Opinion: So if Rush runs the GOP, does Michael Moore head the Dems?


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Here’s something we simply could not resist -- from one of our favorite blogs, The Moderate Voice. Which, yes, is an oxymoron for such a time of incivility and financial decay. But maybe if more ... . Oh, never mind. It’s hopeless.

Anyway, our buddy Joe Gandelman runs the thoughtful site and had his assistant editor, Jazz Shaw (this week’s winning byline, and it’s only Tuesday), explore an unlikely but provocative topic: Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore, mirror images in parallel political universes.

Right now, the party of O appears to be giving up on labeling the Republicans as the party of No. At least until there are more party-line votes.


And Rahm Emanuel, that %&*$#+ Chicago political gutfighter, is feigning acknowledgment that history’s most successful radio talk show host is now the titular head of the GOP, making it the party of Rush. Which MSNBC loves to chew on.

We can picture Emanuel, Begala, Carville and Stephanopoulos cackling over that plan in their morning strategy phone chats each day. And until new Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele gains his sea-legs and learns to laugh with Limbaugh, the Republicans do seem rudderless in the bright light emitted by the great Orb.

But this is all actually a familiar pattern in the regenerative process of American parties after historic spankings at the polls.

When Ronald Reagan squeaked past Walter Mondale in 1984, winning only 49 states, the Democrats fought and struggled mightily and delivered forth a 1988 presidential candidate named Michael Dukakis, who was promptly sent off to teach somewhere by that Wimpy Bush I.

The Republicans could confront the same fate in 2012 if Obama parts the economic Red Sea and fixes everything that he’s told us is so very wrong. On the other hand ... .

So while Republicans sort out which governor or ex-governor becomes their real leader, Rush the showman steps into the media void with some provocative statements that are clearly so stupid his audience of devotees will probably grow to 25 million this week. If he keeps screwing up like this, Limbaugh might have to endure a huge raise come contract time. And pass out more large cigars all around.

Anyway, back to Jazz Shaw, who sees some pretty amazing similarities between the two large showmen -- Rush and Michael ‘I Do Love My Baseball Cap’ Moore. One is selling a radio show; the other is selling a picture show. And their opponents love to hate each, which in show biz is so very much better than indifference.


We won’t ruin the reading experience. You can find Shaw’s whole piece over here at TMV. Or go to their homepage and scroll down.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo (top): Michael Moore. Credit: WireImage

Photo (bottom): Rush Limbaugh. Credit: Associated Press