Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Political Machismo Theater: Dems Say, I'm Sorry, Rush. Luv ya, Mean It!


Oh, it's getting evil outside, folks, raining testosterone. Democrats have put up a website to mock Republicans for apologizing to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. It's called Imsorryrush.com.

I wish I could say I feel for Rush and the Republicans because mocking people can get kind of high school, and it's never fun for the mockee, but I guess I'm low on compassion at the moment. Or maybe I believe Rush Limbaugh and Co. are reaping what they've sown.

Limbaugh in particular has made a career out of mocking others. I've said before that he's a media whore and a verbal sociopath.

Perhaps I'll be torn later after I go to church and hear a sermon on hypocrisy because progressives talked for the last eight years about elevating the tone of political discourse, yet here we are. Where does this website fit in that? But, politics is not polite, so ... Perhaps to hold a winning position you must sharpen your teeth and always play to win.

The "I'm Sorry Rush" site, which was started specifically by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House," uses a quote from White House Chief of Staff ever wily Rahm Emanuel about Limbaugh, "Whenever a Republican criticizes him, they have to run back and apologize to him." Members of the Democratic Party are capitalizing on the perception that Rush is in charge of the GOP, and folks, this is truly a case of Republicans have made this bed and now have to lie in it.

Very tongue-in-cheek, the site's sub-banner says it's discovered the Republicans' Rush apology machine and have made it available to the public. See screen shot below.



You can visit the site and send your own apology to Rush Limbaugh. Just fill in the blanks on the form like the one you see in the picture and click send.

Do the Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame for Public Perceptions of Their Leadership?

In comments on a post at Blogher, one of the CEs posted an excerpt from Richard Viguerie's newsletter on "The Rushification of the Republican Party." In it Viguerie, a conservative, makes the point that Rush and other conservative pundits appear to be the leaders of the Republican Party because no other strong voices have emerged in from the GOP. Viguerie runs a website "dedicated to relaunching the conservative movement." Read the excerpt on Rushification at this link.

I'll agree with Viguerie that the Republican Party has been Rushified due to lack of leadership. In particular, they have over the years let racist, hate mongering, narrow-minded loud mouths speak for them (link), and that's just one of their problems.

But I'll add that the GOP has fallen into a trap that Dems laid for them. Dems lowered the bait and Limbaugh, Steele, and others gobbled it up.

Back when Rush Limbaugh was saying "I hope Obama fails," President Barack Obama acknowledged Limbaugh with the following message to GOP leaders:
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. (an Obama quote according to the New York Post, Jan. 23, 2009)
The New York Post is a conservative paper and was the media outlet that attributed that quote to President Barack Obama. The White House didn't deny it. Whoo! The hoopin' and hollerin' Republicans did after that leaked statement. "Oh, our freedom of speech is in jeopardy," they cried, while defending Rush's statement that he hopes Obama fails.

However, conservative Bill Bennett said Limbaugh was wrong to say he hopes the President fails when it was only Obama's first week in office. He also said it was not a good idea for President Obama to talk about and "personalize" what Limbaugh said because "Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer."

It was a valid criticism. Obama, if not careful, could give more power to Limbaugh by acknowledging what he said, but that was the plan all along, to spotlight Limbaugh as a powerhouse to which Republicans listened. Limbaugh loved it, drinking his own Kool-Aid, yelling on his show that Republican representatives should not support the stimulus package because if it were successful, Obama would win a second term. Each day it was something new, Limbaugh was someplace telling Republican elected officials what to do and they were giving him props.

Bloated and gloating, Limbaugh went to the 2009 Conservative Political Action Committee's annual meeting in Washington and did his thing, and the Republicans applauded. Oh, how they love Rush!
As Fox, CNN and C-SPAN carried his speech live and commercial-free, Limbaugh closed CPAC's 37th national convention by rallying conservatives still smarting from the Democrats' 2008 sweep of all branches of the national government and expanded electoral reign in the states.

Limbaugh exhorted conservatives to stay upbeat, blasted the alleged socialist agenda of the "Democrat Party," and called out the new president, the one he hopes will fail. "President Obama: Your agenda is not new, it's not change, and it's not hope," Limbaugh thundered, to wild applause in the Omni Shoreham's packed Regency Ballroom, as overflow crowds in three of the hotel's other convention rooms watched by live feed. (Salon)
And then, along comes Rahm Emanuel the very next day trumpeting Rush:
"He is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party, and he has been upfront about what he views, and hasn't stepped back from that, which is he hopes for failure." (The Washington Post)
Ahh, the set-up. Actually, the continuation of a set-up, a trap laid months ago.

Rush Limbaugh always takes the bait for a verbal skirmish, and Michael Steele is an amateur trying to find swagger. The whole Michael Steele vs. Rush Limbaugh thing would not have blown up if 1.) Steele had not countered assertions that Limbaugh was in charge by declaring himself to be in charge, evidence that Steele fears reports of his being a token are true. 2.) If Limbaugh had just kept his mouth shut and let people evaluate for themselves whether Steele was in charge following the D. L. Hughley show. Speaking to Hughley, Steele said that he, not Rush, was the leader of the Republican Party, and Rush was simply "ugly entertainment."

But noooo, Rush Limbaugh had to tell Steele to go back to the kitchen. And Steele, like an idiot, wet his pants and apologized. Then my governor, Bobby Jindal, the supposed GOP rising star never to be left out, came in and gave Limbaugh a blessing.

The Limbaugh is an entertainer defense is getting old, btw.

And now it's all prime time theater, virtual penis measurement. Men and their pissing contest: Will they ever learn?

I'm thinking Rahm Emanuel, sly little fellow that he is, may be packing the bigger instrument when it comes to fun and games.

Related Link:
* Comedian in Chief: Pre-presidential Obama roasts Rahm Emanuel
* Is Dissent Still the Highest Form of Patriotism?, selected for comment section below post.
* Michael Steele, I Don't Want to Get Jiggy With You.

2 comments:

Monica said...

My goodness. You dive DEEP here, don't you? You can certainly rival Field Negro - but yours has that feminine touch. :-) Added you to my blogroll so I can learn something every now and again. Thanks for visiting my world and I really appreciate the writing compliment. Coming from another writer, it's a huge honor!

Megan said...

Can I just say how much I'm loving this little Republican brouhaha?

President Obama's been in office, what...all of five weeks and already talk radio's got the knives out?

In the words of Bill Cosby, "Come On People!" Even the GOP can't be so dense not to see how associating themselves with all the Rush Limbaughs will come back to bite them in the butt. The election obviously hasn't taught them anything except that they need to put the five minorities they have in the party front and center.

What they should have learned is that the American people want results, no matter who they come from.

By the way, I've sent my own apology to Rush and I'm sure he'll appreciate it.