Talking Points Memo notes that it wasn’t so long ago that Brent Bozell, the founder of the newly-minted public interest organization called I Stand With Rush (I wonder what he plans to do with the donations he is soliciting?), was heard to observe that Obama looks like “a skinny, ghetto crackhead” on Fox News. Visitors to its website are invited to sign a pledge of unconditional support for the beleaguered talker:
I stand with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the massive contribution that he has made to the conservative movement and our nation over the last 25 years. Rush has apologized. But the radical left will never accept it because they despise him and want him off the air. I condemn attempts by radical left-wing organizations and the media to censor Rush and his commonsense conservative message.
Rush has a right to call whomever he wants a slut, a Feminazi, or a Magic Negro, but members of the public also have the right to tell the corporations that have been lavishing money on him to spew his bile that they will be taking their business elsewhere. But let’s face it–this is no more about “rights” and “censorship” than the battle that set it off in the first place was about religious freedom. I completely understand why a political party that’s staked so many of its hopes on a culture war that it’s doomed to lose prefers to believe that Rush was “set up.” The alternative–that the backlash is spontaneous and sincere and driven pretty much completely by social media–is even scarier. Like the Occupy Movement, it attests to an untapped reservoir of left wing indignation–and in this case, as with Komen a few weeks ago, the repugnance is so deep that it overflows the boundaries of partisanship. This very interesting story in Forbes puts it in perspective.
But this too will pass; the astounding reality show that this long and not un-entertaining primary season has been, with its trash talk and feuds and larger-than-life cast of frenemies, is finally coming to an end. As Mitt Romney begins to consolidate his gains and takes on an air of inevitability, he will tamp down the rhetoric and try to broaden his appeal to the timid middle.
We can’t let him get away with it. We have to remind voters at every turn that, just as he assured the mob at CPAC this year, Romney “knows conservatism because [he] has lived conservatism” and that he “can’t wait to get his hands on Washington.” Still, we can take some well-deserved satisfaction from what happened over the past few days. I give myself no credit, but it’s immensely gratifying to see at least one high profile hater take such a spectacular a stumble (however temporary it’s likely to be), especially so soon after The New Hate was published!