Thursday, May 8, 2008
Many moons ago, half-rated TV sitcom Hearts Afire ran an episode with a somewhat ignominious guest star. I say half-rated because although it starred the late John Ritter and had its bright spots, it never really found an audience. Another casualty of network wars most likely.
Make no mistake, even back then, this guest star was probably the most hated gentleman "inside the beltway." Nemesis to the then all powerful and almighty Clintons. MSM journalists routinely panned the guy, probably convinced they could bring him to his knees.
In the Hearts Afire episode, he more or less played himself. It was then that I caught his more human side and began thinking he wasn't a monster at all, just a big blowhard steadfastly right wing with very conservative political principals. To some extent a misogynist, yes, but likely due more to a chivalrous upbringing that hadn't played well with feminists. This was late 20th century America, after all, where everyone had a right to say as they think and do as they please within reason. Perhaps he had just bumped against the wrong women.
I couldn't understand all the animosity for the fat guy. Maybe because I didn't understand in the decade following my college graduation, major universities and media outlets had basically become shills for liberalism. Okay, I was a hippie in my day too, but like most liberals with a mortgage and a car payment, I'd grown out of it. Real life concerns sparked a change in my politics, leaving me somewhat right of center. Today, I think of myself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I remain a card carrying Democrat as I have since I first registered to vote, although these days I barely recognize my own Party.
After that television episode, I began tuning into the fat guy's radio program, soon learning that most of what he said made a lot of sense. I didn't always like the way he said it, and often disagreed with his politics. But something about the way he presented himself, his logic, and yes, homespun humor really resonated with me. This was someone I could have befriended in high school, someone likely nerdy and unpopular. Just the kind of person an "uncliquey" gal like me would have gravitated toward for his wit and intellect. I kinda liked this guy. If anything, his program was highly entertaining.
If you haven't already guessed, the Hearts Afire guest star was none other than that "lovable little fuzzball," Rush Limbaugh. Okay, stop the moans and groans, I'm serious about this. I like Rush. And I am not a ditto head. These days, I disagree with practically everything he has to say, but I tune in whenever I can. I don't have to agree with him to know that the man makes sense. Maybe if media glitterati made a similar acknowledgement, they could finally go head to head with him in a civilized debate.
For some reason, luminaries in the media and universities don't just dislike Rush, they loathe him. I'm talking serious hatred.
I liken Limbaugh loathing to the feelings elicited by a family of squirrels nesting in the roof of a house. The owner tries to firebomb them with pesticides or calls an exterminator to round them up and they still manage to come back the following spring. No matter what the owner does, she can't get rid of them. The tiny pitter-patter of their grubby paws on the ceiling drives the owner positively berserk. She tries to live with them, but realizes she can't. In desperation, she shoots up the attic with an uzi sub-machine gun. The following spring, they're back, only this time they've moved into the kitchen. Meanwhile, despite repeated repairs, the roof continues to leak.
Lookit people (Rush likes to say that to his audience, so I'm using it here), all you driveby media types and movie bigwigs, people who think they control the outcome of elections by calling Nancy Pelosi on speed dial, and other D.C. muckety-mucks, if you think Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" hasn't thrown a monkey wrench in this election, you people must be on crack.
Of course it's allowed Clinton to bloody up Obama.
On today's program, Rush finally admitted what I've known all along. Back in March, 2007, the Clintons pounded MSM insiders to leak stories about Obama's ties to the Reverend Wright and Bill Ayres. No one of any substance would comply. Sean Hannity took up the call regarding Ayres, but nothing really became of it. To this day, I don't think anyone in the Democratic Party cares. People did what they thought they had to do to stop a bloody war drafting young men into a conflict they didn't understand or support. That stuff is now the backdrop of movies like Forrest Gump, Born on the Fourth of July, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, and Bobby. A different time, a different place. End of story.
According to Limbaugh, ABC's Brian Ross tossed the first Reverend Wright firebomb. I disagree. Even as Obamamania began sweeping the nation, there were already rumblings on the radio, cable news, and the Internet about Obama's former pastor and Obama's schooling at an Indonesian madrassa. If Clinton had dropped out of the race after the Potomac Primaries like she should have, those rumblings would have been left to the Republicans. Instead, by remaining in the race, Clinton allowed right-wing bloggers to take up the cause.
As Limbaugh rightfully noted on today's program, John McCain would have snuffed out the campfire if Clinton had dropped out before Texas and Ohio. McCain has vowed not to run on a negative campaign. I have to believe the Reverend Wright firestorm would be too controversial, too racist, too distasteful for John McCain. Most Americans do not keep their ear to the political ground. That would have been the end of it.
But not for Hillary Clinton. By keeping her in the race, by motivating Republican operatives to crossover and cast votes for her in the primaries, Limbaugh single-handedly, albeit with the help of thousands of loyal listeners, kept her campaign alive, thereby keeping the Reverend Jeremiah Wright torch aglow until it did eventually ignite into a MSM firestorm. This has indeed put a huge damper on the Obama campaign. He's bloodied, but he's not down for the count.
Much to the Clintons' chagrin, the media firestorm did not bring Barack down in flames. If anything, it rallied a huge majority of African-Americans behind him, about 90% according to Limbaugh. Unfortunately, it also caused other minorities, specifically Jewish Americans to become extremely distrustful and fearful of an Obama presidency. Rush sometimes speaks in code, but I get it. On today's program, he translated "Operation Chaos" into German. Drawing out the hard consonants, digging in with a language most Jewish people despise (for obvious reasons), I knew all too well what Limbaugh was talking about.
The German translation made my stomach turn, but I had to agree. I can attest to the fallout of "Operation Chaos" first-hand. My Jewish friends who voted for Obama in Maryland's primary now say they will not vote for him in the general election. There is no convincing them otherwise. My African-American friends say they will stay home in November if Clinton becomes the nominee. They and the Caucasian intelligentsia know there will be no justice in America if superdelegates swing the nomination Clinton's way.
White blue collar workers aren't the only Democratic card carriers. Neither are white women 65 years of age and older. A Clinton nomination means a victory for McCain in the fall. Even a Baltimoron like me knows that.
Yet again, I disagree with Limbaugh's assessment about the election. Obama can still pull off victory in the fall. The only problem is the race will now be very tight. Democrats will have to come out in droves if they want to make an Obama presidency happen. This wasn't true prior to the launch of "Operation Chaos."
When pontificating talking heads claim "Operation Chaos" is now dead, or that it's an exercise in futility, or that the Reverend Wright firestorm barely nicked Obama, I throw my hands up in disgust and scream, "You people are loony tunes!" Most of the time, no one is around to hear me and if they are, I tell them I'm just talking to myself.
What irks me is the way media glitterati try to belittle Limbaugh, not give him his due for something diabolically brilliant. "Operation Chaos" is a screaming success. To claim anything less would be like shooting up a roof with an uzi.