Conservative Cannibals Feast on Their Own

It has been a fortnight to forget for conservatives. Over the last two weeks, the movement has seen more sniping, spur digging, hair pulling, eye gouging, mud wrestling, and general mayhem than it has at any similar time in memory. It has been Rush vs. Newt, Newt vs. Rushbots, Rush vs. Steele, Steele vs. The Base, Rush vs. Frum, Frum vs. The World, Brooks vs. Himself, along with various blog wars, pundit poundings, and the usual gaggle of internet assassins in the various comment sections of popular websites -- all having a merry old time flinging monkey feces at one another while America crashes down around their heads.

The right is in Dante's ninth circle of hell, condemned to be encased in solid ice with only their heads showing, with those positioned next to each other forced to gnaw on their neighbors' necks for sustenance. And the number one chomper by far in this "non-Divine Uncomedy" has been the man who claims his talent is "on loan from God" and who possesses the highest paid mouth in the political entertainment biz.

At $50 million year, Rush Limbaugh not only has talent on loan from the Almighty, he's so loaded he's probably capable of slipping Yaweh a few bucks if the Lord finds himself a little short before payday. And why not? Considering the year conservatives have had, Rush has earned every penny. No one doubts Limbaugh's influence on those who believe they receive the perceived conservative wisdom of the ages from Rush and other show biz righties on talk radio. Limbaugh performs a great service for the movement by boiling down conservative concepts into popcorn-sized chunks of patriotic pablum digestible by everyone, and then supplements the repast by slaughtering every known liberal sacred cow and doling out political red meat by the half shank. Liberals hate him because more often than not, he successfully points out their hypocrisy and sheer looniness, zinging them unmercifully in a highly entertaining and amusing fashion -- if you're a conservative.

But "more often than not" is the problem. On the air for 15 hours a week, Limbaugh sticks his foot in it at times. Or, as is more often the case, his intent is twisted so that what he says is deliberately misconstrued by his enemies to make him appear (choose one) heartless, racist, homophobic, or a hate monger.

The latest Rushism that has both conservative and liberal tongues wagging is his "I hope the president fails" remark that has now undergone its 112th reprinting and has been dissected, resected, and vivisected to the point that I challenge anyone to recall what Mr. Limbaugh's original intent was in making that statement back in January. Liberals pounced on the utterance, gearing up their internet cadres and the usual wailers and gnashers of teeth to take Limbaugh to task for his desire to see America suffer an economic Armageddon. Democratic congressmen and senators got on the Crush Rush bandwagon, while the party itself -- taking its marching orders directly from the White House, who apparently didn't have anything better to do in an economic crisis -- decided to use Limbaugh's face and pin it on the GOP donkey tail as "leader of the Republican Party."