Columnist disses Rush while misreading Reagan and Lee Atwater.
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“…we can get three Republicans on three different networks saying, ‘What Rush Limbaugh said is crazy and stupid and dangerous,’ maybe that’ll give other Republicans cover.”
Again. Are they kidding? That is no way to run a revolution — by becoming part of the very Establishment that wanted to ruin Rush as they tried to ruin Lee. To become part of the crowd that spent decades attacking Ronald Reagan as an extremist simpleton.
To use a description from Allan Bloom’s book, what Cupp and her colleagues in the Times story seem to be demonstrating is “…young people who, lacking an understanding of the past and a vision of the future, live in an impoverished present.”
In this case, an understanding of the past that specifically means not that conservatives can’t legitimately disagree with Rush or any other prominent conservative on issue X. An understanding of the past means, as I use it here, that one should not be so intellectually impoverished enough as to not know that how you disagree — and most importantly in today’s world, where you do it — is critical. Because the other side is not looking for a debate — they are looking to destroy. Ronald Reagan and Lee Atwater yesterday, Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Mark Levin or Fox News or Sarah Palin today or, inevitably, a Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz tomorrow.
This said, there was a serious bright spot in the Times article — although it seemed the participants are not even aware of it.
Yes, they are right about the GOP Establishment. And there is infinitely more going on there than just a problem of what was politely called “corporate rigidity.” We have been… ahhhh… not shy about discussing this in this space.
When outsider consultant Erik Telford talks about “a very incestuous community of consultants who profit off certain tactics, and that creates bias and inhibits innovation,” he is dead on correct. We have been Karl Rove critics in this corner (here and here) — precisely because he is seen here as part of an “old guard” that is the GOP Establishment. Older than even Mr. Telford and the rest may realize.
Specifically meaning, whether discussed or not, Mr. Rove from this space is seen as a representative of one half of what I call here the “Reagan-Bush” divide. Or, if you will, the divide between the GOP’s Reagan Revolutionaries and the Bush/Moderate GOP Establishment.
It disturbs to read of young, highly talented techies like Vincent Harris (he the “24-year-old social-media consultant whose efforts in Texas helped catapult Ted Cruz to an upset victory” over the GOP Establishment candidate in the Texas Senate primary) being left out of something like a presidential campaign. That kind of thing is obviously as typical as it is stupid and self-defeating — if inevitable in an Establishment campaign.
But Harris is wrong to say in referring to Rove: “We’re the second rung. The first tier isn’t going away for another 20 years.”
Respectfully, this is because Harris is allowing himself to be mesmerized by the Bush side of this situation.
He should pay closer attention to the Reagan side.
The fact of the matter is that what won Ronald Reagan the presidential nomination in 1980 — and fueled his campaign in 1976 against Gerald Ford plus his first run for the GOP nomination as governor of California — were the Vincent Harris’s of the day. Some young, some old, but almost all well outside the sitting and powerful GOP Establishment of the day.
This is perhaps best summed up by the tale of a baffled Senator Howard Baker who, having lost the 1980 GOP nomination to Reagan (along with such other Establishment favorites as Ambassador George H.W. Bush, Senator Bob Dole, ex-Nixon Treasury Secretary and Texas Governor John Connally, and Congressman John Anderson), stood on the perimeter of the Convention floor in Detroit looking at the delegates and murmuring, baffled: “These aren’t my people.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?