Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and the Republican Party driving off the cliff

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



Today Rush Limbaugh invited Senator Specter to take Senator John McCain with him into the Democratic Party and this evening conservative author and talk show host Mark Levin said senators McCain, Snowe and Graham should leave with Specter and join the Democratic Party. Today will mark another watershed in American politics. The radical extremists, who have hijacked the Republican Party, are showing their true colors. They are not interested in expanding the party’s political base, winning elections and governing. They are focused on purification.

Contrary to all the post election talk from Republican officeholders and party officials, the purging continues and they have no intention of trying to attract new adherents to the party. Their message is clear: Our way or get out.

Unlike 1964 when Senator Goldwater lost because President Johnson painted him as someone who would “push the button” and blow-up the world or 1974 and 1976 when the Republican Party lost elections because of the criminal acts of President Nixon and his cronies, the 2008 election marks a profound event in our political history. The electorate certainly rejected President Bush but we also rejected the Republican Party and its underlying assumptions, including that we, as citizens, are incapable of electing a government that can adopt policies that work. Underneath it all, the Republican Party now supports the notion that the citizens of our country can’t be trusted (i.e. TABOR)and  the only policies that should be implemented are those that undermine government or the public trust and support required to have an effective government (cut taxes, increase spending and then assert the government is incompetent). It all adds up to this: The Republican believes the government should be reformed by subverting it.  And those who deviate, even one degree from absolute adherence to this mindless and dead end philosophy, are invited to leave. The Republican Party isn’t just purifying itself, its destroying itself.    

52 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad says:

    I still love you even though you gave up the ‘Guvs internal poll’

    I don’t understand your diary. As a former Republican yourself, one would think you’d be dancing in the street.

    Why aren’t you welcoming Sen. Specter and encouraging McCain etal. to make the move to the left that you and Specter have made with such resounding thuds?

    • Republican 36 says:

      I stand by the numbers cited in my post.

      As to the diary I posted this evening, my focus is on the dwindling prospects for the Republican Party caused by their drive to purify the party.

      By the way, as an aside, this evening on FOX News and earlier today on many of the conservative radio talk shows, the new pitch is to blame the spread of the swine flu into the United States on illegal immigration from Mexico, even though the facts show all the flu cases in the United States can be traced to Americans who recently visited that country. Apparently, unfounded assertions based on bigotry is now part of the Republican platform. When actual facts no longer matter, I guess anything goes.  

    • Republican 36 says:

      if it continues to invite prominent Republicans to leave it? Under those circumstances, I am very interested in what you believe would make up a winning coalition for the Republican Party.

      • I want to know.  Mr. Steele doesn’t seem to have a clue how to expand his party’s reach, that’s for sure…

      • Gilpin GuyGilpin Guy says:

        The winning combination is FEAR 24/7 .  The Republican mantra has become “Be afraid” and they will do everything in their power to make you afraid to vote for anyone else.  Abortion is the defining theme where you should be afraid of being condemned to Hell for killing innocents if you don’t vote for a “Pro-Life” Republican.  Never mind that innocents are being killed in Iraq because you are supposed to be afraid that the brown skins will sneak into your house and cut off your head with a dull sword.

        Did I mention that Republicans expect to use FEAR to win elections.  This is why they can’t side with Obama on any economic issues because then people would start to feel good about the world and the last thing that Republicans want people to feel is good.  

    • As well as with Sen. Snowe, whose comments I quoted in the Specter Switcher story.

      The Republican Party is on a quest for ultimate purification.  The goal: showing America that they really can be the principled conservatives they say they are, with the assumption that that’s what the majority of Americans really want.  And that means kicking out all those willing to compromise with the “Democrat Socialist Party”.

      I hate to break this to the purists, but if you want to kick out anyone that ever disagrees with you, you’re eventually going to find yourself in a party of one.  And eventually you’ll disagree with some view you’ve held in the past – then where will you be?

      The nation needs more than one major party, but the Republican Party is working its way towards national irrelevance ever more quickly.  The GOP bus is being driven by the Limbaughs, De Mints, Bachmanns, and Malkins of the country, and it’s on an express trip off the deep end.  I miss the old GOP.

      • BlueCat says:

        Their spin machine is now an independent force.  The right wing talk show hosts have no interest in expanding the GOP.  21 % won’t win many elections but it’s a huge niche for ratings and making lots of money.  Having Dems in power to attack and get the fringe frothing at the mouth over is actually just peachy for them. Attacking any R who isn’t a hundred percent with the wackos works fine for them too.

        The GOP thought they were using them all these years but now find themselves stuck with them. So stuck that no matter what ridiculous thing a Limbaugh says, if they dare to even mildly take issue with it they have to get down on their knees and apologize pronto.

        The party that used to bill itself as the party of patriotism now can’t say word against righty hosts’ most anti-American crazy talk. They are now the party joined at the hip with those who call a very popular and trusted President everything from a communist to a fascist.  And not just Specter and Snowe but even McCain and Graham are lefties by GOP standards now?  What’s next?  Do they become the party for southern secession?  Even their south has shrunk.

  2. The realistThe realist says:

    I agree – the Repubs are focused almost entirely on ideology and “purity,” which is in serious conflict with the approach a party needs to ELECT people to office.  They are moving away from being a political party, and toward just being a minor philosophical movement in the larger scheme of things.  It does make you wonder where THEY think they’re headed.

  3. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    minus civilized restraint, leads to ethnic cleansing. Maybe Rush will build an army to invade Texas, drive the liberals and moderates out, secede, and build a GOP nation of dittoheads. I wonder what “Rush, the Omnipotent” would choose as a name for his new monarchy? Hmmm. Suggestions?

  4. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Unfortunately, you can substitute “David Sirota” for “Rush Limbaugh” and it reads about the same. And is just as accurate.

    We appear to also have a purity problem, lest we get too cocky…

    • parsingreality says:

      I see an arguing of nuances, not a purge. It’s healthy dialogue and debate, not a “gotcha” trap.

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Do you read OpenLeft, where Sirota blogs? There were a dozen posts there yesterday about primarying Specter. On the day he switched parties. Sirota is a self-serving purity troll, just like Limbaugh, and would take Democrats down the same road to ruin if he had half of Rush’s equivalent influence.

        But I’ll try to give him the benefit of the doubt, as you apparently do, next time he calls Mike Bennet a “douchebag.”

        • Middle of the Road says:

          there are a whole bunch of folks from the left to the middle of the Dem Party that are suggesting Specter isn’t going to be much of a Democrat. He has a 35 year record to base that assumption on and I think it’s a fair criticism to suggest that by him running as a Dem, the Democratic Party is going to lose the opportunity to run a truly progressive candidate in 2010.

          As to the meat of your comment about Sirota, I tend to agree with your assessment and comparison to Rush. It’s a fine line with David between being a progressive voice and a purity troll, demanding that the Democratic Party purge any Democrat that doesn’t meet his personal set of “progressive” standards.  

          • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

            But I think the right day to start agitating for a primary is the day after he votes a way we cannot tolerate, or reaching a preponderance of such votes–history or no. We are the big tent party and we need to act like it.

            That’s what matters most to me when I hear Sirota or any of these other attention-craving blowhards call the closest thing they have to allies “douchebags,” when they should be engaging with those allies constructively where they disagree. I just don’t think they have the social skills to do that, and so they rant. Sirota, Limbaugh, they really want the same things, and the only difference is Limbaugh is taken seriously by powerbrokers in his party.

            God forbid that should ever change either way.

            • redstateblues says:

              Great comments in this thread JeffcoBlue. You summed up my opinion on the current political atmosphere quite succinctly.

              Sirota, Markos and all the rest of the purity police on the left remind me of a certain Queen tune:

              “I want it all/I want it all/And I want it now”

              And anyone who stands in their way can be called any number of things. There’s been “traitor”, “dream-killer”, “bigot”, “sell-out”, “divisive” and many others. They’re so god damned nasty that they lose virtually all credibility, and then they turn the gun they’ve been aiming at the GOP firmly on us in the middle.

              Frankly, it’s getting ridiculous. Lots of foot-stomping, pitchfork wielding, and outright bile, but not very much in the way of real solutions.

              What’s sad is that I agree with them more often than I don’t policy-wise. It’s the rhetoric and the stupid name-calling that ticks me off. They’re so damned sanctimonious that they lose the message almost every time they touch it.

              Anyway, thanks for being sane. It’s nice to know there are other people who feel like I do.

        • dwyer says:

          Sirota left this blog, because in MHO, he couldn’t stand to be challenged.  He is destroying Jay Marvin’s show…which was the ONLY local progressive  radio show with his constant attack on anyone who disagrees with him.

          Sirota is a one trick pony who came from back East to “enlighten” the masses…and is pissed that they are not appreciative.

        • Arvadonian says:

          Governor of Montana who supported a ban on gay marriage (and civil unions) there…so I find it ironic that he bitches about “ideological purity” when he obviously doesn’t give a crap about that when someone is giving him a paycheck.

          Sirota is a political whore who will work for any candidate who gives him a check.

        • MADCO says:

          He as much as said so when he said he would let the electorate of PA decide his candidacy.  He clearly believes the Republican party is out to purge him- and he’s right.

          If he can’t win a primary as a D – then he shouldn’t win the general.

          • BlueCat says:

            Whether the D candidate in 2010 turns out to be Specter or some other Dem, the GOP’s far right candidate won’t win.  In the meantime, Dems don’t have to wait until 2010 to pick up another seat.  And Specter DOES want very badly to keep that seat.  He probably will be just as, if not more, reliable for the Dem leadership compared to the handful of conservative Dems.

        • BlueCat says:

          but the difference is the Dem party is not in thrall to Sirota the way the GOP is to Limbaugh et al. Dem pols not only have no problem disagreeing with purists, it generally helps them with the moderates they need.  

          So there are similarities but it’s really not the same.  When Dem pols have to apologize to Sirota or MoveOn for even slightly disagreeing with them, the way Rs have to bow to Rush, then it will be the same.  Don’t see that happening. Totally agree that Dems have their own silly purists, though.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Sirota is a gadfly with a following of 10′s. Limbaugh is an acknowledged leader of the GOP that none dare disagree with.

  5. Middle of the Road says:

    Succinct and well said. I’m not sure the Republican Party right now is in the mood for much introspection. Both Lincoln Chafee and Snowe have given the Party as much of a heads up as humanly possible–what the party chooses to do with that warning is up to Steele and company. And from the looks of Steele’s comments yesterday, the warnings will continue to go unheeded and the Republican base will continue to shrink until it becomes the party of 9 states in the South.

  6. Jersey Transplant says:

    Rush  and Levin seem to have figured out that the best thing for them as hosts and writers isn’t to win elections or have a huge base; instead it’s to have a wingnut audience od obsessed and dedicated extremists. To what end?  More sales of books (Levin’s last gem was a tearjerker along the lines of Marley and Me with a corporate name – Sprite) a dedicated audience base, and a Coulteresque stunt every now and again to get the attention mommy didn’t give them. Sirota, limbaugh and levin can be annoying and intolerant of straying from their specific ideologies within their respective parties, but each serve the same function: making policymakers look really good by comparison, and less crazy then they actually may be  

    • MADCO says:

      ANyone who hasn’t figured out that Rush is a profit seeking corporation needs to do a little research.  Obama getting elected was the best possible business event for ElRushbo.  His ratings were ok when Bush was in the WH and there were R majorities in the House and Senate.

      But his ratings were much better, relatively speaking, with Clinton in the WH and D majorities in the Congress.

      And his ratings and ad rates are way up since the presidential election cycle started.

      If Rush understands his business model- I believe he does  - then he knows blasting McCain and Snowe and the general GOP purification is great for business. And it doesn’t matter, nor should it, whether it is good for the party.

      If Rush really cared about the party, he’d move to a left leaning district where he has great ratings and run for office.  I think he could beat Bennet, for example.

  7. rocco says:

    Great post.

    I happened to listen to Levin last night while driving. He was promoting his book while spouting off that it predicted everything that’s happening now. There would be, I suppose, the  audience for him that still self identifies as staunch republican. He has a vocabulary that includes “statist”, that Hannity and Boortz picked up on. Seriously, listening to him, I got the feeling I was listening to cult radio. It’s a mixture of dire warnings, absolute scorn for the President…..I mean down right hate…..and calling for the heads of anybody that doesn’t fall in line with “pure conservatism. Really, this guy’s as radical and every bit as nuts as Michael Weiner and the local hack gunny Bob Newman.

    I agree, R36, the republicans seem to be sending out their party ideology through their paid radio spokesmen/women. And it’s not about inclusion or even common sense any more. It’s about fear, hate and “who can be the most conservative?”.

    What ever happened to the Eisenhower Republicans? Ike’s politics would be considered far leftist by todoy’s GOP standard.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      ..the more I wish the current crop of Repubs would bother to study their Party’s history.

      A strong leader without any political “training,” someone who knew the horrors of war first-hand, and who knew how to compromise, delegate and lead when necessary.

      And he loved Colorado!

    • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

      have this exactly right , but, paraphrasing, I am read somewhere that Eisenhower once said: ” In the final analysis, every ship that is launched and every missle that is fired represents a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, and those who are cold and are not clothed.”

      I wonder how the modern GOP responds to that. Sounds like some liberal… or something.

  8. ohwilleke says:

    John McCain is not just a Republican Senator with a moderate reputation (his voting record is not all that moderate), but also the outgoing GOP Presidential nominee.

    Snowe is one of just three Republican Senators left in the Northeast.

    Maybe we are headed towards a three party system, with the GOP set to become a regional party of the South, Utah and the Great Plains, while other states develop some other opposition party in the vacuum created by the demise of the moderate wing of the Republican party.

  9. Majority Moderate says:

    That there is a faction of the El Paso County Republican Party that wants to break away because the local isn’t “conservative enough”.

    Wow.  You may even see a time, even in El Paso County, where the Repubs are irrelevant.

  10. ClubTwitty says:

    I am in DC right now, was visiting the Capitol today… Saw Boehner, Bunning, and RuPaul…

    Madness yesterday as Spectre announced his switch.  Dems are walking around smiling, Republicans all look very grumpy.  

    Poor Boehner, he looked like he was having a bad day today, and that he spent too much time at the tanning salon. A bitter, orange-tinged man.  

    So as much as Kiddie and Libby want to believe that the Dems are crashing and Americans really want and will soon embrace the Party of No!  based on my own observations, I’d have to say the GOP is kind of f**cked and they know it.

    Rushbo and the rest of the large mouthed don’t give a damn about a strong GOP, they just want to bank more cash, buy more drugs, take more unexplained adult vacations to exotic locations, and generally milk the discontent of the few deadenders, who in aggregate make for a large listening base if not a potent political one.

    Perry and the TX GOP might want to secede, but which state was first in line asking for federal $$ to fight the flu outbreak?  Texas.

  11. Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

    …but party purification worked pretty darned well in Germany from 1928-1932 following election defeats, and then got down-right frightening when it became national purification from 1933-1935 following an election victory that no one believed possible.  Repubs are crazy?  Maybe, like a Fox!  

    This is cause for concern, not celebration.  That Americans of any party can close ranks so militantly is a sign that little is well in the republic, and that should scare those on both sides of the aisle. As much as I’m pleased by the impact on the Senate, Specter has lost his chance at genuine statesmanship by choosing the politically expedient rather than choosing to fight for the party he (still truly) believes in.  

    • (and thanks for invoking Godwin’s Law…)

      The Nazis weren’t in charge during the whole economic collapse, and were reacting to the humiliating conditions following WW-I.

      The Republican brand, in contrast, has pretty much been beaten down after a period where they were in control.  Their policies – however damaged by “party impurity” – are commonly accepted as a major cause of our current economic ills.  Their “mighty wurlitzer” is out of tune and missing the beat.

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