The great Rush Limbaugh has been making me sad this week. As Mitt Romney’s position strengthened with another dominant debate & the Chris Christie endorsement, the Maha Rushie markedly increased his angst towards the lad and actively questioned the validity of his claims to Conservatism.
Rush & I go way back. Back to the tractor cab in Eastern Montana where I would make round after round across the fields of my family’s farm with his voice providing the soundtrack. His epic statements on Clinton, Daschle & Gore were just a blast — The 90’s were truly the golden era of Rush. He had this great mirth and wit to go along with his spot on analysis. His grandeur, along with John Gordon’s voice on Twins broadcasts, played a big role in my desire to go into radio. And his analysis helped kindle my own political views.
From his formidable radio perch there’s no question that Rush can do Mitt damage. But truthfully this is only the culmination of the cold shoulder that Limbaugh has begun turning to him in the past couple years. Obviously I believe he’s wrong. Not only that… just three short years ago, Rush was saying precisely the opposite. On his program on the 5th of February 2008, El Rushbo said the following…
RUSH: I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way.
Of course, the foreign policy crowd is obviously what it is. I don’t think there’s anybody on our side who doesn’t care about national security, which is why I found it amazing that McCain gets the bulk of those, because the idea that Romney or Huckabee are going to punt national security? In Huckabee’s case, you might just say the things he’s saying about it represent an ignorance born of inexperience in the subject. I don’t think Huckabee has any deleterious intentions about the country. When it comes to the fiscal side, you cannot say — you just cannot say — that John McCain is interested. He’s even admitted he’s not interested in the social side. He’s not interested in the economic side. He said this, and when he has spoken up about it, he sides more often with liberal Democrats on fiscal issues than he does with his own side. That’s problematic. This is why I think — and why I have said — that the Republican Party, not conservatism, but the Republican Party is in big trouble if it is empowered and gets elected by attracting people who also hold liberal Democrat views simply because they like McCain because of his character, his honor, his prisoner of war story, and they don’t like Hillary or Obama.
Rush likes to remind folks that he doesn’t bend to the winds of public opinion, citing his decision to support G H W Bush in 1992 over Ross Perot as an example. But, if that’s true, how else can one possibly explain Rush’s changeability here? Romneycare passed 2 years before Rush endorsed Mitt in 2008 – how can he have been the embodiment of Reagan’s Conservative stool then & now not be a Conservative at all? Rush believes his audience moved, and so he moved with them. A very disappointing evolution indeed.