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Rush: 2012
March 3, 2009 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Democrat's efforts to paint Rush Limbaugh as GOP leader pay off. Since Rush Limbaugh famously stated that he wanted Obama to fail, Democrats, led by President Obama, have been trying to paint him as the intellectual and spiritual head of the GOP. Eyeing his low 25% approval rating amongst independents, they have hoped to equate the Republicans with Limbaugh.

It appears they may have succeeded. When GOP Congressman Phil Gingery was recently forced to retract his criticism of Rush, it added to the perception that the portly talk show host was running the Republicans. But the real coup was yet to come. Michael Steele, the newly-elected head of the Republican National Committee, was quoted Saturday as describing Rush's brand of talk radio as "ugly" and "incendiary." On Sunday, Rush, rising to the bait, appeared at CPAC, the yearly conservative conference, giving a long and rambling speech. On Monday, Rush struck back at Steele on his show, stating that Steele was attacking him "for wanting [Obama] to fail."

Steele caved quickly, saying, he was "saying one thing and it came out differently." Republicans such as Bobby Jindal hastened to praise Rush and indicated that they were glad that Steele apologized.

By Monday night, left-leaning commentators such as Josh Marshall were giving "props to the Democratic psyops operation that's paying off Michael Steele to get into a gonzo spat with Rush."

Will Limbaugh lead the GOP out of the wilderness, or deeper into the hole they've dug for themselves? Seemingly in tune with the wishes of Democratic strategists, Republican bloggers now want Rush for 2012.
posted by Ironmouth (304 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I do like reading about this stuff, but not so much on metafilter. Not trying to harsh the FPP, just advocating for a delineation of sorts between Dkos-like material regarding the minutiae of American politics and metafilter-in-general.

It doesn't get as much traffic, but perhaps move this over to Politicalfilter?
posted by edgeways at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


I went to RedState this morning to see if they were disavowing Rush or what. They sidestepped that issue and said it was all a setup by the librul media. It wasn't made clear if that talking point was from Rush's desk or not.
posted by DU at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2009


The more broken the economy looks, the less I care about this kind of politicking.
posted by anthill at 10:00 AM on March 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


[Obama] faces mounting criticism over his $825 billion economic stimulus plan, from Republican leaders who say the legislation has been drawn up without the input which Mr Obama had promised to allow them.

The president responded with a clear signal that he is prepared to ram the bill through without the bipartisan consensus he promised to construct, telling Republican leaders from the House of Representatives: "I won. I'm the president."


I want to see a clip of that. It might be the sort of thing I'd watch whenever some bit of Republican banter and back-stabbing started to depress me.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm still snickering over someone elsewhere pointing me at the headline [url=http://wonkette.com/406710/rush-limbaugh-has-balls-of-steele]Rush Limbaugh has balls of Steele.[/url]
posted by Drastic at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


The librul media made me use vbulletin tags instead of html!
posted by Drastic at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2009 [16 favorites]


I feel like the notion that Rush will lead the Republican party astray is misguided.

I mean, it's not like this Rush is just shouting into a vacuum, and people are blithely and blindly latching onto him. People listen to him.
posted by orville sash at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2009


First off, great post title.

Also, Limbaugh has about as much chance of becoming President as he does of winning a Soul Train Lifetime Acheivement Award. I suspect he may be getting put up to make other candidates look reasonable by comparison. And politics aside, the man has a truly off-putting style, even if you dig the whole choo-choo charlie shtick.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


Rush will never run for office - he has all the power of a leader yet can shirk the responsibility whenever things get ugly. (Put quite well here.)

Having him as leading the "conservative movement" is great. He's shrinking the tent to a point where all the various stripes of conservatives who were dissatisfied with the last eight years can finally move on to other things with a clear conscience. The major political realignment of my dreams isn't likely to happen, but I can almost see a glimmer if it being possible, now.
posted by cimbrog at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2009


Agreed - brilliant title.

Rush would never run in a million years. He can only perform his schtick to a preselected sycophantic audience and he knows it. When he is confronted he breaks down. It's just not going to happen.

Great post, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2009


The amusing thing is that it is a Democratic psyops operation, everyone knows that it is, and it's still working. I don't know if that says more about the GOPs intelligence, or its desperation.

It's their fault of course; since they've had their wagon hitched to the talk radio crowd for so long, the GOP can't discard them.
posted by happyroach at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess this whole thing is meant to distract us from the markets right....?
posted by TetrisKid at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2009


I do like reading about this stuff, but not so much on metafilter.

Dittoes, Edgeways.
posted by LarryC at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2009


It's a little disingenuous to paint this as something the Democrats cooked up, btw. Rush has been the Voice of Conservatism for a long time and Republicans have been apologizing him for years (James Dobson too). Democrats are very smart to capitalize on this, but they didn't set it in motion by any means.
posted by DU at 10:08 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I feel like the notion that Rush will lead the Republican party astray is misguided.

I mean, it's not like this Rush is just shouting into a vacuum, and people are blithely and blindly latching onto him. People listen to him.


Rush has a 20% approval rating amongst independents and a 6% approval rating amongst Democrats. 38% of Republicans disapprove of him. He is a pill-popping, doctor shopping, sex-touristing fool. He is the perfect foil for the Democrats. He will most certainly lead the Republican's astray. Contessa Brewer said on MSNBC that in his CPAC appearance he looked like some "skeevy producer type" who has a part for you in a movie.

The odds that Limbaugh could win the presidency are laughably small. That's why I'd like him to run.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


I do like reading about this stuff, but not so much on metafilter.

Dittoes, Edgeways.


You don't have to click on the post.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:11 AM on March 3, 2009 [46 favorites]


This post is a fantastic summary of the whole incident.

I view Obama's and Emmanuel's efforts here as nothing short of masterful. They're playing Limbaugh's ego beautifully, and setting him and Steele against each other- the powerful de facto leader against the weak elected leader- was smoothly done. And Steele caving and bending over to kiss Limbaugh's ring was lovely- he's essentially shown everyone where the real power lies.

And not everybody is comfortable with that. Limbaugh is way the hell out on the fringe, and he scares the holy hell out of a lot of people. My parents are center-right (for the US, natch), and while they used to like listening to Rush, they've grown increasingly turned off over the last few years. Rush's numbers may be huge, but the dittoheads alone can't carry the day for the Republicans.

Darryl Cagle has repeatedly reused a theme in his editorial cartoons where he shows one side of a conflict playing chess while the other plays checkers. Putting Obama on one side of the board and the GOP on the other would not, I think, be inappropriate.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


"The amusing thing is that it is a Democratic psyops operation ... "

Not willing to grant them that degree of organizational skill yet.
posted by RavinDave at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


I don't know where the whole Democratic psyops thing is coming from. This is just the latest development of the conservative movement thrashing about because it doesn't know what to do or where to go. This has been brewing for a while, now. The turning to Rush is the result of people with an existential crisis not wanting to think about their existential crisis.
posted by cimbrog at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


And Rush definitely could never win, but not just because he's unpopular and has skeletons in the closet. He's also a tactical and strategic idiot. He not only said he wanted Obama to fail, he said it again. Gibbs was asked about it and suggested that interviewers ask individual Republicans if they want Obama to fail too.

Rush, like his base, is stupid.
posted by DU at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2009


The less i read about this pill popping idiot, the happier I am....

He is, without doubt, one of the most destructive forces in this country..
posted by HuronBob at 10:15 AM on March 3, 2009


Pop a couple of Oxycontins and he starts making sense.

Or so they tell me.
posted by tommasz at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I do like reading about this stuff, but not so much on metafilter."

Then don't read it here. But don't ruin it for those who do find it interesting. I don't go into threads about $hipter_band or $flash_game or $boing_boing_link and suggest they're better discussed somewhere else.

Really, with all due respect, go on to the next thread -- or post your own -- without complaining in this one.

Some of us do find this sort of inside baseball interesting.
posted by orthogonality at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2009 [66 favorites]


"The amusing thing is that it is a Democratic psyops operation ... "

Not willing to grant them that degree of organizational skill yet.


I think we can say that a party that solidly controls both houses of Congress by very comfortable margins and the Presidency is pretty much doing the right things. These are the measurements we use.

Obama is wielding more power now than Bill Clinton ever did. He's got $700 billion to spend on what he wants. Clinton wished he had that power.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm a dem and think this is a bad thing. The economy might be bad in 2010 and it might be bad in 2012 and if it is dems will get blamed and people will go to whatever the other option is. I would prefer that that other option is as un-terrible as possible. Bad political leaders are much worse for the country than good political leaders are good for the country. I like Obama more than I liked Kerry but I would have been happy to trade an Obama presidency for 4 less years of W. Bush. Remember HW Bush? Remember how he didn't fuck shit up. Remember how he got in trouble for raising taxes because he needed to raise taxes? That could be what the republican party is like.
posted by I Foody at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh Limbaugh, you crack me right the hell up. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
posted by naju at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2009


I don't really have a problem with Democrats building up Limbaugh as a powerful, all-encompassing Republican figure. He's a thrice-married drug addict who got caught smuggling Viagra on a solo flight to the child prostitution capital of the western hemisphere. Unfortunately for Rush, unlike his rise to power in the early 90's we have this thing called Google now, and the more he's mentioned, the more people are actually going to find out this shit about him.

People like Limbaugh remind me of the scene in American Gangster when Denzel Washington's character decided to take front-row seats at a boxing match wearing a giant fur coat and all of a sudden the cops, both honest and corrupt, start investigating him. Everything was going fine until he forgot that it's not really a good idea for a professional moral degenerate to make himself noticed.

We're a country where most people don't know the name of the Vice-President; I think we have this idea that everyone "just knows" who Limbaugh is as opposed to just hearing it as a name devoid of context. If Democrats have finally decided that instead of trying to ignore or shut out Limbaugh, they want to give him a nice fur coat and some front row seats, then thank fucking Jesus.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2009 [55 favorites]


Where will this lead? My hope, as a Democrat, and somewhat progressive American: all moderate Republicans (Specter, Collins, Snowe, Lugar) lose in their primaries to fringe Limbaugh listeners, then those candidates lose big in the general. Specter could easily wise up and realize the position he's in and just become an independent, run in a three-way contest in Pennsylvania, and probably win, but that wouldn't help the Democrats reach 70 seats in the Senate. Rush Limbaugh is a fucking nihilist, and is plenty smart, and really doesn't give a shit that he's ruining the Republican Party. The more he's in the news, the more people listen to his show, the more money he makes. That's his priority, not helping the Republicans achieve a lasting majority.

And here we all thought that after Bush, late night comedians wouldn't have any material. The Republicans are a MESS, and this joker Steele is a real goldmine of comedic potential. Saying things like "off the hook" and "how you like me now?" and being all "down" with the young 'Publicans in the hood? Guy is a joke, and I sincerely doubt he's going to last too much longer before the powers that be find him a "better" job and make his sorry ass step aside.
posted by billysumday at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


For 16 long years I have waited for it to come to this...
posted by GratefulDean at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is just rush doing what's best for Rush. And the members of the "conservative movement". It's no longer about getting elected or getting policies implemented. It's about keeping the cash flowing and keeping the influence for the people currently at the top.

If Rush lets the republican party leaders try to pivot off of him and allow him and his friends to lose influence in the party, well for him as an individual that's actually worse then having the out of power but still sucking up to him.

For rush, this is a gold mine. Adulation, influence, money, power within his circle of people. And no responsibility. People who actually want to see conservative policies implemented are getting taken for a ride. But most of Rush's listeners would be better off under Obama's policies anyway (except for the rich ones)
posted by delmoi at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


He's the perfect face for right - in a "all-swolled-up-like-a-poisoned-dog" kinda way.

He's a hypocritical blowhard laughing his way to the bank. I say keep his image up; that's just giving him the rope he needs to hang himself once and for all.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


If Spiro Agnew could make hippies the face of the Democratic Party, then it's certainly fair for the Democrats to make Limbaugh the face of the GOP. Sounds like smart politics to me.
posted by jonp72 at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


May I applaud the ingenuity and silliness of your title?
posted by mwhybark at 10:22 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everything was going fine until he forgot that it's not really a good idea for a professional moral degenerate to make himself noticed.

Brilliant.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:22 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rush is a broadcaster who hitched his wagon to a very vocal and shouty star. I am not sure if his experience in telling his target audience exactly what they want to hear has earned him the authority he thinks he deserves, but this whole Steele apologizing thing just reeks of Walter Winchell. Limbaugh is no Winchell, but he certainly wishes to throw his weight around like he is, making celebrities and scribes behave for fear of bad press -- or worse, no press. For a few decades, Winchell worked Broadway but directly influenced the entire country.

Nobody's power lasts forever and by the end of his career, Walter Winchell had no pull left. Everybody knew he was a has-been, but he still thought of himself as Caesar. I eagerly anticipate Limbaugh's turn in that corner, though I do believe it'll be difficult for him to fall like Winchell when I don't think he ever got as high up as Winchell.
posted by Spatch at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2009


May I applaud the ingenuity and silliness of your title?

It certainly dates me, that's for sure.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


We're calling it Democratic psyops because Obama's been playing the GOP. His disapproving mention of Limbaugh early on was a feint- "Boy, I sure would hate for the GOP to stick with Limbaugh! That would be just terrible, don't you think Joe?"- and the GOP went right after it, lining up behind Limbaugh.

Next, the GOP elected Steele to lead them, looking to get a fresh face (who just so happens to be a minority, because hell, the demmycrats got one!). So how does the Administration respond? By playing a game of "let's you and him fight", with Emmanuel setting Steele and Limbaugh against each other.

This is politics of a kind that we haven't seen in years- skillfully played and with an actual goal. Good or bad for the country, it's fascinating to see if your only exposure to it has been in the form of movies or role-playing games.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


That could be what the republican party is like.

Dubious. The kulturkampf (God, Guns, Gays) & neo-Hooverism is what they're about now. It's all they got now that all the sensible Republicans have washed their hands of the party -- just look at the voting to get the stimulus bill through Congress.

Rush is an able spokesperson for the Republicans. It is not he who is broken, it is them.
posted by troy at 10:26 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone else on the interwebs said that Limbaugh is to the right what Jesse Jackson was to the left in the 1980s and 90s. I think that's about right. An unpopular bloviator and egomaniac who the other side beat the hell out of as a political tactic. That the Republicans are so stupid to go along with it is truly mind-boggling.
posted by billysumday at 10:26 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Although yes, in the long term the Limbaugh as the face of the Republican party thing is good for Democrats in that it alienates the non-wingnut rank and file of the GOP, I think a lot of people are missing the short term gain the Democrats are making: they are effectively neutering any opposition the Republicans are trying to build right now. This is not just about who can win elections - its about who can govern after the votes have been cast.

One reason why Lyndon Johnson didn't want to run for re-election in 1968 was that Ronald Reagan - then the governor of CA - was slowly building a popular public face against Johnson's policies. Nixon outmaneuvered Reagan to the GOP nomination that year, but that's not the point: Johnson recognized that his chances of being able to effectively execute his plans were shrinking as sympathy for him declined and the public face of Not-Johnson got more and more likeable. When he was running against Goldwater - whom no one liked - Johnson seemed sensible; but when you take Goldwater's ideals and put an amiable Ronald Reagan smile on it, suddenly Johnson seems... more iffy.

So right now, Obama has a lot of public credibility. He acts like a rock star, we're still in the honeymoon, etc. etc. But the policies he wants to enact are very sweeping and, in a way, very radical, just because of their sheer size. It wouldn't be that hard to turn public support against Obama by making his plans seem... well, iffy. Up for debate. Because, quite frankly, they should be. One way or another, we'll be paying for them for decades.

So what does Obama do? He picks a sparring partner that will make him look great - and lets not forget that it's not just the Republicans who are calling Limbaugh their leader; Rahm Emmanual was just going around spreading that meme, too. Rush is a horrible face for the party: he's not sympathetic at all. He's been around for years, we all know about his painkiller addiction, he's never funny and he's frequently hateful, etc. His bubble was already burst by the time Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot got published fifteen years ago... And if that's the face of the anti-Obama crowd - if that's what the public thinks of when they ask themselves about Obama's budget - then Obama's budget is going to seem more reasonable, because Obama is a lot more smooth and friendly and professional than Rush.

Yes, the Republicans will have a problem in four years if they can't field a candidate who broadens the tent. But they have a problem right now building support for their opposition plans because right now all their ideas seem crazy, because they are being shouted out by a crazy person. And the fact that Rush Limbaugh, their de facto crazy person, is publically arguing against Steele, their official figurehead crazy person, is not helping them seem articulate and well organized.

So to respond to the person who said that they care less about this type of politicking the more the economy seems broken: I hate to break it to you, but this type of "you-like-me-so-let-me-do-whatever-I-want-to-do" politicking is how we got into this mess, and its the only way we're going to get out, or alternatively, its how we're going to get even deeper into it. But there's not really any avoiding it, because its really 90% of politics.
posted by Kiablokirk at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2009 [39 favorites]


I think we can say that a party that solidly controls both houses of Congress by very comfortable margins and the Presidency is pretty much doing the right things.

That doesn't follow at all.

It's just as likely that they fell into victory because people were really-really tired of the Bushies. Couple that with Obama's personal charisma, upbeat message and ability to reach out to jaded voters -- none of which can be attributed to overall party strategy. But for every Obama, Emmanuel, Dean, etc. who knows which end is up, there is a bumbling Pelosi, Reid, etc. undoing their work.
posted by RavinDave at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Remember HW Bush? Remember how he didn't fuck shit up. Remember how he got in trouble for raising taxes because he needed to raise taxes?

Except Bush was the Republican who ran after eight years of what upper-class white people considered a financial and cultural boom, all the while saying flat-out that he "wouldn't raise taxes." Then he did. Obama was the Democrat who ran after eight years of abject failure and the largest minority voter groundswell in American history while saying flat-out "I'm going to cancel out a lot of Bush's tax cuts." And he will.

I sincerely doubt a tax cuts platform, which is really all the Republicans have at this point, is going to work in 2012. If the economy gets better, then it'll be attributed to the stimulus and Obama's economic plan, which was completely opposed by the Republican Party.

If the economy spirals even further into the shitter, than even the promise of a $600 tax cut in one year isn't going to be enough to placate people. Why? Because The reality is that the GOP is right now running on simply opposing Obama's ideas, while failing to have any of their own. In four years, and for that matter in two, voters are going to be caring about who actually tried to do something. Republican aren't trying do do a goddamn thing. They are simply, as Limbaugh says, hoping we fail. And if we do, they aren't going to be happy with Republicans for cheering that on.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gay sex scandal in 3... 2...
posted by Krrrlson at 10:28 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Republican bloggers now want Rush for 2012.

Is he running on a platform of legalizing Oxycodone? I'd actually like to see him run. If we can elect an African-American president, I'm sure we can elect a pillhead who visits foreign countries renown for child sex tourism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I view Obama's and Emmanuel's efforts here as nothing short of masterful. They're playing Limbaugh's ego beautifully, and setting him and Steele against each other-

Masterful? Politics isn't hard when your opponents have the mental powers of brain-damaged 4 year olds. The Republican war on self-criticism and reality has pushed everyone with a moral compass or a brain out of the party. The ones left aren't to bright and they're delusional. They literally can't process reality because they've build up a nearly consistent framework of lies and mythology to to explain the world, one that bares little resemblance to the real world.

They have no idea what's true and what's not and the people in power now are the ones who were suckers a decade or so ago.

Kind of fascinating to behold, really.
posted by delmoi at 10:31 AM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is, IMO, all part of Rahm Emanuel's brilliant strategy to nationalize the banks. By creating the image of a sharply divided GOP, it fell on the "Radical Right" to decry looming efforts to nationalize the banks as Evil Socialism. Bear in mind, this idea had not, pre-stake-in-Citibank, been explicitly brought up by the Obama Administration at all. Instead, you suddenly heard from the "Moderate Right", folks like the Wall Street Journal, that hey, maybe nationalizing the banks is a good idea. At some point, Steele's going to be forced to choose between Limbaugh and the WSJ.

Brilliant.

What I want to know is, where the hell were these guys 8 years ago?
posted by mkultra at 10:32 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gay sex scandal in 3... 2...

What are you crazy? That would be the worst thing that could happen. Then Rush would go away and the Republicans wouldn't have to pledge fealty to him anymore, they could find a new leader. No, what would be great is something bad, but not horrible - it is discovered that Rush gave $2,000 to David Duke's failed gubernatorial campaign. Or Rush gets a 21-year old flight attendant pregnant. Or pictures of Rush in the hospital after an oxycontin relapse overdose are leaked. Just enough to make the Republicans pause and wonder which way to lean - half of them standing by their man, half throwing him overboard. Oh that would be wonderful.
posted by billysumday at 10:33 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


But for every Obama, Emmanuel, Dean, etc. who knows which end is up, there is a bumbling Pelosi, Reid, etc. undoing their work.

Reid's got his problems, but Pelosi's no bumbler. She set the Republicans and McCain up on the bailout. She ordered votes held back on the first time around when it was clear the GOP was going to try to vote against the package and then call the Dems out on it. It was massively embarassing for McCain, who had *nobly* tried to set politics aside to "solve the crisis" and declared it solved before debating Obama. Obama and Pelosi one-two punched him hard. He never recovered.

Its amazing how some Dems still think that we're going to blow an election decided months ago. Its too late, we won. Time to stop running scared.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:35 AM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


delmoi, part of why I'm so fascinated by it was that George W. Bush has been President my entire adult life. I barely remember the Reagan administration. For nearly my entire politically conscious life, the country's been run by screaming idiots. This sort of politicking is something you simply wouldn't see, in my experience outside of a film or politically-focused RPG like, say, Vampire.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:35 AM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


The ones left aren't to bright and they're delusional. They literally can't process reality because they've build up a nearly consistent framework of lies and mythology to to explain the world, one that bares little resemblance to the real world.

But why are the only ones left so dumb? That's the key to this whole thing. It isn't a coincidence. Its because of the way the Dems have played the game in the last 3 years. They've left to make money because they will have no power for a long time to come.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2009


Rush is the heart and soul of the hard right of the Republican Party. He's a hater and a bigot, a bully and a coward, a self-indulgent slob who couldn't care less about the well-being of the country, just his satisfying his own appetites, a paranoid conspiracy monger who hates his domestic ideological rivals more than any foreign enemy, and a hypocrite who loudly proclaims his pieties while completely misinterpreting their theological underpinnings, and he's unelected and unaccountable.

That last part is what bothers me the most, that a man who has some ability to steer public policy has never been held to account by anything resembling a free election.
posted by psmealey at 10:39 AM on March 3, 2009


George W. Bush has been President my entire adult life.

Get off my lawn.
posted by DU at 10:39 AM on March 3, 2009 [11 favorites]


I'm a dem and think this is a bad thing.

I agree that it would be better to have a functional, intelligent, actually conservative Republican party to serve as a reasonable, honorable alternative to the Democrats, but the fact of the matter is that the current state of the Republican party is that it is partially composed of functional, intelligent conservatives but also largely made up of hate-fuelled idiots, wealth-worshiping narcissists and religious lunatics. It is half Uncle Sam, all solemn and hearkening-back; and half Uncle Crazy, that embarrassing relative you keep in the attic during social gatherings.

I say bring on Rush, bring on Palin, bring on Hannity and O'Reilly and Coulter and the rest.

Instead of trying to put Crazy in a nice suit and invite Crazy over for tea and a chat, we're dressing Crazy in a set of moose antlers and some flip-flops, pouring Crazy a Red Bull with a few No-Doz thrown in for good measure, giving Crazy an air horn, shoving him on stage and saying "This is your moment to shine." And hopefully once Crazy is all burned out from the air-horning and flip-flop-wearing and moose-antler-dancing, Crazy will go have a little lie down and we can carry on with the conservatives providing an opposed and intelligent voice in the great debate.
posted by Shepherd at 10:39 AM on March 3, 2009 [51 favorites]


This is just more evidence of how Obama and his team are 8 or 9 steps ahead of all their opponents. It's like watching Gary Kasparov playing chess against, well, me.

Oh and please shut the fuck up about this not belonging on Metafilter. This is a perfectly good and appropriate post. Stop feeling the need to be police officers.
posted by vito90 at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't know if that says more about the GOPs intelligence, or its desperation.

I'd argue a little from Column A and a little (or a lot) from Column B.

The desperation angle's been well covered here and in countless Palin threads, but the degree of wilfully ignorant delusion (i.e. plug-dumbness) going on here is really - and I say this as a Canadian liberal, or, as it's known on America's skewed scale, raging pinko - it's really wonderful to see.

Consider this gem from the opening salvo in that final "want Rush for 2012" link:

there is no more effective and articulate representative of Conservative political thought in America than the genial and talented radio talk show celebrity

This feels genuine to me. These desperate wackjob dittoheads really think Rush's schtick is objectively articulate and genial, and only a lunatic left-wing fringe thinks otherwise. They thought the same about Palin. They are doubling down on the most ineffective strategy they've devised in a generation. Which is, as I said, really wonderful to see.

As a Canadian pinko, I'd like to import a choice slice of it and make it communications director of Harper's PMO. If only the guy weren't so skilled tactically . . .
posted by gompa at 10:43 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


It amazes me utterly that even the dumbest Republican could fail to see (and hear) how much Rush resembles an enormous squalling baby that hasn't had its diaper changed in weeks.
posted by jamjam at 10:45 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


My parents are center-right (for the US, natch), and while they used to like listening to Rush, they've grown increasingly turned off over the last few years.

Well, first off, like I said, the guy's personality is truly grating and not even in an entertaining way like say Wally George or Morton Downey Jr. (those were some right-wing yo-yo's with style, dammit!*) and he comes across as less ..authentic somehow, if that makes any sense. And as people got bored with hime said more and more shocking things to stir up attention, which backfired since it seems to have turned more people off him.

*Me and my Dad used to like watching him back in the mid 1980's, he was entertaining in the same way watching a bar brawl is entertaining.
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gay sex scandal in 3... 2...
...is Rush gay?
posted by silkyd at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2009


But why are the only ones left so dumb? That's the key to this whole thing. It isn't a coincidence. Its because of the way the Dems have played the game in the last 3 years.

No, I think it's their own fault. They imploded because they couldn't critisize the president and because of the republican parties excesses. The democrats, frankly, have been pathetic. Maybe with Obama they'll be a little better. We'll see. The attempt at "Bipartisanship" on the stimulus debate seemed like democratic lameness as usual, but it may be that they've learned their lessons.
posted by delmoi at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is just more evidence of how Obama and his team are 8 or 9 steps ahead of all their opponents. It's like watching Gary Kasparov playing chess against, well, me.

Like I said, it's more like watching a normal person play against a toddler.
posted by delmoi at 10:50 AM on March 3, 2009


The most embarrassing detail here is that in the CNN interview, Steele was very upset by the suggestion that Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the Republican party. "No, he's not. I'm the de facto leader of the Republican party!". Had he not said that, Limbaugh's response might generously still be interpreted as not a direct challenge against Steele's authority.

I suppose you could call that a self-defeating prophesy.
posted by Anything at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2009


But why are the only ones left so dumb? That's the key to this whole thing. It isn't a coincidence. Its because of the way the Dems have played the game in the last 3 years. They've left to make money because they will have no power for a long time to come.

Oh, I disagree with this. The smart ones who left have been itching to leave for quite some time now. The smartest ones have given up on politics as a medium of change as they consider it useless without a change in culture. There is still money and power to be had as a Republican, if that is what you want. The question is how far will they go once they've lost what's left of what might have passed for scruples.
posted by cimbrog at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2009


So...this really has nothing to do with those 3 musicians from Canada? What a rip-off!
posted by winks007 at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2009


It certainly dates me, that's for sure.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:23 PM on March 3 [+] [!]


Who around here wouldn't date you, posting titles like that.
posted by kingbenny at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's the apologies to Rush that fascinate me. It's like these guys wake up with a horse head in their bed and all of a sudden change opinion.

What's going to be fun, though, is when Republicans start to see how much they are suffering because of Rush and then try to distance themselves--the way Christians do to the fundamentalists when they realize people are laughing at them. The more apologies we see, the less effective that strategy.
posted by troybob at 10:54 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I went to RedState this morning to see if they were disavowing Rush or what.

No wait, this just in.
...if you heard Steele’s ‘apology’ it’s clear he didn’t learn his lesson, and if he does not figure it out very quickly, he will set new records for ‘Least Noticed Person In America’.

So I ask: Hey, anybody else want some? McConnell? Boehner? McCain and the rest of the RMSP party traitors? The gang at Weekly Standard? O’Reilly?

...

Rush Limbaugh is a formidable force. Do you know why? Because he says what conservatives believe, and he is extraordinarily articulate, witty, insightful, and yes, courageous.
So I guess they really, really do think Rush will be popular with the masses. And I thought I couldn't be happier when they were going to run Palin in 2012. It keeps getting better.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2009


Letterman last night, talking about Limbaugh.
starts at 3:48
posted by chococat at 10:56 AM on March 3, 2009


Wouldn't it be great if our political parties cared more about doing what's best for our country than this childish schoolyard bullshit?
posted by Legomancer at 11:03 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't it be great if our political parties the Republicans cared more about doing what's best for our country than this childish schoolyard bullshit?

FTFY

Because dude, they started it.
posted by cereselle at 11:06 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like to think that Rush secretly doesn't believe a thing he says, and that his whole career was just an experiment to see how gullible people are, that turned out to be more successful than he could have imagined.

Ever since then, he's just been pushing it. "How outrageous can I get before everyone realizes what I'm doing, and the jig is up?" Since that hasn't happened yet, he pushes it further, every day more incredulous at the things people will agree with. And whenever someone makes him look ridiculous, he smiles on the inside, and thinks, "Good for you."

Coming at it from this angle, I really kind of like Rush. Whenever I hear a sound byte, I have myself a chuckle, thinking, "Nice one, Rush, they actually believe a rational person would come up with that. You jolly old prankster."

One day, perhaps on his death bed, he will reveal the whole glorious hoax, and all of his followers will be shocked into understanding how easily manipulated they've been, and next time, they'll think things through a little more carefully.
posted by phrenq at 11:06 AM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


One day, perhaps on his death bed, he will reveal the whole glorious hoax, and all of his followers will be shocked into understanding how easily manipulated they've been, and next time, they'll think things through a little more carefully.

Well, if L. Ron Hubbard didn't do it, I don't know that Limbaugh will.
posted by troybob at 11:09 AM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's not even about who started it. It's about what to actually DO when the rubber meets the road. You have a plan you honestly think will help the country. You don't have the votes to get it through because The Other Guys are blocking it for whatever reason (principled reasons or childish ones--it doesn't matter). What's the plan now, Legomancer? Give up? Is that really "doing what's best for our country"? I don't see why leveraging an external(ish) issue to get The Other Guys to switch sides is "childish schoolyard bullshit".
posted by DU at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice post, but I'm pretty sure Josh Marshall was speaking tongue-in-cheek when he wrote what he did about the Democrats' pysops. He Republicans are doing this to themselves, the Dems are just pointing it out.

Many, many years ago I was a hardcore Republican and a Limbaugh listener. I'm talking about the early 90's here. I well remember that he often proclaimed that he was just an entertainer. Politics was the topic but entertainment was the purpose. I guess at some point he shifted and started taking himself seriously, and other people are falling in line.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:11 AM on March 3, 2009


I thought this was a post about a Canadian prog. rock band. I am highly disappointed.
posted by pmbuko at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2009


Oh Limbaugh, you crack me right the hell up. Rage, rage against the dying of the light right.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is all pretty great, I'll grant that, but it would all be a lot greater if it weren't for the fact that it will take longer to clean up the mess they made over the last eight years than they'll actually be out of power, probably.
posted by Caduceus at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2009


this is classic divide and conquer - the republicans can either stay with limbaugh and lose the sane members of the party - or they can repudiate limbaugh and lose the wingnuts - either way, they lose the numbers they need

and while the moderates on wall street and the hardwingers on main street have this battle, the evangelicals are standing back and watching the party that claimed to represent them fall apart - and thinking of what new, obama-type stratagies they could be using to put a new coalition together - such as a republican party that is both pro-life, pro-business AND pro-social justice

it's going to be interesting to see what kind of opposition we get after the old one destroys itself - make no mistake, we will have one and we underestimate it at our peril
posted by pyramid termite at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2009


I think the implication is in the speed of dissemination of clips and soundbites by what was obviously an existing mechanism savvy to what was going down and ready.

A vast left-wing noise machine, so to speak.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2009


Well, if L. Ron Hubbard didn't do it, I don't know that Limbaugh will.

I'm thinking the difference is that L. Ron Hubbard did it out of a contempt for humanity, a desire to hurt the stupid. But Rush is more altruistic, and he wants to help people by teaching us a lesson about gullibility. You'll see, one day.
posted by phrenq at 11:18 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Like many thread commentators, I was laughing to myself this morning about how terrific it is that the wingnuts are circling the wagons around Rush, how the moderate Repubs must abase themselves before this buffoon. Then I thought: Hitler probably seemed like that to most Germans in the early 1930s. Of course he's just a ridiculous fat (ex?) drug addict right now. And if the economy perks up, he'll stay a ridiculous buffoon. But what if the world economy continues to do what it did in the 1930s? Any chance disaffected Americans, swimming in personal and national debt, totally disillusioned by the failure of government to solve their problems, humiliated and defeated at home and abroad, might become somewhat more responsive to Rush's message? Any chance that by that time, Rush might increasingly believe the hype about himself to the point that he began lusting for power? Any chance that his angry, racist, anti-immigrant, heavily-armed cadres might be willing to do what it takes to get him there?
That could never happen here, right?
posted by haricotvert at 11:21 AM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


What the GOP does not need, from a left perspective, is a unifying leader. We need to make sure they keep stabbing each other in the back.

I like to think that Rush secretly doesn't believe a thing he says, and that his whole career was just an experiment to see how gullible people are, that turned out to be more successful than he could have imagined.

All throughout the Clinton years I seriously believed that Rush may have been an agent for the Clintons. The more he opened his mouth and the more the mindless dittoheads parroted his rants, the more Clinton was able to evade any trouble. It was like a beautiful political ballet being performed by two pigs in a puddle of shit.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:24 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


...both pro-life, pro-business AND pro-social justice.

Even correcting for the numerical error I think they'll have trouble with this. The last two in particular are odd bedfellows.
posted by DU at 11:24 AM on March 3, 2009


I predict this tactic will backfire when the Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:32 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm holding out for Rush 2049.
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


But what if the world economy continues to do what it did in the 1930s? Any chance disaffected Americans, swimming in personal and national debt, totally disillusioned by the failure of government to solve their problems, humiliated and defeated at home and abroad, might become somewhat more responsive to Rush's message? Any chance that by that time, Rush might increasingly believe the hype about himself to the point that he began lusting for power? Any chance that his angry, racist, anti-immigrant, heavily-armed cadres might be willing to do what it takes to get him there?
That could never happen here, right?


Running from those what-if's did more to harm the Democratic Party than Karl Rove ever did. Rove's strategy was to play on exactly this fear and weakness. It is no coincidence that the toughest battle Obama had to fight was convincing his own party that we could actually win. Hence, the "hope" part of his appeal.

America wants leadership right now. I'd rather go down in a ball of fire trying to provide that leadership than timidly not helping the people who put us there.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


it's going to be interesting to see what kind of opposition we get after the old one destroys itself - make no mistake, we will have one and we underestimate it at our peril

The Republican party has become a crazy quilt of different strands of bitter people along with, yes, people who can intelligently and rationally argue a point of view that does not involve Christianizing the government or throwing gays and immigrants into detention camps. Unfortunately, the latter have been all too happy to let the former speak for them when it was winning them elections and making them money.

Of course, we shouldn't underestimate what they might turn into, but it's neat to consider how difficult it will be for them to get all these nutcases back on the same page--particularly after witnessing the decades of moral gymnastics they've had to perform just to maintain.
posted by troybob at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2009


...Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party.

If you can point to examples of elected Democrats kowtowing to either of these (one of whom is himself an elected Democrat) I'd be interested to see it. Also, how are they viewed by the general public? Both have had successful non-niche entertainment careers.
posted by DU at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2009


I predict this tactic will backfire when the Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party.

A little hard when Barack H. Obama is President of the United States, no?
posted by Ironmouth at 11:35 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I predict this tactic will backfire when the Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party.

Well I guess that could happen, except there's this dude named Obama most of us are happy with..
posted by naju at 11:35 AM on March 3, 2009


Er yeah
posted by naju at 11:35 AM on March 3, 2009


The idea of Rush Limbaugh juiced up on Viagra trolling for sex makes me feel not so good.
posted by pianomover at 11:40 AM on March 3, 2009


Wouldn't it be great if our political parties cared more about doing what's best for our country than this childish schoolyard bullshit?

Fer chrissakes, we've waited 8 years for a golden happy moment like this. And with everything still falling to shit, you want to deny us our one little slice of sweet, sweet joy?
posted by fungible at 11:40 AM on March 3, 2009


when the Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party

Jesus, man, that shit must be good.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:41 AM on March 3, 2009


>I do like reading about this stuff, but not so much on metafilter.

I know we've already effectively countered this, but I'd like to note that I like reading about politics better on the blue than almost anywhere else on the Web. This is a comprehensive post that engendered some real substantive discussion, and frankly that's pretty hard to find elsewhere, even on sites whose politics mirror my own. I like TPM and dKos, but I'll take a good collection of diverse links on Metafilter over Josh Marshall's weird "deep thoughts" any day, and the commenters here are generally more thoughtful than anywhere else. The fact that MeFi doesn't trade exclusively in politics, but has a population of common-sense progressives, makes it - for me at least - the perfect place to read stuff like this.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:42 AM on March 3, 2009 [34 favorites]


Gay sex scandal in 3... 2...
posted by Krrrlson at 10:28 AM on March 3


Limbaugh isn't a homosexual, he's a pedophile. And he just happens to be the face of your party. A fat, drug-addicted pedophile. If you could get your dick out of the Laffer curve for a moment maybe you'd let the implications of that trouble you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:42 AM on March 3, 2009 [17 favorites]


I would love to see Rush actually run. It would force him into a position where he had to debate his points outside of his echo chamber and it would be a fine opportunity for all the dirt in his past to be re-evaluated and re-displayed for the public's edification.

He is a loathsome individual with a deplorable history. If he was put in the public eye under anything other than his own pre-defined conditions, he would look embarrassingly ugly, both as a person, and as a representative of any group he associated with.

So I say "Hell yeah!" Convince him he is the man for the job. I want to watch that unsinkable ship blow the fuck up before going to the very bottom.
posted by quin at 11:43 AM on March 3, 2009


Elected Democrat kowtowing to Franken.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:45 AM on March 3, 2009


I would love to see Rush actually run. It would force him into a position where he had to debate his points outside of his echo chamber and it would be a fine opportunity for all the dirt in his past to be re-evaluated and re-displayed for the public's edification.

He is a loathsome individual with a deplorable history. If he was put in the public eye under anything other than his own pre-defined conditions, he would look embarrassingly ugly, both as a person, and as a representative of any group he associated with.


This is exactly the point of Obama politics.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:46 AM on March 3, 2009


Rush has been the Voice of Conservatism for a long time
not to be overly picky but Rush has been the Voice of Neo- Conservatism for a long time
posted by ElvisJesus at 11:47 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The best part about seeing Limbaugh run would be the controversy over his birth certificate. You know they had to fake that shit, because legally you can't report that the mother was a jackal.
posted by troybob at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Republicans are desperate for a replay of 1993-1994, when they took the initiative away from the Clintons, and they're looking to the same people who 'led them out of the wilderness' then, Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. Of course, this is NOT 1993, Obama is NOT Clinton and Gingrich, among others, knows that Rush's influence then was overrated and he used the Conservative Movement to build his radio audience and, as a result, his legend.

This is a golden opportunity for Limbaugh to maximize his income from his already obscene current contract - the stations airing him need advertising income, not just audience, and the Leader of the Cause schtick has always been good at attracting local advertisers who buy his show to declare their solidarity - even in this economy, a lot of small, local businesspeople are going to pay good money just to make a political point, and what better place to do it than the radio show of the DeFacto Leader of Conservative Thought? Without needing to actually sell his sponsors' products, Rush has the easiest job in Advertising-Supported Media. And everyone in The Media knows it. But he also has a lot more competition for the title of Biggest Mouth of the Right, with most of FoxNews doing radio shows on the side and even-more-hardliners like Liddy and Savage shaving the edge off his audience. 13.5 million listeners a week is Cume. It means that many people listen to at least 15 minutes of his 15 hours weekly. And considering that 25-30% of the viewers of FoxNews are self-described Liberals, you can't count anywhere near that number as his Legion of Dittoheads. I don't think there is enough Limbaughmania to help the Republican Party one iota. He didn't turn out enough Dittoheads to stop or even slow McCain or Obama in 2008, and the Republican candidates who follow him now will be hitching their wagon to a rock.

And, in the long run, he will politically devalue the stuff he supposedly stands for, which will be good for America. But he will laugh all the way to the bank, as he always has.
posted by wendell at 11:52 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ever tried to talk someone out of a delusion? It's damn near impossible. There is no amount of logic that will sway them -- their state of mind renders them impervious to reason. The longer and deeper this economic debacle continues (and I don't see much of anything in Obama's stimulus plan that will curtail it, but I hope I'm wrong), the more the right wing will clamor that this was all due to our seekrit Muslim socialist leadership who want to take away our penises guns and march us all down the red red road to the Glorious Revolution, conveniently forgetting the people and policies that put us there in the first place.

The actual FACT CONTENT of their rhetoric is pretty much irrelevant: the "base" of the GOP isn't zackly down with critical thinking...

I dunno.

I guess I'm just scared. I'm scared that the Democrats are still thinking like the minority party and practicing appeasement instead of crafting bold policy and I'm scared that the GOP will stop at nothing short of fomenting armed insurrection to "take our country back".

I'm enjoying watching the GOP tear itself apart, though. But I worry that the Dems will not have the intestinal fortitude necessary to step over the corpse on our way to universal health care, sentencing and drug law reform, economic sanity, and the restoration of international diplomacy as a means of crisis management.

Also: Rush Limbaugh can kiss my ass on Main Street and I'll give him half an hour to draw a crowd.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:54 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


An alternate take: Why on Earth Are Democrats Legitimizing and Empowering Rush Limbaugh?

"Empowering Limbaugh in the hopes of a bank-shot against Republicans will yield the opposite result: Limbaugh will become more powerful, Republicans will relish his increased influence and allow him to do their dirty work."
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:54 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I predict this tactic will backfire when the Republicans paint Al Franken and Jeannine Garofolo as the leaders of the Democratic party.

Pretty sure this was sarcasm, guys. It's a good point, though: try to imagine Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama criticizing Keith Olbermann and then having to go on TV the next day to publicly kiss his ass.
posted by EarBucket at 11:55 AM on March 3, 2009


This sort of politicking is something you simply wouldn't see, in my experience outside of a film or politically-focused RPG like, say, Vampire.

Dude, if McCain/Palin won we'd be playing Werewolf: The Apocalypse right now.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:00 PM on March 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


It doesn't get as much traffic, but perhaps move this over to Politicalfilter?

Thanks for the shout out, but as the admin of Polifi, I'd hate to see it be a ghetto of unwanted political threads from Mefi.

So yeah,come on over if you like, or point out a link in a political thread, but trying to force an either/or for both sites does no one any good and as evidenced by responses in this thread, tends to piss people off.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:00 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Empowering Limbaugh in the hopes of a bank-shot against Republicans will yield the opposite result: Limbaugh will become more powerful, Republicans will relish his increased influence and allow him to do their dirty work."

Well, Daou is exactly like the rest of Hillary's advisors, more frightened of losing than willing to take the necessary chances to win. The difference between them and Obama is that they have no faith in the American people and Obama does. Obama, a black guy, put up numbers they never could. Frankly, the Clintons were so scarred by 1994 that they never really recovered. White southerners are not the ideal people to be leading the Democratic Party.

The chance that Limbaugh will somehow lead the GOP out of the wilderness is very, very slim. The chances that this sideshow will hurt the Republican party are very high. It is a bet worth taking. No victory without risk.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:01 PM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Just a little reminder of who this guy really is. A few choice quotes from Rush Limbaugh:

Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.

When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation.

On NAFTA: If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people— I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do— let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.

One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the Homeless Olympics. [Events would include] the 10-meter Shopping Cart Relay, the Dumpster Dig, and the Hop, Skip and Trip.

Feminism is just a way for ugly women to get into the mainstream of America.

The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.
posted by netbros at 12:05 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh librul media, what hath thou wrought!?
posted by odinsdream at 12:09 PM on March 3, 2009


An alternate take: Why on Earth Are Democrats Legitimizing and Empowering Rush Limbaugh?...

... by Peter Daou, Internet strategist, former Internet Adviser to Hillary Clinton

It's easy to feel like the old era is gone, the old demons slain, that we WON, that nobody's afraid of the once-vaunted Republican attack machine. But Barack Obama's unquestioned discipline, steadfastness and intelligence notwithstanding, he wouldn't be president without a tsunami of Hillary-hatred expertly surfed by his campaign, mishandled by hers, a tsunami generated over the years precisely by people like Rush Limbaugh.

Shorter Peter Daou: WAAAAAAHHH!!!

Look, Clinton is one damn smart wonk, but she is a lousy political strategist, hires lousy advisors, and listens to lousy advisors. I think this is a damn good strategy (tactic?). Popcorn, anyone?
posted by maudlin at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.

No, it's that yogurt has culture.
posted by jonmc at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2009 [28 favorites]


sorry.. guess I have been spanked
posted by edgeways at 12:21 PM on March 3, 2009


Just a little reminder of who this guy really is. A few choice quotes from Rush Limbaugh

You do understand that most of those are jokes, right? Like when Al Franken joked "I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her."

Rush is an entertainer, not a politician. And it is a massive waste of time to go after him, because there are dozens waiting in line for to take up the mantle of talk radio blowhard when Rush goes down.

Obama should remember that Bush had a 98% approval rating after 9/11, and a few short years later he was viewed as the worst president ever. He might what to consider that when he decides to spend his time going after the left-wing's version of Alec Baldwin or the Dixie Chicks. It can't be the case that all of Obama's support comes from reasoned, thoughtful citizens but the opposition is racist idiots. He's going to have to deal with the reasonable objections to his policies with something other than smug dismissal.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:22 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Al Giordano is all over this as well at The Field...
posted by jim in austin at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2009


Kiablokirk: So to respond to the person who said that they care less about this type of politicking the more the economy seems broken: I hate to break it to you, but this type of "you-like-me-so-let-me-do-whatever-I-want-to-do" politicking is how we got into this mess, and its the only way we're going to get out, or alternatively, its how we're going to get even deeper into it. But there's not really any avoiding it, because its really 90% of politics.

It's 90% of politics in America. Meanwhile, in America, politics gets the job done about 10% of the time. Even before considering the actual factors involved, the simple fact that at least two of the three branches of government don't seem to do what they're supposed to, or even what their members intend to, might cause one to wonder whether maybe the mucky-muck let's-argue-about-who-your-spiritual-leader-is-so-that-we-can-discredit-him thing is distracting us from the political job to be done rather than helping us do it. Or do you really think arguing about Rush Limbaugh educates the populace and motivates the political estate?

In any decent nation, Rush Limbaugh would never have been heard from again after his pain-pill scandal, if not much earlier in his 'career.' At most, he might have been seen as a back-page item detailing his latest arrests. I know some people are jaded enough by now to believe that short-term goals are the only goals, but a healthy, pollution-free societal atmosphere is imperative for our spiritual and even physical health, and that's everybody's responsibility. I don't rejoice encourage dumping of nuclear waste, even if it's in the backyard of some jackass who thinks global warming's a myth, because in a larger sense that's my backyard too, and because, regardless of the personal sense of satisfaction I'll feel knowing that this jackass is going to be discredited, I know that it'll do no good and only harm. We don't convince those we disagree with by associating them publicly with scoundrels; in fact, that's a sure way to create a social climate wherein no one will ever be willing to change their mind again.
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


...he wouldn't be president without a tsunami of Hillary-hatred expertly surfed by his campaign...

Maybe I missed something during the primary season, but I thought most people who voted for Obama also liked Hilary; I supported Hilary up to the point where Obama demonstrated that he not only had a better approach but was actually able to win using it. I don't know that the kind of anti-Hilary stuff Rush put out appealed to anyone but people who would never have voted for her anyway.
posted by troybob at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


It can't be the case that all of Obama's support comes from reasoned, thoughtful citizens but the opposition is racist idiots. He's going to have to deal with the reasonable objections to his policies with something other than smug dismissal.

Really? That was a highly effective tactic for George Bush.
posted by Caduceus at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2009


"Empowering Limbaugh in the hopes of a bank-shot against Republicans will yield the opposite result: Limbaugh will become more powerful, Republicans will relish his increased influence and allow him to do their dirty work."

Limbaugh is hateful and divisive, and he gets more listeners the more insane he sounds.

Obama is inclusive and reasonable, and has made a point of reaching out to Republicans.

Not all Republicans are hateful xenophobic nutjobs. If Limbaugh became the real face of the party, people will jump ship from the HMS Crazy. And no matter how riled up the rest of them get, a very loud and enthusiastic 40% doesn't actually win elections.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:25 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, 2010 will be here quicker than 2012. Getting a President won't mean much if you don't have some power in the House or Senate.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:25 PM on March 3, 2009


I also adore the title.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2009


not to be overly picky but Rush has been the Voice of Neo- Conservatism for a long time

Since Nixon and Reagan, what's the difference between Neoconservatism and Conservatism, really? It you really want to pick historical nits, Conservatism should be called Liberalism, but if a political ideology is defined by those who are its instruments, then Nixon, Reagan, and the two Bushes are arch-Conservatives in name and deed, and have defined Conservatism as big government supporting colonial military excursions, harshly reactionary and religious social policy, and tax breaks for a wealthy minority.

As Rush Limbaugh emphatically defends the acts of the last four representatives of arch-Conservatism, and is currently the party's most visible public representative, he is the de facto voice of Conservatism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's going to have to deal with the reasonable objections to his policies with something other than smug dismissal.

Where are those? I'm not saying there couldn't be such objections, I'm saying that no one has presented them yet. If you have a reasonable one, lets see it.

The purpose of this exercise is to wring out all the BS politicking the GOP has done since '94. By linking the entire party to this idiot, then watching him go down in flames, you get a real conservative party who can make a coherent case for conservatism.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


He might what to consider that when he decides to spend his time going after the left-wing's version of Alec Baldwin or the Dixie Chicks.

Obama's not doing a damn thing. All he did was throw some meat into the pit and let the dogs eat each other. Obama doesn't need to actually get down in the dirt and fight with these idiots, they'll do it themselves.
posted by 235w103 at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are at least a few in the Republican Party who are trying to steer themselves away from Limbaugh and that ilk. I'm skeptical about how much traction they can build, but I'm glad they're trying.
posted by rewil at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2009


not to be overly picky but Rush has been the Voice of Neo- Conservatism for a long time

I hate this. When conservatives are shown the true face of their beliefs, the true face of their membership, and the true results of their policies they cry "He's not a real conservative like me!" Oh, give it up already. American conservatism is so far to the right and so deeply in bed with big business and big religion, its a walking, talking joke. You guys know this. Always calling the other guy crazy only works when, you know, youre not crazy too.

Its also worth mentioning that Rush has been an active conservative voice since the early 80s, before PNAC was a glimmer in the GOP eye. He predates neoconsevatism and all his views are mainstream GOP views, just with the honestly to admit the hate they stem from.

There are no honest men in the GOP. Its a horrible marriage of convience for a whole lot of scoundrels. Id love to believe it isnt, but when Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are your true leaders, you know that YOU are the problem, not them.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


The chance that Limbaugh will somehow lead the GOP out of the wilderness is very, very slim. The chances that this sideshow will hurt the Republican party are very high. It is a bet worth taking. No victory without risk.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:01 PM on March 3


What the hell constitutes 'victory'? To destroy the republican party, so we can have a one party state? Is that good because this time it's your party? And why do you assume that only Limbaugh is available to lead them out of the wilderness, and that no one else can do it?

The only reason this strategy makes sense to Democrats is because it depends on painting every Republican as a clone of Limbaugh, and most Democrats already assume this to be the case. This is strategy will fail with everyone else, and will only embolden actual Republicans, who have known all along that Limbaugh was a gasbag and an albatross and have been looking to shed him and his ilk from the party for years.

But the smug sense of self-satisfaction from so many Obama supporters when the country is careening headlong into the abyss is extremely annoying to say the least. Obama has done nothing so far except get elected and spend a shitload of money. The jury is still out on everything else, including whether the spending any of that money will actually make things worse.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


For anyone still paying attention, here is a video of Limbaugh at CPAC over the weekend.

Variously described as an Eastern European Mobster, a used car salesman, etc. See Letterman for some good commentary. (3:48 in)
posted by jckll at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course he's just a ridiculous fat (ex?) drug addict right now.

How did Hermann Göring get worked into this thread?
posted by MikeMc at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


To destroy the republican party, so we can have a one party state?

To marginize the crazies. To put them out of the national spotlight and take away their votes. Let a new opposition party form or, heaven forbid, a european-style coalition.

Obama has done nothing so far except get elected and spend a shitload of money. The jury is still out on everything else, including whether the spending any of that money will actually make things worse.

Right because doing nothing right now makes sense...
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:36 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is strategy will fail with everyone else.

As indicated in polling above, Limbaugh is very disliked by independents. Only 25% approve of him. Bush polls better. This strategy will very likely succeed.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:37 PM on March 3, 2009


Is this such a bitter strategy? The right's ascention in AM radio has been ignored too long. The awful things they say should be aired to a larger audience. People should really get to know Hannity and Limbaugh. I think the previous policy of ignoring them and hoping they will go away has been a terrible failure. Politicians should be able to call out the political bullshit thats going over the airwaves. Ignoring him just validates him. That hasnt been good in the long run.

Maybe its time to bring back the fairness doctrine to get some perspective in AM radio.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:42 PM on March 3, 2009


Pastabagel: all we're getting so far is Clinton, redux. I voted against Clinton for a reason, dammit. Nothing has really changed so far except for that giant flushing sound of money down a rathole.
posted by Malor at 12:45 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel, the Democrats doesn't WANT to attack Limbaugh. They want him to get louder. They want him to get attention. And then they want his conservative opponents to dump him and everything he stands for and re-form a party that isn't based on despicable principals having nothing to do with 'conserving' anything.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:45 PM on March 3, 2009


This is strategy will fail with everyone else, and will only embolden actual Republicans, who have known all along that Limbaugh was a gasbag and an albatross and have been looking to shed him and his ilk from the party for years.

A shame they didn't speak out back when they were benefiting from the crap Limbaugh was slinging. And turn on the TV news and you'll see a parade of elected Republicans dancing with the guy that brung them, bejeweled with the grand equivocation that it is reasonable to want Obama's policies to fail while not simultaneously wanting America to fail--disingenuous considering that a failure of Obama's economic policies at this point would be reflected in financial ruin for a lot of people.
posted by troybob at 12:47 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obama has done nothing so far except get elected and spend a shitload of money.

It's been less than a month and half. Cures for cancer, you're expecting?


But the smug sense of self-satisfaction from so many Obama supporters when the country is careening headlong into the abyss is extremely annoying


Obama supporters have spent eight years watching their country be run by the likes of Bush, Delay and Cheney. They have seen torture and war, the destruction of the economy and New Orleans, the rise of religion in public life and the tearing down of civil liberties. They have been ruled by leaders who were arrogant and venal, who scorned dissent and intellectualism. They have felt threatened by their own government and a consuming fear for the future.


Now that same party is in the opposition party and is making a complete spectacle of itself by promoting leaders of truly hilarious incompetence (Steele and Jindal) and demanding that those leaders kowtow to a ludicrous radio blowhard.

I think a little smug schadenfreude can be overlooked for now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:48 PM on March 3, 2009 [25 favorites]


Rush/the Plumber '12 is almost as good as Palin/Jindal '12. Better yet, oh, I can just see the glory of a five way GOP primary back-stabbin', mud-slingin', muck-rakin', faux-folky, fake-fundy cage match between Rush, Palin, Jindal, Joe the Plumber, and Newt! Oh, the glory!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:48 PM on March 3, 2009


you suddenly heard from the "Moderate Right", folks like the Wall Street Journal, that hey, maybe nationalizing the banks is a good idea

You might have a point, but to be fair, the moderate right started talking about bank nationalization because that's exactly what the IMF has advised other economies to do for years. And the IMF was heavily influenced by America's economists.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:51 PM on March 3, 2009


Rush/the Plumber '12 is almost as good as Palin/Jindal '12. Better yet, oh, I can just see the glory of a five way GOP primary back-stabbin', mud-slingin', muck-rakin', faux-folky, fake-fundy cage match between Rush, Palin, Jindal, Joe the Plumber, and Newt! Oh, the glory!

Don't forget Mike Huckabee. I keep hoping that dude will pop up again.

Also, google Ron Paul.
posted by Caduceus at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's funny is that the only effective criticism of Obama I've seen anywhere has been from the left.

Here's a good question; What is the conservative message? Much of what they say they stand for: fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility, especially, has, for the time being, been co-opted by Democrats. Our stereotypes of "liberal" and "conservative" are still those of the 60s, and are clearly losing their effectiveness in politics, because the people they resonate with are aging and dying off.

In lots of places and in different circumstances, Obama would be the conservative.

Not making any predictions, but it's not impossible to imagine an American political scene where the next schism is between Obama and more liberal types, while what had been the Republican party withers into a sad, race-baiting, extreme fringe group. If we manage to get rid of the Electoral College and allow more than two parties, then we could see a process like that be more likely.
posted by emjaybee at 12:53 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rush is an entertainer, not a politician.

You should tell that to the Republican Party.

And while we're on the topic of entertainers who are mistaken for politicians, I really, really wish Larry Flint would offer Joe the Plumber a, um, buttload of money to make a porno.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2009


I wouldn't doubt that Alan Keyes will try and get in on the action again in '12. It is going to be a rightwing loonyfest the likes of which we've never seen!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I watched the Rahm clip and yesterday and was pretty struck at how beautiful it was.

When you're ahead, don't wait for the other guy to catch his breath (especially if that other guy is a sociopath like the republican party) - beat him until he's done.

I'm all for this, tie them all to Rush, then give Rush all the rope he needs to hang not just himself, but the whole party. Oh, I wish Obama et al the very best luck in this endeavor.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2009


Not making any predictions, but it's not impossible to imagine an American political scene where the next schism is between Obama and more liberal types, while what had been the Republican party withers into a sad, race-baiting, extreme fringe group. If we manage to get rid of the Electoral College and allow more than two parties, then we could see a process like that be more likely.

Nothing would make me happier. Without the threat of the boogieman of communism allowing everything "liberal" or "left" to be painted as evil, in the near future maybe we can shift the political center of America left, back to somewhere sane, like most of the rest of the world. The continued collapse of the Republican party will hopefully contribute to this; if Republicans continue to lose horribly, political donors will start looking for someone else who might more closely mesh with their own views, which could allow the creation of one or more new functional parties that could meet the 5% threshold.
posted by Caduceus at 12:59 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obama should remember that Bush had a 98% approval rating after 9/11, and a few short years later he was viewed as the worst president ever.

Yes! Obama had better refrain from attacking any countries that pose no threat to us, transferring massive amounts of wealth from a large number of ordinary people to a much smaller number of very wealthy people, allowing corporations total freedom from regulation, and kidnapping and torturing random people. This is good advice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2009 [20 favorites]


El Rushbo gets in an extended E-mail conversation with Greg Sergeant of Who Runs Gov.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:04 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


An alternate take: Why on Earth Are Democrats Legitimizing and Empowering Rush Limbaugh?..

Also, from last month:

President Obama has made his first tactical error of his young presidency: He called out conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

It happened the other day while Obama was visiting with congressional Republicans in an effort to get them to support his economic stimulus package. Said Obama to the lawmakers: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

I disagreed when I read it then. I disagree now. Good move. It's pretty easy to beat up on Rush.

Not making any predictions, but it's not impossible to imagine an American political scene where the next schism is between Obama and more liberal types...

Well, damn, I know it's not "impossible to imagine," since I've been imagining it my whole life. What's the likelihood of the GOP collapsing to 3rd party status in my lifetime? Oh, that would be a day!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:05 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation.

This is one of my favorite Limbaugh quotes, if he actually said it, because he assumes that a gay man would be interested in taking him from behind even though Rush once had a pilonidal cyst so huge it kept him out of the army.

Think about that for a moment. A zit, if you will, so fucking nasty that the military said "ain't no way you can kill gooks with that fucking thing on your ass, boy. Its red, inflamed, glorious crown would just be a beacon to them VC snipers."

And he thinks that someone would still want to fuck him in his disgusting fat ass. Some dudes may be into "bears," Rush, but they're not into "zitty whales."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:16 PM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


The fact that MeFi doesn't trade exclusively in politics, but has a population of common-sense progressives, makes it - for me at least - the perfect place to read stuff like this.

What I find interesting is that I generally agree with you about politics on MeFi, but this discussion I find interesting for an entirely different reason. I've been following this for a while now via Larison, the League and others and the reaction of MeFi is like looking through a distorted lens. Upon consideration, I shouldn't expect Metafilter to ask, "Well, what is conservatism, really?", but it is still an odd shift. I flit from political side to side in reading and this is the first time that the differences have actually been jarring.

BTW, this isn't meant as a criticism - carry on. I wouldn't want to change you guys for the world.
posted by cimbrog at 1:17 PM on March 3, 2009


An alternate take: Why on Earth Are Democrats Legitimizing and Empowering Rush Limbaugh?

Peter Daou neglects to mention that he was a staffer on the Clinton campaign at the same time that Bill Clinton appeared on Rush Limbaugh's radio show in order to promote Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos to derail the Obama nomination. If that isn't "legitimizing and empowering" Rush Limbaugh, I don't know what is.
posted by jonp72 at 1:19 PM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Anyhow, Al Giordano's tactical idea is awesome. I'd love to see this implemented:

Well, now the jig is up. And Limbaugh is flailing. And if you see your local Congressman at a county fair or somewhere, you now know what to ask him, preferably with the microphones and video cameras turned on: "Congressman: Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh's desire that the President fail at fixing the economy, yes or no?"

In 178 Congressional Districts, and in every state with at least one GOP senator, or governor, or statewide elected official, and right down to the state legislative and municipal levels, this is a local story just waiting to blow up in every one of those focal points and will have the legs to last for a good while. Because no matter what the answer - yes, no or evasion - merely asking the question of a politician gives birth to secondary and tertiary news stories: Exactly what happened to Michael Steele - "Steele Wimps Out on Limbaugh Feud" - will happen to every single one of them, no matter what their answer is: a gift that keeps on giving, and cosmic justice for the leading demonizer on the airwaves and for those who have enabled his ugly and incendiary era.

posted by jonp72 at 1:21 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


The simple fact that at least two of the three branches of government don't seem to do what they're supposed to, or even what their members intend to, might cause one to wonder whether maybe the mucky-muck let's-argue-about-who-your-spiritual-leader-is-so-that-we-can-discredit-him thing is distracting us from the political job to be done rather than helping us do it. Or do you really think arguing about Rush Limbaugh educates the populace and motivates the political estate?

posted by koeselitz at 12:24 PM on March 3 [+] [!]

Let me run a parallel: you don't like McDonalds. Its food is fattening, it has no nutritional worth, their minimum wage jobs with no benefits create a drain on the resources of society, particularly health care. So with all those serious issues, why should anyone spend any time talking about Ronald McDonald? He's just a figurehead - a clown! The real issue is heart disease, which kills millions of people!

Because Ronald McDonald is the reason why millions of people eat McDonalds. Hook 'em when they're young, get them liking the food when they are motivated by things like free toys more than taste or health value, and then they'll come back. McDonalds does not separate their mascot and their marketing efforts from their total product - and you shouldn't, either. Public health proponents cannot talk about the issues while ignoring the gimmicks because the gimmicks are an issue.

Its the same with celebrity and politics. People listen to Rush because he gives them "news" in a way that's entertaining. I don't blame them; I like the Daily Show for the same reason. And let's be honest: picking a spiritual leader IS the job most people do. It's called democracy: I don't vote on 95% of the policies that are enacted but I do vote for a person to enact them; I vote for those people based on whether or not I think they look like good leaders; effective politicians understand this and try to position themselves as spiritual leaders, in image if not in fact; and the fact that Republicans cannot seem to find a spiritual leader is symptomatic of their failure (at this moment) to be good at politics.

Further, if after they're elected these officials do something that I don't want them to do, I pressure them to change their mind. Rush Limbaugh does that too - but on a much, much bigger scale. He can change GOP talking points, and those talking points can change GOP tactics. Rush Limbaugh motivates the political estate, so discrediting him - or forcing in-fighting in the GOP - does affect the overal motivation of the political estate.

And don't think this is anything new; don't think this is some shallow bend in the road that we'll overcome. Why do you think so many generals have been elected over the centuries? Its because in many ways, Generals were celebrities. Ulysess S Grants name recognition would have been huge immediately after the civil war because his name would have been all over the newspaper for years. He was a drunk and an man without any long term vision at all but people elected him twice anyway. Why? Because they liked the way he ran a war - but a war and a government are two different things entirely.

No, we ignore celebrity at our peril. We separate it out from the issues at our detriment. The only politicians I can think of who ever ran just on issues and were short on presentation all failed miserably, and thus their ideals failed, too. I mean, George McGovern was right about Vietnam, but he also lost in the worst landslide in American history.
posted by Kiablokirk at 1:21 PM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


A zit, if you will, so fucking nasty that the military said "ain't no way you can kill gooks with that fucking thing on your ass, boy. Its red, inflamed, glorious crown would just be a beacon to them VC snipers."

Metafilter: Calling out zits with red, inflamed glorious crowns which are beacons to VC snipers since 1999.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:22 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


NPR was just doing a story on this.

Every once in a while, when seeing stories like this, I find myself thinking -- "Holy Shit, Barack Obama is really the president."

He (or his team) really is a fucking genius. Hopefully his policies end up being as good as his politics.
posted by empath at 1:23 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


not to be overly picky but Rush has been the Voice of Neo- Conservatism for a long time...
Since Nixon and Reagan, what's the difference between Neoconservatism and Conservatism, really?


I really hate that the word "Conservative" has been co-opted and ruined by such self-serving scum. Based on who calls him or herself a Conservative today, it appears that this word no longer has any real meaning at all, other than as a shibboleth.
posted by psmealey at 1:29 PM on March 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


Limbaugh, Palin and their ilk are populists.

Bullshit. Palin holds a major office. She's not some entertainer trying to get you to buy her book or DVD, she runs a friggin state. The idea that you can dismiss her because she isnt a "real conservative" is ridiculous. She's an governor! If anything she defines the party.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:33 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rush has been the Voice of Neo- Conservatism for a long time

Fail. Neo conservatism is about foreign policy. Rush is the voice of domestic right wing reaction.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:34 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Limbaugh, Palin and their ilk are populists.

Bullshit. Palin holds a major office.


So wait, populists can't hold office? Do you guys have ANY idea what these terms you're throwing around mean?
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:36 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


So wait, populists can't hold office?

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - HL Mencken
posted by empath at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Bullshit. Palin holds a major office. She's not some entertainer trying to get you to buy her book or DVD, she runs a friggin state.

"Major" is pushing it. And she's got a book deal.
posted by troybob at 1:41 PM on March 3, 2009


I know exactly what a populist is, but the first line of his post is:

I really hate that the word "Conservative" has been co-opted and ruined by such self-serving scum.


Again, bullshit, theyre conservatives. Get used to it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2009


Again, bullshit, theyre conservatives. Get used to it

When you can put Friedrich von Hayek, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Buckley, Tom De Lay and Bill Kristol under the same rubric, you know it doesn't have a lot of meaning. It then becomes, just a label, not a political philosophy.

Palin holds a major office. She's not some entertainer trying to get you to buy her book or DVD, she runs a friggin state.

Based on your postings above, it's pretty clear you have no idea what a populist is. Do you know who Huey Long was? Hugo Chavez? Benito Mussolini? Sarah Palin was generally regarded as a pragmatic, anti-corruption outsider who was perfectly willing to work with Democrats. As VP candidate, she was a fire-breathing partisan perfectly willing to call a sitting US Senator a terrorist, and not at all hesitant to extoll the virtues of small town folk as morally superior to their big city cousins.

That is the definition of populist... comported by the ideas of (whom she views as ) her constituents rather than standing for anything principled.

The idea that Palin dismissed because she's not a "real Conservative" is really at the very bottom of a long list of reasons why she should be dismissed.
posted by psmealey at 2:34 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obama is inclusive and reasonable, and has made a point of reaching out to Republicans.

What the GOP Really Wants: Obama's Autograph.
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on March 3, 2009


!!BREAKING: Rush says Jake Tapper not an Obama butt boy! BREAKING!!
posted by billysumday at 2:40 PM on March 3, 2009


under the same rubric, you know it doesn't have a lot of meaning.

Conservatism is what conservatives do. Its a poltical philosophy so we can see what policies they support when they have power. Historical and academic characters have less importance then the ones running the show. I dont see a problem calling out their actions. They define themselves as conservatives. Who am I to argue with them. You sound more and more like those fundies who are always saying "Well, he's not a TRUE Christian."

This is the last refuge for the conservative. They keep trying to weasel out of the consequences of their philosophy and actions by putting their heads in the collective sand and calling those who recently held power with their full support and votes "unpure." Keep believing that the word conservative has no meaning. In the meantime the rest of us are seeing who they really are.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:42 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Major" is pushing it. And she's got a book deal.

Which state are you Governor of? Only mefites would consider the governorship a minor position. Sheez.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:43 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


/Nelson laugh

HAHA

/Nelson laugh
posted by billysumday at 2:46 PM on March 3, 2009


Ironmouth: "Republicans such as Bobby Jindal hastened to praise Rush and indicated that they were glad that Steele apologized."

"Pretty soon," Steele said, "there won't be any more new voters. Rush will have scared off every one there is to find. Goodness, that'll be too bad."

"Michael!"

"Well--" his dark eyes were shallow and fixed, a sign of his recurrent vagueness. "It will be kind of a shame no new voters--"

"Don't talk like that," Gingrey said, trembling. "Michael, be quiet!"

"It's good," said Jindal, in the loud, familiar, wanting-to-be-overheard tone of voice. "Such talk is good. It's okay, Phil, don't you see? It's good for Michael to talk any way he wants. It's good for him to feel bad. Everything's good. Everything has to be good..."

Gingrey was pale. And so was Steele -- the peril of the moment had suddenly penetrated the clouds surrounding his mind. Sometimes it was difficult to handle words so that they might not prove disastrous. You just never knew. There were so many things it was wise not to say, or even think -- but remonstration for saying or thinking them might be just as bad, if Rush heard and decided to do anything about it. You could just never tell what Rush was liable to do.

Everything had to be good. Had to be fine just as it was, even if it wasn't. Always. Because any Change might be worse. So terribly much worse.

"Oh, my goodness, yes, of course it's good," Gingrey said. "You talk any way you want to, Michael, and it's just fine. Of course, you want to remember that some ways are better than others..."

Steele stirred, fright in his dark eyes.

"Oh, yes," he said. "But I don't feel like talking right now. It... it's good that I don't feel like talking."
posted by Rhaomi at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2009 [21 favorites]


They keep trying to weasel out of the consequences of their philosophy and actions by putting their heads in the collective sand and calling those who recently held power with their full support and votes "unpure." Keep believing that the word conservative has no meaning. In the meantime the rest of us are seeing who they really are.

You miss my point entirely. I think allowing them to get away with calling themselves conservative gives them an air of respectability they don't deserve and ideological consistency they don't have. They're Republicans: racist, xenophobic, hate mongers who either support or have been duped into supporting people whose only loyalty is not to the country but to the Defense, Pharmaceutical, Petrochemical and Prison construction industries.
posted by psmealey at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dont worry "respectable" conservatives have done more damage to the word than all the Joe the Plumbers in the world. In fact, they are responsible for creating people like him.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:53 PM on March 3, 2009


Only mefites would consider the governorship a minor position.

No, but that's not the same as saying that governorship of Alaska is not a major office. Nobody knew her name before her nomination, and there are mayors who govern more populous cities.
posted by troybob at 2:56 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Neo-conservatives have a far more dangerous agenda than traditional conservatives.
posted by ElvisJesus at 3:00 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel wrote You do understand that most of those are jokes, right?

Nonsense.

Not to say that Limbaugh is enunciating well thought out policy positions or anything, but the idea that he's just an entertainer, that therefore his words must be thought of as jokes not as Republican thought and policy, is preposterous. Mere entertainers, mere jokesters, don't get the head of a major political party apologizing on national TV for calling them entertainers.

Limbaugh is the heart and soul of the Republican party, he is its true leader as demonstrated by the fact that the titular leader was compelled to undergo a ritual humiliation for failing to be sufficiently humble towards Limbaugh.

And, moreover, to be a joke something has to be funny, or at least intended to be funny. I see a lot of people listening to Limbaugh, and you know, they aren't laughing. They're nodding, they're agreeing, they're thinking that he's telling it like it is. Limbaugh rules the Republicans, its that simple. We must take his words, therefore, more seriously than we take the words of mere figureheads like Steele.

His vicious attack on Chelsea Clinton could be characterized as a joke, it wasn't funny but it was clearly intended to be.
If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people— I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do— let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.
That is, I think self evidently, not intended as a joke, even a mean spirited or vicious one. Its a statement of, to coin a phrase, the way things ought to be.
posted by sotonohito at 3:00 PM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


And now the IRL troll has become the trolled! How does it feel, Rush, huh? Dance, puppet, DANCE!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:03 PM on March 3, 2009


and not that it matters, but I consider myself a liberal
posted by ElvisJesus at 3:03 PM on March 3, 2009


Intresting bit from 538:
Don’t kid yourself. While L’Affaire Limbaugh is incredibly entertaining political theater – among others, it dominated Matthews, Cooper, Olbermann, Maddow and Jon Stewart last night – the tactic has a calculated purpose and an immediate context: votes on the budget bill. Soon enough, it’ll be votes on health care legislation. There are really only three attendees at this play.

Senators Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins.
posted by delmoi at 3:05 PM on March 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


Krrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrson: Gay sex scandal in 3... 2...

NO. No.

No.

Every time somebody is entangled in a "gay sex scandal," I feel sorry for gay sex. Gay sex can be smoking-hot and/or beautiful, and I really don't want Rush's carcass anywhere near it. Let him be ashamed of something else, please.
posted by LMGM at 3:08 PM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Limbaugh? As a priest…of the temples… of Syrinx!?

“Rush Limbaugh is a fucking nihilist, and is plenty smart, and really doesn't give a shit that he's ruining the Republican Party. The more he's in the news, the more people listen to his show, the more money he makes. That's his priority, not helping the Republicans achieve a lasting majority.”

True. That’s what’s kind of stupid/scary about all this. Wouldn’t folks like to have a viable alternative to the Democrats? Hell, to the left of them even. Any perspective other than this irrational nuttiness. It’s not even a matter of Pepsi and Coke - it’s vaguely Pepsi-ish water and acid in a cola can which spontaneously combusts at random.
Seriously, no one wants an alternative reasonable opinion? Or several?
Political parties have collapsed in the past. I’m sure everyone was jubilant over the final throws of the Whigs and such – but c’mon, we need an opposition party, I’d like to see several in fact.

“(Obama’s policies) Up for debate. Because, quite frankly, they should be. One way or another, we'll be paying for them for decades.”

Yeah, exactly what I’ve feared. And really, it’s even worse if Obama is a big hero and pulls everything off perfectly. There’s nothing that crushes thoughtful consideration faster than that kind of competence. It’s going to be hard for the country to get out from under Obama. We keep looking for these people to fix stuff for us, and we mythologize them. Lincoln, Teddy, FDR, etc.
It’d be nice if folks took all this stuff in hand themselves. Although to be fair, I think that’s what Obama’s been trying to do (but finger/moon, all that).

“In lots of places and in different circumstances, Obama would be the conservative”

Actually, I consider him one. S’why I voted that way. Bush & Co were the radicals. McCain – I have no idea WTF that guy was on about. So pretty much a conservative (albeit Dem) and this hydra head of disparate interests all flailing about wildly – apparently only for attention – with no real meaning or message.

Y’know, the word ‘liberal’ has, visibly, taken a beating. But the term ‘conservative’ is completely contorted out of all context from preservation to radicalism.
I don’t see any ‘thought’ in what’s being called conservativism today. Lots of egotism. But zero continuity. It’s not even robust enough to be wrong. Say what you will about W.F. Buckley – at least he was wrong when he was wrong. Does the GOP even have an ideology or, even tangentially, consistency?
A lot of the stuff on the Dem side is a bit scary. Some stuff here dancing on their grave. I get the satisfaction, but y’know, politics is just a tool.
A mental construct to get stuff done.
It’s as dangerous to take the egos and such in politics seriously as it is to actually believe you can summon demons or God will save you if you jump out a window.
There’s no intrinsic substance there. And some of the outlaying ideas resting on it are indeed delusional, and mostly just externalized fear or self-aggrandizement with an appeal to relevance. Stuff gets done only when you do it yourself. Even when it’s done by proxy, there’s work involved and it’s never free just because you’re on their team or their side or ‘supported’ them for a long time. I see some ‘liberals’ going that way as well. Talked to a very hard core capitalist a bit ago about social security and so forth. His position was that it’s a dog eat dog world, social Darwinism, all that, and he’s a ‘liberal.’
I think a lot of people are using words that don’t mean what they think they mean.

“The idea that you can dismiss her because she isnt a "real conservative" is ridiculous. She's an governor! If anything she defines the party.”

Er…she’s a real Republican. I’ll cede the term has gotten so distorted that yeah, she’s ‘conservative’ in the sense that it’s currently widely used.
But by no means does she have a real ideology beyond her own self-interests.
If we’re talking terms here tho – Nader is a liberal, Kucinich is a liberal, Obama is a liberal?
‘Cos their policies are pretty different. Regan (and Thatcher) were economic liberals.
We can quibble on quibbling on terms but let’s not browbeat each other when the objective is common understanding. There’s some play there. Some folks are using it as a dodge (and even now ‘conservatives’ and the GOP are disavowing Bush and the policies he initiated when as little as a few months ago they were wildly enthusiastic). So sure, doublespeak (and doublethink) exist. But it’s not a black and white issue here especially given the context.

“Maybe its time to bring back the fairness doctrine to get some perspective in AM radio.”

Unquestionably. Never should have abandoned the policy in the first place.
Why the hell politics should be entertaining I have no idea (well, I have Neil Postman’s ideas, but…) Sometimes you just have to take out the garbage, paint the fence, all that, just do your chores. Same deal. People should vote, be involved in their government and not be handed this song and dance schtick where they feel they’re connected because they’re shouting loudly at the radio.

“Also, Google Ron Paul.”

I don’t know why Dr. Paul doesn’t just use ‘G’ as in G. Ron Paul. His first name could easily be mistaken for the search engine. On the other hand, does he want to be associated with Liddy or Hubbard? It’s a toughie.

(Aside: yeah, Rahm man does know how to bring the heat.)

Optimus Chyme – I think it was more cowardice that kept Rush out of the service, the big zit in his ass was just an excuse.
(No slight against folks who opposed the war and didn’t serve. Opposition is a form of service to one’s country and does take the courage of one’s convictions)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:25 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Optimus Chyme – I think it was more cowardice that kept Rush out of the service, the big zit in his ass was just an excuse.

Yeah, I'd bet good money that a friendly doctor wrote him a note and that no one in the military so much as saw his ass-cyst (barf), but it's funnier to me if it were actually so hideous and rank that even a hardened officer would be shocked by it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:45 PM on March 3, 2009


Maybe its time to bring back the fairness doctrine to get some perspective in AM radio.

Except who under 60 years old listens to AM radio? Or who under 40 listens to radio at all? I doubt that my college age son has ever voluntarily listened to radio. Rush is the king of a dying and soon to be dead medium, the fairness doctrine would be pointless now.
posted by octothorpe at 3:45 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or who under 40 listens to radio at all

Me.

(I'm uh, 39. For 6 more months...)
posted by lumpenprole at 4:01 PM on March 3, 2009


Except who under 60 years old listens to AM radio? Or who under 40 listens to radio at all?

I think there may be a bit of selection bias here. Not everyone in the country is quite as Internet-oriented, in terms of their news, especially, as we mefites. And radio has the great advantage of being essentially the only medium which can be ingested on the way to work - you can't surf the Internet, or read the paper, or watch TV, and drive at the same time.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:08 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


What Limbaugh, Coulter, Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, and the rest of that shambling shitmire stand for, is hatred of liberalism. Any use of "liberal" as a pejorative can be traced back to them. They don't even dispute what "liberal" means. There is nothing in that definition that any sane and/or decent person could want to not be. For upwards of twenty years, these scum have been propagating the idea that, no, somehow it's not a good thing to be tolerant, or open-minded, or generous, or favorable to concepts of individual freedom. That whether or not "I've got mine", the appropriate posture for a human being is always, "and fuck the rest of you". To them, human suffering is always appropriate, and always warranted - a person gets what they deserve out of life. It's not possible, in their eyes, to be poor and not deserve to be, to be sick and not deserve to be, to be the victim of prejudice and not deserve to be, or to be rich and not deserve to be. They are vile monsters, red in teeth and claw.

It is entirely fair to associate them with the notion that Obama and his administration, being liberals, should fail, even at the cost of the United States ceasing to exist. That is the stakes they play for. Just to fuck with the liberals, they will do anything they can to destroy and derail and delay everything Obama comes up with. In the game of politics, these people are griefers. Trolls. Griefers are exactly as bad for a game as the stakes of the game are serious. Griefers are banned from online gaming without hesitation or remorse - why are they tolerated in politics, for which the consequences are as serious as it is possible to be?

The ideal of freedom of speech has been taken too far in the US; I would argue, further than the founders intended. They grew up and lived in a society in which griefers and trolls were about of unheard-of as marketing or day trading. To them, cultural debate was sincere. The idea of advocating a position that one does not sincerely believe in, or presuming to advance a position that one cannot advocate intelligently for, would have made no sense whatsoever. Freedom of speech to them was a positive right, protected for the purpose of ensuring free exercise of political, religious and artistic expression. It was never intended to protect fraud, slander, spamming, or agitating propaganda - and all of those things are Limbaugh's daily fare.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:47 PM on March 3, 2009 [18 favorites]


2012? I'm pretty sure Rush did 2112.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 5:00 PM on March 3, 2009


"Except who under 60 years old listens to AM radio?"

Man, talk radio is huge across most demographics and has been for over a decade now. It's probably responsible for keeping a lot of stations on the air, for better or worse. That joke worked in the '80s. Well, until 1987 anyway.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2009


Starting the game: Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.

On the bench: Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Rielly.

Deep reserve: Huckabee, Romney, Jindal.

For the first time in a long time, it's good to be a Democrat.
posted by imjustsaying at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


"To them, cultural debate was sincere. The idea of advocating a position that one does not sincerely believe in, or presuming to advance a position that one cannot advocate intelligently for, would have made no sense whatsoever."

Oh, I think you assume they were stupid. Not so.

Machiavelli's The Prince was written in 1513, and it's deeply, deeply cynical. Incidentally, it's a favorite among American politicians, though it's as much cautionary as it is prescriptive.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:07 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Starting the game: Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.

The only game the Joe the Plumber is starting in is known as twelve man book signing...ball.

Deep reserve: Huckabee, Romney, Jindal.

I'd say that Jindal would be a heck of a reserve to have, but the game isn't cricket.
posted by clearly at 5:31 PM on March 3, 2009


They only lost by 2%. All this self-congratulatory bullshit about how the Republicans are irrelevant could turn around with just 2% of the population changing which way they vote.
posted by Malor at 5:32 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


best thread ever. i think am running out of +s in this one thread.
and yes, you can't have this kind of rational discussion in any
other place but MeFi.

thank you and good night :)
posted by liza at 5:37 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


you can't surf the Internet, or read the paper, or watch TV, and drive at the same time.

says you.
--
Posted from my iPhone.
posted by empath at 6:39 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


They only lost by 2%. All this self-congratulatory bullshit about how the Republicans are irrelevant could turn around with just 2% of the population changing which way they vote.

The actual election results were:52.9% 45.7%

That's a lot more than a 2% margin.

It has been a long time since a non-incumbent has won by that margin. That's better than Bush II, Clinton never had that margin. Ever.

Time to stop running scared and act like we won. Because we did. Big. Running scared turns off voters and makes it hard to govern. Either we seize the moment or wimp out.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:41 PM on March 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Not to mention, polls show the country's attitudes getting more decisive. The latest NBC/WSJ poll has Obama at an all time high favorability of 68 percent, and the GOP at an all-time low of 26 percent.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:02 PM on March 3, 2009


Steele caved quickly

Then Steele is not the man the Republicans need.

Shame, that.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:27 PM on March 3, 2009


When conservatives are shown the true face of their beliefs, the true face of their membership, and the true results of their policies they cry "He's not a real conservative like me!" Oh, give it up already. American conservatism is so far to the right and so deeply in bed with big business and big religion, its a walking, talking joke. You guys know this.

Indeed. The smart conservatives in the USA need to start the New Republican Party. Far easier than trying to clean the shitstains off the old name. Especially when your more simian party members keep flinging it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I think we can say that a party that solidly controls both houses of Congress by very comfortable margins and the Presidency is pretty much doing the right things."

That doesn't follow at all.It's just as likely that they fell into victory because people were really-really tired of the Bushies. Couple that with Obama's personal charisma, upbeat message and ability to reach out to jaded voters . . ."


Yeah, because we're doomed if all we have is personal charisma, an upbeat message and an ability to reach jaded voters.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this post. I have been watching this play out in utter fascination. I don't think that there are any psyops going on...... It is the utter bitterness and corruption, blended in a vacum of ethics that is making the Republicans devoir themselves in their own bile.
posted by tarantula at 9:01 PM on March 3, 2009


best thread ever. i think am running out of +s in this one thread.
and yes, you can't have this kind of rational discussion in any
other place but MeFi.

thank you and good night :)


I can honestly say this is one of the most sickening and depressing things I have ever read on the internet.

This discussion isn't rational, this is the masturbatory liberal echo chamber of self-congratulation and adulation. How metafilter is so skewed liberal I don't know, but this is nothing more than a gathering of liberals exulting in how clever and enlightened they are and lumping the conservatives as a hateful, ignorant, mentally ill bunch that is a cancerous leech on the country.

If you want to lump Cal Thomas, Robert George, Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, and the like with people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly then that's your business, but it makes you look silly at best, and at worst intellectually dishonest, childish, and arrogant.

I'm strongly conservative. I voted straight Republican in November. I am currently attending a liberal arts college. And I haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh in almost a year. Sorry if I don't match up perfectly with the pathetic straw man you all have erected just long enough to it down and then resume your orgy.

Obama may have inherited a nation in a sorry economic state, but he sure as a hell hasn't gotten it turned around yet, so maybe hold off on giving him a blowjob until he's actually done something other than spend an unprecedented sum of money. Rush and Coulter may not be role models, but they're a hell of a lot better than Michael Moore and Al Franken and all of your sellout liberal "journalists". Rush gets, I believe, something like 15 million listeners. That's a lot, but it's not even 5% of Americans, so maybe before you label the entire conservative movement a bunch of backwards Limbaugh-listening retards you'll straighten out your facts and stop making yourself look so damn close-minded.

I hate to break it to you Democrats, but you guys don't have such a great track record. You blew it with slavery, you blew it with the Eugenics Movement, you blew it with the New Deal, you blew it with the Great Society, and you're about to blow it again by turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia that won't be worth jack. Both parties have bailed each other out many times in our nation's history, and to act like you've finally figured everything out and will just calmly steer our nation into perpetual greatness as a one-party state is arrogant, misguided, pathetic, and generally unbecoming.
posted by Autarky at 9:02 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


You forgot Poland.
posted by troy at 9:05 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


AAAhahaha ohhh ho ho heee. Hee hee. Ohhh ho ho. Delicious.
posted by 235w103 at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


You blew it with slavery, you blew it with the Eugenics Movement, you blew it with the New Deal, you blew it with the Great Society
For the record, I abstained on the Eugenics vote.
Obama may have inherited a nation in a sorry economic state, but he sure as a hell hasn't gotten it turned around yet
HURRY UP OBAMA AUTARKY CAN"T WAIT ALL DAY
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:17 PM on March 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


THAT is what has been eating away at me regarding what's wrong with Obama. He really blew it with slavery.
posted by the bricabrac man at 9:20 PM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Welcome to the Autarky Cliche Festival.

Dude, I like contrarianism better than just about anyone, but try to be original at least.
posted by jonmc at 9:20 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


For the record, I abstained on the Eugenics vote.

Generalizations about the history, ethos, and membership of the Republican party number in the dozens in this thread. I think it's only fair to let me do the same.
posted by Autarky at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2009


If you want to lump Cal Thomas, Robert George, Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, and the like with people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly then that's your business, but it makes you look silly at best, and at worst intellectually dishonest, childish, and arrogant.

Those people lump themselves with Rush Limbaugh.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:25 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Welcome to the Autarky Cliche Festival.

Dude, I like contrarianism better than just about anyone, but try to be original at least.


"Don't count your chickens before they hatch" is a cliche, but it's a damn good one. How about discussing what part of my post is wrong instead of dismissing it outright because you think it's cliche.
posted by Autarky at 9:26 PM on March 3, 2009


This discussion isn't rational, this is the masturbatory liberal echo chamber of self-congratulation and adulation.

Fair enough. But as someone who disagrees with the majority opinion here on a very hot topic, I have to ask, how would you differentiate this statement from any of the popular Right wing weblogs out there? There are dissenting opinions on all sorts of subjects here. The difference is that we generally try like hell to argue our positions. Often the sides are strident and not willing to yield ground, but at least the discussion is made.

If you doubt me, look up the conversations we've had on gun control, immigration reform, or hate crimes. These are polarizing topics that have been handled with remarkable adroitness in this forum.

...I hate to break it to you Democrats, but you guys don't have such a great track record. You blew it with slavery, you blew it with the Eugenics Movement, you blew it with the New Deal, you blew it with the Great Society, and you're about to blow it again by turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia that won't be worth jack.


And sadly, as I reach out to a slightly differing opinion, I suspect that I've been trolled.

This is why we can't have nice things honest discussions about different points of view. Because the people who engage in it seem to go straight for griefer language/ combat style and suddenly are worthless to the community from a discussion standpoint.
posted by quin at 9:29 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


How about discussing what part of my post is wrong instead of dismissing it outright because you think it's cliche.

Um, what's "wrong" is that the entire thing is riddled with the same tired Republican talking points ("Michael Moore and Al Franken are jerks! The New Deal ruined America's economy!")... in other words, cliches.

Seriously, dude, call us when you're ready to stop pasting from Little Green Footballs.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:31 PM on March 3, 2009


Actually, I'm sorry, Autarky, my above comment isn't helpful and I've flagged it as such.
Speaking as someone who used to be a conservative...why? What keeps you a conservative, and what keeps you a straight Republican voter? In fact, what keeps you a conservative AND a straight Republican voter? Do you really believe that the current Republican party represents conservative values?
As for spending, well, the money spent on Iraq alone is absolutely staggering. Modern Republicans have no problem spending mind-boggling sums of money, as long as, of course, it is being spent on no-bid contracts that fail to help Americans.
Personal liberty, a non-intrusive government? Bush recorded your phone calls; the only people he declined to intrude on were, well, businessmen who wanted to deregulate financial markets or bulldoze wetlands.
To bring up Limbaugh again- yes, many conservatives probably do not listen to him or hold him in high esteem. But the chairman of the GOP just apologized to him; these people are in thrall to a man who, at the very least, broke laws regarding prescription drugs and then dodged the jail sentences that he believes other people should get. He IS the de facto head of your party, or at least the loudest voice. How can you make that work with a conservative ideology?
I think one thing you may notice above- yes, there is a lot of gloating. After 8 years of being called traitors, I think you should probably give us that. But a lot of us WANT a strong opposition, myself included. I don't want to see the money that, for instance, could build badass high-speed rail going into some corrupt pol's pocket, and I would love for the Republicans to hold peoples feet to the fire to get results for the money spent. Also, many of those who have written above specifically note that they're not antagonistic towards people who hold actual conservative principals. But we are tired of the unrelenting bullshit. If you don't want us to gloat about how Limbaugh is flailing around, bringing down the Republican party like that tyrannosaurus and the banner at the end of Jurassic Park, get some reasonable spokespeople out there, not Coulter or Malkin.
posted by 235w103 at 9:32 PM on March 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


This is why we can't have nice things honest discussions about different points of view. Because the people who engage in it seem to go straight for griefer language/ combat style and suddenly are worthless to the community from a discussion standpoint.

My point was not that every living Democrat is guilty of the things I listed, but to underscore the point that both parties screw up majorly now and then (Vietnam, Iraq, etc. for Republicans). Opposition and debate is good, and hoping those useless Republicans will hurry up and go away so that the Democrats can have America to themselves isn't a particularly wise point of view.

There's dissent and diversity in the Republican party just like there is among Democrats. It's easy to choose the worst segment of the party and then use that to condemn the whole, but that's pretty worthless as an argumentative tactic. I don't paint the Democratic party as hippie weed-smoking militant atheists who run off to Canada every time a war starts, and it might serve Democrats better if they would stop branding all Republicans Limbaugh-listening, Bible-thumping religious freaks who pray in tongues instead of taking their kids to the hospital and want to nuke every country in the Middle East.
posted by Autarky at 9:40 PM on March 3, 2009


How about discussing what part of my post is wrong instead of dismissing it outright because you think it's cliche.

Dude they are discussing it. To posit the Democratic party bad because of slavery 150 years ago is ridiculous given the fact that as Democrats grew and moved from being behind the times on civil rights to making the key moves in that direction, Republicans moved to snatch up the racist vote (Google "Southern Strategy" and "Lee Atwater").

This country will never go "amoral socialist." Do you mean to argue that Obama will take ownership stakes in all enterprises? Because that's what socialism is. Calling the bank bailout "socialism" is flat-out lying to people.

As for "amoral" how can any movement consider it moral to deny human beings the right to marry based on their sexual orientation. That is a basic denial of human rights to someone because they do things you do not like. That's un-fucking-American. That's an attitude held by Iran's Ayatollahs. The GOP is in agreement with them on that.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:41 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


What keeps you a conservative, and what keeps you a straight Republican voter? In fact, what keeps you a conservative AND a straight Republican voter? Do you really believe that the current Republican party represents conservative values?

Of course not. Politics and values are pretty much mutually exclusive. But they're closer to my principles than the Democrats or Libertarians, and some (Coburn) are actually quite good, and, dare I say it, principled when it comes ot things like fiscal responsibility.
posted by Autarky at 9:43 PM on March 3, 2009


Politics and values are pretty much mutually exclusive.
Wait, really? My politics are pretty intensely informed by my values.
Also:

turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia

I mean, what European country do you NOT want us to be like? One of the ones that spend less than us on healthcare but have much lower infant mortality rates? I keep hearing people talk about how Obama's going to turn the US into Europe, and I'm like, oh, shit, yeah! I mean, people in Europe get to go to the dentist! All of my friends are moving to Berlin!
Additionally, in terms of being amoral, uh, France doesn't torture.
posted by 235w103 at 9:50 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


There is very much a role for the fiscal conservative, and a role for the social conservative. But it is unlikely that they can be in the same party. Socially progressive (or, at least, less socially regressive) fiscal conservatives need to break away from their retrograde brethren.

A fiscally conservative party, one that calls for responsible government spending and responsible management of the regulation of business, could really do well in the USA. Make it socially liberal, one that calls for a reduction in the government regulation of independent adult lives, and it would probably win the next election. More fiscal responsibility, less meddling in our lives? Sounds great, sign me up.

In this scenario, the Democrats would be the fiscally moderate, socially progressive party; and the old Republicans the fiscally liberal, socially conservative party. They'd serve as counterbalance to the Conservative Liberal Party, which would probably be the "natural" ruling party for New Canada. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


you're about to blow it again by turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia that won't be worth jack.

that would be a step up from the amoral quasi-fascist red state clusterfuck your president left us with

the first thing the republicans need to admit, in front of the whole country, and fully, is that they plain FUCKED UP THIS COUNTRY - period

if you're not willing to admit it, then i have no intention of taking you seriously

yeah, it remains to be seen if obama and company can somehow fix it - but it looks like the best you can offer us right now is rush limbaugh's heartfelt wish that the democrats fail - which is also a wish for our country experiencing more crisis, decline and pain

you can't offer us your track record - it's a failure, period - you can't offer us solutions because you have none that we're going to believe in

no, you're going to do what the republicans had to do in the 30s and 40s - you're going to have to admit you were wrong about a lot of things and adopt many of your opponents' positions and then work out how they should be done better and differently - and it's going to take you years to do that

and while we're at it, it's your party that has gathered to itself the moral and philosophical descendants of the pro-slavery democrats - does "southern strategy" ring a bell? - and your need to know that eugenics was supported by theodore roosevelt as well as woodrow wilson, that the new deal's alternative was probably a huey long type fascist dictatorship or armed revolutions, that the great society's alternative was a even more bitterly divided society than the one we had and that a person who can't even tell what a colossal screw-up the last 8 years were has no business interpreting american history for us

ps - why do i get the feeling that the most objectionable part of "amoral socialist european dystopia" for you is "european"?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:54 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about discussing what part of my post is wrong instead of dismissing it outright because you think it's cliche.

Oh, I'll bite:


I can honestly say this is one of the most sickening and depressing things I have ever read on the internet.

You've been very sheltered.

This discussion isn't rational, this is the masturbatory liberal echo chamber of self-congratulation and adulation.

I don't think those are necessarily contradictory.


How metafilter is so skewed liberal I don't know, but this is nothing more than a gathering of liberals exulting in how clever and enlightened they are and lumping the conservatives as a hateful, ignorant, mentally ill bunch that is a cancerous leech on the country.

This is actually true.

If you want to lump Cal Thomas, Robert George, Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, and the like with people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly then that's your business, but it makes you look silly at best, and at worst intellectually dishonest, childish, and arrogant.

That's not rational argument, thats an unsupported assertion. For what it's worth, I think Victor David Hanson and Cal Thomas are actually worse than Rush.

I'll just skim google real quickly for a gem from VDH.

Here's one falsely accusing Obama of wanting reparations.

He's as much a joke as the rest of them. And Cal Thomas is frighteningly theocratic. I don't think your choice of 'conservatives' is helping your case.

I'm strongly conservative. I voted straight Republican in November. I am currently attending a liberal arts college. And I haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh in almost a year. Sorry if I don't match up perfectly with the pathetic straw man you all have erected just long enough to it down and then resume your orgy.

You just set up a straw man. No one here accused all conservatives of listening to Rush, only that all conservative politicians have to bow down obsequiously to Rush.

Obama may have inherited a nation in a sorry economic state, but he sure as a hell hasn't gotten it turned around yet, so maybe hold off on giving him a blowjob until he's actually done something other than spend an unprecedented sum of money.

The guy has been in office a month, and the market was already off 50% before he even stepped into office. And spending unprecedented sums of money is exactly HOW one turns around an economy where demand has fallen off a cliff

Rush and Coulter may not be role models, but they're a hell of a lot better than Michael Moore and Al Franken and all of your sellout liberal "journalists".

Al Franken isn't a journalist, he's a comedian. As are Rush and Coulter. But he at least stepped up to the plate and ran for office instead of just mouthing off from the sidelines. And franky, I think after 8 years of watching the clown show at Fox News, we can dump the whole concept of a "liberal media".

Rush gets, I believe, something like 15 million listeners. That's a lot, but it's not even 5% of Americans, so maybe before you label the entire conservative movement a bunch of backwards Limbaugh-listening retards you'll straighten out your facts and stop making yourself look so damn close-minded.

There's that straw man again.

I hate to break it to you Democrats, but you guys don't have such a great track record. You blew it with slavery,

I don't know if you noticed, but we kicked all the racist Democrats in the lead up to the Civil Rights movement, that's how the GOP ended up with the Solid South.

you blew it with the Eugenics Movement,
wut
you blew it with the New Deal,
Bullshit

you blew it with the Great Society,
debateable
and you're about to blow it again by turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia that won't be worth jack.
Right, because Sweden, Britain and France are unlivable hellholes.

Both parties have bailed each other out many times in our nation's history, and to act like you've finally figured everything out and will just calmly steer our nation into perpetual greatness as a one-party state is arrogant, misguided, pathetic, and generally unbecoming.

There won't be a one-party state. We may very well have a two-party state where one of them is not the Republican party as it is currently constituted, though.
posted by empath at 9:54 PM on March 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


it might serve Democrats better if they would stop branding all Republicans Limbaugh-listening, Bible-thumping religious freaks who pray in tongues instead of taking their kids to the hospital and want to nuke every country in the Middle East.
This is certainly something worthy of discussion, but let's be fair. The post is about the refusal of major players in the Republican party to criticize Rush, and to force apologies out of those that do. To complain that people are talking about these exact things in this thread is essentially begging a derail.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:55 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


My point was not that every living Democrat is guilty of the things I listed, but to underscore the point that both parties screw up majorly now and then (Vietnam, Iraq, etc. for Republicans).

actually, vietnam was a democrat mistake

will you please take a history class at that liberal arts college and learn what you're talking about?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:56 PM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, the DCCC is making hay with a funny Mad Libs style auto-apology letter to Limbaugh to be filled out by Republican lawmakers who stray off the Rush reservation.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:00 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


some (Coburn) are actually quite good

Really? Tom "Oklahoma's schools are overflowing with lesbians!" Coburn? Really?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:03 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


the first thing the republicans need to admit, in front of the whole country, and fully, is that they plain FUCKED UP THIS COUNTRY - period

Let's make a deal: You didn't own slaves, and I didn't torture innocent people. OK? I didn't vote for Bush and I'm sure as hell not going to apologize for him.

There's that straw man again.

It's not a straw man. It's this thread.

--

I'll have to get to the rest tomorrow.
posted by Autarky at 10:07 PM on March 3, 2009


I love that one of the ways that Autarky supports his point that Rush Limbaugh isn't totally representative of the Republican party is that he, himself, has not listened to Limbaugh for almost a year. That's really impressive, man. Did you get a patch for that?
posted by Caduceus at 10:08 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


hoping those useless Republicans will hurry up and go away so that the Democrats can have America to themselves isn't a particularly wise point of view

What I've read in this thread tends to hope those useless Republicans will hurry up and go away so that the Republican party can heal itself. It's a mess of a party. It needs to be cleansed of old deadwood, bad thinking, and omgthehate.

hypothesis: single-issue voters are filled with hate about their issue, which is why it consumes so much of their lives that they can't take other issues into consideration. a party which goes too far in appealing to single-issue blocs is a party which becomes filled with hate, and consequently starts behaving hatefully.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 PM on March 3, 2009


Let's make a deal: You didn't own slaves, and I didn't torture innocent people. OK?

i guess that depends on whether you define trollish statements on the internet as a form of torture

I didn't vote for Bush and I'm sure as hell not going to apologize for him.

but you voted for his party and you're going to defend it here - what alternate universe is this where you vote for the party that was responsible for the worst presidency of our times and expect better government?

or is this just more evasion of responsibility on the part of the republicans?

and, while we're at it, you've utterly missed the point about limbaugh - it isn't that democrats are ganging up on him, that's hardly anything new or important - it's that some republicans started to and then got cold feet when he complained about it

that, sir, is the sound of your party doing the circular firing squad dance
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


CunningLinguist: that is the funniest bit of humorous political propaganda I have ever seen.
posted by grouse at 10:24 PM on March 3, 2009


Ironmouth: Yeah, because we're doomed if all we have is personal charisma, an upbeat message and an ability to reach jaded voters.

You're really not worth the electrons to argue with. If someone contends with you, you just get flustered, make a snotty reply and change the original premise to save face. Let's recap:

PREMISE: The Democrats are not organized enough to mount such a psi-ops campaign.

Your Nancy-girl whining about the (already acknowledged) value of "charisma" and and "upbeat message" does nothing to refute the premise.

But it sure sounds to the casual reader like you've almost made a point.
posted by RavinDave at 10:45 PM on March 3, 2009


2009 WORLD TROLL CHAMPIONSHIP SCORE FOR Autarky
JUDGE: KWINE (USA)

COMPULSORIES
GRAND ENTRANCE:
4.7
1/10th deduction INSUFFICIENT FROTH, 2/10ths deduction TL;DR
TALKING POINTS: 4.5
2/10ths deduction GLOBAL WARMING, 2/10ths deduction NATIONAL SECURITY, 1/10th deduction JIMMY CARTER

SCORE: 9.2

FREE PROGRAM
STYLE:
4.7
1/10th deduction LEFT EARLY, 2/10th deduction EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED
DIFFICULTY: 4.6
2/10ths deduction LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE, 2/10ths deduction ELEMENTARY HISTORICAL ERROR (CATEGORY: 20th CENTURY AMERICAN WARS)

SCORE: 9.3
posted by Kwine at 10:57 PM on March 3, 2009 [21 favorites]


PREMISE: The Democrats are not organized enough to mount such a psi-ops campaign.

FLAW IN PREMISE: The White House != The Democrats.

Obama's organization is easily organized enough and clever/devious enough to do it. All it took was a couple of well placed jabs at Rush, really. I don't think it was an intentional plan, but I think they saw the reaction to Obama's comments in the closed door meeting with Republicans and decided to keep setting bait to see who they could catch.
posted by empath at 11:02 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm inclined to agree with your assessment, empath. I don't think any devious plot was hatched within the DNC -- but I can readily imagine that they took advantage of an existing situation and nudged it in the right direction.
posted by RavinDave at 1:01 AM on March 4, 2009


Do you remember the Reagan Revolution? Well now you can get that feeling all over again with Time-Life's newest series: "Right-Wing Greatest Hits!"

You'll get "demanding 'discussion' to imply my outrageous statement had intellectual merit:"

How about discussing what part of my post is wrong instead of dismissing it outright because you think it's cliche.

There's "victim status!"

Generalizations about the history, ethos, and membership of the Republican party number in the dozens in this thread. I think it's only fair to let me do the same.

And who can forget the classic love song "liberals are the intolerant ones!"

so maybe before you label the entire conservative movement a bunch of backwards Limbaugh-listening retards you'll straighten out your facts and stop making yourself look so damn close-minded.

Yes, they're all here and more.

Okay, seriously, people, Autarsky walked in here and opened the conversation by declaring that the New Deal was a failure and liberals support eugenics programs. When the nice hobo on the street corner does that to me, I'm somehow able to walk by him without responding.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:44 AM on March 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Autarky wrote: and some (Coburn) are actually quite good

Well, at least now I know where you're from, which goes a long way to explaining your point of view (either that or it was a very well played troll). What you don't seem to understand is that our neighbors, while seeming quite reasonable when you are talking about something other than politics devolve into drooling morons spouting conspiracy theories and going on about the illegal aliens and the government stealing their money when politics comes into play. Coburn is quite the offender in this regard. He's a fucking idiot in almost every respect, yet you manage to come back with this "oh, but he's principled about not spending money" comment. Yeah, he's a sexist racist warmongering homophobe who thinks it's the fault of the residents of a town when a mining company pollutes the hell out of their area, but at least he wants the government never to spend a dime.

Except for, you know, throwing people in prison, waging war, and legislating against women, gays, and minorities, and whatever else he's supporting this week. He's only a little bit pregnant. (and there I go devolving..but Coburn is worth it)

I mean, where else can you have an election on a bond issue to fix the roads in a state where the roads are almost undeniably the worst in the nation and the bridges are literally crumbling as we drive over them and yet a majority of the voters think the roads aren't that bad and the problem is just an invention by the media in cahoots with construction companies looking for business?

Caduceus wrote: I love that one of the ways that Autarky supports his point that Rush Limbaugh isn't totally representative of the Republican party is that he, himself, has not listened to Limbaugh for almost a year. That's really impressive, man. Did you get a patch for that?

In Oklahoma, that is quite an impressive feat. When your choices for news radio are the likes of KRMG and KFAQ (and their equivalents), the chances of forming a halfway informed opinion are essentially nil. The social pressure to listen to that dreck is immense. Personally, I've been sans-Limbaugh since about 1995, although I'm not from here and watched his TV show because it was funny to my teenaged self.
posted by wierdo at 4:58 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia

In all seriousness, I can. not. wait.
posted by DU at 5:03 AM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


It needs to be cleansed of old deadwood, bad thinking, and omgthehate.

Oh, I'm so sorry. I really apologize. You Democrats were such great opponents during the Bush years, you were so gracious. There was never any deranged hatred for Bush, Cheney, et al.

Except for, you know, throwing people in prison, waging war, and legislating against women, gays, and minorities, and whatever else he's supporting this week. He's only a little bit pregnant. (and there I go devolving..but Coburn is worth it)

At least he didn't drive a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and leave his passenger to fend for herself...but I devolve. Kennedy's worth it, though. Or are irrelevant personal attacks only okay when it's Republican politicians you're talking about?
posted by Autarky at 5:18 AM on March 4, 2009


The backwards, misogynistic, anti-scientific legislation Coburn supports isn't an irrelevant personal attack. It is precisely on-point.
posted by DU at 5:21 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


But DU, Kennedy drowned that girl!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:22 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


PREMISE: The Democrats are not organized enough to mount such a psi-ops campaign.

Yes they are. They are doing it now. Do a google news search. Everyone in the party is calling the GOP the party of Limbaugh. (The faux apology letter from the DCCC is my favorite.

And Obama started this in the campaign if you'll remember. Associating Rush with the GOP was his bit from the first.

This isn't the weak, sniveling Clinton-era Democrats. Its a real party, with real solutions that out-raises, out-thinks, out-GOTVs, out politics and out-votes the competition. It took Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana last election. Currently this Democratic party holds huge cushions in both houses of congress (note they have much larger margins than the Republicans ever did), as well as the White House.

Its always good to stay sharp, but to act timidly for fear we will lose in 2010 or 2012 is a losing strategy.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:26 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Link to DCCC apology
posted by DU at 5:30 AM on March 4, 2009


Tit-for-tat.
The Republicans are largely responsible for starting the whole "socialism, nationalization" meme. So, the Dems roll with the "Rush is your leader" meme.

We're fucked. Nothing is going to be accomplished. Nothing. It's like thousands of Neros fiddling. And it just keeps getting more and more surreal. I fully expect some nutter branch of conservatives to eventually start seriously agitating for Obama's impeachment on grounds of treason. Socialism is the enemy of our free-market system, afterall. And the 24-hour news cycle will give it legs.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:30 AM on March 4, 2009


Also, Tom Coburn did abortions.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:30 AM on March 4, 2009


At least he didn't drive a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and leave his passenger to fend for herself

you mean like bush did with new orleans?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:35 AM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


turning America into an amoral socialist European dystopia

I'm guessing that Autarky has never been to Europe and that everything he knows about dystopias he's learned from his favorite kind of fiction.

Incidentally, watching a conservative calling himself "Autarky" rant about amoral dystopias is what passes for high comedy these days. North Korea, chief, is practically an autarky. So was Franco's Spain. And for a time, Maoist China. And Hoxha's Albania. Ceausescu wanted Romania to be an autarky. And ... well, you can see where this is going.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:44 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, I'm so sorry. I really apologize. You Democrats were such great opponents during the Bush years, you were so gracious. There was never any deranged hatred for Bush, Cheney, et al.

At least he didn't drive a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and leave his passenger to fend for herself...but I devolve. Kennedy's worth it, though. Or are irrelevant personal attacks only okay when it's Republican politicians you're talking about?


This isn't baseball. It isn't about individual politicians who we do or do not like. We support or oppose politicians based on THEIR INDIVIDUAL POLICIES. We evaluate parties based on THE BELIEFS OF THEIR LEADERS.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:07 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Big turd keep on steamin,
Proud throwback keep on dreamin,
Trollin, trollin, trollin on the forum.


Apologies to miss lynnster
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:08 AM on March 4, 2009


They see me trollin',
They hatin'.
They hopin' that they gonna catch me postin' dirty.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:12 AM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


hippie weed-smoking militant atheists who run off to Canada every time a war starts

The Democrats do not represent me. Especially not Ted Kennedy. Man, you just knew he was going to make an appearance, didn't you? It's like when you see a gun in the first act.
posted by box at 7:12 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kennedy's worth it, though.

Jesus Christ, the man's dying of brain cancer. Show a little class.
posted by EarBucket at 7:15 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]




A month after Michael Steele became the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, key party leaders are worried that the GOP has made a costly mistake. - Politico
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:17 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


militant atheists

This reminds me of how the Right uses words like "militant" or "warfare". It generally means someone oppressed has started fighting back. A "militant feminist" is someone who points out how women have been being subjugated for centuries. "Class warfare" is when poor people want rich people to pay their fair share. Etc. "Militant atheist" must be someone who objects to the (illegal!) hyper-religifying of the public square.
posted by DU at 7:18 AM on March 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


In fairness, though, the proletariat have often used the term "class warfare" to describe their struggle.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:20 AM on March 4, 2009


Operation Rushbo: it seems this was more planned than I thought.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:22 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, but the Right only uses it to refer to progressive taxation and the like. That is, they only use the word "warfare" to describe the redistributive activities of the poor, not those exploitive activities of the rich.
posted by DU at 7:26 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


"[Steele] even threw a shout-out to 'one-armed midgets'.”
Michael, if the GOP fires you, call Howard Stern. He might need a new sidekick.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:40 AM on March 4, 2009


At least he didn't drive a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and leave his passenger to fend for herself...but I devolve. Kennedy's worth it, though. Or are irrelevant personal attacks only okay when it's Republican politicians you're talking about?

None of those were personal attacks, unlike yours. They were attacks on policies of government advanced by Coburn.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:44 AM on March 4, 2009


Its the same with celebrity and politics. People listen to Rush because he gives them "news" in a way that's entertaining. I don't blame them; I like the Daily Show for the same reason. And let's be honest: picking a spiritual leader IS the job most people do. It's called democracy: I don't vote on 95% of the policies that are enacted but I do vote for a person to enact them; I vote for those people based on whether or not I think they look like good leaders; effective politicians understand this and try to position themselves as spiritual leaders, in image if not in fact; and the fact that Republicans cannot seem to find a spiritual leader is symptomatic of their failure (at this moment) to be good at politics.

This.

This is why I'm actually a little concerned about the prospect of a Rush Limbaugh candidacy -- the "Jesse Ventura" effect. Like him or not, Rush Limbaugh does speak for a number of people in the country -- not everyone in the Republican party, but a number of people.

Now, a question -- how many of those people may not have voted before, and how many of them would maybe vote if Rush ran?

That's what I'm afraid of -- that Rush's support is greater than we think. Jesse Ventura didn't just win becuase of his politics -- he also won because there was a huge number of Minnsesota voters who had never voted before, because they didn't think it was worth the bother because they didn't feel represented, and then when Ventura ran, they signed up and elected him in. And the "didn't feel represented" could have included independant voters, yes, but could also have included "wrestling fans who didn't see the bother".

...How may Rush fans like that do we think may be out there? How much of an impact could they have? That's the part that throws me.

And on to other things:

Oh, I'm so sorry. I really apologize. You Democrats were such great opponents during the Bush years, you were so gracious. There was never any deranged hatred for Bush, Cheney, et al.

Just like there never was any deranged hatred for Clinton and Gore in the 90's, eh what?

...But that's actually neither here nor there, Autarky. I'm actually far more interested in your assertion that the New Deal was a "failure". Can you elaborate upon this particular opinion?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 AM on March 4, 2009


During this winter's nasty, tight contest for chairman, Steele promised that, if elected, he would be able to say to the party and to America: “And now, for something completely different.”

LOL.
posted by EarBucket at 7:57 AM on March 4, 2009


Autarky, I started off agreeing somewhat with you about:

and yes, you can't have this kind of rational discussion in any
other place but MeFi.

thank you and good night :)

I can honestly say this is one of the most sickening and depressing things I have ever read on the internet.


I understand your initial premise. Metafilter is left-leaning in its membership and naturally isn't exactly the best at discussing the intricacies of inter-conservative squabbles. You can get the same effect in reverse at LGF if you roll to the left (MeFi has a much higher thoughtful comment-to-talking points ratio, though). If you had just left it at that, there might not had been a problem. But you choose to specifically attack sets of politics that are popular with many people here on top of that. You walked into a RNC meeting wearing a Ted Kennedy t-shirt. Sure, you have every right to do so, but you're still trolling.

On the subject of the post, this is a pretty insightful commentary from a soon-to-be excluded conservative. Right-wing Rousseauism, indeed.
posted by cimbrog at 8:14 AM on March 4, 2009


What all this tells me is that the GOP still has some ways to fall. They aren't going to be resurgent in 2010 because the fratricide has to have a winner and 2010 will provide the winner to challenge the ascendency of the Democrats. 2012 will be the time and place. If the Rush Limbaugh wing of the party wins, look for Obama to crush the GOP, possibly out of existence for a different party of the right. If the David Brooks wing (small as it is) wins, then they will be able to start mounting a serious challenge. But if the economy largely recovers by 2012, then Obama will still win.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2009


Kennedy's worth it, though.

Kennedy To Be Knighted
"...Queen Elizabeth is bestowing the accolade to Kennedy in part for his services to Northern Ireland, but also for his work over a lifetime providing greater access to healthcare for children and greater access to education around the world."
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on March 4, 2009


From CunningLinguist's link:
Limbaugh is embracing the line of attack, suggesting a certain symbiosis between him and his political adversaries.

"The administration is enabling me,” he wrote in an e-mail to POLITICO. “They are expanding my profile, expanding my audience and expanding my influence....”

The bigger, the better, agreed Carville. “It’s great for us, great for him, great for the press,” he said of Limbaugh. “The only people he’s not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress.”
Oh, awesome.
posted by grouse at 8:55 AM on March 4, 2009


David Plouffe/Washington Post: Minority Leader Limbaugh.

Washington Post: GOP Seeks Balance With Conservative Icon Limbaugh.
"For a man who expresses no desire to lead the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh has a knack for creating problems for those who do."
posted by ericb at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2009


this is a pretty insightful commentary

I'm awfully sympathetic to Dreher and his Crunchy Cons--even though the actual policies that emerge from his criticisms too often still look like (sub)urban Republicanism more than anything else--but note that a significant fraction of even his commenters still can't bear to hear ill spoken of Rush or wish to defend him somehow as an "entertainer." (On Rush-as-entertainer: how odd is it that the sorts of people to whom "Hollywood" is a foul word and who spent 8 years castigating entertainers for even voicing a political opinion, should chose to defend a man who's never had an opinion he didn't shout as an entertainer?)

I think lots of conservatives/Republicans really do think Rush is the head of their movement/party; lots probably wish he had an official role; and at the moment, at least, lots of them are like these protesters.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2009


If the Rush Limbaugh wing of the party wins, look for Obama to crush the GOP, possibly out of existence for a different party of the right.


This kind of triumphalism is plain silly. It was only a matter of months ago that Rove and his men were proclaiming the same sort of thing in reverse. A week is a lifetime in politics yadda yadda.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:18 AM on March 4, 2009


GOP to Michael Steele: Quiet About Rush Limbaugh or You're Fired
"'What is amazing is that Steele was elected because of his communications skills, and it is those skills that are damaging the Republican Party. Before people begin to completely judge him as worthless, Steele needs to focus and knuckle down on building a strong foundation at RNC so we can begin rebuilding our majority,' says a top GOP strategist who has worked for House and Senate Republican leaders. 'If his implosion continues, RNC members are likely to call a special session to dump him for an effective chairman. There is not much patience for failure.'"
posted by ericb at 9:24 AM on March 4, 2009


There is not much patience for failure.

That explains the speed with which they impeached Bush after Iraq and Katrina.
posted by DU at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Rush and Coulter may not be role models, but they're a hell of a lot better than Michael Moore and Al Franken and all of your sellout liberal "journalists"
posted by Autarky at 9:02 PM on March 3


Ann Coulter called John Edwards a faggot, called for the destruction of the New York Times building, and said that women should not be allowed to vote. She thinks our motto should be, and I quote: "raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences."

Here is what she said about women whose husbands were killed in the 9/11 attacks:

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them. ... I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."

This is the person you choose to ally with. And by the way, that's Senator Al Franken to you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


Media Matters launches Limbaugh Wire.
posted by ericb at 9:33 AM on March 4, 2009


House Republican Leadership Refuse To Say If Rush Limbaugh Is The Leader Of Their Party.
posted by ericb at 9:34 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has issued the following statement:
"I’m sorry Limbaugh called for harsh sentences for drug addicts while he was a drug addict. I’m also sorry that he’s bent on seeing America fail. And I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being."
posted by ericb at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


House Republican Leadership Refuse To Say If Rush Limbaugh Is The Leader Of Their Party.

Wow. Reads like an Onion hed, especially when joined by that thoughfully posed stock photo of Boehny.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has issued the following statement...

Easy now, Democrats. Never interrupt your opponent when she or he is making a mistake.

Obama and crew got the ball started, but the Republicans are rolling with it now. Let them roll.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on March 4, 2009


Well, well, turns out it is a Democratic Psyops operation.

The seeds were planted in October after Democracy Corps, the Democratic polling company run by Carville and Greenberg, included Limbaugh’s name in a survey and found that many Americans just don’t like him.

“His positives for voters under 40 was 11 percent,” Carville recalled with a degree of amazement, alluding to a question about whether voters had a positive or negative view of the talk show host.

Paul Begala, a close friend of Carville, Greenberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, said they found Limbaugh’s overall ratings were even lower than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s controversial former pastor, and William Ayers, the domestic terrorist and Chicago resident who Republicans sought to tie to Obama during the campaign.


These are our salad days. I'm going to enjoy them.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:37 AM on March 4, 2009


If he's really making trouble for the GOP, and getting rich off of it, this won't end well.
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:56 AM on March 4, 2009


Well, well, turns out it is a Democratic Psyops operation.

Pretty good example of a blog kicking the crap out of newspaper journalism.

Geez, GOP's in a corner here. Every R-congressman/woman has gotta be scared about getting asked, "Do you want the president to fail?" or "Do you think that hoping or wishing for the country to fail under another party's president unpatriotic?

I just hope the Dems don't get too caught up in this bullshit and are using it to get good votes ... which hasn't happened yet.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:58 AM on March 4, 2009


"I’m sorry Limbaugh called for harsh sentences for drug addicts while he was a drug addict. I’m also sorry that he’s bent on seeing America fail. And I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being."

- Rep. Ultimate Hustler (D-FYAD)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2009


Only 11% of Republicans actually agree that Rush leads their party. But as long as Dems and Rush himself are happy to run with it, what can the party do to change the storyline?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2009


While it is nice that the Democrats have finally discovered a media strategy, I guess, it just drives home to me, once again, how cooked most media news is in this nation. It's not about figuring out if the Republicans actually are beholden to Limbaugh (although that seems likely, given how leaders are forced to kiss his ring when they diss him), but about painting them as such. It's not pleasant when either side does this.
posted by JHarris at 12:08 PM on March 4, 2009


Only 11% of Republicans actually agree that Rush leads their party. But as long as Dems and Rush himself are happy to run with it, what can the party do to change the storyline?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:05 PM on March 4 [+] [!]


Not quite.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 12:21 PM on March 4, 2009


yeah that link to TPM shows the Rasmussen polling language was very sketchy. Rasmussen is a GOP shop.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2009


"He says jump and they say how high?" Jesus. What a bullshit poll question.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:30 PM on March 4, 2009


“In the game of politics, these people are griefers.”

Funny, that’s exactly what I was thinking. And truly they are an odious class of individual. I suspect most of it is unconscious though. More akin to ‘this guy cut me off, so I’m going to cut him off and slow down and impede him however I can.’ If it were conscious, yeah, that’s about as close to consciously being evil as I can think of.

“The ideal of freedom of speech has been taken too far in the US; I would argue, further than the founders intended. They grew up and lived in a society in which griefers and trolls were about of unheard-of as marketing or day trading.”

Aaand that’s where ya lost me. Answer to free speech U no like/more free speech, all that. Plus your historical perspective is factually incorrect. The screeds in the founders age were far more scathing. I’ll grant, more likely in earnest, and most certainly well written given the education in letters those folks had.
But no, they were far more steeped in the depths agitating propaganda than we are now and, likely, better at it. Or at least classier.
On the other hand, they still had duels. Which is a great release of that tension – not that I’m advocating that, merely an observation that writing how, say John Adams screws his mother while he blows goats might be tempered by the knowledge that he can call ya out.
And in the guilded age? It got *worse *

“I'm strongly conservative. I voted straight Republican in November.”

See those two things don’t connect for me. Locally I punched some GOP, in Illinois it’s tough to vote Dem (corruption). But I prefer 3rd party.
Nationally, the GOP hasn’t had a conservative message since…hell, I don’t know when. I tend to vote the person and their issue focus, not the party or even what they label themselves.

Insofar as Obama goes, I think trotting him out as a goat is as bad as putting him on a pedestal. It’s not his job to get the country back on track. It’s our job. Only difference with Obama is you don’t have someone in the white house actively discouraging and working against that.
Far as I’m concerned he could completely drop the ball, but if we all do our jobs and pull together we’ll straighten the country out. A lot of conservatives are on board with that. Plenty of other thinkers as well. The bullshit side of this is where Limbaugh, O’Reilly, et.al. call out politicians who then have to come and kiss their ass because they (the pundits) are so high profile.
In WWII the country was pulling together. Lots of mistakes were made (Japanese internment comes to mind – funny how it was a ‘liberal’ who did that, yeah?). But you didn’t have people sticking a bar through the spokes of the wheels just to do it. Rush and his ilk are the equivalent of Tokyo rose and other propagandists who exist only to run things down and demoralize and antagonize people. That the GOP allows this, that no one’s come to repudiate Rush, et.al. is shameful. At best.

“This isn't the weak, sniveling Clinton-era Democrats. Its a real party, with real solutions that out-raises, out-thinks, out-GOTVs, out politics and out-votes the competition.”

Well, y’know, if Obama hadn’t won the primary – it would have been sniveling. It would have been back to ‘do’ (or ‘doh!’). The only thing that saved the Dems was the style and method with which Obama pursued office. If they had succeeded in chopping him off early – and it could have been done – it’d be party politics as usual. As I’ve said before, Obama is an incredibly dangerous man. His organization is very, very effective and could easily consolidate a great amount of power very swiftly and with the complete acceptance – tacit or overt – of the U.S. citizenry. He could do it out in the open. Unlike Bush who had to hide everything. He’s that good. The only thing that allays, at least my own, fears is the structure. How he organizes. He’s inclusive, open, and accepts advice and his operation requires breadth and multipoint perspective – which is why people lend him all this credibility. Which is why he really couldn’t just grasp the sword and hew about himself wildly. Sort of a catch-22 for him.

But for this, he’d be a tyrant. As it is, I think if Clinton won – and she had a fair chance - what Autarky is saying would be closer to the truth across a wider spectrum.
As it is there has been a sea change with Obama and politics are now more about actually getting things done and engaging people to do it, not just rhetoric while the country blindly finds its own way.
And really, it has to be now. We’re too close to the bone.

“These are our salad days. I'm going to enjoy them.”

Which, again, is where Autarky has a bit of a point. Not only the eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, but that, if the Dems are in earnest, that is, if they’re actually interested in following Obama, they’d focus more on getting shit done by bringing folks in and leading them to work than playing one up with morans.
Michelle Obama has been kicking serious ass on that front lately. But she’s always been big on community service.

“But DU, Kennedy drowned that girl!”

She drowned herself, dude. Fuckin' amateurs.

(Aside: Albert Brooks doing Schwartzenegger calling the Kennedy’s just after marrying Maria still makes me guffaw: ‘Tell ‘im vy dunt chu drive dah cah off da bridge? Go drive dah cah off da bridge!’ – Funny.)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


But you didn’t have people sticking a bar through the spokes of the wheels just to do it.

Actually the Chicago Tribune's enmity for FDR knew no bounds of decency during wartime.
posted by troy at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2009


Well, y’know, if Obama hadn’t won the primary – it would have been sniveling. It would have been back to ‘do’ (or ‘doh!’). The only thing that saved the Dems was the style and method with which Obama pursued office. If they had succeeded in chopping him off early – and it could have been done – it’d be party politics as usual.

I'd argue that the fact that Clinton didn't win the primary is evidence itself of Democrats playing by a new playbook. More than just style, his method of campaigning was way better than either of his two main opponents. And that method came from Howard Dean. the 50-state strategy, the internet connectivity, the massive, small-donor machine, all were hallmarks of Dean's '04 run.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


What a bullshit poll question.

Scott Rasmussen is a really, really good pollster when it comes to election horse races. If you want to know how much Candidate A leads Candidate B, he's your man. When it comes to questions of public opinion, though, he's just awful. He routinely uses loaded questions to ensure that he gets the right-leaning responses he's fishing for.
posted by EarBucket at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2009


Limbaugh has been a devastating mouthpiece for the GOP all these years, but it's always been a support role that smoothed down right-wing incompetence or created a smokescreen for the anti-middle class and working class power grabs or gifts to the obscenely wealthy and powerful, that have been at the foundation of GOP policies.

He's pounded the crap out of the Dems all this time by wielding a sledgehammer, on any and every issue that has ever required even the tiniest smidgen of nuance, or understanding or patience or thought and he's done it by appealing to and encouraging fear and ignorance.

But it was a support role. A secondary role. His persona was never, ever designed to be the leading edge, or the fulcrum (or insert your own analogy here) of the party or its most public face. He was the ever vigilant busy bad cop to the good cop of whoever was the leader of the party for that cycle, whether that was Reagan, HW Bush, (or in '94 when he really began to assert his influence), Gingrich, Delay or W.

I am amazed that he's let himself be put in the present position. He knows fully well, where his greatest strength and value lies, but maybe in a party in such floundering moribund disarray, he's trying to supply that "good cop" component that is no longer available to him or if it is he's become corrupted enough by his influence to think that he can play that role as well.

The days when the mythology or brand of Reagan pervaded the GOP are over. W. and the neocon's ran it into the ground in the most reckless manner and without that component the party has been revealed for the huge corrupt lie that it has become. They alienated stupidly alienated the traditional conservatives for the social conservatives and for what seemed there a terrifying bit between 2002 and 2005, it seemed that the rise of a Christian evangelist theocracy was a real possibility, but even that segment could see that they were simply being manipulated for votes. And the incompetence and failures of W. and the Neocon's just became too much for anyone to stomach.

This thing happening here has been too long in coming. Limbaugh has been the predominant weeping pus-filled parasite infected sore on the body politic of this country for much much too long, and I can only see his flailing and growing irrelevance and desperation to jump start the now dead myth of the Reagan revolution, as a sign of new found political health in this country, and like any parasite infection in retrograde it is attacking itself now, because it's immense need for new flesh is not working, and just in time, because we're way way past the time when this country needs to get beyond his brand of ruinous polarization.

I hate to say it, but after 20 plus years of hearing this guy spew his toxic BS I'm going to enjoy this immensely.

Also, this is some of the neatest progressive Kung Fu, I've ever seen.


(Great FPP title btw.)
posted by Skygazer at 1:39 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Let's make a deal: You didn't own slaves, and I didn't torture innocent people. OK?

I'm not so sure. I can calculate the amount of my taxes that have been used for military purposes, a good chunk of which were immoral and/or illegal. Under the Bush Admin, my labor funded torture via my US taxes, (and even now, still builds bombs, and so on).
In my defense, I don't have a hell of a lot of say in this matter. But I did have the power to, for example, move to a country where my labor does not fund torture, which suggests at least a degree of moral culpability.

If there is a God, and there is a Final Accounting, coldly tallied without rose-colored glasses, how much blood is on my hands?
I don't know. But people were tortured on my watch, so to speak. That bothers me.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:40 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


aeschenkarnos wrote "The ideal of freedom of speech has been taken too far in the US; I would argue, further than the founders intended."

I was with you right up to that.

In the second place, it doesn't matter what the founding fathers intended, what matters is the text of the document. It says "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" Except for the fact that it should simply have read "freedom of communication", rather than specifying two particular media, I can think of no way to improve on that sentiment.

To me that means that not only is scat porn, or whatever other gross thing you can think of, legal, but so too is pretty much any speech. Actual inciting to riot, I'll make an exception for, likewise specific calls for the death of an individual seem quite risky and probably don't belong under free speech, but even in those cases I'm not at all comfortable saying, blanket, that incitement to riot or incitement to murder, are not covered by the 1st Amendment. Slippery slopes and all that, right?

But mere trolling should not be prohibited speech. That would be alarmingly easy for people to twist into a ban on pretty much any speech they dislike.

And, as others have observed, you're factually incorrect, the mudslinging and trolling back in the day was at least as bad as it is today, if not worse. Whether or not the people trolling back then actually believed their position I can't say, but the rhetoric was at least as heated.

smedleyman wrote "Japanese internment comes to mind – funny how it was a ‘liberal’ who did that, yeah?"

Yeah, but remember that then VP Truman was a member of the KKK (reluctant, but still), and that FDR threw anti-lynching legislation under the bus to get his economic programs pushed through. Yesterday's liberal is today's conservative. A liberal from nearly a hundred years ago is practically paleolithic by modern standards.

His willingness to offer up blacks on the alter of lynching demonstrates, I think, that above all else, FDR was a believer in real politik and pragmatism. Which can be admirable traits in measured doses, but I do think he took things too far. He let the League of Nations wither and die rather than put his political career on the line to fight for it. He went with the politically expedient internment program rather than do what was both Constitutional and right. You could call him opportunistic and I don't think you'd be far wrong. I would disagree that opportunism was his only characteristic or drive, but I don't think its possible to realistically deny that it was a major factor in his life and politics.

I'm sure that both FDR and Trueman would be horrified by the gay rights movement and modern liberalism's support thereof.

And, really, I'd argue that, much like Obama, FDR was mostly liberal on the subjects of economy and foreign policy. Not so much on the social front. I suppose the mean spirited could argue that Obama has taken an "I've got mine" approach to social issues; and who knows, it might be an accurate assessment. He's certainly shown no enthusiasm, or even willingness, to fight for true equality under the law for homosexuals.

Autarky wrote "Oh, I'm so sorry. I really apologize. You Democrats were such great opponents during the Bush years, you were so gracious. There was never any deranged hatred for Bush, Cheney, et al. "

Nice to see at least one Republican recognizes reality.

What's that? He was being sarcastic?! Really? Damn.....
posted by sotonohito at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I spent some time today perusing some of the comments at Hotair.com over the whole circus (I know, glutton for punishment).

A lot of folks spin the whole thing as a positive. Their reasoning: this will cause more people to listen to Rush, these people will then see the light and see what a fraud Obama is.

I listened to Rush a couple of days ago (I know: glutton for punishment. what can I say, where I live there is nothing interesting happening on the radio in the afternoon). He had worked himself up to a good froth, and kept spitting out the phrase "Obama Butt-boy!" over and over again.

Butt-boy! Butt-boy! Butt-boy! Seriously, he said it like 15 times in 5 minutes. It was so viscerally unpleasant, just imagining ol' Rush hunched over his microphone, spittle flying from his mouth, chanting his favorite phrase of the day, "Obama Butt-boy! Obama Butt-boy" over and over.

And I'm thinking, these people really think that folks who are unfamiliar with Rush, and become curious because of this kerfluffle, and tune in for the first time, and hear THAT, are going to become FANS?! And suddenly become convinced that Obama is the problem?!

I really, really hope a lot of people are tuning into Rush for the first time. I hope his ratings are soaring.
posted by the bricabrac man at 2:41 PM on March 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Debate me". I would love to hear this.
posted by dagosto at 2:48 PM on March 4, 2009


Don't miss the first segment of Monday's Daily Show, if only for the description of the appearance of "the outermost shell of a Rush Limbaugh nesting doll."
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:59 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


“The ideal of freedom of speech has been taken too far in the US; I would argue, further than the founders intended. They grew up and lived in a society in which griefers and trolls were about of unheard-of as marketing or day trading.”

Aaand that’s where ya lost me.


Seriously. See: Election of 1800 ^ Campaign
posted by mrgrimm at 2:59 PM on March 4, 2009


It needs to be cleansed of old deadwood, bad thinking, and omgthehate.
Oh, I'm so sorry. I really apologize. You Democrats were such great opponents during the Bush years, you were so gracious. There was never any deranged hatred for Bush, Cheney, et al.


Whatevers, useless dude. I fail to see how the Democrats even begin to enter the picture when one is talking about Republican reformation, but if it keeps your knob hard, keep at it!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:09 PM on March 4, 2009


This guy is saying he wants America to fail and he still has advertisers on his show? Sounds like an angry letter writing, blogging, phone, etc campaign against his advertisers is really the only way to shut him up.

According to some blog its: Onstar, eHarmony, AutoZone, and Pfizer (giggle). Why isnt anyone going to these people and telling them what their advertising dollars really subsidizes. Its incredible. If someone on the left said this there would be boycotts organized in minutes.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:47 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


^ actually he wants Obama's policy initatives to not succeed.

The whole "oppose the mission not the men" framing.
posted by troy at 5:11 PM on March 4, 2009


"I hope Obama fails"

Not "I hope his policy initiatives do not succeed" -- but "I hope Obama fails."

You can look it up.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:28 PM on March 4, 2009


Ever tried to talk someone out of a delusion? It's damn near impossible. -Bitter Old Punk

You can't can rarely reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into.
posted by wires at 8:05 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Actually the Chicago Tribune's enmity for FDR knew no bounds of decency during wartime."
So there you go. Continuity in this shitstorming. Ugh. Not heartening really. Still, hopefully folks who ignored that, pulled together, etc. have remained the same and will pull through this. I've noticed the Al Capone maxim to be true from the other side of the street as well - you do indeed get further with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word - but you don't always have to be holding the gun.

"I'd argue that the fact that Clinton didn't win the primary is evidence itself of Democrats playing by a new playbook."
Yeah, I'd have to agree. It did still take time, effort, money, etc. But almost all large organizations are slow and resistant to change. But I'd say that augments my point. In that, if Clinton did win - no new playbook, yeah?

"I'm sure that both FDR and Trueman would be horrified by the gay rights movement and modern liberalism's support thereof."

Well, I'm a philosophical conservative. I don't think government should push society to change. At times, I'll cede, it's necessary. And really, I'm not against all change. But I am strongly in favor of the preservation of our institutions. Free speech among them.
And I'd argue the reverse - conservativism in earlier times made possible future liberalism.
(With the given that those terms come attached to the meaning in which I mean them - hopefully obvious from the context).
But those arguments work like the name 'Otto' - ok going backwards or forwards.

If society is ready for that progression - that is - we patently weren't ready for the gay rights movement 50 years ago, and there'd likely be disorder and violence on a large enough scale to cause chaos - it's because of the preservation of the institutions that allow for that (albeit slow) change.

I guess I wanted to hammer home that it's not the labels that matter much. Reason and compassion isn't vested in someone or in an institution because it's liberal or conservative or whatnot.
I mean, plenty of asshats have been saying "I'm a conservative" but doing nothing like preservation. Quite the opposite, it's been fairly radical.
I could go around calling myself "Doctor" Smedleyman, but I doubt anyone will let me practice medicine.
Ya are what ya do.

What really pisses me off is that this is more than just the labels. Politics, really, is just a rubric to get actual shit done. Like fixing the roads, keeping the sewers open, the water flowing, etc.
Why does Limbaugh even matter? It's like arguing about arguing - about arguing - about how someone feels about a game of Monopoly they had.
F'ing soap opera crap.
Most of the whining, seems to me, is about people with too much money hiring people to bitch that the government is going to take it away from them to get that stuff done.

Me, I like roads.

And it's about time we gave more credence to guys who can actually swing hammers and plant shovels than people who talk about talking about ways to maybe do it or not do it or whatever.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:16 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Frum: "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."
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:58 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sounds like an angry letter writing, blogging, phone, etc campaign against his advertisers is really the only way to shut him up.

Why would we want to shut him up? It's like having Palin 24x7. It's like a Jindal disaster every day. Keeping Rush Limbaugh's ravings on the air in charge of the conservative voice should be the second priority of every liberal (the first is single payer healthcare).
posted by DU at 5:10 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's just a figurehead - a clown!

Fears of a Clown
“As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else — the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly — he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad.

Behold:

The sweaty, swollen man in the black, half-buttoned shirt who ranted for nearly 90 minutes Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He reiterated his desire to see the president of his country fail. He misstated the Constitution’s intent while accusing President Obama of ‘bastardizing’ the document. He made fun of one man’s service in Vietnam, to laughter.

David Letterman compared him to an Eastern European gangster. But he looked more like a bouncer at a strip club who spent all his tips on one bad outfit. And for the Republican Party, Limbaugh has become very much a vice.

….We are witnessing the worst debacle of unfettered capitalism in our lifetime brought on by — you got it, capitalism at its worst. It cannibalized itself. Government, sad to say, had nothing to do with it — except for criminal neglect of oversight.

Now that government has been forced to the rescue, just who is insisting on taxpayer bailouts? Who is in line for handouts? Who is saying that only government can save capitalism? The very leaders of unregulated markets who injected this poison into the economy, the very plutocrats that Limbaugh celebrates.

And, of course, let us never forget that the bailouts of banks and insurance companies were initiated by the Republican president Limbaugh defended for eight years.

Of late, Limbaugh has wondered why he has trouble with women. His base is white, male, Republican — people the party has to stop pandering to if it hopes to govern soon.

It’s little wonder that the thrice-married Limbaugh, who uses ‘femi-Nazi,’ ‘info-babe’ and ‘PMSNBC’ (Get it? The network is full of women suffering pre-menstrual cramps, ha-ha), among his monikers for women, can’t get a date with that demographic.

For Democrats, this is all going to plan. It was James Carville and associates who first cooked up associating Limbaugh with the opposition, as Politico reported. Then on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Limbaugh was the ‘voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party.’

Limbaugh played his role, ever the fool. A brave Republican could have challenged him, could have had a ‘have you no shame’ moment with him, giving the party some other identity, some spine. Instead, they caved — from Steele, to the leaders in the House, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence, to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who would be ridiculed by Limbaugh for his real first name, Piyush, were he a Democrat.

You could almost hear their teeth clattering in fear of the all-powerful talk radio wacko, the denier of global warming, the man who said Bill Clinton’s economic policies would fail just before an unprecedented run of prosperity.

But Limbaugh has a fear of his own. If people see him purely as an ‘entertainer,’ as Steele suggested, he will be exposed for what he is: a clown with a very large audience.”
posted by ericb at 3:42 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also from that excellent link:

Some expected more mettle from Steele.


One of the best reasons to keep Michael Steele as part head is the awesome puns.
(I'm STILL laughing at Wonkette's hed: "Rush Has Balls of Steele.")
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:37 PM on March 5, 2009


ahem, "party head"
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:37 PM on March 5, 2009


Apparently, Steele is considering taking on a co-chair to handle all of that organizing and planning stuff so that he can focus on going on TV and doing interviews. What a disaster.
posted by EarBucket at 5:05 PM on March 6, 2009


So is Steele the real deal, or is he a puppet? And does he have a plan?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 PM on March 6, 2009


FFF - here's a surprisingly entertaining profile of Steele from today's NYT that suggests the party faces far greater turmoil and hijinx than we can imagine.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:01 AM on March 8, 2009


Buh bye! Steele says he's pro choice, homosexuality is not a choice and he calls the priesthood a "safe closet."

Surely this....
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:22 PM on March 11, 2009


And does he have a plan?

Yes, though I think it's safe to assume that he's the Worst. Cylon. Ever.
posted by mkultra at 8:13 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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