Friday, March 6, 2009

Radio Carny Barkers

I have posted on Rush Limbaugh and the Republican Civil War many times this week. Here is a very thoughtful piece by John Derbyshire in the The American Conservative on why these talk radio bloviators should be marginalized. (read)

With reasons for gratitude duly noted, are there some downsides to conservative talk radio? Taking the conservative project as a whole—limited government, fiscal prudence, equality under law, personal liberty, patriotism, realism abroad—has talk radio helped or hurt? All those good things are plainly off the table for the next four years at least, a prospect that conservatives can only view with anguish. Did the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Savages, and Ingrahams lead us to this sorry state of affairs?

They surely did. At the very least, by yoking themselves to the clueless George W. Bush and his free-spending administration, they helped create the great debt bubble that has now burst so spectacularly. The big names, too, were all uncritical of the decade-long (at least) efforts to “build democracy” in no-account nations with politically primitive populations. Sean Hannity called the Iraq War a “massive success,” and in January 2008 deemed the U.S. economy “phenomenal.”

That last paragraph packs a punch. Those people chose sides and defended Bush through thick and thin, ignoring evidence in front of their faces. The majority of the population were seeing things differently. People often don't know what they want, but looking at Bush and guys like Limbaugh, the majority thought, I know what I don't want.

In my own little internet world, conservative websites had/have the same problem. Question nation building in Iraq or Afghanistan? You were a chickenshit, who wanted to "cut and run." Question neo-conservatism? You were a "paleo-conservative." (A term coined meaning dinosaur, old fogey and often used to describe Pat Buchannan.) Question George W. Bush? You had "Bush Derangement Syndrome." It became annoying and divisive.

That's why I started this blog. I couldn't find anywhere else where a conservative type could go to question the orthodoxies. Rightist blogs were fighting leftists so hard they couldn't admit that anything was wrong from their own camp.


  1. I may be an idealogue but at least i'm not a partisan!

  2. Yeah, that's how I like to think. If I am in a debate with friends or family, I get a lousy feeling when I'm defending something I'm not totally behind, just to be partisan. For the US 2004 election I painted myself into a corner cheering for Bush with an in-law. I meant to say that I hate Bush but hate Kerry more. But I eneded up putting on the pom poms and I cringe when I think of it.

  3. I agree. Bush was the biggest government guy of all time (until Obama), yet the born again Christians defended his policies. Bush`s label was Republican, his actions were socialist. The born again movement, refused to recognize any of Bush`s bad policies. Bush did the exact opposite of everything the GOP stood for. Yet for some really strange reason, a lot of conservative voters continued their support.