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TYRRELL: Rush to Rush
“Rush is the bloated face and drug-addled voice of the Republican Party,” Paul Begala is quoted as saying in The Washington Post.
Mr. Begala is asseverating on Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio commentator in the country, but alas one who disagrees with Mr. Begala. I think it speaks volumes about Mr. Begala’s obliviousness that he would bring up physical traits in attempting to make some political point. Has he beheld himself in a mirror lately? Even friends know him as “The Skull,” owing to his cadaverous countenance.
You may only have seen him on television. I have had the gruesome experience of seeing him in the flesh. We were in the makeup room being cosmeticized for appearances on a cable television show. The artiste attending to the crevices, the gullies and the bumps of Mr. Begala’s unfortunate face had to apply so much makeup to it that when he left the makeup room it looked as though he was wearing plaster of Paris.
During the ensuing debate he may have laughed at one or two of my jokes or he may have frowned. It was impossible to tell. His ghoulish features were completely covered up.
The point Mr. Begala has been trying to make about Mr. Limbaugh is the point that apparently an entire phalanx of Democratic operatives, including President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is trying to make, namely, that Mr. Limbaugh wants the president to fail.
Of course, these Democrats are practicing a deception on their audiences. What Mr. Limbaugh clearly wants is for the president to fail in his apparent goal of bringing social democracy to our shores (through his nationalization of much of the economy and his onerous tax increases). Mr. Limbaugh wants this effort to fail because it will prevent economic recovery and the prosperity that has been allowed us by free-market economics.
The whole controversy is a hoax. Yet now it is reliably reported that as many as a dozen top Democrats, some on the White House staff, are continuing this hoax and expanding it by trying to make reaction to Mr. Limbaugh an issue for the Republican Party to pronounce on.
Supposedly, if one declares admiration for Mr. Limbaugh in public one is politically an extremist. Alternatively, if one scorns him one is civilized to the utmost. The consequence is discord within Republican ranks, and - so Democrats believe - growing strength for the Democrats. Truth be told, here is but more evidence of my deeply held belief that politics for many - whether they be Republican or Democrat - is a form of neurosis. Come election time, only the nuts will care which side you lined up on in this deviously confected hoax.
Yet the controversy demonstrates anew the validity of O’Sullivan’s Law. The eponym of this law is John O’Sullivan, former aide to Lady Margaret Thatcher and former editor of National Review. According to O’Sullivan’s Law, in American culture if one is not firmly conservative one will fall prey to the liberals who dominate the culture, polluting it with their left-wing politics and creating what I call Kultursmog.
In the smog various timid conservatives have allowed themselves to become instrumentalities of the Democrats’ hoax. Thus Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele has called Mr. Limbaugh’s commentary “incendiary” and “ugly.” Has Mr. Steele listened to Mr. Begala lately?
Another timorous conservative is David Frum, who is always identified as a former writer for President George W. Bush who assisted in creating the phrase “axis of evil.” How many writers are needed to create a three-word phrase? Mr. Frum is going along with the Democrats’ misleading claim that Rush wants the president to fail. Perhaps Mr. Frum believes social democracy is an improvement on free markets.
My favorite among the timid conservatives is Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist who apparently rose without a trace. Until this autumn, I had never heard of her, and to this day about the only time one does hear of her is when she is puffing liberal gasses into the Kultursmog. In the autumn, she was one of the conservatives sternly critical of Sen. John McCain for his choice of the pulchritudinous Sarah Palin as a running-mate. Now in her column in The Washington Post she is equally stern in her criticism of the pulchritudinous Mr. Limbaugh.
Her presence in the mainstream media is another example of how the political culture works. Conservatives become acceptable when they disparage conservatives. Rush Limbaugh has never taken the coward’s way out - and he is very amusing.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.
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