Profiles in Courage: Vladimir Ilyich Limbaugh Intimidating Hapless Republicans
Like his namesake V.I., Limbaugh wants crisis - and damn the regular folks who will suffer the consequences. (Many of the regular folks are Limbaugh worshipers who don't get that he's rooting for a political economic state of affairs in which they will get screwed.) But on Limbaugh's Leninist view crisis will set the stage for a revolution - Republican, that is. This would be laughable except for the fact that the Republicans are spinelessly allowing Rush to whip up extremist fervor among the far right wing of the party. Limbaugh has them thoroughly intimidated.
Last month, we witnessed Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey's shameless apology to V.I. for having spoken the truth. Gingrey had simply stated what is obvious, namely that Limbaugh plays no constructive role in governing and so can easily sit back and spew venomous inanities. (Actually Gingrey didn't go that far, but he ought to have.) But Limbaugh went on the air whining and blustering. So, the good Congressman demonstrated amazing courage as he called in to lick Limbaugh's boots.
This week we have the newly elected Chair of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, following Gingrey's lead. Steele rightly dismissed Limbaugh as an "entertainer" and rightly characterised his tirades as "incendiary" and "ugly." Not much to disagree with there. But, again, V.I. took to the airwaves, whined to his faithful followers, and Steele quickly issued an apology.
Regular readers will know that I don't think very highly of our right wing revolutionary. As I said here not long ago:
"I find Limbaugh loathsome. He is a bigoted, hypocritical drug addict. Politically he is a buffoon, a right-wing windbag who is out of touch with even Republican voters . . ."I see no reason to alter that assessment. Nor can Limbaugh expect any apology.
The problem for the Republicans, of course, is that Rush is sabotaging their ability to attract any portion of the vaguely sane segment of the American electorate. And the craven behavior of Gingrey and Steele (among others in the official and unofficial party hierarchy) just makes matters worse for the party. From my perspective that is all to the good. If the Republicans let this sort of thing go on, they deserve what they get. It will simply confirm my suspicions that they really are quite dim.
* Yes, I am sure some Limbaugh disciple will complain that Rush has proposed this bipartisan stimulus alternative in the WSJ. The problem is that just cutting taxes and getting out of the way is a recipe for disaster. There is no evidence that cutting taxes does much to spur productive investment. And, to the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence that it will do anything to impact the financial markets (which is speculation not productive investment). So, Rush's "plan," like most of what he spews is worthless.