In a healthy country populated with an intelligent, enlightened citizenry, Rush Limbaugh would be standing on the bread line today--right behind (or perhaps in front of) Sean Hannity, Michael "Savage" Wiener and Ann Coulter. He probably would have ended up as a used car salesman or a clerk in a liquor store. His opinion would not have been taken seriously by anyone except maybe a sympathetic bartender.
Some bartenders are pretty good psychologists and are fairly adept at feigning interest in the most boring of topics. There is a gentleman named Bill Vaughan who used to tend bar at the old Orange Inn Tap Room here in Goshen, New York. Heaven knows how many hours the poor guy spent listening to me waxing inebriate on all matter of subjects from the state of American politics to the age-old question as to who was the funniest of the two: Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy? I would imagine that in a perfect society, no one other than a patient, world-weary and kindly mixologist would ever have bothered paying any attention to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
One of the most annoying things about the man is his positively inflated opinion of himself. At the beginning of every broadcast he even compares himself to God, implying that his talent is "on loan" from the Almighty Himself. And he never gets tired of telling his clueless listeners (who stupidly refer to themselves as "Ditto heads") how much power he has. That he has is a very powerful man cannot be denied, but he never tires of reminding us of this unfortunate fact.
During the Democratic party's primary season he gleefully demonstrated that power once again when he instructed his moronic faithful to vote overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in states where cross-party voting was legal. His motivation was laughably obvious to anyone bothering to pay attention. The last thing the Republicans wanted was to have John McCain in competition with an articulate visionary like Barack Obama. Senator Clinton, they knew, was a sure loser. Had it not been for el Rushbo's electoral meddling, Obama's victory last summer would not have been the cliff hanger it turned out to be; it would have been a landslide.
The most jaw-dropping spectacle one can witness is how Right Wing politicians drop on their knees on the alter of the Church of Limbaugh. A couple of days ago, Congressman Phil Gingrey had the unmitigated gall to criticize him in an interview with the magazine Politico and on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Someone (probably Rush himself) got the message to Gingrey that any kind of negativity directed toward the Great One was a mortal sin punishable by political ostracism. Gingrey got the message loud and clear. Withing twenty-four hours he was on his knees, calling into the program and begging Rush to be absolved for his transgressions:
"I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments, and I just wanted to tell you, Rush - and all our conservative giants, who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it to get back this majority - that I regret those stupid comments."
"He has all the spine of a chocolate eclair."
After Rush made some distasteful, racist comments regarding the President (which I won't reprint here--even I had standards, thank you very much!) MSNBC's Nora O'Donnell tried to get Congressman Eric Cantor to condemn the remarks. Cantor merely tap danced around the question, frightened to death at the mere thought of uttering a word that would cause the wrath of Limbaugh to come crashing down on his political career. Ms. O'Donnell ended the interview by asking, "You're on your way to be interviewed on the Rush Limbaugh Show, aren't you Congressman?"
"Umm, I think so, Nora" replied an utterly fearful Eric Cantor.
"We need to stop giving them coupons where they can go buy all kinds of junk. We just don't have the money. They're taking out, they put nothing in. And I'm sick and tired of playing the one phony game I've had to play and that is this so-called compassion for the poor. I don't have compassion for the poor."
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"
Like all of the Right Wing, media talking heads, Limbaugh is a hypocrite of Olympian proportions. In his book which inspired the title of this piece, Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot and Other Observations, the Soon-to-be Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, wrote as follows: