The Corner

‘Rush Babies’

I’m about to tell you something you may have heard me say before — but please bear with me, because I have a new example.

For many years, I interviewed young people for positions at National Review — internships and junior staff jobs. And I’d often ask them, “How did you happen to become a conservative?” A lot of them said, “I listened to Rush Limbaugh.” Sometimes they said this sheepishly. And sometimes they went on to say, “Behind my parents’ backs.”

It’s true: A lot of kids listen to Rush the way other kids sneak looks at porn. In fact, some parents would rather they looked at porn.

I mentioned this to Rush once — what the applicants were telling me. And, totally unsurprised, he said, “Ah, yes: I call them ‘Rush babies.’”

Okay, flash forward to last night. Some of us were attending a fundraiser for Ted Cruz, the sterling Senate candidate in Texas. (For his website, go here — one of the most promising and exciting conservatives in America.) Among the guests was a reader of ours who works as a lawyer here in the city (meaning, Manhattan). He told us how he became a conservative.

When he was 15 years old, he had a teacher who instructed the class to watch Crossfire and the Phil Donahue program. So, our guy did. He thought the “From the left” host on Crossfire, Bill Press, talked nonsense. He thought the same of Donahue. He didn’t know much about politics; it’s just that what they said didn’t sound reasonable to him. He noticed that they often trashed Rush Limbaugh. So he figured he’d give this Limbaugh a try. He did — and thought he was great.

So do I. And if you’ll allow me something semi-cutesy: “Rush babies” are, in a sense, delivered. 

Most Popular


Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More