Thursday, January 29, 2009

CEO Limbaugh's party of lemmings

AFTER BARRY GOLDWATER'S  crushing defeat in 1964, some respected national pundits, including Walter Lippmann, argued that it might take 25 years for the Republican Party to return to the White House.  But the party turned to the steady hand of Ray Bliss for its leadership, whose wisdom and taciturn manner reversed the GOP fortunes in four years.  But even his success was not enough to convince Richard Nixon to retain him as the chairman. He was summarily forced out by the moody president.  Still, the Bliss record - high on winning strategy and low on hard-core ideology - after Goldwater's dismal showing  speaks for itself.

So what do we have today? An angstfest!   As the Republican National Committee meets this week to choose a chairman, the buzz from the experts is that the RNC will  choose a man with the strongest conservative credentials.   They say the odds favor Ken Blackwell, a conservative's conservative who is preaching the same thing that led him to landslide  defeat in Ohio's gubernatorial race in 20o6. But his  peculiar ways have  won him endorsements from many right-wing groups for the RNC job.  These days, it figures.  

Still,  even the RNC might be confined to the wings by  the party's new CEO:   You guessed, Rush, the supreme  leader.    MSNBC's David Shuster and analyst Larry O'Donnell now are referring to him as the party's "de facto leader". ( I'll stick with CEO.)  Although it would be nice if we could stop inflating Rush's ego and isolate him in his broadcast bunker,  he can't be ignored for his grip on the Republican Party.   Consider this:  In the past few days a Republican congressman from Georgia, Phil Gingrey, slavishly apologized to Limbaugh for having asked the CEO to cool down a bit about Obama.   "I regret and apologize that my comments offended and upset my fellow conservatives," Gingrey said in a phone call to Limbaugh that sounded more like a plea for mercy  to the Inquisition.  That must be a first in congressional humility at the throne of a broadcaster!  And shameful!

Not to be outdone, Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 man in the Republican ranks,  proudly appeared on  Limbaugh's program to wish him well and thank him , gushing:  "Thank goodness,  You're there to help get this (anti-stimulus) message out."  Cantor has even sent out pleas to his own constituents in his Richmond, Va., upscale district, to support Limbaugh and refused to criticize Limbaugh's hopes that Obama will fail.  There will be more of this toxic  nonsense in the days  ahead as the GOP reduces itself to Limbaugh's party of lemmings - and worse.  It will have the opposite effect of the Bliss influence that succeeded without fanfare.    Is there a Republican on Capitol Hill who would openly disagree?  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They really don't get it. They're in a time warp at 1933. The country is at the financial brink and they choose to lip-synch Rush Limbaugh. Statesmanship is out the window.