As much as the far-right doesn’t want it to happen, Rush Limbaugh is becoming the face of the Republican Party. After the last two elections a vacuum has been created and he’s filling it. Moderates and many old hands have disappeared and the residue left is a caustic mixture of ideas tried and found wanting. But in the eyes of people like Limbaugh, it’s a cleansing agent the nation needs.
He doesn’t want Obama’s policies to succeed regardless of the fact that any policy that gets this economy on firmer footing would be a positive. Rather than see that the policies of the previous administration have failed, he wants an even purer form of them. No flexibility, no realizing we haven’t discarded capitalism but have seen its flaws, and that those flaws have to addressed. And there’s absolutely no concern for the millions who will suffer as we wait out this crisis. Limbaugh says he’s thinking about the future, but those people he supported without question have left that future in tatters. Confidence needs to be restored first before we even think about his ideological Neverland.
For Limbaugh there’s nowhere else except the far right; no center, no left, no near-right, nothing. Conservatism is the only path. He’s a true ideologue. Deviation is anathema. The rules are set and the concrete around them has hardened. This, of course, is the problem. Any non-questioned position is always going to be a problem.
Nothing wrong with many conservative principles; capitalism, relying on yourself when you can, less government when possible, a viable military, and so on, but to remain entrenched in those ideas just doesn’t work. Sometimes government is the only entity big enough to fix a problem. How it’s done can be argued, as it is, but we’ve been left with a big mess from the Bush years and even before that, and using the ideas from that era to fix the problem isn’t necessarily the best way.
Throwing out the words socialist and nationalization gets us nowhere. We already have socialism, probably always will. We need stability so that capitalism can reassert itself in a stronger, fairer, more transparent form. We need to rebalance our society and realize that different ideas can have their time. Naturally, and here Limbaugh would be correct, you have to be careful the solution doesn’t get out of hand. The far-left shouldn’t simply supplant the far-right. That doesn’t have to happen, but we’ll have to work hard to see that it doesn’t.
Nonetheless, Limbaugh shouldn’t be the spokesman for the Republicans. Listening to him it’s easy to see that what he does is throw everything out there and hope something sticks. Some of which probably will. Unfortunately, generalizations, while they always sound good, can be merely catnip. They may rile people up but they don’t educate; they don’t create a dialogue. Limbaugh is a one-trick pony. He’s caught up in his own enclosed, controllable world and keeps this world intact by brooking no dissent.
What we have here is the leftover from a party where all the moderate drinkers have departed and what’s left are the drunks.