Monday, July 15, 2019


If you're like me, you think of the Democratic Party as well-meaning but ineffectual and hapless. To Rush Limbaugh, however, it's all-powerful, or nearly so. Were Democrats committing slow-motion suicide last week when a full-scale civil war broke out within the party? Was the party in the process of ruining its chances in 2020? Limbaugh doesn't think so, as he explained on the radio today:
One theory holds that the Democrats have this internecine war going, and that they’re self-destructing and you’ve got these young Squad members taking shots at Pelosi and that the Democrat Party is disunified and unraveling and then Trump comes along and unifies them....

There’s all kinds of people out there on our side saying, “Oh, my God. Trump did the worst thing he could do! He has unified the Democrats!” Folks, the Democrats are already unified against Trump. I don’t care about this circular firing squad they’ve got going on. They’re unified against Trump. When it comes to the 2020 election, there isn’t gonna be any circular fire squad. Now, there will be up until then, and who knows how much damage they’re gonna do to each other on the Democrat side in the interim.

But they’re always gonna be unified against Trump.

There’s nothing that’s gonna bust up that unity.
Many of us believe that our voters are extraordinarily fickle -- we have to beg and plead with them in order to keep them from migrating to the other side. Limbaugh assures us that that's nonsense:
People are living in fantasyland if you think that something can be done, that Trump could adopt a demeanor or behavior that might have some Democrats actually turn up to support him in 2020. Come on, folks. That’s simply not gonna happen.
And many of us also believe that Trump is skillfully manipulating the media with his racist tweets, which the media will retransmit in exactly the way Trump intended. Again, Limbaugh tells us that the deck is, in fact, stacked against his own party:
... I’m sorry, but if we haven’t learned by now that trying to tailor what we think and what we do and what we don’t do and what we don’t say we think and what policies and issues we do or do not put forward because of the media’s reaction to it, then we may as well surrender, we may as well just cave, because the media’s never gonna be on our side.
With his sense of hopeless and doom, Limbaugh almost sounds like a Democrat.

Well, not exactly, because he believes in the power of right-wing media to disseminate an alternate point of view. ("Trump did not mention race. Trump did not even mention color! Trump did not mention people of color! Trump did not tell anybody to go home!" he says.) And he believes, of course, that Trump is playing eleventy-billion-dimensional chess:
... I think Trump sees this rift developing between Pelosi and the Democrat leadership and these new communists on the left led by Cortez, and I think he wants them back together again. I don’t think Trump likes the rift. I think Trump wants the Democrat Party to become known as the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal socialism party. I think he wants to hang that label around all of them, and for that to happen they have to be unified.

In other words, Trump wants Pelosi and the Democrat leadership to adopt the socialism and communism of Cortez and her Squad and whoever else in her little movement is pushing it. That’s what Trump wants, ’cause that can’t lose. Trump cannot lose running against the Democrat Party, which is openly socialist, openly communist, led by young, aspiring anti-Americans. I don’t think he likes the rift. I think he wanted to [mend] the rift, he wanted ’em put back together again because he’s salivating running against the Democrat Party as a modern-day Communist Party or socialism party in America.

So he tweets what he tweets, and the results were totally predictable. And now the Democrats claim that their rift has been healed, and they’re out there claiming Trump has unified the Democrats. Trump really screwed up, they say. He really unified the Democrats. Well, what if that’s exactly what Trump wanted with the unification being that Cortez and her Squad will now define what the Democrat Party is?
Many of us think this moment of unity is just temporary, and we'll be feuding again, because we're Democrats and we're self-sabotaging -- but to Limbaugh, this is likely to be a permanent cessation of hostilities, because, after all, we're 100% united against Trump. (Me, I'm just holding my breath and waiting for Salon or Jacobin to publish the first piece titled "The Progressive Case for a Second Trump Term.") He thinks it's brilliant that Trump persuaded us to unite as commies, whereas I'm not even certain that the party will fully unite if Elizabeth Warren, who doesn't even call herself a socialist, is our nominee.

Limbaugh thinks Trump has pushed us permanently to the left. I don't think so. He believes we're a united anti-Trump force. I hope so, but I'm not betting the rent on it. And he thinks Trump can't get a break from the mainstream media. That's hilarious.

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