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Hullabaloo


Monday, March 11, 2013

 
Right wing mojo

by digby

Seeing that CPAC is having its annual confab, let's recall that four years ago at this time much of the country and the punditocracy was still aghast that Rush Limbaugh said he wanted the president to fail. Conservatives were still reeling a bit and liberals still had visions of hope and change in their heads.  And then Rush showed up at CPAC and CNN carried it live and suddenly ... everything changed:
At his closing speech at the CPAC conference, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh doubled down on his widely-controversial claim that he wanted President Barack Obama to fail, insisting that he meant what he said, and chastising those who were critical of him.

"This notion that I want the president to fail, this shows you the problem we've got. This is nothing more than common sense and to not be able to say it? Why in the world would I want what we just described: rampant government growth, wealth that is not being created yet is being spent? What is in this, what is possibly in this that any of us want to succeed? Did the Democrats want the war of Iraq to fail? They certainly did. And they not only wanted the war in Iraq to fail they proclaimed it a failure.... They hoped George Bush failed. So what is so strange about being honest and saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation?"

The crowd, watching in three individual ballrooms because of overcrowding, went absolutely wild.
Granted Rick Santelli had done his thing and the stimulus had barely passed and there was plenty of reason to believe that the conservatives would be anything but cooperative on health care reform. But I think old Rush gave the signal that they could be the jackasses they truly wanted to be. And they haven't looked back.

This time, I don't think it's anything specific. Rush has been doing his usual ranting. But as Ed Kilgore points out , they've found their mojo once again:
President Obama, having “shifted to the left” since winning re-election, is in a popularity free fall because of his harsh partisan treatment of Republicans and his false prophecies of the negative impact of the taste of austerity offered by an appropriations sequester his staff invented in the first place. Moderate Democrats are fleeing him in hordes, and/or preparing to triangulate against his old-school liberalism. 
Republicans, meanwhile, having “rebranded” themselves and shown they are willing to adjust to defeat by bravely attacking the memory of Todd Akin and considering a change in their posture on immigration that’s half-way down the path back to that of George W. Bush, have at the same time held fast on making “runaway spending” their obsession. And they have a new hero: Rand Paul, whose 13-hour filibuster last week showed that principle-based confrontation is the best, the only, the eternal way to secure conservative victory. 
If you’ve watched all this and gotten a distinct whiff of 2009, you’re not the only one. The arrival this week of a new and more radical Ryan Budget will spread this impression more widely.
The truth is that they never really lose their mojo.  They might lie back for a little while and catch their breath.  But I'm fairly sure that even during the depression they were as hardcore as ever. They were just weaker. And the question we really need to ask ourselves is how they are able to dominate our politics even when they are in the minority.


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