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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Smoking Wreckage Of Limbaugh Nation

by digby

Limbaugh is now calling people "butt boys." This is on top of his adorable comments that Republicans are being asked to "bend over and grab their ankles" because Obama is black. I realize that the term "butt boy" is fairly common in junior high locker rooms as a synonym for sycophant, but when did it become ok to say this on radio? Does the FCC know that it literally means submissive, teenage anal sex (with a strong implication of coercion?)

I suppose this new frankness about gay sex could be seen as some sort of breakthrough for the right but I wonder what all the morality scolds have to say about it? In fact, someone should ask our new BFF Rick Warren what he thinks about the new Republican leadership. He was quite happily driving a wedge in the Democratic party recently, maybe he'd like to practice some bipartisanship and speak out against this crude piece of work on the conservative side. It would be quite revealing to know what he thinks.

I've written many posts about Rush over the years so all this new interest in him as a leader of the Republican Party is old news to me. I think this one, from 2006, may the most pertinent:

Notice how Limbaugh and the preachers pander to the depraved imagination? It's not religious values these people are selling. They are selling a brutal, domineering, degenerate culture, making their listeners and viewers wallow in it, plumbing the depths of the subconscious, drawing forth Goyaesque images of bestiality and violence and death. That's a feature of some religions, to be sure, but it's not the nice upright Christian morality everybody's pretending it is.

If the culture is careening into a crude, dog-eat-dog corrupt "Pottersville" it's because the greedheads and the juvenile authoritarian thugs, whether in street gangs or talk radio or K Street, have taken it over. And it is hard for liberals to counter this because our bedrock values include tolerance, free expression and personal autonomy and that unwittingly enables this decadent turn in some ways. But let's make no mistake, it is only on the right that purveyors of brutal, sadistic, depraved political discourse are welcomed into the houses, offices and beds of the nation's political leadership...

LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture...You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.
When Limbaugh came under fire for those vulgar comments, the leading lights of the Republican party quickly came to his defense.

Rush's angry, frustrated critics discount how hard it is to make an outrageous charge against him stick. But, we listeners have spent years with him, we know him, and trust him. Rush is one of those rare acquaintances who can be defended against an assault challenging his character without ever knowing the "facts." We trust his good judgment, his unerring decency, and his fierce loyalty to the country he loves and to the courageous young Americans who defend her. For millions of us, David Brock is firing blanks against a bulletproof target.

— Kate O'Beirne is Washington Editor for National Review.

Figure out how to deal with that and we might be able to make some headway.

That was written three years ago and things have changed. And I think it's pretty clear that it changed because people finally realized that this nihilistic, juvenile form of politics was incredibly destructive. After all, George W. Bush was the perfect Limbaugh president: a sophomoric, violently aggressive, anti-intellectual, macho, phony cowboy. He was the man Limbaugh always wished he could be and Ann Coulter always wished she could date: their angry, white male dreamboat. And he failed on an epic scale. The country could have chosen an older even more sarcastic and angry version of Bush in John McCain. They chose instead someone who appealed to their hopes instead of their hatred and spite.

The problem is that the Republican Party went all in with the conservative movement over the past 25 years. George W. Bush's America was Limbaugh Nation and Limbaugh Nation was George W. Bush's America --- they have nothing else. They are nothing else.

Reagan was right just as George W. Bush is today, and I really believe that if Reagan had been able he would have put his hand on Bush's shoulder and say to him, "Stay the course, George." I really believe that. --- Rush Limbaugh Reagan Tribute June 7, 2004

“Long after we’re all dead and gone, when historians who are not yet born begin to write about this era, they’re going to place George Bush in the upper echelon of presidents who had a great vision for America, who looked beyond our shores, who didn’t just restrict himself to domestic policy niceties.” --- Rush Limbaugh, May 3, 2007

Media Matters has created a Rush web site for easy access to some of his greatest hits.

Update: Boy, that Limbaugh really is powerful. He's even got Democrats apologizing now.

From Down With Tyranny:

Late this afternoon, in keeping with apologies to Rush Limbaugh from Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey and RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) issued the following statement:

“I’m sorry Limbaugh called for harsh sentences for drug addicts while he was a drug addict. I’m also sorry that he’s bent on seeing America fail. And I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being.”

The Congressman then rejoined his Democratic colleagues in working on cleaning up George W. Bush’s mess.