Sunday, March 01, 2009

No Redeeming Social Value

It's not really that Rush Limbaugh, in his speech to CPAC, defined bipartisanship as good vs. evil, Jesus Christ vs. the liberals:

To us, bipartisanship is them being forced to agree with us after we politically have cleaned their clocks and beaten them. And that has to be what we're focused on. [Applause].... Where is the compromise between good and evil? Should Jesus have cut a different deal? Serious.

No. It's more like Rush gets to pontificate endlessly without making any suggesting improvement to policy to aid the country he pretends to love. Here he is saying policy doesn't matter:

Well, the one thing, and there are many, but one thing that we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat them is with better policy ideas right now. I don't want to name any names. It's not the point. But I talk to people about the Obama budget or the Obama Porkulous bill or whatever else TARP 2 whatever it's going to be, and they start talking to me in the terms of process and policy. I say stop it. What do you mean? Who is setting the process or policy? They are. You want to tweak it? No. This is philosophy, folks.

Representative David Vitter (insert cheap shot here) of Louisiana had spilled the beans when he spoke to the District of Columbia chapter of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society on February 12. Writing in Mother Jones that day (before the votes on the jobs bill), Stephanie Mencimer explained

According to Vitter, the GOP is basically betting the farm that the stimulus package is going to fail, and the party wants Democrats to go down with it. "Our next goal is to make President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress own it completely," he said. Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an "we told you so" agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill's impact in the coming months to highlight the bill's purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings.

Still, Rush Limbaugh is a more powerful figure in the party than David Vitter, and his hyperpartisanship more clearly unmasks the Republican allegiance to the twin gods of party and polarization. Here he lays down the gauntlet, effectively challenging his opponents to a fight:

I have learned how to tweak liberals everywhere. I do it instinctively now. Tweak them in the media. And no reason to be afraid of these people. Why in the world would you be afraid of the deranged?

This is not someone who sees those who disagree with him as having an honest difference of opinion- or even a dishonest difference of opinion. Instead he labels them as "deranged," liberals for whom "it's not about revenue generation; it's about control;" people ("they") who are "stealing it from you." There is no interest in debating such individuals; only in demonizing them. And in making tens of millions of dollars misinforming and enraging his supporters.

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