Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Shut up about Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh, the Mafia Don of the Republican Party, has come under several verbal attacks by Democrats - and actually, Michael Steele, the new Republican Party chairman, made a disparaging remark and later had to apologize. There's plenty of good reasons to hate Rush: he's foolish, bigoted, etc.

However, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, writing for the American Chronicle, argues that:

By making Limbaugh bigger than life in American politics, it gives steam to his inflammatory campaign of rumors, half truths, distortions, and flat out lies about Obama, liberals, and now Steele. Limbaugh´s aim with Steele is to further cow the GOP into line; the line that forms behind him.

At the start of his tenure as RNC chair, Steele had the good sense to know that kowtowing to Limbaugh was a prescription for even bigger disaster for the GOP. He resuscitated the old Bush line circa 2000, and talked about making the GOP a party of big tent diversity. Then like Bush he promptly forgot it.

Steele, by the way, is the Republican Party's first Black chairman. Hutchinson argues that the Republican Party's core demographic of white blue collar, heartland and deep South voters is only 40% of the entire US electorate. That percentage is shrinking, and the hard core Republicans are unwilling or unable to shift to a platform that would appeal to others. They've already made themselves obsolescent. The Democrats are better off focusing on governing well and leaving the Republicans to whatever fate they choose.

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