March 9, 2009

GOP Civil War: The Battle Is Joined

Think Progress » Gingrich Strikes Back At Limbaugh: ‘You’re Irrational If You Don’t Want The President To Succeed’

Conservative defenders of Rush are quick to point out that the clear intent of Rush's words are that he wants liberalism to fail, that he wants what he considers socialist policies to fail. Even Hughley, on his now canceled CNN show, acknowledged this in the ill fated discussion that got Michael Steele sent out to Rush's woodshed for some ideological correction. Gingrich is intentionally ignoring that distinction and picking a fight with Limbaugh.

I actually think this is a positive development. It is not a good thing for republicans to allow Rush to set the tone of the political discourse at his level. Rush disdains bipartisanship and demonizes not only liberals, but anyone who does not agree with conservatives ideology as he sees it. He's enormously disrespectful in his discourse and his comments on blacks which are particularly relevant to me, are too often over the line. At a very simple level, it is simply not smart for the GOP to permit an entertainer who is accountable to not a single voter nor bears responsibility for a single policy decision, to be the shaper of the debate for the heart and soul of the party or how it conceives its national strategy. Rush has become a bit of an outsized voice supposedly representing the opinion of a large number of voters, but thats really a dangerous way to respond to him. Rush's views are just that.... Rush's views. He happens to have a very huge megaphone.

Gingrich intentially interprets Rush here as wanting the President to fail, not simply his policies, and calls him irrational. Them's definitely fighting words from a conservative voice that is as well recognized as Rush. For my money, I'll pay more attention to Gingrich, for a very basic reason. Unlike Rush, Gingrich speaks from a position of having been accountable to voters and having held a position of responsibility for policy decisions and conducting the people's business. That makes him in my book, more credible than an entertainer who will never place himself in a position of accountability for policy decisions.