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The Rush To Rush Judgment

Wednesday, March 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Judging from my e-mail, my guest host Jim Geraghty had David Frum on yesterday talking about Rush and the GOP. Not sure what was said, but it angered Rush fans. David’s a talented writer and pundit, but of he wants to “reform” the GOP by deeply reducing the influence of many key constituencies within the GOP, including evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons who believe the life and marriage issues matter, so of course he isn’t going to be a big fan of Rush. In any event, David criticizing Rush reminds me of the old saying about pebbles and battleships.

Today the Washington Post runs a Perry Bacon piece on Rush for which I was interviewed early last week, and which I referenced in my post on Rush from this weekend. I am not quoted in the article, so all the brilliant things I said about Rush even before the CPAC speech are not there to be read. But as I insisted –my standard policy for MSMers wanting to interview me– that the interview be taped for broadcast after the story ran, Duane will play it in the course of today’s show, which will again be guest hosted by Jim G. A transcript will be posted here later. Judge for yourself if Bacon’s piece might have ben improved by including any of my pro-Rush commentary.

Bottom line: Rush is one of the two greatest communicators in America, along with Oprah. He effectively raised the spirits of the base last weekend in a way no Republican had since last November. The party would be in much worse shape without him, and the Dems know that and are using this moment to try and brand him a burden on the party so as to diminish his effectiveness. Only the easily confused will fail to understand that every effective spokesman for conservative principles is necessary, and that Rush is the most effective spokesman the right has right now. He is not a “leader” of the party in the way that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are –designated to negotiate on behalf of their elected colleagues on when and how to work with the new Administration.

But he is one of the major voices of the loyal opposition. Long may he prosper.

BTW: I am not in any way upset that Perry Bacon didn’t use any of my analysis for his piece. Events have overtaken our conversation, so it is less relevant than when it occurred.

I do note, however, that using David Frum as a source elevates David far beyond his influence in the party or among conservatives. Given that the vast majority of center-right influencers would speak highly of Rush’s talent and principles, sound journalism would have had Bacon using one of us as opposed to Congressman Kingston to balance Frum.

A final note before going back to vacation mode: Kindle 2.0 is wonderful, an extraordinary device for many reasons, and the perfect antidote to any gloominess about American inventiveness and future productivity.

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