This WSJ editorial patronizes Republican pols, treating them as too foolish to understand that their interest lies in avoiding reregulation of electronic media.
What’s amazing is how oblivious Republicans are to this stop-Rush game. So eager are Senators Trent Lott and Kay Bailey Hutchison to paste a defeat on their local media enemies that they’re willing to punish all media companies. For their part, House Republicans have fallen for the lobbying of local TV and newspapers that want Congressional protection from takeover bids; Members are too frightened by what kind of coverage they’ll get next election to just say no.
It could be that editorial writers at the WSJ understand politics better than experienced national politicians do. An alternative possibility is that Limbaugh doesn’t serve the interests of Republican pols any more than he serves those of Democrats. Rush doesn’t hesitate to criticize Republicans when they screw up, or to gin up popular enthusiasm for courses of action that most pols would prefer to avoid. He probably helps Republicans as a group but it’s not necessarily in the interest of individual Republican officeholders to come under his scrutiny. A lot of them, particularly pork-addicted jerks like Trent Lott, might find life easier if Limbaugh weren’t around.