This is a fascinating moment. Rush Limbaugh tries to fathom just why any leading Repubican would trash Sarah Palin as the Al Sharpton of the right. Part of this, to my mind, has to be Limbaugh's deeply ingrained racism. To compare a Republican white woman with a Democratic black man prompts this kind of response:
Look, I could understand not wanting her to be the nominee, I can understand thinking there's somebody better, but this? There's an all-out assault on her by our guys that puzzles me -- and now this latest to say that she's Al Sharpton? Our version of Al Sharpton in Alaska? So you guys gotta help me out out there. Somebody's gonna have to explain this to me because it makes no sense. You know, I'm totally immersed in logic and common sense, and some of this doesn't register that way for me. I don't get it.
He sees Sharpton as a criminal, and fails to see the identity politics point these writers were obviously making. But in some sense all this is moot for Rush. His standard is not that high:
I'd vote for Elmer Fudd if the Republicans nominated him, if Obama's the Democrat.
When that's your basic standard, you can see why Palin passes (though she knows a little less about hunting than Fudd). Meanwhile, Rush's emails keep flooding in:
Some of them say: "You stupid fool, don't you know it's because they're jealous of her?" That seems to be, by the way, the number one explanation from people answering the question.
Charles Krauthammer is jealous of Sarah Palin? Ooookaaaay. Rush's stab at his own answer:
I think the simple explanation here is, if you want to be an accredited intellectual, one of the tests is, do you hate Sarah Palin? Do you think she represents a pox? Is she a danger to whatever? If you do, then you will pass the test and you are, therefore, an accredited intellectual.
Then this possibility:
There are, I think, elements of the conservative intellectual movement today who are looking to be the next Buckley excommunicating the next Bircher, whoever it might be, movement individual, what have you.
But Rush swiftly moves to say that Palin is no Bircher, even though she clearly received some mail from them. Then a few sharp elbows excommunicating the unsound:
Krauthammer used to write speeches for Walter Mondale. Yeah. Howard Baker was his choice in '76 or '80, I forget which. George Will was a late arrival to the Reagan revolution ...
And this final identification with Palin:
Some of these conservative intellectuals were totally smitten with Obama at the outset, remember? Totally smitten with Obama. In the case of David Brooks, it was because of the freaking crease in his pants. He said that. "The crease in his pants made me know he was going to be president." And these are the intellectuals. But to these guys Obama was like them. They were like Obama at the outset. I don't think too many of them want to be perceived as like Obama now, but the outset. But Palin, never. They never see themselves as like Sarah Palin, for obvious reasons, be it the pedigree, the education, all the other things.
If it comes down to it, Palin can rely on Rush. In today's conservative movement, that's a little more important than being dismissed by George Will. If I were to bet, I'd bet on Palin and Rush.
This really is going to be an interesting primary season, isn't it?