Republicans And The Rush Limbaugh Southern Strategy

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[Publisher's Commentary]

We have now witnessed a dry run to the 2012 Presidential elections.

Boy is it ugly. It gets even uglier next year when the Obama Administration tackles immigration reform.

The forces of evil that would like to wind the clock back to the 1950s will come out even stronger.

They will use posters with images of Mexicans and portray them as leeches in the United States; President Obama will be called all sorts of racist names and accused of wanting to "give away the country" to illegal Mexican aliens.

The Republicans had been relatively mute for many months. They knew they could not hold their own glass of water when it came to debating President Obama on the issues that have roiled the land: the war in Iraq and Afghanistan; the economic meltdown; the need for healthcare reform; the need to Wall Street reform; and the need for America to regain global respectability.

They were embarrassed that the uncouth, race-baiting, former drug abuser, Rush Limbaugh had emerged as Party spokesperson. Michael Steele, the RNC chairman even told Limbaugh to go away. Limbaugh ordered Steele to the back of the bus; literally, as when he told Steele to "get back."

Then, it dawned upon Republican strategists that the Limbaugh approach was not that bad after all. While you're engaged in hurling loud abusive language, regardless of the truth in what you say, no one will focus on the issues that need to be debated.

So the Republicans adopted the Limbaugh Southern Strategy.

The strategy will be employed from now on against each and every one of the major policy initiatives that this president attempts for the remainder of his Administration. A number of points deserve some scrutiny.

First of all, no one can convince me that anyone who shows up at a Town Hall meeting holding a sign bearing a Swastika,
or with an image of President Obama drawn with the Fuhrer's mustache, and accusing the president of being "Hitler," is a person that is interested in healthcare reform. Yet, many of these dangerous elements are showing up at the "healthcare reform" meetings.

They are egged on by Right wing radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, both of whom, since lynching is now outlawed, preach the language of assassination, in not very subtle terms.

Limbaugh has compared the Democrats to the Nazi party and Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being anti-white and a "racist;" all of these volatile and reckless false attacks are meant to generate maximum anger towards the president among the white populace; ideally, to spark anger from elements that are unstable within that populace.

Limbaugh and Glenn Beck both know the consequences of their combustible words; especially just eight months from a highly polarized election. What have their false accusations got to do with healthcare reform? Absolutely nothing.

It's as clear as daylight that Limbaugh and Glenn Beck advocate bloodshed; and the blood will be on their hands if any one of their followers--one man showed up with a gun at a "healthcare reform" town hall meeting -- follows through with what these two demons are suggesting.

Even people who should know better have joined the hate-fest, including a former Governor who thought that Africa was a country. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and many Republicans are still fighting last year's election.

Stunned by the brilliance of Obama, they are now trying to nullify the election results by promoting national hooliganism as the substitute for responsible opposition. They don't mind pushing this country into chaos just because they cannot wait four-and-a-half years to give it another go at the polls. They also know they could likely lose again.

Palin talks of the proposed healthcare reform as comprising of government bureaucrats who would act as a "death panel" in determining whether people were deemed worthy of treatment or not. Can Americans be so gullible as to even imagine that there is any semblance of reality in what Palin suggests? Unfortunately, yes; there are enough people out there. Recall the elderly woman who confronted John McCain at one of his campaign stops last year and told him that she did not trust Obama because she had read on the Internet that he was "an Arab."

Republicans have decided to take their chances with the hooligans rather than the more risky outcome of debates. After all, they remember what happened to John McCain.

The hooliganism promoted by elements of the Republican Party is working, because, as usual, the Democrats were caught napping and didn't quickly counter the lies.

Perhaps some of them were still in post-election celebratory mode. There are many Americans of all political affiliation who are concerned about the cost of healthcare reform. But the Republican machine has effectively blurred the line between those who showed up to the town hall meetings out of genuine concern, and those who were professional hatemonger out to disrupt debates.

How is hooliganism working? A Wall Street Journal Poll in mid-June found Americans evenly split when asked if they believed the president's healthreform plan was "good" or "bad." The same poll, taken over the third week of July found only 36 percent saying it was a "good" idea while 42 percent now maintain that it's a "bad" idea.

What caused these figures to change so dramatically when there has been no effective debate? Intimidation by the hooligans and cluelessness by some media outlets that insist on beaming the images of a few outrageous loudmouths, repeatedly, as if they were representative of the majority of Americans.

Recently, even Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who supposedly is one of the more reasonable voices for healthcare reform in the Republican party, told a rally that he would not support a plan that would allow the government to "pull the plug" on Grand Ma. He does not even deserve to be a United States Senator with such ugly baiting.

So what is to be done? The trajectory of healthcare spending cost makes it inevitable for some form of reform to be passed.
Overall, Americans support healthcare reform. The cost of 47 million uninsured Americans will destroy the system for even those with insurance because they'll continue to subsidize those without coverage.

Ultimately, the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks will also be held at bay. This is because this president was elected primarily with the vote of younger Americans. These Americans are increasingly more enlightened and less susceptible to the hateful rhetoric coming from people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, both of whom, are still peddling the hatreds of their forefathers.

Limbaugh and Glenn Beck still see America in terms of "Little Rock" --as when Southern whites used to yell racist insults at young African Americans integrating schools. Younger Americans will move this country forward. They were the ones who helped elect President Obama.

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