Kathryn, a 19 percent approval rating pretty much tells us all we need to know about whether Rush Limbaugh is persuading America to embrace conservatism. It would appear, rightly or wrongly, that far more people can’t stand the guy than can.
Yes, as you say, Rush Limbaugh knows what he believes in. But then again, so does Nancy Pelosi. So what?
Yes, as you say, more people hear him than hear you or me. But most who hear him seem to dislike what they hear. Now, that doesn’t in and of itself mean he’s wrong. Nor does it mean he’s not an “asset to the movement” (although I’m not quite sure what that would mean). But it does mean that the more people who think Rush Limbaugh leads the GOP, the fewer votes the GOP will get. And that is what explains the administration’s frequent references to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh . . . the issue that brought all of this up in the first place.
Just because Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh agree with us more often than not doesn’t mean conservatives should shout “Amen!” when Obama coronates them as leaders of the Republican party or the conservative movement.
Regarding my claim that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity often use “dodgy evidence“ to back their claims, I can only plead that on the rare occasions that I’ve listened, this is exactly what I have found. Sure, maybe I just happen to listen in when they go off the rails . . . but I doubt it. Regardless, if you want chapter and verse on that score, you can’t do better than Al Franken’s two books on this subject (Lying Liars and Rush Limbaugh). Now, I know that this will double my hate mail, but the fact is that Mr. Senator-Elect is often spot-on regarding the facts when he goes after these guys.
The e-mailer you quoted argues “we shouldn’t have to defend Rush from attackers from inside the tent like this.” Well, why not? Reading things you disagree with is healthy.There is no virtue in closed-mindedness.
Finally, do you really think that Sean Hannity’s Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism is anything other than bark-at-the-moon crazy? (It’s on YouTube, after all, if you have forgotten that little gem.) That is, do you really think that President Obama is a deep-cover agent for Islamofascist terrorists? Do you really think that people who argue such things are good banner-carriers for our ideas? Do you really think that vitriolic demonization of opponents is the best way to argue for x, y, or z?
I do not decry conservative talk radio per se. I simply want better conservative talk radio. I am happy to see that John Derbyshire agrees.