Green Room

Rush Limbaugh and the Year of the Squirrel

posted at 11:53 am on March 3, 2012 by

It seems like most of the mediasphere cannot stop talking about Rush Limbaugh’s insult of political operative Sandra Fluke. I cannot stop thinking of Up‘s Dug the Dog:

While I like Up, I have seen this version of the movie before:

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit think they have a disagreement over the point of the anti-Rush Limbaugh campaign being waged by Obama Administration, labor unions and the establishment media. Morrissey calls it a deliberate strategy to cover up the Democrats’ economic incompetence and massively ineffective spending programs. Allahpundit that “the Democrats are really trying to do is rebrand the GOP.” Morrissey thinks any rebranding is ”secondary.”

The reality is that the focus on Limbaugh is all of those things. The GOP is a minority party with no single titular leader at the moment. Obama’s Alinskyite politics require that the Left “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” The folks running this effort thus go to the influential – yet polarizing — figure of Rush Limbaugh. Doing so necessarily promotes him, with the hope of forcing Republicans to either downplay Limbaugh (driving a wedge between them and their conservative base) or defend him (thereby making a polarizing figure more the face of the GOP). It is no surprise to learn that James Carville and Paul Begala are part of this effort, as it is a variation of the Clinton Administration’s effort to make Newt Gingrich Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. The people behind this campaign do not see it as an “either-or” proposition; they see it as a “win-win” proposition.

Morrissey is also correct in asserting that it keeps the GOP on defense, though this is largely because GOP functionaries are only now figuring out that the attack on Limbaugh can be used to paint the Democrats as not keeping their eye on the economy, or trying to distract from the poor reception the Democrats’ agenda is getting in the financial markets. The GOP might eventually figure out that they could have used the media’s uncritical parroting of the Left’s campaign against the media, which would quickly stop them from pursuing GOP functionaries about it.

Here we are again, with the WaPo proclaiming Republicans can no longer avoid their “Rush Limbaugh problem,” paired with the obligatory “question raising” coverage in its news coverage. And tiresome concern troll Conor Friedersdorf again demands that the folks at National Review denounce Rush. Meanwhile, Friedersdorf will politely disagree with his mentor Andrew Sullivan on Trig Trutherism and Sullivan’s baseless, ghoulish attempt to blame Sarah Palin for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting without indignantly admitting that Sullivan’s unhinged bile corrodes the public discourse in the same way Friedersdorf believes Rush does. It is all very transparent, but the GOP and its supposed leaders bite anyway. Then again, no one ever accused the GOP of being the Smart Party.

Barack Obama’s campaign to convince voters that “America is back” is a dud, so they want everyone to look at the squirrel. When the media comes asking about Limbaugh, the Republican politician’s response ought to be: “I want to discuss the issues Americans actually care about — don’t you?”

Recently in the Green Room:

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There are some very smart people in the Republican party. The question is why aren’t they the leaders of the party? Why is Boehner and McConnel still there?

odannyboy on March 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

It seems Rush goes through things like this every time an election comes up? The msm/bhopress just go out of their way to find anything he has said to make whatever Rush said all over the news for weeks? They hate Rush because so many people in America love and listen to him and by golly they want him distroyed any way possible? Rush just like Fox news, bho, team, d’s and yes some rino’s want them gone! Can’t have American’s getting a shred of truth now can we?

BTW, I agree with what Rush said about that twinkie!
L

letget on March 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Why no anal exam for Ms. Fluke? hmmmm. SP still gets the treatment although she’s not running, and isn’t a govt official. Rush is right. The woman is a slut and prostituted herself in front of cameras at the so called committee hearing.

Kissmygrits on March 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

There are some very smart people in the Republican party. The question is why aren’t they the leaders of the party? Why is Boehner and McConnel still there?

odannyboy on March 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Because the smart ones have seen what the party has become and want no part in trying to shepherd this royal clusterf**k of political opportunism.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

How can we shorten the cycle between the Left rabbit-punching us and us figuring out how to counter these attacks? You’re exactly right – instead of countering, we’re looking at the squirrel.

Gearbox on March 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Why no anal exam for Ms. Fluke? hmmmm. SP still gets the treatment although she’s not running, and isn’t a govt official. Rush is right. The woman is a slut and prostituted herself in front of cameras at the so called committee hearing.

Kissmygrits on March 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I saw two sluts! She was sitting in front of the Madam…Nancy Pelosi!

KOOLAID2 on March 4, 2012 at 12:14 AM

It’s just beginning. The Left is going for the kill on this one.

There is a massive coordinated attack being carried out on sponsors via Twitter, Facebook, and other social engines. There are online petitions.

Possibly as many as six major sponsors have bailed out on Rush so far, including Carbonite, Citrix, Sleep Train, and LegalZoom. A number of these have been confirmed on their own websites and Facebook pages.

This isn’t the old “orange juice boycott” days of letters and phone calls.

tbrosz on March 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

tbrosz on March 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

He’ll survive.

hawkdriver on March 4, 2012 at 9:05 AM

I was going to buy Carbonite but now I won’t.

Blake on March 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

This ain’t the NFL, kids. Rush ain’t going anywhere.

ConservativeLA on March 4, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Possibly as many as six major sponsors have bailed out on Rush so far, including Carbonite, Citrix, Sleep Train, and LegalZoom.

Will not make train joke. Will not make train joke. Will not make train joke….

ConservativeLA on March 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

There is a massive coordinated attack being carried out on sponsors via Twitter, Facebook, and other social engines. There are online petitions.

Possibly as many as six major sponsors have bailed out on Rush so far, including Carbonite, Citrix, Sleep Train, and LegalZoom. A number of these have been confirmed on their own websites and Facebook pages.

This isn’t the old “orange juice boycott” days of letters and phone calls.

tbrosz on March 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Is this the new domestic terrorism?

Fallon on March 4, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Slutty women buy a lot of stuff in America. They’re the backbone of the economy. You don’t mess with ‘em.

RBMN on March 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM

MTP is asking everyone to respond to rush’s apology

cmsinaz on March 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM

MTP is asking everyone to respond to rush’s apology

cmsinaz on March 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM

MTP?

hawkdriver on March 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Never mind.

(wth, commenting too quickly?)

hawkdriver on March 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Not only does the progressive propaganda apparatchik control the media narrative but the rules of engagement as well. Of course, when the right’s candidates spout nonsense and determine a front runner in the election by circular firing squad it’s easy to see why left, as wrong as they are, wins the day. George Will mentioned what I’ve been saying all year; win the house and senate and you can mitigate the damage Ogandhela can do for the next four years.

LizardLips on March 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

The Obama cult will never forgive Rush Limbaugh for “I hope he fails.” This is what all the week’s kerfuffle is about. The White House tried to make him the chief target right out of the chute in 2009 and failed. They have since moved on to other targets, such as Michael Steele, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, and the Koch brothers. But Rush has always been their #1 nemesis.

And we should never forget him for it, either. I wasn’t thrilled that he made himself such a target this week, but I’m not going to turn my back on him over it. He’s not my favorite talk-radio host, but he did conservatism an invaluable favor with “I hope he fails.” That was the first crack in the Obama Edifice, and it was a seriously important one. So we really should all have his back now. I know I am going to call all those advertisers and let them know I will not buy their products. I will make it a point to listen to Rush as much as I can these next few weeks to keep his ratings high and make these advertisers look foolish.

rockmom on March 4, 2012 at 9:36 AM

As long as politicians dance to the tune the Democrats fiddle, instead of changing the song, this will happen, over and over. It always has. If you have been involved in this game as long as I have, you have seen this same thing play out over every single election cycle. When asked about this, any pres candidate that doesn’t say, “I haven’t been paying attention to what words were used, nor do I think that’s what the American people care about. They care about $5 gas/unemployment/lack of jobs,etc. I’m here to talk about that.” Keep repeating this, no matter how many times/differnt ways they ask you this stupid question, or others. Don’t dance to their song, have some testicles.Dont bow and scrape to George Stephanopolous. Geez.

di butler on March 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

“The folks running this effort thus go to the influential – yet polarizing — figure of Rush Limbaugh. Doing so necessarily promotes him, with the hope of forcing Republicans to either downplay Limbaugh (driving a wedge between them and their conservative base) or defend him (thereby making a polarizing figure more the face of the GOP). It is no surprise to learn that James Carville and Paul Begala are part of this effort, as it is a variation of the Clinton Administration’s effort to make Newt Gingrich Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. The people behind this campaign do not see it as an “either-or” proposition; they see it as a “win-win” proposition.”

This train of thought is counter-productive.
Unless and until Republicans are able to articulate their basic principles to the American people – a touch of elán would help – the GOP is just playing into the narrative established by the Leftist usurpers.
Glenn Beck, Inc. was chased away, AB just died … We NEED tireless men of character and conviction to stand up.

“You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”
- President Andrew Jackson in a February, 1834 meeting with Philadelphia financiers about his opposition to the creation of a central bank.

It’s time, but “Is it safe?”
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I think Rush’s mild apology will kill this manufactured controversy. With that said, if the repub’s don’t learn how to play offense, Team BO will be able to control the game all the way to the end…….and that would be an unmitigated disaster.

David in ATL on March 4, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Do we have a Rush problem? I don’t think so. The left seems to have the problems. Most of the right agrees with Rush.

jeanie on March 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Great analysis, Karl.

How can we shorten the cycle between the Left rabbit-punching us and us figuring out how to counter these attacks? You’re exactly right – instead of countering, we’re looking at the squirrel.

Gearbox on March 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

We need leaders who eliminate the cycle — who immediately denounce, dissect, and destroy every new (and old) Leftest meme. Unfortunately, we don’t have many …

It requires grounded ethical principles, moral courage, and persuasive articulation skills. We need more Palins and Breitbarts — especially in political leadership positions …

ShainS on March 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I have never understood why the GOP doesn’t go after msm media bias by refusing to cooperate. Why allow the left to run our debates, set our agenda, get away with obviously biased questions? Romney had it right–they get to ask the questions, but we get to respond the way we want. Why not use these opportunities to excoriate Obama’s policies, to ask why he’s not drilling, to ask why he’s attacking religious freedom, to ask why he’s blocking the Keystone pipeline, to ask why he’s adding to the deficit? Why get bogged down in talking about contraceptives by responding to reporters so directly? Why not force them to address the real issues by countering with questions of our own instead.

writeblock on March 4, 2012 at 10:52 AM

How can the RIGHT boycott, silence President Obama for this:

“That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

?

[via Hot Air, Johnathan Alter article on "The Promise: President Obama, Year One."]

Gearbox on March 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

We do it, exactly how Rush did – point out the lies, the absurdity, and the REAL motive behind the dog-and-pony shows/talking points that the Dems/left/progressives shove into the propaganda machine oops, media.

So until President Obama apologizes to me and the other millions of Tea Party People – Ms Fluke is a slut and a liar and a DNC tool.

jackal40 on March 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

all insurance plans must cover vasectomies for men with no co-pay and women must pay for them. O yeah and don’t raise my premium.

harpman on March 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Carbonite is a good product. I first learned about them through Rush’s show, and I have subscribed for several years as a result. But this? I emailed Carbonite and told them that if it is true they pulled their advertising from Rush’s show, then I will not be renewing my subscription. I told them not to be such wussies.

I haven’t done the same with the others who have pulled ads, as I am not a customer of theirs. But I encourage people to speak up and tell these companies to have courage, not let themselves get b*tch-slapped by the left. .

ugottabekiddingme on March 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

When the media comes asking about Limbaugh, the Republican politician’s response ought to be: “I want to discuss the issues Americans actually care about — don’t you?”

Yeah, exactly what our wimpy House Speaker did not do. And the above applies to anything the left comes after the right about. Throw it back in their faces. But too many of the Repubs just can’t seem to do it and that’s what keeps me wondering what’s wrong with them and why I’m not sure what they stand for.

stukinIL4now on March 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Is this the new domestic terrorism?

Fallon on March 4, 2012 at 9:17 AM

No, that would be if/when Obummer unleashes his “civilian army”, AKA incites the welfare brigade to riot.

What’s happening to Rush is the little fact that the free market is a two-edged sword, and liberals can swing it too.

MelonCollie on March 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It should be said repeatedly that Rush is an utter drooling idiot that played into the hands of the Democrats so perfectly, you’d think his puppet strings would be showing.

The man hasn’t been funny in years, these days just recycles talking points he picks up on the Net, and NOW is obsessed with telling Republicans that fear Santorum’s social obsession will hurt us in the general election they are “cowards.”

Rush had single handedly turned Sandra Flucks into the left’s new Martyr and celebrity… he just launched her eventual career as an MSNBC talking head.

Way to go, champ.

CoolCzech on March 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

When the media comes asking about Limbaugh, the Republican politician’s response ought to be: “I want to discuss the issues Americans actually care about — don’t you?”

Yeah, it should be.

So far the only one show that much discipline has been Romney. Newt made some good points with David Gregory this morning, but… every minute he spent making them, was a minute he could have talked about the economy instead.

Santorum is a lost cause. The man cannot help himself; he just rolls in quasi-religious/supposedly socially “conservative” (Really? Even for non-Catholics?) “issues” like a dog in its own crap.

Can you imagine if the guy actually gets the nomination?

CoolCzech on March 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The Obama cult will never forgive Rush Limbaugh for “I hope he fails.” This is what all the week’s kerfuffle is about. The White House tried to make him the chief target right out of the chute in 2009 and failed. They have since moved on to other targets, such as Michael Steele, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, and the Koch brothers. But Rush has always been their #1 nemesis.

And we should never forget him for it, either. I wasn’t thrilled that he made himself such a target this week, but I’m not going to turn my back on him over it. He’s not my favorite talk-radio host, but he did conservatism an invaluable favor with “I hope he fails.” That was the first crack in the Obama Edifice, and it was a seriously important one. So we really should all have his back now. I know I am going to call all those advertisers and let them know I will not buy their products. I will make it a point to listen to Rush as much as I can these next few weeks to keep his ratings high and make these advertisers look foolish.

rockmom on March 4, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Thank you. We shouldn’t be so quick to abandon our allies over what might be a tactical mistake or oversight. I’ll wait to see how this plays out. Rush if a very smart man and I’d very surprised if he hasn’t already thought out how this might end in a different couple of ways. We’ll know more in the next few days on how he responds – whether this was a capitulation or not (apology).

He might be pulling a Breitbart where he sucks in the left and then nails them on something while he has everyone’s attention.

Rush has taken a lot of abuse for the cause. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

kim roy on March 4, 2012 at 7:23 PM

There are some very smart people in the Republican party. The question is why aren’t they the leaders of the party? Why is Boehner and McConnel still there?

odannyboy on March 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Like I keep writing here, we win nothing if we don’t win elections.

The voters on the Right have to stop the incessant criticism about who-is-what-range-of-what and who isn’t and start encouraging more media by the Right and more candidates from the Right who win elections in Leftwing areas (if that is possible, but we do have to keep at it).

Media and academics are the means by which the Left makes more Democrats. So we have to build more businesses and get more individuals employed in those areas from the Right. Both areas discriminate demonstratively against Conservatives in hiring and funding and the Right needs to be doing whatever it can to change that.

Our nation is facing an ultimatum this Fall unlike other elections. Obama and the current DNC are clearly Communist — OK, I said it and I believe it — and our nation won’t be what we have known it to be after November if Obama wins another term, and if we lose the House majority.

We have to start working together on the Right and stop knocking one another down.

Lourdes on March 5, 2012 at 7:52 AM

I’d like to remind everyone that it was Republican Olympia Snowe in the Senate who went again over to the Democrats and voted against the Conscience Clause legislation this weekend.

See what damage people like her wage against this nation?

We gotta’ change that.

Lourdes on March 5, 2012 at 7:56 AM

rockmom on March 4, 2012 at 9:36 AM

kim roy on March 4, 2012 at 7:23 PM

The Democrats/Left attack ALL media and media persons on the Right. They’re not doing it for competition’s sake but to destroy any vehicle and voice that isn’t under the DNC feed.

Fox, Limbaugh, Breitbart, many a blogger on the Right…they attack EVERYone and ANYone who is in media and has an audience. The Left assumes that media is their purview and that the Right can’t exist in it…so they go about destroying anyone who starts up with any organization.

They’re not going to stop, so the rest of us have to start contending with it in some other fashion than responding to it as if the Left’s got the upper hand on the story.

Lourdes on March 5, 2012 at 8:01 AM

CoolCzech on March 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I agree that Rush played into the Left’s hands on this latest issue. If I was going to go all-conspiracy-minded about this, I’d say Limbaugh introduced a vehicle FOR the Left, thus providing them more fodder…and his apology certainly has done that.

I’m disappointed in him. He’s been off a bit for a while now, though, starting with about the “vote for Hillary” campaign he thought was “funny” years ago but wasn’t. Something’s not been reliable about him since, in my view.

Lourdes on March 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM

I heard Rush’s little screed last week, and it made me cringe. It was like watching someone race through a red light and straight into a nasty accident.

claudius on March 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM