This may come as a surprise for some of you, but as it turns out, Rush Limbaugh really is a big, fat idiot. I’m referring to this Think Progress piece on Limbaugh’s “strategy” for handling the Gonzales thing, in which Rush is quoted saying:
RUSH: I have to tell you something, folks. I’m embarrassed, once again, by our side, some of the Republicans up in Washington. It just appears that they cannot think strategically. They have no idea how to circle the wagons around their own.
And of course the real problem for the Bushies is that this controversy is a real timebomb for them, and if they circle the wagons, it might blow them all up. That the reason why they can’t put up a defense is because there is no defense, and that continuing to defend Gonzales might possibly be worse than tossing him out. I don’t know how these people got to be so in love with always winning on every issue, but a knee-jerk defense of everything your side does isn’t a strategy. And in this case, it’s suicide.
As Kenny Rogers explained, you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run. But to Rush Limbaugh, you should never fold, walk, or run. You just keep on bluffing on every hand, no matter how bad your cards are. And once your opponent knows that you’re always going to bluff, they’re always going to call your bluff. And he calls that strategy.
But this has bigger implications for the Republicans. Because the biggest thing that continues to screw them over, besides that they’re pushing an unpopular agenda that they have to hide with smoke & mirrors, is that people like Limbaugh have promised undying loyalty, no matter how badly the politicians screw-up. And so there’s no incentive for the politicians to do a good job. Limbaugh’s given Bush a free pass to do whatever the hell he wants, and Bush has taken advantage of it. Sure, there is sense to Rush’s strategy, as it’s terribly dumb to always give-up your guys too early. But again, you’ve got to know when to fold them; and that’s something that Rush insists is bad strategy.
Of course, the problem for Republicans on this one is that this clearly isn’t limited to Gonzales. He’s taking all the heat, because he was the one who signed off on it. But it’s obvious that the decision wasn’t his at all. Gonzo has to go because he allowed the political operatives to usurp his authority. But he’s just the beginning. And it ends with taking out the political operatives who did this. And that means Rove and his minions; and really goes all the way to the top. The only mistake Gonzales made was being the kind of guy they’d want for the job; and that’s reason enough to get rid of him. Yes-Men should always be kept in advisory positions; not executive positions.
And so that’s the real reason why they need to circle the wagons in this case. Not for the grand purpose of denying the Dems a victory. But for continuing to keep up the illusion that they haven’t done anything wrong. Gonzo’s fall is proof that his masters did something wrong. But he’s still the timebomb all the same and really does need to go. With that disgraceful Senate performance, he’s clearly outlived his usefulness and is now radioactive to all of them.
And in the end, the big problem for Republicans is that they’re never holding any good cards. And that just comes back to the fact that Limbaugh and his ilk have insisted they’ll defend Republicans no matter how bad the cards are. And so the strategy that they need for protection is the very one that keeps getting them in trouble in the first place. As I said, Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.