Nihilism Ain’t Just A River In Egypt
As you may have noticed, I’m not exactly a David Brooks fan. But he was dead-on when he described Bobby Jindal’s anti-government rebuttal message as "nihilism." Rush Limbaugh’s stated desire for Obama to fail (since echoed by Michelle Malkin, Rick Santorum, and Mike Pence) is in the same vein: Who cares what happens to the country, so long as we get to cut taxes and win elections.
That ideology served them well for almost 40 years, but now that they’re on the wrong end of the landslides, some conservatives are finally realizing how much damage its failure has inflicted on their brand. After 28 years of worshipping St. Ronnie and 8 years of cheering on The Decider, they’re desperately trying to pull their party out of the hole that they helped dig.
First there was Bobo Brooks accusing Jindal of nihilism, then Tim Pawlenty urging Republicans to move beyond Reagan, followed by RNC Chair Michael Steele calling Rush’s schtick "incendiary" and "ugly," and finally David Frum worrying about the optics of Rush as the bloated, sweaty face of the GOP. As best I can tell, their messages have fallen on deaf ears. Steele was forced to recant his impertinence, and possibly even threatened with firing.
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. Frankly, I don’t think they have the guts to Sister Souljah him, but the ensuing civil war sure would be a lot of fun to watch.