Rush Limbaugh, McCain, Huckabee and ‘the destruction of the Republican Party’ January 31, 2008Posted by WorldbyStorm in US Politics.
Got to love elections. They’re a sort of searing blow torch – at their best – exposing contradiction, ineptitude and downright mistruth. And got to love the Republican primaries because in the latter area we see a strange phenomenon emerge, that is the outing of Rush Limbaugh as… well, you judge…
If proof were needed, not that it really is, that he is truly beyond parody let me direct your attention to his recent words concerning the Presidential Election. Limbaugh has always presented himself as an outsider, a conservative, but one at heart beyond the metropolitan Washington elites. Hence his appeal to those who glory in the term ‘dittoheads’.
So, one might expect that he would be strongly in favour of the two insurgent candidates in the Republican Party, Mike Huckabee and John McCain. One might expect wrong.
On a recent show there was the following exchange:
CALLER: Sorry to deviate from your monologue for just a minute, but you had a woman call yesterday that just frosted me to no end that if either Huckabee or McCain won the nomination she was going to sit the election out.
CALLER: People like her, I coined a term, a call them TV Republicans, and it doesn’t stand for television, it stands for tunnel vision, because they need to take the blinders off and see the bigger picture. If they sit out the general election, the Democrat wins it by default, whichever one of the Three Stooges wins it. Guess what? In the next four years, there’s going to be probably one, maybe two Supreme Court vacancies come up. Do they really want one of the three bozos over there appointing the next two Supreme Court justices? Is Clinton gonna appoint another Ginsburg, or is she going to do another Scalia? Is Obama going to appoint another Justice Thomas or is he going to do somebody like Breyer or Stevens? Do they really want a liberal appointing the next two Supreme Court justices? They need to take the blinders off, Rush. They need to look at the bigger vision and quit being Tunnel Vision Republicans.
RUSH: I understand what you’re saying. I hate to tell you this, but she’s not alone. I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party, it’s going to change it forever, be the end of it. A lot of people aren’t going to vote. You watch.
I feel his pain. I really do. Still, what is his choice? Why, one Mitt Romney, of course.
Surely this demonstrates the effective vacuity of Limbaugh’s approach that he supports the de facto candidate of the Republican establishment against the insurgencies from the conservative religious right and the populist centre right? What is interesting is just how this exposes all the rhetoric as just that. What is more interesting is how it exposes the hegemony of a very specific strand of Republican thinking over the past while, whatever the tactical shifts we have had to endure as regards foreign policy, etc. That this hegemony is ending in complete disarray is fascinating, that it is apparently impossible for some to credit is more fascinating still. What it also points to is an interesting ‘essentialism’ developing amongst some conservatives such as in this example… something the left has often tended to do itself at its own expense. I’ve always found the salami slicing argument an interesting one… the one that goes, “better we lose than we win and find our principles compromised”. Well, yeah. Sure, but hegemony is a funny thing, it’s sometimes a fragile flower that needs at least a fair bit of attention. Keeping the discourse conservative (or whatever) means keeping the political environment conservative. And of course the reverse is also true.
Anyhow, that free piece of advice given, I don’t expect the dittoheads to take up arms against Limbaugh… but some conservative blogs are pondering whether by dissing Huckabee Limbaugh is misreading his own base.
Let’s hope so – eh?