Why Not Rush?

Had to chase the treadmill again this morning. And that makes me cranky — more so than usual. Although watching the local TV news does provide some comic relief. That LOL moment. As we say in the social media biz.

The LOL moment came this morning about midway into the 5 a.m. broadcast. I watch Channel 19 in Cleveland, WOIO. The two young women news readers are pleasant and jovial. And at a time when the stock market is in freefall, their assets are proudly on display. Hey. I’m old – but not dead. And realistically, they have a tough job. TV news is the equivalent of Twitter with audio and video. You have about 140 characters to tell a story. And some are actually more complicated than just showing video of yellow police tape wrapped around poles.

So I chuckled when they got into the Rush Limbaugh dust-up. They showed about 15 seconds of Rush talking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C. over the weekend. And then the news readers made the point that Rush was still proclaiming that he hoped Obama would fail — and that Michael Steele, now head of the Republican National Party, pretty much dismissed Limbaugh as an “entertainer” who sometimes made ugly remarks. Then the news readers were off to another story. (“Meteor to hit earth. Film at eleven.” Just kidding.)

Whoa, news readers. More to it than that. And actually a fairly important story as the Republican Party — and conservatives — begin their (our?) extended hiatus in the political wilderness.

First, no thoughtful person in this country wants Obama to fail. If his ship sinks we all get wet (or worse). But Limbaugh as best I can tell is saying how can conservatives want Obama to succeed if that means destroying everything conservatives believe in. Unfortunately, eight years of Bush and Cheney have led to the first 40 days of Obama. And the conservative philosophy is pretty much bankrupt these days. Along with the world economy. Still, c’mon folks. Rush has a point. Once we become France we better enjoy a steady diet of french fries.

Second, Michael Steele reversed himself and his criticism of Limbaugh pretty quickly yesterday. So if he is speaking for Republicans — and I still consider myself to be aligned with the GOP even though I voted for Obama — then not only are we off in the wilderness for the next four, eight or more years. Then the GOP is worse off than most individual 401(K) accounts.

And, of course, Steele doesn’t speak for conservatives — many of whom are disgusted with the Republican Party post Bush/Cheney. Limbaugh opines, as printed in the NYT:

“It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off,” Mr. Limbaugh said in a transcript of his remarks posted on his Web site.

“You are head of the R.N.C.,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the R.N.C., and right now they want nothing to do with it.”

OK. Michael Steele. No. Bobby Jindal. Next. Mitt Romney. Ho hum. And so on.

Why not Rush?

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