Advanced conservative studies

I’ve seen this sort of statement a lot and I think it’s weird:

Limbaugh is a great popularizer of conservatism, a very accessible professor of “advanced conservative studies.” He mints new conservatives, and moralizes the troops, old warriors and new recrutis alike, when they get demoralized.

Warriors! Troops! Professor! How can Rush do so many things at once? And don’t conservatives hate professors anyway?

I’ve tried very hard, but I just can’t wrap my head around the way that some conservatives think of Rush Limbaugh.

(And, yes, I realize that, stylistically, this passage makes Conor Friedersdorf sound like E. B. White.)

110 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    I’ve tried very hard, but I just can’t wrap my head around the way that some conservatives think of Rush Limbaugh.

    He teaches us how to piss off liberals, and that makes us feel superior.

  2. 2
    pharniel says:

    Rush is all you need. He’s everything to every conservative.

    He’s your daddy Missing father figure, pope, generallisimo, grand poobah and successfull buddy who keeps telling you “one day your ship iz gonna come in, you’ll see ” all wrapped into one.

    he’s a fat, drug addicted narcissistic sociopath who practically swims in money and induldges his vices on a whim and then people love him anyway.

    he’s everything every disgruntled white boy who’s too old and too cowardly for an actual fight club wants to be.

    “I look like you look, I talk like you wanna talk and I fuck like you wana fuck. I am everything you want to be.”

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    moralizes the troops

    WTF does this even mean?

  4. 4
    Kryptik says:

    And yet try and hold him accountable for his words, and they can’t tell you that ‘He’s Just An Entertainer’ quick enough!

    I suppose one of the lessons Professor Limbaugh teaches is that accountability is for suckers. And we have a generation of conservatives whose worldview centers around that very lesson.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    I’ve tried very hard, but I just can’t wrap my head around the way that some conservatives think of Rush Limbaugh.

    Rush Limbaugh = Good
    The End.

    You’re getting tripped up in the double-speak. The modern conservative rhetoric revolves around hating liberals. And the wisdom assumes that liberals make up a large number of college professors. Ergo, professors are liberals are bad. But Rush is conservative, so being a conservative professor makes him double plus good.

    See?

  6. 6
    Warren Terra says:

    I could easily be mistaken, but I don’t think that “moralize” is the opposite of “demoralize”. Although the phrase might work with the addition of a preposition: he moralizes to the troops.

  7. 7
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Martin:

    He teaches us how to piss off liberals, and that makes us feel superior.

    The thread is over. You can safely shut this one down now.

  8. 8
    Tom Levenson says:

    And, yes, I realize that, stylistically, this passage makes Conor Friedersdorf sound like E. B. White.

    Friedersdorf on his best day couldn’t hold White’s jock.

    (And yeah — I realize that someone else wrote the above…but let’s not get carried away. CF is well down the depth chart of the conservative punditocracy diaper brigade depth chart, and the fact that there are some who can’t make it past t-ball level work does not elevate him.)

    That is all.

  9. 9
    Warren Terra says:

    Oh, and for special bonus stupidity click through and see that this guy thinks Jim Clyburn is a mortal enemy of Clinton (because of some dumb comment Clyburn made during the 2008 primaries, I guess).

  10. 10
    thomas says:

    the terms used contradict reality.
    “Moralizes” – thrice married drug addict caught with boner pills on a trip to the Dominican Republic.
    “Troops, recruits” – used an anal cyst to dodge the draft while supporting the war that someone else had to take his place in.
    “Professor” – flunked out of a diploma-mill university.

    Reality and ‘conservativitism’ rarely intersect.

  11. 11
    Mumphrey says:

    @pharniel:

    That’s it. I find it hard to believe that a bunch of guys–and they’re mostly guys–who think of themselves as tough-guy, free-enterprise-loving, rootin’-tootin’, wouldn’t-take-a-handout-to-save-their-lives American patriots would identify with this fat, pilled-up, fairly-likely-to-be-a-closeted-gay-guy, thrice married and thrice divorced loser, but then, they thought George W. Bush was a fightin’ cowboy and that John Kerry was a draft dodger, so how can anybody understand what they’re thinking? They still think we found weapons in Iraq, for phuq’s sake…

  12. 12
    Redshift says:

    @Warren Terra: But that’s clearly not what he meant. He’s using “moralize” as the opposite of “demoralize” Humpty-Dumpty fashion (words mean, rather than use the actual opposite “raises the morale of”, presumably because it sounds better, even if the meaning is completely wrong.

    “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'”

    At least it’s better than most conservative code-talking — at least it’s possible for an outsider to guess what it’s actually intended to mean…

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Yes, that was incredibly dumb too.

  14. 14
    Kryptik says:

    @Mumphrey:

    Don’t forget that they thought Max Cleland was a Saddam Sympathizer and an Al-Qaida sponsor.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I finally got around to reading that Frum piece, it’s much harder on the biographer than the subject, IMHO.

    Now I’m sorely tempted to click on this link to see if the knuckle draggers have any reaction at all to the French inspired, candle-scented décor, or the $4,000 bottles of wine, though none of that is news, and they probably celebrate his ostentation as a victory for their “side”, much as I once saw an audience full of (presumably) middle-class women enthusiastically applaud Oprah when she showed them some obscenely expensive piece of jewelry she had treated herself to. Funny old world.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    He is to morality what salt petre is to sex. But still, there’s nothing new here, is there? We’ve known for a long time that people who listen to Rush,and to Beck, think they are getting a free education on stuff that the elites and the liberals want to keep hidden from them. Think of the radio shows like a kind of free “university of the air” for the rubes.

    Also: when everything looks like a war, then every person must, inevitably, be either a winner or a loser, a warrior or a victim, a general or a grunt.

    aimai

  17. 17
    QuaintIrene says:

    And he’s got a really big chandelier in his house!

    After reading the details of his interior decor in another thread (Fragrant Candles) , it makes Donald Trump’s ‘Towers’ apartment seem tasteful by comparison.

  18. 18
    Mumphrey says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Now I’m sorely tempted to click on this link to see if the knuckle draggers have any reaction at all to the French inspired, candle-scented décor, or the $4,000 bottles of wine…

    No. No, they don’t.

    I read a few of the comments, and this one seems fairly typical:

    “Wonder if Frum would like to compare bank statements with Rush?”

    Oooh, that had to hurt!

  19. 19
    kindness says:

    Well, Rush is an Emeritus of pubescent prostitution after all.

  20. 20
    licensed to kill time says:

    When I read about Limbaugh’s portrait in his mansion, I pictured something like this.

  21. 21
    Tom Hilton says:

    How many divisions does Rush Limbaugh have?

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    @licensed to kill time: His hand would be about 8″ lower.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @licensed to kill time: Heh. To me, that portrait is a depiction of John McCain’s soul, delusions of grandeur and petulant resent in one shot. (The man who put Sarah “there are two Koreas?” Palin on his national ticket is now running an ad calling JD Hayworth dumb)

  24. 24
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Martin:

    Ok, maybe more like this.

  25. 25
    GregB says:

    When will General Limbaugh rally the troops to battle while wearing a silk smoking jacket and standing in front of a massive portrait of himself as the fruity and sickly sweet smell of scented candles wafts through the air?

    This is war!

  26. 26
    CT Voter says:

    He moralizes the troops when they become demoralized?

    WTF?

  27. 27
    David in NY says:

    @CT Voter:

    Took the words out of my keyboard. Moralizes??????

  28. 28
    pharniel says:

    @Mumphrey:

    That’s it. I find it hard to believe that a bunch of guys—and they’re mostly guys—who think of themselves as tough-guy, free-enterprise-loving, rootin’-tootin’, wouldn’t-take-a-handout-to-save-their-lives American patriots would identify with this fat, pilled-up, fairly-likely-to-be-a-closeted-gay-guy, thrice married and thrice divorced loser, but then, they thought George W. Bush was a fightin’ cowboy and that John Kerry was a draft dodger, so how can anybody understand what they’re thinking? They still think we found weapons in Iraq, for phuq’s sake…

    But that’s just it. He does whatever the fuck he wants, lookign like that, and is sucessfull on every index, measure, axis or whatever else you can think of for conservatives.
    He’s ritch, has whatever kind of trim he’d like, does all the drugs he wants and basically has people apologise to HIM when he’s an ass.

    he’s living the dream life of every abusive bully and the people who saw abusive bullies and decided “hey, that’s a great way to get through life!”

  29. 29
    Martin says:

    @licensed to kill time: I like the mood on the Napolean portrait, just shift his hand down into his pants and put a mirror on the opposite wall.

  30. 30
    SpotWeld says:

    It’s sort of a “Cargo Cult” parody of how actual education works.

    There is a common allegory used by conservative pundits to describe higher education as a place where liberals go to get brainwashed, get stuffed full of lies and talking points and get all jazzed up on the weed.

    Since they are now believing their own bullshit, they’ve created this mythos around Rush were he serves as the conservative version of this mechanism.

    He doesn’t educate (that is, his “students” don’t synthesize anything he says into an internal framework of understanding in a larger context) he just gives them phrases to repeat as if they were actual reasoned arguments.

    In short, conservative pundits are lacking actual reasoned arguments to support their political views. So they “go through the ritual motions” reasoned arguments to impart on their students and assume that’s good enough.

    The sad thing, for shallow entertainment news media, that is good enough.

  31. 31

    recrutis

    Recrutis – An unfortunate condition that afflicts Limbaugh’s army of dittoheads.

  32. 32
    bjacques says:

    David Frum has a concern troll’s face. If he’s now the enemy, then I’ve seriously misunderestimated the ferocity which the Repubs have turned on each other. William F. Buckley Jr. in his prime used to publicly humiliate the likes of Limbaugh for embarrassing the side. But Buckley is dead and they’re so short on intellectuals they’d better keep Frum, because at least he can spell the word. Tim Graham needs an editor and a spellchecker.

  33. 33
    Brent says:

    I think you all are missing a very important element. My dad was a pastor and he felt his job was to encourage and exhort. (I know, old school, now it’s hate and fear). But before I ditched religion altogether, I got to hang around the type of narcissistic power pigs who are drawn to those positions. Many of them have a certain charasmatic energy that seems to surge right thru you. When I experimented listening to Rush back in the 90’s when Clinton first got elected and the right wing troops were demoralized, I felt a powerful dark energy coming out of the radio. If I had believed any of the rabid rancid things he was spewing, I would have nearly levitated with the kind of enervation he was giving off. He is a channeller. The dark gods are running thru him like he was a frikin lighting rod. If you are feeling weak, disempowered, marginalized by the ever pluralistic diverse (read :black, brown, female) society, listen to ol papa Rush for an afternoon and you will feel that ol fighting spirit rise in your boosom. A sweet taste of coppery metal in the mouth, a twitching in the loins, and it’s time to beat the wife or shout epithets at minorities from the safety of your battered truck.

  34. 34
    srv says:

    It all makes sense if you imagine you had daddy issues.

  35. 35
    Stroszek says:

    @Martin: The seemingly universal love of Limbaugh among conservatives is pretty easy to explain. Simply, if you criticize Rush, he’ll end your career.

  36. 36
    CT Voter says:

    David in NY, it’s double WTF.

    Rush expresses a moral judgment when the troops have had their morale decimated.

    Is this serious?

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    @Brent:

    Interesting.

  38. 38
    xochi says:

    I just can’t get over the obsession with referring to Ronald Reagan as “Ronaldus Maximus”.

  39. 39
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Martin: Ah, the mirror is a nice touch. One does get the feeling that Limbaugh is inordinately pleased with his own, erm…product, so to speak.

  40. 40
    gnomedad says:

    Rush “studies” conservatism the way hippos “study” dung.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @xochi: That struck me too. Is that a Limbaugh-ism? To my liberal ears, it falls flat. Sounds like a second rate rapper or a new multi-layered sandwich food product from McDonald’s

  42. 42
    Mike in NC says:

    They still think we found weapons in Iraq, for phuq’s sake…

    Just sometime in the past few months somebody wrote a Letter of the Editor of the local rag, mentioning how we had to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein was mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Those are the people crawling over themselves to read whatever the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity excrete.

  43. 43
    bkny says:

    mr hopey changey feeding the gop/teatard beast:

    President Obama will deploy an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the southern border and request $500 million in extra money for border security, according to an administration official.

  44. 44
    Cat Lady says:

    Clicking through to the other Frum piece for CNN, it’s clear why you’re not getting it DougJ.

    From the article on why Tim Burns lost in PA-12 (and more proof of the Crazification Factor, in case we needed it):

    Only 28 percent of voters in the district told pollsters that Bush and the Republicans did a good job running the country in the 2000s

    You’re not batshit insane.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @bkny: Actually, Obama and Congress have been steadily increasing funding for border security and patrols. They’ve increased it by something like 40% over Bush’s budget, but the Dems aren’t getting credit for the increase.

    I’ll note that when Obama has done stuff like this in the past, the GOP and teabaggers, unable to give anyone but themselves credit for anything, end up doubling down on the stupid in response. Expect someone to demand that Obama deploy a nuclear submarine to protect the Arizona border.

  46. 46
    Lushboi says:

    I just can’t get over how he can say anything he wants, no matter how wrong, and not lose any credibility.

    His recent comment on how the gulf oil spill is no big deal and nature will take care of it is incredibly ignorant and cruel, yet no one calls him out on it.

  47. 47
    ruemara says:

    tl;dr

    Country’s gone stupid.

  48. 48
    Cat Lady says:

    @xochi:

    Like Rush, they all have daddy issues, mommy issues, potty issues and girl issues, in one fat ugly stupid and racist man-boobed package.

  49. 49
    Mumphrey says:

    I’ve said before that Limbaugh fascinates me in a weird way. He has some measure of self-awareness that the other radio blatherers do not, and he’s far smarter than they are. I think that his 3 hours of spewing hatred every day is what passes for some kind of therapy for him. I don’t understand it, and I don’t think it’s helping him, but I think he’s too scared, even if he doesn’t understand what he’s really doing or why, to try anything else.

    So now and then in the car I’ll switch him on, mostly to annoy myself, and I never leave it on for more than about 5 minutes, since that’s about all I can take. But once in a while, he’ll let something slip about himself, and I don’t think he knows how much it tells about him. This happened a week or 2 ago, and he was going on about being a judge in the Miss America thing or whatever it was. And he said that a lot of the women will say that they “want to make a difference,” meaning, naturally, that they want to help people.

    So his voice was dripping with scorn when he talked about helping others, as he told about some of the women saying something like that, and he said that one of the things he loves in life is bursting young people’s balloons, telling them, in essence, that they can’t do anything to make things any better, and that they shouldn’t even bother trying, and that he loves to see–or imagine–the looks on their faces when he lets them in on his little secret.

    And I thought, “You sad, sorry fuck. What it must feel like to want to tell people they shouldn’t try to help others. How awful your life must be.”

    I think that says an awful lot about him, and it’s why he’s so fascinating. I can’t begin to guess what kind of hell he must have gone through as a child to turn out that way, but it makes me sad. Nobody should have to live that way.

  50. 50

    he said that one of the things he loves in life is bursting young people’s balloons

    There’s an opportunity to make a non-classy joke based on a rumor about Sir Limbaugh. But I’m going to just keep on walking.

  51. 51
    Gregory says:

    @Mumphrey:

    And I thought, “You sad, sorry fuck. What it must feel like to want to tell people they shouldn’t try to help others. How awful your life must be.”

    I felt the same way about Ayn Rand.

  52. 52
    Mumphrey says:

    @Gregory:

    Maybe her 9000 page books were a way to unburden herself. I guess if she’d been born 50 years later, she would’ve had a radio show. What could be wrong with somebody to take delight in other people’s bad luck and suffering. My life sure isn’t perfect, but every day I can give thanks that I’m not Rush Limbaugh or Ayn Rand.

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    @Brent: Dang, but I think you got it.

    The thing about fans of conservatism is that it’s a pretty joyless thing. There’s not a lot of kickass movies or thrilling novels; that’s why they try desperately to coopt ones and make fools of themselves.

    So much of what liberals do for enjoyment; a rowdy intellectual discussion, playing the I, Claudius drinking game, planting a bunch of organic pansies, or replacing all their light bulbs with more efficient ones, are off limits to conservatives.

  54. 54
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I’ve also been told by conservatives that his shit doesn’t stink either.

    Given how most of them have their noses so far up his ass, they’d be in a position to know.

  55. 55
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Mumphrey:

    Very interesting comment. The one guy I knew who was a faithful dittohead was just like that, a mean-spirited, never give a helping hand because that’s for suckers, pulled himself up by his own bootstraps now I got mine fuck you kind of dude. And a slumlord, to boot (how’s that for a stereotype, but I swear I am not making this up!).

    I think a lot of the people who listen to Rush do it because he gives them permission or validation to be assholes.

  56. 56

    @Gregory:

    I felt the same way about Ayn Rand.

    Oh sure, po-po-lil them. Rich, means as hell, and a cult following telling them how great they are to be that way. Daym do I feel sorry for them…

    Next up I’ll start working on empathizing with John Wayne Gacy, ok?

  57. 57
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Brent:

    narcissistic power pigs

    That must be the animated version of right wing radio. Complete with collectible figurines.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    The truly sad thing is that this shithead’s views are what people now think conservative is.

    Rush Limbaugh is NOT a conservative. He’s a reactionary with no real political philosophy other than the dissemination of fear, resentment, and lies. Does he really have a political philosophy that has any sort of coherence?

    I would think that real conservatives would be pissed to be lumped in with such a lightweight thinker. But then real conservatives seem to have had their heads in the sand for the last 9 years, so I don’t know why I’m so insulted for them.

    But I am. I studied political science very seriously in my undergrad days, enough to have a degree in it. And I take real conservatives seriously, even if I completely disagree with them. But since the right has been taken over so completely by the Limbaughs, Becks, and Kristols along with their diaper brigade filled with Douthats and Friedersdorfs, the real conservatives have either adjusted their brains to follow along or they’ve retired and gone into hiding.

    I never thought I’d say such a thing back in those halcyon undergrad days, but I wish they’d bring back conservatism. We need the give and take from both conservatives and liberals for this country to run properly. Instead, all we have now are the liberals/conservadems and the lunatics. Such a situation does not bode well.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    @Mumphrey:

    “Wonder if Frum would like to compare bank statements with Rush?”

    It’s the wingers’ ultimate legitimacy test. Except also, too, it means George Soros is better than almost everybody, so…test suspended!

    i.e., McDonalds is better than the French Laundry, as evidenced by the “## billyuns served.” So there.

  60. 60
    WereBear says:

    @Mumphrey: Actually, I don’t think anything terrible happened to Rush… except that nothing good did.

    He wasn’t successful or loved or admired. Now, that was because he was a cowardly obnoxious selfish asshole, but Rush’s dark genius, as you pointed out, was that he could serve as a voice for all the cowardly obnoxious selfish assholes in the world; saying all the things they wish they could think of to say.

    I remember when he got going early on, there were people who would make a self-conscious little laugh and say, “Oh, but he’s funny,” and I would get a chill, realizing what they found funny.

    The only difference between Rush and Cheney is that Rush knows exactly what he’s doing; and it is eating him alive.

  61. 61
    Mumphrey says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Well, I don’t think we were implying that anybody else has to feel the same way. And, yes, they are rich. And they do have a big cult following them and hanging on their every word. But I think that they’re unhappy. I don’t see how they could not be unhappy. And I think they desperately try to own and have and command because they think it’ll somehow bring them happiness: “That next million will surely do it, it has to. Or maybe if I can only get another million followers, then in the name of god, that will do it, that’ll make me happy, please, god, please…”

    They have all this stuff. All this stuff. And yet, they’re empty. Their lives suck. Maybe they don’t let themselves think about it much, but somehow, somewhere inside, they have to know it. That’s what makes me feel sorry for them. Their lives are hopeless and joyless, however much they own. That’s sad.

  62. 62
    Gregory says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Rich, means as hell, and a cult following telling them how great they are to be that way.

    And yet Rush still needs a suitcase of Vi ag ra, Dominican rent boys and an ostentatiously tacky house to fill some emptiness. I wouldn’t trade places for all the Oxy con tin in his medicine cabinet.

    (Grrr…I never tripped the spam filter before. Sorry.)

  63. 63
    canuckistani says:

    @Mumphrey:

    I bet he has a sled named Rosebud in his basement.

  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    @WereBear:

    I wish to endorse the entirety of your post. And please sign me up for your newsletter. ;-)

    Just a little bit of evidence about Limbaugh from his time here in the ‘Burgh as a dj. He was a miserable failure at it. He wanted to be a big time Top 40 dj in the worst way at a time when Pittsburgh had some legendary djs working in radio. He bombed here and I have read that his bombing so badly at what he most wanted to do is part of what put him on the path of where he stands today.

    Just think…if Pittsburghers had found him in the least bit entertaining as a Top 40 dj, we may not have been subjected to his idiocy, lo, these many years.

  65. 65
    Mark S. says:

    I think the most telling moment in Rush’s career was his two week (or whatever it was) stint on NFL Countdown. It showed he had absolutely no cross over appeal to anyone besides his idiot followers. He is like that asshole at the bar who can’t talk sports for thirty seconds without saying something like blacks are ruining the sport.

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gregory:

    And yet Rush still needs a suitcase of Vi ag ra, Dominican rent boys and an ostentatiously tacky house to fill some emptiness.

    He’s Rush Limbaugh III, Daddy-Rush II died when he was still a vagabond disc-jockey/college dropout, and after three marriages, there is still no Rush Limbaugh IV. I think that’s the long and short of it.

  67. 67
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: That’s fascinating, I didn’t know about that. Reminds me of how Dubya would have rather been Baseball Commissioner.

    And so would we all rather he had been.

  68. 68
    Anoniminous says:

    Aside from a Real World course in

    Log200: 3hrs/day (off-campus) Informal Logical Fallacies: How to Commit Them

    I can’t think of what Tushblah would be a Professor of.

  69. 69
    RSA says:

    From a bit earlier in the linked article:

    Most people think of Ronald Reagan as a political leader, not as an intellectual leader, and the same is true of Limbaugh… Limbaugh is a great popularizer of conservatism, a very accessible professor of “advanced conservative studies.”

    Only a true conservative could sincerely praise someone as simultaneously being a professor of advanced anything and yet not an intellectual leader. To me this reads, “He’s a professor, but the nice thing is that smart people don’t care what he says.”

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @WereBear:

    Hah! Looked it up and there it was in Wiki.

    After dropping out of college, Limbaugh moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. In 1972, he became a Top 40 music disc jockey on WIXZ, a small AM radio station that reached much of the Pittsburgh area. He started with an afternoon show and later did mornings, broadcasting under the name “Jeff Christie”. Limbaugh moved to Pittsburgh station KQV in 1973 as the evening disc jockey, succeeding Jim Quinn. He was fired in late-1974, when the station was sold to Taft Broadcasting. Limbaugh was reportedly told by management that he would never make it as on air talent, and should consider going into sales.

    I remember him as Jeff Christie on KQV, which was just HUGE in those days. And, yes, I realize we also spawned Jim Quinn. But Quinn was doing Top 40 himself, successfully, until just a very few years ago. When he became just like Rush.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Gregory:
    And I thought, “You sad, sorry fuck. What it must feel like to want to tell people they shouldn’t try to help others. How awful your life must be.”

    I felt the same way about Ayn Rand.

    And I feel the same way about most conservatives.

  72. 72
    jayjaybear says:

    What are “advanced conservative studies”? Standing on your head in the schoolhouse door? Five creative ways to dogwhistle racism? A course on recognizing gay people so you don’t bash the wrong person? How to take over the media while screaming “LIBERAL MEDIA” to distract the public?

  73. 73
    Drive By Wisdom says:

    Heh, whine all you want about Rush, once again, he is proven right:

    President Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official said Tuesday.

    You all can stick your heads in the sand and deny reality, but we have made Obama face it.

  74. 74
    Bill Section 147 says:

    To me the fascination of Rush is in how I don’t get it. It’s like when I was younger and girls my age would say something like, “Mick Jagger is cute.” Sorry. I don’t get it. And I don’t hate Mick Jagger because those girls were deluded or stupid or infatuated with his talent and success. If they would have said, “awesome,” or “incredible,” I wouldn’t have been perplexed.

    There is obviously something about him that his fans love. And further, something they have internalized and must defend to their last breath. The thing that bothers me, is whenever you discuss him critically it is like you are trying to piss on Jesus. It’s like trying to discuss theology with a Biblicist. They hold onto The(ir) Bible as if it is the only one personally signed by Christ and think they made their point because they can actually tell you the chapter and verse – even though they totally miss the context.

    But history is full of Limbaughs and stars of the moment that don’t transcend their time.

    Billy Sunday, Father Coughlin, Joseph McCarthy

  75. 75
    Dork says:

    Super Bowl in 2014 in NY. Cant wait to see what haps when it’s SD versus dallas, and the weather in NY is 18F with blizzard conditions. Suddenly prices for coats and boots in NY stores will quintuple 3 days before the game.

  76. 76

    @Mumphrey:

    Their lives are hopeless and joyless, however much they own. That’s sad.

    jeeze, if somebody was doing something to these cretins (or was in A R’s case) I could possibly work up to some … something. They choose this, fuck ’em.

  77. 77
    Mumphrey says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Well, yeah, they do choose it. I guess that’s what makes it seem all that sadder to me. Maybe they don’t deserve my pity, but I feel it all the same.

  78. 78
    Mumphrey says:

    To me, this sums up Limbaugh. If I didn’t already know it came from the Onion, I might believe it came from Limbaugh himself. It’s funny because it’s true. And it’s sad because it’s true.

  79. 79
    humbert dinglepencker says:

    Professor? Of what? Garbage, perhaps? He’s a loudmouth and his scholarship is nonexistant.

  80. 80
    Redshift says:

    @WereBear:

    The thing about fans of conservatism is that it’s a pretty joyless thing.

    But Ben Stein was on Craig Ferguson last night insisting that conservatives are much happier than liberals, and liberals spend all their time whining!

    (There’s another sad case, btw. From what I recall reading, Stein grew up in an intellectual policy-wonk conservative home, and he seemed like a sane and likeable guy. But a few years ago, he had devolved to co-authoring a “liberals want to destroy America” book — I saw it in the remainder bin — and now he doesn’t seem to be capable of anything but the same asshole “conservatism” as the rest of them. I wonder what happened.)

  81. 81
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Bill Section 147:

    There is obviously something about him that his fans love. And further, something they have internalized and must defend to their last breath.

    The guy I talked about above (big Rush fan) would get sort of creepy about him. He once invited me over ‘to listen to Rush’ with him in just the same way that an evangelical might invite you to pray with them. I had the same feeling I get when I see Jehovah’s Witnesses in the neighborhood – to make myself scarce real fast. There is no reasoning with a True Believer, and really, no point in engaging at all.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @Mumphrey:

    Great, great, comment, Mumphrey. It reminds me of that line from I can’t remember who “when people tell you who they are: believe them.” People are telling you all the time who they are, and how they feel about themselves. And truly awful people have truly awful desires and feelings and the worst of it is that they don’t know how awful and sad and just plain pathetic their self presentation is. But the Freeper line, way upthread, that Frum’s criticism should be discounted because Rush has a lot of money is very, very, telling about the whole kit and caboodle–Rush and his fans. He gets off making money from their pain and grief, and they feel stronger because his money makes them feel like they are connected to powerful people. Both feel weak, and need a whole bucketload of reassurance from money, or the idea of money and power, which they lack in real life.

    aimai

  83. 83
    Warren Terra says:

    @Drive By Wisdom:

    President Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official said Tuesday.

    You all can stick your heads in the sand and deny reality, but we have made Obama face it.

    The border is 2,000 miles long. Assuming seven-day weeks and eight-hour shifts, and assuming they work in pairs, that’s at least 10 miles of border for each pair.

    For comparison, advocates of strenuous border enforcement (and I am not one; I think the solution to illegal immigration lies in workplace reforms and punishing the employers) want about 10,000-20,000 people manning the border at all times, or one person for every 500-1000 feet. For those of you playing at home, that’s a minimum of 30,000 people, and far more likely to be at least 50,000 people; maybe 100,000.

    So, congratulations: Obama has inexplicably decided to kowtow to the inane Conservative rhetorical line and make a useless showy gesture towards the impossible task of “sealing the border”. Maybe this indeed means your side is winning the political argument. Doesn’t mean you and your side actually have a policy that any sane person thinks has a chance of working.

  84. 84
    Boots Day says:

    Rush’s dark genius, as you pointed out, was that he could serve as a voice for all the cowardly obnoxious selfish assholes in the world; saying all the things they wish they could think of to say.

    One of the keys to his success is that he constantly tells these people they are victims – victims of the government, victims of the media, victims of the culture, victims of the liberal establishment. Everything that has ever gone wrong in their lives (or that has gone wrong with the country) is the fault of some evil other. My goodness, do people ever love hearing that.

  85. 85
    Mark S. says:

    I sometimes wonder what some of these conservative assholes are like when they aren’t on TV. I still remember Josh Marshall’s description of David Horowitz:

    One is that Horowitz in person is as obnoxious and unpleasant as he seems on all those talk shows. I got in a scrape with him a couple years ago because of a brief mention I made of him in an article in The American Prospect. (There are actually a few points I’d change in the article; but the description of Horowitz isn’t one of them.) At that time I figured that — like many high-profile controversialists — Horowitz merely played an a–hole on TV. Yet after running into him at a Hillary-bashing conference last April, and having him repeatedly call me a liar and “disgusting” to my face, I concluded that he was actually the real McCoy.

    I used to think most of them were just putting on a show, but I’m beginning to think most of them really are assholes.

  86. 86
    Gus says:

    @WereBear: Hmmm, eight years of fucking up the country vs. many years of fucking up my favorite sport…

  87. 87
    daryljfontaine says:

    @canuckistani:

    I bet he has a sled buried dead hooker named Rosebud in his basement.

    Fixed.

    D

  88. 88
    MikeJ says:

    @Boots Day: l’esprit d’escalier pour connards

  89. 89
    Jasper says:

    I think non-“conservatives” make a mistake by underestimating the appeal of Rush’s message to good people. I listened for years right out of college (beginning in about 1990) and believed most of what I heard. And the WORDS make some sense – the “free market” is wondrous in many ways and parts of government ARE hopelessly inept and inefficient. And if you’re working 60 or 80 hours a week, it feels really good to be told you’re superior to the welfare bums, etc. who sit around and collect your money for doing nothing.

    There’s enough truth to the philosophy that if that’s as much thought as you give it, you can say, “Hell Yes! Rush” and be a decent person.

    The short story is once a tiny crack appeared in the philosophy they preached, and what did it for me was the stock market bubble and crash of 2001, then so much of what they say is obviously completely disconnected from reality. For example, we don’t have a “free market” in this country, because it’s run by oligarchs. But to conclude that you have to compare the WORDS to what actually happens, and what actually happens is a tiny slice gets richer while gutting the rest of the country. But that’s not obvious if you don’t read or listen to people other than Rush and Sean Hannity. Even now I’ll tell my conservative friends some indisputable fact – like on wages – and they simply dismiss the evidence since it cannot be true and fit their theory. So they pretend the evidence doesn’t exist and will NEVER hear it on the right wing outlets.

    The point is lots and lots of Rush listeners aren’t dumb, and they’re not bad people, they just are ignorant, and mostly because they’re busy and the right wing theories are comfortable and validate their lives.

  90. 90
    EconWatcher says:

    Mark S.:

    Wow. I clicked on to that Josh Marshall post. It was superbly written. None of his stuff these days really is. I think regular blogging must not be good for writing skills (rather like practicing law).

  91. 91
    jayjaybear says:

    @Redshift: Don’t forget that he was a speechwriter for Nixon (sharing that role with Pat Buchanan). Nixon wasn’t hiring hippies to write his speeches.

  92. 92
    Catsy says:

    @geg6:

    I never thought I’d say such a thing back in those halcyon undergrad days, but I wish they’d bring back conservatism. We need the give and take from both conservatives and liberals for this country to run properly. Instead, all we have now are the liberals/conservadems and the lunatics. Such a situation does not bode well.

    I agree about the need for a healthy dialogue between conservatism and liberalism in this country, but I think you may be missing part of what’s going on by becoming too invested in the labels.

    These days, the conservative side of that give-and-take is playing out entirely /within/ the Democratic Party, rather than between Democrats and Republicans. If you look back at the non-insane policy debate that’s occurred in the last few years, almost all serious conservative/liberal dialogue has been between the left and right wings of the Democratic Party, between conservadems and the others.

    We don’t need to “bring back” conservatism. To the extent that it still exists and has any influence on policy, it exists in the Blue Dogs and their Senate equivalents.

    What we do need is a sane opposition party. We don’t have one right now.

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    @Redshift:

    Stein grew up in an intellectual policy-wonk conservative home, and he seemed like a sane and likeable guy. But a few years ago, he had devolved to co-authoring a “liberals want to destroy America” book—I saw it in the remainder bin—and now he doesn’t seem to be capable of anything but the same asshole “conservatism” as the rest of them. I wonder what happened.

    Senator Al Franken. It must burn, because they were at least friendly.

  94. 94
    joe from Lowell says:

    Limbaugh is a great popularizer of conservatism, a very accessible professor of “advanced conservative studies.” He mints new conservatives, and moralizes the troops, old warriors and new recrutis alike, when they get demoralized.

    You know, like a professor. That’s what professors do, right?

  95. 95
    maus says:

    @Redshift:

    (There’s another sad case, btw. From what I recall reading, Stein grew up in an intellectual policy-wonk conservative home, and he seemed like a sane and likeable guy. But a few years ago, he had devolved to co-authoring a “liberals want to destroy America” book—I saw it in the remainder bin—and now he doesn’t seem to be capable of anything but the same asshole “conservatism” as the rest of them. I wonder what happened.)

    A lot of celebrities, especially the conservative ones SEEM TO sound sane and likeable until they stop discussing how things are and start discussing their feelings and how they see the world.

    They were always the same assholes, but you never asked for their opinion. And now that “we” asked for their opinion, they’ll never stop trying to tell us it.

    @joe from Lowell: Indoctrination, duh.

  96. 96
    Brent says:

    @Jasper: You are half right in that some “good” people want to hear the cartoon version of the American dream and the success myth and how liberals are to blame for everything. However, it takes a willful ignorance to dismiss the obvious bigotry, racism and mysogyny that drips from his lips with mean spirited bile on a daily basis. If you can stand to watch some of his podcasts, he quivers with livid hatred and his facial expresssion confirms it. Anyone who gets a chuckle out of hearing “Barack the Magic Negro” has a white racist underbelly.

    I thought like a rushite when I was young in that I wanted to become very rich and crown myself with that success trophy in order to distinguish myself from all the losers and failures. Later in life, my thinking changed from wanting to pull away the ladder once I got up there to how opportunity might be expanded for those not born into privelidge like Bush. The “I got mine, fuck you” conservative creed is not the indicator of a “good” person, methinks. You would also have to be pretty daft to not recognize we live in a corporatist oligarchy and that Rush is merely one of the carnival barkers in this rigged circus some believe is free market capitalism.

  97. 97
    Kobie says:

    @bjacques: I had an argument on a political forum once regarding Frum’s disapproval of the Republicans’ scorched-earth approach to Obama’s policies (and subsequent shitcanning from AEI), and the wingnuts there were very quick to completely disavow him.

  98. 98
    Kobie says:

    @Stroszek: Remember how quickly Michael Steele’s tail curled up betwixt his legs when he dared not genuflect at the Altar of Rush?

    The fixation many on the right have with that bastard is sickening. And the worst part of it is, the fixation many on the left have with that bastard is WORSE.

  99. 99
    Kobie says:

    @Gregory: That would make for an interesting thread. “Would you trade places with Rush Limbaugh”? I’d like to think I wouldn’t.

  100. 100
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Mark S.:

    I used to think most of them were just putting on a show, but I’m beginning to think most of them really are assholes.

    You’re probably right, though I have heard that when he’s not “on,” Sean Hannity is a pretty nice guy. Which doesn’t excuse him for being a complete asshole on TV and radio, but in his case, at least, it may be something of an act. He is about the money, after all.

  101. 101
    LD50 says:

    History will judge Limbaugh as the man who singlehandedly destroyed whatever intellectual underpinning conservatism might have ever had, transforming it into the brainless zealotry it’s now become. It will take conservatism decades to overcome his influence, if it ever does.

  102. 102
    SectarianSofa says:

    @WereBear:

    Last time I listened to more than 5 seconds of him, it was the 2009 CPAC speech. I don’t know exactly what was animating him, what his motivations were. But it seemed like he believed his own stuff. It is certainly possible I wasn’t watching closely enough (even now, watching part of the video on youtube, I just couldn’t keep from fast forwarding every few seconds).
    Is that performance a departure from his usual stuff these days? It was more passionate from what I remember from earlier days when I might listen to a few minutes of his show every once in a while. Does ‘eating him alive’ apply (CPAC 2009) there as well?

    Also, your comment make me think of Voldemort. Harry Potter is cheesy, though still less declasse’ than Limbo.

  103. 103
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Drive By Wisdom:

    non sequitur. Try again? Maybe next thread.

  104. 104
    LD50 says:

    @Redshift:

    (There’s another sad case, btw. From what I recall reading, Stein grew up in an intellectual policy-wonk conservative home, and he seemed like a sane and likeable guy. But a few years ago, he had devolved to co-authoring a “liberals want to destroy America” book—I saw it in the remainder bin—and now he doesn’t seem to be capable of anything but the same asshole “conservatism” as the rest of them. I wonder what happened.)

    Don’t forget Stein’s little ‘Darwinists are Nazis’ film from a couple years back.

    When Stein was making the rounds pimping that film, I heard reports that the guy takes a MASSIVE amount of prescription drugs every day, for a variety of purposes. It might have something to do with that.

  105. 105
    Conor Friedersdorf says:

    The way I am invoked on this blog is puzzling, and kind of refreshing, in that it gets tedious when all the nonsensical slights come from right-wing blogs.

  106. 106
    WereBear says:

    @SectarianSofa: Does ‘eating him alive’ apply (CPAC 2009) there as well?

    I don’t know; one could make the case that he does hate women, pigmented men, and all the compassionate young people. Doesn’t that mean he “means what he says?”

    Doesn’t he claim he’s an Entertainer? So that makes this showbiz, and himself an actor.

    Because, the way I see it, if you are making millions of dollars for letting millions of followers know The Truth that you passionately believe; then you are a happy person.

    (I run a little cat blog, and I have far fewer followers, and make almost no money. Yet I get emails from people saying I help them, and this makes me very happy.)

    And it just does not parse that someone is happy; and yet takes a great many mood altering drugs that they bribe their maid to get. They don’t go to the Dominican Republic with boner pills when they are happy. They don’t have three ex-wives with non-disclosure agreements when they are happy.

    And when I look at Rush Limbaugh, whether or not he believes what he says, I see someone consumed with self loathing. It might not come from his political views; and I do think he is as racist and sexist and hate filled as he sounds.

    But none of this makes him happy; because he is not only a piece of shit, he knows it.

  107. 107
    WereBear says:

    (Aargh, said the v word, pls excuse double post.)

    @SectarianSofa: Does ‘eating him alive’ apply (CPAC 2009) there as well?

    I don’t know; one could make the case that he does hate women, pigmented men, and all the compassionate young people. Doesn’t that mean he “means what he says?”

    Doesn’t he claim he’s an Entertainer? So that makes this showbiz, and himself an actor.

    Because, the way I see it, if you are making millions of dollars for letting millions of followers know The Truth that you passionately believe; then you are a happy person.

    (I run a little cat blog, and I have far fewer followers, and make almost no money. Yet I get emails from people saying I help them, and this makes me very happy.)

    And it just does not parse that someone is happy; and yet takes a great many mood altering drugs that they bribe their maid to get. They don’t go to the Dominican Republic with boner pills when they are happy. They don’t have three ex-wives with non-disclosure agreements when they are happy.

    And when I look at Rush Limbaugh, whether or not he believes what he says, I see someone consumed with self loathing. It might not come from his political views; and I do think he is as racist and sexist and hate filled as he sounds.

    But none of this makes him happy; because he is not only a piece of shit, he knows it.

  108. 108
    DougJ says:

    @Conor Friedersdorf:

    Ha! Thanks for dropping by.

  109. 109
    maus says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    You’re probably right, though I have heard that when he’s not “on,” Sean Hannity is a pretty nice guy. Which doesn’t excuse him for being a complete asshole on TV and radio, but in his case, at least, it may be something of an act. He is about the money, after all.

    Sociopaths have an innate ability to convince JUST ENOUGH people that they’re not sociopaths to get by.

  110. 110
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Brent: I completely cosign on this. Back in the mid-nineties, I had a coworker who listened to Rush constantly. I would catch snippets, and it disgusted me to the bone. I think the statement would have to further be amended to ‘good’ white people listening to Limbaugh. There is no excuse for Limbaugh’s shit.

    @Mumphrey: I said in the other thread about Limbaugh that I had a modicum of pity for Limbaugh, but that I quickly squelched it. I do think he’s an empty human being with no there there, but my problem is that he’s doing so much harm for society in general. I have a loose guideline that I can feel sorry for someone pretty much up until the point when that person starts continually hurting other people. Rush has way passed that line.

    @Bubblegum Tate: That actually makes him worse in my mind because he’s doing so much evil just to make a buck.

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