The White House and everyone else on the Left wants Rush and Sean to be the enemies because they are effective (you keep repeating your poll numbers, but there are also ratings numbers) — people listen. And both are so often happy warriors. If you listen, if you really actually listen, it’s hard to be proud of links to Al Franken’s books.
Besides citing research from so many in the conservative community, Rush devotes a lot of his time to running the videotapes — he lets you hear what Carville or Axelrod or the president of the United States (or whomever) has to say and then he analyses. A lot of people hear things they agree with. Some realize why as he explains the First Principles behind his thinking. Others listen because they love to hate him. I suspect he has an effect there, too. What do I base my assumptions on? What people tell me. I’ve been listening to Rush Limbaugh since 1990 or so and hearing what people think of him for about that long.
We seem to have this conversation in The Corner every few months. Wearing “I don’t listen” creds on the Right is not original to you, Jerry. We can all be better, everyday. And more than that. But the “better talk radio” you say you want is on the air already. Criticize and quibble where you want and certainly where it is warranted, but please don’t join the conventional chorus. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity can take it– they do, in fact, take it — but they deserve better. Rush Limbaugh has been bringing the message of freedom and American exceptionalism to Americans for over 20 years now, most weekdays, for three hours a day. He deserves a little thanks. And he certainly deserves to be listened to before attacked by natural allies.
For what it’s worth, though, I’d rather be taking Bill Kristol’s advice (see today’s web briefing) than debating the merits of people who are doing what he suggests: dealing with the reality of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Washington and standing athwart its excesses. If you think others are going about it all wrong — or are crazy — which the record now notes you do, all the more reason to get back to work!