November 11, 2014

Limbaugh lawsuit lessons

In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for defamation. I don't blame him, but there's an interesting lesson Limbaugh is providing conservatives in the process, intended or otherwise.

Here's the crux of the case.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh threatened on Monday to sue the Democratic National Campaign Committee – a group of sitting members of Congress – over fundraising emails that claimed he advocated for rape on college campuses.

In a letter to the political organization, lawyers for America's most listened-to talker demanded a retraction and an apology.

Limbaugh, known for mercilessly needling elements of U.S. progressive culture, spent part of his September 15 show mocking a sexual consent program that The Ohio State University implemented this year...

'The modern era of feminism relies on a lot of accepted premises,' he said. 'The biggest one is that men are predators, that they're mean – in their natural state they are brutes, bullies – and that women are endangered at the slightest bit of temper or anger. This has been a tenet of feminism.'
The details of the case aside, Rush's potential lawsuit is a step in the right direction for the conservative cause because it's right out of the Alinsky playbook. It uses liberals' strengths and tactics against themselves. It's a matter of political jiu jitsu. The courts have long been a channel liberals have used for recourse, often to absurd lengths. Using their tools against them is a masterstroke of a move. Targeting their core, a powerful force for progressive political energy and money, is going after their strength and trying to weaken it.

It's also a matter of principle that if you are not playing offense then you are playing defense. For far too long conservatives have played with a defensive mindset. We are interested in defending the Constitution, tradition and the guiding principles that founded the nation and that have carried it to greatness. Those things have been under attack practically since their inception. But the defensive mindset only serves to allow conservatives to cede ground on those things at a slower pace than not defending them.

Instead, now the DCCC may have to muster resources to defend a lawsuit. It diverts their attention from their mandate of winning in Congressional elections. The best defense is a good offense. Limbaugh's timing, coming on the heels of an election in which Democrats suffered more setbacks is perect. It's a flawless action. Even if the DCCC successfully defends the lawsuit, the costs in political terms is there.

Conservatives should take note of Limbaugh's actions, they are instructional.

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