A common symptom of the social/psychological pathology called “movement conservatism” is the belief that most Americans agree with rightie ideas. Righties believe this even when most polls say otherwise.
So it doesn’t surprise me at all if Rush Limbaugh thinks doubling down on the culture war is a smart move for conservatives. And with the economy improving, what else do they have?
At least some righties are facing the fact that they won’t have an electable candidate in November. There is talk of changing the rules so that Jeb Bush could be anointed. But Rich Yeselson argues this can’t save them:
But, of course, under such a chaotic scenario, the white knight candidate would be destroyed by Obama in November. The current candidates and their supporters would be enraged, and the newly crowned candidate would obviously benefit from a rigged system designed—like Bush v. Gore—solely for his one time use. It would make the 1968 Democratic Convention in riot torn Chicago look like a chess tournament.
Recall that some Democrats imagined a similar possibility in 2008. Not a new candidate entering the race, but Hillary Clinton winning the nomination via various last minute rules changes, and the support of the majority of super delegates. Of course, however, the first African American major party presumptive nominee could not somehow be screwed out of the top spot at the last minute without tearing the party apart. A Pyrrhic victory, as it used to be during the original Greek crisis.
However, the difference between Dems in 2008 and the GOP in 2012 is that the Dems care passionately about their candidates, whereas Republican voters today seem ambivalent and confused. It’s possible that by summer they’ll be primed to toss the bums out and rally around a savior at the Tampa convention. So I don’t know that I agree with Yeselson.