S.E. Cupp’s Unhelpful Apostasy

Youthful commentator S.E. Cupp of the lamentable MSNBC recently made some trouble for herself by an ill-considered slam on Rush Limbaugh. Then, she made it worse with a subsequent doubling down on her unhelpful and unnecessary attack.

For those unaware, S.E. Cupp is a young, conservative commentator that has been close to Glenn Beck–close as in his employee–and last year began a stint as the token conservative on an MSNBC show called The Cycle.

To catch you up on the controversy, Cupp was quoted in The New York Times saying that we should not be afraid to “call out Rush Limbaugh” when he does or says something she deems outrageous.

Unsurprisingly, Miss Cupp was cremated on Twitter for her slam on Rush. While much of the attacks she sustained on Twitter were over the top and unwarranted, the essential criticism of her position is correct.

Instead of taking the criticism, though, in a follow up column published on February 19 in the New York Daily News Miss Cupp doubled down on her position.

Her piece, headlined “I won’t be Rushed,” is a long one, but her position is summed up well in the subhead: “For the sake of conservatism, Limbaugh’s defenders need to get his fallibility through their heads.”

In her New York Daily News piece, Cupp, reinforces her point that as conservatives hoping to sway the public we should be quick to slam anyone on our own side that says something that detracts from our essential message. Yes, even if it is Rush Limbaugh, one of our most popular boosters.

This might seem reasonable. It might seem as if we are saving our integrity. But S.E. Cupp is wrong, wrong, wrong.

It might seem like an impossible situation for our representatives (both elected and figurative) to go before some maven of the old media who insists on throwing the latest outrageous thing Rush Limbaugh said in their face and demand they either agree with or denounce the radio giant. It puts us in a bad space right away when we are asked to answer to what someone else said.

For her part, S.E. Cupp used Rush’s “slut” comment as an example of that tough spot scenario. You might recall last year when left-wing, pro-infanticide activist Sandra Fluke was filling the news cycle, Rush’s response was to call her a slut for campaigning for government-supplied contraceptives.

So, if one is to react to something outrageous, then one is at a disadvantage. If what Rush said about Sandra Fluke is outrageous, if it is widely considered outrageous, and if one is asked to come down on that point, well it is an uncomfortable spot, for sure. And to S.E. Cupp, the solution to the tough spot is not to be afraid to slam Rush for being outrageous.

Her reason to slam Rush (or anyone on our side that makes outrageous statements) is so that we can retain our integrity. Again, this almost sounds like a sensible position to take.

But Cupp is not “getting” the whole approach we should be taking, here.

The proper strategy can be seen in how the left reacts to these same situations. The fact is, no one on the left ever accepts the concept that they should have to address the outrageousness of a comment when it comes from their own side–which happens daily, really.

The key to answering to these situations is not to denounce Rush… OR agree with him. The key is not to play the Old Media’s game and to change the subject without accepting the premise that the subject should be Rush’s (or anyone else’s) outrageous comment! This is what the left does in every single case when confronted with outrageous comments from people on their side. They refuse to answer the question, they stick to their message, they don’t attack their own, and they advance the ball EVERY time.

We make a great mistake to play the media’s game of finding someone on our side that we need to denounce. All it does is show our side in disarray, makes it seem as if there is infighting, and this overshadows our message. Further it is a game without end. We’d spend all day being forced to address these so-called outrageous statements and would fail to ever get our message out there if we keep falling for this left-wing, media-sponsored game.

So, when they confront you about what Rush or anyone else said, the correct response is to ignore their question, ignore what Rush said, stick to the message, and refuse to engage about Rush. The left does this EVERY time something outrageous is said by their fellows and they win the debate every time by doing so.

Now, granted there are times when something just needs to be called out. I agree. But those times will be few and far between and S.E. Cupp’s “Rush/slut” example does not rise to one of those times. But more often than not it does us no good to accept the Old Media’s premise and engage in the sort of finger pointing they want us to engage in. Ignore their effort to undermine our message. Stick to your points. Don’t let what someone else says distract you.

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Posted by on February 20, 2013.
Filed under 2012 Presidential Race, Agitators, Conservatives, corruption, Culture Of Corruption.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • jim_m

    Yet another so-called conservative succumbs to the siren call of compromising their beliefs in order to win the applause of the MSM and their peers on the left. Doing so might bring one fleeting praise and a few invitations to cocktail parties, but selling out your principles for a few hypocritical pats on the back never reaps a reward commensurate to the price.

    • herddog505

      I don’t think that’s what she’s doing. Rather, I think that she’s pointing out that Republicans / conservatives have to be a bit smarter about crafting their message. Publicly calling a woman a “slut” isn’t smart when one is trying to convince women to support one’s party.

      • JonS

        The Rush incident wasn’t ‘crafting a message’. It was an inelegant point said off the cuff as part of a larger debate. Conservatives could have used it as a springboard to drive home what an abomination Fluke’s mentality is in a free society without taking responsibility for Rush’s comment. Instead the Left swatted our nose with the newspaper and we rolled over like good dogs.

        The purpose of the defense is to prepare for the offense, not to curl into a ball and beg for mercy.

        Conservatives need to grow up.

        • herddog505

          JonSConservatives could have used it as a springboard to drive home what an abomination Fluke’s mentality is in a free society without taking responsibility for Rush’s comment. Instead the Left swatted our nose with the newspaper and we rolled over like good dogs.

          It’s a tough hair to split: one has to condemn the off-the-cuff remark without letting the remark become the subject of the conversation. Needless to say, MiniTru is hardly going to be helpful in this regard: if a Republican criticizes Rush, no matter how mildly, then it’s, “even the GOP hates Rush!” If Republicans DON’T criticize him, then it’s, “GOP war on women!” Heads I win, tails you lose.

          It’s a very frustrating situation.

          • JonS

            We shouldn’t even play the game.

            It really jerks my chain that the Right’s pols and opinion-heads don’t immediately respond to this type of argument with “Sure Rush is a jerk, but what does that have to do with our kid’s and grandchildren’s future debt enslavement?”, over and over again. Dominate the conversation with it and make the Left’s media whores look like morons for focusing on spurious garbage.

            I think we also need to stop assuming that the world begins and ends with major news networks and newspapers. Are the low/no-information voters (including the slackjaws who couldn’t even be bothered to get off their butts and vote) even paying attention to the news? Or should we use social media or other non-traditional information channels to drive home the point that the Left’s path leads to stagnation and ruin?

          • herddog505

            JonS[S]hould we use social media or other non-traditional information channels to drive home the point that the Left’s path leads to stagnation and ruin?

            I have read that this is how Barry got over the finish line ahead of Romney: he was better at using all sorts of media to reach the deadheads and convince them to go to the polls and vote for him.

            As for the road, it’s tough sledding to convince people who are getting a check from Uncle Sugar that, collectively, all those checks are bankrupting our country.

      • jim_m

        Rush is a commentator. GOP candidates don’t lose votes because Rush is controversial. GOP candidates lose votes because they are imbeciles like Akin or they rush to seize the middle like McCain and Romney. They either try too hard to please the leftist media, pissing off their base or they say things like they are freaking morons.

        • herddog505

          If MiniTru can succeed (and they’ve certainly been trying hard for years) to make Rush into the face of the GOP, then he IS, whether he intends to be or not.

          Goldstein didn’t really exist. Neither did Big Brother. Yet, they were “real” in the effects that they had on the people of Oceania.

          jim_m[Bad GOP candidates] either try too hard to please the leftist media, pissing off their base or they say things like they are freaking morons.

          And MiniTru as well as the “right wing blogosphere” immediately rush in to take advantage. Todd Akin was no more a representative of the GOP than I am: he was a below-par politician who made a stupid statement that MiniTru was only too happy to leap on. He had the misfortune of not only being dumb, but also of having the wrong letter behind his name. Consider: we have democrats lately blathering the most incredible, offensive idiocy about women, rape and guns (“why, you might shoot the wrong person just because you THINK you’re being raped”), yet they get away with it because MiniTru doesn’t shine the same light on them as it does Republicans.

          As for Yosemite Sam, Grahamesty, etc., many of us are quick to deride them as RINO’s, turncoats, sell-outs, etc. when they… well, act like RINO’s, turncoats and sell-outs. We then pride ourselves on NOT being a pack of drooling robots like the democrats: WE can criticize OUR politicians because WE don’t drink the kool-aid.

          Cupp, it seems to me, is not only saying “don’t drink the kool-aid” but also SAY “I ain’t drinking the kool-aid”.

  • herddog505

    [Rush calling Sandra Fluke a "slut"] was crazy because it invented an irrational connection between her private sex life and her political position. It was stupid because calling someone a name is intellectually lazy. Make an actual argument. And it was dangerous because it trafficked in the same kind of misogyny that liberals use when they blast conservative women for being sluts, prudes or sexually repressed. And that fell right into the well-crafted but dishonest “war on women” narrative that liberals had set up to (successfully) get President Obama re-elected.*

    I think that she’s got a point. While I think that Sandra Fluke is odious – a partisan hack who was nothing but a non-mechanical stage prop for democrats and their ongoing attack on the Catholic Church – it did no good for Rush to call her a “slut”. In doing so, Rush unwittingly played right into democrat hands: instead of a national discussion about how religious liberty is being sacrificed on the altar of the liberal mania for abortion, about how awful ObamaCare is, and about the lousy economy, the skyrocketting debt, and the rest of the economic misery being inflicted on our country by Barry and his gang, we had a national discussion about how mean Republicans are to women. Sandra Fluke, a rich white girl who should have been an object of ridicule for demanding that Uncle Sugar force her Catholic university to pay thousands for her to get birth control that she could buy at Wal-Mart for a pittance, instead became a Victim of Religious Conservative Theocrat White Male Oppression(TM).

    I suggest that Cupp is recommending what amounts to damage control: Rush overstepped, and the damage MIGHT have been mitigated had other conservatives instantly come out and rejected what he said.

    Let us face a hard fact: MiniTru is overwhelmingly liberal, and that means that they are dishonest and will grasp at any excuse to smear conservatives as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. Let’s not hand them those excuses on a silver platter. It ought to be possible to make a point about policy without resorting to namecalling, especially when that namecalling can be construed as making a victim of the poor widdle democrat in question.** Titles such as “hack” and “liar” are race / gender neutral, and have the added virtue of being almost universally true when applied to democrats.

    Above all, let’s keep in mind how lefties talk about conservative women such as Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and even Cupp: do we REALLY want to act like libs???

    ===

    (*) http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/won-rushed-article-1.1267200?pgno=1

    (**) No matter how satisfying such name-calling is!

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      You obviously did not read the original piece above.

      • herddog505

        Why do you say so?

        • MartinLandauCalrissian

          Uh, crap. I was trying to reply to the other guy. Apologies. I did not mean you, herdog.

          • herddog505

            No prob.

  • Wild_Willie

    Rush is first and foremost an entertainer and he will tell you himself. He is satirical but only the left is allowed to use biting satire. Fluke made an incredibly stupid comment. With all that said, why would any candidate address it.

    Lee Atwater stated: Never, NEVER, get off message. I agree. The dem’s do it. WE should also. ww

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. Rush’s response was to call her a slut ….

    Nope.

    Was not.

    Mr Limbaugh suggested that a woman’s demand she be paid for having sex makes her a slut.

    And that – definitively – is the simple Truth.

    • http://www.outsidethebeltway.com rodney dill

      Technically I thought that would make a woman more a whore, rather than just a slut.

  • ArtStoneUS

    So therefore we should ignore what SE Cupp said and not write this article?

    • JonS

      The author provided alternative suggestions in the final five paragraphs of the piece, but feel free to go passive aggressive and sulk at home. That is working great for us so far.

      “Screw you guys, I’m going home!” is not a winning strategy.

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      Or we can just call you an idiot, ArtStoneUS. That would be closer to the truth.

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  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Baron Von Ottomatic

    Well, we could always deal with her the way Islamists deal with apostates. I’ll bet the harlot wears pants in public too.

    • JonS

      Or we can discuss how to deny the Left the initiative instead of apologizing for one person uttering poor wording.

      Why does “Rush screwed up” have to be the main point? Can Cupp be missing the forest for the trees?

      What is more important, keeping your get from enslavement to society’s poor choices, or begging for acceptance from people who have an ideology orthogonal to your own?

  • SicSemperTyrannis

    We should have gone on the attack against Fluke instead of attacking Limbaugh. Point out that she choose to attend Georgetown just so she could attack them for their policies. She willing put herself in that position and then wants us to feel bad for her? I don’t think so. Attack that troll until she shrivels up and goes away.

  • kazzer66

    Cupp is falling into the trap of letting liberals define conservatism. If she doesn’t agree with Limbaugh she doesn’t have to listen to him. I don’t let myself be influenced by the Limbaughs and the Hannitys, or any other of the ‘voices’ of conservatism, but I also don’t believe they should be silenced or censored, besides Rush makes me laugh.

    I don’t even think the execrable Bill Maher should be censored, as much as I detest him.

    As a conservative I believe in free speech, even speech I disagree with. I’ll leave the attempts at oppression to the Left