Regardless, the war on Limbaugh from the left is a tired rehash. In 1995, Bill Clinton tried to blame the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush. In 2002, then-senator Tom Daschle, the leader of the Democratic opposition, claimed that Limbaugh’s listeners weren’t “satisfied just to listen.” They were a violent threat to decent public servants like him.
In just the last month, Obama suggested that Republicans were in thrall to Rush. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has anointed him the GOP’s leader. Rep. Barney Frank complained that Republicans didn’t give Obama enough standing ovations during his address to Congress because they are afraid of Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
Does anyone think that Republicans, absent fear of Limbaugh’s lash, would be throwing flower petals at Obama’s feet as he sells the Great Society II? If that’s true, I say thank goodness for Limbaugh’s lash.
More than just complaining, Mr. Goldberg offers a suggestion:
Bring back Firing Line. William F. Buckley Jr., who died almost exactly a year ago, hosted the program for PBS for 33 years. He performed an incalculable service at a time when conservatives were more associated with yahoos than they are today. He demonstrated that intellectual fluency and good manners weren’t uniquely liberal qualities. More important, the Firing Line debates (models of decorum) demonstrated that conservatives were unafraid to examine their own assumptions or to battle liberal ones.
As Democrats try to ram through the “remaking of America” (Obama’s words) by exploiting a financial crisis, we need those debates. PBS could actually live up to its mandate to educate and inform the public. It would be the kind of entrepreneurial government innovation even right-wingers could get behind.
As a reminder of what a wonderful program Firing Line was, here is a portion of one of William F. Buckley' interviews with Malcom Muggeridge