A Critical Look at Rush Limbaugh, Part Two: Conservatism in Crisis

Rush Limbaugh has claimed at various times to be “a conservative first and a Republican second.” He also espouses principles like the “power of truth.” But what he has done over the past quarter-century has often been inconsistent with that idealistic persona, and conservatism has suffered for it, as has the country.

Following the election of the first non-White President of the United States in 2008, Rush Limbaugh expressed ambivalence about George W. Bush, one of the most despised U.S. presidents of all time. On the day after the election of the first Black president, Limbaugh fumed:

Well, my friends, the new tone has finally come home to roost. … Conservatism did not lose last night. Conservative was not on the ballot. The Republican Party has not sought to be conservative since the new tone was initiated by the Bush administration in 2001. [Rush Limbaugh, 5 November 2008]

The Republican Party was now in trouble because under George W. Bush, whom Limbaugh had supported, the party ceased to be conservative.

Are Free Trade and Zionist Wars Conservative?

That is, unless conservatism is to be defined as the expansion of free trade and the waging of Zionist wars. Are those policies conservative? If free trade is conservative, then Bill Clinton must be counted as a great conservative for signing NAFTA and opening free trade with China. If Zionist wars are conservative, then George W. Bush must be counted as a great conservative for the unnecessary invasion of Iraq. But we know that Rush Limbaugh does not regard Bill Clinton nor either of the presidents named Bush as conservative.

Free trade and Zionist wars are two points on which the establishments of both parties agree, and which they treat as non-negotiable — even when the majority of Americans disagree. And Rush Limbaugh has gone along with that bipartisan consensus. Bizarrely, Limbaugh has attacked the critics of that bipartisan Zionism and bipartisan plutocracy for deviating from “conservatism,” even though conservatism has no part in it.

Incidentally, to the extent that Limbaugh’s audience accepts this kind of misrepresentation, it reflects that the “dittoheads” have imposed a kind of information-ghetto on themselves,  rejecting the broader perspective that they could get by consulting diverse sources. “Rush is right,” and Fox News is the only news-channel that tells the truth. I have heard that from a number of self-identified conservatives.

Free trade works in the Democrats’ favor because, if Americans are suffering economically, it is understood that the Democrats are more likely to use the government to try to alleviate the situation, while Republicans, including Rush Limbaugh, complain even about food-assistance.

The fact that the Democratic Party has been reputed as the home of pacifism since the 1970s probably gives them an advantage when voters are upset about unnecessary wars — especially since the big wars in recent years have been started by Republicans. Also, the Democratic rank and file, at least, seems to be less rabidly Zionist than the Republicans with their reliance on Pre-millennialist Christian support.

The allegiance of Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans to free trade and Zionist wars is so rigid that they cannot admit that these positions have done nothing to help them win elections; they cannot even admit that a change of policy is a viable option.

In 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul sought the Republican presidential nomination as an anti-war candidate. Anti-war was a very popular position — outside of the Republican Party.

Public support for George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003 had never been overwhelming. It did not take long after the invasion for the support that had been created through scare-propaganda to collapse. By September 2005 a New York Times/CBS News poll showed that only 44% of Americans still said that military action against Iraq had been the right decision, and 8 in 10 were concerned about the expense of the war. A majority, 52%, favored not only withdrawal but immediate withdrawal from Iraq. During the presidential race in 2008, columnist Tom Teepen observed that being anti-war was an asset for a presidential candidate:

Obama opposed the war from the get-go, a stance widely assumed to be politically fatal at the time but one in which public opinion now strongly concurs. [Tom Teepen, 26 July 2008]

But Barack Obama turned out to be a disappointment for anti-war voters. Ron Paul, therefore, as a longtime, well known proponent of a non-interventionist foreign policy, could naturally be expected to win many crossover Democratic votes — if the Republicans would nominate him. Rasmussen and Gallup polls in 2011 showed that Ron Paul, if nominated by the Republican Party, could beat Obama. In fact it would be a landslide for Ron Paul if he could get more than lukewarm support from Republicans — which Rush Limbaugh could help to arrange, if he were so inclined.

Instead of helping Ron Paul, Limbaugh tried to extinguish the campaign. In an interview on Fox News, Limbaugh proclaimed: “Anybody other than Ron Paul could beat Obama” — flatly contradicting both evidence and common sense.

There was only one reason, according to Limbaugh himself, why he rigidly opposed Ron Paul: “his foreign policy” — specifically his criticism of Bush’s invasion of Iraq and opposition to warmongering against Iran.

But Ron Paul’s views on these matters were the views of the American majority. It was Rush Limbaugh’s view that was in the minority. Limbaugh nonetheless portrayed Ron Paul as a tinfoil-hat-wearer, a lunatic — for sharing the views of the majority!

When a Republican candidate who represents the view of the majority of Americans is deliberately undermined and marginalized within the Republican Party exclusively because he represents the American majority view, contrary to the agenda of the Israel Lobby, it becomes apparent that for Rush Limbaugh and many other Republicans, serving those Zionist Jews has been given a higher priority than winning elections. It even takes precedence over Limbaugh’s cherished less-government “conservatism,” which Ron Paul represents in the purest form that Limbaugh could ever hope to see. Ron Paul also happens to be a consistent opponent of abortion, which Mitt Romney is not. To Rush Limbaugh, for whatever reason, maintaining an interventionist Israel-First foreign policy is the concern that trumps all others.

The actual Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, whose Romneycare was the prototype for the Obamacare that Limbaugh loathes, severely damaged his own campaign by saying that 47% of the electorate would be disinclined to vote for him because they depend on government, implying that half the electorate is a detriment to the country.

After the 2012 defeat, Limbaugh complained, consistent with his usual pattern, that the Republican Party had lost due to lack of conservatism:

It wasn’t an election lost because we didn’t get the women’s vote, the Hispanic vote. We didn’t turn our vote out. It’s just that simple. Could it be, ladies and gentlemen, three million Republicans sat at home because they didn’t see enough of a conservative campaign? [Rush Limbaugh, 8 November 2012]

That is half-correct. A more candid assessment would be that the GOP repelled White voters by being unambiguously plutocratic and unambiguously supportive of Zionist wars. But Rush Limbaugh could not state such an assessment because he was rigidly committed to those two positions.

The Republican Establishment Purges “Extremists”

Since neither the Republican establishment nor Rush Limbaugh could accept the very clear fact that their party lost in 2012 by acting contrary to the economic needs of the White working class while supporting unpopular wars, they looked for alternate explanations.

In contrast to Limbaugh, who blames the loss in 2012 on the Republican Party’s failure to inspire the party’s core-constituency, the Republican establishment espouses an entirely opposite theory. They blame the party’s loss in 2012 on “extremists” within the party who, they think, give the party a bad image.

The most conspicuous of the “extremists” in 2014 was Chris McDaniel, a state legislator and talk show host from Mississippi who is a Republican in the mold of those Dixiecrats who defected from the Democratic Party to the GOP in the 60s and 70s, thereby making the election of Richard Nixon and all later Republican presidents possible. McDaniel had the endorsement of Tea Party Express because of his opposition to Obamacare, for which the incumbent Thad Cochran had voted. (Tea Party Express also happens to be one “Tea Party” organization that no longer supports free trade. We can hope that other populist Republicans are on that same learning-curve.) Chris McDaniel would now be a Senator-elect from Mississippi if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican establishment — both of which favor amnesty for illegal aliens — had not moved heaven and earth to prevent it.

The Washington Post describes what happened as follows:

For much of the primary, [the incumbent Thad] Cochran was sleepy and might have been defeated outright were it not for a late push from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which aired a pro-Cochran testimonial from football legend Brett Favre on his farm in Hattiesburg, Miss.

McDaniel, a state senator, won the primary — though not by enough to avoid a runoff. The Republican establishment, as well as some black Democrats, rallied to Cochran’s side, and the incumbent narrowly prevailed.

McDaniel, bitter to this day, has refused to concede. “You had the entire Republican Party in Washington doing everything they could to keep the true conservative out,” he said. [P. Rucker, R. Costa, Washington Post, 5 November 2014]

Britain’s Daily Mail gives more details of the foul process whereby the will of the White people of Mississippi was denied political expression.  Essentially Blacks were mobilized through alarmist propaganda to vote in the Republican runoff — illegally in many cases, since they had already voted in the Democratic primaries.

Rush Limbaugh and probably the majority of White Republican voters in Mississippi share McDaniel’s bitterness, which is directed toward the Republican establishment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce  as the forces behind the sabotage of McDaniel’s campaign (Caller from Mississippi complains about the Republican establishment, 20 November 2014 ).

Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer, a Jewish neocon, without stating names, condescendingly praised the Republicans for purging McDaniel:

You exercised adult supervision over the choice of candidates. You didn’t allow yourself to go down the byways of gender and other identity politics. [C. Krauthammer, 6 November 2014]

I love it when Jews eschew identity politics — for non-Jews. Of course, Krauthammer’s rabid support for Israel couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his very strong Jewish identity.

Charles Krauthammer was also the first major influence among the Republicans, after the Republican defeat in 2012, to call for the Republicans to embrace amnesty for illegal aliens in order to win Hispanic votes, as Limbaugh noted at the time. In other contexts, where Krauthammer’s name is not mentioned, Limbaugh has said that if the Republican Party follows such advice on illegal immigration, it will cease to exist. The reverent tone with which Limbaugh still refers to “Doctor Krauthammer” is therefore quite incongruous. It is obvious that Rush Limbaugh is afraid to criticize Charles Krauthammer, even though they are in direct conflict in a matter about which Limbaugh feels strongly.

Rush Limbaugh and Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

The two longtime points of bipartisan consensus, free trade and Zionist wars, are now joined by a third, amnesty for illegal aliens. This time, Rush Limbaugh — finally — is not going along.

On the day after the 2014 elections, Rush Limbaugh talked to a Black caller named Larry in southern California who was angry at Obama for his generosity toward illegal aliens. Larry complained that Blacks in his region already could not get jobs because of illegal aliens (Click to listen). On 19 November a more educated-sounding Negro, Eric in North Carolina, made the same point (Click to listen). These callers both made the very simple and obvious point that immigration of Hispanics is bad for Blacks. This information was liberating for Rush Limbaugh: now he felt free to complain about illegal immigration without fear of being labeled racist.

Since Larry’s call, Rush Limbaugh has been increasingly criticizing Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants, and, more and more, the Republicans’ failure to oppose it, which, Limbaugh now observes, is worse than mere failure to oppose: they covertly support it. Limbaugh is now proclaiming the dishonesty and venality of the Republican establishment, serving their donors rather than the public that elected them, a common theme on VDARE.com and TOO.

Specifically, Limbaugh refers to the role of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in pushing for amnesty, because, Limbaugh says, they want the cheap labor. In doing so, he is referring to the labor market critique of immigration emanating from the right and embodied in politicians like Jeff Sessions and David Brat. The fact that unregulated capitalism demands immigration for cheap labor and that this destroys nations was often observed by critics of capitalism in the nineteenth century. Now Rush Limbaugh realizes it.

It must have been an awkward confession for Rush Limbaugh, after so many years of pontificating that whatever helps the rich to get richer — whatever helps the “job creators,” as Eric Cantor called them — is automatically good for America. It shows a serious problem with the nineteenth-century liberal ideology that Limbaugh and other Republicans have been espousing as “conservatism.” Rush Limbaugh is having to face the fact that unbridled pursuit of private profit can be disastrous for the country — and disastrous for a great many White people who are naturally attracted to the Republican Party because they see the Democrats as the party of non-Whites and aggressive multiculturalism, sexual non-conformists, and government unions.

Finally, after a quarter-century of lamentable compromise, the Republican establishment is crossing a bridge that Rush Limbaugh refuses to cross, which brings him to a crisis, not only in his relationship to the Republican establishment, but in his ideology.

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