Vichy Republicans

The year is 2003. Tom Ridge is chatting, explaining what’s going on with Homeland Security, having a seemingly good time. His good natured counterpart in the conversation lets Ridge run with the conversation.

The other party in the conversation is Rush Limbaugh. Ridge had called into Rush’s show.

Over the past twenty years Rush has been on the air, people like Powell, Ridge, and others have had no problem using Rush to air their policy views, defend themselves, and chat.

And in those twenty years, as anyone who has regularly listened to Rush can tell you, the substantive coverage of issues has increased, not decreased. As Rush has become better educated over the last two decades on issues, we all have too. But Rush’s consistency of principle, conservatism, and humor have not changed.

Now, twenty years after Rush began, some Republicans who once fell all over themselves to get on the air with him, have decided he is too shrill, too conservative, and too harmful to the cause.

What they do not seem to notice is that Rush has not changed. They have. The ground has not shifted to the left. They have shifted to the left. They have become Vichy Republicans — not Republicans in Name Only. The difference is that they stand on their bona fides as Republicans, patted on the back by other Republicans of unquestioned party affiliation, to sell out the party by collaborating with the Democrats.

During World War II, the Vichy Regime arguable ran France as an independent nation, but were puppets of the Axis powers. In Norway, a similar situation occurred under the illegitimate regime of Vidkun Quisling. Today we use the word “quislings” to refer to those who collaborate with and help the enemy.

Call Powell, Ridge, etc. quislings, Vichy Republicans or whatever you like, but one thing is clear — these respected men have chosen to use their positions and media adoration to take on not Rush and Dick Cheney, but conservatives. Like Obama using various bank executives as a proxy to fight the free market, these men and others are using Limbaugh, Cheney, and others as proxies to fight conservatism in general.

Why? Because Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Coulter, and others are burning down their potemkim village — their facade of being both reasonable and on the right. Continue reading

Cheney, Limbaugh, and the Destruction of America

Dick Cheney has given a lashing to both Colin Powell and Barack Obama.

Put me in the Cheney-Limbaugh camp. Heck, put me in the Cheney-Limbaugh 2012 camp.

If not a Presidential ticket, at least they should be the listened voices on the right — the ones whose advice guides the direction our candidates go.

Yes, the left may laugh at that and encourage it, but they would be wise to think about it.

Mr. Powell recently said that Republicans need to more move to the center politically and that Mr. Limbaugh’s polarizing far-right rhetoric hurts the party’s image.

Mr. Limbaugh retaliated by accusing Mr. Powell of being “just another liberal” and that he should become a Democrat.

“I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party,” Mr. Cheney said. “I didn’t know he was still a Republican.”

Colin Powell, Meghan McCain, and others would have the GOP become more Democrat to compete on the playing field of American politics. Cheney and LImbaugh both urge a clear, distinct brand. The money is on them. The GOP will never win by being Democrat-lite.

It is the essence of what Jim DeMint recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal. The GOP needs to refine its message and actually stand on principles instead of trying to be all things to all people.

One way to do that is to maintain consistency on a strong defense, which is right where Cheney is aiming going after Obama.

Mr. Cheney said that administration’s dismantling of many of the policies and protections instituted by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — including the planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and halting controversial prisoner interrogation techniques — have made the country more vulnerable to future attacks.

This is an important point to keep repeating because it has the virtue of being true and of lingering in the public conscience. If we are attacked again, and with Obama in charge it is more than likely that we will, the public needs to remember what it was like to have grown ups running the show.