February 6, 2008


A Nightmare Opponent for the Democrats (Cordula Meyer , 2/06/08, Der Spiegel)

For weeks now, right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh has agitated against McCain on his program. The closer the Vietnam hero gets to the nomination, the meaner the attacks become. McCain "has stabbed his party in the back so many times," Limbaugh rages. "I can't even say how often." The radio host says that he would prefer to have his party lose the election over having it be led by McCain. "If I believe the country will suffer with either Hillary, Obama or McCain, I would just as soon the Democrats take the hit ... rather than a Republican causing the debacle."

James Dobson, the head of an arch-conservative Christian group that espouses family values, warned recently on another radio talk show that: "I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative and, in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are."

These right-wing radio programs are very popular. Each week, Limbaugh alone reaches over 13.5 million listeners.

But it's clear that the voters have not listened to the drums beating loudly against McCain. And, instead of transforming Mitt Romney into a kingmaker, it now appears that the influence of the right-wing opinion-makers is smaller than had previously been believed.

Romney tried to take advantage of the boost provided by talk radio, and he declared the election to be a battle for "the direction of the Republican Party." But now the voters have decided in favor of McCain's direction.

Can't think why Republicans believe Maverick is Reagan's heir, not Rush or Romney:

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2008 1:04 PM

I listened to Rush for the last hour, and he has become totally unhinged over McCain. His non-stop rant sounds like a fire and brimstone preacher threatening a reluctant congregation with eternal damnation. He should be embarrassed, and it's quite sad to hear. His ego is not the soul of the party and he's shocked to have found that out.

Posted by: Patrick H at February 6, 2008 1:58 PM

I used to listen to Rush for 3 hours a day religiously. Now I've moved on to better things. I've actually enjoyed listening to his show this past week and listening to his tirades. I've taken a perverse pleasure in seeing his, used to be a liberal now is a conservative, choice get toasted yesterday. The same for all the talk radio guys. Mostly just because they've been so irrational lately in their discussions of mccain.

Glad to see Hugh Hewitt has accepted things and is gearing up for the general.

Posted by: mc at February 6, 2008 2:59 PM

Rush is just ego, which is why he's funny. But McCain won't kiss his ring and is showing how little influence he has in the party, so the derangement is inevitable.

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2008 3:17 PM

Michael Medved has been the voice of reason on McCain is one of the few pundits that seem to have a Bros Judd way of looking at issues. He's the only one I can listen to on a regular basis and I recommend him to those that can get his broadcast.

Posted by: Patrick H at February 6, 2008 3:35 PM

McCain will need to earn my vote. I don't have time to listen to Rush, but from what I hear Rush has good points.

Why does McCain leave such a bad taste in so many mouths? At least we live in interesting times.

Posted by: Gonzo at February 6, 2008 3:37 PM

All politics is personal.

Anti-war Lancet lends its name to a report of ridiculously large war deaths in Iraq, thus ruins its own credibility.

Anti-McCain talkers annoint a newly converted conservative as their standard bearer, thus ruin their own credibility.

Paraphrashing Rush: words have consequence. Too bad, he did not heed his own advice.

Posted by: ic at February 6, 2008 3:53 PM

The anti-McCain insanity is so over-the-top that I'm tempted to think that they all got in a room with Karl Rove and decided that the best way to ensure McCain dominating the moderates and even many liberals in November is to behave like this and allow him to use them as a punching bag. There's really no other rational explanation for what's going on...

Posted by: b at February 6, 2008 4:08 PM

Can we say that Rush has jumped the shark?

I think one reason these guys are so upset is because they all figured McCain was a goner last spring. They were looking forward to the rise of Fred (or the inevitability of Rudy). Instead, McCain came back from the wilderness to beat them again (just like with the judicial logjam).

Incidentally, I also think the logjam on nominees could have been solved by George Bush, had he made 4 or 5 recess appointments over Easter break in 2005 (or earlier, in 2003), and publicly threatened more, if up-and-down votes were not forthcoming. Here, the President (and the nation) were terribly served by Harriett Miers.

Absent the enervation that followed Katrina, he probably could have recess appointed someone to O'Connor's seat as well, knowing that the Senate would have to vote on the justice down the line. No way the Senate would have turned down Cornyn or Hatch. But the overall lassitude of the administration after the 2004 election (despite the gains in Congress) proved to be more of a drag than anyone guessed.

Posted by: ratbert at February 6, 2008 4:35 PM

I dislike the Senator, but to prefer Obama or Clinton to any of the Republicans shows very poor judgment.

Posted by: Rick T. at February 6, 2008 6:18 PM

Medved is observant.

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2008 7:08 PM


The National Review Online's Corner was simply embarassing. Someone seriously brought up McCain's class rank and how he crashed some jets. Do they really want to go down a road like that?

Posted by: pchuck at February 6, 2008 7:53 PM

Because they're people who are convinced their own mouyths matter

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2008 8:53 PM

pchuck, it seems they do. Of course, he had the guts and brains to get into a jet and qualify for carrier operations. To crash in training or have a material failure is not necessarily a reflection on the pilot.

McCain tail-hooked, repeatedly. In the world of pilots that is respect. Why did George Bush* insist on taking a straight-wing aircraft out to the USS Lincoln? Even as a passenger, he wanted to tail-hook; and he can say to his dying day that he was with the best for one brief moment.

No slur to the USAAF or USAF, but to tail-hook is the epitome of flight. I'd give five years for the opportunity to ride along for that.

*And he flew a dangerous first generation supersonic aircraft without accident - no mean feat.

Posted by: Mikey at February 6, 2008 9:12 PM