Clear it with Rush

July 25th, 2011 at 3:29 pm David Frum | 37 Comments |

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I heard Rush Limbaugh talk in his first hour today about the details of the Boehner plan. I was in the car returning from the gym, and I just assumed I’d missed the release of the plan earlier.

But no. Limbaugh indeed got the scoop.

It’s worth noting that for all the conservative obsession with the dreaded Mainstream Media, it is really the Republican party that is far more in thrall to its pet media organizations. A Democratic plan proposal can survive the disapproval of the New York Times. But Rush Limbaugh has veto power over the GOP as now constituted.

It’s incredible, it’s self-defeating, it’s absurd … but it’s the way it is.

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37 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool

    If you ever wanna get away from his fatass, a gym is probably the best place to go.

  • greg_barton

    frum, isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be, according to conservative ideology?

    Weak government == weak party == absolute control by unelected demagogues. QED.

  • seeker656

    This is how the “American People” learn what their government is doing. This is as disgusting as when the Speaker of the House, third in line for the presidency, had to call Rush and reassure him that there was no agreement with those terrible liberals.

  • TerryF98

    That other turd in the toilet Beck today said that the dead from the Norwegian shootings were attending a Nazi camp.

    Can’t get sicker than that. Or can they?

  • WTBoy

    Since there apparently will not be an agreement, we should start talking about what happens when we default. A realistic observer would assume that this will be a long-term condition, not a passing blip.

    Many in the Wall Street community (and apparently the Republican leadership) assume that Washington will prioritize payments on the debt, and stop obligations to Social Security recipients, Medicare, and other social programs (—-republicans-wild-plan-to-avoid-us-debt-default.php). Every other Thursday, the Tea party faithful gather for circle-jerks to consider this scenario.

    But this is a problem since most of America’s retirees are more than 50% dependent on these programs (

    If you had to make a choice: allow your grandparents to starve, or make a payment to a credit card company, what would be your decision?

  • TAZ

    I think its almost unbelievable a politician, let alone a political party would put themselves in such a spot.

    As establishment Republicans are finding out, deals with the devil come back to haunt.

    On a similar matter:
    FOX News has been filleting establishment Repubs for some months now in favor of the Tea Party. Even Trump gets an open floor after announcing that if he runs for President he will do so as an independent.

    Establishment Repub politicans should start understanding the horse is out of the barn and they are REALLY on the way out.

  • Hunter01

    The American experiment is self-government is failing, but not for the reasons that Gibbons would have anticipated (e.g., official corruption, abuse of power, loss of civic virtue, reliance on mercenaries). America is failing because one large segment of the population so dislikes and so distrusts the values of another equally large segment of the population that it would rather see the end of our nation that see those others subsist or prosper in their own way of life.

    • LauraNo

      The really sad, even disgusting thing about this is that we were all doing well when we were all doing well, but some very misguided souls were unhappy to see the middle-class (and everyone else) thriving. I don’t know if they’re not happy unless there are a certain number of starving people or they just have so much resentment towards others that they just had to destroy wages by forcing free trade deals and demonizing unions while giving the rich and the corps practically a free pass but whatever their reasons, they are not conservatives. They really should stop calling themselves such.

      • NRA Liberal

        Read Thorstein Veblen’s “Theory of the Leisure Class”.

        You can’t have status without a group of people to be the underclass.

        The mid-20th century American experiment with reducing inequality flew in the face of human needs for hierarchy and status that go back to the beginning.

    • timb

      I think Gibbon would have recognized it as the beginning of the equine/Senator class and populari split. Like the first appearance of the Grachii brothers. As income levels continue to diverge, the rich and poor will be at virtual war

  • anniemargret

    Hilarious. The party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan has to kneel and kiss the ring of Mr. Dittohead himself, El Rushbo. Why don’t they just do the American people a favor and just bypass the pseudo-candidates they’ve got now, and put him out there are their supreme candidate and voice for the party?

    You know why? Because Rush can’t cut it off his radio show. He could never be a candidate and debate the issues….he can only put himself in a forum where he can hide behind his mike and his dittohead followers.

    That’s why.

    • Rossg

      Rush can’t stand to have someone question his ideas or logic, if it is okay to call it such.

  • Bunker555

    Need to also clear it with Grover Norquist. The Drugster appeals to the economic ignorant Tea Baggers, whereas Norquist’s appeal is with the big donors.

  • Rossg

    Why does the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives feel the need to call Rush to discuss policy issues? If this shows us the man’s thinking, then I agree Bunker555, Mr Boehner should also get clearance from Grover “Never a Tax Increase” Norquist.

    • Bunker555

      ^Rossg, I would add Hannity, OReilly, and Rove to the GOP “septic thinktank”.

      • Rossg

        Ha! Having to call so many people for support and encouragment would keep the Speaker too busy to do his job!

        • timb

          If by job, you mean fending off Cantor and calling lobbyists for donations, then yes. His work on policy and the House requires no thinking or consumption of time

  • Rossg

    I saw a quote in the July 15 issue of “The Week” magazine, attributable to Grover Norquist.

    “My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA owning guy with a concealed-carry permit. Because that person doesn’t need the goddamn government for anything.”

    This strikes me as a wish to regress to teh state of affairs in the time of Jefferson. I’m once again a subsistence farmer, my kids learn what they can on the dirt floor of my cabin, and I have a gun hanging above my threshold. My retirement account is dependent upon the number of children I can father, and bring to maturity, who can take care of me in my infirmity. Oh, my life expectancy is probably only around 40-45. I’ve been dead at least 13 years!

    Well, any way, the government wasn’t on my back!

    I know this is a little off topic but, really, is not Norquist possibly the most influential policy maker that never has to meet the voters?

  • Primrose

    “My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA owning guy with a concealed-carry permit. Because that person doesn’t need the goddamn government for anything.”

    The problem with this ideal is that then the citizen isn’t, because the idea of citizenship requires participation. The concept that it is a good thing not to be part of the larger community is nonsensical. Civilization is based on the idea of community.

  • franco 2

    Meanwhile, Frum constantly laments that the GOP isn’t checking in with him. Frum offers advice daily, and the only difference between Rush and David is that Rush has an audience and David doesn’t. Then Frum goes on any left-wing show to talk to Democrats and tell them what is wrong with Republicans. At least Limbaugh has an audience (huge btw) that has a record of voting for Republicans. Good for Boehner to check in. Actually Limbaugh is where the center is in the GOP. Frum’s audience? A bunch of schadenfreude seeking Democrats, Democrats pretending to be independents and other false-flag partisans.

    • MSheridan


      I am not a Republican, nor am at all likely to become so. Nonetheless, I’ve checked in here from time to time because I used to genuinely think the GOP might and should get its act together. Not because I thought it was right or because I have some form of political deathwish, but because we live in a nation that has a two-party system and it serves us all ill if one of those parties is completely bonkers. See our present predicament.

      I am alarmed at the wide divide between the GOP of today and the rest of the nation, and even the GOP of yesteryear. When you say that Limbaugh is at the center of the GOP, I very much hope you are wrong, because he is not remotely close to the center of the nation as a whole. He is a radical, if he is anything. In living memory, the GOP has considered itself the party of conservatives. When it first became so, one of the hallmarks of what was then called conservativism was the rejection of radicalism.

      More, conservatives rejected an ideological worldview in favor of dealing with observed facts, the world as it is rather than the world as some model defines it or the world as it “should” be. I fully realize that just because the people who once called themselves conservative thought quite differently about their philosophy than the people who now call themselves conservative does not automatically invalidate current conservative thought. Theoretically, the predecessors of modern conservatism could have been wrong (or at least misguided) and their successors could have developed more correct views. But if so, they have done so only very recently, and looking in from the outside those views don’t even approach coherence. Our current President is the most traditionally “conservative” President we have seen in my lifetime (going back to the 60′s). The main objective of the GOP these days appears NOT to be getting the maximum amount of their partisan agenda enacted (the normal and expected goal of a political party), but to bring the President down at all costs, uncaring that in so doing they run the serious risk of irreparably crippling this nation.

      I look in here now not for schadenfreude (unhappy Republicans don’t help me in the slightest), but out of morbid fascination. Frum isn’t really a traditional conservative either. He’s definitely guided by ideology. But he’s practical enough to know that aiming the ship of state toward the iceberg isn’t the best way to cross the ocean. And he at least has a traditionally conservative approach. From his old spot at The National Review:

      “When I was in law school, I devised my own idiosyncratic solution to the problem of studying a topic I knew nothing about. I’d wander into the library stacks, head to the relevant section, and pluck a book at random. I’d flip to the footnotes, and write down the books that seemed to occur most often. Then I’d pull them off the shelves, read their footnotes, and look at those books. It usually took only 2 or 3 rounds of this exercise before I had a pretty fair idea of who were the leading authorities in the field. After reading 3 or 4 of those books, I usually had at least enough orientation in the subject to understand what the main questions at issue were – and to seek my own answers, always provisional, always subject to new understanding, always requiring new reading and new thinking.”

    • Bulldoglover100

      Hey Franco… KNOW this. Limbaugh is laughing all the way to the bank with the money he makes off the backs of the uneducated in this country. He does not care what you or any of his uneducated listeners think, all he cares about is his audience is large enough that the sponsors still pay for his time at the mike. The Conservatives of Family Values never stop to wonder how someone who has been in Rehab more than once and married 3 times can still lead them in family values LOL they are too stupid to put 2 and 2 together….much like you.

      • MSheridan

        If you’re going to try to go after RL’s social conservative credentials, you should throw in him joking about his sex tourism trip to the Dominican Republic

        I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.

        when he was detained on his return at the airport with a partial bottle of Viagra pills prescribed for someone else, or the hypocrisy of his televised insensitivity to drug addicts

        Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. … And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up

        when he himself was physician shopping for multiple prescriptions to feed his Oxycontin addiction.

        But honestly, I don’t think social conservatives, as such, are the core of his audience or that social conservatism is at the core of his message. He is a destructive force and his biggest attraction is to those who also wish to tear down, to destroy, not to those who wish to conserve or adhere to tradition.

        • TerryF98

          But honestly, I don’t think social conservatives, as such, are the core of his audience or that social conservatism is at the core of his message. He is a destructive force and his biggest attraction is to those who also wish to tear down, to destroy, not to those who wish to conserve or adhere to tradition

          That description fits Franco2 to a “T”

        • LFC

          It sounds like you’re describing an angry and out of control child who trashes their own room when they throw a tantrum.

  • Bunker555

    3/2/2009 David Frum on Limbaugh

    [Language warning. I can't think of an effective way to say this without the profanity. -- P]

    David Frum, in the very same piece — only sentences apart, actually! — says this:
    With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. . . .

    and this:

    He plays an important role in our coalition, and of course he and his supporters have to be treated with respect.

    Shorter David Frum: treat that fat drug-addled fuck with respect!

  • Bunker555

    Frum vs. Limbaugh

    By W. James Antle, III on 3.9.09 @ 2:43PM

    As a broadly “paleo-sympathetic” conservative, I have no problem with right-wing criticism of the conservative movement. From that perspective, what the movement has actually conserved is more important than how many elections it has won. But a trend I first noticed among some of my paleo friends is starting to repeat itself among
    self-styled “reformist” conservatives like David Frum.
    (Never thought you’d read a Frum-paleo comparison, did you?) At some point, reproaching the mainstream conservative movement, criticizing its most popular writers and commentators, and expressing befuddlement at the political habits of millions of ordinary voters who sympathize with the movement all end up becoming stronger identifying characteristics than the alternate vision of conservatism the non-movement cons seek to promote.

  • Bunker555

    As a result of that confusion of genres, we get something incoherent like the analyst Frum, in ad hominem invective, decrying Limbaugh’s past problems with prescription drugs, three marriages, weight problems, cigar smoking, wealth, etc., as he weirdly accuses Limbaugh, the talk-show host par excellence, of resorting to ad hominem crudity in saying that Obama is using his biracial heritage to his advantage, and that it improperly shields him from normal scrutiny.

  • Bunker555

    David Frum finally gives in to the Drugster:

    “Little David Frum Vows To Destroy Rush Limbaugh
    by Ken Layne
    11:00 pm March 7, 2009
    Oh boy oh boy the GOP Death-Fart Ultimate Fighting Murder Match continues! David Frum, annoying former George W. Bush speechwriter but generally inoffensive conservative, uses the pages of Newsweek to kick a couple of new assholes in Rush Limbaugh, because why not? Frum’s mouth-breathing detractors will note that he’s no longer officially a wingnut because he left the National Review after acknowledging that Sarah Palin is a moron and John McCain is a loser. And the Republicans continue to hilariously finish themselves off in a bitch fight over the grotesque carnival pig Rush Limbaugh, the end. [Newsweek]

  • Bunker555

    Drugster Limbaugh on Frum:

    “RUSH: That, by the way, in tone is the “new civility.” That is ruling class-speak. But what he’s saying here is that establishment Republicans, if Palin’s anywhere near the presidential candidacy — if she’s anywhere near this run — that that’s just too divisive to try to beat Obama in 2012. They may as well just cede the presidential election in 2012 and try to pick up a few Senate seats, is what the erudite and brilliant ruling class (I don’t know if he’s a member or wannabe) David Frum suggests. It’s just gonna be too volatile. Beating Obama, especially if Palin’s around, is not possible.

    Just don’t even think about doing that. Just go for the down-ballot wins and forget the presidency. And he says, “[T]here is a lot of concern in senior levels of the Republican Party. People in that kind of orbit are worried about the down-ballot effect of a Palin candidacy.” So it’s a great year. In other words: “The Republican leadership, we gotta great chance to pick up Senate seats, not so much the presidency. Let’s not even focus on that. We’ll just cede that.” Now, I don’t know that that’s true. I don’t know that that’s the establishment Republican view, but this is what the exalted, celebrated, erudite, ruling class member, David Frum, says. Just FYI.”