Unsurprisingly, Pat Buchanan took to Hardball to defend Rush Limbaugh in the wake of Limbaugh's abrupt firing -- as Limbaugh put it this afternoon -- from his ownership bid for the St. Louis Rams. Buchanan predictably failed to grasp that Limbaugh was not entitled to be an owner of an NFL team and it was his own partners who ran him off. Instead, Buchanan claimed that Limbaugh was the victim of "blacklisting" "just like they used to do out in Hollywood to communists."
But where he really showed his true colors was when he made this statement about Limbaugh's previous firing from ESPN:
He was wrong about McNabb. McNabb had a great season that year. So he made a wrong statement.
So according to Buchanan, Limbaugh was fired because his analysis of McNabb was faulty because McNabb actually had a great season that year...
Here's what Limbaugh said of McNabb on Sunday NFL Countdown in September 2003:
Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go ... I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.
Buchanan fails to grasp that Limbaugh's analysis actually had nothing to do with whether or not McNabb had a great season. Limbaugh's point was that the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed and gave him undue credit. Limbaugh needlessly saw the situation of the Eagles through a racial prism, as he does with much of his social and political commentary.
It is a prism Buchanan himself often uses and which should have gotten him fired from MSNBC long ago.
During his defense of Limbaugh on Hardball, Buchanan used the opportunity to defend another radio host who was fired for his racially charged comments -- Don Imus. During a back and forth with Rev. Al Sharpton in which Sharpton said no one was calling for Limbaugh to be fired, Buchanan suddenly yelled at Sharpton: "What did you say about Don Imus? Didn't you say he ought to be taken off the air?" After Sharpton stated that they asked sponsors not to underwrite his show, Buchanan stated:
Look, you ran a campaign to get this guy dropped off the air for two words at 6:15 in the morning.
Buchanan was presumably referring to the words "nappy-headed hos." (Imus' partner producer Bernard McGuirk called them "hard-core hos" and "Jigaboos.")
Of course, those two words are a lot more than two words. Imus was fired because of what was behind those words, what they represented. And Buchanan completely ignores the context in which those words came, as well as Imus' long history of bigoted remarks.
Buchanan has long defended Imus, claiming among other things that "the court of elite opinion," which was "pandering to the mob, lynched him. Yet, for all his sins, he was a better man than the lot of them rejoicing at the foot of the cottonwood tree."
Great analogy, Pat.
Buchanan's latest defense of Rush Limbaugh is no different than his defense of Don Imus -- and ultimately, it is a defense of Pat Buchanan.
In the 1950s, GOP activist Stephen Shadegg explicitly followed Mao Zedong's "cell group" model. Just as Mao's cells would lay the basis for guerrilla warfare, so Shadegg's cells would quietly build support for his candidates apart from formal political organizations. "The individuals we enlisted became a secret weapon possessing strength, mobility and real impact," Shadegg wrote. "They were able to infiltrate centers of opposition support, keep us informed of opposition tactics, disseminate information, enlist other supporters and to do all these things completely unnoticed by the opposition. In the early 1990s, local affiliates of the Christian Coalition sometimes backed "stealth candidates" for local office who would downplay their affiliations in order to attract broader support. Ralph Reed, longtime director of the Christian Coalition, once summed up the value of the quiet approach: "It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. ... It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective.
According to a search of the Nexis database, Reed last appeared on Fox on the May 17 edition of Hannity.
Reed reportedly cited Mao approvingly
Reed reportedly cited Mao approvingly
From an October 25, 1992, Seattle Times article (accessed from the Nexis database):
Televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition plans to distribute in Washington state an estimated 500,000 copies of its 1992 Voter Guide - a move one news report describes as part of a long-term plan for conservative Christians to control U.S. politics by the end of the century.
But Ralph Reed Jr., executive director of the Chesapeake, Va.-based coalition, called The Phoenix Gazette story "stupid" and said the Christian Coalition's guide was nonpartisan, laying out where candidates for the White House, Congress and the statehouse stand on issues ranging from abortion and gay rights to educational vouchers and a balanced-budget amendment.
In a recent phone interview with The Phoenix Gazette, Reed said that the war metaphor is apt.
"Mao Tse-Tung said politics is war without bloodshed," he said. "Clearly, there are some metaphors that sit nicely with politics."
2005: LA Times cited 1983 CATO Journal article as "the groundwork" for Bush's Social Security reform push
Back in 1997, proponents of overhauling Social Security met with the man who would become their most powerful convert: Texas Gov. George W. Bush, whose presidential ambitions were beginning to gel.
The governor dined with Jose Piñera, architect of Chile's 1981 shift from government pensions to worker-owned retirement accounts, in a meeting that helped bring Bush a big step closer to embracing a similar plan for Social Security in his emerging presidential platform.
"I think he wanted to support the idea but needed to be convinced," said Edward H. Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, who was at the dinner. "I really think Jose convinced him."
This week, President Bush's plan to allow younger workers to divert Social Security taxes into personal investment accounts will be a centerpiece of his State of the Union address and a barnstorming tour of the country. It is a tough sell to an uncertain public, but Bush has a secret weapon: A generation of free-market conservatives like Crane and Piñera has been laying the groundwork for this debate.
"It could be many years before the conditions are such that a radical reform of Social Security is possible," wrote Stuart Butler and Peter Germanis, Heritage Foundation analysts, in a 1983 article in the Cato Journal. "But then, as Lenin well knew, to be a successful revolutionary, one must also be patient and consistently plan for real reform."
Now, Bush is drawing on a deep reservoir of resources - including policy research, ready-to-hire experts and polling on how to discuss the issue - that conservatives have created over the last 20 years.
Heritage Foundation scholars Butler and Germanis' article headlined "Achieving a 'Leninist' Strategy."
In their 1983 article, Butler and Germanis write:
As we contemplate basic reform of the Social Security system, we would do well to draw a few lessons from the Leninist strategy. Many critics of the present system believe, as Marx and Lenin did of capitalism, that the system's days are numbered because of its contradictory objectives or attempting to provide both welfare and insurance. All that really needs to be done, they contend, is to point out these inherent flaws to the taxpayers and to show them that Social Security would be vastly improved if it were restructure into a predominantly private system. Convinced by the undeniable facts and logic, individuals supposedly would then rise up and demand that their representatives make the appropriate reforms.
Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation experts frequently appear on Beck's show.
According to a Nexis search, Cato and Heritage experts have appeared on Beck's show at least seven times apiece in the last six months. Beck is hosting people that work for organizations that employed or published people who called for the use of a Leninist strategy. That's only five degrees of separation between Beck and Lenin!
In the wake of Glenn Beck's rather bizarre one hour rant, in which he played a clip of White House communications director Anita Dunn calling Mao Tse-Tung one of her two "favorite political philosophers," along with Mother Theresa, the following excerpt from a December 2008 Karl Rove column in the Wall Street Journal seems relevant:
Rove: President Bush "encouraged me to read a Mao biography."
With only five days left, my lead is insurmountable. The competition can't catch up. And for the third year in a row, I'll triumph. In second place will be the president of the United States. Our contest is not about sports or politics. It's about books.
It all started on New Year's Eve in 2005. President Bush asked what my New Year's resolutions were. I told him that as a regular reader who'd gotten out of the habit, my goal was to read a book a week in 2006. Three days later, we were in the Oval Office when he fixed me in his sights and said, "I'm on my second. Where are you?" Mr. Bush had turned my resolution into a contest.
By coincidence, we were both reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals." The president jumped to a slim early lead and remained ahead until March, when I moved decisively in front. The competition soon spun out of control. We kept track not just of books read, but also the number of pages and later the combined size of each book's pages -- its "Total Lateral Area."
We recommended volumes to each other (for example, he encouraged me to read a Mao biography; I suggested a book on Reconstruction's unhappy end). We discussed the books and wrote thank-you notes to some authors.
Goldwater adviser: "in all ... campaigns where I have served as consultant I have followed the advice of Mao Tse-tung."
Here's another relevant passage, from Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics:
In his recent book, How to Win an Election, Stephen C. Shadegg cites a statement attributed to Mao Tse-tung: "Give me just two or three men in a village and I will take the village." Shadegg comments: " In the Goldwater campaigns of 1952 and 1958 and in all other campaigns where I have served as consultant I have followed the advice of Mao Tse-tung." "I would suggest," writes senator Goldwater in Why Not Victory? "that we analyze and copy the strategy of the enemy; theirs has worked and ours has not.
We've said it again and again: Conservatives, and especially conservative media critics, seem to have no real understanding of how journalism actually works, which means their critiques are often unintentionally comical.
Cue The Weekly Standard.
In full-on pity party mode over Limbaugh's failed Rams purchase, the Standard's John McCormack suggests CNN is guilty of "libel" because Rick Sanchez earlier this week attributed a quote about slavery to Rush Limbaugh; a quote which Limbaugh claims he never made.
Now, even based on that brief episode, the idea that McCormack reaches for "libel" simply illustrates he has no idea what the word means, at least not in the context of American journalism and the U.S. courts. The notion that Rush Limbaugh, a supremely public figure, could sue CNN for libel for attributing a quote to him which denies making is quite amusing.
But here's the real punchline. When Sanchez was notified that Limbaugh disputed the slavery quote, what did the CNN host do? Sanchez went on CNN and informed viewers about Limbaugh's denial.
This is what Sanchez said:
Among the news organizations that reported that [quote] yesterday was our show at 3:00. Limbaugh's response to this is -- and I -- we want to be fair to Rush -- he says: "We have gone back. We have looked at everything else, and there is not even an inkling that any of the words in that quote are accurate. It's outrageous."
So, Rush Limbaugh is denying that that quote has come from him. Obviously, that does not take away the fact that there are other quotes who have been attributed to Rush Limbaugh which many people in the African-American community and many other minority communities do find offensive.
In other words, Sanchez did what any respectable and responsible journalists would do when notified that he may have misspoke on the air. He returned to air and informed viewers. (This, of course, is something hosts on Fox News, and Limbaugh himself, religiously refuse to do.) Yet the Standard is still claiming that CNN might be guilty of "libel."
Like I said, conservatives know so little about journalism, half the time their critiques just make us laugh.
UPDATED: Honestly, is there anything more amusing than watching the GOP Noise Machine lecture people about accuracy and treating people fairly?
From an October 15 "You Decide" FoxNews.com poll:
FoxNews.com's poll is highlighted on the website's front page:
The countdown is on for the right-wing Oct. 17, rallies scheduled at media outlets across the country as "freedom-loving, American-loving, free-speech loving friends" gather to shout insults at news organization. Sounds like fun!
I already mocked the premise based simply on the idea that the Operation: Can You Hear Us Now is built upon the obvious lie that the media ignored conservatives when "about 2 million mad-as-hell taxpayers assembl[ed] in Washington, D.C. for the largest-ever (most well-behaved ever, most respectful ever) protest did not make it onto their radar screens (or our TV screens)." [Emphasis added.]
Um, no you didn't. (It was more like 70,000 protesters.) And yes, you did make into onto TV screens.
But the more I read about the plans for Oct. 17, the more I chuckle. For instance, right-wingers are urged to "Identify local left-wing media outlets" and then protest them this weekend. Activists are urged to "pick your least favorite, liberally biased outlet as ground zero."
So which media outlets do most protesters have their sights set on? Their local television channels, like Channel 4 KARK-TV in Little Rock, AK., and KSN-TV in Wichita, KS., and WLOS in Asheville, N.C. Do you see the irony? Right-wingers are going to protest local affiliates that barely even cover politics. They're going to picket TV channels that spend most of their news budgets covering local sports, weather and robberies. How exactly is local news "liberally biased"?
I can't wait to hear right-wingers air their grievances on Saturday.
And oh yeah, note that "liberally biased" KMPH in Fresno, CA. and KTMJ in Topeka, KS., are targeted for protest this week. And guess what? They're both Fox stations!
We assume today's Limbaugh program will be insufferable as the host wallows in his humiliating NFL defeat, emphasizing that his long history of hateful speech had nothing to do with the football league resoundingly rejecting his bid presence, and that he's simply a victim in this play; that he's the victim of misinformation! In fact, if you hear the sound of pounding in the background of the radio show today, it's probably Limbaugh trying to nail himself to the cross.
Of course, the talker already has lots of support within the GOP Noise Machine, which has decided that multi-millionaire Limbaugh's failed attempt at a vanity business deal represents the most pressing matter facing the conservative movement and America today. They've whipped themselves into a frenzy as they work overtime to convince themselves that Limbaugh's humiliating failure doesn't say anything about how the radical right in perceived by mainstream America. And that Limbaugh's humiliating rejection shouldn't for a moment be considered a slap in the face of the right-wing hate movement that Limbaugh leads.
Good luck with that.
UPDATED: To get a true sense of the incoherent right-wing reaction to the NFL public rejection of Limbaugh, please go read professional Palin pal John Ziegler's name-calling screed at Big Hollywood. It's priceless, as Ziegler asserts that everyone/anyone who dislikes Limbaugh's brand of hate is ignorant. (And yes, that includes pretty much the entire NFL.) And nobody has permission to criticize Oh Mighty Rush because he has free speech rights....or something. (Note to Ziegler: Free speech protects your right to say things. That doesn't mean people have to agree. Just sayin'.)
Here's what's so satisfying about watching the screaming and foot-stomping on the right: Limbaugh makes his living smearing and insulting anyone who disagrees with him. And then when he ventures out of his protected right-wing talk radio bubble and tries to become a player in mainstream American culture and he's resoundingly told to get lost because people don't like the the type of smears and insults he wallows in for a living, his allies announce it's not fair. They claim nobody is allowed to question Rush or his motives.
UPDATED: In an effort to explain away Limbaugh's failed bid, conservatives are now depicting the NFL (owners, players, etc.) as a collection of brain-dead fools. Specifically, writers like Andy McCarthy at NRO claim it was Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who alone turned the tide against Limbaugh in the NFL, and that the multi-billion dollar football industry was completely hoodwinked by a pair of "race baiters."
Hey, if makes you feel better Andy, then by all means keep believing it was Sharpton (who belatedly penned a single letter to the NFL) and Jackson (who also belatedly wrote a letter in protest) who ultimately convinced NFL millionaires to tell Rush to get lost.
P.S. McCarthy has no idea why people think Rush has a problem with race, because he treats people just like Martin Luther King did.
Right. And which MLK quote does this Limbaugh quip remind you of:
"We are being told that we have to hope [Obama] succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black."
UPDATED: Notes Salon's Joan Walsh:
Even as he denies it, Limbaugh is making himself the face of the Republican opposition, and today that face is puffy and tear-streaked and red with self-pitying rage.
UPDATED: Surprise! Limbaugh is serving a vintage whine this afternoon. And suddenly, the NFL, that GOP bastion which Limbaugh praised earlier this week as the undying object of his love and admiration, is a nothing more than a snake pit. It's "an outpost of liberalism and racism."
Now he tells us!
UPDATED: Rush dips into the classic rock archives and announces he's been the victim of a "high-tech lynching."
UPDATED: No, wait. It's all Bob Costas' fault!
UPDATED: And for the record, Limbaugh on his program today also blamed sports writers, Democrats, the players union, Al Sharpton, and Obama (among others) for the talker's humiliating purchase fiasco.
Like I mentioned at the top, that pounding you heard in the background of Limbaugh's show today was the sound of him trying to nail himself to the cross.
Could Limbaugh's unfolding NFL fiasco get any more humiliating after word leaked out late Wednesday that Limbaugh was no longer going to be part of a potential bid to buy the St. Louis Ram? Because reading the statement of Dave Checketts, the pro sports veteran who had initially teamed up with Limbaugh in hopes of landing the Rams, it's clear that Limbaugh was shoved off the bid--dropped like a low round draft pick--and done so in an unflattering, get-lost manner.
In the statement, there wasn't even the pretense of allowing Limbaugh to bow out gracefully with lots of double talk about how he didn't want to become a distraction, etc. Checketts simply confirmed that the investment group he was part of was "moving forward without" Limbaugh, who, thanks to his long record of hate speech, had nearly single-handedly sunk Checkett's chances of acquiring the Rams, as players and owners made clear this distaste for the turbo talker.
More humiliation? On his Wednesday radio program, Limbaugh had vowed to fight on with his pursuit of the Rams; that he would never back off:
"I'm not even thinking of exiting," Limbaugh said on his program, according to a transcript provided to ESPN. "I'm not even thinking of caving. I am not a caver. None of us are."
Well, technically I guess Limbaugh's Alamo-like claim was accurate, since he didn't "cave." But hours later Checketts did throw Limbaugh under the bus.
Enjoy the ride.
UPDATED: Here's the $64,000 question: Did Limbaugh's incessant on-air whining Wednesday about the coverage of the NFL story, and his eagerness to turn the story into a purely partisan one, seal his fate? Meaning, did Checketts and company tune in Wednesday and and hear Limbaugh's typically deranged brand of victimhood and realize that there was no possible way the NFL was ever--ever--going to allow Limbaugh within shouting distance of an owner's box, and that Limbaugh had to be thrown overboard immediately?
UPDATED: Right-wing bloggers are politely reporting that Limbaugh's bid attempt was "withdrawn." Right. Rush went on the radio vowing to never withdraw his bid and then hours later his partners released a press release and abruptly announced they were moving on without him. But in right-wing world that qualifies as Limbaugh having "withdrawn" his bid.
You know what they say about that river in Egypt...