If there’s one topic of study for which Rush Limbaugh can be regarded as an expert it’s character assassination. He has spent his career contriving dishonest assaults on his enemies that take the most vile form.
With regard to Barack Obama, Limbaugh started early by hoping that he would fail. Limbaugh expanded on that to accuse the President of being a socialist, a Marxist, and worse. He repeatedly asserts that Obama has an explicit desire to destroy America, the Constitution, and the values of faith and family that the nation embodies. If that isn’t character assassination, then I don’t know what is. Yet it is Limbaugh who is now whining to Politico about being the victim of the President’s wrath. In a CBS interview, Obama told Harry Smith that the vitriol of opponents like Limbaugh was troublesome. That seems to be a rather restrained description, but Limbaugh took great offense to what he portrayed as “constant attempts at character assassination.”
The funny thing is that Limbaugh should regard being considered troublesome by the President as a compliment. Isn’t it his intent to cause trouble for this administration? But he somehow has turned it into an insult. Even funnier is this bit of self-denial:
“I think the president is trying to distract me, to get me talking about ME on my show instead of talking about him and the regime’s agenda. But it won’t work. I’m wise to their tactics.”
But it did work. Limbaugh IS talking about himself. And if Obama wants to get Limbaugh to talk about himself he only needs to remember this one thing: The secret to getting Limbaugh to talk about himself is to just let him talk (preferably with a microphone nearby). Limbaugh spends a majority of his airtime talking about himself. He even continued doing it in his comments to Politico, describing himself as being “on the top of the mountain” of opposition to the administration. He can’t stop talking about himself, and the last thing he needs is provocation from the President.
Limbaugh’s pathological unawareness of his self-obsession is manifested in much of his hypocritical rhetoric. He simply cannot correlate his commentary with his own actions. Amidst the widespread reports of escalating hostilities within the fringe conservative community, Limbaugh had a warning for Tea Partiers from whom he says the country is being stolen:
“So you tea party people, I’m sure you know this, but they are trying to get you provoked so that you act in ways similar to the way they’re accusing you. […] They have a morally superior view of their agenda and of themselves. They look at anything that opposes them as evil, and with evil you must do whatever it takes, ends justify the means to wipe it out.”
Isn’t this precisely the view that Limbaugh has toward the administration (which he has lately begun referring to as “the regime”)? Doesn’t he consider his positions to be morally superior and his opponents to be evil? He certainly has expressed an intention to do whatever it takes to defeat the left he hates so fiercely. During the Democratic National Convention in he 2008 he literally said “Screw the World: Riot in Denver!”
“I’m dreaming of riots in Denver. Remember 1968?”
“Riots in Denver at the Democrat convention would see to it we don’t elect Democrats – and that’s the best damn thing could happen for this country as far as anything I can think.”
“I mean, if people say what’s your exit strategery, the dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here.”
These are unambiguous directives to his listeners, who are not called “dittoheads” for nothing. These are every bit as bad as the Tea Bagger who recently advised his followers to go out and throw bricks through the windows of the offices or homes of Democratic lawmakers, and to engage in other sorts of vandalism and violence. These are the irresponsible edicts of a man who professes to obey the law, but asserts that his opponents do not:
“Something else about the Democrats, deep in their hearts they know that we are law-abiding people. They know that we don’t make messes. That’s why they’re trying to stoke lawbreaking behavior from the tea party people because they know that we obey the law. They don’t.”
Oh really? And inciting people to riot, to burn cars and throw bricks, is lawful behavior? Limbaugh is a despicable provocateur and he knows it. He is using a fabricated argument to project his perverse philosophy onto his perceived enemies. And, as usual, he is encouraging his feeble-minded followers to engage in activities that he himself is too cowardly to consider.
Limbaugh’s hypocrisy is classic, but his depraved licentiousness is completely off the scale of social decency and civility. And this attitude is by no means restricted to Limbaugh. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the Fox News thugs, plus a variety of rabidly right-wing members of congress, are equally as culpable for the rancorous environment in the political atmosphere. No wonder there is so much vitriol wafting up in the steam from those tea cups.