I f you want to know the vulnerabilities (perceived or real) of Hillary and Barack; if you want to discover the different lines of attack that McCain will follow against them in the months ahead, there is one thing that you have just GOT to do.
You have to listen to afternoon right-wing radio.
That means “Rush-noon-to-three” or “Sean-three-to-six”.
That’s Limbaugh and Hannity, of course. Let me know how long you can take it. (Zero to three minutes for Dems; three to six minutes for Republicans, is my guess.)
But if you are real Rush fans or Sean fans, or both, it’ll be “All Afternoon”. You love this stuff. You lap it up. It makes you feel alive.
They say just what you were thinking. Even before you think it.
You sit there steamingly, screamingly, close to apoplexy, and you shout “damn right” and “makes me SICK” at the radio, and you seethe and pound the table at the latest perfidy of the left.
Some people might describe Rush’s voice as “stento-bombastic” and Sean’s voice “whiney-nasal” –as I have just done here– but no doubt there are many who probably regard their tones as more….”magisterial” and “incisive”. The tones of Great Americans.
A few inner-circle fans are inspired to call up, to speak to Rush or Sean. If you aspire to doing this, be aware that there is an obseqious tone that both hosts require. You are not allowed to disagree with them –not that you would– or to question them. On the faith-based right there are…no questions. Who do you think you are?
You will be required to intone the ritualistic fawning greeting, as in:
“Mega-dittoes Rush. It’s an honor to speak to you…” and then you can go into how much you agree with him.
Or, with Sean, it’s
“Sean, you’re a Great American. It’s an honor to speak with you” To which a scrupulously-equal (for the moment) Sean will reply with his land-of-the-free ” You’re a Great American.” What a guy!
There is another much-employed form which equally conveys a degree of sycophancy, which goes:
“Hello Rush-Sean…long-time listener, first-time caller”. To which Rush will probably issue you a breezy “welcome aboard, Fort Lauderdale” or where-ever. They both like it a lot when the caller adopts that “forgive me for daring to enter your holy of holies” approach. In the greatest country in the world, obeisance goes down well.
Today Sean Hannity riffed effortlessly and shamelessly for more than an hour on a single sentence of Michelle Obama: something about Barack’s great progress making Michelle “proud of her country for the first time in her adult life” or words to that effect. (Michelle, Michelle! Words matter, Michelle. Or not.)
“Who does she think she is…living here in the greatest country in the world…this country that’s given her EVERYTHING…for all we’ve done for the world…for the freedom(s) we hold so dear (sometimes Sean says freedom-singular, and sometimes –I think it’s when he goes into overdrive and begins to wax patri-mystically– he says freedoms-plural. And on and on. (They both like to employ that perennial Reaganism, “The Shining City on The Hill”. Makes them sound so…Blakeian, so …(can I say “Rapturous”?) (Of course I can.) And did those feet?
There’s no stopping the guy –except of course, I can always turn him off. However, today, this is Sean at his absolute hannityiest.
Within minutes, Sean has elevated Michelle’s one sentence into an overall condemnation of everything that lies to the Left-of-his-own-Mouth. “Yes, her and her husband, both Harvard graduates…the liberal elite…and by extension The Clintons (note: you have to know when you can’t just say ‘Hillary’) and that whole bunch of them that can’t say one good thing about this country which has given them everything…the country that everyone all over the world desperately wants to come to. And she has the gall (Question to the reader: What word has Sean left out here, that goes before ‘gall’. Right! That’s right….”she has the gall, the unmitigated gall to….” –oh, whatever it was. Fill in the blank. Sean plays this one masterfully: first he says ‘gall’ and then he goes back and says ‘the unmitigated gall’ with his voice rising on the MIT sylable. This has nothing to do with Mitt Romney. That was last week.)
[This week, McCain is their guy. Last week they were swiftboating him; repugnantly waterboarding him. Rush, when he was pushing Romney, even floated the suggestion that the Vietcong must’ve got to McCain’s brain in that prison camp. It was McCain as Manchurian Candidate. (In amongst all this heady excess of rhetoric, those three weeks before the tide changed…when each one of them tried to outdo the other, Ann Coulter still managed to go TOO FAR: she was, she said, going to vote for Hillary rather than McCain if he won the nomination.
Oh my GOD! Amateur. Who does she think she is? Listen Ann, er, you can’t actually SAY that. They (by which they mean “we”) are going to come after you. And already, in the space of the week since she said it, Ann has somehow become something of a shadow of her former blond-and-sharpkneed-leggy self in the Right-Wing Radio Pantheon. She used to hold her own: now she’s gone just too damn far. Who does she think she is?
Ann, can I have a word with you. Listen, if you want to get back in everybody’s good graces, if you want to redeem yourself over that Hillary remark, you’re going to have to go sycophantic. You’re going to have to suck up. Fawn, baby, fawn.
OK, let’s take it from the top:”Sean, you’re a Great American! Who does Hillary think she is. She isn’t fit to shine McCain’s shoes. She’s pathetic….”
“No, no Ann. Not “she isn’t fit”. It’s “she isn’t EVEN fit”. So, try it again….