Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: In Defense of Rush Limbaugh

Gov. Rell, when asked if she thinks Rush Limbaugh is the voice of the Republican Party, said “Some may think so. I don’t.” Limbaugh, said Rell, "speaks for himself and a few selected people.”

Dumb questions elicit dumb answers. Limbaugh, whose name former Gov. John Rowland used studiously to miss-pronounce (I know not the man), would be the first to deny that he was the voice of the Republican Party. Certainly his is not the voice of Northeast Republicans, a vanishing species. Where have all those flowers gone? Chris Shays was (please note the past tense) the last moderate Republican standing in New England.

Limbaugh’s latest speaking engagement was before the Conservative Political Action Conference, a group not known for their affection for the kind of Republicans who here-about are regularly praised by the liberal press as being “pragmatic” and “moderate.”

Here in the Northeast, listening to Limbaugh is a guilty pleasure, a little bit like wandering into a bordello and tasting the fruit -- Really, sorry. Actually, I was heading for the barbershop! Really! Oh, this isn't the barber shop??!!!

Even former liberal raido talk show host Colin McEnroe listened to Limbaugh regularly. Part of the job, you know. I was headed for the barbershop. Really!

In this the land of Cotton Mather, we hug close to our vests our guilty pleasures. But at least McEnroe – also funny, also entertaining -- was willing to doff his hat to a comrade in arms and admit Limbaugh’s allure: He’s funny and entertaining.

And he has a talent for popularizing abstruse economic theories such as this one: Since government is a wealth consumer rather than a wealth producer, the more it takes from people in unjustifiable taxes, the poorer the wealth producing sector of the economy becomes. Redistribution, like any other guilty pleasure, is okay in moderation. But, broadly speaking, it is not a public virtue that ought to be encouraged.

In any case, it may be time for the rest of us – including Rell – to man-up. If Rell is going to operate on the principle that debts ought to be paid by debtors rather than their grandchildren, she will not find theoretical support for that theory by consulting Obamanomics. Limbaugh, as suggested by the size of his listening audience -- among whom must be numbered myself, McEnroe and the late Bill Buckley -- is pretty good; he’s no Bill Buckley, but then no one is Bill Buckley.

Republicans have to learn to stop running away from their futures. What if the antidote to Obamanomics runs through Limbaugh? Most people, even here in the Northeast suspect it may be so.

Even Obama suspects it, which is why his press secretary, whose name I have studiously forgotten, launched a few arrows in Limbaugh’s direction after he had said that he wished Obama’s program for re-inventing the capitalist wheel would fail.

In his speech to the Conservative Union, Limbaugh professed surprise that his enemies on the left would be surprised that he favors Reaganite solutions over and above the warmed over socialist solutions to economic problems favored by the Obama administration.

Wall Street, which provides seed corn to the captains of industry that produce products – and wealth -- in the United States, has been gagging on some of those solutions. Every time a petite new deal dribbles out of the mouth of some Obama clone in Washington, the stock market dives to the bottom.

US Sen. Dodd whispers “nationalization of banks,” and Wall Street – perceived as having no connection to Main Street by the redistributionists in the Obama beltway – takes a dive. Pugilist Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the US Senate, now a property of the Democrat Party, whispers that a insurance executive of a very large insurance company told him in confidence that his company was in mucho trouble and desperately needed bailing out, and the stock of major insurance companies on Connecticut, Dodd’s stomping grounds, plummets.

Apart from some few polite conservatives, Wall Street and the ghost of Bill Buckley, there is no one in the Northeast who has publicly inveighed against these breathlessly stupid public servants.

But there is always Rush Limbaugh -- entertaining, boisterously happy and unapologetically right. Holding no office and not in control of the purse strings of his countrymen, Limbaugh is much less dangerous to the public weal than are many of the public servants who wimper under his lash.
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