Irony: Rush Limbaugh criticizes e-book that is sympathetic to the tea party

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Apparently riffing on a review he read in the Huffington Post, Rush Limbaugh took to his golden EIB microphone Wednesday and ripped RealClearPolitics’ Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon over their new e-book, “Election 2012: The Battle Begins.”

(Note: Cannon was my former editor at Politics Daily and is also the son of Reagan biographer Lou Cannon.)

What’s the controversy? One of the many questions “Election 2012” explores is whether Gingrich’s former aides left him when they discovered Rick Perry was interested in running for president. Additionally, it quotes anonymous former aides who trash Callista Gingrich.

(Now that he’s leading the polls, of course, the long knives in the media are out for Newt Gingrich, and Limbaugh was presumably seeking to push back at the media. But this project was clearly in the works long before the Gingrich boomlet began. It would be wrong to think this e-book is a “hit” job on Gingrich.)

Seizing on a The HuffPost column — which noted the anonymous sources — Limbaugh criticized Bevan and Cannon, saying: “No evidence! No, of course not. There is no evidence. The book doesn’t offer any evidence, ‘but the question lingers.'”

The first point here is obvious: Unless you believe the authors are fabricating their reporting (which I don’t), they are not the ones lodging the criticism — they are merely reporting what former Gingrich aides told them.

But the truly ironic thing is that this e-book is actually sympathetic to the tea party. (This, of course, isn’t as interesting or timely to discuss, but I suspect Limbaugh would find much to like.)

Here are a few excerpts that didn’t make it into the HuffPost (or onto Limbaugh’s show):

Democrats from the president on down kept claiming that Republicans were holding “a gun to the heads of the American people.” That was a direct quote from President Obama. Vice President Biden used the word “terrorists” to describe Republicans in a meeting with Senate leaders. Prominent Democratic officeholders and liberal journalists called the House Republicans “jihadists,” “Hezbollah,” “carjackers,” “suicide bombers,” “vampires,” “nihilists,” “extremists,” “tyrants,” “extortionists,” and “traitors . . . who want to end life as we know it on this planet.”

They did this while at the same time calling for more civility in politics, and once, incongruously, on the day they welcomed Gabrielle Giffords, grievously wounded by an actual gunman, back to the floor of the House.


Finally, in contrast to the fulminations of liberal critics, the actual result of Tea Party involvement in Republican politics was increased representation in elective office of people of color. Before the 2010 midterms, only three Republicans who were members of racial minorities served in Congress or as governor. Afterward, this number was fourteen—almost all of whom were elected with Tea Party support. Moreover, most of them, ranging from Nikki Haley and Tim Scott in South Carolina to Alan West and Marco Rubio in Florida, were nominated over the objections of the Republican establishment, and not the other way around. “The Tea Party is diversifying the GOP,” the respected National Journal magazine noted matter-of-factly.

(Emphasis mine.)

Matt K. Lewis