Regarding Rush

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Why don’t you spare us your bloviation by admitting you are in no position to criticize what you obviously don’t listen to. I mean, really, isn’t extensive experience with a subject kind of a standard prerequisite for the kind of accusations you lob here? (And, note, your words continue to play precisely to groupthink-according-to-Andrew-Sullivan, yet again.)

    The medium of centralized government IS the message. The reason conservatives should not play the “policy game” as Rush meant it was that the very act of doing so cedes the argument against whether power is best centralized or decentralized to the Democrats/progressives/left. A Republican big government person, such as Bush II in many respects, is fundamentally a progressive on the important and crucial undercurrent of the centralize/decentralize question, no matter what “policies” Bush II might present. If one thinks the primary channel of power in America should be the federal government, then it doesn’t matter whether you are a Democrat or a Republican: you are playing the game according to Democrat/progressive/left rules. The medium IS the message.

    Limbaugh said all this. Would you and the rest of the groupthinkers here open your ears, we might be able to get somewhere.Report

  2. Avatar Will says:

    I think the central criticism of Rush’s remark, Matthew, is that decentralization can’t be wished into existence. It requires a coherent political blueprint, and Rush is apparently unable (or unwilling) to grapple with this.Report

  3. Avatar Dynamic says:

    My concern in all this is the obvious politicking coming out of Rahm Emanuel and the Obama camp over the whole fiasco. They’re clearly pushing Limbaugh along, fanning the flames and revelling in the glow.

    It’s smart politics, but it’s politics nonetheless – and it could backfire all too quickly. Even if the Republicans never catch on (and they’re not stupid, even if they have often elected to be ignorant), the American people will. They chose Obama because he’s pragmatic, anti-political (or more accurately, appears to be anti-political) and genuinely interested in giving everyone a seat at the table. Gamesmanship of this sort is the exact antithesis of that.Report

  4. Avatar Mark says:

    Gamesmanship of this sort is the exact antithesis of that.

    But isn’t this vintage Obama? Did he not bait Bill Clinton into destroying Hillary’s primary hopes with “[Reagan] changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not?” BHO is a skilled politician, the best we’ve seen in a long time. It was only the erstwhile Deaniacs who thought he transcended politics.Report

  5. Avatar Dynamic says:

    I can agree that it is pure theatre when Obama claims to have transcended politics. I think what I’m getting at is not that Obama is suddenly descending into political gamesmanship; it is that he is suddenly no longer being subtle about it. When it comes to politics (and a good deal else), an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I guess I believe in a conservatism that denies greed and individualism, and chooses virtue and simplicity over rampant capitalism; conservation over the plundering of the earth; and humility over pride. None of these things I see in Limbaugh or the movement.Report

  7. Avatar Freddie says:

    I guess when I saw him making fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease, I moved Rush from the category of guy I disagreed with about almost everything to the category of worthless human being.Report

  8. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I had already placed him in that category, Freddie, but that certainly helped reaffirm my disgust with the man…Report

  9. Will wrote:

    I think the central criticism of Rush’s remark, Matthew, is that decentralization can’t be wished into existence. It requires a coherent political blueprint, and Rush is apparently unable (or unwilling) to grapple with this.

    How can that be the central criticism when Limbaugh is not by any means a political strategist? That is not his position, and never has been. His position, rather, is that of communicator of conservative principles in an entertaining three hours of radio. That is what he does, day in and day out. And that enterprise includes criticism of those people who call themselves “conservatives” but who don’t put conservative principles into action. Which he is doing, to the ire to the people he criticizes and the joy of the Left. If you actually listened to his radio show, you would hear conservative principles articulated every which way and I think that is a real service to the country.

    If you think his radio show should be about articulating strategy, you must have been a producer for Air America in your former life. Three hours — or even one! — about political strategy. Talk about a winning radio concept.Report

  10. Oh E.D Kain, snicker:

    I guess I believe in a conservatism that denies greed and individualism,

    Well “greed” is begging the question, so I’ll rightly ignore that. But a conservatism that doesn’t believe individualism? Your little belief not only puts you at odds with fundamental principles of America, but the Western tradition itself.

    Keep up the Sullivan-inspired groupthink. Very entertaining, at least.Report

  11. Avatar Mayken says:

    I prefer reading, listening to and conversing with thinking conservatives who don’t resort to name-calling and hate speech. That leaves Rush out. Agree with him or not but Larison and conservatives of his ilk can rationally and respectfully articulate conservative principles and offer rational and respectful analysis of the opposition. It’s a vanishingly rare skill, on both sides of the aisle.Report