Wednesday, March 4, 2009


A little cat fight broke out in the Republican party the last two days between Rush Limbaugh and Robert Steele the new Chairman of the Republican Party and Steele gave every indication that his name bears no resemblance to his spine.

At first Steele criticized Limbaugh for much of what he said in his bizarre speech, making clear that Limbaugh didn't speak for the party. Limbaugh took exception and fired back at Steele who a day later, showing what the future holds for the Republican Party, backed down and apologized.

When you feel you have to apologize to a Rush Limbaugh for criticizing the kind of comments he made, you've given up any claim to being a leader and instead have become a stooge.

Steele was right to criticize Limbaugh but bowing to the systemic problem of being a Republican, caved in to conservative pressure. Once again Reagan's Rule, the rule which not only contributed to the continuing multiple disasters of the last eight years, but the destruction of the Republican Party as a political influence -- thou shall not criticize a fellow Republican -- prevailed.

The biggest problem with Limbaugh as already noted is, he is either a congenital liar, is seriously out of touch with reality, or has a self serving agenda that has nothing to do with the well being of the country. That agenda might possibly be that he is simply an entertainer and he knows it, the NotoriousBIG of conservatives.

Notorious Rush's statement that the Democratic Party is all about "destroying lives" brought cheers from the hip hop CPAC crowd. Steele was right to criticize Limbaugh for that and other equally Notorious statements but,as everyone saw, backed down and virtually recanted the criticism( while Republicans whine about a lack of bi-partisanship).

To make his point about the Democratic Party "being all about" destroying lives, Limbaugh said, "Ask Robert Bork or Clarence Thomas".

Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas? While it's true that in both cases the Democrats went down into the political gutter to try and stop a Supreme Court nominee, the last time I looked Thomas was an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, and Bork has been a highly paid Washington lawyer for the last 20 years. I suppose that is a Notorious conservatives view of two "destroyed lives". Which is not to say the confirmation hearings didn't get ugly and the Democrats didn't play dirty. They did. But Thomas and Bork didn't exactly have to line up for unemployment or lose their health insurance.

Of course,being a conservative mouthpiece with an agenda instead of principles, Limbaugh never mentions the lives destroyed by Bush -- 3000 killed on 911 because Bush ignored every national security warning regarding terrorism to pursue a conservative agenda involving restarting Star Wars. Or the 4000 soldiers killed in Iraq, most of whom were killed post invasion because Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, all conservatives, were inept and incompetent in managing the war. Or the 1500 who died in New Orleans because Bush couldn't get food water and medicine into that city for 5 days following Katrina even though he had a 2 day advance warning that it was going to hit. And now of course the lives affected by the worst economic meltdown since the 1930's -- the tens of millions who have lost their homes, jobs, and life savings thanks to a conservative President and a conservative congress with a conservative economic agenda.

If Limbaugh wants to count Thomas and Bork as being victims of the Democratic Party, then he should be willing to keep score, because right now when it comes to lives disrupted or destroyed, it's Democrats 2, Conservatives 200 million. Which is why Steele is going to need someone to lullabye him to sleep at night. But maybe with a slight change in lyrics.


susan h said...

As long as the Republican party remains the party of GAY-BASHING and KILLING DOCTORS AT ABORTION CLINICS then they will never regain power. Even the young Republicans (children of the hard-core rightwing) were saying last year: Okay, these are important issues, but they are not the most important issues. The most important issues are the economy, ending the war, energy independence and others.

In these hard economic times, fiscal conservatism is a good thing, paying down our deficit and watchful spending which are core republican principles. But in 2000-2008, the Bush White House threw that all out the window and started us on the massive financial decline we are now in. Unfortunately, many fear the gargantuan pork-stimulus bills will not help, but may hurt things. As much as I like Sarah Palin, and even though she knows how to balance a budget and take us on the road to energy independence, with her ultra-conservative ideas she will never be able to take the Republican party where they want to go. The GOP needs fiscal responsibility as their #1 agenda (not social ideologies) and until they remember that, they will be having a very hard time. P.S. Marc, the new GOP chair is Michael Steele, not Robert.

sue said...

So where does this leave all of us, who are mostly in the middle? Some of us to the left of middle, some to the right- but when you look at the bell curve, that's where you find most of us.
You know- those of us who pay our taxes, our mortgages, fund our retirement and if we have them- our kids' education. Those of us who believe in equal rights, equal opportunity, health care and education.
Who the hell is speaking for us?
Why do we let the zealots at the helm?
I am equally as sick of the far right as I am of the far left. Both are destructive.
Time for those of us in the middle to speak up and gain some power.

Anonymous said...

You need medication!

Marc Rubin said...

"You need medication!"

True but unlike Rush its not Viagra or Oxycontin. And unlike Rush I get my medication from a pharmacy instead of having a cleaning lady try to score it for me.

Anonymous said...

His name is Michael Steele, not Robert.

DancingOpossum said...

Those of us in the great state of Maryland remember Steele from his stint as our one-time one-term Republican governor's lieutenant gov. The guy is a classic case of someone who talks really well, is very engaging, and seems really smart but is actually pretty bone-deep dumb.

sue said...

OK- now I must say, after listening all week to everyone screaming and crying about Rush- enough already. Let's not forget- he is a radio talk show host. Yes, he is a blabbering, screaming, right wing ideologue- but that is it. He doesn't set policy.

I know, I know, the ditto heads that listen to him are influenced by his blather. But let's not forget- they would anyway- Rush isn't actually changing anyone's mind, is he?

The Obama administration again coyly throws up this smoke screen so that the attention is on Rush Limbaugh, maybe we won't notice the stock market's continual impersonation of the Titanic.

Enough with the BS health care summit-

Obama needs to fix the economy. Right now.

Maybe filling out his cabinet would be a good place to start- Geitner doesn't have a full staff (and who needs a full staff more then turbo tax Geitner?)

To quote my favorite president in my life time- "It's the economy, Stupid"

DB said...

susan h> The Democratic party is the party of gay-bashing also. And women-bashing. I think we all learned this the hard way during this last election.

DB said...

Okay, I guess I have a problem with the overall concept of this column. Limbaugh is not the Republican party. He's a talk show host with a big following and high ratings. But the idea that he represents the entire Republican party is just plain wrong. There are Republicans who are more liberal than some Democrats. Heck, Rudy Giuliani is more gay friendly than our Democratic president. And what is Tim Kaine, exactly? He calls himself a Democrat, but I think he's closer to Limbaugh than, for example, Olympia Snowe. These labels mean nothing anymore. Limbaugh bashing I understand. But I think Republican bashing by way of Limbaugh is unfair.

Also, Obama administration's taking on of Limbaugh is quite scary to me. That the office of the President would try to shut up a talk show host is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Marc Rubin said...

"Okay, I guess I have a problem with the overall concept of this column. Limbaugh is not the Republican party."

He's become exactly that, the face of the party which is why the
Chairman of the Republican Party had to grovel to him and apologize for criticisms of him that were completely legitimate.

He is a talk show host to rational people. He is at the moment, the leading Republican to people like Michael Steele and the people who listen to Limbaugh every day.

But my guess is after his most recent comment about Ted Kennedy, Republicans are going to start running from him like he has the plague.

Edgeoforever said...

I won't buy the construct that Axelrod & company created: "Let's make Rush the face of the GOP party"
I don't mind if the GOP self destructs - as karmic reward for stealing elections, persecuting Clinton and getting us into wars and economic mess. Rush is a fat thug. Still, he is an individual, and for the White House to engage in shutting down an individual is wrong on many levels. Beyond that, let them fight amonst themselves, I'll get popcorn.

rw711 said...

Marc, I so much enjoy reading your posts. You are "spot on" in your writings. However, BHO ran a campaign on his ability to start on day one and that his policies/style of leadership are what we needed to turns things around. So, I differ with you that the mess we are in is not BHO fault. It is his fault for overselling his "non-existing economic plan" as a stimulus package.

One other point, some are saying "BHO did not inherit this mess", he and his advisors did everything they could to make sure they were the ones to take control of the government.Seems to me they spent $600+ million for it, they bought it (not inherited it) now they own it, for better or worse.

Let's please not start spreading the untruth about "BHO inheriting this mess".

He won an election, not an heritance.