A few quotes of the week :
Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity on FOXnews about Barack Obama : "So I shamelessly say, no, I want him to fail".
Michael Steele to CNN about that bout : "Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment. (...) Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."
Michael Steele to Politico.com a little later : "My intent was not to go after Rush - I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. (...) I was maybe a little bit inarticulate".
Well, you WERE articulate, Mike.
And you were RIGHT :
- First, Limbaugh IS an entertainer. In the same interview, he managed to smack this pearl of wisdom well over the fence : "I'm a thinker. A lot of people, I guess, aren't - People are emotional and they react emotionally to things". Or to credit FDR for Hoover's failure, and to consider WWIII as the solution to our problems : "The new deal didn't work. You know, Hoover was president through the depression for one year. FDR prolonged the new deal for seven or eight years, and yet he's given credit for ending the depression. Didn't happen. World War II ended it. "
- Second, yes, what Rush says is both ugly and incendiary. Not his wishing for a failure of "socialism" (what he actually meant), but his venomous speech about race throughout the interview, the typical way he's denying racism while fueling it - something Steele must have felt even more acutely than I did.
Steele first reacted as a sound leader for the good of his party, his country, and mankind. I don't think this man will manage to kick fundamentalists out of the GOP*, but I like his early-Googlish "Don't Be Evil" approach. Republicans must redefine themselves and if they keep positioning themselves AGAINST things or people, they are bound to remain at least one step behind things and people.
Yes, Steele did make a few political concessions to his right afterwards, but unlike Rahm Emanuel (who deliberately fueled Limbaugh's fire a little bit earlier), he did the right thing in the first place.
Bobby Jindal obviously didn't the right thing in his first major speech as the top contender to a match up with Obama in 2012**. "Being compared to Mister Rogers is better than some of the other comparisons we've had here in the past" - in very deed, Piyush : you should be glad not to have been compared to Fred Rogers' coathanger instead.
Anyway, forever lost in his own angry Limbo, Rush won't be seen singing "Won't You Be My Neighbor ?" anytime soon.
This great self-proclaimed "thinker" probably never dared consider that "Love Thy Neighbor" could mean anything beyond "Be a good Amerikan : get your gun and join my Neighborhood Watch".
* remember ? "GOP : Time to Split" !
** or rather 2016 - see "GOP Primaries 2012 Kick-off - Charlie Crist's Second Coming"
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