IS LIMBAUGH'S DRONE ARMY TURNING THE GOP RACE AROUND?
The Dittoheads have received their marching orders, and perhaps they're doing what they've been told to do:
The Boston Phoenix obtained a new EMC Research poll in California that shows Sen. John McCain's support among likely Republican voters has dropped six points in the last week to 24% while Mitt Romney surged to 20%, making the race a statistical tie. The leaders are trailed by Fred Thompson at 12%, Mike Huckabee at 11% and Rudy Giuliani at 7%....
Add that to the Rasmussen poll released Monday, which showed Romney picking up seven points and the lead in Florida, and this starts to seem as if it might be a talk-radio-driven trend.
Could the Dittoheads really bring down the highly electable McCain? I don't know, but I say: Go, Rush, go!
Part of what's making me glum these days is the master media narrative in the campaign right now: The Democratic race, we're being told, is a juicy, nasty claw-your-eyes-out spat, while the Republican race is merely ... interesting and complex. The Reagan coalition may be fracturing, but it's fracturing in a civilized way.
I know it's unreasonable to expect the press not to fixate on the fighting between two potentially history-making, charismatic nominees, especially when an ex-president is in the scrum -- but, apart from David Brooks, there is no sense in the mainstream media that the GOP race is the least bit unpleasant. Michael Medved, a right-wing talker himself, ticks off the names of right-wing talkers who've attacked the winners of three of the first five GOP state contests: "If you've tuned in at all to Rush, Sean, Savage, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and two dozen others you've heard a consistent drum beat of hostility toward Mac and Huck."
Sure, these talk-show hosts aren't Bill or Hill or Barack -- but Rush is a media superstar, and he could be described as a Grand Old Man of the party. A revolt of radio talkers against a potential Republican nominee in 2008 should be as newsworthy as, say, a revolt of African-American leaders or union leaders against a Democratic nominee -- why isn't it?
I think it's because the press likes the story of Democrats bickering bitchily, and likes the story of Republicans scrapping like men. Also, for twenty years the press has never been willing to pay attention to right-wing talk radio, because that would require an acknowledgment of the vileness of much of its content, which would, in turn, mean acknowledging the vileeness of mainstream Republicanism.
So it's getting ugly on both sides. But you're being told it's getting ugly only on one.