Amy Holmes | Bio
So, now we know. President Obama's mentions of Rush Limbaugh are no accident. Democratic strategists have discovered that Rush has low approval ratings with the general public. So they have devised a strategy to paint Republicans with the Rush brush in order to marginalize conservatism and the Republican Party. In the nineties, they demonized Newt. Now, they're after Rush. And the media is happily going along, as it so often does.
Back in December, while the Republican Party had not one, but two, highly qualified and widely respected African-Americans running for its chairmanship, the media chose instead to focus on the juvenile antics of Chip Saltsman and his Christmas CD. Show after show featured outraged democratic strategists attacking the Republican Party because of one man's lapse of judgment. And conservative after conservative was called on to defend or attack the hapless politician. When Republicans then elected former lieutenant governor Michael Steele to lead the party, it was treated as a non-event. Michael Steele's election as the first African-American RNC chairman received a fraction of the airtime that was devoted to the CD circus, and none of the reverence that has greeted Pres. Barack Obama at every turn of his political career. The media slid right by without a reflective pause, let alone gushing profiles and heroic magazine covers.
And, once again, the media is back to the old storyline as typified by a cynical op-ed in the Washington Post by Pres. Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe titled, "The Minority Leader Limbaugh (link below)." In it, Plouffe calls Eric Cantor, the popularly elected and highly talented Virginia congressman, a Limbaugh ventriloquist. Why? Well, a lot of statistics are thrown around in the piece, but the real reason is because the young, handsome, Jewish American politician is a threat. He undermines the Democratic caricature of conservatives as "angry, middle aged, white males" with "angry, middle aged ideas." Indeed, young voters might look up and see a new and diverse generation of Republican leaders who, to use a popular liberal phrase, "look like us." Can't have that! So, Cantor has to be marginalized and Limbaugh touted as the true leader of the Republican party.
Imagine, for a moment, if George W. Bush and his chief of staff had made coordinated and concerted attacks on Michael Moore, and suggested that the colorful left wing fulminator - not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid - was the "true intellectual force" behind the Democratic party. Imagine the howls of protest. And, undoubtedly, the media would have focused on the propriety of a Commander-in-Chief and his advisers wasting time and political breath on an entertainer. And yet we have President Obama and his hammer, Rahm Emanuel, doing just that in a time of war and economic crisis, and the story is about... Republicans!
Was there a scuffle between Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh? Sure. Does it make for great TV? Yes. There's a reason Rush has 20 million or so listeners. But does it really deserve hours of air time? And can it really be true that the only entertaining intramural disputes are on the right?
Democrats have found their foil. And Rush is happy to play along. But should the media be quite so pliant and willing to play along, too? I'm still waiting for those gushing profiles and magazine covers on the "The New Republican Party!" I don't recommend anyone hold their breath.
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