Friday, January 22, 2016

Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and the Political Gamble In Which They Engage

     Presidential campaigns have ebb and flow. Leaders emerge and fade, supporters for one candidate change their allegiance to another, and in the end when the dust settles it is the candidate who is able to inspire support among the greatest number of primary voters who wins the prize. The Republican race to become the Party's representative in this November's general election is no different. With one caveat, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot in Right-Wing talk radio. Now, as a rule I am not susceptible to lending credence to conspiracy theories. But the recent, sudden, and jarring switch of support from Donald Trump to Ted Cruz by Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin leads me to believe there is something more present than just a come-to-Jesus moment for both men.
     For the last several months both "conservative" talkers have been evangelists for the Trump campaign, even in the face of the candidate's own non-conservative views and behavior. And then as if a switch was activated, both Limbaugh and Levin have become Cruz backers. The excuse given by both is the recent attacks by Mr. Trump aimed at Mr. Cruz, and the formers support for ethanol subsidies in the all important caucus state of Iowa. Both reasons have been present in the race for sometime and hold very little credence to the intellectually honest.
     And then of course there is the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump in the campaign, which I think has played a bigger role in the alacrity engaged by Mr. Levin and Mr. Limbaugh in switching support from Mr. Trump to Mr. Cruz. Sarah Palin, for those that do not remember, endorsed Ted Cruz in his race for the senate way back in 2010. Back then it was the conservative values of the Tea Party that Mrs. Palin brought to bear in helping Mr. Cruz become Senator Cruz. For that moment in time the Tea Party was a benefit to the Reagan conservatives, since, they have moved quickly into the liability column as a result of their evermore radical views.
     Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh are both entertainers and businessmen first, and defenders of the Reagan conservatism faith second. Being lead by ratings also causes one to become somewhat of a gambler in political talk radio. Both Limbaugh and Levin gambled that Trump was going to become the Republican nominee, so they fell in step behind the Left-leaning real estate developer. Both men (maybe after meeting with each other and mulling the polls) have now switched their bets to Cruz, seeing Trump's popularity fading to the fringe. Helped along by the intellectual lightweight and fringy Right-Wing maven of conservative fluff, Sara Palin, and her endorsement of The Donald.
     Of course none of my theory can be proved, that is why it is a theory. It just seems awful suspicious to me that both men would be so in-the-bag for Donald Trump, and then both switch their allegiance to Ted Cruz in lock step. If it is not part of a larger conspiracy, it is one of the great coincidences in American politics. We shall see once the voting begins next month in Iowa whether or not Mr. Levin and Mr. Limbaugh's bets on Cruz pays off, or if they will once again have to change their bets to another candidate they see emerging. Both men risk looking even more foolish as the wheel slows down and their bets are still so fluid.

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