Conservative pundits on TV and radio have proven to be painfully bad at punditry. Their predictions are notoriously distant from the reality that eventually unfolds. Just think about all of the things that were supposed to either destroy America, or turn it into a commie hellhole, if Barack Obama was elected (or reelected), that never came to pass. But there is one thing at which they are quite good: Scaring the bejeebus out of the wingnut faithful.
So it is unsurprising that the monster-mouth of the right, Rush Limbaugh, is unleashing alarms over the prospect of the Republicans being thrust into a contested convention. The threat, as imagined by Limbaugh, is that disappointed Trump supporters will freak out if their messiah is not crowned by an obedient assembly of delegates. Limbaugh speculates about a scenario wherein Ted Cruz manages to maneuver the delegate vote to a second or third ballot and then prevail over Trump. In which case, Limbaugh warns…
“If that ever happens, we are gonna see a nuclear explosion like you’ve never seen before. […] Holy smokes! The blowback that will happen then, the backlash? That will be the end of the Republican Party. […] It might make the Watts and Rodney King riots look like Romper Room when it was all over.”
This isn’t the first time that Limbaugh has presaged the end of the Republican Party. Two months before President Obama was reelected in 2012 Limbaugh said that “If Obama wins let me tell you what it’s the end of…the Republican Party.” Sadly, this was just another of the hundreds of times he’s been wrong. And during the same rant he was equally wrong when he said that…
“If Obama’s re-elected, it will happen. There’s no IF about this. And it’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be gut-wrenching, but it will happen. The country’s economy is going to collapse if Obama is re-elected.”
At some point you have to wonder if he is ever embarrassed by his perpetual idiocy. But back to the main point, this new spiel is just the latest threat of violence projected for the Republican National Convention coming up in Cleveland in July. Trump himself predicted riots if he arrived at the convention with more delegates than his opponents, but short of a majority, and was beaten out of the nomination by a better organized candidate. His stooge, Roger Stone, publicly declared that he would be distributing the names and hotel room numbers of delegates that didn’t fall in line behind Trump.
Limbaugh’s warning came with a caveat that if Cruz or Kasich or anyone else rose to assume the nomination it would not be due to, as Trump whines, a rigged system or someone stealing the election:
“It’s not because anything’s illegal. Everybody’s taking advantage of the rules. [but] The words would not be there to explain to people what happened […] and people wouldn’t put up with it.”
So even Limbaugh accepts that it is within the rules to lobby for delegate support and make a case to nominate someone other than the top delegate winner. But at the same time he reveals his opinion that his fellow Republicans are unable to understand the process and that they are too dense for it to be explained to them, leading to them resorting to mayhem.
What’s funny about this is that Limbaugh is so upset by the possibility of riots ensuing at the GOP convention. However, he had a completely different view a few years ago when he openly advocated for violence at the Democratic convention in Denver in 2008 in a tirade he titled “Screw the World! Riot in Denver!“ he said that his dream was for…
“…a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that.”
So while Limbaugh had such fervent hopes for violence that never materialized (or was even plausible) at a Democratic convention, he is now fraught with anxiety about the potential for violence at a Republican convention. There’s a kind of karmic justice in that. It is also typical of right-wingers who so often use projection to disparage their perceived enemies, but later find themselves the victims of their own evil yearnings.