Monday, May 18, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Material Girl

There is a disease sweeping America, and it is epitomized by Rush Limbaugh. No, not obesity, though that's a problem as well. Smoking is also a good guess. Swine flu? Getting ever warmer.

Rather, it's the idea that success equals money, and money equals success. That's the American Dream, right? If you work hard, you will make it. Period. And not only make it, but make it big, and you will deserve every penny you earn. Furthermore, you will get to lord it over others without the slightest twinge of guilt or conscience, because it's a function of your working harder than everyone else. And because everyone wants to be rich, people will only be motivated, not disgusted, by your show of excess.

That's the only possible reason I can come up with for the idea that millions of Americans think this guy epitomizes what our nation should be. It can't be because he's making a difference in the community, because if he is, it certainly isn't apparent. It isn't because he has a loving attitude toward his fellow citizens. It can't be because of his commitment to diversity because, well, everything.

What sets Rush apart isn't even his voice, both the cadence and the substance alike echoed by millions of obnoxious boors on couches across America. He's rich. And, thus, good.

On the other hand, maybe the boor factor matters as well. The Simpsons has Birch Barlow, who "really speaks to Homer, and people like Homer" (forgetting for a moment that Homer at least tried to vote for Obama). Americans like other Americans who remind them of ordinary Americans. Rush is a shlub, or a "fuzzball" as he puts it, at least when stripped of his immense riches and fame. He's proof to his followers that if they, too, keep whining about welfare, stay obnoxious and keep tithing to the GOP, they too can become just like Rush! And who wouldn't want that?

After all, success reigns in America. And if that success means enough money to be able to live in a gated community far away from the hippie menace and rap lyrics, all the better!


Left: Successful American entertainer enjoying the fruits of his labor. Right: Successful American entertainer not only smoking drugs and not thinking of the children, but who has his HAND OUT.

Now, if only Rush would stop espousing policies that devastate his listeners and keep them from stable, much less comfortable, lives, then maybe the whole thing wouldn't smack of pitiful smugness.

34 comments:

TJenkins said...

"It can't be because he's making a difference in the community, because if he is, it certainly isn't apparent. It isn't because he has a loving attitude toward his fellow citizens. It can't be because of his commitment to diversity because, well, everything."

Rush has personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, most notable the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and he has also helped raise millions for them and other charities. What have you done to give you the right to question his "loving attitude towards his fellow citizens"? I can GUARANTEE you he has, over his life, donated and done more for charities than the current president and his bumbling idiot VP.

I've read you, off and on, for a while and it's painfully obvious you don't even think your screeds through. Your thoughts and opinions are so poorly thought out you come off as more like a guy that reads liberals blogs all day long, digests their talking points and haphazardly post up your weak arguments and pathetic attempts at outrage. It would be humorous if it wasn't so goddamn pathetic.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, if he does that, good for him. I certainly didn't know that. The fact remains, though, is that he's most known for his very hateful rhetoric that constantly derides people in need of help. And that he is the current poster boy for excess and proud greed.

By the way, if I'm making flawed arguments, feel free to let me know where I'm wrong. Personal attacks seem so desperate and condescending.

TJenkins said...

The things he says are no more hateful than crap you hear from boobs like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz, funny you don't post angry missives to them, I guess it's OK to spout "hateful rhetoric" as long as you agree with them politically, I guess that makes you a hypocrite as well as a shitty writer.

As for your flawed arguments, your belief that people like Rush because "He's rich. And, thus, good" has no basis in reality. From where did you collate that data? Is there some survey I missed or did you just make that up out of thin air to create a basis for your ridiculous article? People like Rush for a myriad of reasons, but I doubt any of them like him because he's "rich", otherwise they would all be fans of George Soros too.

NOLA Progressive said...

The author of the diary is doing exactly what a blog is intended to provide the venue to do...State thoughts, opinions and beliefs. The snide tone in which you respond to the author makes his point no less valid for consideration, and in fact, I think it is a rather valid opinion.

Rush is a supporter of uninhibited Capitalism, so the leap that "money is king" with him is not a stretch at all. I don't think anyone needs a Gallup Poll or M.I.T. study to confirm this.

As far as Charity goes you can visit the Free Republic (which I would assume is your Mecca) and see that he indeed donated 4.2 million dollars to charity in 2008. This is about one percent of his earnings. I give more than that (as a percentage) to the guy standing under the overpass monthly. So please don't make him out to be a benefactor.

This is a man who can stand on a stage in the middle of this recession in which thousands upon thousands of people are without homes, jobs, and reliable meals and state that "If there is a recession, just don't participate in it." So you can take the picture you paint of Rush as a benevolent man who cares about those without money and cram it back into the orifice from whence it emminated.

Also you're right it's not just because he's rich. It's also because he panders to their bigoted, obscene view of the way things "used to be" or "should be".

Author Kudos on your diary on this topic. I found it insightful and poignant.

Tjenkins said...

Only in LiberalWorld can donating 4.2 million dollars be derided as not enough. lol

Other than that you're typical, boring liberal. Rich people are evil, conservatives are bigots and somehow, despite the obvious disdain you have for a large swathe of the American people, Rush is the bad guy for being mean. The cognitive dissonance of the left never fails to astound me. Go crawl back into your mommy's vag and let me and the shitty writer here have a convo. k?

Ian McGibboney said...

Rush is not only the top voice in talk radio, but is also de facto the most powerful man in the GOP. There is no equivalent on the left or even on the right. Suggesting that Keith, Ed, Soros or anyone else even compares would diminish my argument. If Olbermann has Obama apologizing, then I'll reconsider my stance.

Charity giving is a dicey gauge of generosity, simply because of our tax code. It benefits the rich to give a tiny fraction of their salary in return for tax breaks. That doesn't mean it's not appreciated, but neither does it negate decades of ignorance and hatred.

Rush's quote to Barbara Walters, "I choose not to participate" in the recession, referenced by NOLA Progressive, is all the proof you need that Rush is all about capitalism. Assuming he's being earnest, then he's suggesting that people just need motivation to get rich and, consequently, be immune to recession. There are plenty of holes in that reasoning, but it's even more likely that Rush simply doesn't care about the plight of others. It's their fault, you see.

Finally, TJenkins, do you have any writings of your own I could explore? You seem to be implying that there is much I could learn from you.

NOLA Progressive said...

I'm not going to denigrate into some sort of adolescent name calling game with you TJenkins, but I will respond to your "logic". Yes 4.2 million dollars is insignificant when under our extremely top loaded and regressive taxation system it saves the individual donating it much more money at the end of the year as a result. If I thought for a second that his donations were heartfelt I would laud his 4.2 million, but I don't.

Truth to tell he doesn't have to give a cent, but the point the author was making is that Rush and his constituency is motivated by fiscal augmentation and the rights and privileges pertaining therein.

Keith and Ed as far as I know have never mocked an individual with Parkinson's disease in order to further their political agenda or career. They have also not mocked, reveled and made light of genuine American suffering and loss. Limbaugh does these things regularly.

Finally, all rich and conservative people are certainly not bigots. Only the ones who are bigots fall into that category. Funny how that works. Nor or they all evil. I'm simply saying that Rush and those who cling to Rush's words are. Notice the word cling. I didn't say listen to. Hell I listen to Rush from time to time. Everyone needs to test their gag reflex periodically.

Tjenkins said...

"Rush's quote to Barbara Walters, "I choose not to participate" in the recession, referenced by NOLA Progressive, is all the proof you need that Rush is all about capitalism."

Oh the pure, unmitigated horror of someone that is all about one of the founding principles of our country! Which economic system should he be "all about"? How dare he accumulate wealth based on his particular skill and then have the gall..THE GALL! to want to do with his money as he pleases. What a monster.

See the problem with liberals like you is they can't stand that someone like Rush worked his way up to his position himself, he's a self-made millionaire and that causes your little brain synapses to misfire because all the talking points you read say that rich people are pure evil and look like a 1930's political cartoon caricature with top hats and monocles. You can't fathom that someone like Rush got to where he is without the all mighty government. He worked hard and was summarily rewarded for his hard work. The fact that he donates shit loads of money to charity is also unfathomable to you so you move the goal posts and suddenly 4 million dollars isn't enough, even though it's more than you'll ever make in your "journalism" career.

Ian McGibboney said...

So you really think I'm jealous of Rush Limbaugh? Did you even read this blog? My whole point is that he's vicious, hypocritical, arrogant, gross and a walking display of America's worst excesses. And it disgusts me that anyone looks up to him.

That is in no way an indictment of all rich people, but it is an indictment of the definition of success. By most accounts of what people consider success, Rush is a major one. But that doesn't make him any kind of hero in my eyes. I wouldn't trade places with him for twice his worth.

See, money isn't the only thing that makes you successful. Things like compassion, good works and a record of accomplishment fit the bill as well. Rush does what he does, and he has a right to do so. I also have the right to be disgusted by him.

Oh, and Rush was once on government assistance. You might want to look that one up.

TJenkins said...

"My whole point is that he's vicious, hypocritical, arrogant, gross and a walking display of America's worst excesses. And it disgusts me that anyone looks up to him. "

By "worst excesses" it's obvious you mean he is successful and has money, a cardinal sin to liberals. Everyone is supposed to be miserable and in poverty, or else how can nanny government properly rescue them!?!?

BTW all those "character flaws" you site Rush as having can be just as easily applied to Saint Obama, but of course you'll never bother to explore that possibility, you're too busy being a partisan hack.


"Things like compassion, good works and a record of accomplishment fit the bill as well."

Yeah so, Rush has all those too, maybe he doesn't have "compassion" for the same dregs of society like you bleeding hearts do, but he has compassion nonetheless.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tell me, Tjenkins, do you lovingly craft all of these straw men yourself, or do you have a huge factory somewhere?

1) Liberals don't want people poor and government-dependent, nor do we begrudge money or success. At the same time, we want checks on corporate hegemony and a safety net for those facing hard times. And for my part at least, I don't judge success by only one or two aspects of a person's life.

2) No one calls the president "Saint Obama" except wingnut trolls such as yourself who can't fathom that people would support an intelligent, progressive leader in a time of dire need. It must blow your mind further that said support is not unconditional and has nothing to do with any godlike
pretensions on Obama's part. On the other hand, I saw a lot of that with Bush. Quit projecting.

The point here is that Rush's financial success doesn't make him any less vile of a person. He's rich and successful, but also a paragon of greed and everything else that's wrong with America. I don't want him brought down, but neither do I think he's any kind of role model.

TJenkins said...

lol, I love how a guy that donates more to charity in a single year than you'll ever make in your entire life is a "paragon of greed". The warped liberal mind is funny.

"Liberals don't want people poor and government-dependent, nor do we begrudge money or success. At the same time, we want checks on corporate hegemony and a safety net for those facing hard times. "

Let's translate: "Checks of corporate hegemony" = more corporate taxes. "a safety net for those facing hard times" = more taxes on those not facing hard times.

No matter how you try to mask the truth the plain fact is the entire Democrat mindset is tax tax tax until everyone is on an equal field, no matter how low that field is. Their unbridled desire is to tax people and companies into poverty. Hell even Saint Obama stated his desire to tax coal companies into bankruptcy, you know because he cares about the little people...unless they work for said coal companies.


"No one calls the president "Saint Obama" except wingnut trolls such as yourself who can't fathom that people would support an intelligent, progressive leader in a time of dire need."

I call him Saint Obama because that's the image his media promulgates. He's a crass opportunist that has done nothing in life except work to acquire more power. The fact that you consider him some type of savior in a time of "dire need" only solidifies the image that you douchebags deify him. He's a fucking politician you nitwit, not Mr. Cure-All.

Ian McGibboney said...

Rush gives probably 1 percent of his income and gets a tax break for it. Woo hoo. Not that the millions aren't helpful, but (like NOLA Progressive) I gave a bigger fraction to the United Way when I was making $800 a month working retail.

The problem with the tax issue is that Bush cut corporate taxes so low, that they have to be raised just to keep the economy from sinking. They won't even go as high as they were in the 1980s, and yet that's a raise to you. Unless you make more than $250,000 a year, you're getting a tax cut from Obama, one that might actually make a difference. But if the tea parties are any indicator, you wither don't know or don't care about that.

I'm fully aware the Obama is a mere mortal. I don't think you are.

Tjenkins said...

"The problem with the tax issue is that Bush cut corporate taxes so low, that they have to be raised just to keep the economy from sinking."

Well gosh darn it Michelle, I done looked everywhere but can't find anyplace to cut down this 1.7 TRILLION dollar budget, guess we gotta raise taxes!

It's funny how every time a Dem is in the WH there is always some DIRE situation that the only solution to is to raise taxes. Oh by the way, low corporate taxes isn't what caused this recession, just a fyi.


"Unless you make more than $250,000 a year, you're getting a tax cut from Obama, one that might actually make a difference. But if the tea parties are any indicator, you wither don't know or don't care about that."

Lol, it's like you cut and paste directly from his website! I know you don't do any research on the crap you say but maybe you'll want to check other sources. Maybe look into his energy plan, which is in effect a back door tax on everyone, or his plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire, which will raise taxes on everyone.

Ian McGibboney said...

You ask me to parse every word I say, but you don't have a thing to back up anything YOU say.

I'm done with you until you can make a point without resorting to racist inflections or personal attacks.

TJenkins said...

Oh this is great, please tell me what "racist inflections" I used.

Typical liberal m.o. shout RACIST and run away.

Ian McGibboney said...

"Well gosh darn it Michelle, I done looked everywhere..."

What is that? Barack doesn't talk like that, but black stereotypes in old minstrel shows do.

Get lost.

Tjenkins said...

L OH FUCKING L

grasp at straws much? My dad talks like that, and he ain't black.

Why do you liberals ALWAYS fall back on the race card? It's like you can't win an argument so you drop the RACIST! bomb and walk away dusting off your hands as if you dealt a crushing blow. You're a fucking tool.

Ian McGibboney said...

It makes sense to portray someone as talking like that if they actually do, i.e. Bush or any other redneck. But why Obama? He doesn't talk like that or otherwise have a cowboy mentality. Assuming you really aren't doing it out of racism, what is the purpose? Because I don't see it.

As for the insinuation that I'm doing this out of desperation, spare me! This hasn't been a civil conversation for a long time. You haven't yet made a single point that wasn't clouded in personal hatred and verbal abuse. It seems to me that, if you had any reasonable arguments whatsoever, you could pass them off without the vitriol. But apparently you're incapable of doing so.

Crowning yourself the winner of this argument is just further proof that you need to go.

TJenkins said...

In all honesty I was waiting for the RACIST! card to be dropped, because that's all you idiots know. I see this all the time, you take some word or phrase grossly out of context and use it to brand a conservative as the most horrible person ever. You use it to stifle debate because you hope for one of 2 outcomes, A.) The conservative, shamed by the mere insinuation makes a fool of himself, or B.) the conservative runs off. Well sorry, shitface, I'm not a racist, and you're a sorry sack of shit for pulling that card because you have nothing else.

Ian McGibboney said...

It's very easy to call me a sack of shit from an anonymous handle with no link. Who are you again? And what exactly is your point in all this, besides useless trolling? At least our other conversation is getting somewhere, however slightly.

Tjenkins said...

I don't know Ian, what was the point of this article other than uselessly trolling Rush Limbaugh?

Ian McGibboney said...

The point of my article is to register my disgust that American conservatism's top voice is an embodiment of terrible things about America. It's not a hit piece. If it was, it would have been far easier to write.

Tjenkins said...

But he's not an "embodiment of terrible things about America" He's an embodiment of things you personally hate about conservatives. I'll say it again, he does more to help Americans than you ever will.

Oh and back to my Obama comment, I'll rewrite it as he would actually say it (sans teleprompter)

Ummm uhh ahh Well ah gosh darn it umm Michelle, I have uh uh uh looked everywhere but can't find anyplace to um ah ah um cut down this 1.7 TRILLION dollar um uh budget, guess we gotta uh ah umm umm raise taxes!

Ian McGibboney said...

You're right about my analysis of Rush, in the sense that I am disgusted with conservatism, especially the proud sort that acts as if eight years of neoconservatism didn't just plunge this nation into economic and cultural chaos. But I guess you disagree. OK.

As for Obama, he does often stammer when thinking off the cuff. So what? Lots of people do that, myself included. You almost have to when choosing your words carefully. He still gives outstanding answers and writes many of his own speeches. I can't believe anyone even talks about this anymore.

Tjenkins said...

What an amazing turnaround from the last 8 years, when Bush was constantly ridiculed for not being the perfect speaker. I guess stammering and sounding like a fool is Ok again now that our lord and savior Saint Obama does it.

Ian McGibboney said...

Bush and Obama aren't even in the ballpark in terms of speaking (or of anything else, really).

Bush was an inarticulate cowboy, and seemingly proud of it. The only times he ever spoke with any coherence is when he was spouting aggressive threats at other nations. He was and is a severe embarrassment to our country.

Obama stammers a little, as we all do, but always has a clear line of reasoning and at least gives me the impression that he has a clue what he's talking about, which is such a nice change after Bush.

Your suggestion that I'm a hypocrite, as well as your suggestion the Teleprompter thing is anything more than a pitiful and desperate right-wing taking point, proves to me that you are apparently unable to have a nuanced, serious conversation.

Tjenkins said...

Yeah I'm just not nuanced enough. I just can't see the GLORY of our saviors words*


*even though most of them are lies

NOLA Progressive said...

Wow I'm really sorry I stopped following this thread now. TJenkins just kept digging it deeper didn't he? Unbelievable that he accused Ian of not researching his information and/or copying it straight from Obama's website, yet all he can do is regurgitate Steele's talking points on Cap and Trade.

It seems to me that the whole point of this post originally was to discuss the opinion that Rush Limbaugh is completely motivated by money and equates all success by the almighty dollar. TJenkins...Barry Goldwater was a conservative. Rush Limbaugh is a portly fellow with a cigar that found a way to make money.

You want to know the difference between Keith Olbermann and Rush? Rush would flip his position in a heartbeat and shill for the left if it paid better... Keith wouldn't do the same. That's the way I see it at least. So spew your vitriol, tell us we hate rich people, tell us we want to tax tax tax (even though proposed taxation would be about 10 points less on the highest tax brackets than under Reagan) and so on.

The pungent way you spew forth your opinion laced with anger, fear, hatred and contempt solidifies Ian's thesis much more effectively than an indefinite online argument ever could.

Tjenkins said...

"The pungent way you spew forth your opinion laced with anger, fear, hatred and contempt solidifies Ian's thesis much more effectively than an indefinite online argument ever could."

Oh fucking cry me a river you fucking doucebag, you liberals are always crying about people with sharp opinions but are very quick to spew the same shit at the opposition at every opportunity.

Go back to posting at DailyKos and DU, those BASTIONS of civil discourse.

NOLA Progressive said...

Point in case. Thanks.

Ian McGibboney said...

I remember my college friend, who is a conservative blogger and a huge sports fan, became really disappointed when Keith Olbermann became a liberal commentator for MSNBC. "He should've stuck to SportsCenter," he said bitterly. I think a lot of people think that, if only because they were saddened to see that he was something other than they were. As if he betrayed them. That could have been a big killer careerwise, so Keith should actually be lauded for going forward with it. It's much easier to take the conservative dollar than to risk losing it.

NOLA Progressive said...

Agreed. I listened to an interview that Keith had recently with Bill Maher in which he was discussing what he so disliked about the several conservative pundits that he rails against so frequently, and this was the heart of the matter. He explained that on several occasions Sean Hannity has attempted discussion with Keith in which Hannity laughed and made a statement to the effect of: isn't it funny that people think we really dislike each other? They don't realize this is just T.V.

So basically Hannity is saying this is just a paycheck (a damn good one) so don't sweat it. Keith as you stated could have easily made his money taking the espn approach and never standing firm on his beliefs. He however entered the fray and conducts himself with measured sarcasm, justified indignation, and even and thorough research.

TJenkins said...

Oh please, he left ESPN before he was fired for being a huge douchebag and was poison to anyone in sports broadcasting because of it, don't make it out like he nobly started doing his lame Countdown out of some deep belief. He needed money.