Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I have some theories, as Rush's pronouncements get (for him) even more bizarre:

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh is so exasperated about Senator McCain's surge in the Republican presidential contest that he is coming to the defense of Senators Clinton and Obama.

On Mr. Limbaugh's program today, he said people should not be rushing to back Mr. McCain over issues of national security. The talk host said America's direction in Iraq would not be substantially different even if Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama were elected. "They are not going to surrender the country to Islamic radicalism or the war in Iraq," Mr. Limbaugh said after mentioning the two Democratic senators by name. "They are not going to do that to themselves, despite what their base says."

"The idea that we've only got one person in this whole roster of candidates, either party, who is willing to take on the war on terror is frankly, absurd," Mr. Limbaugh said....

The talk host continued to wail on Mr. McCain, repeatedly accusing him of lying and disloyalty. "John McCain has stabbed his own party in the back I can't tell you how many times," Mr. Limbaugh said....

Obviously, the guy wants someone he thinks is more ideologically compatible -- but surely he can see that his almost certain failure to get Romney nominated makes him look a lot weaker, a lot less powerful within the GOP, than he seemed even weeks ago.

I think he doesn't care, and I'm starting to think he'd rather try to sink McCain's presidential bid, even in the general election, even at the cost of an Obama or (gasp) Clinton presidency, than help McCain win in November.

Limbaugh's strategy for continuing to seem powerful and relevant is to say that McCain may become the leader of the Republican Party, but he, Limbaugh, will be the leader of the conservative movement (or, rather, he and Coulter and the other McCain haters will become co-leaders). If McCain's the king of the hill, Limbaugh's saying it's the wrong hill -- the hill he's standing on is the right hill.

Another thought: If Limbaugh and the other McCain haters think McCain is such a big liberal, they'd probably rather have the most powerful Republican elected officials be Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, et al. than President McCain. If the president is a Democrat, even with likely Democratic control of both houses of Congress, the mainstream press will treat congressional Republicans, and any Democrats who ally with Republicans, as the rightful and proper leaders of Congress (see the first two years of Clinton's term; also see the Pelosi-Reid era). But if the president is McCain, he'll get the best press, and be treated as our natural leader. The haters may be shrewd enough to realize that, and surely they'd prefer the former.


Oh, and there's another theory, which contradicts what I've just said: that Limbaugh et al. are trying to depress Democratic turnout by speaking approvingly of Clinton and Obama. That would mean they don't want to be in the wilderness after all. (But if that's the case, why slam the inevitable Republican nominee?)

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