Let me make one thing clear: I am no fan of Rush Limbaugh. I stopped listening to him back during the “Chelsea Clinton/Dog” incident, and it was only in the past couple of years that I stopped holding him in contempt. I still don’t listen to him, as his style puts me off, but I do have a great deal of respect for his accomplishments and abilities.
That being said, I think that the Democrats really, really need to stop going after him — such as the now-aborted plan to charge him criminally over his “meddling” in the Democratic primaries by encouraging Republicans and cross party lines to vote for Hillary Clinton.
There are so many reasons why this is a bad thing. Especially for them.
First up, many of those most upset over the matter had no problems when Kos of Daily Kos fame urged just the same, to monkey-wrench Republican primaries.
Limbaugh’s fans love him a lot more than your fans love you. He can rally considerably more support than you can possibly hope for.
Limbaugh has not just a history, but an absolute gift for turning attacks against him around to make his attackers look like idiots. Remember that letter that (I think) all the Democrats in the Senate signed condemning him? He took that letter and put it up on EBay, with all the proceeds going to a very worthy charity. Then he bundled a bunch of other stuff with the letter, designed to tweak the Democrats even further — including a Halliburton briefcase. Then he said that he would personally, out of his own pocket, match the highest bid with a check to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Then he challenged the 41 Democratic Senators (among them some extremely wealthy people — like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Jay Rockefeller, and a scad more multi-millionaires) to match his offer, individually or collectively.
Limbaugh is referred to, with considerable justification, as “the king of talk radio.” Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right: “when you strike at a king, you must kill him.” One does not attack to injure a king; the retaliation of a wounded king is often extremely fatal.
Finally, Limbaugh thrives on attention. He revels in it. It’s not only tremendously personally gratifying, it’s great for his career. When he gets attacked, it’s almost always to his benefit.
The only real reason to support these attacks on Limbaugh is for the sheer entertainment value. Those of us who don’t care for either side will enjoy the spectacle, and that is tremendously tempting to me.
But the Democrats who get involved in this are often elected officials, and there is a part of me — the patriotic part, the non-partisan element — that gets depressed when our chosen leaders make such asses of themselves in such public ways. As a citizen and taxpayer of the United States, I want — and expect — better of them, utterly regardless of their party affiliation.
But there’s also that tiny little voice that says “fire up the popcorn, this could be grand entertainment!”