Finding the Republican voice

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It may go down as a landmark speech in the history of conservatism and, perhaps, Republicanism.

Mainstream media outlets want to ignore it or, at best, spin it as flame-throwing extremism. So you may not have seen much of Rush Limbaugh's address to the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend in Washington.

CNN.com even went out of its way, and misled readers in the process, in its effort to jump over what Limbaugh actually said in order to discredit his speech, with a headline Monday that crowed "Limbaugh comments called ugly." The problem: The person making that alleged assessment, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, was actually quoted before Limbaugh made his speech.)

CNN did play up the Limbaugh speech later Monday night, but only to celebrate the alleged rift between Limbaugh and Steele -- which Steele quickly closed with an apology -- and to smirk at the fact that the Republicans are letting a talk show host lead the way.

Still, Limbaugh's speech had all the earmarks of a watershed event in the conservative movement.

That, combined with a spreading "Boston Tea Party" reaction to the Obama administration's financial machinations, could light a fire under the recently moribund conservative base in the country.

Conservatives are alarmingly concerned about the far-left lurch the nation has taken since Obama's inauguration. The federal government has added to both our children's debt and its own power exponentially in just the first month of Obama's rule.

Both those things necessarily lead to less freedom.

Limbaugh's remarks were essentially a manifesto of conservatism, including support of limited government, low taxation and individual freedom.

Radical? OK, if the liberal media want to call it that.

The problem for Republicans is, Rush Limbaugh is a talk radio host. He's an entertainer, not a politician. He may be the spiritual leader for Republicans and conservatives, but he's not a political figure capable of running with that banner.

The GOP has failed in recent years to find such a political figure, too.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stormed onto the scene last year as John McCain's running mate -- and while she continues to excite conservatives with her values and common sense, she appeared unprepared for the role of national running mate, and the liberal media tried their best to pick her bones clean.

Likewise, the party may have errantly rushed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal onto the national scene when it asked him to deliver the Republican response to Obama's speech to the joint session of Congress. Jindal said all the right things, but his delivery was stilted, and distracted from the message.

One of the great conservative standard-bearers in Congress, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, told us recently he is more concerned with promoting principles than media stars. We understand the sentiment, but will respectfully disagree with the good senator: In this day and age, a party cannot get ahead with even the best principles unless they have someone telegenic and articulate and sympathetic to carry those principles to the public.

That's the GOP's challenge.

An even bigger challenge will be convincing black and Hispanic voters that conservative principles will benefit them. The media and academia have pummeled conservatives and tried to marginalize them. Meanwhile, Republicans have done an abysmal job of upholding conservative principles (see "Bush, George W.") and reaching out to minority voters. The former seems to be improving; the latter has to be Job No. 1 for chairman Steele.

The country is on the wrong track. Conservatives need to speak up. And Republicans need to find their voice.

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JackRyan
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JackRyan 03/04/09 - 08:37 am
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I just love it when the likes

I just love it when the likes of midwestern regurgitates the spiel that Rush is a pill popper and totally ignores the fact that obamaman is a coke snorter, funny, funny!

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 08:44 am
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I agree teharper428, Repubs

I agree teharper428, Repubs do an abysmal job of upholding conservative principles, especially during the Bush administration. Most of their disdain for conservative values is what led to fights with Bush and the loss of both houses of congress. Of course, look what happened to the economy in '06. Are things better now, or just different. As far as enabling minority voters with subsidy programs go,(reaching out) that's not a conservative stint.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/04/09 - 08:50 am
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In every situation when a

In every situation when a message is met with personal attacks on the messenger and the points are not addressed the message is dead on.

teharper428
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teharper428 03/04/09 - 08:52 am
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Two of the largest government

Two of the largest government "subsidies" are social security and Medicare. I'm sure Patricia that you'll refuse to use either one now or in the future. It's only minorities who use government subsidies???

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/04/09 - 08:58 am
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I don't know about PT, but I

I don't know about PT, but I certainly would keep what I pay into social security and Medicare over the years and take care of myself later in life. Of course, most Democrats can't manage their money and can't be trusted to do the same.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/04/09 - 08:59 am
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If the people of America

If the people of America agreed with the Republican party, they would've voted for John McCain. Rush can make all the speeches he wants, and conservatives can rant and rave all they want to, but the Republican party's platform is the MINORITY of thought in America. Period. And Rush Limbaugh is a nasty, little, hypocritical man who is very impressed with himself. He is his biggest fan.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 09:02 am
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I agree teharper. FDR's well

I agree teharper. FDR's well intentioned programs have become albatross's around the neck of America. Of course, they had the help of socialist misdirection of the money allotted for the programs. None the less, the revised programs have little resemblance to their beginnings. Yes, they've become subsidies to about 60% of those receiving money from these programs. They're still a self endowed benefit to the other 40%. Don't worry though, this will be taken soon enough. I don't foresee it being available to me.

JackRyan
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JackRyan 03/04/09 - 09:03 am
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harper, hate to bust your

harper, hate to bust your bubble, but medicare and social security are not govt subsidy programs. The employer and employee PAY into those. Unlike welfare and medicaid--those are your subsidy programs, along with ebt and section 8!!

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 09:06 am
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corgimom, from the

corgimom, from the perspective of a CNN myrmidon, I'm sure you're right.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/04/09 - 09:09 am
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Rush does alright. He makes

Rush does alright. He makes hundreds of millions a year from advertising revenue. His ratings beat all other talk shows combined. Who listens to liberals on the radio or TV? Olberman, Raddow and Matthews ratings have dropped so low they will soon begin accepting local car dearler commericals from used car dealers and payday pawn shops around Newark.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 03/04/09 - 09:14 am
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Great piece on Tocqueville's

Great piece on Tocqueville's Democracy in America. You all really should read it. If this is not today's reality, I don't know what is: http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2009/02/14/were-all-fascists-now-i... "The nature of despotic power in democratic ages is not to be fierce or cruel, but minute and meddling." The vision and even the language anticipate Orwell's 1984, or Huxley's Brave New World. Tocqueville describes the new tyranny as "an immense and tutelary power," and its task is to watch over us all, and regulate every aspect of our lives. "It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd." We will not be bludgeoned into submission; we will be seduced. He foresees the collapse of American democracy as the end result of two parallel developments that ultimately render us meekly subservient to an enlarged bureaucratic power: the corruption of our character, and the emergence of a vast welfare state that manages all the details of our lives.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 03/04/09 - 09:14 am
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His words are precisely the

His words are precisely the ones that best describe out current crisis: "That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"

sucram
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sucram 03/04/09 - 09:16 am
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Republicans can't criticize

Republicans can't criticize President Obama on spending when Bush did the same thing. Steele kissed the ring of his master and has no credibility in the black community. He went on D.L's show and told the truth and punk out to Rush within 24 hours. The Republican's have no one to offer a plan. They are still looking for the next Reagan.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 03/04/09 - 09:20 am
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"Posted by Riverman1 on Wed

"Posted by Riverman1 on Wed Mar 4, 2009 7:58 AM
If the people of America agreed with the Republican party, they would've voted for John McCain. " Oh, please, corgi. McCain was the "Republican" chosen by CNN and the NYT to lose this race. Notice that he won "Republican" primaries in LIBERAL states that have OPEN primaries; that is to say, states that largely vote Democrat and that let Democrats vote in the Republican primary on the day of the vote. GA has open primaries but is hardly a liberal state; GA is late in the process, and Romney and others had already conceded. NH, on the other hand, went for McCain...with more Republican votes for McCain than there are Republicans registered in NH. You did not see me, or any conservative, say anything positive about McCain's candidacy, and of COURSE I did not vote for McCain, a liberal who co-sponsored the revolting abrogation of free speech called McCain-Feingold, and who got in front of political rallies and said that Americans were not CAPABLE of harvesting our own crops. Not "unwilling;" he told us, "You can't do it! I'll pay you $50/hour, and you won't be able to pick tomatoes!" No, he is not a conservative, regardless of party...

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 09:20 am
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Thank you Retired Army, but I

Thank you Retired Army, but I never solicit business on this sight. I do offer free advice, though, if you're interested. (on construction)

wantchangecashadollar
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wantchangecashadollar 03/04/09 - 09:21 am
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How much do you whinning Libs

How much do you whinning Libs know about the real leader of the Democrat Party...you know the European Socialist that pumps millions of dollars into the coffers of every Democrat Candidate...who spent millions to get Obama elected...he is worth billions, but he wants to take your money and give it away while his sits in bank accounts overseas...do you know who I am talking about? The REAL Leader of the Dims...He is OZ and Obama is the puff of smoke he created...Geroge Sorros is the leader of the Dims...now how much do you know about the man who created Obama and has a teleconference with the Dims in Congress everyday to dicuss his Talking Points...I would rather an American speak for Americans instead of a European Socialist...hey if Sorros, Oprah, and the Hollywood Loonies would put their money together, they could give free healthcare to the poor...but they want our money...you Libs need to get a grip and realize who is pulling the strings of the puppet Obama...

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 09:23 am
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sucram, you wandered around

sucram, you wandered around in the dark and came up with the right closing sentence.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 03/04/09 - 09:23 am
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MIDWEST, you're amazing. You
Unpublished

MIDWEST, you're amazing. You say the Dems haf a slight majority in congress with a obstructionist Republican party since 2006. Funny, when the Repubs were in control and there was an obstructionist Democratic party in congress, the Dow was heading up, up, up. Funny also how you ignore that while W was in power, the Dow hit an all time high. I only bring this up because you are the ones who always blame W for all our current economic woes, but now claim that O isn't to blame for any of them including Dow dive now. Which is it guys? You can't have it both ways. Let me know when you get back from Fantasyworld!

steve-o
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steve-o 03/04/09 - 09:28 am
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2 short years and the

2 short years and the democRATS will be neutered. I wonder what the exact date is that they are going to start taking responsibility for the downward spiral that is the economy, since hussein has been elected?

shivas
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shivas 03/04/09 - 09:41 am
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Try as you might, the

Try as you might, the majority of this country see the right-wing for what it is: a failed minority, who preaches failure for America, and who propogandizes (my word) through the lips of a drug addict. And now, they wonder why the country has left them. Amazing.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 03/04/09 - 09:49 am
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PT, 2 grammatical errors in

PT, 2 grammatical errors in your 8:02 post. Two more at 8:20.

JackRyan
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JackRyan 03/04/09 - 09:59 am
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shivas, drug addict? who are

shivas, drug addict? who are you referring to, coke snorting barry?

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 03/04/09 - 10:03 am
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the definition of insanity is

the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. as a conservative the republican party had 8 years, it was W who signed the first bailout bill into law that gave his appointee hank paulson the first 350 billion of which the banks flat out refused to tell anyone where or how that money was spent!!! it was W who during his term failed to veto any major spending bill, including the prescription drug bill that turned out to cost 2-3 times more than initially projected. so all those who deride the current administration as socialistic but fail to realize that it was the previous adminstration that started it all. it was the previous administration that had 8 years to cut spending and practice fiscal restraint but did not, remember the bush adminstration had to raise the national debt ceiling twice in order to continue its runaway spending...where was the fiscal restraint when the debt ceiling was raised from 5 trillion to almost 10-11 trillion dollars? i am not making excuses for the new administration all i am saying is it is not as one-sided as it seems and it was not started by the new adminstration but by the previous one

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/04/09 - 10:07 am
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Do y'all realize how much

Do y'all realize how much Obama has spent in a month? Imagine 4 years of this. He believes debt is not important. Let's have the government wipe out all bank and personal debt. Why not? Give everyone healthcare too like Obama is seriously going to do. High speed internet, computers, flatscreen TV's and a case of beer a week. That should take care of the Democratic base.

truthteller
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truthteller 03/04/09 - 10:15 am
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You can blame the GOP's

You can blame the GOP's current predicament on Ronald Reagan. He brought the right wing nuts into the main stream of the party to create an electoral majority. It worked for a while but over time Americans have come to see for themselves again and again the major conservative principle is hypocrisy. I suspect the reason for this is that frequently the rigid ideology of conservatism doesn't work, but the true believers can't see that. Even Reagan realized this if you go back and look at what he did versus what he said. But now the right wing nuts control the GOP and they have a death grip on the party regardless of who the party's leader is. Democrats must wonder what they have done to deserve such a gift, but they will surely be laughing all the way to the ballot box for at least the next generation.

Hoss4
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Hoss4 03/04/09 - 10:15 am
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Sucram, I have said it before

Sucram, I have said it before and I'll say it again. I was very dissappointed in Bush's LIBERAL spending and said that the LIBERAL spending will only get worse. The big difference is many who voted for Obama couldnt care less about the market or his outrageous spending, that will not produce immediate jobs. Hes cramming his liberal spending programs down everyone's throat and doesnt seem to care that it is killing everyone's retirement. Once again, many who voted for him don't care about this because they haven't invested a single dime and actually live off of those who have invested. Real conservatives were mad at Bush's spending and should be OUTRAGED at Obama's spending!

reader54
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reader54 03/04/09 - 10:17 am
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PT: You are

PT: You are correct;"Limbaugh, like many editorialists before him, speaks of conservative values, honor and honesty, personal responsibility and achievement through pursuing goals that fall within these parameters". The only problem is that he has a little situation that precludes him from those glowing words ! He is an illegal drug addict that used his money and power to circumvent the legal system.Do you have any idea how much time Joe Blow would have gotten for the same crime as Limbaugh? He's a hypocrite like so many Conservatives.You know,do as I say,not as I do !

JackRyan
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JackRyan 03/04/09 - 10:23 am
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reader, how about coke

reader, how about coke snorting barry, why leave him out of your diatride. Hey can any Obama supporter explain obamaman's flip flop on the 70B in earmarks and all the lobbyist in his admin, come on now, I know you can do it!

reader54
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reader54 03/04/09 - 10:32 am
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Jack;Obama was voted in by

Jack;Obama was voted in by the citizens.Limbaugh is a paid SHILL for the conservatives. I think the drug laws are hypocritical.Rush is the one who decried drug use on his show ;all while shoving pills down his big gullet.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 03/04/09 - 10:32 am
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READER, did you just accuse
Unpublished

READER, did you just accuse Conservatives of do as I say, not as I do? Well, let's take a look at some of the Dems heroes, you know, like their leaders, sworn to uphold the Constitution and spit on it behind our backs. How about old Bill Clinton, who lied under oath. That's perjury, in case you didn't know. How about old William Jefferson, who had a $90,000 cashwad stashed away in his freezer, and is under investigation for bribery. How about old Rod Blagejevich, who tried to sell O's senate seat to the highest bidder? And, last but not least, how about old Roland Burris, who at first said under oath that he had no contact with Rod Blagejevich before being appointed by him to O's senate seat...then remembered that he had had a few contacts with old Rod's brother-in-law regarding a campaign donation. There is plenty of blame to go around, so don't shovel your $#%@ and expect somebody not to call you on it!

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