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The Last Word (Really, I Promise!) on Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke

March 17, 2012

When the Limbaugh-Fluke brouhaha erupted earlier this month, I was stranded deep inside one of those interminable freelance projects that are a fact of life for writers without glossy six-figure publishing contracts or lofty media pulpits. While the public’s fury swelled, I had to clench my teeth and press on with my project. Since then, I’ve been fighting a war with myself, chomping and bucking like a race horse trapped inside the starting gate.

Was it too late to comment? Would it do any good at this point to toss my own two cents into the communal opinion bank? If I did, would my inner contrarian rise up and alienate most of my right-thinking (i.e., slightly left of center) friends and acquaintances — particularly the womenfolk?

Well, let me sound off and take the consequences. I’m a fiercely opinionated moderate, and staying silent much longer would probably kill me or at least wreak havoc with my vintage arteries.

Rush Limbaugh willfully distorted the truth to score points. No surprise there. He took a female law student’s articulate testimony about the medical need for birth control pills in women with certain reproductive disorders — and spun it into a snarky, mean-spirited diatribe about the law student’s own sex life. Most of us winced at Limbaugh’s wanton attack on a blameless private citizen, and the man deserved to have his knuckles rapped.

Even an obtuse male chauvinist pig like Limbaugh must know that the number of birth control pills consumed by a woman has nothing to do with the frequency of her sexual encounters. He was maliciously retooling Sandra Fluke’s testimony to make her look like a godless skank and a burden on the system — balm, no doubt, for his mostly male, mostly Christian, all-conservative, all-traditionalist and part-Neanderthal listening audience. 

Here was the biggest lie: nobody was forcing the public to “pay” Fluke to have sex. It was all about her school’s health coverage — and the broader implications of restrictive insurance for women who need the pill.

Still, Fluke left herself open to right-wing attacks. She drew no real distinction between women who use contraception for medical purposes and those who simply use it to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. She never suggested that her school’s insurance should cover only medically necessary birth control. In fact, she never mentioned the pill’s handy role in recreational sex at all. So we can reasonably assume that she’d be fine with mandatory coverage of all birth control pills and devices, medically necessary or not. And of course, she was expecting a venerable Jesuit institution to override the Church’s militant opposition to birth control. Nobody forced her to go to Georgetown, after all. It might be a smart idea for women who want free contraceptives to steer clear of Catholic universities, right?

Limbaugh saw an easy target and fired away at it. But the shot went ’round the world and finally hit his own amply padded posterior. His mendacious, over-the-top “slut” spiel should serve as Exhibit A for the pitfalls of polarization: nobody out there seems content with the facts; they prefer an artful spin that plays to their prejudices. “Those self-entitled liberal women just want us to pay for their sexual escapades… yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Liberals responded with (mostly) justifiable outrage, along with some disturbing undercurrents. I don’t blame them for fuming over Limbaugh’s remarks… his words were eminently fumeworthy. But (and of course, since this is a moderate blog, you knew there would be a “but”) I think the organized Left made a little too much hay while this particular sun was shining. Just as Limbaugh used Fluke’s remarks to advance his agenda, they avidly used Limbaugh’s remarks to advance theirs.

All across the Twitterverse and the left bank of the Internet, “right-thinking” lefties and even the milder sort of liberals rose as one against Rush and the conservative movement in general. Now they railed against the “War on Women” — a deliberately provocative new liberal catchphrase for the Right’s opposition to abortion and (especially among the Vatican faithful) contraception.

This united progressive front wrote to Limbaugh’s sponsors, threatening to boycott. The pressure worked: the sponsors, good capitalists that they are, thought about their bottom line, gulped nervously and started bailing — a dozen or so within the first few days, then dozens more, until over a hundred of them abandoned ship. (Who knew that a single radio show — even Limbaugh’s — could field that many sponsors, let alone lose them?) By last week most of the ads on Limbaugh’s show were public service announcements.

The Left seized the opportunity to silence a longtime foe. Here’s where they raised my moderate’s hackles: as usual, when lefties don’t like the opinions the other side is spouting, they use threats and collective action to stifle those opinions. (Not for them the free marketplace of ideas.)

The Left’s intolerance of wayward opinions is nothing new, but it’s as unsettling as ever. For a couple of generations now, the Enlightened Ones have been routinely barring the more controversial conservative speakers from campus, discriminating against conservative Christian students in the college admissions process, and thwarting the careers of conservative scholars (the more fortunate of whom typically end up plying their trade at think tanks).

In the realm of ideas, they’ve been enforcing codes of political correctness that selectively protect favored groups — but not whites, Christians, men or (naturally) conservatives. And when they hate someone, they go for the jugular as ferociously as any Tea Party fanatic. It’s not enough for the Left simply to denounce Rush Limbaugh for his ill-considered remarks about Sandra Fluke; they have to sabotage him… silence him… eliminate him.  

They overlook the fact that although Limbaugh is a major polarizing force, he’s also an entertainer — a jovial bloviator who thrives on controversy if he can make it amusing enough. The man doesn’t take himself nearly as seriously as his enemies do. We’re talking about an oversized imp who calls himself “El Rushbo,” proclaims that he has “talent on loan from God,” and is “having more fun than a human being should be allowed to have.” He’s turned blustering hyperbole into a minor art form, a practice that obviously backfired when he used it on Sandra Fluke.

Underneath the semi-facetious bluster, Limbaugh is a man of multiple biases: against liberals, of course, but also against feminists, blacks and any other minority perceived to be getting an unwarranted free pass from the establishment. As such, he reflects the cynicism and simmering resentments of his aging white male audience.

Rush’s “dittoheads” are mostly battle-scarred lower-middle-class and working-class stiffs, overwhelmingly white and Christian, who have routinely been denied entrance to elite colleges and institutions. Nobody has ever rolled out the red carpet for them, let alone paid their way. Yet they’ve had to absorb decades of acrimony from the very minorities and women who have been supplanting them at those elite institutions. Limbaugh tapped into their resentment and became fabulously wealthy as a result.

We need to listen to disaffected white males on the right, as much as we need to listen to any other aggrieved minority group. “White male privilege” is a myth if you’re not an upper-middle-class white male. The Left refuses to acknowledge that inconvenient point, preferring instead to aim its own withering brand of snarkery at less privileged, less educated white Christian dudes.

It grows tiresome, all this chi-chi contempt for the masses — from the very people who are supposed to embrace ordinary working folk. It disturbs me that the NPR demographic regards the Fox News demographic as an alien and inferior species. It disturbs me even more that we’re evolving into two separate and mutually incompatible nations. It should disturb you, too. 

It doesn’t reflect well on the educated Left that their people have joined the Far Right in hopping aboard the Polarization Express.  Above all, it’s ultimately dangerous for the Left to mock and marginalize such a vast segment of the population: that’s how this particular segment fell into the clutches of willful manipulators like Rush Limbaugh.

In its obsession with Limbaugh’s offensive misogynistic remarks, the Left is missing El Rushbo’s real offense … that he exploits the anger of ordinary white Christian males to enlist them in a cause that’s antithetical to their own interests. He teaches them to resent government intrusion, resent taxes on their hard-earned income, resent pampered minorities and uppity women.

And here’s the ultimate irony: instead of identifying with the “99 percent,” these unloved, unappreciated, mostly unsuccessful men end up supporting the agenda of the conservative plutocratic elite! Joe the Plumber and Goldman Sachs make a mighty odd couple.

Should we try to silence Rush Limbaugh for the damage he’s done? No, we should get inspired, drop our snobbery and compete with him for the hearts and souls of all those marginalized Middle Americans. They’re not an alien species, after all… they’re our brothers, uncles and cousins. They’re Americans. They’re us.

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100 Comments leave one →
  1. spittinmad permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:22 am

    “… go for the jugular as ferociously as any Tea Party fanatic …”

    Really? Do fanatics usually leave their demonstration sites cleaner than they found them? The Left has tried – apparently successfully – to *paint* the Tea Party as fanatic, but I rather expect moderates and independents to not accept spurious labeling of people who pack out their own trash and go back to work on Monday after putting the kids on the bus. Perhaps I expect too much.

    As a point in contrast, the OWS freak show left their sites as festering messes that required industrial decontamination. Add in rapes, assaults, widespread drug use, intimidation of surrounding businesses, much touted attempts to ‘police themselves’ rather than cooperate with police, etcetera and not only is the 99% claim revealed as grossly inaccurate at best, but the label of fanatic seems rather more fitting to the OWS side of the aisle.

    Also not at all sure that teaching people to resent government intrusion and confiscatory recession-producing taxes is a bad thing. Am sure that lumping that with ‘resenting uppity women’ is an entirely inappropriate association. Neither recognizing excess government bureaucracy, nor being aware of the deleterious economic effects of excess taxation makes anyone a misogynist.

    Recognizing the futility of those government intrusions, and their obscene tax costs on top of the obviously counter-productive results is a another topic – but the recognition of those things is not equivalent to “resenting pampered minorities”. Distrusting the government types who created the social economic traps does not necessarily equal resenting the people caught in those traps. The frustration that bleeds through likely represents a strong desire to fix the mess closely coupled with a visceral understanding that such is a monumental task that will be fought tooth claw and nail by a long list of people committed to keeping things just as they are.

    Keep listening. Be careful to not superimpose your pre-existing prejudices upon what you hear.

    Oh, btw. I avoid listening to el rushbo. I don’t care for the way he uses anger and I’m deeply embarrassed to hear anyone describe themselves as a dittohead. I’ll do my own thinking thank you very much. I would deeply prefer all the dittoheads – left and right – to do the same.

    • March 19, 2012 4:21 pm

      spittinmad: Well said, though of course I take issue with a few of your points. First, one can be both a political fanatic and a cleanliness fanatic. I have nothing against neat people, but I thought I’d point out that there doesn’t seem to be a significant correlation between degree of neatness and degree of fanaticism. If anything, I’d suspect that neat freaks have a greater tendency toward fanaticism. Bottom line: The slovenliness of the OWS occupiers doesn’t automatically make them more fanatical than the Tea Partiers.

      You make a valuable distinction between antipathy toward government intrusion and one’s attitude toward the beneficiaries of that intrusion. You seem to be above such prejudice, but I’ve observed a lot of foaming-at-the-mouth bigots among the Tea Party faithful. That’s not to say the movement itself is about bigotry… just that it tends to attract a lot of people who resent minorities for getting a free pass. Believe me, I can understand their resentment, but we have to be careful that it doesn’t sour our attitude toward the less fortunate in general.

      The key to understanding El Rushbo is just to enjoy his bloviations and hyperbole without taking him too seriously. He’s a first-rate broadcasting talent, but he’s also a knee-jerk right-winger who likes to throw his weight around. Unfortunately, a lot of his listeners take him VERY seriously… glad you don’t.

      • spittinmad permalink
        March 21, 2012 9:40 am

        I suspect people who do not clean up after themselves, who expect others to do that dirty work for them – probably at public expense – are much further from the mainstream than people who do clean up after themselves. It’s not about fanatical cleanliness, its about taking responsibility for oneself. I see the responsibility accepted and carried out by the Tea Parties. I see a complete absence of responsibility from the OWS mob. I have more respect for the views of responsible people than the views espoused by rabble with delusions of entitlement.

        In both your top post and your reply, you regurgitate leftist rhetoric about the Tea Parties while styling yourself a moderate. This begs the question of whether or not you truly walk the moderate talk. You can call yourself a moderate, but if you chart the moderate right of center as far right, you have removed accuracy from the terminology. You have essentially moved the goalposts. Some people set out to do that in order to frame a debate more favorably towards their purported ends. I won’t claim to know you well enough to guess whether that was your intent or not.

        I’ve seen a great deal more foaming at the mouth from the OWS crowd. I’ve also seen some very cynical and manipulative attempts by the left to paint the Tea Parties as bigots. The objective end result – if you followed the story past the initial breathless (but wrong) MSM reports – is a further tarnished left.

        A lot of the Tea Party people do a lot of charity work. Indeed, many of them belong to churches and actually tithe those institutions and their charity works. A kind of double taxation. I don’t think you can accurately fault the attitudes AND ACTIONS of the Tea Party people toward the less fortunate.

        The OWS crowd, on the other hand, seems more interested in bullying local businesses for free food, toilets and wi-fi to make their illegal encampments an oddly comfy version of squalor. The very same businesses whose customers no longer shop there because of the encampment of unwashed panhandlers (who need wi-fi) fouling their doorstep.

        When I occasionally get caught somewhere the only station on the radio is Rush, he usually stacks fact upon fact and makes a lot of sense. This time he went directly to personal attack before finding the many and legitimate reasons to criticize whatever her name is. He screwed up. The price he is paying has value in that it reveals the tilted playing field. If one pays attention to such things.

    • Rob Anderson permalink
      March 28, 2012 6:42 pm

      Spurious comparisons between OWS and the Tea Partiers are starting to make my butt itch, so allow me to offer this corrective: Tea Partiers hold RALLIES, after which one would expect them to clean up, since they LEAVE; conversely, OWS OCCUPIES until they are EVICTED, meaning there is a sudden evacuation allowing no time for cleaning up. Get it now?

  2. March 17, 2012 12:07 pm

    Since this has been covered so well it is surprising that you got so much wrong.
    Rush’s actual statement as well as Fluke’s actual testimony are both readily available.

    I have no desire to defend Limbaugh – though I would suggest before loading up the invective that you read or listen to the real quote rather than what others claim was said.
    Regardless of precisely what was said or meant, Limbaugh eventually apologized – sincerely ? Who knows. But even if only driven by the pressure of advertisers – the market got for the left what government regulation can not – an apology from Rush Limbaugh. Further while Flukes testimony included examples featuring medical necessity. She was advocating – as Rush claimed, for routine birth control coverage regardless of medical necessity.

    As to Fluke, while she is far less of a public figure that Rush Limbaugh, she is not some innocent private citizen/law student. She is a political activist by her own claim – if only a low level one, she chose to enter the arena, she chose to testify for congress as the president of Las Students for Reproductive Justice. This is clearly one of many women’s issues she cares about, and in advocating for it she should expect to be verbally pilloried by those who disagree.

    The facet of this mess most interesting to me, was that a comparatively tame remark by Rush Limbaugh about Sandra Fluke has become a political firestorm. Yet the routine and often far more egregious attacks by the left on conservative women never generate a fraction of this outrage. Mahr has never apologized for an entire stick that he has done on Sarrah Palin – one that though driven by their political differences does not touch on a single political issue and is solely a vulgar attack on her as a women. Limbaugh’s remarks had atleast some connection to the political issue in question.

    Finally deliberately lost in all of this phony “outrage” were the real issues. Which though inarticulately Limbaugh got right and Fluke got wrong.

    The contraception issue is irrelevant. The critical issue is whether A and B can conspire to force D to pay for something they desire for C.

    Healthcare is not a right. Neither Nature, nor God in any flavor guarantees it.
    Nearly all of us will eventually die as a result of poor health. In some instances we can forestall that but we can not prevent it.

    Real Insurance is a private contract between two parties. It is a bet against the unlikely, not the ordinary events of day to day life.

    When we chose to transform insurance into coverage for the routine, we rig the system for constantly increasing costs. We add the inefficiencies of an intermediary. When you pay for a good or service at delivery the transaction is complete. When you do not there is significant additional overhead. When you divorce the decision to purchase something from the cost you insure that more of that good or service will be consumed and at a higher price. Further you eliminate the incentives to provide better service at lower cost.

    It is irrelevant whether we are talking contraceptives, car tires, gasoline, or breakfast cereal.

    Regardless of how we chose to deliver and pay for healthcare, like every other good and service, limits will be imposed. We either decide ourselves based on our own personal priorities and available resources, or we transfer that decision to others – either insurance companies or government. Since the implementation of a universal coverage program similar to APACA, The Democratic government of Massachusetts has been actively engaged in a battle with the courts to impose significant limitations on its “universal coverage” in order to control costs. Ultimately Massachusetts or the federal government through APACA may chose to cover Birth Control – but that coverage is not free. It will require either increases in taxes or premiums, or reductions in other coverage for services without the benefit of eloquent and vocal political activists such as Sandra Fluke.

    The record of government in controlling prices is indisputably abysmal.

    Despite Rush’s less than articulate rants, or Fluke’s more eloquent ones, this is not a debate over misogyny, or disaffected white males – christian or otherwise. The right and left have taken sides. They have framed the debate based on political ideology ignoring the actual issues.

    There are only two issues – to what extent is it moral for some of us to force others to pay for the first groups generosity towards a third group, and can that force prevail when it requires people to violate centuries old tenants of their religion.

    • March 19, 2012 4:36 pm

      Dave: Yes, it appears that Fluke wasn’t just a “blameless” law student, as I characterized her. She’s definitely an activist with an agenda. I thought I was clear that she left herself wide open to attack by insisting that a Catholic insititution pay for contraception — in violation of the Church’s teachings. THIS is where Limbaugh should have attacked her, not on the mostly baseless claims about her hyperactive sex life.

      As for the idea of universal health coverage… I understand your points about individual responsibility, forcing a second party to pay for another’s expenses, and all that… but we can’t avoid the fact that health costs have grown so exorbitant that only the rich can afford them out of pocket. Do we let poor and middle class people just die because they can’t afford either the high cost of health insurance or the high cost of medical care? Of course not.

      There’s no question that we need some kind of basic health coverage safety net for everyone regardless of whether they can afford it; where I become a moderate on this issue is drawing the line between essential health care and elective health care. Should everyone be entitled to catastrophic coverage (heart attacks, cancer, etc.)? Yes, I think so. Should we be entitled to free contraceptives? It might be a good idea in principle (to keep the population down and avoid abortions), but we’re entering a gray area now. Should we be entitled to free gym membership to keep us fit and avoid health problems? Now we’re going over the top. The big question is where do we draw the line.

      • Rob Anderson permalink
        March 28, 2012 6:44 pm

        When the Catholic Church accepts federal funding for its private universities, it can no longer claim that it has the right to run those universities contrary to federal law. And ALL Catholic universities accept such funding to one degree or another.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    March 17, 2012 12:23 pm

    Rick, great roundup, and perhaps the delay added some sagacity to your well reasoned brief.

    I must admit I jumped on the kill Rush express myself, and thought of Fluke as an “innocent, young co-ed”.

    This story won’t go away, since it is now gum stuck to the bottom of both parties shoes.

    BTW: this won’t be the last on the subject, this one I made yesterday just got out of arbitration jail:
    Why should Viagra, a so called “medicine” and Lipitor and everything else have a co-pay, but contraception not have a charge to the patient?

    I have no problem, with whatever reason drugs are used for, I just think they should ALL have the same form of payment system by the insurance company providing the coverage. Yes, I think all employers should have to include everything in their plans. If they don’t let them set up their own plan without government funds being involved.

    It is too bad Ms. Fluke had to exaggerate with the $1,000/year cost figure, it ruined her message further besides the free bit.

  4. dduck permalink
    March 17, 2012 12:27 pm

    Rick, great roundup, and perhaps the delay added some sagacity to your well reasoned brief.

    I must admit I jumped on the kill Rush express myself, and thought of Fluke as an “innocent, young co-ed”.

    This story won’t go away, since it is now gum stuck to the bottom of both parties shoes.

    BTW: this won’t be the last on the subject, this one I made yesterday just got out of arbitration jail:
    Why should Viagra, a so called “medicine” and Lipitor and everything else have a co-pay, but contraception not have a charge to the patient?

    I have no problem, with whatever reason drugs are used for, I just think they should ALL have the same form of payment system by the insurance company providing the coverage. Yes, I think all employers should have to include everything in their plans. If they don’t let them set up their own plan without government funds being involved.

    It is too bad Ms. Fluke had to exaggerate with the $1,000/year cost figure, it ruined her message further besides the free bit.

    • March 19, 2012 5:01 pm

      Thanks, dduck. I think the media firestorm convinced most of us that Fluke was just an innocent student savaged by Rush Limbaugh in one of his more vile moods. Well, Rush certainly didn’t help his cause with the vicious line of attack he used; it blew up in his face. But I think Fluke got a free pass, when she probably should have been taken to task not only for her exaggerations, but for demanding that a Jesuit university flout the Vatican’s position on birth control. (I think their position is silly and antiquated, but I wouldn’t dream of forcing a Catholic institution to violate the Church’s own teachings.)

      You make a good point about co-pays. I agree: the policy should be consistent across the board. And someone who can afford $50,000 a year for a private law school can probably afford a few extra bucks for a co-pay on contraceptives.

  5. Heather permalink
    March 17, 2012 3:18 pm

    Actually, my prescription for birth control costs $90 per month. I’m willing to pay that amount because it is the only birth control prescription that works well for me. Simple math… $90 x 12 = $1080 per year. $1080 > $1000. Want receipts?

    • dduck permalink
      March 17, 2012 7:09 pm

      Heather, I will withdraw my point if you tell me that $90/mo. is typical or average.

      • March 19, 2012 10:48 am

        Planned Parenthood say the pill costs $15-$50/month.
        Shots are $35-$75 and last 3 months.
        Male Condoms cost $.50 to $1 ea.
        Planned Parenthood distributes them for free to those who can not afford, them, but their condoms are generally rated the worst and most likely to fail.
        They also provide female condoms for $4 ea

    • March 19, 2012 5:06 pm

      Heather: I’ve seen such wildly extreme statements on how much birth control pills cost that I don’t know who to believe at this point. Some people say it costs about $9 a month; you and others say it’s more like $90; “asmith” tells us it’s somewhere in between. One of my Facebook friends claims you can even buy them at Walmart or Target. Since I’ve never bought birth control pills, I have no idea who’s right.

  6. dhlii permalink
    March 17, 2012 3:38 pm

    Unlike HealthCare, Free Speech is a right, Limbaugh, Fluke, Mahr,

    Can say what they like. The rest of us can boycott, Whole Foods, Komen for the Cure, or Limbaugh’s advertisers.

    All fine in my book.

    It is even fine if Rick and moderates wish only to see the offensive rhetoric of one side.
    And I am free to attempt to remove the scales from their eyes – that is how it is supposed to work.

    Maher talking about Texas Gov. Rick Perry/Sarah Palin: “He sounded like a sixth grader who didn’t do the reading. Garbled syntax, messing up simple facts, sentences that went nowhere. Sarah Palin was watching and she said, ‘If only he was black, I’d f#%k him.’”

    Mahr in particular has directed offensive rhetoric at women on the right.
    It would take pages to list all the “twat” and c*#t references to Sarah Palin.

    Not to mention similar remarks about Michelle Bachman, Calista Gingrich,

    Maher said that if conservative pundit Michelle Malkin were told of how much killing President Obama had ordered without knowing anything else about him she’d “name her vibrator ‘Obama.’”

    Chris Mathews on Michelle Bachman:

    “Barbie with Fangs,” “Crazy Eyes,” “hypnotized” “the Mata Hari of Minnesota”

    Marc Maron said of Bachmann’s husband, I hope he f$#ks her angrily because, because that’s how I would. And I’ve thought about it. I just … It’s a political statement I’m trying to make.”

    Mike Malloy on Bachmann – “phony-ass broad” and a “skank.”

    The Daily Beast has long had an interest in Bachmann. In 2008, Max Blumenthal called her “The Hate Monger of Minnesota.” In Sept. 2009, the site’s Michelle Goldberg dubbed Bachmann “America’s craziest member of Congress” and wrote that, “for the past year, her lunacy has been particularly vigorous.” Goldberg later wondered, “In today’s GOP, is there such a thing as too crazy? In Nov. 2010, The Daily Beast’s “Cheat Sheet” called Bachmann “a bomb-throwing provocateur generally regarded as too extreme to be taken seriously.”

    Matt Taibbi penned a 5,000-word hit piece on Bachmann in June 2011. He called her a “batshit crazy” “political psychopath” with a “gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt.”

    Taibbi on Ann Coulter “When you read Ann Coulter, you know you’re reading someone who would f*** a hippopotamus if she thought it would boost her Q rating.”

    Taibbi on Malkin “Now when I read her stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of b**** in her mouth. It vastly improves her prose.”
    In 2008 Playboy ran an article naming the top 10 conservative women they would to “hate F##k” entitled “So right it is wrong”

    Progressive political correctness allows that Palin, Bachman, etc. are fair game, but Fluke is not – what of Palin’s daughter ?Letterman joked crudely about her getting knocked up by Alex Rodreiguez at Yankee Stadium – he atleast apologized eventually,
    regardless, i can not find a moral distinction between Letterman and Limbaugh. Fluke atleast chose to enter the public arena.

    The left rants about birther’s yet engages in its own birtheresque speculation that Palin faked her own preganacy with Trig for some political gain ???

    Keith Olbermann, of MSNBC, compared Malkin to a “big, mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it”, and S.E. Cupp should have been aborted by her parents, as well as waxing about Carrie Prejean’s breasts on MSNBC.

    Antonia Zerbisias wrote “Forget the Marxists. I wish the marksmen would take Michelle Malkin. I’m thinking Dick Cheney. He’s such a great shot,”

    Uncountable numbers of progressive talking heads have called Palin, and Bachman Bimbo’s and Slut’s

    In their defense a few (not most) left wing talking heads have on rare occasions similarly slimed less a small number of democratic women.

    Nor have the attack’s on conservative women been confined solely to Male pundit’s.
    While less vulgar this rant from Randi Rhodes is more mengelesque.

    “You know, these women, somebody really needs to go repossess their ovaries. Really, truly, they have no right to them. They are fabulous, little organs and they have absolutely no right to be estrogen-bearing beings. Okay? Just cut ‘em off, let ‘em go through the hot flashes, let ‘em just sit there and complain about hormone therapy, okay? Just take the ovaries and get it over with. Because they don’t deserve to have estrogen. They really don’t. It’s a privilege.”

    I am all for free speech. I am for Limbaugh’s right to make whatever remark’s he chooses and everyone else’s right to denounce his remarks. I also favor calling people out on hypocracy. The left is not and never has been friendly to women. Myriads of progressive and radical causes have been dependent on the efforts of women – for cooking, serving, typing and shit work – when they were not engaged in servicing progressive men. Stokely Carmichael “The only position for women in SNCC is prone.”.

    • dduck permalink
      March 17, 2012 7:14 pm

      Nice laundry list of leftie remarks, but they are just offensive/crude/vulgar/lying/ whatever remarks/punchlines.
      Rush did a diatribe/attack/tirade/ lasting three days, and repeated the same over and over.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2012 7:46 pm

        I do not listen to Rush, but I highly doubt he spent three days repeating “We call women who have sex for money Sluts and Prostitutes”. More likely he spent three days on the proposition that birth control should be covered by insurance. I am sure during the course of that diatribe he said plenty of offensive things.
        At the same time I have actually read the transcripts and listened to the immediate context of the remark (above) that the press has latched on to.
        Nor am I specifically trying to defend Limbaugh.

        As to the left attacks on women – the above is hardly a laundry list. It would be easy to fill books with those – and probably someone has. The remarks I cited were just recent ones I could find easily. I deliberately chose not to fixate – as the right has on Mahr, but if you really need the same stuff repeated hour after hour, day after day for months across the nation – Bill Mahr is you man. He has until recently had a significant segment in his road tour on Palin. Not about politics but basically assassination her as a woman.

        My basic point – and it is not really confined to women is that, if you are “progressive” you can slander and malign whoever you wish with impunity, in the most vulgar fashion. If you are not – then any remark offensive or tame – even some absent any offensive intent, will be construed in the most vile way and as proof that you, your values, and everyone that does not hold you in contempt is repugnant and should be publicly pilloried.

        If you bother to listen the left is practically incapable of speech that ss not demeaning. The most benign assertions of progressives begins with two presumptions – that they are better than everyone that thinks differently than they do, and that the entire rest of the world – particularly minorities, the poor, gays, etc. are so weak, impotent and insufficiently able to manage their own lives that government created in their image must step in and save everyone. Nor are those presumptions just common traits. They are central to the ideology. Their entire value system collapses absent the existence of superior and inferior groups.

      • March 19, 2012 5:13 pm

        Dave: I agree with you that there seems to be a double standard for media vitriol: the left can attack right-wingers with impunity, while the right can’t attack lefties without igniting a firestorm of threats. This is plainly unfair.

        I can’t justify Rush’s mean-spirited attack on Fluke’s sex life, but how is it that the left got away with attacking not only Sarah Palin (she’s a public figure, after all) but her kids? And yes, Bill Maher’s comments about Palin were unforgivable… I don’t care how much he disagrees with her or even holds her in contempt, his remarks were as offensive as the man himself. (I like Maher’s writing better than I like his personality; I find him insufferably smug.)

  7. March 17, 2012 5:33 pm

    Interesting how things can be interpreted differently by those holding divergent view points. Personally, I do not want to silence Rush’s right to free speech. I think he has the right to say anything he wants. However, I–as do the sponsors who withdrew their ads–have the right to ignore him. The corporations who stopped their ads had the right to stop their financial support, for whatever reason. Free speech, right? Just because corporate’s support comes with financial loss–well, it’s Rush’s choice to change or not. 🙂

    • dduck permalink
      March 17, 2012 7:15 pm

      Agreed.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2012 8:16 pm

        Absolutely. Though I would suggest before we “Rush” off to demand boycotts we might want to find out what was actually said rather than trusting others to tell us what to think.

        This is the remark that has triggered this controversy with a amall amount of context.

        “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps…. The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns…Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled.””

        I personally think Rush chose a stupid avenue of attack against Fluke. But that is his choice.

        Fluke’s sex life is none of my business. It is her claim that by right anyone else is obligated to pay for anything for her that is offensive.
        More so than anything Limbaugh said.
        Our rights are few and limited. We are only entitled to what we can do for ourselves, any thing beyond that is a gift, or if acquired by force or fraud – theft. Our rights and freedoms impose no obligations on others – beyond not infringing on them. Freedom of the religion does not guarantee the existence of the god of our choice. Free speech does not entitle one to an audience.

        Insurance companies have two obligations – to live up to their contracts, and to profit if they wish to remain in business. There is no right to insurance, nor a right to specific insurance coverage. If Flukes insurer wishes to cover birth control, or aspirin – they are free to do so. If Fluke wishes to negotiate that coverage with her insurer – she is free to do so. But from a practical standpoint, insurance to cover ordinary expenses is a horribly inefficient and counter productive means of paying for anything. If Fluke’s birth control cost her $1000/year directly, but increased her insurance premiums by $1250/year if covered by insurance – it is unlikely that she would chose to have birth control coverage as part of her insurance. Like it or not someone is paying for Sandra Fluke’s birth control no matter what. Whether she grasps it or not one way or another the person paying is likely to be Fluke.

    • March 19, 2012 5:25 pm

      Ellie: Yes, we’re free to ignore opinions we don’t like, but of course the left didn’t exactly ignore Limbaugh; they organized a campaign to drive his sponsors away and thus silence him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Rush earn less (a LOT less) than the $40 million he’s making right now, but I still can’t justify using pressure to undercut anyone’s right to express ideas.

      I appreciate the irony of leftists using the capitalist system to eliminate a foe, and of course it worked (though Rush is still on the air). I’m guessing that many if not most of Rush’s sponsors weren’t directly threatened with boycott; they simply jumped on the bandwagon so as not to be associated with El Rushbo’s tarnished reputation.

      • March 20, 2012 5:02 pm

        Do you really believe “the left” organized a campaign against Limbaugh? The sponsors who withdrew had very valid reasons for withdrawing their support from Limbaugh, even without “the left.” These are companies who employ a lot of women in high positions, and who have high female clientele. The bad press is what drove them away. And that press came from female outrage that had nothing directly to do with “the left.” Rush’s comments angered all but the most morally dependent women in the US. And I’ll never believe that all women who were outraged are part of “the left,” whatever that nebulous term refers to. Sort of groups all liberals and socialists with communists, doesn’t it?

      • March 20, 2012 9:34 pm

        Ellie: There was definitely a vigorous campaign by “the left” — in its broadest sense… not just Bolsheviks 😉 — to pressure Limbaugh’s sponsors into dropping him. I saw it on Twitter and a few other places on the Internet. Once the ball started rolling, other sponsors started dropping him — whether as a matter of conscience or as a matter of self-interest (so as not to be linked in the public’s mind with damaged goods)… probably some of both. Clearly not all of them were responding to pressure from the anti-Limbaugh liberal-left activists, but clearly some of them were.

        And yes, I agree with you that you don’t have to be a “leftist” to have been offended by Limbaugh’s comments. I thought they were offensive, too — even if we take his blowhard brand of commentary with a grain of salt. But I would never campaign to drive anyone off the air — right or left — for making offensive remarks.

        Every point of view deserves to be heard (and rejected, if it merits rejection). If we suppress some points of view, they’ll just go underground in the form of militias and other creepy-crawly nastiness.

  8. dhlii permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:18 pm

    We should all pay for our own drugs – particularly those we take on a regular basis, otherwise we will end up not only covering viagra, but aspirin, tums, and rolaids.

    As to requiring employers to cover more and more – fine, just do not be deluded into thinking they are paying for it. Whatever your insurance, your benefits costs – business measures that as part of the cost to employ you – no different from your wages.
    Whether you want your birth control covered or your dry cleaning – your wages and benefits are paid for by what you produce, you can have wages that you can spend as you chose or benefits that you pay for but have marginal control over. Regardless, if you increase the cost of employment – particularly for those on the lower end of the wage scale, you decrease their employ-ability.

    Everyone is fixated on jobs at the moment, why would we deliberately chose to take government actions that regardless of who benefits will significantly reduce the attractiveness of those having the greatest difficulty getting jobs.

    Ms. Fluke should consider that any women with a job or seeking employment in work that can be outsourced, or automated has a high probability of being replaced. Machines have no ovaries, and Chinese women have government paid reproductive health benefits – forced abortions.

    Ultimately it is irrelevant whether birth control or any other health aid costs $100, $1000, or $3000 dollars/year. What matters most is that it is entirely predictable. The purpose of insurance is to distribute the risk of unanticipated expenses. Any expense that can be fully grasped well ahead of time comes out of our pocket – directly or indirectly.

    There is no magic wand that will make Ms. Flukes birth control pills free – not even just free to her.

  9. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:24 pm

    About the only thing you got wrong rick was that the young woman somehow brought the right wing nuts on herself.

    Rush has a 19% favorability rating as of last week according to CBS. As bad as the Democrats are, the Republicans are far worse. It should make a good Dem. campaign slogan “we’re not half as foul as the alternative”.

    According to CBS

    COMPARING THE PARTIES
    Americans prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party as
    better able to handle a number of key issues, including improving the
    health care system, ensuring a strong economic recovery, and deciding
    how the government should spend taxpayers’ money. Democrats also have
    a very slight edge on dealing with terrorism, a traditional strength
    of Republicans.
    WHICH PARTY IS BETTER ABLE TO…?
    Democratic Republican
    Improve the health care system 65% 18
    Ensure a strong economic recovery 50% 22
    Decide about taxpayers’ money 50% 28
    Deal with terrorism 41% 39 Many Americans think the Republican leadership is leading their party
    in the wrong direction – including many Republicans. While 40% of
    Republicans think the party is headed in the right direction, nearly
    as many – 36% – think the party is being taken in the wrong direction.
    DIRECTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
    Total Republicans
    Right direction 27% 40%
    Wrong direction 48 36
    Mixed/Depends/Don’t know 25 24

    Gallup/CNN/USA Today asked this question in March 1994, before the
    Republican takeover of Congress, and views of the party were very
    different then. Then, 58% said the leadership of the Republican Party
    was taking the party in the right direction, and just 24% thought it
    was headed in the wrong direction.
    Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has recently attacked
    both the Obama Administration and the Republican leadership. Although
    only one in five Americans has a favorable opinion of Limbaugh, he
    remains popular with 47% of Republicans.
    OPINION OF RUSH LIMBAUGH
    Total Reps Dems Ind
    Favorable 19% 47% 7% 14%
    Not favorable 40 16 58 36
    Don’t know/no opinion 41 37 36 49

    The fact that 18% of independents have a favorable of the hate prone Limbaugh probably tells you what percentage of right wingers are independents. The man is disgusting. I don’t have any patience with people who can’t figure that out. The Republicans party is a seriously disgusting mess. May it sink.

    • March 19, 2012 5:31 pm

      G.W.: Interesting stats; we only have to look at the Democrat vs. Republican opinion of Rush Limbaugh to see how divided we are. (What surprised me was the number of people who had no opinion about him.)

      And yes, the GOP is a mess. I don’t know how the Tea Party became the tail to wag this humongous dog, but they succeeded. I think the GOP is doomed unless it can jettison the Tea Party and persuade them to form their own party. Either that or the traditional GOP has to revolt and form a third party closer to the center. Then they could draw moderate Democrats into that new party… and they’d probably win a lot of popular support from independents. I could live with that. 🙂

  10. dhlii permalink
    March 17, 2012 10:08 pm

    You can find a poll to say most anything you want. Rassmussen has Obama Trailing Santorum in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. 58% of american’s favor a flat tax. The “generic congressional ballot” has Republicans up by 6% over Democrats. I beleive this is about where is was in november 2010. 52% worry that government is doing too much. 32% of us think the country is headed in the right direction – again the same as Nov. 2010. The number of registered republicans declined in 18 of 25 states that track registration by party, the number of democrats declined in 21 states. Democrats have lost 800,000 voters republicans have lost 350,000. Gallup:
    Obama’s approval rating at 45% and his disapproval rating at 47% with 50% of us labeling his presidency as a failure. No Presidential candidate of either party has had unfavorable numbers that high since Bob Dole. More than 50% of voters think APACA is a bad thing, with Gallup has Santorum beating Obama by 3points in a head to head contest.

    Republican voters have an 8% advantage in “enthusiasm”,
    40% of us self identify as conservative, 35% as moderate and 21% as liberal – both the conservative and liberal numbers are trending up slightly – at the expense of moderates. The percentage of registered republicans is about the same as 2008, While registered democrats are down by 4%, Those “leaning republican” are up by 5points since 2008. While “leans democrat” is unchanged.

    Rush Limbaugh is not running for President. Regardless of his unfavorable s, there is not another political pundit of either party that comes close to as many listeners. You do not have to like him, but he still speaks for approximately 30 million Americans.

    I am not looking to claim the republicans will dominate this election as they did in 2010. My guess is they will hold the house, increase their presence in the senate – possibly gaining control, but still lose the whitehouse. That is also my hope – divided government is our best hope that neither party will have the power to do the stupid things they do when in control.

    Regardless, Today’s Polls tell us little about an election 9 months away
    Nor do polls do not tell us what is right or wrong with the country. They tell us what those polled think is right or wrong.

    The good news is that the economy appears to actually bee looking up. The bad news is that this is the weakest recovery – possibly ever, and it is very fragile. BLS has unemployment in February unchanged at 8.3%, while Gallup has it at 9.1% up from a low of 8.4% in october. Much of what little economic recovery we have had has taken place since the Republicans took control of the house in early 2011.

    By 2015 60% of all new jobs will requires skills that only 20% of the population have. The US will produce 3 million fewer college graduates than jobs requiring a college degree. over the next decade. Current unemployment among for engineers is 2%, for college Graduates is 4% For those without a high school degree it is 12.9% – and god help you if your are a young black man without a high school degree.

    This recession has been unique in that Small Business has not lead the recovery. 90% of the net job creation from 1996-2007 came from small business. BLS. 48% of small businesses are worried about the cost of mandated healthcare, and 46% are worried about the cost of regulation. GALLUP. 85% of small businesses have no expectation of hiring soon. – 79% of americans trust small business owners most of job creation – that is 27 points above the president, 35 points above congress and 39 points above Bernanke. 57% of small business owners see the Tea Party Platform as good for Business while only 23% see it as bad.

    Ultimately regardless of party, beliefs, and laws, we can only consume what we produce. Wishing for a free lunch, will not bring one into being. Government can not legislate production or prosperity – and under both parties it has an abysmal record to the extent that it tries to.

  11. dhlii permalink
    March 18, 2012 10:02 am

    Georgetown Law Students can expect to have to pay $46,000/year for tuition.
    On the other hand summer law school interns in Washington DC can expect a salary fo $79,000 for 3 months work. Georgetown Graduates entering private practice average over $160,000/year first year starting salary. They can expect salaries of $250,000/year within 5 years and as partners they can expect to take home $1,000,000/year.

    Expressed differently they are the 1%.
    Ms. Flukes and her fellow students contraception costs are rounding error in the cost of their tuition for 4 years and an even smaller fraction of their starting salary.

    Georgetown is variously ranked between #8 and #14 among US Law schools. It is an extremely prestigious school, one must be extremely well qualified to get in, and success at Georgetown virtually assures success in life.

    Ms. Fluke may choose to pursue less lucrative public law positions. These are still free choices. And all would place her well above the median US Income.

    Part of the process of being an adult is grasping that “Good dreams don’t come cheap, you’ve got to pay for them and If you just dream when you’re asleep this is no way for them to come alive… to survive.”, Whatever Ms. Flukes circumstances and dreams, she has far more options than the overwhelming majority of Americans. Simply taking a summer internship for a single year would not only cover her birth control, but more than half the total cost of law school.

    The free market provides the freedom to pursue our dreams whatever they may be. But it does not give them to us. It makes it difficult for us to consume more than we produce. It demands that we place values on our dreams and decide whether we are willing to pay the price necessary to achieve them. None of us can afford whatever we please. Many of us have made choices that limit some of our options in order to pursue others.

    Ms. Fluke appears unwilling to do that. She pleads poverty, and demands that the rest of us support her choices. But she is not impoverished. Her choices range between upper middle class and the 1%. Yet we are obligated to pay for her.

    There are women in this country who face the choices Ms. Fluke described in her testimony, experiencing real financial hardship.
    Georgetown Law Students are not among them.

  12. dduck permalink
    March 18, 2012 4:13 pm

    I don’t think just because you are an advocate, for whatever, that you have to be a typical whatever you advocating about. George Clooney, is welcome to push for the poor people in Sudan without being broke or bombed. Fluke, and others advocating for poor women don’t have to be poor as long as they don’t try to appear poor and as long as they don’t exaggerate (wait, I guess they all do that).

  13. March 18, 2012 11:11 pm

    Sandra Fluke is a 30 year old activist who deliberately went to Georgetown because it is a Catholic university. Her organization seeks to promote “reproductive rights” by forcing reliigious institutions to cover such things as birth control and abortions.

    She never testified before Congress. She “spoke to a group of House Democrats last month on behalf of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice.” This was held outside of Congressional chambers and was nothing more than a gussied up press conference, meant to look like an official hearing.

    Far be it from me to defend the bloviating and obnoxious Limbaugh for his sexist language. He deserved every bit of the blowback that he got.

    But it raises the question of why this whole kabuki theater was staged in the first place, if not precisely for the purpose of getting the kind of publicity that it got?

    A pox on both houses. (And free penicillin to cure it, of course).

    • March 19, 2012 5:38 pm

      pearows: Great post… should I reveal your true identity? Yes, this whole story gets “curiouser and curiouser” the more I read about it. Fluke’s testimony was a media event staged by Democrats… but apparently one of the reasons they staged it was that the GOP-dominated House didn’t have any women giving testimony in the official session.

      But you’re right that Fluke was more calculating than many of us originally suspected; when I saw that she once called gender reassignment surgery a “universal human right” I nearly flipped. She’s pretty far out there.

      She deserved a little media heat, though Rush really blew it in a big way by stupidly (and obsessively) focusing on her imagined hyperactive sex life. He really should have asked what right she had to force a Catholic university to supply free contraceptives to students.

      • March 19, 2012 6:29 pm

        Haha, thanks, Rick. For some reason, WordPress isn’t letting me post with my name on your site. I’ll have to figure out what’s up with that…..

        But the secret identity of pearows is Priscilla 😉

  14. March 19, 2012 10:40 am

    Fluke chose to attend a Catholic Law School. Voluntarily subjecting herself to its precepts. And she chose to try to change some of those – which she is free to do. But I have not heard that she specifically chose Georgetown seeking a confrontation, rather than for a legal education.

    Her organization advocates more than birth control. She lobbies for government paid sex reassignment.

    The kabuki with regarding congressional hearings is even more convoluted. Democrats were given the opportunity to select their own witnesses, they declined. Immediately before the hearings, they tried to insert Fluke – who was rejected as the issue was the conflict between religious freedom and healthcare mandates. Flukes offered testimony made no mention of religious issues, and thus was off topic.

  15. dduck permalink
    March 19, 2012 1:23 pm

    Agreed, pearows.

  16. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 20, 2012 8:08 am

    Yeah, 30 million tune in to Rush and 18% of Americans approve of him, which would be about 60 million. His show consists of endless racist cracks, for example, he responded to an African-American woman who called in by hanging up on her and saying on the air that she should call back when she removes the bone from her nose. This kind of blatant racism is approved by 60 million apparently.

    Left-wing idiocy is a mostly a phenomenon of youth, most of the sufferers, who number a few million at any one time, outgrow it. Those who don’t become English professors.

    Right-wing idiocy is a mostly a phenomenon of adults, who, for all I know all put their children on the bus on Monday morning. They rarely out grow it, its the philosophy of their mature years.

    The hate that Rush spews is far from harmless, lynchings still occur in America, just not as frequently as they did in the days of Rush’s intellectual predecessors back in the good old days on Southern plantations, when “businessmen” were still “free” to go abroad and hire workers on excellent terms. Now the descendants of those who actually built the south are recognized legally as human beings most of the time, go figure.

    Rush Limbaugh has taken an existing disease and nurtured and grown it. He and his followers represent what is despicable about America. I’m glad its only 18% of us, but that still 60 million people. What do you do about such people, hate them, try to understand them, try to reason with them somehow? I have no idea. We have cancer, Rush Limbaugh gives it a front man.

    • March 20, 2012 1:08 pm

      GW:

      “Left-wing idiocy is a mostly a phenomenon of youth, most of the sufferers, who number a few million at any one time, outgrow it. Those who don’t become English professors.”

      Great quote… I love it!

      You wonder what we should do about the 18% or so of Americans who buy Limbaugh’s hate speech. It’s a good question. My response: We should listen to them. Not accept their mindset, just hear their grievances. I might be naive, but I think these people are angry because those snooty city folks aren’t listening to them. (I wonder if they know the full extent of bi-coastal yuppie contempt for them.) They feel they’re being left behind while minorities, gays and educated women are benefiting from official favoritism and PC protection. They also feel that their traditional Christian way of life is being threatened.

      There’s a kernel of truth to their suspicions, but it’s dangerous to let it fester into hatred, and that’s what’s happening on the far right. Pundits like Rush Limbaugh help voice their frustrations, which is good… but they also fan the flames, which is NOT good. The ideal would be honest, intelligent right-wing pundits who can articulate the concerns of their audience without becoming divisive or incendiary. I think someone like Mike Huckabee is an example of a decent conservative populist, but he doesn’t seem to be too visible today.

      At some point, we find ourselves wondering if these right-wing fanatics are just stupid, ignorant and congenitally hateful. It’s tempting to think so sometimes, but it’s bad policy to just dismiss a large segment of the population as alien or incorrigible. These are our fellow Americans, and we have to find a way to coexist with them.

    • asmith permalink
      March 21, 2012 11:07 pm

      I really do not wish to defend Rush. But did you actually hear the events you are citing or are you just passing on what you were told. I rarely listen to Rush, when I do he is mostly dull, and uninteresting, but I have never actually heard one of these hatefilled rants that he is credited with. I have no desire to listen to him long enough to be exposed to one of them,

  17. March 20, 2012 11:38 pm

    “Pundits like Rush Limbaugh help voice their frustrations, which is good… but they also fan the flames, which is NOT good. The ideal would be honest, intelligent right-wing pundits who can articulate the concerns of their audience without becoming divisive or incendiary. I think someone like Mike Huckabee is an example of a decent conservative populist, but he doesn’t seem to be too visible today.”

    I knew there was a reason that I liked you, Rick….that is, aside from the fact that, well, I like you 😉

    I’ll admit it – I listen to Rush a lot. I admire him, although I am not a “fan.” He has been VERY anti-Romney, until this week, when the delegate math has turned the corner and, as a Romney supporter, that has helped me to see what a phony he is.

    Huckabee has given up his political ambitions and become a pure pundit, and it has been a very positive transition. I despised Huckabee as a politician, I like him a lot as as a pundit…he understands the difference, he’s good at “retail politics,” and I think that, as you say, he can articulate the right’s POV in a sane way. Watch Fox more often, and you will see that he is pretty visible….to the right, at least.

    • March 22, 2012 9:03 am

      Thanks, Priscilla. (The feeling’s mutual.) I confess that I enjoy Rush as one of my guilty pleasures whenever I find myself driving in the early afternoon, even though I shake my head at his utterances more and more these days. Yes, he promotes an agenda that I can’t buy, but I still see him as a contrarian counterbalance to the PC-liberal mainstream media –and he’s valuable in that role. (I just wish he wouldn’t overdo it.)

      I rarely tune in to Fox News, but I’ll have to check out Mike Huckabee now and then. As a decent conservative, he probably doesn’t produce enough controversial sound bites to put a media bullseye on his back.

  18. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 21, 2012 9:59 am

    Of course I can’t reply to Rick in the appropriate place. But… I WOULD be part of a campaign to drive someone off the air based on their hate speech with great enthusiasm. They have a right to think what they want and say it public, that right to speak is our mighty first amendment, but according to the courts interpretation of the right of public free speech is guaranteed on the street corner, and not necessarily guaranteed in the high school or on the airwaves. It is completely within the freedom of speech rules and common sense to say that while you have the right to be the Chief Unsheeted Bigot of the USA, my company does not HAVE to PAY you to do it. Which is what is going on with the radio business today.

    HooRah!

    Evil has to be combated, not coddled. Rick, I wish you luck talking with followers of the angry king of right-wing hate of everything modern, I’ve been there and done that, its generally ineffective. Like trying to stop global warming by driving 2% less.

    I recognize that I paint too much in black and white, there are a lot of weird shades of grey out there. The one person I know who listens to Rush Limbaugh also has a passionate, passionate love of Jimmy Hendrix, who he considers the greatest musician of all time. (But his wife did leave him and took the six kids with her last year.) Everyone goes on their own personal journey and many of the outcomes are so strange that poor lil Ian cannot wrap his head around them. So what you will say, and you will be right.

    I’m a poor simpleton; fight bigots, tooth and nail, with every weapon that is legally available.
    I get at most 100 years to exist, I’m going to use it to fight on the side of what I perceive as good, I’m not wasting any of it rationalizing, admiring, or defending pure evil if I can see it.

    • March 22, 2012 9:28 am

      GW: Are you Ian? (And here I thought we had an articulate new moderate in our midst. Not to worry… losing Ian would have been a high price to pay for a good newcomer, so I’m glad you’re still with us.)

      Anyway… the debate about a pundit’s right to a public platform is ongoing, and both sides of the argument have merit. I’d still say that driving away sponsors by threatening a group boycott borders on dirty politics… but if the sponsors decide independently to jump ship as a result of a pundit’s vile mutterings, that’s a different story.

      I don’t see Rush Limbaugh as quite the embodiment of pure evil that you do. The guy is a professional windbag… he knows it… and he plays the role to the hilt. He exaggerates for comic or dramatic effect to get his point across. I’m sure he didn’t think that Sandra Fluke was literally a slut or a prostitute; he was trying to make a point about the public having to pay for a woman’s contraceptives and, by extension, her sex life. Of course, he was both wrong (the insurance company, not the public, would be paying) and pretty vile in the aspersions he was casting. His approach backfired big-time.

      What’s most harmful about Rush is the influence he has on his dittoheads. I don’t think most of them recognize the deliberate whimsical exaggerations in his diatribes; they take him at his word. Is that Rush’s fault? I suppose he has to bear the responsibility. He has to know that many if not most of his followers are poorly educated reactionaries who feel threatened by modern life. (Hey, I feel threatened by modern life, too, but I don’t go around wishing damnation on Obama.)

      What to do with these people? We can’t simply dismiss them as an inferior species; they deserve to have their fears articulated… but preferably in a less polarizing manner. We could use a good Frank Capra-style populist on the right… someone with humane values who respects the common man instead of pandering to his baser instincts.

  19. March 21, 2012 12:04 pm

    I think we should be careful not to equate bigotry and hate with rude and offensive language.

    Rush is rude and offensive…calling anyone a slut is rude and offensive, but it happens all the time, and it doesn’t mean that the offender is hateful.

    The other day I read an article about Kathleen Sebelius speaking to a group of school kids about bullying. She said something like “You should realize that words like “fattie” “retard” and “jerk” are word that can hurt and using them is the same as bullying”

    Then later in the speech, she said ” You all have the power to stop bullying. When you see someone trying to bully another, just say ” Stop it, you jerk, just get of here!”

    Hmmm, so wait. You shouldn’t call people “jerks,” so stop it by calling them “jerks”?

    I think we trivialize bigotry when we get too invested in political correctness.

  20. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 21, 2012 12:40 pm

    Sorry Priscilla, I don’t mean to be rude (no pun intended) but i think you are willfully blind. I dislike political correctness intensely, I’m fully aware we can split hairs all day about where the line is crossed. Conservatives see right wing commentators as rude, to many of the rest of us he is a proud and famous bigot, a symbol of hope and inspiration to other bigots and his behavior is a cancer.

    What can I say, perhaps I’m a bit upset at the moment that in the USA it is apparently legal for a burly law and order fanatic to hunt down and kill a small unarmed black teenager. It must be legal, since the police see no crime. Unless I am wrong, many conservatives will look at this case and see most of all, the Rev. Sharpton and other “left wing activists” they despise, rather than the central act and horrible injustice.

    I prefer to err on the side of calling bigots bigots if they talk like bigots and not get too involved in making possible explanations for them.

    BTW, and not in direct response to you, I am quite capable of logically separating the economic arguments that conservatives and the tea party make, whether they are right or wrong, from the bigotry and general hatefulness of the right wingers, The problem is that to many people on the left of center and even in the center it is very hard to distinguish the different groups and interests that make up the conservative and right wing communities and someone like Rush muddles everything because he appeals to a wide spectrum of the right wingers and conservatives. Conservative arguments about the size of government are not directly logically connected to bigotry, but the same right wing commentators who favor small government are also bigoted hateful freaks and remain much more popular with conservatives then with the rest of us. Only conservatives can fix this problem, moderates and liberals are not going to do it.

    I agree with conservatives about our inability to sustain the present size and growth of government, but as of today I would not vote for any member of the GOP becasue of everything else associated with it. I am far from alone. As I have pointed out many times there is a long list of former conservative GOP senators and other former GOP figures who are just as disgusted as I am with the tenor of the present day GOP. So, its not just me.

    Barry Goldwater once loudly and publicly told Jerry Falwell to shut up. It can be done.

  21. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 21, 2012 4:56 pm

    Some quotes that show that Rush is blatanty racist, others that just show he is an idiot. i cannot find anything admirable here, but maybe its just me. But these are just mostly one liners, for him to Really dig a hole he strings whole paragraphs together making fun of the Japanese after their disaster, etc.

    “A caller asked Limbaugh, “If these are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did Mother Earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster?”

    “He’s right,” Limbaugh said. “They’ve given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are recycling their garbage.” Here, he began to laugh, continuing, “and yet, Gaia levels them! Just wipes them out!”

    Well, because life ain’t fair, there is no Gaia, or God, or supernatural magical being in control. Except for Ceiling Cat and The Flying Spagetti Monster and they just like watching. We’re on our own.

    REPENT! Accept Happy Cat as your one true savior!”

    How many dead were there in japan and how many ongoing crises when he said this?

    “Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”

    “You’re a foreigner. You shut your mouth or you get out.”

    “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

    “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”
    “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”

    “We need segregated buses… This is Obama’s America.”

    “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “And don’t forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There’s a racial component here, too. And now, the newspaper that I’m reading all this from is The New York Times, and they, of course, don’t mention that.” –Rush Limbaugh, on the 2006 Ohio Senate primary race involving then-Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who is white

    “This will play right into Obama’s hands. He’s humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, shall we say, ‘credibility’ with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them. That’s why he couldn’t wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.” –Rush Limbaugh, on Haiti earthquake relief, Jan. 13, 2010

    “As far as the media’s concerned, Mrs. Obama deserves this. Look at the sordid past. Look at our slave past, look at the discriminatory past. It’s only fair that people of color get their taste of the wealth of America too.” –Rush Limbaugh, claiming the media is allowing Michelle Obama to take a vacation as a form of reparations for “our slave past,” Aug. 6, 2010

    “That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires.” –Rush Limbaugh, on the death of longtime New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, July 13, 2010

    “[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black. Somebody asked me over the weekend why does somebody earn a lot of money have a lot of money, because she’s black. It was Oprah. No, it can’t be. Yes, it is. There’s a lot of guilt out there, show we’re not racists, we’ll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth…. If Obama weren’t black he’d be a tour guide in Honolulu or he’d be teaching Saul Alinsky constitutional law or lecturing on it in Chicago.” –Rush Limbaugh, July 6, 2010

    “When do we ask the Sierra Club to pick up the tab for this leak?” –Rush Limbaugh, blaming the oil spill in the Gulf on the Sierra Club, arguing that the environmental group had driven oil producers off the land to more high-risk situations offshore, Rush Limbaugh, May 17, 2010

    “The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there. It’s natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.” –Rush Limbaugh, on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, May 3, 2010

    “Guess what? Faisal Shahzad is a registered Democrat. I wonder if his SUV had an Obama sticker on it.” –Rush Limbaugh, lying about the failed Times Square car bomber, who is not registered to vote, May 4, 2010

    “What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing, here.” –Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that “environmentalist whackos” deliberately blew up the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that created one of the biggest environmental disasters in U.S. history to stop offshore oil drilling, April 29, 2010

    “Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards…There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House.” –Rush Limbaugh, on his Feb. 3, 2010 radio show, referring to Chief of Staff Rham Emanuel’s remark calling the idea of liberal groups running health care-related ads against Democratic lawmakers “f**king retarded”. Sarah Palin called on Emanuel to resign over the comment.

    “I’m a huge supporter of women. What I’m not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose. Feminism has led women astray. I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.” –Rush Limbaugh, responding to criticism that he is sexist and defending his selection as one of the judges at the 2010 Miss America Pageant, “Fox News’ Fox & Friends,” February 3, 2010

    “We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.” –Rush Limbaugh, discouraging donations to relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake, Jan. 13, 2010

    “This will play right into Obama’s hands. He’s humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, shall we say, ‘credibility’ with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them. That’s why he couldn’t wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.” –Rush Limbaugh, on Haiti earthquake relief, Jan. 13, 2010

    “Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook … Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate.” –Rush Limbaugh, Aug. 6, 2009

    “As far as the media’s concerned, Mrs. Obama deserves this. Look at the sordid past. Look at our slave past, look at the discriminatory past. It’s only fair that people of color get their taste of the wealth of America too.” –Rush Limbaugh, claiming the media is allowing Michelle Obama to take a vacation as a form of reparations for “our slave past,” Aug. 6, 2010

    “That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires.” –Rush Limbaugh, on the death of longtime New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, July 13, 2010

    “[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black. Somebody asked me over the weekend why does somebody earn a lot of money have a lot of money, because she’s black. It was Oprah. No, it can’t be. Yes, it is. There’s a lot of guilt out there, show we’re not racists, we’ll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth…. If Obama weren’t black he’d be a tour guide in Honolulu or he’d be teaching Saul Alinsky constitutional law or lecturing on it in Chicago.” –Rush Limbaugh, July 6, 2010

    “When do we ask the Sierra Club to pick up the tab for this leak?” –Rush Limbaugh, blaming the oil spill in the Gulf on the Sierra Club, arguing that the environmental group had driven oil producers off the land to more high-risk situations offshore, Rush Limbaugh, May 17, 2010

    “The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there. It’s natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.” –Rush Limbaugh, on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, May 3, 2010

    “Guess what? Faisal Shahzad is a registered Democrat. I wonder if his SUV had an Obama sticker on it.” –Rush Limbaugh, lying about the failed Times Square car bomber, who is not registered to vote, May 4, 2010

    “What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing, here.” –Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that “environmentalist whackos” deliberately blew up the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that created one of the biggest environmental disasters in U.S. history to stop offshore oil drilling, April 29, 2010

    “Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards…There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House.” –Rush Limbaugh, on his Feb. 3, 2010 radio show, referring to Chief of Staff Rham Emanuel’s remark calling the idea of liberal groups running health care-related ads against Democratic lawmakers “f**king retarded”. Sarah Palin called on Emanuel to resign over the comment.

    “I’m a huge supporter of women. What I’m not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose. Feminism has led women astray. I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.” –Rush Limbaugh, responding to criticism that he is sexist and defending his selection as one of the judges at the 2010 Miss America Pageant, “Fox News’ Fox & Friends,” February 3, 2010

    “We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.” –Rush Limbaugh, discouraging donations to relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake, Jan. 13, 2010

    “This will play right into Obama’s hands. He’s humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, shall we say, ‘credibility’ with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them. That’s why he couldn’t wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.” –Rush Limbaugh, on Haiti earthquake relief, Jan. 13, 2010

    “Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook … Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate.” –Rush Limbaugh, Aug. 6, 2009

    Where is the admirable stuff?

    Retired General Wesley Clarke said:

    There can be no excuse for such statements. Mr. Limbaugh has the right to say whatever he wants, but ABC and ESPN have no obligation to sponsor such hateful and ignorant speech. Mr. Limbaugh should be fired immediately.

    Hear hear! ( the above was on his football commentary career.)

    • dhlii permalink
      March 22, 2012 12:12 am

      Have you ever listened to Bill Mahr ? On Palin ?
      Almost any left wing pundit on onservative women ?

      In comparison Limbaugh is tame.

      I do not really want to defend Limbaugh just get you to open your eyes.

      Here Stanley Fishes New York Times editorial defending the double standard applied to conservatives on vlie speech.
      http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/two-cheers-for-double-standards/

      Bill Mahr (etc) is acceptable – because we know in his heart he is good, and he has the right motives, Limbaugh’s content is not acceptable – not because it is qualitatively different but because Limbaugh’s politics are wrong.

      I would say don’t you see that as might makes right or the ends justifies the means – but Fish makes that point for me – and is fine with it.

      Take Mr. Fishes arguments and imagine someone like Rick Santorum saying them and then maybe you will grasp how dangerous and offensive they are.

      But atleast Mr. Fish is honest – sort of. Liberalism actually has no standards rather than a double standard. Right and wrong are fungible.

      • March 22, 2012 12:58 am

        I actually had a similar response written…but my WordPress issues continue, and it got deleted.

        Ian, don’t you think you’re being a bit sanctimonious and dramatic in your condemnation of conservatives? I have said before, in this thread, that I don’t defend Rush’s language. But, when it comes to raw language directed at women, conservatives by no means rule the day. And the same goes for a double standard on race. Just this week, a video came out of Tom Hanks and Glenn Frey joking on stage at a 2004 Democrat fundraiser, with a white investment banker who was wearing blackface, a leopard-print toga, an armband made of animal teeth, and a huge Afro wig. Frey jokes that the school where the fundraiser is being held is “so conservative that this guy was almost not let in!”

        Cute, huh? Use an offensive blackface caricature, and joke that other people are racist.

        Goose. Gander. Pot Kettle.

      • March 22, 2012 9:47 am

        Dave: Good point about the double standard applied by the mainstream media. I hadn’t even HEARD about Maher’s vile attack on Palin until the Rush Limbaugh controversy erupted… that shows you how the media establishment protects its own.

        Liberals justify Maher’s remarks by asserting that he’s on a pay-cable station and thus not using public airwaves. But that’s a pretty flimsy argument. I wonder how liberal feminists feel about Maher’s remarks.

    • March 22, 2012 9:41 am

      GW: That’s a pretty damning collection of Rushisms, I have to admit. Snopes.com did a rundown on some of the more egregious quotes and found some of them without any verifiable attribution other than a book called “101 People Who Are Screwing America.” (I thought it was written by a conservative, but no matter.) The quote about James Earl Ray was one of them… apparently baseless. (I’m sure Rush would have ignited an even bigger media firestorm if he had actually uttered that one.) The demeaning quote about the bone in the nose apparently dated back to his early days as an insult shock-jock.

      Still, Rush does seem to have an unhealthy obsession with black people. Many of his racial remarks stray beyond mere anti-PC curmudgeonliness into something uglier. I can understand his sniping at Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, but overall there’s a bit too much of a muchness in this department, and he plays into the hands of the real bigots in his audience.

  22. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 21, 2012 5:00 pm

    Eh, cut and paste cut and double paste, screw it all up. But you get the point.

  23. dhlii permalink
    March 21, 2012 11:50 pm

    Though the Supreme court has allowed restrictions to place, time the courts have taken an extremely dim view of restrictions based on content – and political speech is the most strongly constitutionally protected of all.
    In myriads of areas the courts have been schizophrenic about kids. That has had no effect on their treatment of adults – and even inside of schools expression that is not disruptive can not be banned based on content.

    The constitutional proscription against interfering with speech only applies to government. You have limited if any free speech rights with respect to other people, employers, organizations – boycott whoever you want it is your absolute right.

    At the same time if you think Rush is the worlds greatest pompous ass and bigot – have you paid any attention to left wing pundits ?

    Fighting bigotry is to be commended, but don’t put blinders on.

  24. dhlii permalink
    March 21, 2012 11:55 pm

    Youtube can somehow bring our founders to life to show is just how tame politics was more than 200 years ago.

    • March 22, 2012 10:07 am

      I saw this a while ago… pretty hilarious, though it goes to show us that some things never change.

  25. dhlii permalink
    March 22, 2012 12:27 am

    I previously argued that morality was not a basis for government or legislation, but that freedom was.

    The argument is more fundamental – morality can not be a basis for government.
    Absent freedom there is no morality.

    There is no virtue in what you do by force.
    There is no virtue in what you force someone else to do – regardless of the results.

    No matter what your measure – virtuous moral behavior is when one freely chooses to subordinate their own needs or something they see as a greater good.

    When you coerce someone else into doing something you view as good, – neither you nor they have done anything of merit. Neither of you have freely chosen to make a personal sacrifice.

    This is one of the great failures of liberalism, you can not make someone else better by forcing them to do what you perceive as good. Nor do you make yourself better. And finally, by compelling what you view as good, you pollute it, and you make it impotent – or atleast far less potent.

    • March 22, 2012 12:36 am

      To be fair conservatives often succumb to this fallacy to.
      Our drag laws are little more than an effort to create goodness by force.
      Rick Santorum will happily elaborate on the different forms of good that his government will force upon us.

      But accomplishing good by force is inextricable from progressiveness. It does not exist without it.

      How is this different from the Crusades ? It does not matter whether your god is some deity or a particular code of beliefs, if your are imposing your highest values at the point of a sword, you debase those values in the process.

  26. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 22, 2012 7:44 am

    Guys I went on a huge moral crusade at UVM for years against the repulsive left. I outed Wade Churchill when the UVM lefties invited him and worked with young republicans to get them formed. I very nearly ran for the Vermont senate as a republican due to a class warfare educational funding bill that was monstrous. Let there be a column about Micheal and I’ll out do all of you in my condemnation.

    ITS NOT THE POINT. THIS column is about RUSH LIMBAUGH, the most popular conservative figure of our time. Who said:

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    Would you distractors and rationalizers like to stop trying to distract attention away from what this is about. Explain to me what you think is in Rush’s mind and heart when he celebrated the assassin of MLK?

    I am not being dramatic, Rush Limbaugh is a monster. his heart is as empty as his brain. Some of his followers are as evil as he is, others are just blind.

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    If you admire shit and evil, then I there really is no overlap in our morality and no common ground.

    • March 22, 2012 9:35 am

      The James Earl Ray remark – as well as most of the rest of the Rush quotes you have cited – are generally understood as frauds.

      We went through the same kind of crap about the supposed rascist Palin rallies during the 2008 campaign.

      This is Stanley Fish’s New York Times editorial on the left right double standard
      http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/two-cheers-for-double-standards/

      That I need to explain the significance of this is appalling.

      Right makes right,
      The ends justify the means.
      It is perfectly acceptable to hold the right to a different standard than the left.
      It is acceptable to lie about yourself and others to advance your cause.

      Mr. Fish baldly made the first two remarks, the others are the consequences.

      • March 22, 2012 10:21 am

        Thanks for the link to the Stanley Fish essay. I thought it was appalling that he can SEE how unfair it is to apply the double standard, yet he opts for it anyway out of loyalty to the “family” (the left, the “good guys”). Whew, that explains so much of the left’s willful blindness to the moral depravity of people who happen to be on their side… all the way from Stalin to Bill Maher.

  27. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 22, 2012 7:48 am

    Let there be a column about Micheal Moore and I’ll out do all of you in my condemnation.

    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

    Rush is not tame by comparison with anyone. That statement is idiotic.

    • March 22, 2012 10:01 am

      Reason, in 2009 On a couple of the Rush Limbaugh quotes you have cited, and their use by the left wing media.

      http://reason.com/blog/2009/10/15/wait-maybe-rush-limbaugh-doesn

      “Choose a villain and make him the scapegoat for everything you oppose. ”
      Saul Alinsky

      Don’t you ever get tired of being lied to ?

      Once you decide it is acceptable to use force to compel others to do what you have decided is good, then it is easy to use fraud and deceipt.

      • The Grand Wazzoo permalink
        March 22, 2012 11:31 am

        There is no evidence at all in the link you give. The quotes were published in a book, which makes them more substantial than internet chatter. looking further I find that Rush has vigoursly denied them. I find no evidence that he has sued the publisher or author of the book however.

        In the end I have no way of knowing, real or not.

        Throw them out and the rest of the quotes still say all that needs to be said, El Rushbo is a king racist. And the most popular conservative thinker of our time. Since I can’t stand the left and have long critisized the liberal media, the lefty counter examples have no merit to me they are a tangent to this topic. The issue here is Rush, not whether the world is full of idiots. Fish is particularly dispicable I’ve written about him.

        Tired of being lied to? Gosh yes, I’m thinking ironically of Senator Whatshisfaces list of supposed scientists who dispute global warming, among the many many lies that have turned my hair blue.

        I know that there are decent conservatives in the world, I’ve met them. But they are an endangered species.Listening to Rush is one thing, I suppose political resaerch can be claimed Admiring him is something else.

      • March 22, 2012 4:42 pm

        Did you actually read tRush Limbaugh is no more the epitomy of conservative thought than Keith Olberman is the pinacle of Progressive thought. he article – the quotes were posted on Wiki Quotes without any verifiable references in 2005, Subsequently the book came out using the Wiki Quotes post as its reference, subsequently the wiki quotes reference has been changed to refer to the book,

        Is this your idea of an acceptable citation ?

        If you are going to claim somebody said something the burden is on you to prove that – not everyone else. Limbaugh has specifically and repeatedly denied these quotes. That combined with the fact that the press would have a filed day both with these quotes and with an adamant denial that they could prove false raises the standard of proof significantly – unless you beleive the Press will allow Limbaugh to say whatever he pleases.

        I am not specifically beating you up for offering these quotes. But given that you are now informed that there is serious question regarding their authenticity, I would suggest not continuing to use them.

        There is plenty that Rush has said, that he can be judged and found lacking based on what he actually said. I personally heard his recent and offensive Chinese imitation.

        I have never claimed to admire him – but I am not going to judge him based on acts and words he has not uttered.

        Nor are these fake remarks attacks from progressives that uncommon.
        We had all these fake rascist Palin ralies during the 2008 Election. I recall myriads of news stories that basically went “This reported saw no evidence of the racism prevalent at other Palin rallies at this one”.

        i am not particularly looking to defend Palin either – she can take care of her self. But I am out to demonstrate that you need to be extremely careful about what other people – particularly on the web and unsourced stories in the media, say that other people said.

      • March 22, 2012 4:43 pm

        Rush Limbaugh is no more the epitomy of conservative thought than Keith Olberman is the pinacle of Progressive thought.

      • March 22, 2012 10:30 pm

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704322004574477021697942920.html

        There is no “evidence” in this article either – it is impossible to prove a negative. At the same time, no one has come forward with Proof that Limbaugh actually said these things. Considering the many things he has said, and that virtually everything he has uttered is documented online somewhere, you would think if someone had the proof of these particular remarks they would have been running them everywhere.

  28. March 22, 2012 10:09 am

    i am not particularly fixated on Micheal Moore. At best he serves as proof that left is atleast as loony and plebeian as they accuse the right of being.

    He has gotten very rich telling the left the stories they wanted to hear.
    He is purportedly an abysmally difficult and abusive person to work for and a notorious cheapskate.

  29. March 22, 2012 10:15 am

    “If you admire shit and evil, then I there really is no overlap in our morality and no common ground.”

    Good Lord, Ian. Chill out. I don’t admire shit and evil.

    By the way, this is pretty funny, given our main topic:

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/sandra-fluke-says-she-didnt-know-target-sells-birth-control-pills-9

    • March 22, 2012 12:29 pm

      Even in the CNS article you cite Fluke is asserting that one size does not fit all – that there are instances in which some women require more expensive solutions.

      But that is part of the counter point. If Birth Control becomes a government benefit, then the birth control women will be entitled to is that which the government decides they are allowed. The choice of alternatives – most everywhere that government has taken over anything, one way or the other disappears.

      HHS mandated that insurance cover breast pumps for breastfeeding women recently.
      Shortly thereafter cheap breast pumps nearly disappeared from the marketplace. Doctors started issuing all breast feeding women for the top of the line models.

      There are only two consequences of government control – everyone gets the best because the choice and the cost have been isolated, and costs go up (and choices go down), or government decides they will only pay for the cheapest forms – and alternatives disappear.

      We have a substantial problem with diseases with insufficient numbers of suffers to pay to get a drug through the FDA approval process. The existance of regulation sets a minimum profitable cost. If that can not be met no effort will be expended to solve the problem. Essentially this is the same as a minimum wage for drugs.

      Massachusetts – the state trial of ObamaCare, has been aggressively trying to forestall sky-rocketing care costs. The market always seeks to find a cheaper more profitable way to deliver any good or services. It also seeks to provide each person with the specific good or service they are willing to pay for. It assures us that we will have Ford Fiesta and the Lexus LFA Nurburgring as well as everything in between in quantities and prices to meet everyones budget.

      Conversely the requirement of equal treatment by the state dictates that not only will there be fewer choices in state provided services – but that there should be only one choice.

      The left legitimates decries instances where people can use money or influence to secure better treatment by the state.

      When a good or service is provided by the state any differences in treatment must be driven in often impossible to discern objective measures – certainly not differences in what one can afford or subjective preferences.

      Ms. Fluke does not appear to grasp that providing the disparate treatment she beleives that the market has failed to do adequately is orders of magnitude harder in a public system.

      Further Ms. Fluke’s central argument was not that a small percentage of Georgetown Law Students have a great deal of difficulty meeting their special medical needs – though that was the gist of all of her annecdotes, but that a majority of Female Law Students at Georgetown had difficulty affording basic birth control.

    • March 22, 2012 12:32 pm

      I would also note that this article was from CNSNEWS. The major media outlets are far more fixated on What Rush may or may not have said than subjecting Fluke’s arguments to even the most cursory scrutiny.

  30. March 22, 2012 10:38 am

    Since the Fake Limbaugh quote has raised the defense of slavery issue,

    What if slavery actually was a good thing for the south, for slaves, for the country ?
    After all Black slaves were treated significantly better than white indentured servants.
    There are numerous instances of slaves sometimes eloquently defending slavery from the time.

    Would that make it acceptable ? Moral ?
    Do we measure good and evil solely by outcome ?
    Is it acceptable to take away someone’s freedom if in return you significantly improve the quality of their life ?

    Nearly all of us grasp that taking away someone’s freedom can not be made up for by otherwise improving their lives. That it is better to die free than live a slave.

    Yet the central premise of progressivism is that we can take freedom away from both the rich and the poor for the promise of a better life for the poor.

    Ms. Fluke wants to force others to pay for her birth control. Doing so makes both them and her less free. Its foundation is that she is incapable of meeting her own needs – and therefore not entitled to the freedom to do so, and that the rest of us are not able or free to decide what to do with what is ours.

    Rush may never have said that Slavery was good, but Ms. Fluke is saying exactly that.

    If Ms. Fluke is incompetent to secure birth control on her own – then why is she competent to make choices about reproduction ? “Three generations of imbeciles are enough” – Progressive Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes.

    Don’t think the progressive state will go there ? The connection between progressives statists and eugenics is well established.

    Regardless, Once you have decided it is acceptable to take a portion of someone’s freedom for the greater good, where is the line that tells you this far, and no farther ?

    Freedom is expensive. It requires trusting people – the poor, minorities, the less able, to take care of themselves – and allowing some of them to fail.

    But the alternative to freedom is slavery. Rush Limbaugh may not have defended slavery but progressives do so everytime they argue that government should take over more responsibility for our lives.

  31. March 22, 2012 10:46 am

    What do libertarians and scientists have in common ?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-03-18/ron-paul-libertarians-science/53617108/1

    According to USA Today – everything.

  32. March 22, 2012 5:29 pm

    You can claim to be equally offended by the right and left, but when you take unsubstantiated criticism from the left to heart without affording the same credulity to the right your claim to moderation ring hollow.

    One of my issues with TNM is that it divides the world up into Liberals, moderates, and conservatives. It can not define moderate, anything the left says about the right is taken credulously, and regardless of rare critiques of the left seems almost entirely focussed on the right.

    When neither party is capable of fiscal restraint, lambasting the one that is atleast making an attempt, is not moderate,

    • March 23, 2012 9:57 pm

      I dunno, Dave… you’re one tough customer. I thought I considered both sides of this story, unlike a lot of pundits who simply jumped on the anti-Rush bandwagon. After acknowledging that Rush made some ill-considered remarks, I took Sandra Fluke to task for trying to force a Catholic university to ignore the church’s position on birth control… and I was willing to examine why Rush’s aging white male audience is so full of anger.

      If I generally seem more focused on the abuses of the right, that’s because I can still hear the sickening sound of money being sucked out of the middle class and into the pockets of the plutocrats. I’m starting to think that both the Democrat and Republican establishments are in on this game; they might as well be a single party. Obama seems suspiciously friendly to Wall Street and corporate America, especially for a socialist — don’t you agree?

      • March 24, 2012 8:53 am

        I do think that this post was one of the more even handed treatments of this incident that I have read, although you did begin with the presumption that Fluke was an innocent victim. On the other hand, you walked that back quickly when different facts emerged.

        So much of internet discussion is intensely polarized and antagonistic these days. I wonder if the age of social media hasn’t destroyed our ability to discuss different points of view in a rational and moderate way? My general observation of internet “discussions” is that most are echo chambers of ideology and opinion, with very little openness to external opinions and ideas. On the contrary, the echo chamber has the effect of having people become more and more extreme and entrenched in the views that they brought to the discussion.

        Part of it is the lack of give-and-take that occurs in live human interaction, where civility occurs more naturally, and one person must at least pretend to wait and listen to the other(s) before responding. The namecalling and profanity that are a staple of internet political speech don’t happen when people sit around a coffee shop and discuss their political differences. When people actually talk to each other, there is a greater likelihood that they will “moderate” their opinions.

        As bloggers and discussion threads go, TNM is one of the more civil internet “communities” that I have seen…..that is due almost entirely to Rick’s true moderate temperament and POV. There is a conversational style to the comment threads that makes it possible to have somewhat of a give and take…although I don’t think that any of us, save perhaps Rick, has ever had a change of heart on any issue based on hearing different points of view.

        But it’s probably why we all hang out here, at least occasionally. At least for me, it’s an escape from the echo chambers 🙂

      • March 24, 2012 5:10 pm

        Thanks again, Priscilla… That’s one of the nicest things anyone could say about my site (other than the brilliant writing, of course 😉 ). You’re right about the polarizing effect of most political sites on the Internet; not only do they tend to attract “dittoheads” who reinforce each others’ extreme viewpoints, but those dittoheads display a disturbing degree of hostility toward anyone who goes “off the reservation” on issues that are supposed to be non-negotiable for anyone in their ideological camp. It really makes me worry about how we’re going to hold this nation together in the years ahead.

  33. March 22, 2012 5:29 pm

    Sen. Inhoffe’s list contained quotes from various scientists questioning various aspects of the IPCC, Hadley CRU, or other components of AGW.
    Some of the scientists quoted objected to Inhoffe’s assertion that based on their remarks they disbeleived all aspects of the IPCC/AGW thesis.
    Spencer and Christy as an example beleive that Human CO2 has increased the planets temperature in the last quarter of the 20th century – but are not the primary causes for global warming. Are they sceptics or warmists ?

    Regardless, I have not heard a claim that Inhoffe misquoted any of these people – only that they did not wish to be tied to his particular stance.

    Peter Gleik former president of the American Geophysical unions task force on scientific ethics however has passed off a document that by his own admission did not come from the Heartland institute as both the truth, and justification for misrepresentation, wire fraud, and identity theft.

    Micheal Mann whose prior work demands incredulity, has aparently graduated from climate scientist to constitutional law scholar, expecting his pontifications of FOIA law to have more legal weight than actual FOIA lawyers. but then the fact that the earth refuses to cooperate with hist Hockey Schtick prognostications is all a conspiracy by ignorant unbeleivers to discredit him.

  34. March 22, 2012 11:01 pm

    How about Walter Williams – is he a decent conservative ?
    Actually he is more of a libertarian and a frequent guest host on the Limbaugh show – maybe I do have to listen some time.

    Anyway for those who think such things matter – he is black.
    Proving of course that Limbaugh is a Racist, and Williams must be an Uncle Tom.

  35. March 24, 2012 4:38 pm

    OK, I don’t mean to toot my horn here, but it seems I’m finally an international celebrity (of sorts). When I checked the search terms people used to find my site, I saw this: рик баян.

    Yep, that’s “Rick Bayan” in the Cyrillic alphabet. Of course, the person doing the searching could have been a Russian immigrant living in Brooklyn.

  36. Pat Riot permalink
    March 24, 2012 9:27 pm

    “Что Рух Лимбо и Arcie Бункер имеют в общем?”

    That’s Russian for: “What do Rush Limbaugh and Archie Bunker have in common?” It’s a rhetorical question.

    Does the “progressive left” of the mass media tend to roll with vitriolic diatribes from the likes of a Bill Maher while blowing the whistle and crying “foul” at the likes of a Rush Limbaugh? I say they do. I say the progressive left prevalance in the media has its roots in the tendencies of the people who are drawn to work in media and entertainment, as opposed to the more conservative plumbers, carpenters, and other types of business owners, let’s say, being oversimplified here, who find a voice for their gripes in a Rush LImbaugh.

    Left and right again. Oy veh! The left is right, and wrong. The right is right, and wrong.

    Moderacja: odpowiednia ilość dla danej sytuacji. That’s Polish for: Moderation: the correct amount for a given situation.

  37. Pat Riot permalink
    March 24, 2012 9:42 pm

    Language! Most of us have probably heard more vicious language back in sixth grade at the playground than we hear from Bill Maher or Rush Limbaugh, but most of us know the path to solutions is through better communication and understanding (and that is conveyed through language) and not through finger-pointing and baseness.

  38. Pat Riot permalink
    March 24, 2012 9:58 pm

    Three cheers for civilized discussion! Three cheers for civilized discussion at The New Moderate! It is needed. We the People need to get better at it. We’ve got a lot to learn. Like prehistoric fish wriggling onto dry land for a spell and then back into the water. We need to advance our language skills and understanding of ourselves and politics until it is like three experienced surgeons talking about inside the human body or three skilled auto mechanics talking about the inner-workings of a car, rather than left accusing right and right accusing left.

  39. dhlii permalink
    March 25, 2012 12:20 pm

    We hold strong opinions – even surgeons and car auto mechanics, and we are not often civil in our discussions.

    Doris Day and Rock Hudson no longer glance whistfully at each other seated on separate single beds. We express our selves, strongly, angrily, passionately, and even wrongly.

    We are not going back to the taxes, racism, censorship, ….. of the fifties.

    Speech is a market too. We will get more of what we listen to, and less of what we don’t.

    Bill Mahr and Rush Limbaugh thrive because alot of us want to hear what the say.

    When something is wrong with us – we consult a doctor – and often the internet, but in the end, WE decide.

    We hope for and want agreement – because the common view is more likely to be right.

    But we should not want agreement just for the sake of agreement. We still must decide for ourselves – and sometimes against the consensus – it is our lives.

    It is not the aggressive expression of a view, nor the denunciation of ones opponent, nor even lies that are most vile, but imposing the views of one side on all of us by force – even for our own good.

    I am not prepared to sacrifice the right to make my own decisions for civil slavery.

    The problem with the current crop of presidential candidates – or Bill Mahr, or Rush Limbaugh or Sandra Fluke is not their language, it is not their anger, their vitriol, it is not their misrepresenations or even lies, it is not their views. It is that they claim the right to impose whatever they see as true on all of us by force. Government is force. Doing so civilly, eloquently, or with compassion only makes tyranny more palatable.

    Even the greater good of society or being provably right are not sufficient justifications to take from any of us the right to decide for ourselves,

    Just as we can not agree to sell ourselves into slavery, we can not surrender the right and responsibility to make decisions for ourselves – even if we wish to.

  40. Pat Riot permalink
    March 25, 2012 1:48 pm

    Hello Dave! How are your renovations going?

    You make a number of assertions above. After first read I can see that I strongly agree with some (e.g. we certainly should not “surrender the right and responsibility to make decisions for ourselves…”) and disagree with other points, and in addition there are other points that seem to me to be beside the other points. I’ll have to digest and dissect.

    Whether it be a group of consultants in a conference room trying to figure a solution, or a group of workers on a jobsite with physical tasks to accomplish, or a nation of Americans trying to figure out how to not swirl down the crapper of history, I’m saying civility and language skills, and understanding will be more productive in the aggregate than finger-pointing and verbal abuse.

    That doesn’t mean we can’t afford some flare-ups now and then and that doesn’t mean flare-ups won’t occur, but heated verbal attacks do not usually move us forward. Marines taking a hill would be an exception of couse, but I’m talking about we Americans being at a critical time in our history to untangle some of our ignorance and stupidity in order to steer from disaster.

    RecentlyI I saw with my own eyes that the army has begun marching on public streets in Philadelphia.(This has historically been confined to military bases and/or conflict zones.) I believe this is part of a campaign to get the public accustomed to seeing them. Even though I am not quick to believe conspiracy therories and am not all doom and gloom, I do believe that many people’s pensions and savings will soon simply cease to be. I do believe that the next decade is going to be SEMINAL (?) / PIVOTAL (?)/ UNBELIEVABLE (?) / UNPRECEDENTED (?) / SHOCKING (?)

    I look to rationality for hope, not to democrats or republicans.

    Have a nice day!

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 26, 2012 12:58 am

      There is a vast difference between the private world and that of government. Incentives particularly are radically different.

      In the private world the gains of one party are not normally at the expense of another.
      In the private world whatever the outcome any party is free to walk away – while they rarely do, the existence of that freedom matters. It qualitatively alters everything,

      Though imperfectly the private world has a better grasp of what it can and can not accomplish. Inside the public world despite having negligible power to actually positively impact anything, politicians and bureaucrats – and even the public seem to expect government can and should solve or atleast try to solve any problem.

      I have conceded that government does not always fail in every endeavor – though it usually does, At the same time, if we actually bother to count the unseen effects of everything government does, we may be very close to always.

      Conversely, the sole distinguishing attribute of government is the right to initiate force. Whatever problem you are seeking to solve, absent a compelling argument that force is necessary there is no reason that problem should be solved by government.

      There is nothing wrong with people getting together and freely choosing to agree, or even freely choosing to compromise – but government is about force, not freedom.

  41. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 25, 2012 3:21 pm

    Well, it seems that Everyone here speaks Russian, how is that possible? I was gonna write a long Russian answer to Pat, but decided not to have to do that much hunting and pecking.

    The power of moderates is the ability to bring both political parties back to earth when their extreme and poisonous elements hijack their moderate elements via punishment at election time. And it IS the Beliefs themselves that are poisonous, rather than the vitriol or the fact that government can compel one to pay for things one does not approve of, as it always has and always will.

    As a slightly left of center moderate I find that I am very intolerant of 30-40% of the US political spectrum. I really despise the red meat throwers and their followers on both the right and the left. I despise them in different ways, because they are very different, but I despise the harm they do equally.

    I do not know if our level of discourse and our level of vitriol are worse now than in 1800 or 1900 or 1950, and I Do Not Care. The nature of the modern world is intimate connection with everyone. This makes the vitriol worse than in the past, because if someone was an Asshole in Arizona in 1900, I would not have to know all about it.

    As someone who is a bit left of center I object to the harm the far lefties and even extreme liberals do to my own point of view and my own values by making a mockery of them. I hate the smugness and the proud anti-Americanism of the left. They’ve taken many of my own basic values and made them ugly beyond belief and so I despise them with special vigor, its personal.

    On the right, I despise the extremes for totally different reasons. I do not share far too many of their values; many of the values of the right are racist, ignorant, anti science, utterly selfish and downright frightening: blowing up of Federal Buildings and hundreds of pre school children has been considered justified by some right wingers, and no objections come from this corner about racism or environmental destruction or many other things I care about. It that is too much of a stretch, we will just take the mere existence of Limbaugh and Right-wingnut radio colleagues and their millions of followers/admirers as an example of the milder form rightwing/conservative poison that make me ill.

    I’d love to have an American conversation just about the sustainability of the our government programs, of our environmental practices, of our diplomacy and wars, etc. in other words a conversation about the true practical nuts and bolts of running a complex society, minus all the mindless distractions. Alas, its impossible, the nuts have too much power over the national conversation.

    Starting to rant–> I am only dimly aware of who Bill Mahre is or what he says, I don’t watch TV, let alone HBO. I’m against every stupid heartless tasteless remark he has made and I would not pay attention to him or Howard Zinn, or Micheal Moore, or Ted Rall, or their fellow lefties; even if they do occasionally say something true and valuable, they are soiled by their hatefulness. That goes for our smug ultra liberal comedian/Senator from Minnesota as well.

    I wonder if anyone would accept me as a moderate if I said I admired such ugly red meat throwing lefties?

    But on the right, one is obligated to kiss the Ring of the despicable racist hate-monger Rush Limbaugh if you are a conservative GOP political politician/leader and this is truly remarkable. Rush had an approval level of well over 50% with conservatives until very recently in spite of the fact that his reaction to the Japanese tragedy and more than 10,000 dead was to mock the victims. Talk about the “Ugly American.” Do you think that his behavior did not reach Japan and affect the image of the US? Nothing here to admire folks, move along.

    Its a good thought that someone who you disagree with 30 percent of the time is 70 percent your friend; Alas, that really depends Very strongly with WHAT 30 percent you disagree with. I cannot be friends or have common cause with true rabid racists or their admirers, its beyond the pale with me. Everyone is at least a little tiny bit racist, me too, but we try to fight that if we are decent people. Those who give in and let bigotry and ignorance of all kinds take over and proudly roll in that shit with hoots and laughter are not decent, according to me, by my definition.

    Guys, the time has come for me to put blogging and blovulating behind me, it makes me too cross and uses too much precious time, since I am never concise and always want to know what the return fire looks like.

    Good luck to all!

    • March 25, 2012 7:30 pm

      Well, Ian, if my saying that I admired Limbaugh was what made you so terribly cross that you are going to leave us, then I wish that I had chosen a different word, or had elaborated more on the type of admiration that I have for the man.

      Rush Limbaugh created conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes. And talk radio was the only entertainment medium prior to the blogosphere ,through which conservatives could express their message and concerns to a mass market. You don’t have to agree with anything he says to understand that a great many – tens of millions – of people do, that they are not all knuckle-dragging, drooling bigots, and that many have been force-fed a diet of liberal drivel from academia and the media for so many years, that they have begun to think that there is something wrong with them for not being liberal themselves. For them, Rush validates that there still is a viable conservative point of view. I personally disagree with many of his opinions, but I have also listened to him enough to know that 1) he is very knowledgeable when it comes to national politics 2) he is not a bigot….although I gather, like many powerful men, he has “issues” with women and 3) he uses controversy as a technique for building his ratings.

      I’m surprised that you still believe the phony and out-of context quotes that have been falsely attributed to Limbaugh, and even more surprised that you think that he would still be on the air if he had actually said any of these things for real. It seems more to me that you want to believe them, although I honestly can’t understand why you do.

      In any case, here’s hoping that you still drop by and favor us with your views once in a while.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 26, 2012 1:34 am

        The seven Rules of Bureaucracy

        Rule #1: Maintain the problem at all costs! The problem is the basis of power, perks, privileges, and security.

        Rule #2: Use crisis and perceived crisis to increase your power and control.

        Rule 2a. Force 11th-hour decisions, threaten the loss of options and opportunities, and limit the opposition’s opportunity to review and critique.

        Rule #3: If there are not enough crises, manufacture them, even from nature, where none exist.

        Rule #4: Control the flow and release of information while feigning openness.

        Rule 4a: Deny, delay, obfuscate, spin, and lie.

        Rule #5: Maximize public-relations exposure by creating a cover story that appeals to the universal need to help people.

        Rule #6: Create vested support groups by distributing concentrated benefits and/or entitlements to these special interests, while distributing the costs broadly to one’s political opponents.

        Rule #7: Demonize the truth tellers who have the temerity to say, “The emperor has no clothes.”

      • March 26, 2012 3:48 pm

        Priscilla: I don’t think Rush is an out-and-out bigot, but he definitely has a “thing” about black people. He seems almost obsessed with them. My guess is that he long ago reached the point of being fed up with 1) black anger and blame directed toward whites and 2) white liberals overindulging blacks. He doesn’t take kindly to race-card players like Al Sharpton or “boy who cried wolf” episodes like the Tawana Brawley “rape” or the unjustly maligned Duke lacrosse players. All this built-up resentment probably chafes against him like ill-fitting shoes. I can understand where he’s coming from, but I think he uses this resentment to fire up his base, and that’s dangerous.

      • March 26, 2012 8:15 pm

        I agree with the fact that Rush is polarizing and inflammatory….but no more than many others in the talk radio world, and seems to me less race obsessed than say, Al Sharpton, who was so quick to demagogue and inflame his base, that even the head of the NAACP said that he is trying to “exploit a tragedy” and divide the country along racial lines.

        I have never heard him try to “fire up his base” against blacks, and his anger is generally directed at race-baiters like Sharpton…..on the other hand, things get so out of control , so quickly, these days, that you could make a case for the fact that even firing people up against the people who are firing people up is dangerous.

      • March 26, 2012 8:16 pm

        Btw, I was referring to Sharpton’s response in the Trayvon Martin case above.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 26, 2012 1:28 am

      One of the distinctions of the modern world – at-least partly the results of progressiveness is far LESS intimate relations with other people. Our community is the world, or the nation or the state and our concern for those though real is necessarily weaker.
      Hillary Clinton wrote that it takes a village to raise a child – but she argued that it takes a nation. Our emphasis on family, extended family, neighborhood, community are weaker than they have ever been. There are some positive benefits to this, as well as myriads fo negatives, but ultimately we are less intimately tied to others, not more.

      Since you are citing “The Ugly American” can I strongly recommend that you read it. It is a short book and an easy read. I suspect you will find much in it to like. You might even find that we may agree on the best ways that the United States can be an influence in the world.

      I am really tired of defending Limbaugh. I do not like him, but I do get offended when people conclude that just because they do not like someone or their ideas that they are evil, racist, … Ad Hominem attacks certainly do not encourage the civility you claim to long for. As you noted a significant portion of this nation finds some merit in Limbaugh. You can not have a civil discourse when you have already labeled huge segments of the population as too vile to engage in dialog with.

      You do not get it both ways.

      You also have this fixation on ring kissing – particularly on the right. Whatever power Limbaugh or Norquist have – it is because their ideals appeal to alot of people.

      Of the top 100 all time political donors you do not get to the first one favoring republicans until #19, and only 27 of the entire top 100 favor republicans. Yet when we discuss money in politics the presumption is that without big corporations and wealthy donors the GOP would not exist – when the opposite is true.

      I think Limbaugh is somewhat racist – about the same amount of racist as those that think that minorities are so impotent they need government to step in.

    • March 26, 2012 3:22 pm

      Ian: I understand why you want to bail out… politics can be exhausting, and all those back-and-forths are like combat. The strife, the attacks, the feeling of sensory deprivation.

      When I was a freshman in college (I might have told this one before, but no matter… I’m a geezer), I remember reading a line from Keats in a letter to a friend: “O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!” At the time I thought he was being a wimp, but now I tend to agree with him. When I took a three-week break recently to work on a freelance project, it was hard for me to jump back in. Who needs all that vexation, I thought.

      So I understand, but I lament your decision all the same. You’ve been an articulate, funny, rip-roaring presence here, and I’ll miss you. I hope you’ll drop by now and then to see what we’re up to.

  42. Pat Riot permalink
    March 26, 2012 8:22 am

    Ian Wazoo, et al, my real last name is of Lithuanian/Russian origin, but I am an American mutt (Irish, English, German, French, Lithuanian, and Polish), and I speak some German but not any Russian: it was “Google Translate”: just key in your sentence, choose a language, and boom there it is.

    I have sworn myself off time-consuming blog commenting a number of times. What does it get us? Perhaps there is some value in the ability to vent in a virtual room connected to real people. Perhaps there is some value in those varying opinions. Yes of course there is. Two heads are better than one. Priscilla reminds us of the establishment of conservative talk radio. I certainly wouldn’t want the “extreme left Hollywood media types,” with their little white yip-yip dogs and their house servants, poisoning the air waves unchallenged! I have nodded in agreement with Limbaugh a number of times while listening in my car though I am often more Moderate than Conservative.

    I also hope you continue to stop by and waste time here at TNM. Your rants are not that long and you have things to say!!

  43. Pat Riot permalink
    March 26, 2012 9:04 am

    The Grand Wazoo said above: “This makes the vitriol worse than in the past, because if someone was a RECTAL ORIFACE in Arizona in 1900, I would not have to know all about it.”

    I cheered for that statement. Yes, the hyper-connected mass media puts all kinds of things in our faces that we don’t need to have in our faces. I don’t need to know about every fire, every natural disaster, every crime, every Hollywood pregnancy…every day, ad nauseam…I got a life to live here for cryin’ out loud!!!

    Dhlii then says that we are LESS connected than we used to be… Our emphasis on family, extended family, neighborhood, community are weaker than they have ever been.

    I couldn’t agree more. THAT very real cultural change—less connected at a real, local level, is undoing us.

    And both gentlemen are correct: We are more connected than ever and less connected than ever. Some would say we are more connected to the bad stuff and less connected to the good stuff, and I say that’s true, but only partially true…

    • March 26, 2012 3:00 pm

      Well said, Pat, and admirably balanced in the true moderate tradition!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 26, 2012 9:34 pm

        Rick;

        It is not balanced or moderate – it is just true.
        It is not correct because it is a compromise or a middle position,
        it is correct because we have destroyed the middle and the truth only lies at the extremes.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 26, 2012 9:11 pm

      It is possible to have the best of both.

      The world has shrunk and will continue to do so – that is not reversible – nor should we desire that. The overwhelming majority of that change is beneficial. More human resources both labor and brainpower applied to all of our problems. Larger global markets for everything – The movement of China and India from near total poverty to some modicum of affluence moves almost 3 billion consumers up the economic ladder. That is a market a full order of magnitude larger than the US. That means more resources available and applied to cure more diseases. It means the production of more goods and services for all of us. It means less global conflict. Trading partners rarely engage in real war.

      But it does not provide the real intimacy of personal connections.

      It is not the shrinking of the world or the speed and volume of communications that are available to us that has cost us those more intimate connections we once had.
      That loss has been the cost of the progressive ideology.
      Our obligations beyond our immediate family – to our older parents, to our neighbors, to the less well off within our community have been transformed from personal obligations to societal obligations, The care of our aging parents is their responsibility – or that of government – not ours. Our neighbors are people we hide from not people we help. We do not help the neighbor mow their lawn or paint their house – we call the authorities when they have not done so to our satisfaction – or live in fear that our neighbors will call the authorities on us. To a greater and greater extent we do not know who our neighbors are – because we no longer depend on them, and they no longer depend on us. We have little concern for the poor in our community – and if we do we salve our consciences by writing our congressmen.

      I remarked above that absent freedom we can not be moral.

      Freedom is also essential to intimacy. When we pass our obligations off to government, we lose connections with each other. We are saved from the perception that we are selfish and immoral at the expense of surrendering our ability to be moral – and to have relationships that have depth.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 27, 2012 8:14 pm

        “It is possible to have the best of both. ”

        That’s why we need two cows.

  44. Pat Riot permalink
    March 27, 2012 12:33 am

    Dhlii, your last post is one of your worst. It is chock full of false statements. To debate them we would have to go to the Wildcard Debate area or we’d be off the topic of Rush Limbaugh and inflammatory remarks. You are back onto markets and freedom somehow. You said “Freedom is also essential to intimacy.” I think you meant to say something on the order of “Losing our freedoms makes intimacy even more difficult” (and that is true) or “freedom can be conducive…to forming and maintaining intimate relationships…” (and that would be true), but freedom it is not essential for intimacy. Slaves in shacks have intimacy. People stuck in the cycle of poverty have intimacy. The Chinese people who lived under totalitarian communism had intimacy–look at all that reproduction!

    The early Christians were so moral during their persecution by the Romans (lack of freedom) that some Roman soldiers were impressed and converted to Christianity

    There are many different scenarios possible for our future, including reversals of many current trends. Oil will be less and less a factor in the world even though our addiction is strong. People can move into close-knit communities again, and I think and pray that they will. People can learn to communicate better and in more civil fashion. I think our existence depends upon it.

    .

  45. Rob Anderson permalink
    March 28, 2012 6:55 pm

    I agree that Limbaugh should not be “silenced.” But lets bear in mind that he did in fact say that if we the taxpayers had to pay for Fluke’s “sex” (i.e., her birth control pills) then we had the right to watch her having sex on the Internet. It was a collosally stupid thing to say, not to mention sexist beyond belief, as well as hypocritical. And in point of fact he DID spend three straight days attacking Fluke in particular and (surprise, surprise) feminists in general. Fluke did open herself up to commentary by virtue of testifying before Congress, a public venue. What she did NOT do was hang a “Kick Me” sign around her neck. A distinction that is very important.

    The reason so many people are reacting so strongly to Limbaugh’s comments is because of the way in which women’s reproductive health has been under attack in this country for over 30 years. Most recently, we’ve had that two-legged, theocratic shit stain Santorum arguing that contraception is somehow morally wrong, and of course various states have outdone themselves trying to come up with ways to humiliate women seeking abortions. I’d say the ladies have every to be righteously pissed off. I should know, because I’m not a lady and I’M pissed off.

    • March 29, 2012 9:21 am

      Rob: Granted, it’s stupid to oppose contraception. It’s not like abortion, where arguably you’re terminating a human life and there are legitimate arguments on both sides. The Church needs to wake up, fast.

      That said, Sandra Fluke was trying to force a Catholic institution to disobey the Church’s teachings on contraception. That’s where she left herself open, IMHO, and that’s where Rush Limbaugh could have mounted a legitimate attack. But, as we know, he chose to speculate about her sex life (ha, I typed “sex lice”) and ask for sex videos.

      Aside from the piggish aspect of his tirade, he was trying to tell his listeners that the public would have to pay for the law students’ contraceptives. Obviously he was wrong, and I had to wonder if he was deliberately misleading his listeners.

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