As a conservative (albeit not a Republican since the GOP became the party of reaction), I think Rush Limbaugh’s comment about Sandra Fluke was inappropriate, over the top, and reflected badly upon himself and his intended audience.
In fairness, however, I think the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee‘s approach to Limbaugh is more emotional than strategic, and will in the long run hurt the DCCC’s cause.
As a one-time listener to Mr. Limbaugh, I know that he thrives on this kind of negative energy. Call for his censure and you only make him stronger, not only with his core audiences, but with those who are on the margins, including those who are uncomfortable with some of the other stances the DCCC is taking. In short, this approach only polarizes the audience rather than building a larger tent for all Americans.
What the DCCC is not doing, but should be, is pointing out that Rush makes these statements either because of hubris or because he needs the attention. They should point out other commentators on the right side of the aisle that are worthy of respect, even if they don’t always agree with them. Not only does that serve to marginalize Rush and those who subscribe to his thinking, it makes the DCCC look like the reasonable party in the argument.
I suspect the leaders of the DCCC know this, so we have to ask why they are not taking this approach. I suspect that the DCCC and the Democrats generally are no more interested than the Tea Partistas in being reasonable or moderate. What they want to do is mobilize the money and passion of their core following, and could care less that the approach cannot but polarize the nation.
We need a different approach in our politics. We need to empower the voices of reason and intelligence rather than those of of the shrill, passionate extremes. I’m reaching out from the right. Anyone from the left?
- Rush Limbaugh Apologizes to Law Student Sandra Fluke for Insult (swampland.time.com)