Rush Limbaugh – Mike Huckabee Kerfuffle

Rush Limbaugh - Mike Huckabee KerfuffleWhile I was spending the day trying to avoid sunburn whilst sipping rum punch, much of the blogosphere was apparently embroiled in a set-to between conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and insurgent presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee.

Apparently, Huckabee once wrote a book enjoining people to “listen to less talk radio” and someone vaguely associated with has campaign said that Limbaugh doesn’t like the Huckster because “Rush doesn’t think for himself.”

Limbaugh responded with an on-air tirade likening Huckabee to the Clintons and Ross Perot and noted that he “hadn’t heard of Huckabee in any serious manner before this campaign began” and that “McCain’s starting to look better to than this guy.”

In the spirit of party comity, let me just say that they’re both right.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2008, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Boyd says:

    While I’m not a ditto-head, to say that Limbaugh doesn’t think for himself indicates the speaker has no clue what Limbaugh actually articulates (which I think is your case, James) or they’re lying (the Huckabee spokesman).

    I may not like some of the stuff Limbaugh says, or I may think he’s wrong on this or that subject, but he doesn’t think for himself? That’s just not reality.

  2. laura says:

    Rush is a tool of the NRC. I don’t suppose that he literally doesn’t think for himself but his thinking (if you can call it that) is predictable and useful to the people who use him, the robber barons and oligarchs.

    For example: linking Huckabee to the Clintons. That’s classic wingnut dishonesty. First the invocation of the Evil Clenis, the right’s very favorite bogeyman, then the linking of Huckabee to Clinton, in spite of the fact that the Huckster collaborated with the nutwing nutcases that convinced themselves that a rapist was innocent for no reason other than the fact that the victim’s dad was a Clinton supporter!

    Jeez, isn’t it embarrassing to have so many really dishonest, crazy people on your team?

  3. C.Wagener says:

    Robber barons and oligarchs?. Jeez Laura, didn’t you forget to mention those eight Jew bankers in their underground lair?

  4. floyd says:

    IMHO;If “Rush 1989” could meet “Rush 2007” , he would despise him and ridicule his every thought.
    Apparently, power corrupts.

  5. Bithead says:

    Oh, please…. spare me.

    In truth, the press likes Huckabee better than the Republicans do. the vast majority of punditry around the Beltway, and outside of it, have been giving tacit recognition of this idea for some time now. They just haven’t said it directly.

    The problem of course is not so much is social conservatism, and his lean towards Christianity; those in fact, are his strong points. Unfortunately, it they are his only strong points. for all that he is a social conservative, he has clearly demonstrated he is not a conservative in the Reaganesque sense of governmental minimalism. In fact, Limbaugh is quite correct when he says that Mike Huckabee makes John McCain look good.

    I said to David last week, that Huckabee’s boom was more about inertia than about actual thought. What Huckabee is suffering from now is people looking at the man, and not the momentum, and finding him wanting. Rush makes note of this, and Huckabee jumps on him? PLease.

    The trouble of course is that Huckabee simply doesn’t have the mental wherewithal to take on the likes of Rush Limbaugh. What Huckabee has failed to reckon with, is that Limbaugh and the politics that he represents, are far and away more popular than Mike Huckabee and his politics ever will be.

    Here’s why…

    I submit to you that Mike Huckabee’s rapid rise, and his forthcoming even more rapid fall are both due to the hunger in the country as a whole for Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism. Ronald Reagan made no bones about his faith. His political conservatism, grew out of that faith. When Mike Huckabee came along and started making all the proper noises, a lot of people figured that conservatism was part of the deal. They are now rapidly finding out that that’s not the case. On Immigration for example Huckabee is looking like a real loser. As a result of this and many other issues high on the list of conservatives, He’s falling in the polls faster than he rose. ( Thus giving a new meaning to the word “Huckaboom ” which will forever translate as “Everything blowing up in your face”.)

    Limbaugh isn’t the cause of this fall, he’s simply observing.

  6. James Joyner says:


    I haven’t listened to him much in the last few years, owing both to tiring of his shtick and a less compatible work schedule. Still, I’ve listened to him quite a bit.

    I mean essentially what Floyd’s saying. Rush is a smart guy who obviously thinks for himself and he’s not even a pure tool of the RNC, as evidenced by his stance on Harriet Miers and other issues. But he’s very much willing to change positions for convenience and partisan hackery. Things he criticized Clinton for were suddenly fine when done by GWB.

  7. Bithead says:

    Things he criticized Clinton for were suddenly fine when done by GWB.

    Such as…. what?

  8. Boyd says:

    I don’t defend anything Limbaugh has said. I merely state my opinion that anyone that doesn’t believe he thinks for himself either doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or is an opportunistic liar. The man clearly thinks for himself.

    And can it be a big surprise that a conservative talk show host occasionally (or even very often) agrees with the Republican party? Give me a break!

  9. Boyd says:

    Would this be called Huckaspam?

    Editor’s note: He’s referring to several since-deleted comments. It’s hard to keep up with this idjits, especially whilst on vacation. – jhj

  10. jh says:

    Good Grief. This whole episode is a classic example of the internet version of the child’s game Telephone lol.

    First facts. A blutb from some “Friend” of the campaign in the frackin Atlantic blog sends Rush into a 4 hour program. Everyone here knows that when a politican is hot “friends” appear out of no where and “friends” like every everyones have opinions.

    In comments one Boyd has called him a “Huckabee Spokeman” lol. By The end of the night I awas hearing Huckabee said it. AMazing

  11. Christopher says:


    You have no idea what you are talking about. Rush is making the comment because that was what the Clinton’s did-they blamed their own lameness and liberalness on talk radio. Don’t be such a dumba**!

    And how is Rush a tool of the RNC? He is the most listened to talk show host EVER! He is not beholden to anyone, he is completely independent. He earns more money that you can comprehend-what could they give him that he doesn’t already have? NOTHING.

    Typical liberal: talk w/o knowing what you are talking about.

  12. Bruce Moomaw says:

    Bithead: “What Huckabee has failed to reckon with, is that Limbaugh and the politics that he represents, are far and away more popular than Mike Huckabee and his politics ever will be.”

    Well, maybe among the GOP. Certainly not among the American public as a whole. CNN’s poll of Limbaugh’s nationwide popularity in Sept. 2006, soon after his seriously nauseating attack on Michael J. Fox, showed him 65-27 negative, which means there’s a good chance that his attack on Fox personally swung the very close Missouri Senate race — and, with it, control of the Senate — to the Dems. Keep up the good work, Rush!

    As for “Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism”, let’s not forget George Will’s crack at the time that it “consists of giving the average American $1.25 worth of government for $1 worth of taxes, with the rest being borrowed.” In that respect, Dubya is much more the proper heir of Ron than a lot of Republicans now like to think. (Nor, really, do I remember Reagan ever uttering a peep of dismay about illegal immigration from Mexico either during his 8 years as President or his 8 years as governor of California. But then, the GOP — on this issue as on many others — has always been frantically trying to please both sides at once; its major financiers certainly don’t want to give up all that obligingly cheap labor.)