly arranging:
On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.
And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word – we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.
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.
And in case some of you can’t quite picture who David Frum is, here’s a clip of him bitch slapping Rachel Maddow in one of the most awkward cable news moments I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing:
For a night cap, I present the next leader of the Republican Party:
How is it that there is an argument going on within the GOP/Politosphere about whether or not the Republican party wants President Obama to fail? This seems completely ludicrous! We’re only a little more than a month into his presidency. It wasn’t all that long ago that Obama won an election in which a fair majority of the American public voted for his proposed policies and, to some degree, ideology. The ideology hasn’t changed, so one must ask whether or not some Republicans (Rush Limbaugh) with hopefully short-term amnesia have inadvertantly decided to take a stand against the American citizenry, because let’s be clear: if Obama fails, we all fail. Of course, I’m simplifying a more nuanced battle royale- the one between unelected non-deciders like Rush and elected officials like Eric Cantor and even Michael Steele- but for now let’s just all hope that sanity wins the day (notice that today Eric Cantor represents sanity…).
Rush Limbaugh’s barn-burner at CPAC this weekend drew a line in the sand, once again, for Republicans: either they want President Obama to fail, or they don’t. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, subsequently, walked a tightrope on the issue last night in an interview with D.L. Hughley on CNN.
Conservative and liberal blogs alike Monday picked up on Steele’s response, some blasting Steele and others promoting a fight between the two GOP heavyweights. But Steele’s answer to Limbaugh, and its political implications, were a bit more complicated.
First came the question of Steele’s status as party leader. Hughley challenged the RNC chairman, asserting that Limbaugh is the GOP’s de facto leader. “No he’s not,” Steele responded. “I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.”
On the philosophy behind Limbaugh’s “fail” assertion, Steele supported the conservative commentator; on the rhetoric of it, Steele stood opposed to Rush:
“How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency?” Steele asked, making a point Limbaugh himself made during the CPAC speech, in response to Hughley’s blasting of Limbaugh’s “incindiary” rhetoric.
“Let’s put it in the context here,” Steele said. “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. His whole thing is entertainment…yes, it’s incindiary, yes, it’s ugly.” And that’s the line that has gotten the idea of Steele vs. Rush so much play in the blogosphere today.
The complexity of Steele’s response stands in stark opposition to that of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, clearly distanced himself from the radio commentator’s claim: “Nobody–no Republican, no Democrat–wants this president to fail, nor do they want this country to fail or the economy to fail,” Cantor said.
While Cantor and Steele both attacked the rhetoric, there are big differences between their political situations: Cantor, as a prominent leader in the House GOP, has to work with Obama; Steele, as the party’s top political officer, has to generate campaign cash, balance the interests of the GOP’s base–much of which, evidently, strongly agrees with Limbaugh–all the while asserting himself as political top dog in the GOP against claims that Limbaugh is the party’s de facto leader.
Steele has put forth a vision for a more inclusive GOP–not necessarily inclusive to the idea of working with Democrats, but inclusive to new voting demographics–and “incindiary” rhetoric like Limbaugh’s may seem to threaten his chance at bringing in new votes. Then again, nothing generates campaign donations like passionate support, and nothing generates passionate support like “incindiary” opposition to Democrats.
The idea of Steele attacking Rush likely isn’t one the RNC wants floating around the blogosphere–after all, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) ended up calling Limbaugh to apologize for criticizing him in January–but Steele stood behind Rush’s desire for Obama to “fail.” He may not be reaping the media-coverage benefits for doing so, but the distinction highlight’s Steele’s position between Limbaugh, Cantor, and the GOP donor base.
From Politico’s Shenanigans:
“Let’s be honest who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when you can be with Rush Limabugh!”
-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at CPAC yesterday