Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who's the Wizard Now?

I recently posited that the GOP was trying to resemble the cast of "30 Rock." It turns out that the Republicans are using a far worse strategy: letting James Carville dictate their public image. Essentially, Carville and team did polling last fall that revealed that Rush Limbaugh has lower popularity ratings than even Jeremiah Wright. (It should go without saying that this means his popularity is way lower than President Obama--some 40 points lower.) It didn't take the Ragin' Cajun long to realize that identifying the GOP with El Rushbo would further sink the Republicans in popular opinion. 

Rush has been all too happy to play along. He has depicted himself as the counterpoint to Obama, fomented at CPAC, and played the part of party whip, lashing out at any Republican who dares to challenge him. Rush wins, the Democrats win, and the media wins. Who loses? The GOP

The recent kerfuffle with Michael Steele is just the latest in a months-long parade of Republican leaders lining up to apologize for Rush: Phil Gingrey, Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, and now Steele. Now, if the Mighty Rush had the sort of popularity that resulted in 50% + approval ratings and the ability to deliver enough votes to win elections, this groveling might make sense. But he doesn't. The Democrats know this. Why don't the Republicans

The Republicans are playing all the parts of The Scarecrow with no brain, the Tin Man with no heart, and the Lion with no courage. They haven't seen that the Wizard of Oz is just a large man behind a microphone.

I'm waiting for the GOP to Grow-O-Pair and confront the elephant in the room: Limbaugh is popular with the millions who listen to his radio program, and deeply unpopular with the tens of millions who don't. If Republicans want to win any elections in the next 2-8 years, following Rush will only lead to the party shrinking smaller than the tiniest Munchkin.


AK said...

I love this. I dream that one day a Republican would stand up in front of the nation and beg for the Fairness Doctrine to pass, because pompous, pill-popping, idiot jesters are vastly overrepresented. Seriously, what could be better for any politician's career than to be lampooned on a daily basis by a blowhard like Rush in front of an audience who despises the messenger? If Limbaugh has had any political relevance in his career, it has been the backlash that buoyed Clinton and now Obama to even greater heights of approval and success.

Bottom line: the best political move anyone can make is to tick off Rush Limbaugh. Whose career has this man hurt, anyway . . . other than the people who agree with him?

HM said...

That's what makes the GOP kowtowing so pitiful--because it's so stupid. Go ahead -- offend Rush. See if he'll put any of his hundreds of millions of dollars to actually finance a primary challenger.