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