There should be no mistake about what Mark Levin believes, or even the vast reach of his influence over the debate about government. Many left-wingers and not a few establishment Republicans accuse Dr. Levin of being a yelling mad-man, but that ignores the extent to which he influences the public debate. At an event last year in support of Ted Cruz, in the run-off that made him the Republican candidate, one attendee asked quite simply: How can we stop the construction of Ameritopia? What was stunning wasn’t the fact that the Senate Candidate knew full well what the questioner meant, being a friend with Dr. Levin and a campaign season guest on his show, but that all around the room, heads nodded up and down, because they knew the meaning of the question too. When the Senator answered, he demonstrated an understanding of the implications with respect to the US constitution, but unlike your typical rally of Democrats, the audience understood his points in part because some of them are lifetime students of our civil society, but also because among them were many listeners of Mark Levin’s show.
On Tuesday evening, frustrated with the talking points and narratives of establishment Republicans who wish to blame conservatives for last November’s losses, Levin launched:
Dr. Levin holds a special contempt for so-called RINOs, or as I have recently dubbed them, “Mini-Dems.” They don’t believe in conservatism, or near as one can tell, much of anything. Instead, theirs is the worship of a brand of vague pragmatism that ends in Republican defeats. Of course, Dr. Levin realizes the RINOs aren’t going away, but here I think the larger point is that the underlying strategies and arguments that comprise RINOism are dead, as demonstrated by their repeated failures in election after election.
Levin’s reach into the blogosphere is deep and wide, as almost daily, some blogger somewhere, much as I’m doing now, is posting a vital clip from his show, and this acts as a spark for debate, not merely between left and right, but more importantly in the wake of last November’s election defeats, between and among Republicans and conservatives. This is because Levin spares no feelings, or at least not many, in making the essential and incisive points that establish the conditions of the debate. This may explain more than anything else why Levin’s show has grown while others have remained fairly static. He engages one’s mind, and he demands you follow the logic. He makes no apologies for supporting the Tea Party, or the conservative wing of the party, as Levin came up in politics in the watershed year of 1976, campaigning for Ronald Reagan. Though Reagan lost that election, it set the stage for his nomination and election in 1980, and Levin was there to learn the critical lessons.
Most listeners to Levin’s show comprise a group of studious, committed pupils, attending a a constitutional classroom in which the principles behind the founding of the country and the framing of its constitution are the daily lesson plan. What’s more, while it’s relatively early to draw this conclusion, as conservatives are searching for answers to their current political morass, it seems as though more are turning to Levin for the answers. It’s not as though Levin claims to be an all-knowing font of wisdom on what ought to be conservatives’ course, but his determination to fight and keep moving is enough because what becomes plain to his listeners is his unfailing commitment to see the battle through, whatever form it takes. Part of this may owe to the fact that in the wake of the 2012 election, conservatives are looking for a strong, articulate leader to make their best case for liberty, but I believe it’s a good deal more substantive than that. Levin seems almost instinctively to understand what the left will try next, which may explain why the stories he reads on one day so often become the topic of discussion throughout the blogosphere on the next day.
It’s been true on this site, almost from its inception, and on many occasions, I have brought readers audio from Dr. Levin’s show. My readers will have no idea on how many occasions Dr. Levin had stolen my thunder by covering a stories that I had in draft form as Levin’s show began, only to later discard them because on topics of substance, he generally leaves so little to be explained. That’s fine by me, but it highlights another important point about Levin: He’s plugged-in, and he works tirelessly outside the confines of his show, not merely to prepare for his daily three-hour lesson in liberty, but because in other efforts, he’s at the tip of the spear. The Landmark Legal Foundation is his other instrument of our republic’s defense, taking up cases of constitutional import on behalf of a grateful people. This level of involvement means that unlike so many other talkers, he’s in the trenches with us, and often as the point-man out ahead of us, spotting danger and directing the initial engagements.
Given all this, you’d think more Republican politicians would heed his advice, but where Dr. Levin is fearless, all too often, elected officials won’t follow his lead, out of a fear frequently masquerading as an overabundance of prudence. Levin understands this, and he often asks politicians questions that he then suggests they not answer, instead completing the thought on his own, knowing the precarious state of any official’s office. Levin’s show is probably also the largest network of plugged-in conservative activists in the general right-wing sphere, and his audience is unashamed to lean on politicians and to begin with the phrase: “I heard on Mark Levin’s show that you were going to vote for…” It is for this reason that so many of the DC Republican establishment tunes into his show, and while most won’t admit it, the fact is that they are well aware of Levin, and they feel his electoral influence. Politicians on the receiving end of his support love to hear the phrase “Levin surge” pronounced on their behalf, just as they cringe when they pop up on Levin’s radar for the sake of a well-deserved critique. They know they’re about to find their email and voice-mail full, and they’re going to get it both from Levin on the radio as well as from their constituents.
What may make Levin the most compelling and influential of the talkers and political media figures is that he expresses his contempt for the malfeasance of politicians and parties in the context of legal concepts on which he daily refreshes his audience. Apart from this blog, and rare few like it, you will not often witness a discussion of the principles underlying our supreme law. Law can be a minefield as any layperson will know, but there’s something precious about the ability to breath life into the collection of words, explaining their meaning and the context in which they were formulated in a manner that both educates and engages listeners. Very often, listeners to Dr. Levin’s show evince a reverence for our republic’s charter that is both touching and sincere, but also ironic in light of how easily their alleged “betters” dispense with both its words and spirit inside the beltway.
This kind of reformation movement isn’t religious, but its most ardent supporters would contend that while they may cling to their guns and their bibles, they haven’t turned-loose of their constitution either. Listening Tuesday evening, as Levin mentioned the effect he suspected his show might have on the national dialogue, I wondered aloud in response to my deaf computer screen as to just how many of the people I know are now loyal Levin listeners, and the truth is something staggering. I may live in rural Texas, where we tend to value liberty more than the average, but even friends from the distant large cities, in this state and out, all seem quite familiar with Levin’s show, his daily “lesson plans” frequently filling my morning inbox: “Did you hear what Mark [Levin] said last night?” There’s no denying he’s a bold and entertaining talk radio phenomenon, but more than this, he’s also the commander of constitutional defense headquarters on a national scale. When people seek the low-down on the latest Obama executive usurpation, they tune to one show on the dial and in streams across the Internet, because for better or worse, they know they’ll find the answers.
Dr. Levin can be heard Monday-Friday, 6-9pm Eastern, both on terrestrial radio and streaming from his site, as well as affiliates. If you miss the live show, he also offers free downloads of his podcasts here.
One thought on “Class in Session: Mark Levin Declares RINO-ism Dead”
I usually hear Mark several times a week. I am always impressed by his incredible knowledge of American history, as well as the law, and how it affects/applies to what is happening today. (from semi-rural Texas….)
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