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As Long As Everyone is in Agreement

Limbaugh.jpgThinking a bit more about EJ Dionne's column today, one of the reasons Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh get taken very seriously by the media is that there's ample evidence that they speak for, and are influential among, a significant bloc of Republican lawmakers. That case has been well-made elsewhere. But the other piece is that there's little evidence that Limbaugh and Gingrich are significantly more radical than the bulk of conservative lawmakers. Gingrich, of course, led the House Republicans. Limbaugh, for his part, was made an honorary member of the Republican Congressional Caucus when they took over in 1994.

This, for instance, sounds a lot like Limbaugh: "This is going to sound radical, I don’t mean for it to be radical — but to me, the greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession or even another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias."

Except it wasn't Rush Limbaugh. It was Rep. Lamar Smith from Texas. And Smith is literally forming a "Media Fairness Caucus" made up of a dozen House Republicans to push his case. When you're quoting Limbaugh on behalf of folks like Smith, you're not really doing anyone an ideological disservice.

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Rob Carr)

By Ezra Klein  |  June 4, 2009; 3:42 PM ET
 
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Comments

It seems like the right is spinning itself into an ever tighter vortex of madness, like they're engaged in a race to the bottom of "extremeness". And of course the attacks get uglier as they become ever more unhinged.

The most astonishing political moment in my adult life came when I saw the footage of the McCain campaign rally where someone in the crowd yelled "KILL HIM!" referring to Obama. I think the symbolism of that event is powerful and it speaks to what the GOP has become. In an age when we desperately need more than 2 parties, we're left instead with one deranged party and one half-competent spineless party. The health of the nation depends on the spineless ones kicking the deranged ones to the curb until their hateful-rhetoric-to-substantive-new-idea ratio reaches at least 1 again.

I'm not hopeful.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | June 4, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Dionne's main point that there seems to be no opinion to Obama's left? I'm not sure that's conservatives fault.

Otherwise, your point is well taken.

Posted by: hoi_polloi | June 5, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

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