The End of the Rush? That’s What He Fears…

In the wake of the Giffords shooting, the press says Rush Limbaugh had this to say…  All the italics are mine..

“Rush Limbaugh criticizes the response of the Democratic Party and the media to the Tucson tragedy in his radio show today, saying that the event has been used to advance the Left’s political interests.

“The left, including the media, cannot accept the reality of a madman slaughtering innocent people. It cannot be ‘individual responsibility’ — they reject that concept anyway,” Limbaugh said.

He goes on to say that “the Left” believes that Utopia can happen and therefore “cannot deal with anything in reality that demonstrates that Utopia cannot exist.”

Limbaugh contrasted the Left’s response to his perspective on how conservatives view the event.

“We see the reality that Utopia cannot exist and our thoughts and emotions focus on the events, we do not seek to find a deeper meaning to it, we are about truth, which is why we look specifically at evidence and facts,” Limbaugh said.  “We don’t look at dreams, we, conservatives, pursue the truth.”

Mr. Limbaugh is running scared. He sees his entire business drying up and he doesn’t know what to do, except what he has always done — blame others. I pity him individually, but I can’t say I’m unhappy about the demise of his industry — fear and overblown rhetoric posing as truth. While my opinions here are specifically about Limbaugh, they don’t have to be. He just got the news coverage to prompt my article. I also have to admit that when I first heard him 20 years ago, I liked what he had to say, because he said some of what I thought but didn’t say.  After a month or so, though, I thought, “Wow, if you follow this train of thought, pretty soon, you’ll be driving it off a cliff”.” So, I stopped listening.  If this were some disgusting sex crime involving lesbian cheerleaders, Howard Stern would be in the same position.   In any case, this could be the end of the “shock jock”.  “People that make their  living by  shocking and being over-the-top can’t live very well when people see how far off they’ve gotten and they have to tone it down. They can’t be boring and keep their ratings,  and they know it.  In five years, will Rush Limbaugh be on the air? Sure, but he’ll be a much small presence in a bigger world of ideas.

I just wanted to go over\correct a few of his statements here to show “off” he is.

First, “the event has been used to advance the Left’s political interests”. The Left may want to advance their interests here, I’ll give him that. Still, the nation’s still in shock and it doesn’t look good for anybody to prosper off of death.  Senators and Congresspeople from all sides are saying this was a tragedy and  when I heard about the shooting, I hadn’t heard of her — she wasn’t famous enough to be symbolic  to anybody but the shooter.  An assassination is an assassination, so it didn’t — and doesn’t — matter what party she was from.  If by “advancing the left’s interests”, he means “not advancing his interests”, he is correct. In the words of the church, we as a nation are “convicted”  by what happened. In the famous words of Pogo, “we have seen the enemy and it is us”.

Next, “It cannot be ‘individual responsibility’ — they reject that concept anyway,” Jon Stewart, who I consider to be leftist, said, for minutes at the beginning of the show, just that: In essence, “It is individual responsibility, the guy’s a madman, etc., but you can’t say the environment’s not toxic”.

Lastly, “we [conservatives] are about truth, which is why we look specifically at evidence and facts”. Such a crock!  Pundits, left or right, don’t make their living with facts, they make their living with opinions about the facts, and the loudest ones make the most money. The whole reason Al Gore had to put out “An Inconvenient Truth” was that people like Limbaugh has shut down the discussion of “Global Warming” or what we now call “Climate Change”!  It took an hour-and-a half of graphs and charts and startling pictures to convince people that Limbaugh and others didn’t know the facts. They relied on 1 scientist who said whatthey wanted to hear and they played up that one opinion despite a world of researchers who thought otherwise!

In listening to couples bicker, I can tell you that facts — actual facts — are the place where we find common ground.  Mr. Limbaugh and the entire world of talk radio\cable opinions is about not finding common ground. It’s about being unique and recognizable — “branding” and the like.  It’s about polarization and trying to get a rise out of people. Limbaugh can’t connect his “movement” to conservatives because the right won’t let him. It’s not about “Right” or “Left”, it’s about how far people are willing to push the edge of opinion to make a buck. It’s about the length of rhetoric’s reach and about not wanting to go past a certain point.  Both left and right — sane people from all walks of life — feel it’s gone too far.






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