Mr. Limbaugh. Mr. Rush Limbaugh. Paging Mr. Limbaugh: The Republican party is looking for you to tell them which end is up and what planet they live on.
Maybe they should write an ode to you in iambic pentameter, or an anthem. Maybe they could name a new cocktail for you — the Rushtini, or the Rushmopolitan. Why not? You're annoying White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. And you're a role model, too. Mr. Limbaugh, you are driving Republican culture and discourse with your mellifluous voice, one of the few outside stimuli that the GOP is responding to at this point.
Well sir, if you can get Republicans and conservatives grounded, ready to rumble and united at least on a few basic points, then hurray. Huzzah. Rushtinis all around. But remember that the GOP has woken up on the wrong side of the polling booth and is crabby, indeed. Kindly inform them not to foul their own nest or beat up on one another too much — particularly Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, as he is only trying to provide a grand new demeanor for a Grand Old Party.
And please, tell the GOP not to get paranoid if they can't Twitter or don't understand "branding" — but warn them in baleful tones if they've forgotten, say, the Constitution.
Oh, and kudos for getting in there, Mr. Limbaugh, and grappling with critics, fans, toxic press, has-beens, hopefuls, the eager and the beleaguered. It's not easy; this is an activity without formal protocol. Some say it's sport. I say the clock is running. This is not a practice match.
So grapple on, bud.
"Limbaugh doesn't solve the problems of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, but he certainly can put some starch in the drawers for Republicans and conservatives who lately have had very little to get themselves excited about. Until an overarching message can be constructed and the party repositioned to compete in this vastly different and challenging world we are in today, Rush is a tonic badly needed in the party and the movement," says Charlie Cook of the National Journal.
Hurrah. Some levity amidst the econo-blues. Los Angeles-based political entrepreneur Anthony Russell is now offering "The Greedy Stockbroker," a pet chew toy modeled after former financier Bernie Madoff.
It's a way "to get even," Mr. Russell says — part of his line of Political Pet Toys that makes weird chewables for restless dogs, though maybe the owners should also sample them. It would make sense.
"Our best-seller for eight straight years was the George W. Bush pet chew toy," Mr. Russell notes. "The global financial crisis was a no-brainer for our next toy. I mean, if you committed a holdup and stole five grand from a bank you would be in jail an hour later. But if you steal $50 billion dollars you get bail and keep staying in your Park Avenue apartment."
But geez, for a chew toy — unless it's made of, say, filet mignon — this doggy indulgence is priced at a hefty $18. Wait. Now I am told that people pay that amount for dog clothes, so never mind. Go ahead. The toy can be purchased online at www.greedystockbroker.com.
Days of yore
Take a dog to lunch today. It marks the anniversary of the nation's first dog license law, enacted by the state of New York in 1894. The Internal Revenue Service began to levy and collect income taxes on this day in 1913.
Are you experienced? Radio Hanoi broadcast Jimi Hendrix's screamin' guitar version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" across the nation of North Vietnam 38 years ago today. And in a different vein, President Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire" on this very day 26 years ago — using the term for the second time in his career.
Meanwhile, the decade was not called the "go-go '80s" for nothing.
The IRS announced on March 8, 1985, that 407,700 Americans were millionaires — more than double the total from just five years before. As a somewhat disquieting aside, according to TNS Global Financial Services, 9.9 million Americans now claim to have more than $1 million net worth.
Quotes of note
"The real problem is that there is no control on the way people gossip now. There are no editors, publishers — the Internet is just wild. So these kids who are running gawker.com or Perez Hilton, they are very clever and they deserve a lot of credit for making fabulous careers for themselves. But I don't believe a word any of them write." — syndicated columnist Liz Smith, to CNN.
"CIA following Bin Laden on Twitter." — parody headline from the Andy Borowitz Report.
"He looks like an Eastern European gangster." — David Letterman on Rush Limbaugh, to CBS News.
"Market to Obama: I'm just not that into you." — James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report.
By the numbers
Who are America's heroes? Here are the top names mentioned spontaneously by 2,634 adults in a Harris Poll released Feb. 26.
Martin Luther King Jr.
George W. Bush
Sen. John McCain
John F. Kennedy
US Air pilot Chesley Sullenberger
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Gen. George S. Patton
• Contact Jennifer Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/636-3085.
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