T Nation

Steele vs Rush


So who is in charge?



Rush doesn't want to be in charge. He wants to do what he does.

One thing's for sure, Obama is going to succeed at making Rush more popular than ever if he keeps mentioning him by name. If I was Rush, I'd be loving this.


he wont becuase he's unmotivated.

drug fiends tend to be like that.




This whole thing is a little ridiculous. Steele can criticize Rush all he wants. They both know Rush is doing the dirty work for the Republican party. He says all the things the Republican party wants to say, but wouldn't dare. Given their new "not quite as liberal" stratagy.

I don't listen to Rush, but I am sure he knows this.


Yes he is.

But you left out the pedophile part.


Rush Limbaugh: The Moveon.org of the Republican Party. Basically an outlet for the Right to circle jerk. Too polarizing to sway many moderates, even if his message has some merit.


Maybe he is not racist?

Who can deny the rest?


His message has plenty of merit. I just choose not to listen to it over and over again, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have merit. Quotes like the one above are ridiculous and intellectually lazy. Instead, how about you point out a message of Rush's that you don't agree with, and we will discuss. And please, not out of context snippets.

There are others that are parots more than consevative intellectuals, like Hannity, that would be much easier to attack. There are also others that are much more contraversial and abrasive. Mark Levin is my absolute favorite. Really the only Conservative commentator I care to listen to. Why no outrage there? Why Rush? Because he's popular. Not that he's wrong or the the most abrasive, just that he's popular.

It's funny that people get so worked up over Rush. The guy is very intelligent and well informed. He is not Howard Stern. He is not Moveon.org. His message is not far from traditional conservatism.

Granted, he rarely breaks the surface. But this has more to do with his audience and the medium. Waxing philosophical would likely lead to plummeting ratings. Can you imagine him explaining the stimulus bill in terms of classic economic principals? Maybe reviewing the Austrian school of economics and quoting Von Mises and Hayek? How about making a case against the liberal nanny state by dissecting Locke, Burke, Jefferson, or Madison? I wonder what this would do to ratings.

People aren't generally looking for a quality education when listening to the radio. They want to here news and current events from a conservative perspective. What is so alarming about this?

Even a politically educated Conservatives would rationally be driven to Rush or other conservative outlets for news. I have already concluded that Liberalism is incredibly harmful. I have already come to the conclusion that conservatism is better for the entire country. Why would I not seek conservative medial outlets?

I don't need to hear the other side. I already know what the other side is going to do and say. I only read the Times and watch network political news to punish myself. The kids also get a kick out of me screaming at the TV or the computer screen.

Again, what is so shocking here? That conservatives like conservative news and entertainment radio? Wow, what is this country coming to?


Limbaugh is doing conservatives an immeasurable favor by forcing the GOP's hand. His is the Reagan Republican message. If they denounce him they denounce conservatism along with him thus finally exposing themselves for the neo liberals they are.

However, I do believe it would be a grave error to allow him to be portrayed as the leader of the Republican party even if they agree for 2 main reasons.

1> Steele is right after all. He IS an entertainer and having one as your party's most prominent voice smacks of the

syndrome. Which BTW, may actually turn out to be the case.

2> It allows the Dems to tattoo them with every single thing Limbaugh says and the medium and style of his delivery is a ready made out of context sound bite for attack ads. Witness how they are at this moment contorting his statements about wanting Obama to fail. It should also be instructive that the Democrats are doing everything they can to MAKE him the leader of the GOP. That alone should demonstrate what a bad idea it would be.

I haven't listened to him either for quite a while, but I will probably make a point to more after that speech at CPAC. I forgot how good he was. When I was driving deliveries in the early 90's in NYC I used to listen to him every day. He was hysterically funny and was pretty much summing up what I saw on the political landscape in this nation.


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They're desperate for leadership. Geeze...


Boy I am wiser for reading this...He's a pedophile now? What will you think of next...Are you have trouble trying to come up with an actual counter argument to what he says?
And if you do not listen to him ever, how do you know you disagree with him?

Why don't you do something intelligent like bring an actual point he made, that you disagree with and debate that. Not a sound bite or a partial sentence taken out of context, but an actual point. Can you handle that?


There was none for he democrats either until Obama stepped out of the wood work. For crying out loud they lost to Bush in '04, he was the most beatable sitting president in history and they could not do it.

We need a viable third party...The Libertarians are ok, but they are not doing enough...It's not enough to be mostly right, you gotta advertise.


Completely wrong. His message, and the man himself, are miles from TRADITIONAL conservatism. If you want to say he's an icon of me-first, individualistic, "freedom" uber alles conservatism, OK, that's tenable. But that is certainly not traditional conservatism.


Feel free to elaborate.


You know, I think I will listen to his show today....


Traditional conservatism means the conservatism of Burke and Kirk, of limits, of place, of culture, and of faith really. Rush Limbaugh is the farthest possible thing from that. What does he stand for? Best I can tell, consumerism, individualism, nationalism (as opposed to patriotism), militarism, and maybe small government. Only one of those is a conservative position.

Rod Dreher has a lengthy takedown of the Limbaugh speech at CPAC that is somehow being celebrated on the right. As he notes, Limbaugh's basic philosophy is indistinguishable from that of the Left:

"Here's a transcript of the entire Limbaugh CPAC speech. Take a look at this passage, and please tell me what is conservative about it?:

'Let me tell you who we conservatives are: We love people. [Applause] When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups.

We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt.

We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.'

This is a comforting lie. It is Rousseau conservatism: the idea that man is born innocent, but corrupted by society, or government. Remove the chains of government, and man will return to his natural, good state, which is one of limitless possibility.

This denies two bedrock truths of philosophical conservatism, which are that 1) human nature is fallen, and 2) man must learn to live within limits. A conservatism that is not founded on a conscious recognition of those two truths is a false conservatism, and has a shaky foundation from which to criticize liberal utopianism.

More Limbaugh:

'President Obama has the ability -- he has the ability to inspire excellence in people's pursuits. He has the ability to do all this, yet he pursues a path, seeks a path that punishes achievement, that punishes earners and punishes -- and he speaks negatively of the country.

Ronald Reagan used to speak of a shining city on a hill. Barack Obama portrays America as a soup kitchen in some dark night in a corner of America that's very obscure. He's constantly telling the American people that bad times are ahead, worst times are ahead. And it's troubling, because this is the United States of America.'

Got that? Any attempt to grapple in a public way with the sins and failings of America, the errors that got us into this ditch, is to be seen as unpatriotic. We must ever keep before us the America Idol, and the power of positive thinking.

Crack. Crack.

'The freedom we spoke of earlier is the freedom, it's the ambition, it's the desire, the wherewithal, the passions that people have that gave us the great entrepreneurial advances, the great inventions, the greatest food production, the human lifestyle advances in this country, why shouldn't that be rewarded?'

Pure, uncut Progressivism. It's astonishing, really.

'We have a challenge. We've got factions now within our own movement seeking power to dominate it, and worst of all to redefine it. Well, the Constitution doesn't need to be redefined. Conservative intellectuals, the Declaration of Independence does not need to be redefined and neither does conservativism.

Conservativism is what it is and it is forever. It's not something you can bend and shape and flake and form. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you.'

Because, what, it was handed down from Sinai? One hardly knows what to say to this. Do they really believe politics is dogmatic religion? They must. And if so, they're hopeless. Can you imagine going to such a liberal gathering in 1985, after Fritz Mondale had his head handed to him by Ronald Reagan, and listening to the de facto leader of US liberalism talking this way, saying that, "Liberalism is what it is and it is forever. It's not something you can bend and shape and flake and form"?

If you were a conservative, you would have chortled and taken comfort in the evidence that the opposition was going to be spending a lot more time in the woods before the light of reality dawned upon their furrowed faces.

'So there will be different factions lining up to try to define what conservatism is. And beware of those different factions who seek as part of their attempt to redefine conservativism, as making sure the liberals like us, making sure that the media likes us. They never will, as long as we remain conservatives. They can't possibly like us; they're our enemy. In a political arena of ideas, they're our enemy.'

Anybody who challenges Limbavian orthodoxy is, ipso facto, the Enemy. If you suggest reform, even from the Right, you are a useful idiot for the Media, which are the Enemy, and can never be anything but the Enemy. Limbaughism sounds a lot like Leninism.

'I loved it when the Soviet Union went down and the wall went down and the liberals in our country said you know they may not be ready for freedom over there. They've been oppressed -- yes, liberals will gladly tell you who can have freedom and who can't.'

Um, what were the Nineties like in the former Soviet Union? That experiment proved that free markets and liberal democracy can't take hold without the cultural and social preconditions for same. Ditto Iraq. But the Limbavian ideologues, these Right-Wing Rousseauists, see human nature as essentially perfect, except for the corrupting hand of government.

Toward the end:

'As I say, we want the best: Happiness for everybody.'

I give up. It's going to be a long, long Lent for American conservatism.

I should say that there's something to like in the Limbaugh speech; I share a degree of his skepticism over the expanding role of the state in American life under Obama, and his confidence that the greater responsibility for our own condition lies in individual and private-sector initiative. But good grief, is this what constitutes popular conservatism in 2009?

This ideologically-driven right-wing Rousseauism, with Leninist overtones about the Enemies of the People? If so, then count me as an Enemy, because I want nothing to do with it, as I recognize it as simply a crudely politicized form of philosophical liberalism."


Mark Levin? Was just listening to him today, he sounds like a raving asshole, in the first ten minutes or so of this show:

David Frum (who's also an asshole) is right in saying Levin sounds like a lunatic yelling at passing cars. You enjoy listening to this junk?


"Neocon" right?