The Intermittent Kevin

As rarely and randomly updated as most blogs

Rush Limbaugh, Days 1-2

with one comment


Rush’s overall theme this week, not surprisingly, is defending himself against the notion that inflammatory rhetoric such as his was somehow tied to Loughner’s actions. Indeed there isn’t any direct evidence that Loughner watched a lot of Glenn Beck and then loaded his Glock; to turn the tables, there’s more evidence that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were directly influenced by violent video games before shooting up Columbine High School. In each case, those more inclined to defend the media under assault (Rush Limbaugh, Wolfenstein 3D) were quick to direct the responsibility toward, ya know, the persons who committed the crime.


I blame the chintzy graphics, myself.

Rush comments on President Obama’s remarks during the Arizona memorial on Wednesday night. He accuses Obama of double-speak in saying that poor rhetoric didn’t cause this tragedy, but then encouraging all listeners to improve their rhetoric. “He’s got plenty of incendiary rhetoric on his side,” opines Rush. “One deranged gunman—not American society, not American culture—was responsible for this.” Rush doesn’t seem to think that Obama’s words were directed to both left and right, nor does he grasp that Obama’s point isn’t the least bit hypocritical.

“We must improve our dialog, when at the same time, it had nothing to do with this, by his own admission! We’ve all got to improve…not him! No way.” He plays a sound bite of Obama’s speech, then responds: “You mean like calling people ‘bitter clingers‘?” He cites a couple of other examples of poor speech from Obama—”unchecked, uncommented upon.” He even says at one point that “Obama’s side started this.”

At this point I’m struck by how completely un-self-aware Rush Limbaugh seems. Does he believe there’s an equivalency between Obama’s tone over the last two years, and his own? Does the fact that his first example happened at a private event almost three years ago not strike him? He’s not even justifying or defending his tone at this point, just accusing the other side.


This is from 1995, Rush. Obama was teaching law school.

Rush Makes A Good Point

(I felt I should give this a headline.)

Rush compares the Arizona memorial to a political or pep rally, pointing out that Obama’s speech was interrupted no fewer than 50 times, even to the apparent embarrassment of the President himself. He accuses Obama of delaying the memorial until the “poll numbers came in, the T-shirts got printed, and the logo got designed.” It was indeed rather jarring to expect a solemn ceremony on TV, and instead get a raucous and joyous environment not dissimilar to a 2008 campaign rally.

Rush Returns to Making Bad Points

He then executes an impressive turn, comparing the language of Obama’s speech to language from an Organizing For America webpage which equates negative language with a capitalist society. That’s one of Rush’s keen talents: he can take any politically-tinged story and connect it with his larger conservative worldview.

Or maybe it’s more an anti-liberal worldview, since his points are almost always contrary: liberalism hates capitalism. Liberalism despises personal responsibility. Liberalism goes against the Constitution. It goes back to that perpetually-negative tone that’s so hard for me to stomach.


If Only They’d Used Canvas Shopping Bags

A new topic! Climate change! Rush cites a study from the journal Science that suggests climate change might have contributed to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. (Interesting—here’s a link.)

“I thought it was culture and liberalism, the rise of tyranny—but no,” Rush announces sarcastically, “it was climate change! And I thought they were the smart ones.”

I start to get a headache at this point. First, I’d never heard “liberalism” tied to the fall of the Roman Empire before. I’d like to hear a non-Rush-Limbaugh scholar comment on it. But the main portion of my headache is the rank anti-intellectualism on display here. Rush literally doesn’t dive into the details of the study one bit; rather, he subtly implies that the liberal scientists found a convenient scapegoat for the fall of the Roman Empire besides the liberal policies that were supposedly the real culprits. He dismisses the work of professional scientists without examining the substance of their findings. (You might do Rush one better and actually read the article.)


Or just watch the DVDs again.

I heard a word once applied to Sarah Palin that I thought was particularly appropriate—and that applies to Rush, as well. The word is “incurious.” Rush’s worldview is set upon a mighty rock, and nothing can shake it; if a random scientific study is conducted on Roman tree rings, you can bet Rush will dismiss it if it can be spun in another direction. Oddly, Rush has previously pointed to scientific studies indicating historical climate change as evidence that our current changes are nothing special. See? Headache.


Go on, take two.

In the time it took me to consolidate the points above, Rush ventured off into health-care reform, rising gas prices, and was defending Sarah Palin yet again by the time I turned off the radio. It’s a whirlwind of conservative thinking. I need to handle this a bit at a time.

That’s all for this week! Rush doesn’t run on Saturdays… does he?

Written by Kevin Miller

January 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. I’m sending some prescription-strength pain killers right now…

    Sara Behrens

    January 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

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