Listening to Rush Limbaugh today provided more evidence that Conservatives just don’t know how to play the game. Rush was reviewing the positions taken by Republicans and Democrats regarding more tax increases onn the Sunday morning talk shows. Not surprisingly, Democrats are taking the position that there’s more money to be taken from the “rich” by eliminating “loop-holes” and deductions that ordinary citizens don’t get. Republicans, to their credit, were all reading from the same script saying that further discussion of taxes is off the table – that issue having been resolved by the fiscal cliff “solution.”
Now progressive media will parrot the Democrats talking points, and in the process further their position that the rich should pay more. This is how they play the game. They take the left’s position and give it credence and a greater audience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s based upon fact, truth, or whether it’s an outright lie. The progressive media is on-board with the left and dutifully play their part. They don’t engage in a circular firing squad and challenge the position of their side. Rather, they advance it. Of course there should be yet higher taxes on the rich. Spending cuts – well they’re off the table.
The disservice Rush and other Conservative media provide is that they challenge the positions taken by Republicans that further discussion should be about spending, not taxes. They make it easier for the progressive media and Democrats to advance the left’s argument, and making it harder to advance the right’s argument. By criticizing the position being taken by Republicans, Rush and others are agreeing with Democrats that spending cuts are off the table. Now they don’t come out and say they agree, but they ridicule Republicans for taking such a position. And in doing so they provide support to the Democrat position, and weaken the Republican position.
And the reason Rush challenges the Republican position that tax hikes are off the table is – ready for this – because Democrats say it is! Well who cares what they say! To play the game we need media that will advance the Republican position, not poke holes in it. Now to be clear, I’m not saying the Conservative media should just parrot what Republicans say. But in this case, why not? Why not advance the argument that taxes are and should be off the table? Why not direct the discussion towards spending? It’s neither disingenuous nor misleading.
But instead of a supportive Conservative media, we get a circular firing squad. Conservative “talkers” poking holes in the positions taken by Republicans. Making the job of Democrats and their media that much easier. For all the reverence to Ronald Reagan, why do they always ignore the Eleventh Commandment (credited to Reagan but actually created by California Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson): “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
Rush and others can and should do better. For as long as Rush has been behind the microphone, it appears there’s more he can learn.