Thursday, May 28, 2009

Being that 800 lb. Gorilla

On CNN Wednesday host, Nicole Lapin, asked Arnold Schwarzenegger: "What do you think the future of the Republican party is? Who exactly is in charge? Do you think Rush Limbaugh is in charge of the Republican party these days?"

The Governor replied:

Well I think that they say that Rush Limbaugh is the 800 lb. gorilla in the Republican party," Schwarzenegger responded. "But I think that's mean-spirited to say that -- because I think he's down to 650 lbs. I think one should be fair to him about this whole thing.

In all seriousness, I think that the Republican party -- if they listen to the voters- - they're gonna be fine. They're gonna come back again," he added. "There is no two ways about it. I think the key thing is to keep that large tent and to have, you know, the right-wing, which has, you know, a very, very strong place in the Republican party. But we also need to create a center of the Republican party, and I think that the bigger our tent is, the better it is.
Limbaugh is good for Limbaugh but he sure isn't good for the Republican party despite what Dick Cheney says.

21 comments:

John O'Leary said...

Limbaugh may not be good for the Republican party, Judith, but he's great for the Democrats. Each angry blast of hyberbole helps the cause in that sense - though he lowers the bar for political discourse in the land.

judith ellis said...

You are so right, John, on both accounts. As to the latter, the lowering of the political discourse was one of my concerns when Dick Cheney came out against the moderate reasonable Four Star General Colin Powell in favor of Limbaugh. I hated this. Dick Cheney's comments of late are disgraceful for this reason, as well as many others.

septembermom said...

It's not a good thing when any one person is considered the voice of a political party. Most Republicans would probably love to see Limbaugh exiled off to Crete.

judith ellis said...

LOL, septembermom! While I agree with the premise of the danger of a single voice of a political party, I do believe that leadership is essential, speaking singularly through the voice of many. President Obama does a beautiful job at this.

The Write Girl said...

Hey Judith,

I think the Republicans will eventually find their way again. It happens every so often democrats rise, republicans fall and vice versa. Obama appears to be doing a good job but if the economy doesn't improve, voters may turn towards the republicans in the mid year election.

judith ellis said...

Hey The Write Girl - You are most certainly right about the cycles in party leadership. I also wonder that with each election and negative campaign, mid-term and presidential that starts earlier and earlier each cycle even among past leaders in order to gain re-election, if this is good for the country. For example, the Sotomayor nomination have sparked a fire under the Republicans but for the wrong reasons. The racist and sexist remarks are mind-boggling. Many are not talking about her record as a judge but off the cuff sound bites that are not shown in full context. Regarding the economy, I'm thinking that perhaps Americans are more mature than we initially thought. We may understand that considering the depth of the financial crisis that it will take longer. Well, this is my hope based on some analysis at least.

allen said...

'Sensable' talkers like Joe Scarbough appear to be uncomfortable with the likes of Rush, but only in that it makes it less likely the Republicans will come back soon. Scarbough keeps insisting that the Republican party needs to get back to it conservative roots and also big a 'Big' tent' and accept the likes of Colin Powel. But Powel is not a conservative. The Republican party nneds to move more the the center - it needs to actually move and not just appear to move by 'accepting' Colin Powell.

judith ellis said...

allen - I agree with a big tent Republican party or any party for that matter. Is this not democracy? But I must admit to feeling a wee bit sick reading your opening line. Scarborough, reasonable? I used to watch Morning Joe, but for many months now I can hardly take him or his guests. After the evisceration by Mika's dad, Zbigniew Brzezinski, he has lost big in my eyes. He lacks in my estimation political intellectual rigor. His frequent guest Peggy Noonan is not a favorite either. Her feign reasonable approach does not go over well with me generally; also, her writing often appears all over the map from article to article. But I think what she has been saying regarding Judge Sotomayor is right on.

allen said...

What I meant to convey is that Scarborough is 'Superficially Sensible'. My feeling is that he wants Powell in the party for the same reason the Bush administration had him make the case for weapons of mass destruction at the UN. Scarborough has written a book that gives pointers to Republicans as to how to resurrect the party which includes making it more of a big tent, but I think what he actually wants is for it to appear like a big tent just to get votes. In Scarborough's Republican party, people like Powell would be used to give the party validity - superficial validity.

John O'Leary said...

I must be REALLY old, because I remember when there was something called a "liberal Republican" (e.g. Nelson Rockefeller).

judith ellis said...

Yes, allen, thanks for the clarification. That I understand totally. I absolutely hated to see Powell at the UN. It was so very obvious leading up to that moment that he did not agree with the Bush adminstration's reasons for invading Iraq. He played the role of the good general; under what circumstance I do not know. Regarding Scarborough and any books that he has written, I highly doubt it if I would ever purchanse any of them.

judith ellis said...

Hmm? Liberal Republican? But labels are just that--labels. Although, I guess they are necessary to some degree for the pure ability of order of thought and significance of mass on a whole host of issues in various fields. Labels can also be seen as essential categories.

allen said...

I'm old enough to remember when
Jacob Javits, the republican senator from new york, ran on the Republican Ticket and the Liberal ticket at the same time (and won). Paul Krugman has pointed out that the positions Bill Clinton took while he was President were to the right of the positions Richard Nixon stood for.
When Eisenhower was testing the waters on his presidential run, it was not clear if he would run as a republican or a democrat. The polarization we see today is not the way it always was.
BTW, I would never buy a book written by Joe Scarborough either. I just think he is selling himself as a 'sensible' republican and the book is part of his marketing. He is thinking about running for a senate seat in Florida.

judith ellis said...

Wow, allen, thanks a lot for that bit of history! It seems completely reasonable that it was not always like it is now or nothing of real value would have gotten done. We seem to be playing around more these days, posturing and not really making decision that lead to real change. Also, my concern is that we have become so polarized that it actually stunts necessary laws and national productivity--to say nothing of the hand of big business in government through campaign financing. But the last election seems to have lessen polarization to some degree. Will we return in 8 or 12 year? How about 2? I highly doubt it in 2. My partner and very good friend in a business venture is probably one of the staunchest Republicans around. He did not vote for Barack. This evening at dinner he said, "I have to admit that I am very impressed with the President." He is a senior executive at one of the Big Three. I smiled.

judith ellis said...

P.S. I totally agree on Scarborough.

allen said...

The story about your friend in encouraging. I hope that the country is changing in the direction of less polarization.

John O'Leary said...

On the same subject I remember the supposedly liberal John Kennedy running to the right of Nixon on national security issues in the 1960 election. JFK claimed to be tougher on communism than Tricky Dick - who was FANATICALLY anti-communist. 10 years later Nixon was considered to be among the moderates (even liberal to some) in the GOP.

judith ellis said...

Yes, allen, I too hope we are moving away from polarization. We think quite differently on some very fundamental points. But he remains a close friend whom I love dearly, not to mention that I have learned a lot from him.

judith ellis said...

John, I love these stories. Kennedy running to the right of Nixon??? WOW!!! Not many would have thought that! While I understand the label of "Tricky Dick," I appreciate the past president for many reasons. He was a formidable businessman and as you have said considered rather moderate. Also, his upbringing as a Quaker must have also influenced many of his decisions, though many would point to the obvious to refute this. But we are never as simple as we appear, are we?

CJ said...

Rush is an entertainer whose thoughts and opinions have no lasting value.

Rush is like a lot of today's music: Although popular today, it will be forgotten and counted as a joke come 2029, or '34.

CJ--who does NOT expect to hear either Rush Limbaugh's words quoted or the lyrics to Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" sung this time in 2034.

judith ellis said...

Love your whole comment, CJ, my friend!