"Grab some popcorn, kids! This is going to be the most entertaining edition of 'Republicans Eating Their Own' I've ever seen!" Jones Radio's syndicated talk show host and super model, Stephanie Miller.
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning," says Robert Duvall's shirtless Lt. Colonel Kilgore as he crouches down on a Viet Nam coastline, explosions sounding all about him in the classic film, "Apocalypse Now." Staying ever calm in the midst of a war that no one was ever sure who the enemy was, Kilgore exhorts, "Smells like victory."
Whatever is brewing on conservative talk radio, it smells more like surrender than victory. There's some shots being fired from the right side of the talk radio dial and for the first time since Rush Limbaugh took dead aim on the young Bill Clinton, it isn't directed at their customary enemy...the Democrats. For now, it seems, the right has met the enemy and it is U.S. war veteran, John McCain.
Now, if we follow the standard logic of the Right, if the Democrats mention anything within 6 degrees of military separation, it's all about "undermining the troops."
"The military should be supplied with proper armor before putting them in harm's way." i.e. Undermining the troops.
"Withdraw the troops from a war where the reason for that war, WMD, didn't exist." i.e. Undermining the troops.
This one is a hell of a lot more on the money. Even more than the silence of talk radio when Republicans cut benefits to the Veterans Administration. Even more than O'Reilly denying there are homeless veterans. Even more than O'Reilly coming on the next day and massaging what he said to make it that he was only talking about the veterans being on the streets because of the economy. Even more than O'Reilly insulting former P.O.W. McCain by lecturing him that torture works.
It's an explosion of blaring disagreement all born out of what is a new ball game for conservative talk radio: a Republican presidential selection process that's anything but slam bang vote for one man.
And if the one man becomes McCain the Lords of Loud might just become awfully quiet.
Glen Beck said he would believes he "wouldn't be able to pull the lever for McCain."
Undermining the troops!
The loudest Lord of Loud, Rush Limbaugh, led the way with a verbal blitz, not just against McCain, intimating that if McCain or Mike Huckabee is the nominee, he might just sit out 2008.
Undermining the troops!
Eight years of demonizing Bill Clinton, seven years of cheering George W (they'll all say they've had their problems with Bush, but not enough to forget so many made him the second coming), fifteen years in incestuous lockstep have smashed into an inevitable wall.
And that wall is UNDERMINING THE TROOPS!
The Right, of course, will deny it.
Doug McIntyre, morning man at KABC in Los Angeles (and regular fill in for O'Reilly's radio show) where both Levin and O'Reilly reside, says the seeming dissension between the right wing host "reflects the mood of the country." "No one's crazy about the field," said McIntyre. "It's similar to '96 when the Republicans knew that there was no way they could beat Clinton and they just threw Dole out there."