Eric B: Okay, so who we rollin’ with then?
Rakim: We rollin’ with Rush.
The debate over Rush Limbaugh has strong echoes of the fight over Sarah Palin. Those who criticized her, like David Frum and (after time) Ross Douthat have also spoken out against the growing prominence of Rush. Meanwhile, those who have come to his aid at National Review and elsewhere were among Palin’s main defenders. I remain much more appreciative of Sarah Palin–who is a successful mother and governor–than I am of Rush Limbaugh, but the fights over them are both, ultimately, about the same thing: loyalty and identity politics. The centrality of identity–of who the right’s leaders are in addition to what they say–is why David Frum is right to highlight Rush Limbaugh’s personal life. Conservatives built decades of political success on the successful manipulation of taste and character. I’m a bit surprised to see Rush’s defenders forget their importance now.