Sunday, November 23, 2008

Will Rush Limbaugh remain conservatism's leader 2009 onwards? (part 1 of 2)

After the GOP's elections defeats in 2008, considerable losses in the House and Senate as well as an unpopular outgoing President in George W Bush, the GOP are widely considered to be "in the wilderness" and in search of a new figurehead.

The most logical leader was GOP Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin after her heavy exposure and undeniable connection and popularity with the base during the election. She was subsequently diminished by some negative press post-election, this "burial" is largely traced to back to the GOP powerbase signaling an unease with the anointment of her as Conservative savior.

Another logical leader is Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh. With his 20 million+ listeners, he has always been a consistent force in conservatism - instrumental in bringing the GOP back to power in 94' (as "National Precinct Captain" with his "dittohead caucus") and the unofficial ringmaster of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" that dogged the Clinton presidency.

As Howard Fineman of Newsweek puts it thusly
Fineman: 'Chief jeerleader' will be Limbaugh, not Palin (video)
MATTHEWS: There's a role open right now. It's the Chief Jeerleader...
HOWARD FINEMAN: It won't be out of the Hill at all. It's going to be Rush Limbaugh, and what's left of the conservative commentariat. They are going to be in charge of this party until the Republicans begin to get their act together.

Being a pundit Rush doesn't directly rise and fall with the fortunes of Republicans in Washington. Like all talkers Rush' main weapon is his rhetoric. Talkers however aren't expected to deliver or held accountable to their promises the same way a campaigning politician is. Which means pundits, as long as they have a voice can remain relevant and arguably stronger when they are in the minority.
But Rush to is also being marginalised by the GOP powerbase.

Watch Rush Limbaugh being hailed after sweeping 94' GOP victory

In Part 2, I will list how the GOP has tried to distance themselves from Rush Limbaugh after their defeats in 2008. An astounding reversal from the Republican glory and lauding of Rush in 94'.


John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been Godless and thus irrelevant. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor,
Recovering Republican

PunditFight said...

Wow! I wonder what your take on Liberalism is? Ideology and purity is all well and good but it's a whole different matter when it's tested in reality. A bit of pragmatism is handy.