The Anybody But McCain faction is in free fall and it’s only going to get worse
from here.

After all those hours of venting, the head blowhard was scrambling. After Florida was called for McCain, with the his radio ego on the line, the guy simply had to come up with
something good, really, really good. He had to find some way to explain how John
McCain won Florida. After all, when the P.T. Barnum of wingnut radio singularly
targets one politician, that person, in this case a man because we are talking
about Republicans, has got to bend to Rush’s will. The electorate and his witless audience must follow the wingnut’s leading pied piper’s orders, like the rat pack in “Ratatouille” smelling out garbage for supper.

But it didn’t happen.

So since the listeners didn’t wrap themselves around Rush’s every word, voting
en masse against John McCain. El Rushbo wrapped John McCain around his words
himself. There’s only one problem. McCain was a Reagan man long before Limbaugh.
Tut-tut, facts never get in the way of a wingnut on damage control. Regular listeners of my radio show know this plot already.

RUSH: My friends, my friends, there is reason for optimism, there is reason
for hope. By the way: “Change” is a stupid slogan, and so is “hope,”
but I know some of you want hope. Be of good cheer. From the shadows of this
setback, let me offer this uplifting thought. In Florida, half the liberals
voted for Mrs. Clinton. One-third of the Republicans voted for Senator McCain.
Our friends in the media predicting my demise (boos) talk about how conservatism
is dead. Let me ask a simple question, ladies and gentlemen. Why is
it that all of the Republican candidates claim, to now carry the mantle of
Ronald Reagan?
Senator McCain is the most recent. “McCain Claims
Conservative Mantle.” Said McCain (doing McCain impression), “It
shows one thing: I’m the conservative leader who can unite the party.”
How can I be said to have lost, ladies and gentlemen, when what I stand for
is rock-ribbed conservatism, and each one of these candidates — each one
of them flawed, by the way, which has caused many conservatives to be wandering
aimlessly in the electoral woods. How can it be said that I have lost or that
conservatism has lost, when all of our Republican candidates claim to be conservative
and to carry the conservative mantle?

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: In fact, it looks to me like Fred Barnes’ candidate, Rudy Giuliani,
has now dropped out. It looks like David Brooks’ candidate, Mike Huckabee,
has no traction — he hasn’t won anything since Iowa — and he needs to get
out. Tom Brokaw’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, she’s in deep trouble going
into Super Tuesday. The race card didn’t work. She needs the “firewall”
of the Latino vote. But Tom Brokaw’s candidate is floundering. Tim Russert’s
candidate, Barack Obama, seems to be doing better than expected. Good for
you, Tim. I’m proud of you. Olbermann’s candidate, Kucinich, is now gone.
He’s back in Ohio, trying to keep his seat against a primary challenger. Mort
Kondracke’s candidate, Ron Paul, gets weirder by the minute. (boos) Thank
you. And I want to stress once again, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank
you for your support, and I want to assure you that I cannot — and I will
not — leave the Golden EIB Microphone. (applause) I will not retire. I will
not concede. (cheers and applause) I will not drift away! I will not fade
away, until every American agrees with me–

Rush
Does Not Concede, Vows to Fight On

It wasn’t that the listeners didn’t heed the head guy’s call. It’s that McCain started using Rush’s Reagan lingo. Operation save Rush Limbaugh’s ego had succeeded, as long as the audience bought the bit.

On another wingnut outlet later, after the debate at the Reagan Library, coming after McCain’s win, his
endorsement by Rudy and rumors of another one coming out of Cal-ee-for-nee-a, Mary
Matalin appeared on Fox’s “Hannity and Colmes” to blow smoke up Hannity’s
horn, praising the entire conservative radio crew, even naming the big ones by name, asking for guidance from the Anybody But McCain mob. The usual confidence of Ms. Matalin had vanished. But I guess after being 0 for 2 that will do it to anyone; the crash of George “macaca” Allen, then grandpa Fred Thompson was just too much. Boy, Mary can sure pick ’em.

This is happening every day on a wingnut channel near you or streaming on the web. If you’re not listening to conservative talk radio right now. You just don’t know what you’re missing.