"This incident is sure to raise his profile, though for all the wrong reasons," writes a Telegraph sports guy re Sri Lankan left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, above, one of five players injured yesterday when Islamist terrorists — delicately termed "gunmen" by the Telegraph — opened fire on their team bus in Lahore, Pakistan. According to Wikipedia, "Sangakkara has won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging," AKA "mental disintegration." AFP photo.
"Sledging is a term used in cricket to describe the practice whereby some players seek to gain an advantage by insulting or verbally intimidating their opponents":
There is debate in the cricketing world as to whether this constitutes poor sportsmanship or good-humoured banter.The purpose is to try to weaken the opponent's concentration, thereby causing him to make mistakes or underperform. It can be effective because the batsman stands within hearing range of the bowler and certain fielders; and vice-versa.
'Sounds a lot like the current Administration's Alinksyesque, divide-and-conquer, anti-Limbaugh jihad — not to mention the earlier eight-year Soros-seeded anti-Bush campaign and the whirlwind anti-Palin assault last fall. Rush explains the Rahm-Emanuel-choreographed reaction of White House and media allies to the Rush phenomenon in general and his "first televised address to the nation" at CPAC Saturday in particular:
Well, I don't hurt. I am not hurt by any of this. What this is, though, is cruel. It is cruel because it is a game of manipulation emanating from the Oval Office … In that speech were not just illustrations of what's wrong with this administration and liberalism. There were solutions, solution after solution after solution, because conservatism is a solution … None of the things that I said in that speech are being repeated by the Drive-By Media which I knew would be the case, because face-to-face discussions and debates are not going to happen. Instead, Alinsky's Rules for Radicals number 12 has been employed: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Rush relishes being in the crosshairs of his ideological adversary in the White House. The importance of being noticed and all that. Besides, it's good for business. But the real target of Obama's sledging strategy of intimidation is the Republican Party, beginning with the opening shot last January when the President thuggishly warned his critics that "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
“I do think he's an intellectual force, which is why the Republicans pay such attention to him," Rahm Emanuel told CBS News's Bob Schieffer on Sunday in a rare moment of truthfulness before spinning off to repeat the big lie that Rush wants Obama the President of the United States — as opposed to Obama's socialist agenda, the real object of Limbaugh's critique — to fail.
Taunting GOP party leaders who may have been watching Face the Nation on Sunday, the Commander-in-Chief's unctuous, take-no-prisoners hitman Rahm Emanuel volunteered that Rush is “the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party." [We're no Dittohead, but El Rushbo's CPAC keynote Saturday was a warm comforter of common sense and wisdom that fell gently on our shoulders, making us glad he's on our side, unlike those fuddy-duddy Northeast Corridor Republicans who, in Charles Krauthammer's words, can't "tell the lion from the lamb."] We were horrified to find ourselves watching LIVE on CNN Saturday night as our own "Energizer-in-Chief," RNC Chair Michael Steele took the bait in response to a dig from Rahm Emanuel fellow traveler D.L. Hughley, host of a relatively new "comedic news show." When Hughley referred to Rush as "the de facto leader of the Republican party," Steele dutifully followed the MSM narrative, dismissing Rush as an "entertainer" whose show is "incendiary" and "ugly." He offered Limbaugh a lame apology next day, but Rush wasn't buying. Meanwhile, Chris Matthews and his fellow bottomfeeders were off and running down the cricket pitch.
"Rush will turn his enemies' thrusts to his advantage," we wrote in the comments to Ann Althouse's post on the subject this morning:
My only concern is that Northeast Corridor Republicans afraid of losing their invitations to the best Beltway parties and independents who aren't paying attention will be taken in by Rahm Emanuel's Alinskyesque maneuvers.
As Glenn Beck said with disgust this evening re Michael Steele's performance, "At least have the balls to stand up and say what you believe. I'm tired of the game playing."
Back on January 29, we discussed the daily strategy phone call engineered by Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for friendly TV commentators and “reporters.” Politico reported that Emanuel has a daily phone conference call with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, and CNN’s James Carville and Paul Begala …
As soon as the sun rose on the day after Limbaugh’s CPAC appearance, three of the four of the phone call participants attacked Limbaugh with the same talking points. It seems obvious that they coordinated their attack together in the Obama secret strategy session. It is amazing that a president’s staff can have such power over major media figures without a peep being heard from those that only months ago bashed former presidents over a perceived undue, even “dangerous,” control of the media.
What would you expect of a political culture capable of producing former Clinton aide Paul Begala's obscenely insolent "Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda Cool."
Update: "Is that cricket?" quips Professor Reynolds. Thank you sir, for all the eyeballs.
Update II: Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings links: "Is Rush Limbaugh Barack Obama's Goldstein?"
Update III: The Anchoress links with her usual comprehensive coverage and a handy list of links to related essays.
Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.
As Jonah Goldberg wrote in "The Tired War on Rush Limbaugh":
Just because the Democrats’ shtick is old and often dishonest doesn’t mean it’s tactically dumb. Limbaugh and other right-wing talkers are popular with a third of the country. Fairly or not, they turn off moderates and self-described independents (and, for the left, conservative talk radio is the font of all evil). Most politicians would prefer to have 70 percent of the public on their side at the cost of losing 30 percent, even if that requires being less than fair to the 30 percent.
It's the demographics, stupid.