In an earlier post, I charged that Rush Limbaugh seemed to be showing lack of concern for issues of concern to those often referred to as "Values Voters" or "Christian Conservatives". This was based on Rush's continued statements against Mike Huckabee.
My opinion of Rush's motivation has changed after a statement Rush made the night of the Iowa caucus. He made a statement to the effect that Democrats want to face Huckabee because of their fear and/or hatred of "Christian Conservatives"; and their hope that they could defeat Huckabee as the embodiment of the "Christian Right", and thus forever eliminate "Christian Conservatives" as a political force.
I now think Limbaugh believes Huckabee would be very likely defeated by the Democrats, and his loss would indeed marginalize "the Christian right." Especially after talking to Rush on his show today, I think he's actually very concerned about "Christian Conservatives", just as much as he has concern for the whole of Conservatism.
I originally called Rush yesterday (yes, one really can get through on that number he gives on air), and told his call-screener that I thought one of the big reasons people were supporting Mike Huckabee was the feeling that our "Christian Conservative" issues were not being taken seriously enough by the GOP. That they talked about them in campaigns, but that there wasn't enough follow through. The call-screener said it was a good comment for the show and raised a topic Rush would want to cover.
I'm really grateful to Rush and his staff. Even though Rush ran out of time and couldn't take my call yesterday; they actually took my number and they called me back today so the topic could be covered. This, along with the respectful way Rush dealt with my comments, really showed his concern for our issues. [Here is the link to this on Rush's site: -link-*]
I was given several minutes on the air with Rush, who in all fairness did point out some significant things Republicans have done on Family Values issues. While I acknowledged them, I pointed out that they were in lower profile areas than things such as a Marriage Amendment that gets bigger media attentions; and insisted issues rather than simply "identity politics" was a big draw for Huckabee.
There was even time to include the fact that although Huckabee often leads with a Populist message, he has real Conservative solutions. When I said I just wish Huckabee would emphasize his conservatism rather than letting it get lost behind the Populist lead-ins; Rush reminded me that this is just the beginning of the race and it remained to be seen whether it might play out that way.
In any case, I regret that I previously jumped to what now seems an obviously wrong conclusion about Rush's motives. Even so, I still disagree with his current take on Huckabee. I think Huckabee's support is based primarily on issues and not in "identity politics."
I may have been mistaken about Rush's motive, but he is the one who's dreadfully wrong about Huckabee; and I still think Rush Limbaugh is Sawing a Leg Off Reagan's Stool!
Hopefully as the campaign plays out Mike Huckabee will use some of the additional media exposure he's receiving as winner in Iowa to shed more light on his underlying conservatism; and maybe even change the mind of Rush Limbaugh.
*[There is one small error in the transcript on Rush's site. The transcriber thought I said "and once I was told incorrectly", when discussing Fred Thompson's opposition to a Federal Definition of Marriage Amendment. I actually said "unless I was told incorrectly".]
"Can a Populist be Conservative?"-2008.01.04
"Rush Limbaugh Sawing a Leg Off Reagan's Stool"-2007.12.29
"Rush is Wrong about Huckabee Supporters"-2007.12.21
"Huckabee Doesn't Have Time for the Whole Sermon"-2007.12.17
"Huckabee Shows Fiscal Conservatism"-2007.12.14
"Rush Credits Huckabee with Best Debate Statement on Hillary"-2007.10.26