[Marxism] Fears of a clown
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Mar 5 11:50:07 MST 2009
March 4, 2009, 10:00 pm
Fears of a Clown
Once upon a time, you could drive to the most remote reaches of the
United States and escape Rush Limbaugh. But from the Mogollon Mountains
of New Mexico to the Badlands of South Dakota, where only the delicious
twang of a country tune or the high-pitched pleadings of a lone lunatic
came over the AM dial, there is now the Mighty El Rushbo.
As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh
to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more
reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something
else — the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has
played him brilliantly — he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality
spectacle, at once scary and sad.
The sweaty, swollen man in the black, half-buttoned shirt who ranted for
nearly 90 minutes Saturday at the Conservative Political Action
Conference. He reiterated his desire to see the president of his country
fail. He misstated the Constitution’s intent while accusing President
Obama of “bastardizing” the document. He made fun of one man’s service
in Vietnam, to laughter.
(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) Rush Limbaugh.
David Letterman compared him to an Eastern European gangster. But he
looked more like a bouncer at a strip club who spent all his tips on one
bad outfit. And for the Republican Party, Limbaugh has become very much
Smarter Republicans know he is not good for them. As the conservative
writer David Frum said recently, “If you’re a talk radio host and you
have five million who listen and there are 50 million who hate you, you
make a nice living. If you’re a Republican party, you’re marginalized.”
Polling has found Limbaugh, a self-described prescription-drug addict
who sees America from a private jet, to be nearly as unpopular as Rev.
Jeremiah Wright, who damned America in the way that Limbaugh has now
damned the nation’s newly elected leader. But Republicans just can’t
quit him. So even poor Michael Steele, the nominal head of the
Republican Party who dared to criticize him, had to grovel and crawl
back to the feet of Limbaugh.
Some expected more mettle from Steele. After all, this rare
African-American Republican won his post after defeating a candidate who
submitted the parody song from Limbaugh’s show: “Barack the Magic Negro.”
Race is an obsession with Limbaugh, one of the threads I noticed on
those long drives on country roads.
When Colin Powell endorsed Obama during the campaign, Limbaugh said it
was entirely because of race. After the election, Powell said the way
for the party, which has been his home, to regain its footing was to say
the Republican Party must stop “shouting at the world.”
In 2003, Limbaugh said quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because
the media wanted a black to succeed. Over the next six years, McNabb
threw for nearly 150 touchdowns and went to a Super Bowl.
And Limbaugh launched the current battle when he said of Obama: “We are
being told that … we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over
forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this
is the first black president.”
Translation: submit sexually to a black man because “someone” is telling
us all to. Who? Which leaders of the Democratic Party have made such a
claim? Which opinion-makers? But therein lies the main tactic of
Limbaugh, an old demagogue technique: create a straw man, then tear it
down. The latest example was Saturday, when Limbaugh presented himself
as the defender of capitalism, liberty and unfettered free markets.
Obama, he has said since, is waging a “war on capitalism.”
There is a war, all right. We are witnessing the worst debacle of
unfettered capitalism in our lifetime brought on by — you got it,
capitalism at its worst. It cannibalized itself. Government, sad to say,
had nothing to do with it — except for criminal neglect of oversight.
Now that government has been forced to the rescue, just who is insisting
on taxpayer bailouts? Who is in line for handouts? Who is saying that
only government can save capitalism? The very leaders of unregulated
markets who injected this poison into the economy, the very plutocrats
that Limbaugh celebrates.
And, of course, let us never forget that the bailouts of banks and
insurance companies were initiated by the Republican president Limbaugh
defended for eight years.
Of late, Limbaugh has wondered why he has trouble with women. His base
is white, male, Republican — people the party has to stop pandering to
if it hopes to govern soon.
It’s little wonder that the thrice-married Limbaugh, who uses
“femi-Nazi,” “info-babe” and “PMSNBC” (Get it? The network is full of
women suffering pre-menstrual cramps, ha-ha), among his monikers for
women, can’t get a date with that demographic.
For Democrats, this is all going to plan. It was James Carville and
associates who first cooked up associating Limbaugh with the opposition,
as Politico reported. Then on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm
Emanuel said Limbaugh was the “voice and the intellectual force and
energy behind the Republican Party.”
Limbaugh played his role, ever the fool. A brave Republican could have
challenged him, could have had a “have you no shame” moment with him,
giving the party some other identity, some spine. Instead, they caved —
from Steele, to the leaders in the House, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence, to
Gov. Bobby Jindal, who would be ridiculed by Limbaugh for his real first
name, Piyush, were he a Democrat.
You could almost hear their teeth clattering in fear of the all-powerful
talk radio wacko, the denier of global warming, the man who said Bill
Clinton’s economic policies would fail just before an unprecedented run
But Limbaugh has a fear of his own. If people see him purely as an
“entertainer,” as Steele suggested, he will be exposed for what he is: a
clown with a very large audience.
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