I had the misfortune of hearing a bit of Rush Limbaugh this morning and I have to say that for the first time when listening to him, I actually had a genuine smile on my face. Limbaugh’s desperate, craven attacks on John McCain are indicative of a party that killing itself in pursuit of illusory ideological purity, and I am loving the spectacle of it.
In less than five minutes, Limbaugh accused McCain of being a liberal, having a record of being a tax and spender, and having left men behind in Vietnam after the war. The attack on Vietnam was especially sleazy from the man who didn’t fight because of anal cysts:
Now, nobody talks about this much in the mainstream media, but there are a lot of prisoners of war who think McCain has a lot of explaining to do in not being fully interested in getting all the POWs out of Vietnam when we left. It’s a long, convoluted story, and McCain dismisses it, says there’s nothing to it, but others hold quite a grudge against Senator McCain for his apparent lack of interest, they say, in getting everybody, every prisoner of war missing in action accounted for and out of Vietnam…
When you’ve got Rush Limbaugh, the leading light of the conservative movement, swiftboating a lifelong conservative Republican who was a POW for five and a half years, the Republican Party is in real trouble. Between listening to Limbaugh’s rants and reading Hugh Hewitt’s incredibly awkward, gooey Mitt Romney man-crush inspired attacks on McCain, it became evident that the GOP is going to have an awfully hard time working together to elect any candidate in this election. How likely is it that McCain will campaign for a candidate involved in this sleaze? Or that Limbaugh’s doltish listeners will vote for someone that Rush has called a liberal for months?
The big picture is even worse for the Republicans. When John McCain, a pro-war hawk, and Mike Huckabee, a man who would replace the Bill of Rights with the Ten Commandments, are too liberal for the Republican Party, that big tent Lee Atwater wanted to build might not have room for much more than Limbaugh.
Okay, so that’s still a pretty big tent.