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Archive for August 12th, 2003

Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

IS RUSH GETTING OUT OF TOUCH ?

Following on the heels of Rush Limbaugh’s high profile analysis of Arnold Schwarzenegger not being a true conservative came a thoughtful post on Rush vs. The Blogosphere by Eric at Classical Values ( Eric also links to the king of blogging, Instapundit)

I confess to being only an occasional listener to Rush but there have been times where he has been both insightful, deft of argument and witheringly funny all at once. Limbaugh has been the gold standard of talk radio for a long time, particularly conservative talk radio and he earned the success and fame that he has acquired. Much of Rush’s vast popularity has come from his being more in tune with the average radio listener than the liberal media elite and politicians he regularly lampoons. However, taken together Rush’s contempt for the blogosphere and his disdain for Arnold’s allegedly insufficient conservatism may be signs that Limbaugh’s enduring, stratospheric success may be eroding his connection to more ordinary folk, especially those in the relatively wide spectrum of thought called ” conservative ” who are not primarily ” social conservatives ” but are libertarians and moderate, small business, type conservatives. For example, today on his radio program Rush defended his remarks on Schwarzenegger by saying:

“Are there better qualified people on the ballot than Arnold? I happen to think so. Who are they? In due course, my friends. That’s why this thing has to spell out here. There are some people out there that have an (R) by their name who are pretty damn good.”

That may be, but unfortunately they most likely don’t have the financial resources that Schwarzenegger has to launch a serious -i.e. one likely to result in a GOP victory- campaign. What Rush is really arguing is that Arnold is not conservative enough and the implicit message is that Schwarzenegger isn’t a true conservative because he doesn’t loathe gays or want to ban all abortions. One wonders if El Rushbo remembers Barry Goldwater ? Is the GOP standard bearer going to have to be Russell Kirk in order to get the seal of approval from the EIB network ? Because if so, Republicans should get used to losing elections with purity, going down with banners flying.

But hey, at least that will bring back the Buchanan crowd.

Post-script: David Horowitz gets it even if Rush doesn’t.

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

LET THE WORD GO FORTH THAT THE TORCH HAS BEEN PASSED TO A NEW GENERATION…AND THAT THEY PASSED IT ON TO THE NEXT

Jeff at Caerdroia has a brilliant observation on the Boomers and the War on Terror. The money quote:

“The War on Terror is the first crisis the Boomers have faced. Their parents fought and won the Cold War, and suffered the consequences of Viet Nam and Watergate. The Boomers sat on the sidelines theorizing, and cheering on ideological ideals without any sense of personal responsibility. Bill Clinton in many ways was the avatar of personal irresponsibility – nihilism made manifest. Now that the crisis is upon the Boomers, the instinctive habit of many is to return to their youth, and shift responsibilities once more to the grownups. Sadly, the real grownups are not in the international community, but in the generation younger than the Boomers.”

I think this also neatly explains the reflexive tendency in Congress and the media ( both dominated by the Fifty-something age cohort) to reference any and all foreign policy problems through the lens of the Vietnam War experience, a reference totally lost on anyone under thirty and is relatively irritating to those over seventy whose formative war experience was WWII.

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

AN OVERVIEW OF IRAQI SHIITES

From the Christian Science Monitor. Soft-pedals the Sadrists but basically a good summary.

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

IRAQ’S LIBERATION AFFECTING IRANIAN RELIGIOUS POLITICS

JB at Riting on the Wall has blogged extensively on this topic as have I to a lesser degree. The end of Sunni Baathist dominion over Iraqi Shiites and the freedom fostered by the American occupation is allowing the schools of Iraq’s holy cities to reemerge to contend with Qom for religious authority. This has significant implications for Iran’s hardline rulers because ” Supreme Guide” Khameini does not command the same personal respect among Shiism’s Grand Ayatollahs as did his predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini while Khameini’s authority rests only on Khomeini’s quite radical doctrines, heavily supplemented by Pasdaran thuggery.

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