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Rush Takes Bait, Leaves MSM/Democrats With Hook*

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!

Just two days after watching The Godfather for the umpteenth time, I read “RUSH MAKES OBAMA an offer he can’t accept.“Â The talk show host has invited the president onto his “program without staffers, without a TelePrompTer, without note cards  to debate [him] on the issues.

It looks like Limbaugh has taken the bait the White House offered him in attacking him for his stirring speech at CPAC and bitten it off without getting caught on the hook.  And he swims away with a smile, the Democrats still hold the hook — and an empty line.

It’s almost been amusing these past few days watching the Emanuel/Carville/Begala White House/MSM axis go overboard to potray Rush as the head of the GOP because the talk show host’s unpopularity “with many Americans, especially younger voters.”  Tying him to the GOP will help sink the GOP.

Their strategy may have some short-term success, turning attention from his eloquent criticism of the Administration’s agenda to his middling popularity outside consevative circles.  But, over time, people will start wondering about a White House mounting an offense more akin to attacking its adversaries through a series of personal vendettas than to promoting legislative proposals through articulation of its policy goals.

Offering to debate Obama mano a mano, so to speak, Rush puts his attackers on the spot.  He shows himself as willing to a engage discussion of ideas.  By refusing his offer, the expose their strategy as ad hominem political hardball where you personalize the contest.

That’s not a new kind of politics.  It’s just reintroducing the type of politics played in the Administration where Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, Paul Begala and George Stephanopoulos cut their political teeth, that of Bill Clinton.

RELATED:  Susan Estrich “believes that the current coordinated Democrat strategy of attacking Rush Limbaugh is completely counterproductive.

*With this title, I was trying to suggest that Rush caught Emanuel et al. with the hook with which they intended to catch him (& the GOP).  But, maybe I should have elected simplicity as the Anchoress did in linking this post: Limbaugh took the White House bait without getting hooked. She offers her own thoughts and links a number of conservative bloggers covering this story, so check her post out!

Obama Gets One Right with FEMA Nominee

Over the past decade, while the state of Florida has often been hit hard with hurricanes, few complaints were heard about the quality and speed of government relief efforts.  Many have credited the immediate past governor of the Sunshine State, Jeb Bush, for his hurricane response program.

Part of that good man’s administrative expertise was putting the right men and women into the right jobs, a quality which oftentimes distinguished him from his elder brother.  In 2001, the younger Bush tapped Craig Fugate to head Florida’s Division of Emergency Management.  Bush’s successor Charlie Crist, to his credit, kept Fugate on.

Now, President Obama is bringing that Bush appointee to Washington, nominating him to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Smart move.  Given that state officials are the first responders to any catastrophe, it helps to have a man who has been on the front lines of relief efforts.

He’ll be well suited to coordinate a national effort and help whip the various state agencies into shape so they’re better prepared to face the next disaster than was Louisiana in 2005.

Kudos, Mr. President.  Fugate’s a good pick.  We can been pretty confident he’ll serve the nation as well as he served the Sunshine State.

Happy Anniversary Ron ‘n Nancy

Today we celebrate the 57th anniversary of the nuptials of Ronald Reagan and his beloved Nancy. Her strength and affection helped him become the great man that he was. And his appreciation of this strong woman helped define his quality as a man.

Few presidents were as devoted to their wives as was the Gipper to his Nancy. So, in celebration of their romance, I post this touching tribute I found on youtube:

The Personal Validation Argument
for State Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:45 am - March 4, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Should the California Supreme Court uphold Proposition 8, as I believe it should, and before the citizens of the Golden State vote to overturn it, as I believe we will, I find a man who wishes to marry me, then the state constitution notwithstanding, I will do so.  The state may not recognize our relationship as a marriage (but it will as a domestic partnership), but it won’t punish us for defining it as we see fit.

We won’t need the state to call my relationship a marriage for us to be married.  All I need do is find the right guy and commit with him to a monogamous relationship of mutual affection and support.

For others, however, that “need,” to paraphrase Michael Barone, to achieve validation through government drives the argument of so many who opposed Proposition 8 at the ballot box and who now seek to overturn the popular initiative at the courthouse.  They would be better served, as I have long said, to make a better case for state recognition of gay marriage, one akin to that Jonathan Rauch makes in his book, Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.

There are many good reasons for the state to recognize monogamous same-sex unions as marriage, but making people feel validated is not one of them.  It is not the government’s role to make us feel good about ourselves.  And some who have opined in favor of gay marriage should know better, particularly when they flaunt a media-bestowed mantle of conservatism.

On Rush, the Media, Arianna & the Myth of Deregulation

I have yet to weigh in on the media-generated controversy about Rush Limbaugh’s speech last week to CPAC.  It seems the controversy lies in the power and effectiveness of this conservative discourse.  Before commenting, I wanted to first read to discover (if I could) the same anger, mockery, bullying and contempt that CNN’s Bill Schneider found in the address.

Yeah, there was some mockery there and even a few expressions of contempt, but there was no anger.  Indeed, whenever I listen to Rush or read his stuff (as is more likely the case nowadays), I don’t find much anger in his words, a lot of humor, a good deal of mockery, but anger, no, not much.

It seems that his critics in the media are eager to portray him to fit their narrative of outspoken of conservatives as uneducated, unrestrained rubes.  He thus becomes a better target for their scorn as well, to borrow a a few works from Schneider, their mockery and contempt.

After watching part of it and reading the whole thing, I pretty much share Hugh’s assessment, disagreeing only about its seminal nature.

What has struck me the most about the speech is not just its quality, but the media’s reaction.  Following the Administration’s playbook, they have been relentless in their attacks, seeking to shift the story from Rush’s uplifting message to his controversial nature.  Despite Rush’s succinct articulation of conservative principles, it did include a handful of over-the-top flourishes that a more judicious orator would have excluded.

But, if Rush were more judicious, he would be less entertaining.