Super Tuesday Too:
Reflections on the OH and TX Primaries

Democrats, Politics, Republicans — By on March 5, 2008 at 12:48 am

The Longest Two Months– While it seems like an eternity has passed, the Iowa Caucus was only 60 days ago. Fortunately this is the last of the significant primaries and the race has been decided on one side and all but determined on the other.
Congrats to McCain — If winning makes you look smarter, then campaign manager Rick Davis appears to be a genius. He laid out McCain’s Path to Victory in December and found a way to make it a reality.
Thanks, Governor Huckabee — I have many reasons to be thankful for Governor Huckabee’s inspiring Presidential run. But there are three other groups who should also be grateful for Mike Huckabee: social conservatives who lacked a voice in the primaries, supporters of John McCain, and Republicans.
If the Republican’s hold the White House next year, Huckabee will deserve partial credit. By winning in Iowa, Huckabee derailed Romney’s campaign and prevented the Massachusetts Governor’s long march toward an inevitable electoral debacle. Huckabee also managed to keep many conservative evangelicals and other members of the traditionalist wing of the party engaged in the race. Their support for McCain may be listless, but Huckabee gave them hope that it may be too soon to give up on the GOP.
An Inevitable Obamination? Maybe Not. — After the Florida primary I wrote, “An Obama/Anyone ticket would be a disaster for McCain.” I still pessimistic enough to believe that it’s likely, though I’m hopeful that the abomination of an Obama presidency is not yet inevitable. I’m even starting to see signs that such a disaster may be averted. The reason: people are starting to listen to what Obama says.
Take, for instance, his NAFTA-bashing which has caused our neighbors to the north to worried about the “rhetoric of protectionism.” Even Andrew Sullivan, who swoons at the mention of Obama, said the NAFTA pander was “Not his finest hour.” (Yes it’s a tepid response and yes we all know that if Obama wins that Sullivan will spend the next four years regretting his support (as he did with Bush), but still, any relenting from his incessant Obamafawning is a huge concession.)
Obama has an uncanny ability to inspire in people an audacious hope for the impossible (Example: “The philosophy guy said that he almost always votes for Republican, but he’s for Obama this time, although he can’t quite explain why. His hope is that Obama will govern like a Republican.”) But I’m hopeful that such people will set aside such nonsense and eventually realize that while Obama sounds like a cross between Cicero and The Rock, what he’s saying is nothing more than rehashed discredited liberalism.
Rush to Idiocy — So Rush Limbaugh is urging people to vote for Hillary. Hugh Hewitt is aghast (“If Hillary ekes out close wins, stays alive, gains the nomination and the White House, will Rush hold the Bible at her Inauguration?”) but I can’t say that I’m really surprised. Rush is an entertainer and for all the hype about his ratings, his audience isn’t that large by show business standards (he has half the audience of Fox’s reality show Moment of Truth). He needs a Clinton presidency to remain relevant and give people a reason to tune in to his daily gasbaggery.
Still, I refuse to believe it worked. I refuse to believe that Republicans in Ohio and Texas are voting for Hillary in the primary because some radio clown told them it was the optimal strategy. I refuse to believe it because (a) the fact that McCain is the nominee shows that Rush is not that influential and (b) Republicans can’t be that stupid. (While I’m certain about (a) could I be wrong about (b)?)
I agree with Lars Walker: “It seems to me that if you love this country you’ve got to hold the electoral process in a kind of reverence. The fact that there are cynical people out there who game the system doesn’t justify us, the people who say we believe in moral absolutes, in pretending to belong to a different party so we can sabotage its nomination process. If they did it to us, I’d be angry about it.”
Say it ain’t so, Republicans; say you didn’t stoop that low.
The Most Significant Number — In 2004, Ohio proved to be the key state for President Bush’s reelection victory. In a tight race, Bush beat John Kerry in the Buckeye State by 118,457 votes. So how does it look four years later? With 81% of the precincts in Ohio reporting, the Democratic candidates received 1,745,199 votes while the Republicans received less than half that amount — 867,000.
If the GOP is relying on a victory in Ohio to shift the Red-Blue divide toward McCain then we’re in serious trouble.


Tags: , , , ,
  • http://www.alexchediak.com/blog Alex Chediak

    Joe,
    Thanks. I, too, have recently been growing a bit more optimistic about November. Some posts from John Mark Reynolds have helped.
    1. McCain is within single digits of Obama and Clinton (if not outright leading them) in most polls.
    2. Even though McCain has just now started to focus on November, and the media is still in love with Obama. Remember, they used to love Hillary.
    3. The war in Iraq is going very well. If the political conditions improve between the various ethnic factions, McCain will look like a genius. Meanwhile, Mr. I-Opposed-The-War-From-The-Beginning will look decidedly less prescient.
    4. Once Obama’s extreme liberal record becomes more well known (and, as you note, people pay increased attention to what he actually says), he may wind up with similar high negatives as Clinton.
    Alex

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    In Ohio 4 years ago, because of the evangelical movement, iirc, Bush got an amazing 15% of the black vote. It would have otherwise been close.
    I wonder if Rush is right at least in historic principle. We would never have had Reagan without the Carter and the 60s. We would never have had Bush without the excesses of Clinton. Political philosophy, like theology, matures through conflict. We could use a bit more. But to accomplish this we need another thinker and communicator like Buckley.
    Collin

  • http://dontdrinkthekingswine.blogspot.com Daniel Briggs

    “[P]eople are starting to listen to WHAT Obama says.”
    They’ve been listening to HOW he speaks but they’ve been indifferent or ignorant about WHAT he’s saying. As Eminem would say, will the real Barack Obama please stand up? Until recently, he’s spoken as if he’s the one person able to reach across the aisle. Lately, news about the Rezko issue, the “obscure passage in Romans” comment, and the NAFTA “rhetoric” have tarnished his image.
    I just hope people can restore the link between their hearts and their heads. The former will have less influence over them if they do a better job of informing the latter…at least, that’s my hope.

  • jd

    Rush is an entertainer and for all the hype about his ratings, his audience isn’t that large by show business standards (he has half the audience of Fox’s reality show Moment of Truth).
    At least he got the smart half.
    He needs a Clinton presidency to remain relevant and give people a reason to tune in to his daily gasbaggery.
    Joe, Rush has been talking directly to people like you for close to 20 years. People–mostly liberal people–have said the exact same thing about him: that he needs a Clinton to bash to be relevant. That is so obviously wrong when you look at his listenership DURING THE BUSH PRESIDENCY. By the way I’m still waiting for you to point to those dozens of imitators (many who have surpassed their role model). Again, I’m really surprised at your animus towards Rush. But then I can’t understand your devotion to Huckabee, either.

  • ucfengr

    Gee Joe, are you trying to wrangle a job with McCain or have you just “gone native”? I mean, what easier way is there to show your new D.C. buds that you aren’t like the rest of those red-state rubes from Texas than to take a few ham-handed shots at Rush?
    Rush is an entertainer and for all the hype about his ratings, his audience isn’t that large by show business standards (he has half the audience of Fox’s reality show Moment of Truth).
    Comparing the ratings of a drive time radio show to the ratings of a prime time TV show as a measure of influence? Come on, Joe surely you can do better than this. Let’s look at Rush and your buddy Hugh for a little more realistic comparison. Rush has weekly audience of 13.5 million, Hugh’s is about 1.5 million. What this translates to is that Rush has the number 1 talk radio show in the nation; Hugh, on the other hand, is tied for 11th with such luminaries as Alan Colmes and Randi Rhodes, and below other notables like Mancow (tied for 10th), Jim Rome, and Kim Komando (both tied for 9th) (source: Talkers magazine.
    He needs a Clinton presidency to remain relevant and give people a reason to tune in to his daily gasbaggery.
    I starting to leans towards “gone native”. Do you really think that Rush would be any less relevant during a McCain presidency? Rush’s audience was already in place before Clinton started running for president and he’s maintained his number one position throughout the Bush presidency, even after the 2006 elections. If Rush was dependent on a Democrat presidency to remain relevant, 8 years of Bush would have done him in, yet I can find very few discussions about McCain that don’t reference what he needs to do to win over Limbaugh. To paraphrase Twain, the rumors of Rush’s irrelevance have been greatly exaggerated, and I think exist largely in the minds of those D.C.-Manhattan axis types (whose ranks Joe seems eager to join) who have never been comfortable with him.

  • Nick

    With 81% of the precincts in Ohio reporting, the Democratic candidates received 1,745,199 votes while the Republicans received less than half that amount — 867,000.
    Isn’t that pretty much how it has been in every primary so far? Democrats have been having record turnout for the primaries, while Republican turnout is lackluster. Unless the GOP can drum up some real enthusiasm for McCain, the Democrats will roll over them in the election. That assumes, of course, that in the event of a Hillary nomination, Obama supporters don’t take their ball and go home. But my sense is that most Democrats would be satisfied with either candidate, and the aggressive attacks by the candidates aren’t mirrored in the electorate. At least, I haven’t heard the sort of scorched earth take-no-prisoners rhetoric that we hear from anti-McCain republicans.
    IMO, the biggest danger that the pundits like Limbaugh and Coulter represent to the GOP is that they reveal Clinton-derangement syndrome to be irrational hatred rather than anything based on politics. If famous Republicans say Hillary is more conservative than McCain, that will tend to take the wind out of the sails of any Republican attack ads during the election.

  • Darrell DeLaney

    “IMO, the biggest danger that the pundits like Limbaugh and Coulter represent to the GOP is that they reveal Clinton-derangement syndrome to be irrational hatred rather than anything based on politics. If famous Republicans say Hillary is more conservative than McCain, that will tend to take the wind out of the sails of any Republican attack ads during the election.”
    I’m not sure if you read the link Joe included where Rush explained why he was encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary in these primaries. He never claimed she was more conservative or that he wanted her or Obama elected.
    “Texas is open. And I want Hillary to stay in this, Laura. This is too good a soap opera. We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don’t have the stomach for it.
    As you probably know, we’re getting all kinds of memos from the RNC saying not to be critical there. Mark MacKinnon of McCain’s campaign says he’ll quit if they get critical over Obama.
    This is the presidency of the United States you’re talking about. I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose. They’re in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch, and it’s all going to stop if Hillary loses.”
    You may disagree with his view, but he’s not arguing what you implied he was arguing.

  • DaveD

    Speaking as an Ohioan…yes, Republicans ARE that stupid. At least two counties (Clermont and Sandusky) ran out of Democrat ballots because of “crossover” voters.
    For further proof that Republicans are stupid, look at our candidates for the last 20 years. We keep sliding further left, whine about our choices, get ridiculed by the party elite for not supporting the appointed candidate (usually using phrases that involve “perfect” and “good”, and eventually fall in line because at least their not the Democrats. We keep believing that the party cares about us at all…they don’t.
    I refuse to vote for a traitor like McCain.
    DD

  • Darrell DeLaney

    “Again, I’m really surprised at your animus towards Rush. But then I can’t understand your devotion to Huckabee, either.”
    I’m guessing they’re closely linked. Not that Joe has shown any particular fondness for Rush in the past, but in the last year or so since Joe became enamored with Huckabee, just about anyone who has criticized Huckabee (including Rush, most major conservative talk show hosts, most everybody at National Review, Romney, Thompson, etc) has really gone on Joe’s bad list as enemies of the cause.

  • Matthew

    Unfortunately, I know of lots of Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary in Ohio yesterday, trying to de-rail either Clinton or Obama. I doubt it actually had that much effect, because no one seemed to agree on who they should try to torpedo. Probably a wash in the end. I do, however, think it’s a little ridiculous to do that. I couldn’t do it myself, so I voted my conscience and voted for Huckabee.
    As far as Obama, I feel pretty confident that once people actually force him to answer question about policy and his stance on issues, he will cave. He’s very effective when speaking in broad terms about change and ideals, but when you get down to the specifics, there is nothing there, and he doesn’t know how to handle it. I think McCain, even though I don’t really like him, will win that fight.

  • Nick

    Darrell,
    Thanks for the correction. Coulter certainly did say exactly that, though, and I believe Bill Cunningham also said he’d vote for Clinton before McCain (though that was personal animus rather than principle speaking). I (and perhaps you) may think those two are vile buffoons, but they obviously have some influence with Republicans.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thanks for the link, Joe.

  • http://samueljames.wordpress.com Sam James

    I have to disagree with your characterization of Huckabee as “the only social conservative.” That’s most certainly what the Huckabee campaign wanted us to think, but the simple fact is that on abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research and other things, McCain and Romney were largely identical to Huckabee.

  • http://www.holycoast.com Rick Moore

    I don’t think we can look at primary turnout in Ohio as an indicator of what we can expect in November. The GOP had what was essentially an uncontested race while the Dems had a real dogfight that motivated a lot of Democrat voters. In addition, 10% of the voters in the Dem primary were self-identified Republicans, and I would guess that most of them went to the polls to game the system, not to support the Democrats.
    The Dem primary in Texas also had 10% Republicans. You may not like Rush, but I still think he has some influence and if his efforts kept the bloodletting going on for a while longer in the Dem race, it will be all that more entertaining for Republicans and all that more damaging for the Democrats.
    As far as Hugh Hewitt’s take on Hillary’s win, he hasn’t been right this entire primary season so I can’t put much stock in his comments now. Just ask President Romney.

  • http://dontdrinkthekingswine.blogspot.com Daniel Briggs

    jd- “Again, I’m really surprised at your animus towards Rush. But then I can’t understand your devotion to Huckabee, either.”
    Let’s see…
    Humility: Huckabee, yes; Rush–er, “El Rushbo”–no
    Concern for the poor: Huckabee, yes; Rush, no
    Down-to-earth: Huckabee, always; Rush, sometimes
    Refusal to forget that illegal immigrants are here illegally but they are still people, not blips on a radar screen: Huckabee, yes; Rush, not even close
    Power-hungry: Huckabee, yes; Rush, no
    Huckabee is no saint–who is?–but he is someone who knows that his beliefs are not predicated on broad acceptance by the powerful. He says what he means, means what he says, stands for what he believes, and concedes his campaign only after reminding Americans that some things are more important than a nomination.
    Limbaugh is an incredibly intelligent and articulate man. But rather than use his considerable talents towards something that builds up, he is in the business of tearing down. And when someone as genuine and affable as Huckabee comes along, Rush turns on him because he refuses to toe the party line on ALL planks in the platform.

  • http://dontdrinkthekingswine.blogspot.com Daniel Briggs

    “Power-hungry: Huckabee, yes; Rush, no”
    DOH!
    LOL, that’s what I get for commenting before my second cup of coffee has kicked in. I was a on a yes-no flow, so I forgot to flip that. Should read, Huckabee, no; Rush, yes. Figured I’d better correct this before it gets jumped upon. :o)

  • William

    A great big thank you to Mike Huckabee. As someone who came of age during the Reagan years, I have always identified myself as a Republican to the point where I have spent countless hours over the past 20 years stuffing envelopes, knocking on doors and making telephone calls for local and national candidates. The problem is that there has not been another candidate like Reagan. While I understand that there will never be another Reagan, the Republican establishment has used social conservatives as whipping boys ever since Reagan left office. We have been handed candidates who pay lip service to social policy and expect us to shut up and vote for them when they don’t come through. While I could never vote democrat, I have come to the conclusion that the Republican party has to earn its support from this point forward. No more free rides. I will only support candidates who are actually firm in their conservative beliefs, social as well and economic and military.
    Mike Huckabee was such a candidate. I look forward to voting for him in 2012 and returning the Republican party and the country to the right track.
    Another added benefit of the Huckabee campaign was domestic harmony during an election cycle. 6 1/2 years ago I convinced a very beautiful woman to move from the east coast to Ohio and become my bride. While she is intelligent, has a great sense of humor, beautiful, a devout Christian and a great mother and step-mother, she also happens to be a liberal democrat. For the life of me I could never figure out why. Our support for candidates has been diametrically opposed during every election cycle, until this year. After the first Republican debate, I very cautiously suggested that she look into Mike Huckabee’s beliefs and quickly left the room for fear of reprisal. To my surprise she gave Huck a chance and after the next debate asked if I would order her a bumper sticker for her car. For the first time, our votes didn’t cancel one another’s as we went happily to the polls to vote for Huck and she cast her first ever vote in a Republican primary (Note: this was not a cross over, screw the other party vote, but an actual cross over, change affiliation because a candidate moved her so much). Before last night I never thought I would have to hold my bride in my arms and comfort her as she cried over a Republican candidate losing. So, thank you Mike Huckabee.
    On the cross over votes here in Cuyahoga County and the rest of Ohio: My wife had a small crisis of faith yesterday morning. Since she didn’t think Huck would win, she considered voting democrat as usual and casting a vote for Hillary (amazingly this year, not only does she love Huck, she can’t stand Clinton or Obama and may go with McCain in the fall. So, like Huck, I say miracles do happen). After pondering the question all day, she decided to go with her heart and vote for Huckabee. In Ohio, it is very rare that our primary vote counts and we both wanted the unique opportunity to vote with our hearts and hope for the best.
    There has been anecdotal evidence of Republicans crossing over yesterday, but NOT as the media has been reporting. Lake County, east of Cleveland, is highly Republican. Apparently there were a ton of votes in the democrat primary. Chagrin Falls, a small but affluent suburb of Cleveland known locally as “Republican Heaven” reported some precincts seeing 75% of ballots cast democrat. Mind you these are not social conservatives or evangelicals but strict fiscal and party people.
    As for Sandusky’s shortage of ballots, I doubt that was caused by cross over voting. It is not a Republican area to begin with.
    In Cuyahoga County, the Board of Elections denies that the precincts ordered to stay open ran short of Ballots. Jeff Hastings, a board member, solid Republican and personal friend for over 20 years, issued a press release denying that any of the precincts had run out of ballots. The polls were kept open for and additional 1.5 hours for one reason, to give Obama a chance to get out more voters in the most predominate African-American part of the county and state.
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer(the only newspaper in town) could find only ONE precinct that ran out of democrat ballots and I personally from first hand observation doubt the veracity of the story. An individual reported to the Plain Dealer (notice no direct confirmation) that Ward 3 in Solon which voted at Grantwood Golf Course ran out of democrat ballots at 5:30 and that there was a long line of people waiting to vote democrat. This individual claimed that he was told more ballots would be available in “5 minutes” but waited until 7:30 with a large crowd of people and no ballots arrived. Grantwood golf course is directly across the street from my house and I voted there at 5:40. Due to a problem with my wife’s registration, we did not leave the polling station until 6:20. The whole time we were there, there were no more than 5-6 other voters there. No long lines, no one complaining about ballots.
    On a final note, as far as the Republican nominee taking Ohio in the fall, the Republican Party in Ohio is in disarray. Prior to 2006, ALL statewide offices were held by Republicans and had been for a decade. The problem was that most of them were held by RINOs who did not hold strong conservative beliefs and were taken down in mass corruption scandals. The majority of Ohio voters are independents who want good governance. Give them a bunch of phonies who only care about their own pocketbooks and allegiance to the east coast Republican “elite” and the voters of Ohio will eat them up and spit them out at this time.
    It is time for a change, and not the kind Obama talks about. I was praying that Mike Huckabee would bring that change. It is going to be a rough ride, but I will be there to support Mike Huckabee as he strengthens the social conservative wing of the party and captures the presidency in 2012

  • Darrell DeLaney

    “Limbaugh is an incredibly intelligent and articulate man. But rather than use his considerable talents towards something that builds up, he is in the business of tearing down. And when someone as genuine and affable as Huckabee comes along, Rush turns on him because he refuses to toe the party line on ALL planks in the platform.”
    Rush has made his name through spending 20 years defending and promoting the ideology he believes in. He certainly promotes and builds up those who share his views. Why would you expect him to simply be quiet and support someone he disagrees with on the basis that there’s a letter ‘R’ after his name on the ballot? When Bush signed the campaign finance reform bill, or nominated Harriet Meyers, or signed the No Child Left Behind bill, was Rush quiet and supportive just because he agreed with Bush on other issues?

  • http://dontdrinkthekingswine.blogspot.com Daniel Briggs

    Darrell Delaney said: “Rush has made his name through spending 20 years defending and promoting the ideology he believes in. He certainly promotes and builds up those who share his views. Why would you expect him to simply be quiet and support someone he disagrees with on the basis that there’s a letter ‘R’ after his name on the ballot?”
    You raise a good point. I don’t think Rush is intrinsically evil–far from! In fact, you’re right; he has done a lot of good for the Republican party and for the conservative movement.
    That said, I don’t have the same reverence for Rush felt by many fellow Republicans. It’s hard for me to get past the antagonism, hubris, and vitriolic diatribes. He and I part ways where my Christian beliefs are not in line with the conservative establishment. One example would be social justice and the economy. I cannot simply assume that small gov’t and lower taxes–necessary for economic growth–will necessarily lead to reductions in poverty. Christians in America are wealthier than we’ve ever been, yet we tithe less. Then, we complain when the gov’t steps in and provides for needs of the populace that WE should be meeting. Rush, for one, excoriates people like Huckabee who dare to speak of helping the “poor, huddled masses” and calls them populists (as if that were a bad thing in and of itself). His views would resonate much more with people of my generation (mid-20s) if he exercised a little more grace, a little more compassion. Yes, his entertainment value might drop but the integrity of his message would be strengthened.

  • Darrell DeLaney

    “That said, I don’t have the same reverence for Rush felt by many fellow Republicans. It’s hard for me to get past the antagonism, hubris, and vitriolic diatribes. He and I part ways where my Christian beliefs are not in line with the conservative establishment.”
    Fair enough. We disagree about government’s role, but I understand where you’re coming from.
    My perspective is that the government has certain duties, those which are listed in the constitution, and should absolutely do what it needs to do to live up to those duties (defend the country, enforce the law, etc). But I don’t think the government should be stepping into jobs beyond that, and certainly shouldn’t be taking money out of the private sector to do things the constitution doesn’t call on it to do, or says should be left to the states. If people aren’t giving enough to charity, I don’t think the Christian solution is to tell the government to take their money and give to charitable causes in their stead.
    So that’s my “the way the world ought to work” view. But I think that ideal holds up in terms of practicality as well. Sure, people could be doing more for charity, but I’d argue that more wealth in the hands of the private citizens does result in more charitable giving, and more importantly, in the growth and creation of a stronger economy that reduces the need for charities, as more people are able to work and earn a profitable living in the manner they choose.
    That’s why when Huckabee calls for taxing wealthy executives to pay for government aid, I have to object. First of all because the government shouldn’t be involved in taking their money for a job it’s not called to do, and secondly because it’s wrongfully punishing the very people who are creating more jobs and wealth that will reduce poverty more effectively. And I probably object to Huckabee more than normal because the implication in his campaign was this his view was the Christian, or even the conservative view, when I as a Christian conservative have a strong disagreement with him on this.
    Going back to Rush, I can’t speak for the man, but as a frequent listener, I’d say his objection to Huckabee was similarly ideological, and not based out of any personal animus towards Huckabee or his supporters. And as for his attitude, different people rub folks in different ways. Rush doesn’t come across to me as uncompassionate, but that’s an impression, so if he bugs you on that count, that’s certainly legitimate.

  • http://dontdrinkthekingswine.blogspot.com Daniel Briggs

    I’m certainly enjoying the dialogue! It’s a nice break from the usual bluster found in bloggerland. :o)
    “But I don’t think the government should be stepping into jobs beyond that, and certainly shouldn’t be taking money out of the private sector to do things the constitution doesn’t call on it to do, or says should be left to the states. If people aren’t giving enough to charity, I don’t think the Christian solution is to tell the government to take their money and give to charitable causes in their stead.”
    I couldn’t agree with you more! You are absolutely right. To be candid, I don’t recall where Huckabee spoke of taxing the wealthy to provide aid, but I’ll take your word for it. If that is true, then I disagree with Huckabee on this point. My point in the previous message was that it makes no sense for Christians to denounce government intervention when we are doing nothing on our own. Unmet needs create a vacuum, into which steps the government (by politicians are willing to provide aid in return for votes).
    I may be a dreamer, but imagine what would happen if Christian churches began to REALLY care for the poor in their communities. Given with the choice between agenda-driven gov’t bureaucracy on one hand and love and support from churches on the other, the poor would flock to the latter, where their physical AND spiritual needs could be met. How awesome would that be?!

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    JD By the way I’m still waiting for you to point to those dozens of imitators (many who have surpassed their role model).
    Sean Hannity, for one. I’m not a big fan of his show but it is consistently smarter, funnier, and more early-90′s era Rush than Rush is today.
    I mean, what easier way is there to show your new D.C. buds that you aren’t like the rest of those red-state rubes from Texas than to take a few ham-handed shots at Rush?
    You have it completely backwards. The D.C. folk are the ones that bend over backwards to kiss up to Rush. Because they live in the D.C. bubble they think that Rush actually holds sway over us unwashed masses. It’s the people from Texas that I’ve heard the most backlash from over Limbaugh’s antics. Granted, most of them are Huckabee supporters but it still shows that Rush is out of touch with a large segment of his audience.
    JD Let’s look at Rush and your buddy Hugh for a little more realistic comparison.
    I would say that in many ways Hugh has been more influential than Rush. Hugh is all about helping the little guy and encouraging the community. That is why he has over (at least) 300 people who have started blogging because of his encouragement. Rush, on the other hand, is all about Rush.
    By the way, can you name one notable Rush quote that everyone would recognize? The guys been talking for over 20 years and I can’t remember a single thing that he’s said that could make it into Bartlett’s.
    To paraphrase Twain, the rumors of Rush’s irrelevance have been greatly exaggerated, and I think exist largely in the minds of those D.C.-Manhattan axis types (whose ranks Joe seems eager to join) who have never been comfortable with him.
    Are you serious? Do you not read NRO? They are the epitome of Manhattan conservatives and they suck up to Rush on a daily basis.
    Darrell …just about anyone who has criticized Huckabee (including Rush, most major conservative talk show hosts, most everybody at National Review, Romney, Thompson, etc) has really gone on Joe’s bad list as enemies of the cause.
    That’s not true. I’ve friends with many people who have criticized Huckabee. In fact, I don’t mind their criticism at all, as long as it is (a) truthful and (b) based on a legitimate criticism. Most of the nonsense coming from Rush and NR has failed that test.
    And Romney and Thompson were just typical candidates who will bash whoever they have to in order to get elected. I’m not faulting them for that, though I wish they were better men than they turned out to be.
    Sam McCain and Romney were largely identical to Huckabee.
    Your own list of examples shows that not to be true. Both McCain and Romney support embryo-destructive research (as long as no federal money is involved) while Huckabee has been consistently pro-life on that issues.
    Darrell That’s why when Huckabee calls for taxing wealthy executives to pay for government aid, I have to object.
    That’s a prime example of what I’ve been talking about. Huckabee has never said anything remotely close to that. So where did you get that idea? I suspect because Rush and others have made similarly misleading claims.

  • ucfengr

    Concern for the poor: Huckabee, yes; Rush, no
    Concern has never fed a hungry child. What has Huckabee personally done to help the poor? We know that Rush is has held fund raisers and made large personal contributions to both the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He also participates in many charity golf tournaments; where I think it is safe to assume he makes a personal contribution. What has Huck done? Has he written any large personal checks to charity? It’s really easy to be compassionate with other people’s money (i.e. tax dollars), but what has he done with his own resources to help the poor?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Nick
    Isn’t that pretty much how it has been in every primary so far? Democrats have been having record turnout for the primaries, while Republican turnout is lackluster.
    True but in this last primary McCain already had a lock on the nomination. No doubt this caused many Republicans to stay home because there wasn’t much of a contest anymore. In previous primaries, though, GOP turnout has been pretty bad compared to Democratic turnout as has been fundraising.
    Rick
    The Dem primary in Texas also had 10% Republicans. You may not like Rush, but I still think he has some influence and if his efforts kept the bloodletting going on for a while longer in the Dem race, it will be all that more entertaining for Republicans and all that more damaging for the Democrats.
    Unfortunately for you I think the competition is pretty healthy in the Democratic party while it was relatively unhealthy in the Republican Party. The competition between Hillary and Obama seems to be drawing interest and excitement to the Dem. party, even when it heats up between the two and they lash out at each other. On the Republican side, though, it certainly didn’t seem to be anywhere near that positive.
    The Republican’s went through a slew of ‘elite’ candidates that turned out to be empty suits. Let’s try to be real here. There’s soemthing really strange about Romney and the way he was rolled out as the de facto front runner by all the elites only to crash and burn so hard. To me it kind of feels like when a company puts all its resources into some really big new product (say Windows Vista) and as soon as the gate opens the thing falls flat. It’s a hint that maybe major re-organization is needed. McCain, to me, kind of feels like a fall back. To push this Microsoft analogy more, it’s kind of like seeing Vista fail the company starts pushing the old standby (MS Office).
    The final contest was against what can best be called ‘B-level’ candidates. They probably did settle on the strongest possible candidate but they almost bankrupted his campaign to do it.

  • ucfengr

    Joe, half the comments you were responding to were mine, not jd’s. Just to avoid confusion. Anyway…
    The D.C. folk are the ones that bend over backwards to kiss up to Rush. Because they live in the D.C. bubble they think that Rush actually holds sway over us unwashed masses.
    Which D.C. do you live in Joe. The one I grew up in and have lived in for 30+ of my 40+ years thinks the same way you do; that Rush is so 1990′s, that his influence is past, that he needs another Clinton to show up his audience, that Rush is just an entertainer, etc.
    I would say that in many ways Hugh has been more influential than Rush.
    Well, in the industry trade magazine Talkers, they have Rush listed as the most influential radio show host in the country, with Hannity second. Hugh is ranked 65th, below (among others) Opie & Anthony, Jerry Doyle (of Babylon 5 fame), Mike & the Mad Dog, Mitch Albom, and Howard Stern.
    Hugh is all about helping the little guy and encouraging the community. That is why he has over (at least) 300 people who have started blogging because of his encouragement. Rush, on the other hand, is all about Rush.
    It’s really nice that Hugh has inspired 300+ people to blog. I am not sure how much of an impact it makes on “helping the little guy and encouraging the community”, but it sure is nice. But before we get all “Rush is only about Rush”, let’s not forget Rush’s considerable charitable work including large personal contributions and dedicating whole shows to fund raising. Rush does do his part for the community.
    Are you serious? Do you not read NRO? They are the epitome of Manhattan conservatives and they suck up to Rush on a daily basis.
    Yep, I do read NRO, furthermore I have been a NRODT subscriber for almost 2 decades and I am not seeing what you are seeing here. I think their rejection of your guy has really colored your opinion here, to the point that you are not seeing things as they are.

  • ucfengr

    There’s soemthing really strange about Romney and the way he was rolled out as the de facto front runner by all the elites only to crash and burn so hard.
    I am not seeing this either, in my opinion it Guliani that “was rolled out as the de facto frontrunner..only to crash and burn so hard.”

  • http://UniteUnderOne.com Jimmy

    Do you guys really think that the Democrats are going to be able to keep up this idea of HOPE? They are selling hope to people that are not god fearing. They do not fear and do not hope, so they won’t vote.
    McCain will win because we BELIEVE that he can win and will give it our all.
    -Jim
    UniteUnderOne.com
    “Did God create religion or did religion create God?”

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I am not seeing this either, in my opinion it Guliani that “was rolled out as the de facto frontrunner..only to crash and burn so hard.”
    Actually that goes for both of them. IMO, though, even the mainstream GOP ‘elite’ acknowledged early on that Rudy was a bit longer shot because he bucked the orthodoxy on abortion and gay rights.
    What happened with both of them, though, was that after getting billed as being among the best the GOP has to offer they turned out to be wanting very badly. There was something very amateurish about Rudy interrupting his speeches to answer his cell phone. Ditto for Romney’s “Ken Doll” campaign.

  • Darrell DeLaney

    Sorry, I meant to respond earlier, but apparently my employer has this crazy idea that a certain amount of actual work should be done during work hours. The corporate fat cats are obviously oppressing me.
    I made the comment earlier, objecting to Huckabee wanting to raise taxes on business executives to pay for social programs. When that was called into question, I went looking to find a reference to support that, and I didn’t find one. Huckabee called for the Fair Tax while campaigning, but that’s the extent of anything I found on tax proposals. So, I apologize and retract that claim.
    What I did find, that largely led to my impression were first of all, Huckabee’s record as governor and the tax increases he signed there, along with a lot of campaign rhetoric that referred to “wall street” as the enemy, and talk of using government power to deal with issues he didn’t like, such as smoking or ceo profits in failing companies. All of that certainly gave me the impression of a man who has an affinity for using government as a tool to enact social change, and a man with a history of resorting to tax hikes on a fairly substantial basis.

  • giggling

    Joe:
    You may want to know that general election turnout comparisons with primary turnout are intrinsically flawed, because the populations that vote in primaries are different than in the general election.
    I don’t know the numbers, but you might compare the 2004 primary turnout in Ohio with this year’s turnout for a more accurate comparison.

  • http://mumonno.blogpost.com Mumon

    abomination of an Obama presidency
    One of the odd things we moderates and progressives find about wingnuttia is how completely out of touch wingnuts are with how really abysmal their own side is.
    Really, the current repugnant resident of the White House has a record low approval rating – 19% according to one poll.
    You have to be seriously, seriously psychotic to think that anyone running would not be an improvment over the abomination of George W. Bush.

  • jd

    Joe:
    Sean Hannity, for one. I’m not a big fan of his show but it is consistently smarter, funnier, and more early-90′s era Rush than Rush is today.
    You can’t be serious. I agree with almost everything Sean Hannity says, but I don’t think he’s ever had an original thought. He doesn’t have anywhere near the intelligence, wit or creativity that you, Joe Carter, have.
    Femi-nazi, gorbasm, drive-by media, National Association of Gals; there are probably more that are more obvious and have actually become part of the American vernacular. Environmentalist wacko, NAALCP… maybe you can think of some.
    But Joe, you have company in your opinion of Rush’s reason for success: Joy Behar of The View also thinks that Rush needs the Clintons for his show to thrive.

  • http://mdvoutlook.com Mike D’Virgilio

    Joe, you can be so incredibly obnoxious in your absolutism. You can disparage Rush all you want, but you only reveal your ignorance. For some reason you hate the guy. Fine. But your opinions thereby are distorted and utterly worthless. He is more powerful and influential today than he’s ever been. But because McCain got the nomination he’s not? Great reasoning, Joe. Even if every one of the 20 million people that tune in a week marched in lockstep to everything he said, he would still not have electoral clout over 50 states. Joe, take a chill pill and get off your soapbox. You’re embarrassing yourself.
    And since when is government transfer of wealth defined as compassion? Don’t get me started.

  • http://wondersforoyarsa.blogspot.com Wonders for Oyarsa

    Joe,
    Your new website design is far FAR less sucky than the previous one. Well done.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Mike D’Virgilio:
    Your praise of the doctor shopper reminds me of the line from the Manchurian candidate, “Raymond Shaw is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known.”
    First of all, 20 million people don’t tune in every week to him – his audience as measured by the ratings companies is down to about 13 million. Evidnetly the drug scandal had an effect. And those numbers are goosed up by counting public places where his drivel is broadcast and people (unfortunately for them) overhear the Nazi gasbag (the Hindenburg was a dirigible, of course). Not many people willingly listen to Limbaugh, especially compared to say, NBC nightly news, or heck, even PBS.
    Limbaugh’s audience is literally dying off. Sure an occasional younger person calls into his show, but as Air America’s Lionel pointed out, talk radio is a dying format. Most younger folks today only use the AM band to listen to sports & school closings, if at all. It’s all about Facebook, YouTube, and yes, Web 2.0 blogs like Daily Kos. (Red State has been a colossal failure because it’s top-down, like Limbaugh, not bottom-up, like Kos. Conservatism can’t do bottom-up.)
    Limbaugh, moreover, is a sponsor’s nightmare. There’s a reason that hair tonics, skin powders, and all kinds of other low-rent dreck is peddled on his show: people in Limbaugh’s demo don’t spend money.
    So yeah, keep on telling yourself about how amazing “Rush” is. But to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there’s no “there there,” which is far more to the point and poetic than blimps spouting drivel like “environmentalist wacko” ever will be.

  • http://www.fraterslibertas.com chad the elder

    Mumon-
    Here’s some real demographic info on talk radio listeners:
    http://www.1100kfnx.com/index.php?/demographics/
    You’re right that they are older, but they’re also more educated and earn more than average. This info is not specific to Limbaugh’s audience, but I doubt if they’re that different.
    Joe-
    There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about McCain’s chances in November, but at this point, I wouldn’t get too worked up about the primary turnout comparisons. Check out the numbers from 1988 when you get a chance.

  • ex-preacher

    From the site chad the elder linked to: “The average listener in 2006 was 58 years old, compared with 56 in 2005. Nearly all of its audience is 25 or older—more than any other format. Three-quarters are 45+, and over half are 55+. Its audience composition of 18-54s is decreasing. . .”
    In one year, the audience aged two years? Does listening to talk radio make you age faster? (I’m joking.)

  • Thumbnail

    Mumon writes:
    “Really, the current repugnant resident of the White House has a record low approval rating – 19% according to one poll.”
    And your D-party led Congress (they’ve really done wonders for you, haven’t they?) is always running just about 10 points below that abysmal level. See the irony dipsh@!?
    Of course everyone knows you’re the current sitting chairman of wingnuttia….

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    ucfengr,
    I wasn’t aware that liking Rush was a litmus test for being a conservative. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • ucfengr

    MikeT, just to expand on my thoughts regarding Rush, it does frost me a bit when you have people ostensibly from the Right, acting like Media Matters. Let’s look at Rush’s urging Texans to vote for Hillary. Does Joe give any indication as to why he did it? No, he doesn’t. He leaves it for people to assume that he is doing it out of pique at McCain or an attempt to retain his influence. The reality is that Rush is urging people to vote for Hillary because right now she is the only person with the stones to attack Obama. Look at McCain; right now you have one of his senior people (whose name escapes me) promising to leave the campaign if McCain goes negative on Obama. How does McCain hope to win against Obama if his own campaign won’t go on offensive against him? At the present, the only people from the right who are attacking Obama is Rush and the rest of talk radio, and what is McCain doing; he is trying to distance himself from them.

  • http://crmafia.blogspot.com Jeff Wright

    Here is a rebuttal to the accusations made against those of us who voted for Clinton in TX last week.
    Why This Conservative Voted for Hillary in TX
    And why righteously indignant Republicans should get off their high horse
    In case you can’t tell yet, I disagree with the way we were characterized in this post. I’d be great if you wanted to come on over and give a response, Joe.

  • reborn reform

    Jesus would never be a Republican
    Evangelical “Christians” supporting the warmongering Republicans Bush and McCain will not go to heaven because they have violated God’s command not to kill. Forgiveness only works for those who have changed their minds. Those evangelicals who are not rich are also mistaken to support a party that works so directly for the rich and against the middle class and the poor. Jesus would never be a Republican, not in a million years. To the rich man of his day he said, “You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.” and “How hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God!” Luke 18:22 & 24