Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rush the Vote: The Operation Chaos movement

operation chaos, rush limbaugh"Operation Chaos" is the initiative championed by influential talker Rush Limbaugh which attempts to protract the Democratic primary race by encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary. As a powerful and notoriously "ruthless" Democrat, Republicans see Hillary as the best vehicle to stain Obama. The longer she stays in, the more harm it does to Obama and her own Democratic Party thus paving the way for Republican John McCain. Hillary cannot mathematically win, the way the Democratic Primary is structured she has little chance of overtaking Obama. The only slim chance involves tarnishing Obama so much that Superdelegates use their tiebreaking votes to pick Hillary. This could have serious ramifications for the Democratic Party who will undoubtedly suffer a major backlash particularly from the reliable African-American constituency.

The influence of Rush and other conservative talkers was put in question earlier in the year during the Republican Primaries. The nomination of John McCain as the Republican candidate had conservatives up in arms. Prominent talkers like Rush and Laura Ingraham mobilised their audiences of 20 million+ strong to not vote for McCain. Many had lobbied hard for Mitt Romney, most prominently Hugh Hewitt with many endorsing Romney explicitly when it was already too little too late. Ann Coulter even went as far as vowing to campaign for Hillary if McCain were to be nominated. With this in mind it's unlikely that Republican mischief-makers/strategists number to an amount that can claim responsibility for Hillary winning. It's far more probable that they are padding the margin of victory rather than the root of it.

operation chaos, shirts, merchandise, capsWhile its uncertain how effective Rush' campaign is, it's certainly getting media attention and has even spawned a range of merchandise. The one clear winner in all this is Rush Limbaugh.

Not all of Rush' listeners agree, a listener emailed this:
Why It's Called Operation Chaos
Thanks for being the egomaniac you have become. Because of your stupid prank, Hillary is still in the race. I have always been taught that when you could eliminate an enemy, you do it. Not you. You would rather boost your ego and hear yourself talk than eliminate her early and have Republicans run against Obama, which would be a slam-dunk for us. She's going to end up winning this nomination. Your big, fat ego will be the reason. I have been a listener and a 24/7 person for four years now, but all I hear is your ego. I have stopped listening because all you worry about is yourself and your ego. You sure your last name isn't Clinton? Thank you for being such a [butt] hole. Former Dittohead, Eugene Quinn.

Read the full report and Rush' comeback here

Fellow talkers and pundits weigh in on 'Operation Chaos'
Michael Medved, Mike Allen and Dennis Prager speak to Hugh Hewitt. Medved responds to Hugh's question asking if 'Operation Chaos' is a good idea?
Absolutely not! First of all I don't think it's amounted to anything. If you actually look at the numbers of Republicans who switched to the Democratic registration. It's very small, about 4000 statewide. The claim that Rush is trying to do, in the beginning it was very entertaining but at this point it's embarrassing. It makes Republicans look bad. It makes Conservatives look bad. The franchise is very important - voting is very important...

Listen to the full discussion here

Read more about Operation Chaos
- Go to Rush Limbaugh's official site
- San Francisco Chronicle Runs Front-Page Operation Chaos Story
- Rush the Vote: Operation Chaos Meeting and Exceeding Objectives
- Why It's Called Operation Chaos
- Go to the Rush Limbaugh Store to buy 'Operation Chaos' merch

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