Quote of the day

One prominent conservative says Rush Limbaugh knows exactly what he's doing, and that the resultant damage to the GOP is helpful to him.


Alex Koppelman
March 5, 2009 4:00AM (UTC)

Because I know you just haven't had enough Rush Limbaugh news for the day, here's conservative writer David Frum opining on the radio host and why, Frum thinks, he's as happy as the Democrats are that he's the center of attention lately:

President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party...

But what about the rest of the party? Here’s the duel that Obama and Limbaugh are jointly arranging:

On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word – we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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