Monday, March 02, 2009

Republicans Handed You Rope And Tied The Knot

Wind the clock back a bit, it's 2008 and the General Election is buzzing right along. The Democratic nominee is attacked as Muslim, terrorist sympathizing, socialistic, appeasing, and quite a few other somewhat mean things with no factual basis, but a lot of heat. The RNC was in the thick and JS McCain participated right up to the Arab part. One other big noise maker was, of course, Rush Limbaugh. Wind ahead a bit after the swearing in and you have a stimulus bill in the House, once again the rhetoric heats up and socialist and other non-factual matters are bandied about, along with a big fat 0 Republican vote. The Senate manages to find 3 Republican Senators frightened enough of their electorate to ignore the rest of the Party and in the face of threats vote Aye. A lot more noise erupts about punishing the turncoats, from RNC to, you guessed it. Rush Limbaugh. Imaginary projects were objected to, false outcomes stated and leading the charge of random lying was...Rush. He went on air and stated that he wanted the President to fail, despite the consequences. A House Republican objected, in terms that suggested Rush not only was wrong in his desire but also that he didn't speak for them. That lasted until the next day when he called into Rush and apologised and named Rush, Hannity, and even Savage as the lions of conservatism. During the broohaha in the negotiations the President suggested they not listen to Rush. In some circles he was roundly criticized for that.

Wind all the way up to the present and you have Rahm Emanuel speaking to Face The Nation about Rush.
He is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party. He has been up front about what he views and hasn't stepped back from that, which is he hopes for failure.

There are signs the Republican leadership is getting nervous about that perception but they are being undermined quickly. Rush gave the closing speech at CPAC this weekend and it was pretty much the usual Rush stuff and generated this review in the Washington Times.
Conservative pundits, party leaders and movement bigwigs took special care to position themselves close by so they could hang on every word of the only person who actually could accomplish what the three-day conference was all about - jump-starting the flagging conservative cause.

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It was an address that could have altered the election had it been delivered early last fall by any Republican presidential candidate.

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But it has not been able to stop that mountain we call Rush. He is much more than an entertainer or a person who can "motivate the base" - as the media repeats like cheap talking points.

He has the uncanny ability to expose the intricate web of bias to those who do not yet know that they should doubt the media's sincerity. Many in the Regency Ballroom on Saturday night were once dupes or elitists like me who were shown the light by a guy who didn't even graduate college.

There's a lot more and it is quite a bit more overblown than these excerpts but I thought I'd give your funny bones a rest. This is right on top of the Republican leaders walk back from "hope for failure."

The speech transcript is here and I'm not going to pull it apart and mock it, though it is mockable. Despite the arrant stupidity of receiving the Constitutional Medal or some such and using "pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness" from the Declaration of Independence as the Preamble to the Constitution it isn't something like that. It is the tone and content that deserves being addressed.

Here is the point of this article, Rush Limbaugh set out in quotable words the de facto position of the Republican Party and this is one of those opportunities that seldom comes around, the opportunity to tie them to an unpopular position and personage. This exists, both in the memory of those curious enough to watch it and in the written record, it cannot be called a misquote or a slip of the tongue. The Republicans went out and bought the rope and tied the knot before they handed it to you and hanging them with it is only finishing the job. A blog article, and there are a lot of them, isn't going to do more than preach to the choir and irritate some trolls, this is the stuff of conversations and letters to the editor.

I'm not going to do the work of tearing this thing apart for you or framing it for you beyond this: because it is an opportunity to capitalize on the brutishness of an individual and a party it pays to be polite and courteous. It may be a struggle not to mock, it may be a struggle to not be furious, but the point is that this is a compare and contrast moment. You win this kind of political confrontation by appearing to be the reasonable and caring one in opposition to the other's behavior and emotional content.

The speech was 80+ minutes long but much shorter in reading and because the themes are repetitious culling what you need much quicker. Since most LTEs are limited in word count you needn't quote much. There are moments in political time when circumstances and opportunism meet with large pay offs and this is one. Take advantage of being handed a tied hangman's noose.

2 comments:

jsg said...

Excellent analysis as always. If nothing else the unholy matrimony of Rush and the GOP has given Poli. Sci. and Soc. majors something to write about for decades to come.

jump-starting the flagging conservative cause.

And driving it over a cliff.

Chuck Butcher said...

I think, no matter how things turn out, that 2000 through 2012 is going to give those folks a lot to work with.

Thanks for stoppin' by 'jsg'