Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rush Limbaugh Sawing a Leg Off Reagan's Stool

Many credit Ronald Reagan (and I think rightly so) with building the "3-legged stool" that is the modern conservative movement. The three legs being Defense Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives, and Social Conservatives.

Rush Limbaugh needs to realize his own marginalizing of moral and social issues (at the root of his attacks on Mike Huckabee) is in danger of cutting off the Social Conservative leg. A leg that the leaders of the Republican party have been doing little beyond rhetoric to shore up in recent years.

I think there are two basic reasons Rush is attacking Mike Huckabee. Number 2 is that Huckabee does, admittedly, often lead with a populist sounding attention getter up front and one often has to sift for his solutions; which ARE CONSERVATIVE.

The Number 1 Reason is the one area where RUSH IS NOT CONSERVATIVE. Rush strikes me as having become too much of a hedonist (or at least giving a wink to hedonism) to be able to support anyone who takes issues like fighting homosexual mainstreaming seriously. As one who has listened to Rush for years, it's obvious that he thinks homosexual mainstreaming is no big deal. For me, it's the biggest.

We can recover from a temporary tragic bout of liberalism in fiscal areas. All but the most extreme far-left liberal loons become "Defense Conservatives" when our nation is obviously threatened. But a governmental sanction of homosexual practice would shatter our basic culture to such a degree that we would never recover.

Huckabee needs to put his conservative solutions more up-front in his speeches and answers. This would help put those at ease who, after hearing Rush's false charges that Huckabee is liberal in the Defense and Fiscal areas; and may not look deep enough into his record and statements to see Huckabee's firm support for all three legs.

Although it's apparent that Rush does believe in God as the Creator (see his "Undeniable Truths of Life" #s 20&23); he seems to worship at the altar of the "Almighty Dollar" first and foremost, and seems incredulous that any candidate mentions any subject more often than money.

Rush has enough staff and history of deep research that he either knows his charges are false, or he is predisposed to believing the worst about a candidate who is dedicated to supporting the Conservative stool by three firm legs even if he has carve a replacement for the fragile Social/Moral leg himself from a tree of basically Biblical values. I have enough reason not to doubt Rush's honesty that I believe it's the latter, and therefore he simply hasn't bothered to get all the facts about Huckabee.

In either case, it seems to indicate Rush believes more in a stool supported by two legs and a broom-straw, than the 3-legged stool of Ronald Reagan. [note (2008-01-03): My opinion of Rush's intention have changed after a statement Rush made the night of the Iowa caucus. I now think he believes Huckabee would be very likely defeated by the Democrats, and his loss would marginalize "the Christian right." Look for a more in-depth post on that subject later today.]


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Rush may have his roots in middle America conservatism, but as he's grown more popular and influential and very rich, he's lost sight of where he came from, and the ordinary people who have helped him get to where he is. He trusts way too much in his own wisdom and his own ego and the opinions of others just like him - who are solidly invested in the horizontal politics as usual game - because that is how they became successful.

Huckabee threatens to invalidate all that with his brand of vertical politics and they're very leery of that practical, solutions-based approach because they think it's more of a "moderate" compromising sort of approach. They're failing to make a distinction between the higher, vertical strategy of Huckabee, and the lower compromising, moderate weakness of too many Republicans in Washington.

The truth is they are the one's who are engaged in "identity" politics - they're caught up in their "conservative identity", in being more "conservative" than anyone else, in defining who is conservative and who is not according to their list of "identifying characterisitcs". Their whole livelyhood has been so wrapped up in defeating liberalism that they've become sort of mirror images of their enemies.

Just look at the marriage of Coulter and Carville for goodness sake! Hugh Hewitt has used more Clintonian tactics in this campaign than Hillary has! And Rush himself is all wrapped up in "conservative style over substance"!

Whereas all these conservative talkers still sound like conservatives when they TALK individual issues (that's why so many of us enjoy listening to them), yet they're also frustrating a lot of us as they pump up and/or denigrate the candidates and personalities of their choosing. It's one thing to compare and contrast fairly but it's very disturbing how they flat-out misrepresent Huckabee and his record. The non-thinking dittoheads just eat it all up, but the thinkers in the audience can see how they're WALKING more like liberals and leftists when they repeatedly misrepresent, denigrate and attack Huckabee and their fellow Americans, conservatives, Christians, Republicans and Independents who're supporting him. Many ordinary Americans are liking what Huckabee has been saying and what his candidacy and vision of America represents. Laura's latest book is called "Power to the People" for crying out loud, and yet she's attacking the people when she attacks Huckabee! The lack of integrity and character of these "conservative icons" is only disenfranchising a large portion of their audience and the Republican base. Because they are as you say sawing a leg off of Reagan's conservative stool and playing right into the hands of the Democrats who're all too eager to divide us - instead of simply adhering to conservative principles - which is what true conservatism is really all about. We need to get back to conservative principles!

During the Clinton era Rush and every other conservative commentator said it was all about character - now that we have a candidate with character - they're all throwing theirs away in a conservative pissing contest. IMHO it is a wrong, stupid-@$$, self-defeating move for conservatives and conservatism. Shame on Rush, Shame on Hugh, shame on Laura, Ann and Michelle, and all the rest.

As supporters of Huckabee we need to focus on his conservative message and vision for America. We need to tie that message directly to conservative principles, and be careful not to fall into the same trap of becoming like our opponents whether they be the other candidates, the leftist media, or "conservative" commentators like Rush and the others. Don't get angry, don't become divisive, and don't play into horizontal trap - let's get busy, building up our candidate, and building up America one neighbor at a time. Our FAMILY of Republican friends and Conservative mentors are smarter than they've been acting, let's keep them in our prayers, pray for their audiences and demonstrate our FAITH by giving them FREEDOM to disagree, and time to change their minds and most importantly, give them some solid reasons to switch to Huckabee. Let's lead and show them the way up, by getting the truth out rather than abandon them and the cause of conservatism.

BTW, Kudos to Medved and few like him for standing with integrity and being fair.

--Brently aka soulsamurai

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog.
Also thanks to the annonymous essay comment by Brently. I have listened to Rush Limbaugh sparingly over the years.
I always granted him his gift for communication and his gift of satire and in a general way agreed with quite a few of his assessments. I never did think that deep spiritual or moral values were of the most importance to him either in his own life or ultimately in his career advancement. But I do not wish Rush evil and do not wish to be his enemy. But I will walk in the light as I see it, not as he directs. If Huckabee should become the Republican nominee and even more so if he should become president we need to hope and pray that he will stay true at his core to the everlasting spiritual and moral values even though not everyone, even some of us who are his supporters, are going to agree with everything he does.


Vradic said...

Thanks to the commenters. Good thoughts. I would ask, however, that you not engage in the use of even simi-disguised vulgarity.

Thanks again for reading and your comments.