Saturday, March 07, 2009

Terrel Owens: Not Quite Unemployable

Geez, it only took Terrell Owens 48 hours to find a new job with the Buffalo Bills that pays $6.5 million a year.

Being a "cancer" must be tough.

Ghoul Conservatism and the Upcoming "Limbaugh for President" Campaign?

A long time ago, my car irresponsibly broke it's radio antenna and I don't get much radio reception. As a result, I missed Rush Limbaugh announcing that "Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would be dead by the time health care reform legislation passes" and that "before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill."

Just like there's "zombie banks" that are still stumbling around the terrain even though they're really dead, there's now "ghoul conservatives" like Limbaugh who are costing Republicans votes through the crass little deathwatches they start for figures Ted Kennedy. Here in Kentucky, Jim Bunning's already heard his re-election efforts with his "ghoul-like" comments about Rush Bader Ginsburg's cancer. Likewise, now that progressive media outlets are reporting on Limbaugh almost everyday, it's hard not too imagine his over-the-top statements being a continual drain on Republican votes as moderate and independent voters harden in their disdain for the GOP.

What's the outcome of all this mainstreaming of Rush Limbaugh which is ratings gold for Limbaugh even as it does harm to the Republican Party?

It might be that Rush Limbaugh launches a "front porch" campaign for the presidency from his radio studio. That way, Limbaugh could heighten his political prominence while maximizing the (short-term) ratings benefits and adding a lot of money to his own pocket.

Of course, that assumes that Limbaugh's not "Going Galt" and refusing to make more than $250,000 a year. But that's a safe assumption.

Limbaugh could run for the Republican nomination or mount an independent campaign.
Or do both. It doesn't really matter. The key is that running for President is now part of the business logic of Rush Limbaugh's radio program. He would be the first major presidential candidate whose candidacy would be a (not insignicant) money-making operation.
And a Limbaugh campaign would have certain advantages. By campaigning for president for three hours every day in his radio station, Limbaugh could run a "pure" campaign without campaign contributions, disdain the "crass showmanship" of campaigning, and still get into the national media almost every day.

Another advantage is that it would probably kill the Republican Party and force conservatives to find another vehicle for their political aspirations.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Guess Who's Going to Have Karl Rove for Dinner

According to Karl Rove, "some Democrats would love to have me barbecued" when Rove gives testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.

Maybe, but it's more likely that the Democrats are thinking in terms of nibbling around Rove's carcass until he commits perjury.

Then, they'll let a federal prosecutor eat him.

The Michael Steele "Don't Vote for Us" Tour

Today's Michael Steele pronouncement is that "I'm in the business of ticking people off." But that's pretty much a given. "Ticking people off" is what the Republicans are all about these days. Outraging liberals is Job #1 for Limbaugh, Hannity, Ann Coulter, and the whole talk radio freak show? Why shouldn't Michael Steele join in the fun.

Worry warts might object that the rest of America interprets "I'm in the business of ticking people off" as "don't vote for us."

But the Republicans don't seem to care. Why should we?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Limbaugh Debating Obama

If Rush Limbaugh wants to debate President Obama, he should run for president in 2012. If Rush was fortunate enough to win the nomination, he'd get to have two or three debates with the President.

That would be fun.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Limbaugh Notes: The Man in Black

I spent last night and this morning absorbing Rush Limbaugh's CPAC speech last week. Unlike most people on the left, I believe that Limbaugh should be viewed as a sympathetic figure. By "sympathetic," I don't mean an "I feel sorrry for you" kind of sympathy. Instead, Limbaugh should be seen as a powerful and skilful opponent whose abilities we respect and whose success we need to understand.

The Man in Black. Rush Limbaugh doesn't do a lot of public speaking and doesn't seem to leave his South Florida estate (from which he does his radio program) much more often than Sarah Palin gets out of Wasilla, Alaska. His speech to CPAC was thus a huge event for him both because because he had traveled to make it and because it was broadcast nationally by Fox, CNN, and C-Span. Limbaugh kept going back to the speech as his "first national address" in a way that made me think that he considered it a kind of "presidential moment." He tried to be ironical and witty about it, but Limbaugh was still deeply impressed with himself.

For the big CPAC speech, Limbaugh wore an all-black ensemble meant to evoke Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, or Clint Eastwood in Hang 'em High--the kind of figures who project a kind of "power aloofness" that disdains speech. But Limbaugh himself completely undermines that kind of effect. At the age of 58, Limbaugh still looks like he's 60 or 70 pounds overweight and still has a "fat boy" air about him when he breaks into that little bucked-tooth smile of his. Limbaugh projects about as much machismo as Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneris, or any other performer who's looking to ingratiate themselves with an audience.
This isn't meant to be belittling. It's not like I'm chiseled out of granite either. But Limbaugh makes himself look absurd by posing himself through a hyper-macho image that's almost the polar opposite of what he actually is. This is pretty much a pattern on Limbaugh's part. Even though "The Man in Black" image is all over Limbaugh's web site, he undermines the whole image by being his awkward, ingratiating, uncoordinated self. Limbaugh studiously constructs an image with himself on top, but can't help constantly deconstruct that image to manifest the weenie within.