April 28, 2015

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Bollocks! That line was so hard to swallow, even the clap-happy Abes reacted hesitatingly. Of course the GOP looks at various groups of Americans as “€œspecial interests,”€ just like the Democrats do. It’s just a matter of which special interests each party tries to woo. “€œSpecial interest”€ does not by definition refer only to racial, ethnic, or gender “€œidentity politics”€ groups. Evangelicals are a special interest group. Pro-lifers are too. The fossil fuel industry and its employees, gun owners, veterans, seniors…doesn”€™t the GOP view those Americans as special interests to be wooed? The term “€œangry white male”€ as a GOP interest group first came to prominence in the early “€˜90s during the Lee Atwater years, but as recently as 2010 Republican pollster Ed Goeas used the term non-pejoratively to describe an important GOP voting block.

And what about Jews? Republicans have been trying to woo Jewish voters for decades, so much so that only a few weeks ago Josh Zeitz wrote a lengthy piece on Politico.com detailing nearly a century of GOP struggles to attract the lucrative interest group. On that subject, should I even mention the Israeli lobby? The GOP has been pursuing pro-Israel Jews so vigorously I”€™m surprised Boehner hasn”€™t grown sidelocks.

Limbaugh is trying to sell the GOP on a soothing lie. By fooling themselves into believing that their party doesn”€™t pursue women and minorities due to a higher principle about not looking at Americans as “€œspecial interests,”€ Republicans can flee the responsibility of dealing with tough issues about their base, by deluding themselves that they”€™re better than the question. “€œGo after new demographics? Bah. It’s beneath us to even consider it, because we”€™re the party of no special interests.”€

It’s highly unlikely that voters will buy a masturbatory fiction that big. In politics, it’s the worst kind of lie “€“ the type that doesn”€™t help win elections. In the political sphere, there are few sins that are considered so vile as to be unforgivable. This is one of them.


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