January 23, 2009

(YouTube here.)

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are clearly among the breed of Republicans who refuse to believe that Conservatism failed -- rather, that the GOP failed Conservatism. And so their solution for party renewal is to just go back to embracing the policies and ideas that brought the nation to the brink of economic and diplomatic ruin.

They don't seem to realize yet that the country has turned the page and moved on. And so they rage, rage against the fall of right-wing night. Last night's second part of Hannity's interview with Limbaugh really was more a pathetic display of hapless and unhappy impotence.

It has all the usual Limbaugh flourishes.

White Identity Politics:

Limbaugh: The Republican Party is making a big -- the Conservative movement, too, making a big, big mistake in planning for the future. You hear things like, well, the Republican Party needs to identify the middle class, the Wal-Mart voters, and come up with policies for them. And then we've got to come up with policies for Hispanics, because they hate us because of illegal immigration. That's the way the Democrats do it. You put people into groups and then you victimize them. And give the victims power over the majority. Because they then have grievances that are nonexistent, and the majority gets cowed into fear, because they don't want to be complained at, they don't want to be blamed, so 'OK, OK, you want health care, fine, we'll go get it."

[Did you know that minorities' grievances were actually nonexistent? Neither did I! Did you know that liberals -- and not racists and gay bashers -- actually victimize the minorities they champion? Me neither! Boy, ya learn something new from Rush each time out, dontcha?]

Malarkey Mythos:

Limbaugh: Self interest is different than selfishness. People working in their own self-interest benefits the family, the neighborhood, the community, the state, the city, the whole bit. And this is what I think the Republican Party and Conservatism has lost. The blueprint for landslide electoral victories right there, and the Republican Party and the Conservative movement has just -- they've washed it away.

Planet Bizarro-Style Projection:

Limbaugh: And the reason they [the GOP] lost huge is because in a contest of group politics, the experts are gonna always get group votes before the pretenders will. And we were pretenders trying to get the groups. We gotta get the Hispanics, we gotta be moderate, we gotta prove we can walk across the aisle, the era of Reagan is over.

I never hear Democrats talk about walking across the aisle, never see any of them praise each other or brag about the fact that they do it. They brag about the Republicans that they destroy. They brag about the Republican bills, legislation that they defeat.

Hatred of Youth/Pop Culture:

Limbaugh: The culture -- we've lost the culture, Sean. We have lost pop culture. It is unrealistic to expect the people watching MTV, going to see the rot Hollywood's putting out, listening to the rot music is today, every four years to go into a voting booth and vote Republican or conservative. And this isn't even something we have addressed in an electoral way, or a strategic way, but that's gonna have to be done as well.

Historical Revisionism:

Limbaugh: I get into arguments with people about this. To this day, FDR is a hero. And Hoover is the idiot -- Hoover is the guy that broke the country. If the media wants to prop somebody up, they will do so. Liberalism in the media -- a series of myths. ... Liberalism cannot deal with the light of truth.

Crass Hypocrisy:

Limbaugh: 'Everybody does it.' That's the constant excuse. 'Everybody has sex with their intern. Everybody leaves a stain on a blue dress. Everybody -- '

Hannity: If Rush Limbaugh did it, it would be a different story.

[Hey, everybody gets hooked on Oxycontin and uses their housekeeper as their dealer. Everybody takes 'boys' trips to the Caribbean with valises full of illegal Viagra. Everybody gets divorced three times. And it was indeed a different story when Rush Limbaugh did it.]

Outright Delusion:

Limbaugh: He [Bush] is a decent man. He had a reverence for the office. That's why he didn't get partisan. He thought it was irreverent to turn the Oval Office, or the office of the Presidency, into a partisan strategic battleplace. He just didn't want to do it, he was content to let history be the judge. I think -- I heard Rove say, I think on your network, that they miscalculated in not firing back on some of these things often enough.

It's vintage Limbaugh: such an immense avalanche of b-----t that you need a bulldozer to deal with it.

But if you listen carefully, what you hear is the desperate grasping at straws, for which Limbaugh's customary strawmen are indispensable. And you hear the rage of powerlessness -- the impotence of the obsolete.

If Conservatives indeed keep following his lead, he'll lead them all right -- into even further irrelevance. Which, when you think about it, is where they richly belong.

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