Posts Tagged ‘Rush Limbaugh’

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R.I.P. GOP

May 7, 2009

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Let me begin by saying I want AT LEAST two strong political parties in Washington D.C. This is how our system of government works best. The graphic is an illustration of where the GOP seems to be headed as long as they allow Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin – via Rush – to be the loudest voices in the party.

Republicans continue bowing to Rush’s every word. I illustrated this back on March 12, 2009 in Checkers and Chess and it happened again a few days ago with Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). During the first NCNA (National Council for a New America) “stop” on their “Listening Tour”, Cantor, along with (Jeb) Bush and Romney said that the Republicans were there to listen to Americans – to get their thoughts on the issues. Then Rush “educated” them, forcing Cantor to retract the “listening tour” statement.

As for Sarah Palin, Rush thinks that SHE is the future of the GOP.

If the intellectually challenged Limbaugh thinks that the educationally challenged Palin is the future of the GOP, and the GOP will not separate itself from Limbaugh, then maybe a Palin/Limbaugh ticket isn’t so far fetched!

Bottom line: the Republican Party needs to get as far away as possible from Rush Limbaugh and his support of Palin – now – while there is still time to repair its reputation. Here’s a few lines from his Heritage Foundation Speech in September:

LIMBAUGH: “But during all this growth I haven’t lost any audience. I’ve never had financially a down year. There’s supposedly a recession, but we’ve got – what is this May? Back in February we already had 102% of 2008 overbooked for 2009. [applause] So I always believed that if we’re going to have a recession, just don’t participate.” [laughter]

Here he is talking about food stamps.

Homeless veterans are “another myth.”

How the current recession isn’t that bad.

On the 1 out of 50 children that are homeless.

Limbaugh doesn’t care about the Republican Party or the Conservative Movement. He has an eight-year, $400,000,000 contract and he feels that gives him a license to say and do anything. He is intentionally throwing all the moderate Republicans “under the bus” because… he can. And the GOP just continues to kiss his… (insert your choice of body part.)

My idea of a moderate Republican is Colin Powell. No one can deny that Powell is one of the eloquent, rational, calm voices in the GOP. Here’s what he had to say about the “far-right” elements within his party that seem to be the dominating the conversation.

Rush shot back, calling Powell a “turncoat” for supporting Obama in the 2008 election.

Being the gentleman that he is, Former Secretary Powell never said a word about Limbaugh going after him during the 2008 election – a perfect example of how all public officials should conduct themselves.

The fact that Limbaugh supports Palin should tell every rational-thinking Republican that Sarah Palin should NOT be a leading voice. She’s a long way from being a viable candidate for any national office. Even her popularity as Governor of Alaska has greatly diminished.

Besides ignoring Limbaugh and Palin, there are three things Republicans must do to even begin to be relevant in the 21st Century.

(1) Quit talking about Ronald Reagan! Jeb Bush – a member of the “listening tour” – said it. The conservative Wall Street Journal said it. Nothing says “backwards thinking” like the name Reagan. His ideas have come and gone. They will not work going forward. Our country is too diverse for such narrow thinking.

(2) Get past the cultural issues. Let go of the religious right – what’s left of it – and move on. They will still vote Republican long after gays are allowed to marry in all states and the Roe v Wade decision is no longer debated.

(3) Tell the NRA (National Rifle Association) to pipe down! No one in this country is going to lose their right to lawfully own firearms. The Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2008 makes this a non-issue.

Republicans need to start seeking REAL leaders. They’re out there. And they are not attention-seeking egomaniacs like Limbaugh and Palin.

True leadership is recognized for the good ideas it brings to the table – not for how much noise it makes.

Honest debate is healthy and necessary, but it must also be intelligent and respectful.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

 

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CHECKERS AND CHESS

March 12, 2009

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President Obama continues to make news, nearly on a daily basis,  from shifts in policy on stem cell research to merit pay for teachers. His political counterparts are still searching for a way to regain their voice. The 2008 election was a big “NO MORE” on the policies that gave us an unnecessary “war”, soaring deficit spending, invasion of personal rights and privacy, unfunded education mandates, torture, complete de-regulation of our financial industry, and so much more. I could go on but I have to get to the reason for the title.

As I watch all this unfold, it occurs to me our new President is playing Chess while the Republicans are playing Checkers. Chess requires thinking several moves ahead (in other words, “a strategy”) while Checkers requires trying to get one of the board pieces “kinged.”

Since the Republicans don’t currently have a “king,” the Obama administration suggested that maybe conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is the newly “kinged” piece for the RNC. It worked. Rush’s ego cannot resist assuming the role of “King.” His pompous rhetoric fits perfectly with his Jabba-the-Hutt posture as seen on the “Ditto Cam” of his radio show. (I couldn’t resist creating the image.)

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Pundit World predictably took the bait. No sooner than Rush finished addressing the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Convention in Washington D.C. as the featured speaker, on February 28th, media was asking, “Is Rush Limbaugh the head of the Republican Party?”

rahmcbsRahm Emanuel, the Whitehouse Chief of Staff, executed the administration’s plan the next day on CBS’s “Face the Nation” by saying “…whenever a Republican criticizes him, they have to run back and apologize to him and say they were misunderstood. He is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party. He has been up front about what he views and hasn’t stepped back from that, which is he hopes for failure. He said it and I compliment him for his honesty. But that’s their philosophy that is enunciated by Rush Limbaugh…” and later, “I do think he’s an intellectual force, which is why the Republicans pay such attention to him.”

Rahm’s words are true. (BTW – Kudos to Rahm for being able to keep a straight face while calling Limbaugh an “intellectual force.”)

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On January 27th, Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-GA said “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing.”

The next day…

“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans-myself included-turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.”

The newly elected RNC chair, Michael Steele, apologized to Rush after saying that Rush’s words were “..incendiary…” and “…ugly..” on CNN’s “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.”

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He then “apologized” on FOX News.

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“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. “It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the boogeyman, and he’s not.”

I don’t expect the new leader to maintain his position with the RNC much longer.

Now back to Checkers and Chess. Our President is showing us that he is, more often than not, several steps ahead of us. His political opponents see a board with sixty-four squares and continue to assume the game is Checkers. It is not. We went through eight years of “Checkers thinking,” when the issues and challenges facing our country required a much higher level of intellectual discernment and long term strategic planning.

Now more than at any time in the last seven decades, leadership must step up to the plate on many issues, quickly. We do not have the luxury of “…choosing our battles…” At this moment, the economy is the “battle” on all of our minds. What “Checkers thinkers” do not (or, choose not to) understand is that in order to solidify the economy, there are several things that have to happen simultaneously.

The opposition continues to insist that the President is trying to do too much at one time. I strongly disagree.

Keep playing chess, Mr. President. Your instincts are serving you well.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com