David Kirkpatrick

September 25, 2009

Right wing bloggers vote for most influential GOPers

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:26 pm

And it takes nine slots to get to the first elected official — Jim DeMint. Sarah Palin clocks in at number two behind Rush Limbaugh.

There really is no mystery why the GOP is becoming so marginalized. Angry volume and right wing media exposure do not mean legislative or electoral success.

To illustrate the marginalization consider this:

In 1987 comedian David Brenner bombed in syndication with about 2.5 million viewers at midnight — which is roughly what Fox, the leading network for political talk shows, averages in prime time.

(Hat tip: NewMajority)

March 20, 2009

Tedisco to Rush …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:28 pm

… “I’m here to kiss your ass.”

The ridiculous and embarrassing kowtowing to the blowhard of the right goes on. And the GOP sinks a little deeper into the tar pit that claimed the Whigs, Know Nothings, et.al.

Honestly, I read about Tedisco’s quote and thought, at least this one that won’t get on his knees. I was wrong.

From the link:

There really is no dismissing Rush Limbaugh, is there? Earlier today, in the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand’s old House seat, Republican candidate Jim Tedisco declared that “Rush Limbaugh is meaningless to me.”

Now, Tedisco’s campaign has released a statement clarifying what he meant:

“Jim’s comments were in response to a question about what voters are asking him about on the campaign trail. So far, the concerns he has been hearing from voters on the campaign trail have been local in nature, such as his support for lower property taxes, fiscal responsibility, and his opponent’s appalling support for the AIG bonus loophole. That was his point and any effort to characterize it otherwise is a distortion of the facts.”

March 12, 2009

Pat Ruffini is stupid

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:03 pm

Stumbling upon GOP stupidity right now is akin to shooting fish in a barrel, but I’m just sick of it all. Sick of the stupidity and very sick of being given such easy blog material by the loudest voices on the right on a daily basis.

This passes for right wing punditry  at the moment? I’ve blogged on the topic quite a bit, but every day I become more convinced the GOP may actually be slowly dying.

From the link:

The larger and more influential Rush’s audience, the more mobilized the base will be against Obama. This has nothing to do with Rush exerting policy leadership over the GOP — and everything to do with Rush as a popularizer of conservative principles and a rallying point for opposition. The best reaction to the Limbaugh “controversy” is for GOP politicians to avoid it entirely — while Rush’s audience grows and grows.

Er, Pat — the point isn’t the size of Rush’s (overinflated) audience. It’s the message and who it resonates with. Right now it resonates with out-of-touch cranks who are almost exclusively old, white and male and impervious to logic and reality. The Rush brouhaha is hurting the GOP, not helping. Anyone who doesn’t get this basic fact is either dissembling or is just stupid. (See the header for my opinion on this matter.)

I’d of never guessed I’d witness the death of a political party in my lifetime given how ossified the current landscape has been for decades, but it is actually happening right now. The Republican Party has no leadership and its base is somewhere south of 25 percent of the voting public. The three-legged stool is gone — not just broken, but gone — and whatever was left of the “big tent” has long been abandoned and used for toilet paper by the hobos who last used it for shelter.

March 9, 2009

Frum on the GOP and Limbaugh at Newsweek

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:30 pm

David Frum has an excellent cover story at Newsweek on the ongoing “discussion” within the GOP on Limbaughism and the general state of conservatism. It’s a long-form piece, but well worth the time taken to read the entire article.

Frum is doing some great work at NewMajority.com, but his message is being shouted down by the lowest common denominator in the GOP.

I did a guest blog post in the early days of NewMajority back in late January, but have yet to follow-up. The initial plan was for me to provide a few posts a week. A spate of freelance work and a bout with the flu has kept me from keeping that schedule up right now. I do intend to continue contributing to NewMajority as long as Frum will have me, but I also have to admit I’m not sure I have a lot to add to the GOP debate given the current state of affairs.

My libertarian moderate message really isn’t part of a shouting match on exactly what the Republican Party should be going forward. Right now it looks like some sort of “pure” hard right politics that appeals to roughly a third (or more likely much less) of the electorate versus a political party interested in debating the subjects of the day and engaging all voters in some fashion. Depending on the outcome of this internecine conflict, the GOP will either no longer compete on a national scope or it will become a solid opposition party and hopefully inject ideas and policies into U.S. government.

The options are that stark and Frum gets it. Here’s his lede establishing his conservative and GOP bona fides. A laundry list necessary because the rabid right has idiotically decided Frum is just another RINO. Good move there guys. Try to alienate someone who is honestly seeking solutions instead of shouting at walls.

From the first link:

It wasn’t a fight I went looking for. On March 3, the popular radio host Mark Levin opened his show with an outburst (he always opens his show with an outburst): “There are people who have somehow claimed the conservative mantle … You don’t even know who they are … They’re so irrelevant … It’s time to name names …! The Canadian David Frum: where did this a-hole come from? … In the foxhole with other conservatives, you know what this jerk does? He keeps shooting us in the back … Hey, Frum: you’re a putz.”

Now, of course, Mark Levin knows perfectly well where I come from. We’ve known each other for years, had dinner together. I’m a conservative Republican, have been all my adult life. I volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1980. I’ve attended every Republican convention since 1988. I was president of the Federalist Society chapter at my law school, worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and wrote speeches for President Bush—not the “Read My Lips” Bush, the “Axis of Evil” Bush. I served on the Giuliani campaign in 2008 and voted for John McCain in November. I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea.

I mention all this not because I expect you to be fascinated with my life story, but to establish some bona fides. In the conservative world, we have a tendency to dismiss unwelcome realities. When one of us looks up and murmurs, “Hey, guys, there seems to be an avalanche heading our way,” the others tend to shrug and say, he’s a “squish” or a RINO—Republican in Name Only.

March 4, 2009

Okay, this might be the last …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:44 pm

… post about the Limbaugh-as-GOP-leader story because the ground is well-trodden by me and many, many others. The main reason I find it hard to stay away is sheer brain-dead tone-deafness of the fringe right commenting across the blogosphere.

I can completely understand the glee from the left on this topic because it’s almost a perfect storm of Rush’s outsized ego  meeting his clueless ditto-heads and completely playing into a stroke of political genius from the Democratic Party braintrust coupled with a whole lot of luck from a weak sauce GOP response to the tactic.

Let’s review a few facts — Rush has become the “party leader” of the GOP. The Democrats hoped for just this outcome from the 2008 election cycle. Sixteen percent of Americans would be more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Limbaugh. That’s his core support amongst the electorate — 16%. Forty six percent would be less likely to support such a candidate. That’s Rush’s level of visceral hate — the part of the electorate who would act against Rush over other considerations. And the GOP sees this as a winning move for both the party and Rush?

Here’s a very brief selection of comments from around the web that reflect just that belief:

Watching the Dhims provoking Rush reminds me of Hamas poking Israel with sticks, blissfully unaware of the beat down coming. Then when Israel got tired of the sticks and stones they simply began putting the smackdown on Hamas, whom of course complained that Israel was a bully.
I hope the Dhims are slow in learning the lesson so we can watch the inevitable disassembly of their attack structure by Mr. Limbaugh. GET ‘EM RUSH!!!

And:

The great thing about Rush is he can handle all of this criticism. You see, he doesn’t care about his poll numbers because he’s standing by what he believes to be true. Rush isn’t going to damage the republican party because once these Obama policies fail-and they will- who do you the public will look to? The republicans and Rush will have been the one to make it possible because he was sounding the alarm the entire time and he is the one putting pressure on republicans to stand their ground. Give’eml Rush.

And:

Rush took the democrats to the woodshed Saturday night at the CPAC conference and they are still smarting.

I wonder, what planet are these people living on? I have no doubt they are sincere, but sheer stupidity in absolutely ignoring facts on the ground is exactly why the GOP lost in 2008, will likely lose in 2010 and again in 2012. It will require a seachange in attitude and intellect to even have a modicum of hope for national electoral success.

Dem plot against Rush, GOP working

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:35 am

Working like a charm with the full complicit help of Rush Limbaugh himself. The Republican Party is burning and Rush is basking in a sickly greenish glow of non-glory.

Of course if the GOP is so spineless as to kowtow to the fool (read: the forced frog march to publically apologize to the radio host for any perceived slight), the party deserves every bit of scorn and loss of support that happens.

I do find it astounding no GOP leader — an actual political leader and not a blowhard media opiner — is willing to come forward and announce this leader is wearing no clothes and does not represent the best interests of the Republican Party. He does represent the best interests of Rush. With his actual unique listenership somewhere between 1.5  and 3 million (don’t believe the 20 million number, go out and read one of the many helpful guides on how radio numbers are collected and reported), Rush needs to hold onto his base of loony ditto-heads. His popularity is way down so new listeners are unlikely and his core listener — old, white men — is well, getting older.

Here’s some tough figures on Limbaughfrom NewMajority:

Rush Limbaugh is a seriously unpopular figure among voters conservatives and Republicans need to reach. 45% of independents have a negative impression of him, according to the January Gallup poll.

Rasmussen found that only 16% of Americans would be more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Limbaugh – while 46% would be less likely to support such a candidate. 

Limbaugh is especially offputting to women: His audience is 72% male, the most lopsidedly unisexual of any major media offering on radio, TV, or print, according to the Pew survey

And here’s a piece from Politico today outlining exactly how Rush is embracing the evisceration of the GOP to serve his own greed.

From the link:

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.

Limbaugh is embracing the line of attack, suggesting a certain symbiosis between him and his political adversaries.

“The administration is enabling me,” he wrote in an e-mail to POLITICO. “They are expanding my profile, expanding my audience and expanding my influence. An ever larger number of people are now being exposed to the antidote to Obamaism: conservatism, as articulated by me. An ever larger number of people are now exposed to substantive warnings, analysis and criticism of Obama’s policies and intentions, a ‘story’ I own because the [mainstream media] is largely the Obama Press Office.”

The bigger, the better, agreed Carville. “It’s great for us, great for him, great for the press,” he said of Limbaugh. “The only people he’s not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress.”

Also from the second link:

Paul Begala, a close friend of Carville, Greenberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, said they found Limbaugh’s overall ratings were even lower than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s controversial former pastor, and William Ayers, the domestic terrorist and Chicago resident who Republicans sought to tie to Obama during the campaign.

Then came what Begala called “the tripwire.”

“I hope he fails,” Limbaugh said of Obama on his show four days before the president was sworn in. It was a time when Obama’s approval ratings were soaring, but more than that, polls showed even people who didn’t vote for him badly wanted him to succeed, coming to office at a time of economic meltdown.

February 28, 2009

Rush Limbaugh, traitor — Act II

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:02 pm

Anyone who hopes a sitting president of the United States of America is a failure is engaging in some level of sedition by definition. Anyone who does this in the first five weeks of the president’s first term is nosing against treason. Doing it with a national audience? Clear and simple, a traitor to the nation of the United States.

Rush is a fool and if he remains the “voice” of the GOP, the party deserves to fail.

“The dirty little secret … is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so; I am willing to say it,” – Rush Limbaugh.

(Hat tip — the Daily Dish)

February 26, 2009

Derbyshire on conservative talk radio

This is a wonderful article by John Derbyshire (of National Review and Secular Right fame) at The American Conservative on conservative talk radio and how it has slowly wrecked the GOP.

I’ve blogged on the negative influence of Limbaugh, et.al. in the past, and I think the echo-chamber of idiots totally primed the path for the state of the Republican Party today. A party that may not exist as a serious national political force in ten years time.

Couldn’t tell you what the answer is to the rapid decline of the
GOP, and even worse for the party the fact that decline continues unabated to this very minute. Obama’s powerful speech and Jindal’s weak sauce response last night pretty much sum up the tall and short of it.

Whether current political winds make you happy or leave you in dispair, take the time to read Derby’s entire piece. It’s worth the time.

From the link:

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.”

Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al.has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the impression fixed in the minds of too many Americans that conservatism is always lowbrow, an impression our enemies gleefully reinforce when the opportunity arises. Thus a liberal like E.J. Dionne can write, “The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. … Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans.” Talk radio has contributed mightily to this development.

February 16, 2009

Politics, critique and this blog

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:13 pm

I’ve been pretty tough on the GOP over the last couple of weeks and it’s disappointing. With Obama’s election and the Democratic clean-sweep of November I was looking forward to pushing back against the new establishment and challengeing areas where I didn’t like the direction they were taking the nation. And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to touch on — right now some of the more insidious provisions stuck in the stimulus package come to mind.

The problem is the GOP is acting so stupidly and pathetically as a minority party, it’s impossible for me to stay off the topic. Right now for me the GOP is a festering wound with a scab I can’t help but pick at repeatedly. And I’ll have to admit there’s some morbid fascination watching a political party completely implode. I don’t wish this for the Republican Party, but I’m not kidding when I write it could be coming to an effective end as a national political force.

When you have party mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh wishing for insta-failure for Obama’s administration instead of hoping America gets back on economic track and becomes the great nation it has always been once again; when you have minority whip Eric Cantor reliving those glory years of Gingrichism instead of working within the current political climate to improve our nation; when you have has-been punchline Ken Starr making pronouncements about Obmama’s potential Supreme Court nominee fights; and when you have the far-right bloc of the party trying to oust the three Senators who voted for the stimulus package for being RINOs, you don’t have any hope for a ruling coalition.

Rush Limbaugh, traitor

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:57 am

Rooting for the president to fail less than a month into his first term is simply rooting for America to fail. The people overwhelmingly voted Obama into office. Democracy spoke and Rush’s “team” got their asses handed to them. His response? Crying like a baby and hoping, wishing, for failure. Not unlike the mad child who wants everyone to just die.

The rabid base might like this, but I think the general public has had enough of right-wing crap. I’m guessing if a Democrat were spouting off like he repeatedly has, Rush would be screaming “treason” at the top of his lungs.

He’s a hypocritical fool and always has been, but rarely quite this naked about it. I’ve always thought Rush played purely for ratings. He might believe some of the bullshit he throws out there, and he probably doesn’t believe some of it. It’s all merely a tool for ratings.

I do think at this point he is hurting the GOP. If his voice is the main voice of the Republican Party as the media and party members have said, the GOP is in a sorrier place than even I have opined about. And I’ve been pretty tough on the party since McCain chose Palin as a running mate.

From the link:

Rush Limbaugh caused a bit of a stir about a month ago, when he told his audience, “I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope [President Obama] succeeds.’ … I hope Obama fails. Somebody’s gotta say it.”

The right-wing host went on a similar tirade yesterday when talking about the economic recovery package: “I want everything he’s doing to fail… I want the stimulus package to fail…. I do not want this to succeed.”

Limbaugh is, without ambiguity, rooting for failure. In the midst of an economic crisis, Limbaugh quite openly admitted that if Obama’s economic policies are successful, it would undermine the talk-show host’s worldview. As such, Limbaugh wants desperately to see more Americans suffer, more workers unemployed, more businesses close up shop. The key here is philosophy — if government spending can stimulate the economy, as it always does, then the right is wrong. Limbaugh would much prefer a suffering nation than a reevaluation of conservative ideas.

February 5, 2009

Limbaugh not so popular

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:16 pm

He’s loud and he’s often wrong. It seems his claim of being the most powerful Republican is either dead-wrong or very, very troubling for the GOP.

These numbers are a bit old — from last October — and from a Democratic research firm, but are very telling.

Anyone who wants to get a handle on Rush’s true listener base ought to take a little time to break down how radio numbers are reported and how those numbers relate to unique individuals who are listening. (I’ll give you a little hint — his actual listener base is much, much, much more small than anything reported. Probably well below 5M. Very well below. That compares his touted 20M.)

From the link:

Republicans who have turned to Rush Limbaugh to lead the fight against President Obama may have backed the wrong horse. According to one recent poll, Limbaugh turns out to be one of the most unpopular political figures in the country.

An October 24, 2008, poll conducted by the Democratic research firm Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner has Rush Limbaugh enjoying a public-approval rating of just 21 percent among likely voters, while 58 percent have “cold” feelings toward the right-wing radio-talk-show host. Limbaugh’s cold rating was higher than that of all the political figures the firm polled. It was seven points higher than Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright and eight points higher than former Weather Underground domestic terrorist William Ayers. (As the firm points out in an email, it’s true that Wright and Ayers both had lower “warm” ratings than Limbaugh—as you’d expect for men who have virtually no constituencies.)

January 29, 2009

If this chart doesn’t wake the GOP up nothing will

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:10 pm

Talk about a marginalized party. Whatever the base really is, it isn’t a wining coalition. This story at the New York Times and research from Gallup ought to be very, very sobering.

From the link:

Yesterday Gallup released a report on its survey of political party affiliation by voters at the state level. The results, depicted in the map above, show that only five states have a statistically significant majority of voters who identify themselves as Republicans. The data come from interviews last year with “more than 350,000 U.S. adults as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking.”

Here’s the dirty truth from Gallup:

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And here’s some analysis from David Frum at NewMajority.com, taken rom the NYT link:

David Frum at the NewMajority.com asks “Base? What base?”:

These are the numbers that make yesterday’s flexing of muscle by Rush Limbaugh over Georgia congressman Phil Gingery not merely ridiculous but actively dangerous. When Republicans line up behind Rush Limbaugh in this way, they are dividing the country 80-20 against themselves. Our supreme priority now has to be to reinvent ourselves as a pragmatic, inclusive, modern party of free enterprise and limited government. We have to relearn how to talk to moderates, independent, younger voters, educated voters, women – it’s a long list.

Instead, our congressmen talk to and about Rush Limbaugh like Old Bolsheviks praising Comrade Stalin at their show trials. Rush is right! We see eye to eye with Rush! There is no truth outside Rush!

October 27, 2008

Rush Limbaugh killed the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 pm

Good stuff from Ross Douthat.

From the link (and taken from the middle of a longer graf):

For Rush, there are only two kinds of people in Republican Party: True conservatives like him, and “moderate Republicans.” The latter is an ideologically-inclusive category: You can be pro-choice or pro-life, David Frum or Colin Powell, a Rockefeller Republican or a Sam’s Club conservative; indeed, the only real requirement for moderate-Republican status is the belief that the Republican Party needs to reach out to voters who don’t agree with, well, Rush Limbaugh on every jot and tittle of what conservatism is and ought to be.

February 12, 2008

Limbaugh says what?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:44 pm

Rush Limbaugh desperately wants to be relevant beyond his core audience. Don’t see that coming to pass, especially after he was completely exposed as having zero kingmaking skills for the GOP.

From the link:

(CNN) — He’s aggressively targeted John McCain ever since the Arizona senator began his meteoric rise in the polls, but conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he may actually be the Arizona senator’s “most valuable asset.”

Commenting on the mainstream media’s fixation with his feelings about McCain, Limbaugh said there may be more to his criticisms than meets the eye.

“If I really wanted to torpedo McCain, I would endorse him,” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “Because that would send the independents and liberals who are going to vote for him running away faster than anything.”

“What people don’t realize is that I am doing McCain the biggest favor that can be done for him by staying out of this,” he continued. “If I endorsed him thoroughly and with passion, that would end the independents and moderates, because they so despise me and they so hate me.”