58 thoughts on “Apropos to the Ripper Owens Post

  1. The only thing that I can think of is that if the GOP was a fantasy book, Rush would be the local warlord/monster that the “true king” must slay before he can ascend the throne.

    Steele, obviously, is not the one….

  2. Monopolies lead to complacently produced crap. The democrats do require decent, sane opposition to keep ‘em honest.

    This is so not it.

  3. Without literally “shooting” Liberty Valance…where is the brave conservative (yes, I know it’s an oxymoron!) to say “That man has no c/l/o/t/h/e/s/ real principles and he’s not funny, either.” (Or whatever the appropriate message is–I suspect he doesn’t even have Imus’ charitable fig leaf, but I refuse to spend any time on winkling out possible weak spots when I’d rather arrange unanesthetized root canal.)

    By the way, if you type out that *ick* name often enough, hair will grow somewhere you’d rather it didn’t. Just saying.

  4. You’re attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it’s not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you.

    –I’m sorry, but it really is the only thing I know about politics.

  5. The important thing to remember is that Rush serves a purpose (dark and evil though it may be). His job is to drag the GOP through the mud and cause it to sink to its lowest point. Then, when all hope seems to be gone, one of the Bush clan will emerge forth and Claim His/Her Destiny(tm). There are enough of them around and Rush will have made sure that people are too traumatized to remember George W’s legacy.

  6. Well, as Al Franken said, “Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.” So what does that say about Michael Steele?

  7. I always thought the funniest aspect of Franken’s book title was that he offered to debate Rush on the topic, and offered to allow him to defend either position (either Rush was, or was not, a big fat idiot). Just adds insult to injury.

  8. The democrats do require decent, sane opposition to keep ‘em honest.

    Are you sure? Recent history shows that no one can obstruct Democratic policy like other Democrats. It’s not really necessary to outsource your core competency.

    In my perfect future, the country’s course is shaped by a tug-of-war between liberals Dems and conservative Dems, with the Republicans reduced to playing the fringe role opposite hard-core socialists and Earth Liberation Fronters.

  9. It has to be said that the Democrats have usually provided their own best opposition from within. It would be nice to see that change but I guess they just don’t have the rank and file brainwashed like the GOP does.

  10. Coulda spoken against the mob mentality that Rush preys on–the same one that lost by 6% last November.

    Coulda voiced what everyone knows–energizing or not, people like Limbaugh hold the Republican party (and maybe the whole country) back.

    What a pansy. What a limp-wristed wimp.

  11. When Rush first started out, sad to say he made it big (on radio) here in Sacramento CA, he used to say that he was an entertainer and ran a “Theater of the Mind”. He would take positions that had nothing to do with conservative beliefs just to get people to call. He was funny and interesting. Then he started to believe his own hype and the fawning idiots that called up his show and sucked up to him. Too bad he got so big that the Chairman of the RNC now has to act like a wuss and apologize for saying the truth to avoid offending stupid Republicans. (and no I don’t believe that all of them are just the Sarah Palin/Rush Limbaugh wing of the party). This is ANOTHER sad day for the Republican party.

  12. This is just the talkie version of: “Never start a land war in Asia.” Like it or not, Rush has one of the largest and loudest fan-bases in America. Steele picking a fight with Rush on the airwaves is kind of like Steele standing in Tienamen Square and pissing on Chairman Mao. The only interesting part is to see how bad the end really is.

    Though I’m also a fan of:”When your opponent is beclowning himself, shut up and get him a louder microphone.”

    Both seem to apply here, depending on your position in re: Rush v. GOP, whom to hate more.

  13. If the GOP keeps bowing to Rush, they are going to be in the political wilderness a long, long time. How far the mighty has fallen.

  14. Also in re: the entire doom & gloom about the GOP following Rush, I’ll just note that they came to power in the ’90s when they were most in line with Rush. I think the behavior of the party has changed more than Mr. Limbaugh — though I don’t listen to him, so take it with a grain of salt. While that might disappoint many people on posting on this thread, it should be remembered that populist ideas are popular.

    If I were concerned about the success of the GOP, I’d advise them to do it Rush’s way.

  15. Maybe Rush embodied populist policies 20 15 years ago, but nowadays its no accident the White House Rush to be the face of the Republican party.

    Lets just say, he’s not thatpopular, even within the Republican party. 60% is clearly not terrible, but 49% unfavorable among independents is not promising for republicans.

  16. Michael Steele would like you to know that the man who said this:

    .Obama is holding his own against both of them–doing more than his share of the “spade” work. Maybe even gaining ground at the moment. Using not only the spade ladies and gentleman—that when he finishes with the “spade” in the garden of corruption planted by the Clinton’s, he turns to the “hoe.” And so the spade work and his expertise using a hoe.

    isn’t using “incendiary” or “ugly” language.

    And yes, you can actually hear him putting special emphasis on the words “spade” and “hoe”. because Limbaugh is just that classy.

    The fact that Steele can’t call that ugly or incendiary means that there won’t be a GOP that cares about racism until Limbaugh no longer has the power to make Steele back down.

  17. Now wasn’t this being televised on CNN? And really, what CURRENT member of the GOP is actually WATCHING CNN??

  18. I have this recurring dream of a Limbaugh-Coulter ticket in 2012. Which explains the acid-reflux that keeps waking me.

  19. @ Brett: That’s an interesting way to think about it, but I think there had to be other causes to the Republican Revolution in ’94 than Limbaugh.

    For one thing, the GOP had Gingrich. Love or hate him, the man was an exceptional politician.

    There was also a bigger choir to preach to back then. In ’94, the Republican brand hadn’t been so thoroughly pulped as it is now, so people were more receptive to their firebrands.

  20. MH @ 8:

    Yes, I’m sure. I live in Illinois, where Republicans imploded a few years back. We only just got rid of Rod Blagojevich, and that was thanks to Fitzgerald. We can count on him to clean up everything.

  21. The fundamental problem the Republicans are having is that they have no new ideas to go to. Realistically, the talking points have stayed the same for three decades now:

    1. Taxes Bad
    2. Gays Bad
    3. Government Bad
    4. Guns and the Bible Good

    The Republicans succeeded in all of their talking points (Lower taxes, DOMA, Welfare reform, limiting abortion, etc.) and still got pasted in the recent elections. There is simply not a lot there to weave a coherent governing framework from. I suspect, at the core, people realize that decades of deregulation and the lowering of the wealthy’s tax burden hasn’t actually propelled us into a Conservative Utopia, and smart Republicans realize that they sound stupid when they suggest that we need to keep doing the same thing, only harder.

    Limbaugh is simply exploiting the fact that the Republicans got beaten, when every media personality on their side was telling them that they were going to win, and that Obama was not simply a member of the opposing party but actually evil. People will always listen to someone who tells them what they want to hear, especially if it means they don’t have to reconsider any of their own beliefs. He can scream from the hilltops that Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed, with impunity, because his listeners desperately want to hear that message. People who attempt to interject facts and reason into the debate are going to get crushed like a bug, unless they have far more rhetorical skill than anyone the GOP seems able to produce.

  22. I’ve lost track — is this the third or the fourth prominent Republican in the last two months who’s criticized Rush and then been forced to apologize? What I want to know is, who’s calling them up and telling them to apologize? For the congresspeople, we thought it was constituents. Steele doesn’t have constituents.

  23. I can’t believe Steele called Limbaugh “a very valuable conservative voice for our party.” WTF was he thinking!?!

  24. Um, he was thinking “Crap, if Limbaugh turns against me, I might never get anywhere as a leader of the Republican Party again”.

    Which sort of makes Limbaugh the power behind the throne of the GOP if he can do that to the head of the RNC. Limbaugh has some pretty potent influence over the Republican leadership. He can make black Republican men kiss his racist ass.

  25. In other words, the GOP is so far reduced that they’re enslaved to die-hard Limbaugh fans. Way to stop being a regional, minority party, y’all.

  26. @26: Yeah, imagine all those Black Republican congressmen who’ll have to kowtow to Rush. Oh wait, there AREN’T ANY.

  27. so if Rush is the ‘voice’ of the GOP who is puling the strings? Steele is nominaly the eader – but appears to be s figurehead – is Cheany still ‘in command’ ?

  28. jasonmitchell – Who’s in charge?

    There’s a leak, there’s a leak In the boiler room,
    The poor, the lame, the blind
    Who are the ones left in charge?
    Killers, thieves and Lawyers
    God’s away, God’s away, God’s away
    On Business. Business.

    – Tom Waits “God’s Away On Business”

  29. I’m curious: if Limbaugh is just an empty blowhard, why does he rate two lengthy posts by Mr. Scalzi? Surely there are more worthy topics for John’s not-inconsiderable talents.

    Is it the sweet thrill of being in a mob, all hating the same target? Displacing all your frustrations and anxiety onto one moderately successful radio announcer?

    I think the late Mr. Orwell would have been surprised at this development: he expected the scapegoating and the “Two-Minute Hate” to be something orchestrated and enforced by the regime. The idea that people would spontaneously and voluntarily repeat lies and Party propaganda might have driven poor George to suicide.

  30. Minitru:

    “I’m curious: if Limbaugh is just an empty blowhard, why does he rate two lengthy posts by Mr. Scalzi?”

    That’s quite a few less than my cat rates, if that’s any perspective.

    Your “two-minute hate” comment is cute, considering the “one hour, twenty minute hate” Rush just performed at CPAC.

    Any other lazy equivalencies you’d like to try, MiniTru?

  31. As an aside to how powerful Rush is to the republican party, I find it amazing that someone in a position of relative power in the republican party is so spineless. Is that the kind of leader people really want representing them?

  32. The difference between Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele is that no one’s quaking in their boots at the thought of what might happen if they dissed Michael Steele. Maybe Mr. Steele ought to start looking for a day job.

  33. Nobody claims that Al Franken is the leader of the Democratic Party. Or Jon Stewart.

    Everybody is pretty much in agreement that Barack Obama is the party leader. The guy who *leads*. You know, as in leading.

    But, there isn’t much agreement at all that Michael Steele is actually *leading* the GOP. Or Bobby Jindal. Or Sarah Palin. Or Mitt Romney. (I could go on and on…)

  34. re AR @ 38
    we are in agreement – there is NO public leader of the GOP right now -Rush is by default and for the reasons that John and Rahm Immanuel articulated better than I can

    I think that the current situation the GOP is in and the press about “Rush = leader” is a good thing for the GOP – a ‘REAL leader’ can now step in and change the direction of the GOP – I’d like to see someone more like Theodre Roosevelt and less like Ronald Reagan but right now I don’t know who that is – I hope that Rush, Palin, Huckabee, Jindal etc. others of that ilk get marginalized and true Fiscal Conservatives have a role to temper the democrats

  35. I hope that Rush, Palin, Huckabee, Jindal etc. others of that ilk get marginalized and true Fiscal Conservatives have a role to temper the democrats

    Problem is, the fiscal conservatives, being not-totally-insane, have left the party and become conservative Democrats, or independents.

    There’s nothing left on that sinking ship BUT the rats. And they have chosen Rush as their Rat-King.

  36. Josh Jasper@26:

    “He can make black Republican men kiss his racist ass.”

    I believe the proper phrase (as suggested by Mr Limbaugh) is he can make them “bend over and grab their ankles.”

  37. Since Mr. Scalzi evidently DID attend CPAC and took copious notes during Limbaugh’s speech, perhaps he can enlighten us about the “hate” he expressed.

    Fun fact: disagreement with the One does not equal hate.

  38. The thing isn’t that Rush Limbaugh is hateful. Rather it’s this: Who *elected* him leader of the GOP? He has sponsors and listeners, but sponsors and listeners are not voters.

    I repeat: listeners are *not* voters. It may seem they are, but they’re not.

    What’s his legitimacy based on then, if it’s not voters? The size of his megaphone?

    Such leadership is tenuous and it won’t last.

  39. #9: “It has to be said that the Democrats have usually provided their own best opposition from within”

    “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.” — Will Rogers

  40. It’s self-evident that there’s a vacuum at the top of the Republican Party, as others here have already said. (This is reminiscent of top-40 radio, back when Rush was DJ “Jeff Christie”: Some record had to be #1 every week, whether or not there was a record that merited being #1 that week.)

    I was entertained by what Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday: “It’s Rush’s party now. So why shouldn’t he run for president in 2012? Make Palin his veep – and be done with it.”

    I suppose that if the Republicans ever come back, god forbid, it will be with a candidate who (like Obama ~7 years ago) is little-known nationally today. But the change he or she brings (if such a candidate ever arises) will have to be so vast that the term “GOP” will be shoved aside, as the party will have to avoid being seen as the Grand “Old” Party.

  41. Sorry, one more quote (from Firedoglake, 3/3) that I just now came across and had to include because of its reference to Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good Life”: “Rush Limbaugh is the GOP’s untouchable sacred monster and Republicans grovel and simper around him like he’s a supersized Billy Mumy (“Oh, that was a real smart thing you said, Rush, real fine.”), but ultimately they’re going to have to make a choice: Either marginalize Rush and his poisonous bile, or marginalize themselves.”

  42. Poor Michael Steele: He made a point of saying, essentially, that he was going to work to broaden the appeal of the Republican brand (something about reaching out to the “one-armed midgets”). How’s he doing so far?

    When asked if he’d favour civil unions, his answer was:

    No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country. I mean this isn’t something that you just kind of like, “Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage.” I mean, this is a foundational principle of this country. It is a foundational principle of organized society. It isn’t something that, you know, in America we decided, “Let’s make it between a man and a woman; oh well now, let’s change our mind and make it between anyone and anyone.” No.

    I’m going to guess that gay folks won’t be flocking to put R’s next to their names after that pronouncement. Maybe this one’ll work better?

    We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.

    “Off the hook”, dawgs! Real as penitentiary Steele!

    And now what’s the take-home message? Don’t diss the white man, unless you’re prepared to kiss his ass in Macy’s window afterward. I’m sure young black folks are absolutely thrilled.

    One-armed midgets may just end up being the only group that’ll sign up at this rate.

  43. In other words, he said nothing hateful, you just don’t like him. Therefore anything he says must be DEFINED as hateful so you can get back to your tribal status rituals.

  44. The assumption is that if the Republican message was “branded” right, enough black voters would see that they’ve got values in common with the GOP, which is probably true, but irrelevant, because the “re-branding” that it’ll take to actually be attractive to enough non straight white folks is dropping racism and sexism, which means dropping Rush, which means loosing his listeners money.

    In a sense, the Democrats have a similar problem, but activists like Al Gore can actually be tolerable to most people – they’re not racist, just potentially annoying to the conservative viewpoint. You don’t have to tolerate racism to tolerate Gore. You do have to turn a blind eye to tolerate Rush. And when an allegedly powerful black man like Steele is forced to apologize to Rush because Rush actually threatens him on air, black voters will be turned off in a way you won’t see on the left if someone disagrees with Gore (or Olbermann, or Moore or some other leftist activist.)

  45. Obama is holding his own against both of them–doing more than his share of the “spade” work. Maybe even gaining ground at the moment. Using not only the spade ladies and gentleman—that when he finishes with the “spade” in the garden of corruption planted by the Clinton’s, he turns to the “hoe.” And so the “spade” work and his expertise using a “hoe”.

    -Rush Limbaugh on Brack Obama, pre-eletion.

    Need more racist quotes? He’s got so many there’s a top 10

  46. MiniTru:

    “In other words, he said nothing hateful, you just don’t like him.”

    No. In other words, you are not worth my time. Given the “snark unthinkingly from the GOP placards” tenor of your comments on the various political threads you’ve popped up on, MiniTru, you’re in my “uninterested in actual conversation: generally ignore” bin. Your comments here are going to have to show rather more brain before you climb out of that particular box. And in the meantime, there are lots of other people who generally share your politics but are far more interesting to converse with. Hope that clears that up.

  47. @ Josh Jasper, 51

    My jaw dropped after reading that first quote, and my eyes kept growing wider and wider as I went on. I knew he was a racist sack of shit, but seeing those things – regardless of context (how do you contextualise things like what he said!?!) – just flummoxed me. How is that hate-mongering bastard even allowed an outlet?

    Maybe next we’ll have Republicans rallying around the words of Tom Metzger at the next convention!

  48. Reminder: the power of the airwaves over real politicians was beautifully extrapolated in Bug Jack Barron
    (1969) by Norman Spinrad.
    Nebula (nominee)
    Hugo (nominee)
    fantasticfiction’s summary includes:
    “TV megastar Jack Barron hosts the wildly popular Bug Jack Barron, a phone-in show that listens to public gripes and puts politicians and bosses on the spot–live.”

  49. @ A. R. Yngve, 44:

    The thing isn’t that Rush Limbaugh is hateful. Rather it’s this: Who *elected* him leader of the GOP? He has sponsors and listeners, but sponsors and listeners are not voters.

    I repeat: listeners are *not* voters. It may seem they are, but they’re not.

    True in every sense. However, listeners — especially those who uncritically suck down every word transmitted and spew it back as gospel — are followers. Followers select so-called “leaders”, whether the latter have any talent for leading or not.

    What’s his legitimacy based on then, if it’s not voters? The size of his megaphone?

    Parents who failed to change their names and owned up to creating him? :-/

  50. As a public service, in case any one else feels the need to apologize to Rush, the DCCC has provided this handy tool: http://www.dccc.org/content/sorry
    In addition to Allen Steele, it also captures apologies from Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and governor Mark Sanford of SC.

  51. Sorry, Martini. I don’t think your link was spam, but mine certainly was, since I skimmed right past your version of it.

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