The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

27 January 2009

Rush Limbaugh Fills GOP's Leadership Void


Obama Knows It, As Do Conservatives: Let's Make It Official

As the war of words between Barack Obama and Rush Limbaugh continues into week two, perhaps all sides can agree on one point: the talk titan is now America's de facto Leader of the Opposition. That's both a testament to El Rushbo's leadership and an indictment of a woefully inadequate GOP.

Obama knows it, as do conservatives: Rush is running the show. Should we make it official?

First, from today's Boston Herald, the latest on Obama vs Rush:

Analysts say prez erred in singling out Rush Limbaugh

Obama’s rush to judgment

Jessica Heslam
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And Round One of the Right-Wing Talk Show Host vs. the liberal Leader of the Free World goes to . . . The Right-Wing Talk-Show Host!

In case you missed it, President Obama has been locked in a war of words with the leader of all dittoheads, Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh has been taking whacks at Obama as long as Obama’s been on the scene. But the newly minted president took a whack back Friday, when he told Republican lawmakers they should stop listening to the bomb-tossing conservative who reaches millions of listeners a week.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” Obama chided GOP leaders in negotiations about the economic stimulus package.

A delighted Limbaugh, thrilled to see the president climb into his mudwrestling pit, launched a return barrage yesterday.

Now media and political analysts say the new commander in chief made a whopper of a mistake.

“He’s the president of the United States and all Rush Limbaugh is is a radio talk show host,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine. “Once again, Rush Limbaugh raises the stature of our industry to the world stage.”

Professor Thomas Patterson of Harvard’s Kennedy School said Obama’s snark “elevates” Limbaugh as a figure. “It strikes me that the president of the United States singles you out, somehow that means you are a counter-figure on some level. That’s a mistake.”

Brian Maloney, author of the Radio Equalizer blog, called it a political blunder of “epic proportions,” noting the story was picked up worldwide.

“Obama has now basically said that ‘my key political opposition is Rush Limbaugh,’ ” said Maloney, who said Limbaugh’s ratings were probably five times higher than normal yesterday. “He must have been popping champagne corks over the weekend.”

There's no question Limbaugh has now become a worldwide figure, as opposed to previous mere domestic fame. From today's (UK) Telegraph:

Rush Limbaugh profile: The Most Dangerous Man in America?
Rush Limbaugh is America's most listened-to radio talk show pundit and one of its most influential conservative commentators.

By Catherine Elsworth

The 58-year-old's daily three-hour radio show, which has been running for 20 years, is syndicated to 600 stations across the US and attracts an estimated 20 million listeners a week.

The Right-wing host has been hailed as a Beatles-esque phenomenon for pioneering talk radio and is seen by fans as a refreshing alternative to the mainstream media - or "liberal media", as Limbaugh dubs it - for his outspoken, sometimes satirical, partisan diatribes.

Critics, however, view his broadcasts as divisive and inflammatory political propaganda, even dangerous demagoguery.

Time magazine's Mark Halperin has labelled Limbaugh an "American iconic" figure. Meanwhile Arianna Huffington, a staunch supporter of President Barack Obama, dubbed Limbaugh and other conservative commentators "toxic curiosities".

Limbaugh appears to relish such notoriety. One of his many soubriquets listed on the official Rush Limbaugh website is "the Most Dangerous Man in America". Others include: "America's Anchorman; America's Truth Detector; the Doctor of Democracy; the All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Everything Maha Rushie; defender of motherhood, protector of fatherhood and an all-around good guy".

Limbaugh broadcasts from a studio in Florida he refers to as a "heavily fortified bunker" and features no guests on his shows, which are often monologues interspersed with listeners' calls or off-microphone comments from his long-time producer.

So how did we get to this point? When Clinton took office in 1993, a new wave of young Republican talent was waiting in the wings to work with Rush in changing America for the better. By the next year, they had taken control of Congress with a fresh agenda, while Limbaugh remained behind the microphone to provide support and encouragement when needed.

In 2009, there is also a promising roster of future GOP leaders, but those currently in charge are absolutely hopeless. Afraid of the Obamist Regime, they have stood by and watched as a tax cheat is confirmed as Treasury Secretary. Though they won't step aside, they don't appear to have the political will to contest any of Obama's reckless moves. Could it be any worse than this?

In a parliamentary system, the minority party sits across the aisle while its leader appoints shadow ministers who both monitor the corresponding cabinet secretary's actions and present alternative policy positions.

So if Rush Limbaugh is functioning as our opposition leader, why not have him follow the parliamentary example and appoint his own shadow cabinet?

He could assemble an all-star roster of conservative leaders with expertise in monetary policy, defense, communications, intelligence and other key roles. In addition to keeping El Rushbo apprised of what the Obamist team is up to, they could issue policy statements.

In the absence of effective GOP leadership, Rush has already assumed this role. For America's sake, shouldn't he take it a step further and present a full opposition team?

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  • What we are also finding out is that Barack ******* Obama is very thin-skinned (wonder if someone is going to accuse me of being racist for using the term "thin-skinned" -- LOL!) when it comes to being criticized and/or questioned. Well actually it was not a big secret because it was well known when he was a Illinois legislator and even before that when he was a "community organizer." I expect he will react poorly in the future when he makes more blunders and Limbaugh and Hannity (who seem to be two of the top names on the Obama hit parade) point out his blunders. And woe to any reporters who actually ask him a tough unscripted, unexpected question. I imagine most of the MSM will capitulate with Oabama's demands of the media but I expect there will be some that will incur the wrath of which will come back and bite Obama in the proverbial butt.

    By Blogger Carl, at 27 January, 2009 03:28  

  • yep, carl, you've got a stellar future in communications and talk radio ahead of you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 January, 2009 16:57  

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