Limbaugh on McCain, Limbaugh on Giuliani
Anyone who imagines that the GOP might unite around John McCain is living in a fantasy. Consider what Rush Limbaugh is saying about McCain. Today Limbaugh spoke with unusual intensity about McCain’s bald-faced lie that he has not supported amnesty. He reminded us of the one-day period set aside for discovering the criminal records of all 12 million illegal aliens prior to their being legalized under last year’s S.1348, the worst atrocity in the history of legislation, a bill that McCain not only tried to push through the Senate without a debate, but called his fellow senators xenophobes for opposing. Limbaugh speaks of how McCain angrily says people are wrong when they speak the plain truth that he supported amnesty, as contrasted with Romney who has frankly admitted that he has changed his mind on issues, for example, abortion, and explains why he has changed his mind. Rush also mimics McCain’s endlessly repeated, robotic claim to be “pro-life,” then tells how McCain filed suit along with liberal Democrats to silence an anti-abortion group—an act that was “above and beyond McCain-Feingold,” as Rush puts it.
Limbaugh isn’t just hinting that he would not support McCain. He tells a caller that he might not vote for the Republican candidate this year. And what about Hillary? “This is tough,” Limbaugh says with pain in his voice. Meaning that if the GOP nominates McCain, we would be faced with a hitherto unimaginable situation, in which the most loyal and influential GOP opinion maker in the country would remain at best coldly silent during the general election campaign, even if that helped send Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to the White House.
Yet Republican fantasists, such as the deeply unsound Robert Novak, keep regurgitating the liberal Democratic line that John McCain is the GOP’s strongest candidate against the Democrats!
A female reader adds these observations:
On the other hand, Rush himself has contributed to the loss of conservative momentum in the Republican Party by going along with Bush’s transgressions against conservatism through the years, or watering down his criticism of them. He did this while also boasting of his access to the White House and phone calls from the Oval Office, not realizing that this is how Bush successfully silenced any conservative criticism, not only from Rush but from the full panoply of conservative journalists. As soon as one heard of those upcoming Oval Office meetings of Bush with certain selected conservative journalists, you knew that their cojones would be left behind in those historic halls.LA replies:
Does Limbaugh, even as he agonizes about the absence of genuine conservative leadership in the Republican party, realize how he himself has undermined conservatism with his lap-dog support for Bush these last seven years?Steven Warshawsky writes:
Just as I think you are correct to criticize those who elevate opposition to abortion to the be-all and end-all of conservative politics, I believe those who emphasize the somewhat broader “family values” position also should be criticized for adhering to an overly narrow interpretation of what conservative politics means circa 2008.LA replies:
I am surprised that Mr. Warshawsky would simplify and misrepresent the anti-Giuliani position as he has done here. If he had read any of the articles on this subject at VFR and elsewhere over the last year, he would know that it is not just the fact that Giuliani has been divorced that disqualifies him, not just the fact that he has been divorced twice that disqualifies him, and not just the fact that his personal life has been generically “messy” that disqualifies him. It is the totality of this man’s unprecedentedly appalling conduct that disqualifies him. Which by the way has been catalogued many times at this site. For example, as of this moment, Giuliani has no relationship with his children. Why? Because after he destroyed their family with his adulteries, after he tried to force his then wife and their children out of Gracie Mansion so that he could bring his girl friend there, after he then went back to Gracie Mansion in 2002 to marry his third wife there so that his third wife could have that satisfaction, he then refused to get together with his children in the absence of his third wife, whom, for obvious reasons, they were not eager to see. Giuliani’s son told the press about it last year. So selfish is Giuliani, so in thrall to his third wife, that he refused to see his children unless she was there too. And so the parental relationship has ended. And Mr. Warshawsky thinks that a man who has callously destroyed his relationship with his own children in this manner can be a plausible and credible leader of the United States of America.Steven Warshawsky replies:
I’m just responding to what I see in this lady’s post. Few people are as detailed in their “character” critique of Giuliani as you are. I am afraid for many people it’s enough that he’s been divorced multiple times. Doesn’t the reader criticize Rush for this as well?LA replies:
This same reader has commented on Rudy many times at VFR. It’s the totality of Giuliani’s behavior she has reacted to, not just the bare fact of divorce.Steven W. replies:
I also would add simply this: This man, however deeply flawed as a husband and father, governed New York City as effectively—and as “conservatively”—as anyone ever could have. The third largest political and economic jurisdiction in the country. He is more than qualified to be president. The debate should be about his politics.LA replies:
You see, you want everyone to ignore something that YOU think doesn’t matter, but the problem is, other people, LOTS of other people, DON’T think it doesn’t matter.Steven W. replies:
Well, of course.LA replies:
Yes, fair point. But given Giuliani’s history, and the way millions of people regard it, a prudent political actor would take that reality into consideration and not simply ignore it on the basis that he personally thinks that it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. And that, in fact, is exactly what happened. Rudy’s cohorts of conservative and neocon supporters began saying, “Rudy’s the one, he’s the one, everyone likes him, he’s a hero, he can make us safe, morality and family values don’t matter any more in a president, because the only thing that matters is that he make us safe! And we know we’re right, because even the evanglicals don’t care about Rudy’s background any more because they have matured politically and they too understand that the only thing that matters for America is that Rudy can make us safe, safe, safe!”Steven W. replies:
You may be right about that. As you know, I don’t have the same view re the consequences of a Giuliani nomination. But it looks like it’s going to be a moot point anyway. If he does not win Florida, which I doubt he will, his campaign is done. Frankly, I don’t understand how McCain and Huckabee are in the running for the nomination. As problematic as you find Giuliani, I think the fact that McCain and Huckabee are (so far) such strong candidates is a very poor commentary on the state of the Republican Party and conservatism in this country. I’m not sure what to make of it.Lawrence B. writes:
I don’t find plausible the assertion that Rush Limbaugh exhibited “lap-dog support for Bush these last seven years.” He’s been quite critical of the Bush Administration on a variety of issues, including Harriet Meiers, immigration, the education bill, the prescription drug plan, the lack of forceful communication, and overspending.LA replies:
Yes, yes, Limbaugh would painfully, slowly, with infinite qualifications and regrets, express his dissatisfaction with this or that thing that Bush had done, then go right back to supporting Bush like a lap dog.Lawrence B. replies:
That Rush admitted he carried water for the GOP does not logically lead to the conclusion that he did so uncritically. More importantly, it doesn’t line up with the fact that he really *has* been quite critical of Republicans as he’s thought necessary.LA replies:
Ok, fair enough. “Lap dog” is both unfair and insulting. I will amend what I said to the idea that Rush has continued to be Bush’s water carrier long past the point where he should have stopped.A female reader writes:
You wrote:David B. writes:
Although I didn’t hear him today, yes, as someone who has been following him for years, I say that Rush has been a “lap-dog.” The only times he would openly criticize Bush on his amnesty proposals was when it was about to got to a vote. Other than that, he might mention immigration in general once or twice a year.LA replies:
Hmm, I guess “test anxiety” makes him become stupid and inarticulate in public, except of course for his rote slogans about how everyone is the same and wants democracy, and how no one else understands this, but he understands it and will stay the course.Lawrence B. writes:
“I will amend what I said to the idea that Rush has continued to be Bush’s water carrier long past the point where he should have stopped.”A female reader replies:
David B has it exactly right. Even when Rush was critical of Bush, he would keep exonerating him and saying he really believes this, or he really thinks that is the best way, or, most annoyingly, that he is not an “ideologue,” making that sound like a bad word and thus making Bush seem yards better than someone who is a principled conservative. He couldn’t just out and out let loose with real criticism wthout somehow making even the criticism flattering to Bush. The biggest tribute to Bush’s intelligence is the way he managed to neuter Limbaugh and other conservatives by bestowing his attention upon them. I don’t think Bill Clinton was able to do that with liberal journalists. Conservatives being a smaller group, it’s easier to get them all in a room at the same time.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2008 03:29 PM | Send