What’s the deal with Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh has always reminded me of one of my childhood friends.  Regardless of his true feelings and opinions, he would say outrageous statements for the grand effect.  There would be a hint of honesty in the comments but it was more about the response. 

rush-limbaugh3When I listened to Rush during the Bush (41) and Clinton years, I half wondered if he really believed what he was saying.  I often pictured him sitting in his studio laughing to himself as he imagined his listeners’ response.  Half are probably agreeing with him, the other half yelling at the radio.

As outrageous as Limbaugh was in the 1980’s and 90’s, I think he is even more extreme today.  It could be that there is a huge number of conservative talk show hosts competing with Limbaugh and he needs to keep his market share up and the more publicity he gets the more people tune in.

Over the last few years, Limbaugh’s comments have been shocking to say the least.   He stated that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating his symptoms from Parkinson’s Disease.  His studio webcam caught him mimicking Fox’s shaking thereby completing the despicable effect.  That is my all-time most offensive Limbaughism.

That is until now.  He stated a few weeks ago that he actually hopes that President Obama fails.  Many people have been writing about this.  And you figured that Limbaugh would have clarified his statement, possibly even retracting it. 

But at the CPAC conference, Limbaugh re-stated it.

What is more shocking still is that no one from his own party has called him out.   That is the most telling of all.  Does Limbaugh have that much power? 

Evidently so.

I recently wrote a piece that addressed Rush Limbaugh and the power he currently wields in his party.  {Rush and the Obstructionist Party by My2Bucks – February 12, 2009} 

Rushpublicans, led by the Obstructionist Windbag himself, Rush Limbaugh are going by the mantra: “We want Obama to fail.” Limbaugh has used his daily radio program as a bully pulpit (with emphasis on bully) to shepherd in the Senate and House Republicans who dare to stray from the message – “whatever the Democrats want, go for the opposite and then whine about it.”

I also addressed Georgia Rushpublican Phil Gingrey who publicly criticized Limbaugh and quickly retracted his statement complete with apology. 

When RNC Chairman Michael Steele criticized the Mighty Rush on a CNN weekend show, I wrote a piece that asked the question – How long will it take for Steele to apologize to Rush?  Before I had a chance to complete that article and post it, Steele had already apologized, thus I scrapped the article.

How does the Chairman of a national party cave in so quickly to a radio talk show host – even if he does carry the biggest stick?

It reminded me of the scene in Superman II when the 3 super villains (with the same powers as Superman) reach the White House searching for the president.  Protecting the president, someone else stepped forward and bowed before the evil General Zod – who immediately knew that the man was not the president.

“No one who leads so many could possibly kneel so quickly”


How could Steele cave so quickly?  The answer is quite simple.  Steele is nothing more than the Republican Party press secretary.  He goes on television to promote the talking points.  Period.

Apparently, he has already been threatened with dismissal if he doesn’t ‘leave Limbaugh alone.’

The Democratic Party has already produced a couple of ads displaying Limbaugh as the head of the party.  The absent-minded self-described ditto heads and Rushpublican leaders will be the only ones offended.  Add Fox News to the list.

The rest of us will think it is obscene and pathetic that a major political party has selected a radio talk show host as the de-facto leader of the party. 

But they will never reach the ‘ditto heads’.  Ditto means quite literally – the same.  Ditto heads – think the same as Rush Limbaugh or more precisely, think as Rush Limbaugh tells them to think.

David PlouffeObama campaign manager, David Plouffe wrote an excellent op-ed for the Washington Post – published Wednesday – that addressed this very topic.

Minority Leader Limbaugh addresses Limbaugh as the leader of his party and how they missed the message the American people sent with the November election.

The 2008 election sent many messages. At the top: Americans wanted to turn the page on the politics of division and partisan pettiness, and they wanted a government — and country — that would put the middle class first.

Watching the Republicans operate this past month, it would appear that they missed that unmistakable signal.

Instead, Rush Limbaugh has become their leader.

Limbaugh, of course, told his radio listeners that he’s rooting for President Obama to fail — and hoping the president’s ideas for bolstering our economy fail with him. For many Americans, hungry for leadership and cooperation, this sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard. When Limbaugh reiterated the sentiment this weekend, hundreds of Republican conservatives cheered him on. But instead of rebuking the radio personality or charting their own course, Republican leaders in Washington are paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader. Less than 24 hours after committing the unforgivable sin of criticizing Limbaugh, RNC Chairman Michael Steele felt compelled to publicly apologize. He was not the first and will certainly not be the last.

It hasn’t been that long since Rush and the Rushpublicans were calling anyone who disagreed with President Bush and his agenda ‘Anti-American’, ‘emboldening the enemy’ and many other offensive comments.  How many times were Democrats asked ‘why do you hate America?’

Well, Rush.  Why do you hate America?  Why do you want President Obama to fail?  By rooting for POTUS to fail, don’t you realize that you are emboldening the enemy? 

Think of everything offensive you have ever heard on the radio – this has to be worse. 

But Rush has gotten the Rushpublican leaders and the loyal ditto-heads to jump on his sinking ship.   (Message to Rush:  Americans want Obama to succeed.  We are tired of losing our jobs, our homes and our bank accounts.)

Plouffe concludes his op-ed by opining his take on the Republican stance.

But Republicans aren’t simply guilty of knee-jerk reactions in opposing efforts to reach common ground. They also thumb their noses at the middle class, those who are struggling mightily in these rocky economic times. One after the other, congressional Republicans declared before TV cameras that the president’s economic recovery plan won’t work — that it would rocket the country toward socialism and would only make things worse.

The truth? Obama’s recovery package contains the biggest middle-class tax cut in history. It will create or save at least 3 million jobs. In every community, district and state, its impact will soon be felt. Obama has made clear that this measure, while crucial, won’t solve all our economic problems overnight. But no matter what the eventual impact, congressional Republicans have staked out their position: steadfastly opposing something most Americans see as reducing middle-class taxes and creating jobs when the country needs those outcomes most.

There is still time for Washington Republicans to join some of their colleagues outside the Beltway and become partners in progress. As Americans, we should all hope that happens.

But if the GOP sticks with its strategy of failure as the only option, further eroding its brand with the people who decide elections, we may find out what it means for a political party to hit rock bottom.


5 responses to “What’s the deal with Rush Limbaugh

  1. Hi – nice work. Rush will never be happy. It’s really all about the money and I think you hit the nail on the head when you stated that Rush now has more competition in the media so he has to speak louder and be more obnoxious so that he gets the main attention. Let’s see what happens in 2010. If the Republicans continue with their obstructionism and unpatriotic behavior, they will further marginalize themselves and we may see the end of the Republican Party. Good riddance to them.

  2. Where did you get the “Live Traffic Feed” widget and how did you install it? It’s really cool 🙂

  3. Never mind 😉 I figured out how to get the “Live Traffic Feed”

  4. It’s amazing that the Repub Party (they call us the ‘Democrat’ Party) thinks that objecting to everything without offering any alternative will win them the WH in 2012. They’re nuts and they’re wrong.

    I just returned from a relaxing Caribbean cruise and I refused to look at anything political. It’s amazing what getting away from work and politics can do for one’s sense of being.

  5. The GOP is self-destructing due to the circular firing squad they built.

    The Republican Party, is shrinking and will continue to do so unless there is a significant mind change among its leaders.

    During the 1930s, America was in crisis. People were desperate. Instead of sincerely cooperating, the Republicans stubbornly and rigidly opposed the expensive, highly creative, unprecedented proposed policies and plans of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.

    Such mindless opposition weakened the Republican Party for decades. The public lost faith in it. They became known as “Hooverites” — the party that had no realistic solutions and failed to work with the president toward solutions to a terrible situation.

    Today, Republicans in high offices seem to believe that the role of the opposition party is to oppose rather than to shape and improve proposed solutions by the Barack Obama administration. A sad mistake. Such Republicans are trying to force and sell antiquated beliefs and wrong-minded solutions on a bleeding society, striving for survival.

    Sadly, this message resonates even with the poorest of our ‘working class’. The poorest of our ‘working class’ contains a segment of people who will fight to allow the very wealthy to benefit at their expense. Many are fans of bitter Republican talk show or radio personalities, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Bill O’Reilly. These people are masters in factless blabbering and ‘patriotic’ truth twisting to a small, but very, very scared piece of the population.

    But, it appears the number of their ‘doomsday’ believers is shrinking. Not suprisingly, Barack Obamas poll numbers in areas of trust and general direction are rising steadily since the election. Facts are facts. Things will get better, even if the tiny population of bitter Republicans don’t believe.