October 2, 2013

What the Republicans need is "a real conservative with a great personality, and those people are hard to come by."

So said Bernard Goldberg, perhaps not intending to insult Republicans (as people with a personality problem). Context:
Nobody articulates conservatism as clearly and passionately as Rush Limbaugh. He'd be the first to acknowledge that he couldn't win a national election. The true blue real conservative Republicans need to understand is that, despite what they think, most Americans don't think the way they do. They'll never elect a Dennis Kucinich on the left, and I don't believe they're gonna elect a Ted Cruz on the right. The only reason Barack Obama, who's more liberal than all of them, got elected, wasn't because of his politics, but because he created a cult of personality, and that's what the Republicans need, a real conservative with a great personality, and those people are hard to come by.
That's a very high standard of great personality: the Barack Obama standard. A personality upon which you can build a cult of personality. But the point is: America wants moderates, and they only deviate when bamboozled by someone with an over-the-top great personality. Such folk are hard to find, and it's a good thing too.

That was quoted on Rush Limbaugh's radio show yesterday — unsurprisingly. (Rush loves to play clips that call out his name._ Rush takes Goldberg to be saying Republicans — including and especially Rush — have off-putting personalities. Rush believes himself to have a great personality, and he also thinks — one of his most often-stated beliefs — that Americans do want a true conservative.
The reason I couldn't win is that I've been demonized. My reputation has been demonized and assaulted for 25 years.  And even had I chosen on each occasion to respond to it and to try to defend it, it wouldn't have mattered, because I woulda still been a lone wolf.  The truth of the matter here is, it's not conservatism that can't win.  It is that conservatism has been so ogre-ized and so demonized by an alliance of the Democrat Party and the media.

41 comments:

Unknown said...

I do not think America wants moderates. We are told that is what our neighbor wants, even though our neighbor denies it. The issue is not personality, it is presentation, and what Republicans need is a media that reports on a candidate favorably. If even McCain cannot get favorable coverage, how can Jindel??

Lyssa said...

because he created a cult of personality, and that's what the Republicans need, a real conservative with a great personality, and those people are hard to come by.

I hate that. I'm not saying that it's not true, but man, do I hate to think that that's what we should be going for. And I do think it's a lot harder on the right than the left to find that person, maybe in part because Rs have less personality in general, but mostly because the people likely to vote R are also more mature and skeptical of the latest flash or fad.

Regarding the moderate/true conservative thing, I think that there's a little bit of both. People like the idea of moderation, but they also like someone who is clear and confident about his or her beliefs - outspoken and unwaivering, rather than trying to have it both ways. Reagan did that well. Mitt Romney and John McCain, not so much.

Peter said...

Republicans have been pining for Ronald Reagan for the past thirty years.

Although it's hard to see how, without Carter's ineptitude, he could have won the presidency. The press savaged him, portraying him as a senile old fool even after he was in the White House.

TMink said...

I think that another thing Obama had going for him is that he is black and the allure of the first black president was hypnotic to many, many Americans. While I have never supported his policies, I was glad that we elected a person of color to the office.

I just wish it had been another person. 8)

Trey

Bruce Hayden said...

Still not sure if I understand the allure of Obama's personality. Seems more a creation of the left leaning media than anything. He is lazy, devious, mendacious, arrogant, vindictive, unable to lead, quick to assign blame, but never to accept it. As my SO would say, he whines worse than a woman. He can speak decently well from a TelePrompTer when someone else wrote the speech, but poorly otherwise. I remain unconvinced that his personality is the least bit attractive - but would be interested in hearing from those who do what they find attractive.

I am more and more convinced that his political rise is almost completely the creation of others, and that he was merely the witting vessel of their ambitions. History will tell us whether there is some truth in this or not.

Balfegor said...

The only reason Barack Obama, who's more liberal than all of them, got elected, wasn't because of his politics, but because he created a cult of personality, and that's what the Republicans need, a real conservative with a great personality, and those people are hard to come by.

A Barack Obama-style campaign by a Republican would crash and burn in record time. There's no way the media wouldn't immediately puncture that hot air balloon. I think the personality a conservative would need -- if he wanted to win on personality -- would be gentle humour, not grandiloquent pomposity.

DavidD said...

I'm not interested in any candidate whose appeal is based on a cult of personality. I'm interested in ideas. Barack Obama is a flaming Leftist; I don't care how dazzling is his smile.

traditionalguy said...

Rand Paul's rational and fair Schtick has gone over well so far. The Media's skill full coordinated demonization attempts on Paul have not been as effective as usual.

The GOP has to first overcome its own inter opposition groups that look down on each other. The conservative Texas/Oklahoma and across the Southeastern States area is always opposed by the Mid-western and Northeaster States.

The media just magnify that GOP divide as much as possible.

Another West coast independent thinker is what they need now.

Jake Diamond said...

"Rush believes himself to have a great personality..."

Yep. Rush has a tenuous grasp on reality.

MadisonMan said...

I am more and more convinced that his political rise is almost completely the creation of others

It's the 1880s all over again.

I wonder if Chester Alan Arthur and Barack Obama are somehow distantly related.

Michael K said...

" I think the personality a conservative would need -- if he wanted to win on personality -- would be gentle humour, not grandiloquent pomposity. "

That was Reagan. However, that was when Democrats were still interested in governing. Now, they are on a collision course with math. The GOP is trying to stop the rush to the cliff but it may be too difficult.

Maybe we have to crash and burn before common sense returns to 47% of the population.

Paul Brinkley said...

A Republican with a personality would probably be ex-military. So Petraeus (if he hadn't had that affair), Allen West, Michael Yon if he were political, et al.

The trouble with ex-mil is the problem with any personality conservatives seem normally disposed toward: they don't want to be politicians. They much prefer to do some work than to talk about the fact that they did it. It's hard to advertise about how much you don't want to advertise.

Alternately, Republican women may be greatly undervalued. They're not all Ann Coulter. Republicans raved about Susanna Martinez' speech during the 2012 RNC, and they seem warm to Nikki Haley as well. The advertising problem is easier with women, in my opinion; conservatives may be more comfortable with the image of a woman who cheers about her work.

Scott M said...

Interesting that race had no mention in the "cult of personality" bamboozaling there.

Cedarford said...

TMink said...
I think that another thing Obama had going for him is that he is black and the allure of the first black president was hypnotic to many, many Americans. While I have never supported his policies, I was glad that we elected a person of color to the office.

=============
Think how glad you will be when the next one the low info voters elect is not the 2nd Negro! but the 1st Woman!!
That can be followed by the first transgender Hispanic!!

Then I'm afraid the whole "empowering and wealth redistribution" experiment ends as country in tatters... democracy is suspended as having ultimately failed and we are ruled by a Chinese or American military junta. Preferably the American junta.

Then we can work with the junta to set a time limit on their rule and get a new Constitution and a system of Democratic rule that will work in these modern times. As Turkey, Mexico, S Korea, Greece, Spain now Egypt realize...juntas may be necessary when democracy fails..but the legitimacy of a restorative junta also has a finite shelf life before the people are convinced they deserve another shot at the vote.

PB Reader said...

I've met him (before he became president) and Obama's a cold fish.

Even he said it best, he's a blank slate reflecting back what people want to see. People wanted to elect a black president to end the racial problem for good and here was a nice looking guy who read his speeches very well. He's just as much an actor as Reagan was.

jim said...

Rush will never run for office on any level because Rush doesn't do personal responsibility, unless it helps his bottom line - every time another whopper or vicious attack gets called out he magically morphs from Majority Maker/pundit to "mere entertainer," & perhaps the four marriages say more than his on-air record as to just how infantile & egotistical the man really is.

Yes, Obama is a flaming liberal ... who just happens to go in for bailing out GM, Wall Street & big banks, giving CIA torturers a mulligan, keeping nearly all the old Bush policies locked in place, & being even harsher with whistleblowers than his predecessor, while ignoring gift-wrapped Goldman Sachs indictments ... not to mention co-opting one GOP policy after another (Obamacare alias Romneycare, drone strikes, cap-&-trade, corporate tax cuts, ad nauseam) just like any other flaming liberal would love to do.

There is no amount of personality or marketing that can make up for deranged policies that categorically deny science, cause-&-effect or even reality itself - for that, you need a lot of gerrymandering & mass media devoted to "Both Sides Do It," no matter how painfully obvious it becomes that only one side is overtly & strenuously hostile to critical thinking or reason. Sadly for the GOP, the "Both Sides" BS isn't selling very well any more, & American demographics are in the process of overcoming even the Jackson Pollack splatter-art level of "redistricting" that occurred in 2010.

tim maguire said...

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Sure, Americans want moderates, but everybody in politics is a moderate. It's a testament to the lack of diversity in our political groups that the nibbling around the edges done by people like Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin is portrayed as extremism.

You want to see extremism? Take look at parliamentary systems. American politics doesn't know what extremism is.

Meanwhile, the moderates people want are moderately conservative. Everybody (yes, everybody) is a conservative in their private lives and, stripped of the emotional baggage, conservative ideas win in a landslide.

The key, as Rush accurately points out, is demonism. Conservative ideas are never stripped of their emotional baggage in the public discourse.

Roughly half the time (sometimes a little more, other times a little less), people choose not vote for the conservative who supports the issues they support because they don't have the time or the luxury of delving into the details of public policy. They are of necessity skimmers, dabblers, and so susceptible to manipulation by those who control the dissemination of ideas.

And the people who control the dissemination of ideas are overwhelmingly liberal.

Joe said...

Most politicians have off-putting personalities. Among other things, they usually have a narcissism that is very grating (even on the local level.)

One thing Republicans need is a candidate who focuses on a few key issues with credibility (and especially without sounding insane.)

The other thing Republicans need is for the right wing social conservatives to get their heads out of their collective, delusional asses. They need to stop pouting and staying home when their extreme candidates don't prevail.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's beginning to occur to some conservatives that they have no one to run in 2016. That may not be the disadvantage it first appears, as in the public mind a generic Republican is always better than an actual conservative.

Inga said...

Ayn Rander's reject moderates. They want purity. And the Tea Party base are mostly Rander's. It's a huge problem for the Republicans and if they get a candidate like Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, they will most certainly lose. Rubio is a bit more moderate, but doesn't have the personality Goldberg speaks of. McCain and Romney were terrible candidates, not because they were more moderate, but because they were clearly out of touch with average Americans.

I've heard many times now that they prefer to lose than become more moderate. No problem.

Illuninati said...

The last thing we need is a conservative cult of personality. That cult is a major step towards tyranny.

Almost anyone who has power over the press can create the cult ie: Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Lenin & Stalin in Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mao in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, the Kim Clan in Korea, Chavez in Venezuela, Castro in Cuba and Che Guevara.

All of these wicked people are the product of a mimetic process among neo-pagans. As humans Christians are also susceptible to the cult of personality but their adulation is somewhat muted since they are warned that only God deserves our unadulterated adulation.

Matthew Sablan said...

The last two major party candidates were moderate, polite, known for an ability to work across the aisle; they both lost to a known partisan who had a reputation for refusing to work with others.

You can't GET a nicer, more moderate candidate than Mitt Romney or John McCain without breeding them in a lab (remember, McCain took public financing and used his limited funds to run an ad congratulating his opponent!)

I want us to have nice candidates, but I'm losing the argument because Americans keep refusing to elect nice people.

Matthew Sablan said...

"R are also more mature and skeptical of the latest flash or fad."

-- It isn't that. The right is just less accustomed to putting aside their personal feelings, goals, mores, etc., for the greater good. Remember feminists and Bill Clinton? That's the left; sacrificing personal integrity for political gain.

Now, it isn't the WHOLE left, but it has infested the party machine of the left, which helps promote people like Elizabeth Warren, Reid and Pelosi over more moderate Dems like Manchin or Hoyer. The right is just now breaking free of that conceit, in part due to the rise of libertarianism/Tea Party.

William Chadwick said...

Inga no doubt prefers what I call (after Brooks and Frum) "Uncle Dave" faux-conservatives--polite, deferential "house" conservatives who pose no threat to the Plantation.

This whole cult of the personality thing is a consequence of the ride of the Omnipotent State. With a limited government, confined to its peoper role as defender of liberry rather than a violator of it, who would care if the president had the personality of a sack of coal? The president could be Newman from SEINFELD, for all I care, if he'd keep terrorists, muggers and foreign invaders off my back, send me a bill for the services, and otherwise leave me the @#$% alone.



hombre said...

"But the point is: America wants moderates ...."

Really? And how many of the nincompoops who voted for Obama in 2012 still thought he was a moderate?

People voted for Obama because they are addicted to government largesse or because the Republican brand has been savaged by the mediaswine, or both, not because they believed he was moderate. Romney was moderate.

The problem isn't that conservatives don't have attractive candidates. The problem is they don't have candidates who are immune to the smears of Axelrod and his consorts in the media. Romney proved that and he wasn't even conservative.

JPS said...

jim:

I've never read a more hilariously self-refuting statement than, "only one side is overtly & strenuously hostile to critical thinking or reason."

It occurs on the right, yes; if you honestly believe it doesn't occur on the left, you have lost the ability to think critically about your own side, if indeed you've ever had it.

There are, by the way, many examples of "categorically deny[ing] science" on the left, but I have a feeling you'd dismiss these as "both sides BS."

Matthew Sablan said...

On personality: The president is on record threatening to veto life-saving cancer treatment for children; the Republicans are on record as attempting to fund it, despite the shutdown.

The vast majority of voters will never know this fact. By all lights, the Republicans are in the right through this entire shutdown circus: They wanted to negotiate; Obama did not.

They wanted WWII vets to be allowed on public property; the administration did not.

They wanted Congress to play by the same rules; Obama did not.

They wanted kids to live; Obama did not.

There is no reason to support the president's position in this shutdown. But, hey, he's nice, right?

hombre said...

Igna: "Ayn Rander's reject moderates. They want purity. And the Tea Party base are mostly Rander's."

The problem with limited ability to engage in critical thinking is a tendency to worry a topic like a dog worries a bone.

Althouse posted about Rand. Igna offered up some pet fantasies about Objectivists and now extrapolates her nonsense to include the Tea Party. There has also been a resurgence of 1984 by Orwell, the socialist. Is the Tea Party adopting his political views too?

Maybe government oppression is on the minds of people who cherish liberty, most of whom are not Tea Partiers. Maybe partisan liberal trolls are troubled by that and feel a need to trash the Tea Party, the new Bush, in response.

Inga said...

Matthew, really, you are so intelligent, so why do you think anyone other than Tea Party extremists would believe it is the President that is the one who is interfering with life saving treatment for cancer patients? You have it exactly backwards, why am I not surprised?

A clean CR is there, waiting ready for a vote and within minutes the government could be funded. Shame on the Republican Party and shame on the Tea Party most of all. This is what it has come to.

Illuninati said...

Jim said:
"There is no amount of personality or marketing that can make up for deranged policies that categorically deny science, cause-&-effect or even reality itself - for that, you need a lot of gerrymandering & mass media devoted to "Both Sides Do It," no matter how painfully obvious it becomes that only one side is overtly & strenuously hostile to critical thinking or reason."

I believe that in the future I may enjoy Jim's comments as much as Inga's since they both provide a clear window into the soul of the left. This comment by Jim strikes me as typical left wing group think in which he slanders people who disagree with him without providing evidence to back up his assertions.

Apparently when lefties use their vast powers of reason, they do not need to check the facts of recent history in which lefty policies were put into practice. If they did they would discover something called Lysenkoism which was one of the greatest abuses of science in history - much greater than the Catholic churches quarrel with Galileo - in which legitimate scientists were murdered by leftist politicians.

Matthew Sablan said...

Inga: Literally, the Republicans offered a clean bill just to fund saving cancer kids. Democrats said no, and at the moment, Obama has indicated he would veto it.

Facts.

William Chadwick said...

"Shame on anyone who values their liberty and won't submit to Dear Leader! Submit quietly, peasants! Serfdom=freedom!"

(Translation of Inga's posts from Hive Party Line BS to plain English)

Harold House said...

And the EIB microphone was brimming over with bullshit....

cubanbob said...

Inga we don't need a "clean" CR. We need a budget. It's time for Reid and Obama to do their jobs. But then they would have to man-up and take responsibility and that's not likely to happen. At the rate we are going this will be the first time in the country's history that the government will have operated for eight years without a budget. The republicans should demand that there be no more punting by way of CRs but rather insist that there be a budget before raising the debt limit and insist on no waivers and excemptions for anyone when it comes to ObamaCare.

ken in sc said...

The American electorate is mostly female. Women love jerks. they will claim the one they fall for has a great personality even if everyone else can see he is a jerk.

Republicans need a Bill Clinton style jerk.

Inga said...

Matthew again, a clean CR is waiting to be voted on. Why do you think that Obama should give in to hostage takers? Where will it end?

No one but you folks are being fooled by this game. It doesn't speak well for the way the right does the country's business and we moderates and lefties won't forget.

Inga said...

Republican centrists plot revolt to end government shutdown

Very interesting. Will they have the guts to go through with it?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why do you think that Obama should give in to hostage takers? Where will it end?"

-- The only one taking cancer-ridden children hostage is the President and Reid. You're just being stubborn at this point. Republicans have offered numerous concessions and compromises; Democrats have offered none. Literally in the face of children dying, Democrats have said "No, you must pay more for medical devices and we will not be beholden to our own laws."

It is morally bankrupt to defend the Democrats in this shutdown any further.

Matthew Sablan said...

The moderate position, by the way Inga, has been pushed by Republicans. Republicans OFFERED a one-week extension to keep negotiating. Reid and Obama refused it.

Reid and Obama have refused to give an inch. Imagine being married to a person who refuses to let you have anything, do anything -- and even when you're willing to do everything they want except for some minor show, for example, choosing what clothes you wear, they say no, and lay out the clothes for the next day.

Inga, I honestly think that you just don't know the facts, because you keep insisting on things that just are not true.

Maybeline said...

But Romney is surely moderate and he couldn't capture the country's imagination. Yes, he is extremely wealthy, but extreme wealth is not a detriment when one is a democrat. The Repubs with potentially cool or "real" vibes would be Huntsman, Christy, Rand Paul and Susana Martinez. Kelly Ayotte has a humane sort of Republican vibe. This is all very much about imaging. Perhaps image is a better word than personality. Image is very difficult for Repubs since there is some gross extremism in the party that is like "poop in the stew" for the entire party.

Rusty said...

Inga said...
Matthew again, a clean CR is waiting to be voted on. Why do you think that Obama should give in to hostage takers? Where will it end?

No one but you folks are being fooled by this game. It doesn't speak well for the way the right does the country's business and we moderates and lefties won't forget.

I'd like to read this post without the biased rhetoric.

[A clean CR is waiting to be voted on. Why do you think that Obama should give in to congress people standing on principle?]

[You're confusing the electorate with this stance. It's a good way, however, for the right to point out just how fiscally in trouble we as a country are. The right is confusing me and other die hard leftists and progressives with their insistence that the math work out.]