Saturday, February 09, 2008

Talk show bust

Listening to conservative talk radio, as I am wont to do, has been a pleasant and satisfying experience the last couple of days. Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al, are having to come to grips with the fact that the next president will not only be one they didn't choose, but will be from their point of view one of the three worst possible choices (not counting Kucinich, who was never going anywhere). It's as if listeners tuned in to the blowhards, carefully considered what they had to say, then decided to adopt the exact opposite position.

So I got to hear Limbaugh this week responding to speculation that he is depressed. And Beck arguing that McCain should "French kiss" Limbaugh out of gratitude for showing liberals that it's OK to vote for McCain. And Hannity in nonstop self-aggrandizement mode, vowing not to surrender his "Reagan conservative" principles.

They all agree that it isn't conservatism that voters are rejecting, and I think they are right about that. At least not if one considers what always have seemed to me to be the traditional conservative principles: restraint in spending and size of government, reluctance to intervene overseas, a chief executive strictly constrained by Congress, and respect for traditional American beliefs of in liberty, courtesy toward opposing political positions and unstinting commitment to human decency.

I can't be sure what voters intend to say with their votes so far, but I hope it is this: They explicitly reject the world the talk show mavens have tried to create, a world in which political disagreement is an act of treason; where presidents, so long as they are Republicans, are free to create and ignore laws at will; where dissidents are punished and enemies are tortured; and where countries that pose us no threat are invaded at will.

That would be a conservative America that would mean something.


Vince said...

Your right, it was most entertaining to hear these pundits try to spin Tuesday's results that were as much a renouncement of the current administration as it was a slap in the face to any sway that talk radio thinks it has over the voters. Having a previous engagement during the Limbaugh show that aired after Romney dropped out, I found a copy online and made an attempt to listen to it. Rush was, IMHO, almost incoherent. He rambled on attempting to put out fire that hadn't started yet but sat in his glory since his whole three hours was about him.

Anonymous said...

David, I agree with you on this one. The so-called conservatives of 2008 are nothing but mean people, and as the bumper sticker says "mean people suck."
Maybe these guys have run their course. It is going to be hard for them to talk hours on end about Rs or Ds when they dislike them all. I am no McCain fan, but his seemingly certain nomination will give me lots of joy--listening to these pundits gagging as they try to justify why he should be elected.

Mark T said...

One aspect of conservatism: Realization that change must be restrained and prudent, that we must respect the wisdom of the past.

Your definition could fit liberalism as well - it could fit any philosophy that embodies human decency.