There has been LOTS of talk about the role of conservative talk radio in this year’s election. For those of you who haven’t heard, the stalwarts of conservative radio, such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and Glenn Beck had been staging an all out war vs. a John McCain nomination. Daily, on their radio shows that are listened to by millions of Americans, they denounced John McCain and urged listeners to vote for Mitt Romney. Ann Coulter, the vitriolic anorexic talking head that keeps writing best-selling books by employing a tone that attempts to devour liberals akin to how Hannibal Lecter likes to devour human brain, even went so far as to say that if McCain wins the Republican nomination, she would vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
The reasons they hate McCain are ridiculous. I’ve pointed out the reasons before in a previous post (http://cocanuts.blogspot.com/2008/02/super-tuesday-eve.html). Let me add one thing to McCain's seemingly anti-conservative, "anti-Reagan" (as they claim) stances. While these radio folk LOVE to extol the conservative virtues of Reagan and criticize McCain for his positions on immigration, taxes, campaign finace reform, let us remember a few things. Reagan signed an “amnesty bill” for illegals in 1983, raised taxes 11 times after his big initial cut of the top marginal rate from 70 to 28% in 1982, and he was the president at a time when the budget deficit ballooned to a record 153 billion from 73 billion. Furthermore, the number of workers on the federal payroll rose by 61,000 under Reagan (the number fell by 373,000 under Clinton).
I know all of this talk is anathema for conservatives, but here are some articles that support this.
The big topic this morning on the Sunday morning political shows was whether the conservative radio crew would now support McCain since he is well on his way to capturing the nomination. Some said they would have to support him now, but others pointed to an interesting conspiracy theory. They felt that the talk show people (Rush, etc) would NOT support McCain and would rather have a democrat win the nomination because, at the very least, these people on the radio will have more fun and get higher ratings when they have someone in the White House that they can continually “bash”. Raging against the machine provides better entertainment than “Nice job Dubya”.
I don’t know if this interesting theory is true. We’ll see very soon how they handle having McCain as their “chosen one”. If any of you are listening to these people on the radio, write a comment to this post to let the rest of us know if they soften up on McCain. If they don’t lighten up and support him, then the conspiracy theorists will be right...they would rather serve their own personal interests (e.g., lots of viewers, lots of money because criticism intrigues listeners more than praise) that the interests of conservatives and republicans as a whole.