The Democratic Conspiracy To Prop Up Limbaugh and Palin

First Read sees identifying Republicans with Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin as an effective strategy:

One of the things Republicans did very effectively during their 24-year run from ’80 to ’04 was define who the opposition was, whether it was raising the profile of a Michael Moore or a Jesse Jackson or someone from the most liberal or divisive wing of the Democratic Party (see Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton). Well, it appears Democrats in general, and President Obama specifically, seems to enjoy propping up two of the more divisive figures in the Republican Party, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. The more attention a Palin or a Limbaugh gets right now, the harder it will be for the Republican Party to pitch itself as a Big Tent party again. This is a dangerous period for the GOP, the party is, well, without definition. Is it a less-government, low-tax, fiscally responsible party? It’s hard to make that case after the last decade of governing. Because it’s hard to define the GOP on issues right now, it becomes easier for the Democrats to paint the GOP with the brush of a personality like Limbaugh and Palin.

If this was a conscious strategy it would make sense. Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin both represent the worst of the conservative movement. Expressing a hope that Obama fail is only the most recent example of how much Limbaugh despises America and the values this country stands for. A party led by Sarah Palin is far more likely to go the way of the Whigs than ever win a national election as long as the average I.Q. of the voters is greater than 70. As Michael Tomasky wrote in ranking her as the second Worst American of 2008:

Never in my adult lifetime has one politician so perfectly embodied everything that is malign about my country: the proto-fascist nativism, the know-nothingism, the utterly cavalier lack of knowledge about the actual principles on which the country was founded.

It would certainly be beneficial for the Democrats to identify Republicans with Sarah Palin, but can the prominence of Limbaugh and Palin really be written off as a Democratic conspiracy to prop them up? Rush Limbaugh has had a large following for years. In the previous post I noted that Limbaugh is Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini’s choice to replace William Kristol at The New York TImes.

Sarah Palin has also attracted considerable support among those on the extreme right. While polls at this point are more a measure of current interest than predictive of future success, a recent poll showed Palin a close second to Mike Huckabee for the 2012 Republican nomination. Now we even have SarahPac, which is certainly not a Democratic plot  to ensure that Palin remains prominent in the GOP.

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