Saturday, 7 November 2009

Gingrich v Limbaugh

An interesting report on Think Progress flags up the growing discord between populist right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in what could prove an important schism within the US right.

This time the occasion is a blame game is over the Democratic victory in a safe Republican congressional district, after a heated schism in which prominent movement conservatives including Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck backed a third party Conservative candidate against a Republican, who then withdrew late in the race and endorsed the Democrat Bill Owers, who went on to win.

With Gingrich warning against the Republicans becoming "the party of no", with no positive agenda of their own, it is interesting that the shifting politics of the right now sees the leader of the 1994 conservative revolution now cast as the moderate voice in his own party.


But perhaps these battles are on their way to British politics too.

Interestingly, Limbaugh is now publicly cited as the model by Paul Staines, author of the leading Guido Fawkes political blog, as he ditches his official "plague on all your houses" claim to political nihilism, using a Guardian interview this week to confirm that he wishes to come out as an explicitly right-wing partisan voice, acknowledging that he combines pro-Conservative public advocacy with libertarian pressure to seek to shift key political battles inside the right.

As the Guardian reported:

Staines says his ambition is to be an independent and enduring rightwing voice, like blogger Matt Drudge and radio host Rush Limbaugh in the US. "Like the Rushies [Limbaugh fans], I want the blogs to be a constituency politicians have to factor in."

With Daniel Hannan announcing he is leaving his little known frontbench role to spend more time with his political movement, the plan appears to be that Fawkes will lead a British movement of 'dittoheads', with Hannan as the leader of this Transatlantic movement.

So be very afraid. Or, alternatively, ask yourself, what could possibly go wrong with that?


Gingrich has also teamed up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call for action on climate change.

I wonder if he might prove to be the man who could convince our own Tory blogosphere climate sceptics to at least take another look at the issue.


Guido Fawkes said...

They are 'co-conspirators', not 'dittoheads'.

Sunder Katwala said...

Thanks. A "British movement of 'dittoheads" was directly reference your post, as linked: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man – we are all ditto-heads now; Rushies and the Co-Conspirators".

But do you perhaps want to make the distinction because you think that the 'dittoheads' are too unthinkingly passive, deferential, and easily led compared to your aspiration to empower your 'co-conspirators'?

So would you want it to look significantly different over here from the current Beck-Limbaugh-Palin movement phenomenon? Are Hannanism and Palinism similar movements, or is part of the plan to be a bit less "know nothing"?

Guido Fawkes said...

Dan is his own man, he is more Ron Paul than Palin. More Keith Joseph than Thatcher. Too early to say what the correlation of forces will be in the next few years.

I think political analysts look to America too much for a template. We have very different issues. Religion is also of little consequence, the right is mostly socially liberal so the issues are more about economics and governance.