Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More About Rush

In my last post, I wrote about Rush Limbaugh’s role in the Republican party. I said that while Rush makes a very good spokesman for the conservative movement, leadership of the GOP is best left to politicians. Rush should play a William F. Buckley role—lead the movement, not the party.

Given some of the sentiments expressed around the conservative blogosphere on the topic, that isn’t good enough for many conservative pundits. They think that Limbaugh’s brand of conservatism is outdated—angry, exclusive, backwards-looking, and tinged with racism. In this view, Rush Limbaugh, while he may have his uses, should stay well away from any leadership position.

There is, perhaps, some merit to that viewpoint. But those who agree with forget one thing. If Rush Limbaugh speaks for the conservative movement, there is a reason that is so. His ideas resonate with millions of people, and those people are willing to invest time and social capital into listening to him.

So if we assume that Limbaugh makes a poor conservative spokesman, the fault lies with all those millions of conservatives who support him. There are so many conservative leaders who seem to assume that Limbaugh’s ideas weakens the movement. Instead, I think the opposite is true—Limbaugh’s ideas are the movement, in that without the glue his show provides, conservatism would be an abstraction, not a living political faction. (Granted, had Rush never existed, conservatism wouldn’t have withered and died—someone would have picked up the slack, though probably not so well).

So if reformer conservatives don’t like Rush, there’s an easy answer—set up your own alternative. Those right-wingers who point out that Limbaugh can attract maybe thirty percent of voters and scare away the rest miss the fact that their ideas are only popular with a tiny population of political junkies who comment on their websites. David Frum thinks Rush’s popularity doesn’t extend much beyond his twenty million strong audience. But Frum’s popularity doesn’t extend much beyond his relatively small group of Internet fans. Maybe Frum’s (and others; Frum is just a convenient example) ideas are really good and will be a fresh start for the GOP and the conservative movement. But so far, new conservatism has been long on ideas and short (inevitably, given its newness) on results. If Limbaugh is outdated, he has had success. Those who attempt to tear him down don’t seem to have anything to put in his placc.


At March 4, 2009 at 5:53 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Rush just refuses to redefine conservatism, that isn't being outdated, it's about holding onto principles! Why is that so hard for people to understand?

At March 4, 2009 at 7:15 AM , Blogger My Blog said...

The stupid Dems waste so much time, all the time! In my opinion, they should be working overtime undertaking the issues like the economy and the war and the free gas, cars and everything else that they promised the voters like health care, taxes, and after that, the bailouts. I want action, not a lot of bs. What do I get? Yada yada yada about Rush Limbaugh.
Rush took the democrats out behind the woodshed Saturday night at the CPAC conference and they are still smarting. Michael Steele's backside is also smarting a little too. In my opinion Steel is another loser. Elected only because "You know why"!
Can't this jerkoff realize that Rush is one his side?
Memo to Michael Steele. You ain't black enough for the Dems to like you...and you never will... Stop reaching out to the Democrats to us to support us. It ain't gonna work. You'll have more success siding with Rush. I doubt if you'll take my advice but, you're welcome anyway.

At March 4, 2009 at 9:25 AM , Blogger Bob said...

This jerk couldn't shine Rush's shoes.

At March 4, 2009 at 12:57 PM , Blogger Pistolmom said...


At March 4, 2009 at 1:30 PM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Truth be told, Rush is about the only thing holding up the Republican brand.

Who else should the party turn to? Steele?? He's a moderate as well. And honestly, haven't we had our 8 year experiment with moderation within the Republican ranks?

I know I have.

At March 6, 2009 at 10:00 AM , Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Pondering who to "put in place" should we replace Rush..how about the Du Maurier character...
He "would either fawn or bully, and could be grossly impertinent. He had a kind of cynical humor, which was more offensive than amusing, and always laughed at the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. And his laughter was always derisive and full of malice." -Svengali ..seems qualified?

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