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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Be careful what you wish for 

There has been so much noise and glee in Democratic party circles about the thought of Rush Limbaugh becoming the spokesman and face of the Republican Party. At the Clarion Content we can't help wondering if it isn't a case of be careful what you wish for!

The basis of the Democrats claim that Limbaugh is the head honcho of the Republicans is the kowtowing of first a couple Republican Congressmen and then new Republican party chief Michael Steel. The Democrats leaped into spin that this showed Rush was the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Maybe so. The Democrats have even constructed websites to push the notion.

Rush Limbaugh is a self-made media maven. His audience and thus his reach is enormous. His audience's loyalty is extreme, witness his ability to bounce back from allegations of heroin, oops, pain killer addiction. This is not to mention some of the outrageous things that he has said and been able to bounce back from. The guy reaches so many people Disney owned ESPN once had him covering NFL football. His is a powerful populist voice and it wold behoove the Democrats to think twice before daring Rush to the fore of the debate.

These are dangerous times in America, edifices are crumbling from General Motors to the banks, structural change is underway from the highways to health care. Change unhinges and disturbs people. Stressful economic times make people more prone to listen to populist voices. Disaffection seeks an outlet. President Obama is running a high-wire act in more ways than one in his engagement with economy. A perception of failure around his presidency could produce a serious backlash. In the interim, Limbaugh has the podium, it is unwise for Democrats to trumpet it. The specters loom large from Father Charles Coughlin to Joe McCarthy.

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