David Brooks always makes me think when I read his New York Times column. But with his latest column about Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and their impact on the Republican Party, I wonder if it will make his Republican readers do the same.
Brooks’s words jumped off the page. He writes in part:
Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.
They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity.
The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.
Let’s be clear. At a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor this week, Eric Cantor did not say he believed we were overreacting to the current economic crisis as the Politico initially reported. He said his mancrush Rush “de Facto” Limbaugh believed that Washington was “overreacting” to the crisis.
The Politico, for it’s part, clarified and then reclarified what Rep. Cantor actually said.
But one thing is clear, the congressman didn’t back away from his mancrush on Rush Limbaugh. And on the day when the Labor Department reported 26 year high in unemployment claims, Rep. Cantor was strangely silent.
I will say that there’s one thing I agree with Congressman Cantor on: “[it’s] the middle-of-the-road folks who determine elections.” Unfortunately for the GOP, Mr. Cantor has no idea how to appeal to anyone but the far right wing.
That said, what do you think of this Web Ad created by the Rapid Response Team at the Democratic National Committee? Was Cantor quoted out of context as his office complains? Or is Cantor claiming a distinction without a difference?
Remember the feud Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele had with Rush Limbaugh, where he called Limbaugh an “entertainer” and Limbaugh’s remarks “ugly” and “incendiary”? In less than 24 hours after speaking the truth, Steele recanted the remarks and apologized to Limbaugh — pulling what I call a Full Gingrey. The Democratic National Committee then launched www.ImSorryRush.com.
Well, Michael Steele now says his feud with Limbaugh was “all strategic” on his part. “It may look like a mistake, a gaffe, there’s a rationale — a logic for it.” Continue reading
Rep. Michelle Bachmann said it best when she looked at RNC Chairman Michael “Hip Hop” Steele and said, “Michael Steele, you be da man!”
She seriously said that — TWICE.
Just in, Michael Steele caved and apologized to Rush Limbaugh. Wow, that was quick! Continue reading
So apparently Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn’t too happy with Rush “I want Barack Obama to fail” Limbaugh and his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend.
In reaction to Limbaugh’s tirade, Steele told CNN’s D.L. Hughley yesterday that he thought Limbaugh was an “entertainer… his whole thing is entertainment,” and his show is “incendiary” and “ugly.” Continue reading