Michael Steele's Rush Limbaugh gaffe and how to go forward to victory

by CynthiaYockey on March 3, 2009

Little Miss Attila kindly asked me what I thought of this post at her blog, and here is my answer:

My concern with Steele’s put-down of Limbaugh is that it makes me question his personality, his judgment and his qualifications for the job of chairman of the Republican National Committee, which Rush correctly pointed out is not the same as being the leader of the Republican Party and is definitely not the same as being the leader of the conservative movement.

To the extent that a leader articulates principles and inspires people to adopt and advance them, then Rush Limbaugh is indeed the leader of conservatism right now and he proved it with his CPAC speech, which I heard in its entirety in one of the overflow rooms thanks to having the sense to stay put in my chair after the Conservatism 2.0 session ended.

As a brand new conservative who has only ever heard snippets of Limbaugh from the MSM, along with its demonization of him, I was absolutely flabbergasted at how warm, compassionate, inclusive, courageous and insightful his speech was. I’m glad my remarks from the first session of Conservatism 2.0 are on PJTV video so I can prove this isn’t a “me too” statement regarding Rush’s comments about conservatism and the individual: what I said there is that the essence of conservatism is about creating the conditions for individuals to succeed AND the reason that conservatism isn’t selling as well now as it used to is that the victim entitlement demagogues, especially lesbians — my people — and African-Americans (Wright, Sharpton, Jackson, ACORN leaders et al.), have successfully stolen the dreams and ambitions of their constituents by persuading them that they have no power as individuals to succeed due to various all-powerful demons (who are usually white, not that there’s anything racist about that).

Obama personifies this pernicious, soul-killing ideology, and the reason people were open to him as a savior, and to the idea that big government is their salvation, is this loss of belief in themselves, their inability to imagine that they could succeed as individuals instead of giving up their individuality to become true believers in a conformist and totalitarian mass movement dependent on a big government nanny state to take care of them.

In his CPAC speech on Saturday (2/28), Rush pointed out how conservatism loves individuals and wants everyone to succeed. But the reason I jumped out of my chair on Thursday at Conservatism 2.0, and that I am going to keep banging this drum, is that longterm fiscal conservatives — I know I’m repeating myself — are acting like there’s something wrong with their ideas and that modifying them will be the key to current and future success.

NO! NO! NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIMES, NO!

The necessary condition for condition for fiscal conservatism to succeed is that the majority of the population MUST believe they can succeed as individuals in realizing their goals. START THERE, conservatives, and victory is in your grasp.

Remember, the number of people that conservatives need to reach with this message is not overwhelming.

In the 2008 election, 58,343,671 people — 46 percent of votes cast — believed in themselves as individuals, rejected Obama’s flim-flammery and voted for McCain/Palin; 66,882,230 people — 53 percent of votes cast — voted for Obama, some as true believers who wanted a savior; and some as idealists-cum-suckers-who-will-spend-the-rest-of-their-lives-with-trust-issues-when-they-wake-up, who believed in his magical powers to make mutually exclusive things exist simultaneously in the same space.

A seven percent margin of victory, when it is comprised centrists who did not pay attention to the candidates until the last two weeks before Election Day (if ever), of the hopeless, the suckers/idealists — and, it has to be said, the ACORN coalition of the existentially-challenged, serial voters who cast ballots in multiple states, and illegal aliens eager to support an “open borders” candidate — is not an overwhelming number of people to reach in order to turn the tide.

We can do this, people!

During CPAC I felt a special calling to reach and free my people — the lesbians who have been rendered helpless and hopeless by women who have exploited and deluded them. Surely this has to compare with birds returning to Noah during the flood with branches in their beaks — a harbinger that the time adrift will soon be over. If CPAC did this for me, I think it was a success.

Now, to return to the doubts Steele’s remarks about Rush inspired in me.

First, Steele’s response to Hughley, who was a thoughtful interlocutor, to me sprang from a wounded ego. If so, that’s a personality problem that suggests he does not belong in the job of RNC chairman. If he is so easily shamed and can be gotten to respond so inappropriately so easily, he is now the bitch of Obama, who is the master of manipulation.

Second, when you’re down, you don’t get up by forming a circular firing squad, especially when your judgment is so poor that you take a shot at your movement’s most popular talk show host immediately after he has inspired and energized your base.

Third, making rookie mistakes like this after serving in elective office, non-entity that he was as Maryland’s lieutenant governor, suggests Steele does not have the qualifications to be a successful chairman of the Republican National Committee.

I have to admit, my own lukewarm support of Steele went cold at CPAC when an AOL reporter, who interviewed me, asked for my reaction to Steele’s statements about gay marriage on the Mike Gallagher show — it was the first I’d heard about them:

GALLAGHER: Is this a time when Republicans ought to consider some sort of alternative to redefining marriage and maybe in the road, down the road to civil unions. Do you favor civil unions?

STEELE: No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you, crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country? I mean this isn’t something that you just kind of like, “Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage.” […]

GALLAGHER: So no room even for a conversation about civil unions in your mind?

STEELE: What’s the difference?

(Quoted at thinkprogress.org.)

My reply to the AOL reporter was that Steele may be more committed to Black Liberation Theology than anyone realizes. This thought occurred to me because black ministers in Maryland are very active in opposing equal rights and marriage for gays. I wonder how much influence they have had on Steele, and how much he is beholden to them? I am thankful that former Gov. Parris Glendening got a state-wide civil rights law protecting the rights of homosexuals to jobs and housing passed, in memory of his gay brother who died of AIDS.

It is this toxic betrayal of the “rainbow coalition” promise by black ministers that was the second thing to turn me against Obama during the primaries. (The first was his support of open borders. I lived for many years in a community overwhelmed by illegal aliens and while they are divided by an almost infinite number of hatreds, the two things they agree on is that women are property and gays should be killed. So I do not feel the least hateful about insisting our borders should be secure and illegal aliens returned to their homelands forthwith. To say nothing of the fact that tolerating breaking our laws by anyone makes a sap out of everyone who plays by the rules — nothing is more corrupting to the social contract.)

Conservatives can come to blows on many hot-button issues — gay marriage; don’t ask, don’t tell; illegal immigration; and abortion — but what won my heart at CPAC was the willingness of the speakers and everyone I met to emphasize our common ground that conservatism is about creating the conditions for individuals to succeed. Now we have to be the ones that inspire people to believe in themselves again. We took it for granted they still do, but a critical number had lost faith in themselves without our realizing it and the victim identity predators got them.

Our message is the one that will free them and show them the way to fulfill their full potential. To get them to believe in themselves again so they can connect with what conservatism has to offer, how about adapting this message from Napoleon Hill (author of “Think and Grow Rich”)?: What you can conceive, and believe, you can achieve. If that phrase seems corny to you, get over it. Do that because it will turn the tide for conservatism with a speed that will confound and astonish Obama and his fellow purveyors of confusion, helplessness, hopelessness and doom. That is because it has magic and power in it, because it connects with everyone’s deepest longing and unleashes their power, and because the best way to fight darkness is to turn on the light.

P.S.

Since we lesbians and gays do not have a national civil rights law to protect our rights to jobs and housing, quite a lot of us have to be entrepreneurs and make our own jobs. Conservatives, do you know what that means? It means that lesbians and gays are YOUR natural constituency, not liberalism’s. Think about that and let it sink in. Gays and lesbians ALONE would have swung the election to McCain/Palin. Plus, we’re fighting to be allowed to marry and to serve our country. Seriously, if THAT’S what we’re fighting for, how evil can we be?

P.P.S.

Cuban Diva BFF loves talk radio and just sent me an e-mail with a screenshot from Rush’s Web site home page from 3/2/09 with this pertinent quote from Rush:

Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left-wing Democrat president and a left-wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda — if it’s your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans — I think you have some explaining to do.  Why are you running the GOP?

Rush provides the full transcript here and it turns out he’s gone to bat for Steele more than once and really put himself on the line on Steele’s behalf. Now I think Steele should step down immediately, if Republicans want to win in 2010. He is too inept and disloyal for the job.

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  • I know you are no fan of Steele’s, but I still think that he brings considerable charisma to the table. This was a serious misstep, but he is new to this position.

    And he will not be formulating policy. And he is actively listening to fresh voices in New Media on how best to go forward from here.

    As with any new employee who showed great promise but made a bad mistake, I would prefer to give this guy a chance–especially since I feel that building the party may have every bit as much to do with what we do on the grass roots, versus what Steele accomplishes.

    We are going viral on our activism and our protests; the RNC need only capitalize on our efforts. It need not lead them.

    I’m willing to give the guy another chance. After all, Obama made mistakes this big on his first day . . .

    • Joy, you are the soul of charity and the embodiment of wisdom! (I really do talk that way.) I think your take will be the prevailing one.

      And perhaps the analogy to Obama is apt, since Obama has managed to keep his narcissism mostly in check, Steele may be able to do the same.

      By the way, the way to recognize someone with narcissism is to rate their ability to create shame out of thin air, or out of proportion to the provocation, as in Steele’s case. You know a narcissist feels shamed — either by someone else’s superiority or by a perceived insult — when he or she suddenly starts putting others down. I find knowing this makes their tantrums almost funny. This trait and the Democrats obvious skill at exploiting it are my enduring concern about Steele.

  • Cousin Dave

    Welcome to the conservative movement, Cynthia! I jumped over here from a comment you posted at Dr. Melissa’s.

    I have to admit that I’m getting a laugh out of the White House’s attemps to “smear” conservatives by portraying Rush as the leader of the conservative moment. Because, of course, it’s true: Rush is the leader of the conservative movement. An audience of 20 million — about 1 out of every 4 conservative voters — is all the proof needed. One thing about Rush, which I think you picked up from his speech, but it bears repeating: He is often portrayed in the mainstream media as a Bible-thumping social conservative, but he’s not. He leans libertarian. Yes, he discusses social issues on his show, but only once do I recall him ever advocating an authoritarian solution to a social issue, and that was a long time ago.

    I favor Dr. Helen’s position on civil unions: they should be available to any two people who wish to combine their lives, whether for love, sex, children, or any other reason. Separate the civil and legal aspect from the religious aspect. Churches can continue to conduct marriages, and can marry or refuse to marry whoever they want, but legally, the marriage would just be a civil union. If someone wants to start a church that only marries gay couples, it’s no skin off my nose; legally, their marriage is a civil union, just like mine. You will run into a problem that gays don’t talk about much: family courts, which these days seem to delight in destroying families and awarding free rides to irresponsible parents, while punishing responsible ones. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that gay couples won’t encounter most of the same problems that straights do.

    I have to admit to concerns about gay couples raising children, but the data so far is really sketchy. We do know this: although the jury isn’t in yet, the data is indicating that single parenting is, on average, harmful to children. And the problem appears to be the lack of a role model for the “missing” sex. Gay couples will have to figure out how they are going to address that.

  • Cousin Dave

    Ha. My very first comment here, and I forgot to close a tag… [red face]

    • Cousin Dave,

      Welcome! Thanks for dropping by! Please come back!

      It’s been awhile since I read about research on how children fare in same-sex families, but what I read said they did well. I really don’t think the jury is out on this.

      Gays are adopting their life partner’s children, which gives the children the security and stability of knowing that at least two parents are committed to their welfare. Gays also are adopting unwanted children who otherwise would end up bouncing around the foster care system, which dumps them cold when they are 18. Getting loving parents who have committed for a LIFETIME in that situation has got to feel like winning the lottery. If the real choice is straight-couple foster care and getting put out at 18 versus a lifetime commitment from same-sex parents, it has to be in the best interest of children to open up adoption to the same-sex parents who are making a life-time commitment to them.

  • I suggest ppl take a listen to rush’s spiel before “deciding” he’s such a warm compassionate conservative. (personally, i think he’s apolitical. he’s simply an entertainer who’s locked-in a profitable lifelong audience)
    btw, “liberals” are more often true entrepreneurs (IOW, not Entrepreneurs™©) having been excluded from the mainstream business kleptocracy. but you won’t read about these ppl in the business or “jobs” sections of the paper. and the repugs aren’t going to find a true joe-the-plumber.

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