I believe that in the last three or four elections, Rush has been the Progressive's best player.
I guess I'm a fiscal conservative but socially liberal on just about everything. As a USMC combat vet in Viet Nam (III MAF, I Corps) I recall listening often to Paul Harvey's take on the news of the day, and he struck me as sensible and moderate. I suspect that this is the kind of icon that Rush would like to be but simply cannot help himself in his horrific racism and sexism under the guise of tweaking the left and firing up his base.
More bad than good. Clearly, he has converted some listeners to conservatism, but his strident tone tends to give a bad image to the Republican Party. His attack on Sandra Fluke clearly hurt the party in the 2012 elections, but Republican politicians outside the Northeast have to be careful about criticizing him because of his popularity among much (though clearly not all) of the Republican base. In the pre-Limbaugh period, Republicans won 5 of the 6 Presidential elections from 1968 through 1988, but since his broadcasting went nationwide in 1989, we have won only two of six, and won the popular vote in only one of six. He seems to thrive on opposition to Democratic Presidents, and it is not at all clear that Republican victories in Presidential elections are helpful to his brand. So he is unlikely to urge his listeners to get behind the most electable conservative candidate, which in 2012 was clearly Romney.
Interesting analysis, Anon.
Why are all the conservative commenters anonymous?
I'm not a conservative, but definitely lean that way on fiscal issues. But I have tried to figure out Rush's style and influence on the GOP. His style has been terrible in that he provides good verbiage for bad ideas. He's not honest in his examination of issues, but he sounds good. That has seriously decreased good analysis. He pretends his listeners are the soul of the GOP, but he fakes humility about being their spokesman. Some examples here and here.
Correction--fake humility about NOT being their spokesman.
Excellent for conservatives. I don't agree with him on most things, but Limbaugh provides much-needed ballast to one side of the spectrum. Let's face it, the Republican leaders are mostly power-hungry RINOs who would have happily nodded Obamacare through if they thought they could get away with it. People like Limbaugh help hold their feet to the fire, which is doubly necessary in the Republican party because the toxic institutional incentives of Washington militate always for larger federal control and destruction of liberty.
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect