... in all the Rush-bashing, I was more disturbed by Michael Steele's wretched performance. His initial reaction — that Rush's show is "incendiary" and "ugly" — revealed:I think it is always a mistake to accept the premise of the mainstream media when they ask questions about Rush Limbaugh. It is also a mistake on many occasions to try to explain what Rush means when he speaks on a subject. The safest course is to say res ipsa loquiter, it speaks for itself.
a) that he never listens to it;
b) that he takes his cues from the mainstream media, for whom Rush is invariably "angry". They don't listen either. Rush is a lot of things, but "angry" isn't one of them. If you catch him for 20 minutes, you know he's full of fun, laughing it up, having a grand old time. There are a lot of angry talkshow hosts out there bellowing at the world for three hours a day, but Rush isn't one of them. (Full disclosure: I guesthost for Rush once in a while, and regard it as a signal honor for a sinister foreigner such as myself.)
This first reaction is disturbing for two reasons: first, given the size of Rush's audience, it's something an RNC chairman should not be so obviously foreign to; second, it's not encouraging when the de facto face of the party accepts so unthinkingly the liberal/media framing of the issue.
Then we come to Mr. Steele's second response - his reaction to the reaction to his original reaction: By apologizing for his first remarks, he opened the door for his DNC opposite number to make sport of the way he was kowtowing to the "ugly" Limbaugh. So a man who apparently shares the elite's disdain for Rush and his audience nevertheless feeds the impression that the Republican leadership is prostrate at his feet: the worst of both worlds.
I don't think this Rush campaign will be successful in the long run, because what is going to defeat Obama and the Democrats is the failure of their policies and that will only make Rush look more prescient.
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