I've been highly critical of the Democrats in the past for appearing to be a bunch of spineless cowards who suffer from a nasty case of group-think. I am starting to think that maybe it is just something that happens to the party that is not in power. How many Republicans have tried to stand up to Rush Limbaugh? Each time, they come crawling back on their hands and knees, begging forgiveness like a worm. How embarrassing. Meanwhile, there are no new messages coming from the GOP. Just the same old messages, only this time shouted, by what appear to be more angry and intolerant masses of people.
Limbaugh's sudden elevation has been an interesting phenomenon. Evidence is beginning to surface that it is actually a political strategy, hatched in the upper eschelons of the Obama administration, with Rahm Emanuel (Obama's Chief of Staff). Barack Obama was able to win the general election because he appealed to moderates and independents. This is the group of voters, which includes yours truly, that the GOP needs to coax back if they are ever to regain power. So the plan is simple. Rush Limbaugh is extremely unpopular with centrist voters, so the Democrats deliberately elevated Limbaugh to be the face of the Republican Party.
The GOP has walked right into the trap. The fact that some politicians have tried to stand up to Rush, but were quickly put back in line, makes the party look weak and confirms peoples' suspicions that Rush controls the party. Limbaugh-in-charge strengthens the hand of the reactionary, anti-intellectual, gay bashing, evangelical, anti-evolution wing of the party. This was the sect embodied by Sarah Palin, not John McCain, and spoken for by evil men (Karl Rove), stupid men (Joe the Plumber), obnoxious she-men (Ann Coulter), and serially incorrect men (Bill Kristol). It was these people, not John McCain, that centrist voters categorically rejected in the elections of 2006 and 2008.
I can assure any conservatives that are reading this that centrist voters will not be moving back to the GOP until this wing of the Republican Party has been sidelined by a newer generation of cerebral, reasonable, respectful leaders. If someone in the GOP grows some balls and starts standing up to these fools soon, there may be time to salvage the party's reputation in time for a run at the 2012 election (David Petraeus/Mitch Daniels anyone?). If not, its going to be a long and well deserved vacation in the political wilderness.
As an American I don't particularly like to see the further disintegration of the GOP because I think a viable opposition party will help check the Dems' bad tendencies. That being said, it is striking how one man was able to completely change the Democratic Party. Obama and his team's political skills are beyond exceptional; the GOP continues to underestimate what they are up against. One day, its leaders will wake up to the fact that the opposition is no longer led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
*** Update ***
Obama currently running with 61-24 approval ratings for Independents. Meanwhile, even "moderate" GOP "intellectuals" have such an anti-Obama slant that they have even attempted to blame the faltering economy on Barack Obama. The absurdity of that is almost overwhelming.