Monday, November 19, 2012

Rush is Right

Since the election, more than a few of the political consultant class have been quite publicly explaining away the Romney loss by blaming it on among other things the disproportionate influence on the Republican Party of right-wing talk radio personalities, especially Rush Limbaugh.  The argument--it's more childishly petulant excuse-making than argument actually--is that Rush has made the party too conservative to win a national election.


...moderate Republicans have succeeded in getting their candidate or a candidate to their liking nominated for the last 20 years.  (Yes, even George W. eschewed direct identification with movement conservatives in 2000.  Remember "compassionate conservatism"?)  Save for the 2004 election when the same W. won their enthusiastic support for unapologetically responding to the national security challenges post 9/11, conservatives in each election have had to swallow hard in order to pull the lever for the party's eventual nominee.  But pull them they did and had it not been for Rush Limbaugh--him more than anyone else I'd argue--many if not most of those same conservatives would have either stayed home on election day, or worse, launched a third party effort that would have been a disaster for both the Republican Party and conservatism.  Ross Perot was just such a disaster in '92 and '96 because many foolishly thought him a conservative alternative to George the First and Bob Dole despite Rush's best efforts to discredit his crazy candidacy.

However many votes the party may attract by moving to the ideological center, it will lose more, many more, by alienating it's to this point still loyal conservative base.

And to think these guys make millions, win or lose. 

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