I’ll be on MSNBC today at 3:35pm EDT to talk about Rush Limbaugh.
[The topic could not be more timely. Firedoglake just partnered with Color of Change; I’m going to create another series of videos similar to the birther series, but with a different thesis.]
Rush Limbaugh is a force. He’s the titan in his field. I’m an expert on talk radio and I can tell you that no other host can talk for three hours a day, with virtually no guests and very few calls, and hold an audience’s attention the way Rush does. And he’s been doing it for twenty years. Week in, week out, three hours a day… for twenty fucking years. Nobody does it better.
I spoke with a Representative popular with the netroots last week. I told him that I believed nobody in the world has been more influential over the last twenty years than Rush Limbaugh. The Congressman agreed with me, unequivocally. Think about it: Rush Limbaugh led the Republican party to victory in 1994. They held onto the house until 2006. He got George Bush – who had failed at every endeavor he ever endeavored to endeavor at – elected on 2000. After four years of failure, Rush got him elected again!
More importantly, Rush established an environment that purged liberal Republicans from office and from their party.
And perhaps worst of all, Limbaugh’s political trend setting dragged the Democratic Party far, far to the right. Both Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer recruited conservative Democrats to run against Republicans. The signals they sent to donors often stopped progressive recruiting cold. How did they – Democrats from Chicago and New York – decide to prioritize conservadems? Well, all I know for sure is that their political maturation evolved smack dab in the middle of the Rush Limbaugh era.
Things have been bad, but maybe there is a silver lining. Nate Silver can probably speak to this better than I can, and I’m going to forward him this post for comment, but my thinking is that Rush may be trending to the point of becoming the classic too-effective parasite – the kind that kills their host. As the country diversifies and minority voting blocs determine the fate of more races, Rush’s racism and radical conservatism will appeal to an increasingly small portion of the electorate. For Republicans, this presents a one-way death spiral. They won’t be able to get through their primaries without Rush on their side, but to keep Rush on their side, they need to stand by Rush’s side. (See Phil Gingrey). The more they stand by Rush, the more they marginalize themselves at the November ballot box.
So that’s the point of this video. Senator Jim DeMint has emerged as a new voice of the Senate Minority. But he won’t criticize Rush Limbaugh for even the most incendiary racist remarks.
I give you The Republican Party. I give you the Party of Rush Limbaugh and racism.