Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Rush Limbaugh Wars

Commentator Rush Limbaugh delivered a superb speech this weekend that not only was the highlight of the CPAC conference in DC but was the absolute king of the ratings on cable news this weekend.

So, faced with an inspiring moment for Republicans and conservatives nation wide, what does Michael Steele, the head of the Republican National Committee do? Trash him, of course.

Steele went ballistic on Rush Limbaugh calling him an “entertainer” and saying his show is “incendiary” and “ugly.”

In just the last month in an unprecedented attack on a private citizen, President Obama suggested that Republicans were run by Rush Limbaugh and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has anointed him the `GOP's leader'.

After Steele's remarks, Rush fired back:

"Okay, so I am an entertainer, and I have 20 million listeners, 22 million listeners because of my great song-and-dance routines here. Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together. I hope the RNC chairman will realize he's not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it, and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats do not nominate our candidates. It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off." {..}

Limbaugh then went on to detail how much assistance he and his show had personally given to Steele, which but the head of the RNC's spiteful little betrayal in context.
Then he continued:

Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left wing Democrat president and a left wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it's your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do. Why are you running the Republican Party? Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail. {...}

Where does the Republican Party go if you, who are supposed to be redesigning our primary system and helping reestablish our grassroots movement, how are we going to retake elective office if you want this agenda of Obama's and Pelosi's and Reid's to succeed? {...}

And I don't understand why you're asking Republicans to donate to the Republican National Committee if their money is going to be spent furthering the agenda of Barack Obama. If we don't want Obama and Reid and Pelosi to fail, then why does the RNC exist, Mr. Steele? Why are you even raising money? What do you want from us?{..}

I'm going further and telling you today it's not that I want Obama to fail; that's not it anymore. The president is presiding over economic failure. The president is watching it, doing nothing about it. He's watching unemployment grow; he's watching the stock market plummet; he is watching people sign up for unemployment. The president of the United States is doing nothing to stop the downward spiral of this economy. He has no economic recovery plan. The truth is, the president of the United States and Rahm Emanuel, who, remember, said, "Crisis is too great a thing to waste." What does that mean? They want you suffering, they want you miserable, they want it worse, they want you rejecting conservatism. They want you rejecting capitalism. They want you turning to them in fear and desperation and angst for an immediate fix to the problem. They want you thinking you have no ability to fix your own problems. They think you have and they want you to have no ability to take care of yourself. So as the stock market now approaches minus 2,800 since Obama was elected, the statement today is to speed up the economic recovery, we're going to focus on health care. Ask yourself how that is going to get you your next job.

One other thing. Mr. Steele, if you want to lead the Republican Party, as you say you do, then you need to run for and win the presidency. You are chairman of the Republican National Committee. That is your job. To run the Republican establishment bureaucracy and prove you can defeat Democrats and elect Republicans, to come up with a new primary system that eliminates Democrats participating in ours and choosing our candidates and getting the grassroots revved up again. This is how you're going to be measured, not by how entertaining or cute you are on talk shows.

By the same token, I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be. I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years. I certainly couldn't say I am proud of the Republican Party, as I am leading the Republican Party. Right now the Republican Party needs to be led, and it will be. The next Republican president is going to be the head of the party. Last time I checked, I don't think Mr. Steele is running.

And finally, Mr. Steele, we do like to entertain people here. The audience is very smart, sir. They know the difference between entertainment, and they know the difference between deadly serious issues that affect their country. Don't underestimate the intelligence of this audience or Republicans and conservatives generally. The biggest problem with all of you who live inside the Beltway is you look out over America and you think you see idiocy and unsophisticated people, ignorant people, and when you're looking at liberal Democrats, largely you're correct, but your own voters are every bit as informed, involved, engaged, and caring, if not more so than you are. We don't care, first and foremost, about the success of the Republican Party. We care about the United States of America and its future, because we cherish it and love it, and we know what it is that made it the greatest nation on earth, and we don't hear you articulating that you understand that, not just you, Mr. Steele, but hardly anybody else in Washington, DC. So send those fundraising requests out, and, by the way, when you send those fundraising requests out, Mr. Steele, make sure you say, "We want Obama to succeed." So people understand your compassion. Republicans, conservatives, are sick and tired of being talked down to, sick and tired of being lectured to, and until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you're going to have a tough time rebuilding your party."

Heh! I could have hardly said it better myself.

Steele, of course apologized:

"My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

He certainly could have fooled me.

I hate to say it, having long had a good opinion of Michael Steele but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a certain racial quotient built in to his criticism of Limbaugh..which took place on DL Hughley's CNN show, which draws a predominantly black audience. When Steele was running for senate in his home state of Maryland, the local NAACP actually threw oreo cookies at him onstage. Did he simply go with the flow to help demonize a white man who criticized the Chosen One, a person that went out of his way to help him just to be down with the brothers and sisters?

I haven't heard anyone else mention that aspect..bt let's just say I wouldn't be surprised. We all like to be appreciated and accepted, and this might have been Steele's way of looking for racial bonifides, and reassuring his fellow blacks that just because he's a Republican doesn't mean he doesn't have the requisite race consciousness. Or perhaps it was just ego on Steele's part.

In any event, aside from being a pretty despicable act of ingratitude, it just made Steele look foolish.

Needless to say, the Democrats were quick to seize on this. Tim Kaine, the head of the DNC said "I was briefly encouraged by the courageous comments made my counterpart in the Republican Party over the weekend challenging Rush Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party and referring to his show as ‘incendiary’ and ‘ugly,’" Kaine said in a statement. "However, Chairman Steele’s reversal this evening and his apology to Limbaugh proves the unfortunate point that Limbaugh is the leading force behind the Republican Party, its politics and its obstruction of President Obama’s agenda in Washington."

If Steele's job is to reconstruct the GOP, get the party's base excited and unite the party, he's off to a flying start.

As for the Democrats, their demonizing Rush Limbaugh is something that must make El Rushbo absolutely chortle in glee. I first started listening to him back when Bil Clinton and his cohorts were trashing him out of sheer curiousity to see what all the fuss was about. Now that he's once again the subject of a concerted attack by the Left, so will a lot of other people.


Ymarsakar said...

There is no such thing as bad publicity, not if you are a master propagandist with the requisite resources. And there are few master propagandists on our side, who are openly engaged in government. Most of them are in the private sector. Or hobbyists like me, who learned the trade via unofficial sources. Non-professionals. No journalism degree, no government bureaucracy connections.

Bad publicity saps will, yes. It gets you thinking "maybe this isn't worth the social opprobrium, you know". But that's the other part of the equation. Some people are master propagandists, with the ability to persuade and the ability to withstand the corruption of public affairs, whether government or entertainment issued.

After 20 years, the best they got on Rush was some "proscription drug" issues. If that was the worst issue a politician had after 20 years, he'd be a saint. Or Bush junior.

Ymarsakar said...

I said before, on your post concerning Steele's election to the RNC, that Steele is not a very inspirational speaker.

I stand by the correctness of that prediction and analysis.

I also stand by my analysis that so long as Steele has the tools to dissect and eviscerate the Dems, it doesn't matter what he says or what cracks and pitfalls he "accidentally" goes into.

But it is important for Steele to recognize the True Spirit and Heart of America. And it ain't in Maryland. Perhaps he thinks his lack of success there means he has to moderate or something. That's not what it means.

Those who have congregated too long among the Fake Liberals, those such as McCain for example, have forgotten what Jacksonian America was. The America that refused to yield to the terrorists on Flight 93. The military virtue and honor that said "hold the line and push them back out of Fallujah, Ramala, Mosul, Tikrit".

They have forgotten what made this nation great, for they have forgotten that in the end, it was always strength that made all other things possible. Security, not of a master to the slave, but of each individual for him or herself, totally independent of any other reliance.

The media talking heads talk all day and thus they appear like the face of America. But they are not America. They are the superficial remnants of a decadent culture, same as Hollywood. What most people in the world see as a lack of strength in America, as our obsession with materialism, is more accurately a reflection of Hollywood, our Leftist academia, and our corrupt Democrat power political machines.

You know, ROb, Pelosi and Reid and Obama ain't going to be running into any 9/11 craters or doing a charge to take down the terrorists in control of a cockpit.

They aren't the ones that sustain this nation. Bush recognized this, but they don't.

Ymarsakar said...

“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. "It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not."

A master propagandist doesn't get tied up when talking to the enemy and then makes the opposite point that he intended to make.

While Steele could easily have made the Freudian slip of trying to say that the attacks on Rush was ugly and ended up saying Rush's show was angry, this is not a mistake that can be afforded by America on the eve of battle.

What, are we going to tell the troops that we are "NOT" going to take the hill, that instead of destroying the enemy, we are going to jack knife our own logistical camps? Right, that'll provide good results, Rob. Bet on that.

Whether the field is psychological warfare or conventional/unconventional warfare, having your shit in a row is of prime importance.

Any mistake you make, because you are buttering up the enemy's spies and ears, CNN, will be free ammunition to the enemy. And more body bags for our side.

This is the brutal calculus of war and those who think of it as a game, a political game where you score points and make "deals" and get "friends", Those are the people who are the real Bread and Circus entertainers.

propaganda isn't about entertainment. Propaganda is about controlling people's perceptions via illusion, truth, lies, and indirect action so that people do what you want them to do. Psychological warfare, in this vein, uses propaganda to get people to kill themselves, get our enemies to kill each other, and to get our allies more motivated and more in the fight.

People who don't understand this aspect, people who make newbie mistakes like Steele, they need to go back and study the Iraq Liberation War. Cause they need remedial attention.

Ymarsakar said...

Asked if he planned to apologize, Steele said: “I wasn’t trying to offend anybody. So, yeah, if he’s offended, I’d say: Look, I’m not in the business of hurting people’s feelings here. … My job is to try to bring us all together.”

your job is to crush the enemy and allow the American people to rebuild this nation to what it could be, to what it should have been.

This is war, not tea sipping socialite parties debating what is "offensive" or not.

A military commander that gives the wrong order and ends up with half his unit dead in the water because of it, can't say "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean for anybody to get offended or shot at or deaded". If he does, he is no military commander. That is not leadership.

The best way to bring disparate human beings together is to present them with a common enemy. Works all the time. Trying to factionalize Republicans, conservatives, and our side of America, the real America, is not the trick.

And guess what? Nobody tells Steele this, because at that level, people surround him and those people ain't ilke me. They ain't like Rush either.

Like with Bush, they are out of touch with certain core pillars of America. In a more feudalistic and unstable political climate, this would have made them vulnerable to coup de tats and assassinations. In today's America, it just hamstrings them, removes their political influence, and makes them into figures of ridicule.

Freedom Fighter said...

OK, so Steele is a foul ball. I'd hoped for better.

I still thing my point about the race aspect of Steele's remarks was spot on.

As far as 'figurs of ridicule' that is something Rush excels at doing to the Leftin a very classy and unique way.

He knows it's the one thing they can't stand - to be laughed at.

Ymarsakar said...

I'd hoped for better.

It isn't over yet, he can still improve. This is early days, Rob. The lightning is yet to come. The thunder is still yet lagging.

This is just the calm before the storm, the slow breeze before the mighty breakings.

Freedom Fighter said...

Oh, I agree with you...as well as your remarks on the true spirit of America, as opposed to its decadent face.

That, as we both now, is largely a result of the Soviet penetration into America's institutions.

Ymarsakar said...

Funny how the Soviets left us a weapon of theirs that now has no master control switch to turn it off, not even by their originators, or their creators have fallen.

It's like some kind of science fiction rogue sentient weapon plot line, Rob ; )

Anonymous said...

The controversy about Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh (who I don't really particularly listen to anymore) is more than about Rush. When the liberal talk show host said that CPAC looked like a bunch of Nazis Michael Steele nodded in agreement.

Some said his nodding wasn't in agreement with that statement but still at the very least he was quiet and did not speak out against that outrageous statement.

This is more than about Rush the person. This was about the speech he gave and if you listened to the speech and agree with it then it is not only Rush but you, and all other grassroots conservatives that Michael Steele has rebuked in the harshest of terms.

Well, if that is the way the "leader" of the GOP feels about me then I say no, no, no, not God Bless the GOP, GOD DAMN the GOP. It isn't the party I thought I knew!

Ymarsakar said...

Obama is going to be damning you quite enough that you telling God to damn the GOP won't do a Damn Thing.