February 8, 2009

Rush Limbaugh will "pale in comparison to the goods work of the new Republican national chairman, Michael Steele."

Says former RNC chairman Rich Bond, who thinks: "The question is: Are we going to have an all-white-man litmus test under the Republican Party?"

I'm just quoting him because I think "pale in comparison" is a funny phrase for the race-obsessed.

***

By the way, is it true, as the linked LAT article says, that Limbaugh's listening audience "predominantly ... male"? There seem to be more women than men getting their phone calls through on the show, and these women frequently express fervent love for — as Rush calls himself — the "lovable little fuzzball." It may be the screener's doing, and it's clear to me — and I'm a big fan of the show — that Limbaugh prefers chatting with the lady callers. But what's the male-female balance? If "predominantly" just means 51% or some such thing, who cares? But Bond is trying to reinforce Obama's don't-listen-to-Rush message by saying the GOP will keep losing if it goes Rushward. So the audience better skew way male for this to be a good point.

How worried should Republicans be about a modestly different gender balance in the 2 parties? It may be the case that the average woman has instincts that naturally take her in a more liberal direction than the average male. If so and if we want a vibrant 2-party system, then we should expect a different gender balance in each party. It's only a problem if one party has so little total support that it can't win anymore. Rush's point has been that the GOP can't win by going liberal, because if people want liberal, they will vote for the Democrat. Thus, McCain lost. Isn't he right about that and about the need for the GOP to produce attractive candidates who can articulate an appealing conservative vision?

42 comments:

fcai said...

"goods" work?

Ann Althouse said...

I guess he's got the goods.

What am I supposed to do? That's a straight cut and past from the LAT.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'm more interested in why the writers find it worthy of comment that Limbaugh's audience is predominantly white, in a country that's predominantly white.

Franco said...

"As Republicans grapple with their fall from power, not all are comfortable with the talk radio king's suggestion that he, by default, has become the politically wounded party's unofficial leader."

This is FALSE! Rush never has claimed or suggested that he is or should be an unofficial leader. He has implied that the Republican Party is in trouble IF he is seen as it's unofficial leader, or the main obstacle to Obama. Big difference. And he is right.

The Republicans are losing because they are NOT taking his advice. They have no principles and are agreeing with left-wing premises and then wonder why they lose the argument and lose the voters.

The idea that they need to attract ANY demographic to win is absurd.
They need a spine and they need a coherant philosophy and voters will come.

It is like a football coach who decides that he needs to improve certain statistics to win games. Those statistics, whatever they are, will improve when the team plays better across the board.

They need to win the arguments, not pander to demographic groups or be race and gender conscious. Democrats have that territory locked down.

fcai said...

So, the LAT is still in business, sort of? They fired all their proofreaders, from the looks of it.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Franco said...

Good point, Paul Z, and by the way, LA Times readers? Mostly white too!

But I do remember a recent study finding his listeners to be predominantly male by more than 65%.

But so what?

Bissage said...

If Rush Limbaugh turns your litmus paper white . . . there’s something wrong with your litmus paper.

Tom said...

A careful and scientific study of my office staff - both of us - indicates that 50% of Rush listeners are male, and 50% female.

Deana said...

Franco -

You are exactly correct.

Anyone who has ever listened to Rush knows he has no intention of being the leader of the Republican party. It just seems that way because the Republicans we DO have are a disgrace.

Republicans simply must return to our conservative roots, and identify AND ADHERE TO our core principles. Those principles are attractive to all sorts of people, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, or religion.

As for the make up of Rush's listeners, I don't know. But I am a multi-degreed, professional woman who absolutely loves him. If more men than women listen to him, I would not be surprised.

The older I get the more I realize that too often, women, even very intelligent women, are more likely to think with their emotions than with reason. That is why women are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.

I know that is not a popular or "approved" view but I don't care. I see it all the time in my women friends.

jdeeripper said...

Years ago I was in a Rite Aid and a younger black female clerk said she liked Rush and thought he was funny.

The older White guy manager was disgusted and said he couldn't stand him.

Rush was married by Clarence Thomas. The marriage didn't work out.

Rush's call screener for the past 20 years Bo Snerdly (James Golden) is not cursed with Caucasitude.

Democrats are vindictive and self righteous on race.

Republicans are clueless spastic, aspergy goofballs on race.

We all know the White Dork Republican elites are desperate to make Bobby Jindal the new face of their party.

Micheal Steele is just the butler/chauffeur.

Tom said...A careful and scientific study of my office staff - both of us - indicates that 50% of Rush listeners are male, and 50% female.

Chicks dig a guy with a smooth rap. If you can talk you can get women.

Even if they don't like you.

It's like tapping a cat's food bowl with a fork.

Rush and Obama are alike that way.

Psychedelic George said...

I hope Rush Limbaugh has a strong security team in place, especially bodyguards. For all intents and purposes, he appears to be the leader of the opposition party.

One wonders if people on the left understand how seriously grass-roots folks take Limbaugh and the degree to which he is a folk hero, like a figure from the small-town midwest....a living breathing Frank Morgan

Salamandyr said...

This article seems a little like news creation to me. Reporter wants to get some quotes on how Rush is damaging the Republican party, so he calls up this or that Republican leader and asks "Do you think it's a good thing that Rush Limbaugh and his predominantly white audience have such a grip on the Republican party?" And the politician, in full, Pavlov's dog mode, starts salivating in the general direction the reporter wants. But does it actually mean anything?

Darcy said...

Isn't he right about that and about the need for the GOP to produce attractive candidates who can articulate an appealing conservative vision?

Yes! And further, Rush frames almost all conservatives issues brilliantly. Why is it that very few (if any) prominent Republicans can do this?

Michael H said...

The LA Times still has employees? that's a shocker.

What color are they, and shouldn't that information be posted on the byline because it's so obviously important to the LA Times?

How do the writers know that Rush's audience is predominantly white? Have they identified all 20 million listeners and each one his/her racial background, then consolidated, collated, cleaned and confirmed the data and came up with 'white'? The date might be incomplete, because I didn't get get the survey questionnaire.

The LA Times is race-obsessed. Remember when one of their editiorial writers called Barack Obama 'The Magic Negro'? Yep, the whole Barack the Magic Negro was started by the LA Times, and not by Rush Limbaugh, who seems indifferent to race. As we all should be.

Jason (warmer) said...

Where I work the Limbaugh listeners are a woman, an immigrant from Africa, and a gay guy. It blows the liberals away.

Also, I loved the way the former GOP chairman used the word "comity." Great way to connect to the common man. Sigh.

Bob said...

Rush Limbaugh Audience Demographics found here.

Paul Zrimsek said...

N.B. Those demographics are for the website, not the radio show.

rcocean said...

Richard Bond is a loser. He's an Inside the beltway goof whose helped run the Republican party into the ground.

In 1992 he ran Bush's campaign - y'know the one that got 36 percent of the vote. In 1993 he called pro-life supporters "zealots" and demanded we expand the tent to include "those who differ on taxes, abortion, guns, and spending"

He's a Ford/Bush/Dole moderate, former chairman of the RNC and Bush deputy Chief of Staff. He and his kind have been in charge of the Party for 20 years - not Rush Limbaugh. Bond has always been "moderate", always attacks conservatives, and always gives the wrong advice.

PWS said...

I couldn't help but parse your words Ann, "big fan of the show."

So you didn't say "fan of Rush" and "fan of the show" doesn't necessarily mean you embrace the ideology. You enjoy "the show." To me, it's entertaining, mostly as farce, but Rush plays to some of our worst instincts--just as some on the left do as well.

To take him seriously is to chase your tail.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I'd also say that any statistics on Rush's listeners are worthless unless you compare them to talk-radio listeners overall.

Maybe more men listen to talk radio overall.

A trucker certainly has more oppurtunity to listen to talk radiothan a teacher does.

A mom with small kids is probably more likely to listen to CDs her kids will like than to talk radio.

A roofer can listen to talk radio on the job. A receptionist? Not so much-- her office probably wants something soothing that won't risk offending waiting clients.....

Clyde said...

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans are more likely to say "What do you think about...?" while Democrats are more likely to say "How do you feel about...?" To the extent that there are differences in which groups of people are more likely to rely on their emotions rather than reason, those groups are more likely to be represented in the Democrat party.

Beth said...

Althouse, continuing the discussion started in the "men in shorts" thread below, I see your point about a serious problem with masculine appeal when the wrong man wears the wrong shorts.

Simon said...

Beth, that's an interesting example, because he's playing golf, and Althouse's rule has an exception: "shorts are fine when you're doing a sport where the standard clothing is shorts." Ah, but then we must wonder: are shorts the standard clothing for golf? We have learned that "the Law of the Land[ is] that walking is not a 'fundamental' aspect of golf"; is wearing shorts a fundamental aspect, a standard feature of the game? They are certainly common, but they by no means predominate. Shorts are acceptable and common clothing, but not the standard. Does the rule have a penumbra: shorts are okay in a sporting context when shorts are a standard or common attire?

(For the record, and in self-defense, I don't think I've ever played golf in shorts.)

Beth said...

Simon, you're overlooking the complexity of the Althouse shorts reaction. There's "shorts are okay when..." and there's "shorts make some men physically unappealing and unmasculine."

Rush in shorts playing golf possibly fulfills the "okay when playing sports," per your analysis, but there's nothing that can make him masculine and appealing in those shorts.

Beth said...


(For the record, and in self-defense, I don't think I've ever played golf in shorts.)


What about plaid pants? And a tam o'shanter? Just wondering...

Michael H said...

I'd also say that any statistics on Rush's listeners are worthless unless you compare them to talk-radio listeners overall.

Yes, a comparison to the demographics of NPR, one of the things white people like would be interesting,

Titussayhellotoyouandyouandyou said...

I never listened to Rush Limbaugh but I can't take anyone serious who is physically repulsive.

Why does he have to be so physically gross?

I just picture him naked and it makes me feel a little queasy.

You know he has a teeny hog that you can't see because the fat stomach mass is covering it up. Also, he has a really big ass. One of the least attractive things on a man is a big ass.

Simon said...

Beth, no, and not ever in a kilt - so far. Sometimes in the heights of summer I think that a kilt wouldn't be a bad idea. ;)

Bruce Hayden said...

Right now, the Republicans are fighting for the heart and soul of their party. Which way is it going? There are those like Bond who believe that it needs to move back towards the Democrats to be successful. There are those like Rush who see going back to their roots as the route to success.

My guess is that the Rush group is going to succeed. Not so much social conservatism (but that will be given a nod), but rather economic conservatism and clean government.

Why? Because that was how it came to power 14 years ago, and it was the DeLay type pay to play corruption that the Democrats were able to use to regain power for themselves.

Besides, the Democrats are writing the script for the Republicans right now. We were repeatedly told about the Culture of Corruption that the Republicans brought to Washington. It is becoming more and more obvious with the travails of the Democrats right now that Republicans will never be able to hold a candle to the Democrats when it comes to political and economic corruption.

How will the Democrats be able to respond to the charge of endemic corruption in 2 or 4 years? By screaming that the Republicans were worse? The response to that is to name names and tally scandals side by side. It would be hard to beat having tax cheats writing the tax bills and overseeing the IRS, but every other cabinet nominee seems to have the same problem. And then there is the chair of the Senate Banking Committee taking a bribe from a bank he was supposed to be overseeing, and which has cost us billions when it failed. It goes on and one, with no end in sight.

Which is why I think that Rush is more likely to be right here than Bond is.

Cedarford said...

Rush's point has been that the GOP can't win by going liberal, because if people want liberal, they will vote for the Democrat. Thus, McCain lost. Isn't he right about that and about the need for the GOP to produce attractive candidates who can articulate an appealing conservative vision?

No, it would be like George McGovern having a talk radio show for a while then when the 80s started railing on his listeners saying Democrats were failing under Reagan because they were not "McGovernite enough".
Then George saying that what Democrats REALLY needed were more exciting leaders that fully embraced his surefire good ideas from the late 60s - because new ideas betray "Our Glory Days" of the Warren Court, antimilitary protests, Haight-Ashbury, and wealth redistribution..

Deep down, Rush believes even his Saint Reagan is not a pure enough Avatar. Now Goldwater...now there was the real thing America votes against but secretly wants...at least in his circle of friends...the Goldwater purity!

Trooper York said...

The last time I played golf in the bar tournament I completely recreated Ralph Kramden’s ensemble with the Tam o shanter, knickers and sweater.

You have to be properly attired to address the ball.

Palladian said...

"I never listened to Rush Limbaugh but I can't take anyone serious who is physically repulsive."

That's why everyone here basically ignores you.

"Why does he have to be so physically gross?"

I asked myself that question when I finally saw what you look like.

Revenant said...

By the way, is it true, as the linked LAT article says, that Limbaugh's listening audience "predominantly ... male"?

I'm pretty sure the audience of ANY politically-themed show you could name is predominantly male.

Synova said...

I'm pretty sure the audience of ANY politically-themed show you could name is predominantly male.

Same with blogs.

And it's not at all as if there isn't equal access to women.

Anytime anyone suggests that something should be changed so that it appeals to more women I cringe, because the change is usually something that I would really hate.

blake said...

What about plaid pants? And a tam o'shanter? Just wondering...

I've never been interested in golf, and an excuse to wear that outfit would be about the only reason I'd consider it.

Melissa said...

Re: Franco's comments about Rush being the party's leader-

I think that it was solidly proven that neither Rush nor any talk radio host is the leader of the GOP during the primary elections. What mainstream conservative commentator wanted McCain to get the nomination? Certainly not Limbaugh.

Melissa said...

Synova said: Anytime anyone suggests that something should be changed so that it appeals to more women I cringe, because the change is usually something that I would really hate.

I am SO right there with you.

Alex said...

The main point being that the American electorate has finally tipped liberal for good, and there is nothing the GOP can do to win on the national level anymore. Sorry Rush, but you're whistling past the graveyard.

Alex said...

Basically whoever wants to win national elections has to appeal to a certain segment that is conservative on national defense and socialist on economic matters. That is the new paradigm.

JAL said...

Alex 9:06 there is nothing the GOP can do to win on the national level anymore.

Boy are you in for one heck of a surprise.

Duncan said...

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the “talk/personality” audience was male, according to the 2007 “Radio Today” Arbitron report.

Since circa 80% of Americans still call themselves "white" including Hispanics (a culture not a race), I'm not sure the distinction means much.

Since The One won circa 53-46% (not counting minor parties and very close to Bush's 2004 %), I'm not sure it's time for the R's to pack it in. How much did the D's lose by in 1984?