Can The Right Save Itself?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 30 2013 @ 12:12pm

http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/01/29/limbaugh-backs-marco-rubios-immigration-plan-de/192443

When Rush agrees with Rubio on immigration reform … with extreme reluctance, cognitive dissonance, and obvious discomfort, it’s worth noting. Weigel writes up the exchange. It’s a rare example of reality-acceptance, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high. Allahpundit is impressed:

Can [Rubio] convince the most deeply skeptical members of his own party to at least keep an open mind about the sort of bill that made McCain’s “Maverick” label a curse word among conservatives? He’s doing pretty well so far, no? The real target audience here, I think, isn’t Rush’s audience but centrist Republicans and media types who are desperate to make the base more open to centrist policy ideas but completely confounded as to how to do it. Rubio’s message: I can do it. And maybe he’s right. Maybe each side’s ideological principles are basically only as sturdy as the support they get from charismatic leaders at the top.

Pareene thinks immigration reform is a long-shot:

I’m still pretty sure Republicans will play along on reform for a month or two before scuttling the entire deal over some exaggerated bit of Democratic “overreach.” Republicans want to be seen as supporting immigration reform more than they want actual immigration reform. If the end result here is that they get no immigration reform, but they do get points for trying, they will consider that a success.

But that won’t stop it being a failure. Do they realize just how completely Obama is wiping the floor with them right now? Or has Limbaugh absorbed this and adjusted a little? If he has, then, well, yes, we have a liberal Reagan on our hands, don’t we?