Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bob Dole to Rush Limbaugh: Get a Grip

Rush Limbaugh seems to think he has a solemn duty of deciding who is a True Conservative and who is just a mere Republican. In this latest flap to afflict the primary race, Rush seems to have led his far-right contingencies of jock strap caddies and sycophants off the cliff. As with most cheerleaders of the revolution, he’s most often exhorting others to fight while he watches. There must be something more behind his attacks than "conservative" fervor. He acknowledged today on his WABC 77 Radio show that Ronald Reagan gave real and unconditional amnesty to three million illegal immigrants during his presidency. So the immigration issue attacks on McCain have to be pure bullshit, not surprising, considering the source. As governor of a blue state, Romney's record was as liberal as Ted Kennedy's until 2005 when he decided to make a run for the presidency. Take it from the Wall Street Journal, if you don't believe me.

The nadir of far-right attacks on McCain and Huckabee occurred a week ago when Anne Coulter said in a television interview that she would vote for Hillary Clinton should John McCain become the Republican candidate. Sean Hannity and other pundits have recognized Coulter’s mistake and have spent the week backtracking on Coulter's vapidity.

Where Rush may be entertaining as a bombastic Falstaff, a semi-talented buffoon, or a satirist, obsequious imitators and disciples like Coulter are merely clumsy and embarrassing to most Republicans. Unlike the type of literate conservatism seen in magazines like National Review, many of the dittoheads are content to echo Limbaugh’s sloganeering and attempt to pass it off as the type of conservative intellectualism manifest by such pundits as William Buckley and George Will. Such damaged apples as Coulter have fallen far from that tree.

Former GOP leader and war hero Bob Dole last week wrote a letter to Rush Limbaugh rebuking him for going beyond free speech in attacking McCain. Dick Armey also chided the clownish ideologue for the same reason in a TV appearance with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Armey sagely said that pundits like Rush Limbaugh had an enlarged opinion of their own importance and power among Republicans.

No doubt. Limbaugh became apoplectic and sounded like he'd been waterboarded when a guy with a thick Southern accent complained on his show about Limbaugh's "whining" tone. Maybe he could get some sympathy from Billary Clinton who is grateful to Rush for the help she is receiving. They could sip daiquiri's at Rush's Florida mansion and then have a good cry together. The only thing I would caution against, in that case, is that Rush would be the only one who wasn't faking.

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