Skip to comments.Limbaugh Ranks Among Conservative Greats
Posted on 11/30/2001 12:24:12 PM PST by Jean S
As far as Im concerned, the giants of modern day conservatism are William Buckley, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Rush Limbaugh. While much has been said and written about the contributions of the first three men, not enough attention has been paid to Rushs accomplishments.
Yet today Rushs influence on the conservative movement and the public debate is unparalleled. He has a unique ability to move from issue to issue, from the complex to the every day, with uncommon ease.
On any given day, Rush provides his 20 million listeners with insight into a wide variety of subjects.
During the first hour of a three-hour program, he might discuss the principles of Americas founding with specific references to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers and the U.S. Constitution, to the Civil War, the New Deal, World War II and the Civil Rights movement.
In the second hour he might talk about the federal budget and government spending, entitlement programs, capitalism, the Federal Reserve and supply-side economics.
In the third hour, he might address cultural issues, the environment, the feminist movement, politics, an injustice in some part of the world, or share a personal experience.
At all times, Rush is well prepared, thought-provoking and entertaining. And the common theme that underlies all he discusses, and to which he is committed, is an abiding belief in individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of lawthe three cornerstones of our republic.
Impeachment: Rush was a guiding light during Bill Clintons impeachment. Despite the fact that this was only the second presidential impeachment in American history, Rush was able to walk his listeners through some of the most arcane issues of constitutional precedent and congressional procedure.
When some contended that Clintons offenses were not "high crimes and misdemeanors," Rush proved them wrong. When certain members of Congress and even some conservative pundits were urging the Senate to forgo an impeachment trial for a resolution of censure, Rush was the most outspoken opponent of this extra-constitutional ploy. To this day, Rush admonishes the Senate for failing to conduct a serious trial and thereby failing to uphold its constitutional responsibility.
Sen. John McCain: When John McCains presidential candidacy was gaining legs, with the mainstream medias support, after a primary victory over George W. Bush in New Hampshire, Rush was both thoughtful and tenacious in his opposition to McCains brand of Republicanism. McCain, he pointed out, backed numerous liberal policies, from so-called campaign-finance reform to opposing serious tax cuts. Rush also challenged McCains frontal assault on the religious right and the National Rifle Association, and his campaigns smear tactics in South Carolina and Michigan.
Gov. George W. Bush: While Rush made no apologies for his preference for George Bush, he was, as always, intellectually honest in his analysis of Bushs positions.
During an early campaign speech in New York, for example, Bush made a derogatory reference to Robert Bork. Rush was the first to criticize Bush for seeking political capital at the expense of a renowned conservative. Bush never repeated the mistake.
Presidential Recount: The Bush-Gore presidential race proved to be one of the most controversial, complicated and constitutionally challenging elections in U.S. history. In the five weeks following election daywhile trial lawyers, state and federal courts, and the media grappled with the election processRush was a voice of clarity helping his listeners work their way through a maze of historical, legal and political questions.
Rush described the intricacies of the Electoral College, the role of the Florida legislature as the final authority in determining the awarding of the states electoral votes under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, and the limitations of judicial review (especially by the rogue Florida Supreme Court). And Rush was not altogether comfortable with the U.S. Supreme Courts reliance on the 14th Amendments equal protection clause in its final rulinga view he shared with his audience.
Sen. Thomas Daschle: Rush was the first to label Sen. Tom Daschle (D-.S.D.) "the illegitimate Senate majority leader" when Daschle seized the leaders position from Trent Lott by persuading Vermonts Jim Jeffords, who had just been reelected as a Republican, to leave the GOP in exchange for a committee chairmanship and support for continuing milk price supports. Rush has also been one of the most effective counterweights to Daschles dishonest rhetoric and liberal agenda by denouncing his efforts to thwart Bushs tax-cut plan, judicial nominations, energy bill andprior to September 11increased defense spending.
Rep. Bill Thomas: Rush was a vocal critic last spring of the timidity of the GOP House tax-cut plan, authored by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.). Thomas, having been cowed by the class warfare propaganda of the Democrats, rejected conservative efforts to cut retroactively all income tax ratesincluding those in the higher brackets.
Such was the outcry over Thomass plan after Rush questioned it that the chairman called Rush on the air in a futile attempt to defend his position. Rush politely yet persuasively dismantled the congressmans arguments. No one has been more consistent and vocal in advocating tax cuts than Rush.
Terrorism: The Bush Administration has been attacked for its antiterrorism policies by certain conservatives and liberals. First, after only a few weeks of battle, the armchair generals complained that the President had not introduced thousands of ground troops into Afghanistan, a move they claimed was necessary to win the war. Rush insisted otherwise, arguing that the U.S. military had destroyed most of the Taliban and al Qaedas infrastructure in short order, that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his commanders were highly experienced warriors who knew what they were doing and, besides, that the U.S. could not support such a large deployment so early in the campaign because it lacked forward bases in the region for launching such an operation.
Shortly thereafter, the U.S. began ratcheting up its bombing runs and increasing coordination with the Northern Alliance. The Taliban and al Qaeda forces have been on the run ever since. The armchair generals defeatism was misguided, just as Rush had said. Others are now questioning Bushs order reestablishing military commissions to try non-citizen combatants (terrorists) and the administrations detention of several hundred aliens who either have ties to al Qaeda or have violated federal law. Again, Rush has been at the forefront of this debate. Both on his radio program and in a widely applauded Washington Post op-ed piece, Rush described the historical and legal justifications for the Presidents actions.
Moreover, Rush dared to tread where others would not. Both on the radio and in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, he exposed the failure of the Clinton Administration to take effective steps in response to repeated acts of terrorism committed by this same al Qaeda network, dating back to 1993 and the original bombing of the World Trade Center. Rush confuted Clinton and his minions who had been appearing on television and in print rewriting the record of their miserable failures.
With a combination of seriousness and humor, Rush has been devastating in his commentaries on a host of other subjects: the radical environmental movement ("environmental wackos"), the extremist feminist movement ("feminazis"), campaign-finance reformers ("anti-free speech crowd"), gun-control advocates ("gun confiscation advocates"), the trial lawyers, the anti-tobacco lobby, the teachers unions, political correctness, abortion, cloning and stem cell research, and on and on.
Rushs success is not due solely to his knowledge and intellect. He has also succeeded because his audience identifies with, and relates to him. As Rush likes to say, he confirms what his listeners and so many Americans believe in a time when tradition and common sense are often turned on their heads. He is a voice of reason and sanity to many.
And unlike many in his profession, Rush does not use his golden "Excellence In Broadcasting" microphone to ridicule or abuse his callers in order to make himself look clever. He is positive, polite, respectful and a gentleman. He not only tolerates dissent, but liberals are given preference when they call his show.
As someone who is privileged to count him as a good friend, I can attest that Rush is selfless, considerate and compassionate. Hes a genuine article. I marvel at his strength and fortitude in dealing with his sudden hearing loss. What would have devastated most people has energized him. I have no doubt that, as Rush likes to say with tongue in cheek, his talent is on loan from God. But I know for a fact that his character comes from the heart.
On a personal level, I shall never forget how he lifted my spirits after the disastrous '92 election.
Dittos. I don't listen to Rush every day because his ego sometimes gets in the way on his show. And when he talks about his golf game, I turn him off. But his is a true conservative and I almost always agree with him.
And FreeTally, just because one is a fan of Rush doesn't mean they're wearing kneepads.
"All knowing, all seeing"? "My guru"? You need help.
I listened to Rush on a daily basis from 1993 to 1995(the good days). I stopped when he refused to address real conservative issues such as NAFTA, GATT, gun control and private property rights. He essentially mimics what most rational, intelligent people know, but he has corporate bosses to answer to. He is so full of himself I cant stand to even look at the man. Sure, he has done a lot for talk radio and (so-called)conservatism, but you dont have to have an orgasm over the mere mention of his name.
I made that comment based upon veronicas "All knowing, all seeing" and "guru" comments. She sounds just like Katie Couric and such.
All knowing all seeing is part of HIS schtick, and he is my political guru. I happen to think he is very wise.
If you are not a fan so be it. Why bother commenting at all?
He has lifted millions and millions of American spirits in the Great Culture War.
He continues on...and always with great humor. God Bless him!
What is "modern day conservatism".
I'll 2nd that.
Rush was a vocal critic last spring of the timidity of the GOP House tax-cut plan, authored by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.). Thomas, having been cowed by the class warfare propaganda of the Democrats, rejected conservative efforts to cut retroactively all income tax ratesincluding those in the higher brackets.
(Ashamedly)Bill is my representative. Arghhhhrrrr. I heard Rush when Bill called and, of course, Rush couldn't be horn swaggled. heh heh
Rush is a Lion, He is THE King of radio and political thought.
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