Monday, February 9, 2009

Do You Like Rush?

Do you like Rush? Not the band, the guy, as in Rush Limbaugh, master of political talk radio who occasionally gets mentioned by mainstream journalists and politicians.

A Gallup poll asked people what they thought of him. The results? Among all respondents, he had a 25 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable rating. He could change his name to George W. Bush with favorability ratings like that.

But .. but .. look among GOPers. Limbaugh gets a nod from 60 percent of Republican Party identifiers. And this is interesting -- 23 percent label him unfavorable. Nearly a quarter of all GOP identifiers don't like the guy. Fascinating.

Eleven percent have never heard of Limbaugh and 16 percent said they're unsure (meaning they also probably never heard of the guy). If you dislike Limbaugh, I suppose you can take something away from the idea that a quarter of Americans haven't heard of him, a quarter like him, and half of America thinks he's bad.

Never underestimate the effect Limbaugh has on the political process. He has somewhere between 17-20 million listeners and they email or phone political leaders, and if you listen carefully to his program you'll hear his points repeated by others later, often on TV talk shows. Limbaugh sets off an echo effect beyond mere talking points, and that's where I believe his preaching to the choir has its greatest influence. What a lot of people know, for good or bad depending on your partisan take, they know from listening to him.

1 comment:

John Arkwright said...

O'Reilly is incoherent with regard to economics. Hannity pounds economics talking points like he pounds all his talking points. Olberman apparently lives in another economic universe. Maddow does not seem to know much of anything--she tries to score points her superior smirk. At least one PhD economist (me) thinks that Rush gets economics mostly right.

I think Rush goes too far with justifications based on the rule of law, since that invites the question, "Should the law be changed?"--a question that he often does not answer when he is on a "rule of law" rant.

Sometimes he says things to be shocking. At other times, though, he just speaks the truth while those around us tell polite lies, in the same way that Adam Smith told us that we don't really love those thousands of Chinese who died in the last earthquake--we just do not have the emotional energy to care deeply about each of 6.7 billion lives on the planet (less in Smith's day). But I am wandering afield.

Rush is politically incorrect and emphasizes telling the truth, as he sees it, over being polite. So, yeah, the libs hate him. I can understand why some conservatives hate him, since he does try to shock, at times, creating fodder for libs to dis conservatives.

I am libertarian, so Rush and I differ somewhat over which personal freedoms should be curtailed. And I differ greatly with him over his outlook over immigration (though I did not listen to him a lot during that debate).