April 28, 2015
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 “special interests,” just like the Democrats do. It’s just a matter of which special interests each party tries to woo. “Special interest” does not by definition refer only to racial, ethnic, or gender “identity 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 “angry 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 “special interests,” Republicans can flee the responsibility of dealing with tough issues about their base, by deluding themselves that they”re better than the question. “Go 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.