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March 12, 2009

Why Limbaugh is Good for the GOP

None of which I dispute very much. But this is the take-away:

Limbaugh and his conservative critics have more in common than they think. The political import of the last two weeks of Limbaugh-mania is this: The Republicans' decline is now entering a phase in which its members are more emotionally invested in attacking each other than in attacking Obama. As long as that holds true, the White House can safely ignore the opposition, no matter how loud it gets.

I really wish Frum, et al., would make the substantive points they claim are so crucial as to mean the life or death of the party without resorting to personalizing the debate with cheap ad hominems.

If Rush Limbaugh's focus on upper-income-earner tax cuts is wrong, why is it necessary to mention him? Why not just say the focus on upper-income-earner tax cuts are wrong?

Frum and the rest deride Rush Limbaugh for being a grandstanding talk-show host interested primarily in increasing his own ratings by picking high-profile fights, while they are the real thinkers in the party, concerned only with the substance of what's best for America. If that's so, why does every other David Frum piece include a shitty little provocation about Limbaugh or Palin included specifically to create controversy, start a fight, and get traffic?

As Ramesh writes...

It would be destructive for the traditionalists to attempt to purge the reformers, who have some good ideas. But for the reformers to attempt to purge the traditionalists, who outnumber them, is just plain batty. If the reformers succeed, it will be by persuading traditionalists such as Limbaugh, not bulldozing over them.

If Frum's real goal is to help the party, and he thinks Sarah Palin is a empty-headed dolt who will say whatever the political script requires, wouldn't it be in his own best interest to actually win over the mainstream of conservative thought so that Sarah Palin regurgitates all the hard thinkin' Frum's done for her? Surely Frum is aware that is charisma is for shit -- even if he assumes (as he does) he's the brains of this operation, surely he can't be so self-deluded as to imagine he'd make a capable faceman.

So why is he hellbent on personally destroying those with charisma and audience? Why on earth wouldn't he want to retain the services of these brain-dead but smooth-talking troglodytes but enlist them in his own cause?

The answer is obvious. Part of it is gut-level cultural antipathy for people Frum doesn't consider upscale enough for his tastes, but most of it due to the fact that Frum is using food-fights to boost his very low profile even as he raps Limbaugh for being too blunt, crude, and self-promoting.

VDH on the Dust-Up: Here.

Hmmmm... You know, the NYT was recently casting about for a "conservative" (like David Brooks) to fill Bill Kristol's old slot.

The prize went to Ross Douthat at the Atlantic. Like yesterday. I'd congratulate him but I really don't like seeing other people succeed. Despise it, in fact. Pray the government will swoop down on them and destroy their happy-bastard lives. (In this way I am still very much a liberal.)

Point is, however: Seems it would have be an opportune time for a feller to get his name out there, let people know he was a proper conservative (i.e., the sort of conservative NYTs readers would ignore rather than actively despise), show he has what it takes to get conservatives talking about him and linking to him, etc.

Yup. Sure would have been an opportune time for that sorta thing.

Not that I'm suggesting that anything like this at all occurred.



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posted by Ace at 12:41 PM

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