Rush Limbaugh got some attention last Thursday for saying on his radio show, "for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country." On Friday, he followed up with a long monologue about how "the left has beaten us." (Video at the Mediaite link.)
So how has "the left" beaten Limbaugh and his allies? Although he never uses the number, his answer, essentially, is by appealing to (and making dependents of) the people Mitt Romney called the 47%. What -- you thought the right had learned its lesson about saying stuff like this? Hardly.
From the transcript at Limbaugh's site:
... Anyway, my point with all this is that for 25 years, folks, we've been dealing with the same premise: "Unless we spend another dime, the country is going to cease to exist." And for 25 years I have responded to each premise on what I call an intellectual, point-by-point basis refuting every claim. The purpose of this program has been to create as large a body of informed voting citizens as possible. While we've been largely and profoundly successful at that, the left has beaten us.Last night, Bill O'Reilly responded (video at the Fox link):
They have created far more low-information, unaware, uneducated people than we've been able to keep up with.
... the left has control of the education system -- control of the pop culture, movies, TVs, books, music. We've just been outnumbered.
The way they've done it is to create more and more dependency, and then every so often tell those people that they're about to lose it all because of the Republicans. That's what we're going through now with the sequester business....
In order for the left to be able to advance, they require ignorance, and as much ignorance as possible. I don't mean stupidity. Genuine, real ignorance.
And while all this is happening, while all these allegations of austerity, what we're actually doing is ruining the country. We're actually spending more than we ever have. We're actually creating more dependents. The whole thing is shamefully absurd. I don't know how else to say it.
... I do not believe that liberal thought is now dominant in the USA. However, the country's changing quickly into an entitlement society. It's not so much that apathetic Americans are embracing the tenets of the left. It's just that they're selfish, and they want money for nothing, as Dire Straits once sang.There you have it, folks. Are Republicans going to stop describing the voters they couldn't reach in 2008 as parasites and leeches? No -- they're going to keep calling them parasites and leeches if they listen to Rush Limbaugh, the top-rated right-wing pundit on radio, and Bill O'Reilly, the top-rated right-wing pundit on TV. They're going to believe O'Reilly when he says that they don't have to change their message at all -- all that's needed to achieve victory for their "disorganized" party (O'Reilly's word -- see the full clip) is the right messenger, whose charisma will lead them out of the wilderness, not by appealing to Democratic voters, but by rallying the same old GOP base that hates Democratic voters to turn out in larger numbers.
... If a charismatic conservative leader can emerge, and can fight off the media jackals, that person can turn the country to the right. Why? Because America is inherently a place of achievement. We've always been that. It's true that more Americans today want handouts than ever before. But that can be reversed....
There have always been selfish Americans. There have always been people who see themselves as victims and want to be paid for their perceived suffering. We've always had that. Now those people are in a comfort zone, because their victimization isn't being challenged. It's being encouraged by the Obama administration. But once the nanny-state victim mentality begins to get hammered, in an effective way, it will fall apart....
And who knows -- a Supreme Court decision here, another Supreme Court decision there, a little more rigging of the electoral system, and I suppose it might just work. But not as an expression of the popular will. I don't think they care, though. They want a win, but on their terms. And they'll take that kind of win any way they can get it.