Post-Beck CPAC, Rush defends GOP

This post originally appeared at MatthewHurtt.com:

Rush Limbaugh defended Republicans today in the wake of Glenn Beck’s criticisms during his keynote address on Saturday night at CPAC. Let’s take a listen:

Rush disagrees that the GOP should be lumped into the same boat with Democrats as responsible for the increased spending and debt based on the words and actions of Marco Rubio, who has never held federal office. To me, Rush uses faulty logic to defend the GOP. His argument, if you listen to it carefully, is pretty weak.

Beck’s speech highlights the excesses of Congressional Republicans and Democrats. He claims Democrats tax and spend, while Republicans spend without (increasing) taxes. His assessment is pretty spot on. Post-9/11 and Katrina, Congressional Republicans, who were in power, spent and spent and spent. Fiscal constraint was practically outlawed in Washington during the Bush Administration and Republican control of Congress.

And it’s true, conservatives and Republicans should have said something sooner.

Limbaugh introduces to his listeners a red herring: that Marco Rubio spoke at CPAC is supposed to somehow change the fact that Republicans spent like drunken sailors in Washington. The two are totally unrelated.

Largely, folks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and others are shills for the Republican agenda. I realize that. People who don’t realize that are either intellectually dishonest or intellectually devoid. Listen to either on any given day of the week, and they’re defending GOP policies no matter how inconsistent they may seem. Hannity got the Chris Matthews-style tingle everytime he talked about George Bush. To an independent-minded conservative like me, it’s an insult.

BUT, I digress… Even Mark Levin got in on the Beck-hate today:

It feels like Levin’s argument is very similar to Limbaugh’s. He seems to suggest that Americans (read: tea partiers) are merely angry at Obama and his policies, and that there’s no malice toward Republicans. This is a lie. I can’t possibly imagine that either Limbaugh or Levin actually believe what they’re peddling.

Back to Limbaugh’s point: He suggests that because Marco Rubio spoke at CPAC, that Republicans now “get it.” There are, in fact, Republicans who “get it.” Rubio is one; George Will is one; Jim DeMint is one. None of these individuals currently drive policy in the House, the Senate, or the White House.

So, while some “get it,” there are others who do not. Mitch McConnell doesn’t get it; John Boehner doesn’t get it; Lamar Alexander doesn’t get it. These are all Republicans who hold significant leadership roles in Congress. Marco Rubio can get it all the way down in Florida, but if the people who are making the decisions don’t understand why Americans are angry, then it doesn’t matter.

Glenn Beck hit the nail on the head, and it is clear that his allegiance is to neither party: Republican nor Democrat. It is also clear that both Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have sworn allegiance to the Republican Party. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. They should just be more forthright about their interests. Intentionally misleading their listenership doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t allow Republicans to grow and change – to improve.

As Beck said, I don’t believe the Republican Party has had it’s “come to Jesus” moment, and as RNC Chairman Michael Steele said, I don’t believe they’re ready to lead in Congress. I’m 100% behind eliminating the Democratic majority, but I’m not in favor of replacing it with a party that will promise to do the opposite, but turn around and do the same thing as the Democrats once they get into power.

Matthew Hurtt graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in May 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. He can be reached at [email protected].