Failure always inspires naval-gazing. So I expected to hear the conservative media talking-heads do a little introspection after last night's lopsided loss. What I didn't expect was for Rush Limbaugh to come right out and say "I'm full of crap." Check out the top of the third hour monologue from today's show. Here's Rush at approximately 1:14 p.m. Central time today:
The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high! Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat [sic] Party does and liberalism.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but doesn't this sound like Rush telling his audience, right in front of God and everybody, that he's been lying to them? Rush continues...
I'm a radio guy! I understand what this program has become in America and I understand the leadership position it has. I was doing what I thought best, but at this point, people who don't deserve to have their water carried, or have themselves explained as they would like to say things but somehow aren't able to? I'm not under that kind of pressure.
This confirms what many of you have heard me say before. Given the nature of my book, folks ask me all the time "do you think Rush really believes this crap?" And now the answer that I gave has been confirmed. No. He doesn't believe what he says. He'll say whatever he has to say to keep Republicans in power. You can not believe a word that comes out of his mouth.
Some may call this behavior 'lying.' And the first person to say so was Rush's own producer-Mr. Bo Snerdly.
Am I making myself clear on this, Mr. Snerdley? (interruption) No, I'm not lying. Snerdley's concerned. I've not lied about anything I've said. Let me try this a different way. (sigh) I'm going to have to think about this. I tried to make it as clear as I can.
Ever notice how people only feel the need to clarify the stuff that they've said that was stupid-Macacca, lazy firefighters, botched jokes, etc? Those guys didn't do to well with the "let me be clear" setup. Let's see if Rush does any better...
I'm not going to eat my own, and I'm not going to throw my own overboard, particularly in a campaign, and particularly when the country is at war -- and I'm not going to do it for selfish reasons, and I'm not going to do it to stand out, and I'm not going to do it to be different. I'm not going to do it to draw attention from our enemies. I'm not going to do anything I do so that the Drive-By Media will like me or think that, "Ooooh, Limbaugh has changed! Ooooh, Limbaugh is coming around!" That's not my thinking. My thinking is: the left doesn't deserve to win. My thinking is: the country is imperiled with liberal victory. We may not have the best people on our side, but they're better than what we have on the left.
This touches on something I meant to blog about before the election, but I never had time (working as I was on the candidacy of two doomed Dems). It's a political philosophy that his at it's core the racism of the old Republican Southern Strategy. In my book I talk about how Rush has made 'liberal' the new 'ni**er.' Now I've been around plenty of racists in my time. One of the mantra's of a true, Klan-like racist belief is that the lowliest member of your race is still better than the best member of the race that you hate. Well, here we have Rush saying that basically the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, and that he's going to endorse accordingly. While I've always thought this to be the case, I'm a little surprised to hear Rush say it so candidly.
But I digress. Back to Rush's exegesis...
There hasn't been in the ideology in the Republican Party, any conservatism for at least two to maybe four years. You could argue Bush was more of an ideologue in the presidential campaign of '04, but in looking at what happened yesterday, it wasn't conservatism that lost. Conservatism won when it ran as a Democrat. It won in a number of places. Republicanism lost. RINO Republicans, country club blue-blood Republicans, this nonpartisan Republican identity, that's what went down in flames.
This little series REALLY kills me, because what I noticed was the exact opposite. Arnold Schwarzenegger ran as a liberal and won. Harold Ford Jr. ran as a conservative and lost. Different states, different races, but if we're talking about the victory of one ideology over the other I think conservatism just got its taint handed to it.
But beyond that is the admission of how long Rush has been lying. It's one thing to say "yeah, this election I was really mad at my party but I didn't want to say anything." In fact, that's exactly what I expected to see happen. But to have Rush say that this thing went off the rails 4 years ago, and that he's been covering for it all this time is kind of shameful. I wonder what else Rush really wanted to speak out about, but didn't? Did he REALLY think Abu Ghraib was just a fraternity prank, or was he carrying water? Does he really think there's a liberal media, or does he just need to make the whole thing up to keep Republicans in power? Hell, maybe he thinks Donovan McNabb is really a great quarterback! We'll never know, because we can never be sure of when Rush is telling us what he REALLY thinks, or when he's telling us what he thinks we need to hear. I've never really known a pundit that was willing to come right out and say "I'm full of shit." I always figured Carville would do it one day, but now I'm glad that when it actually DID happened it was Rush.
Couldn't think of a better housewarming gift for the incoming Democrat-IC majority.