Maybe It’s Not Just Democrats Who Want to Shut Down Rush Limbaugh

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.

4 thoughts on “Maybe It’s Not Just Democrats Who Want to Shut Down Rush Limbaugh”

  1. Once again, proving that Republicans are the “stupid” party. Although, the current crop of Democrats seem to want that title for themselves.

  2. You are right that Rush is not necessarily good for any particular Republican pol. However, his absence would be a major loss for them generally. What this shows is that politicians focus on issues which are immediate and impact them directly, and it shows that conservative ideology is only one component of the GOP coalition, which also includes interest groups which are not opposed to “pork” when they are ones doing the eating. Still, I think the GOP’s failure to act here is more an example of shortsightedness or stupidity than any calculated move.

  3. I’m not arguing that the Republican Party is behind this apparent attempt to muzzle Limbaugh. It looks more like a handful of pols acting out of self-interest. The Party’s failure to rein them in is indeed shortsighted, but that’s much different than saying Republican policy is to support anti-Rush legislation.

  4. I only listen to Rush maybe 2 hours a week, but I am surprised at how critical he has been of so many Bush policies. But, I doubt the republicans want to shut him up. I think you are right, it is just short-sightedness.

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