The irrelevance of the far right

March 5, 2009

culture / politics

There is a growing irrelevance that the far right is experiencing in this country, and many believe that it is entering what will be an extended loss of influence due to a failure to recognize that people in the United States have moved away from its mannerisms.

Interestingly, this is an area in which the church is proceeding at the same pace as, or actually faster than, the rest of culture: as the lords of the political Right flail for the remnants of their influence, the lords of the Religious Right do so as well.

Rush Limbaugh, of course, is a case in point. Most are aware of his recent comments, reiterating his desire for Obama to fail and saying that his actions will fail simply because Rush doesn’t like them, and accusing liberals of having had the desire for Bush to fail (though, of course, liberals bent over and took it from Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 and in the buildup to the Iraq war, and only started to say we should stop when it became apparent that, even in selfish American terms, things were a disaster). This comment of his isn’t the issue that illustrates the utter irrelevance of the Right, though.

The issue is that no one on the Right is even able to disagree with Rush. Various politicians, all the way from members of Congress to the head of the RNC, have attempted to distance themselves from him, only to return with their heads between their legs a few days later when he became angry with them and say that their comments were misunderstood, and they couldn’t possibly have meant to criticize the wonderful conservative leader. Rush is the leader of the Republican Party.

The far Right has lost itself in pathetic hypocrisy, and it is reflected in the desire of Rush and his friends to reign in government spending after a disastrous administration spent us into the grave on wars, and rediscovering its desire for personal liberty after an administration that tortured its enemies and gave itself the right to define anyone it likes as its enemies. Pathetic. Those who are not on the fringes of the Right have nowhere to go.

Similarly, in the leadup to the 2008 election, Focus on the Family released the oft-noticed Letter from 2012, in which the election of Barack Obama was blamed for a host of ridiculously impossible things in an attempt to grasp at the dwindling power of the organization. Last week, of course, James Dobson stepped down. Do you think he would have done this if Obama had lost? I suspect he would have stayed on for a few more years, attempting to convince more people that a complex view of the world that goes beyond that of Republican ideology is antithetical to evangelicalism.