The Republican leadership has privately reached out to conservative TV personalities like Sean Hannity and Brit Hume, and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot, National Review’s Kate O’Beirne, Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard, David Brooks of The New York Times, George Will, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and groups such as The Heritage Foundation, among others, have all heard from Republican leadership, including Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam of Illinois. And even former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), the chairman of FreedomWorks and a tea party favorite, got a call from GOP leaders.
I can't help but think of the fact that a couple of years ago David Frum identified who is really running the show for the Republicans.
I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.
Forget the whip counts you'll be hearing about today. If you really want to know whether or not Boehner's plan has a chance of passing the House, listen to Rush Limbaugh.