Monday, September 21, 2009

Limbaugh’s America

I understand that Rush Limbaugh has been going on lately about “Obama’s America.” Really? Does America belong to its President? Are we owned by our President? Does the President proscribe our actions and control the social environment in our country? Though that is the way conservatives would like it to be (only with a conservative authority figure controlling society), that is not the way it is.

Truth be known, this is much more Limbaugh’s America than it is Obama’s. When Limbaugh started his radio show in 1988 after the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, the political dialogue in this country, though very imperfect, was not nearly as ugly and lacking in civility as it is now. The following is an excerpt from The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution by Gregory L. Schneider:

“One of the most unheralded parts of the Reagan years was the decision made in 1987 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), established by the New Deal in the 1930’s, to abolish The Fairness Doctrine. The Supreme Court had ruled that the doctrine-which stipulated that broadcasters provide “equal time” during coverage of political events or discussion- was not law, but rather a regulation, freeing the FCC to get rid of it... With the equal time provision ended, talk radio helped catapult conservatives to the forefront of control of the nation’s AM airwaves.”

At that time in this country, there was general Conservative complaint about the state of society. One of their biggest complaints was that Liberals were bullying people into “Political Correctness.” Nobody was allowed to speak their mind and it was impossible to thoroughly discuss and explore any issue because only half of the story could be told, they complained.

Rush Limbaugh was on the front line of that argument. His eventual rise in power and popularity has allowed him the freedom to say whatever he wants no matter how racist, intolerant, insensitive, sexist or just downright ignorant. His popularity and resultant power have given him the opportunity to spout the following gems over time:

"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."

"We're not sexists, we're chauvinists -- we're male chauvinist pigs, and we're happy to be because…We think that's what women want."

"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's [Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb] been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."

"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

"They oughtta change Black History Month to Black Progress Month and start measuring it."

"Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

And let's not forget the "Barack the Magic Negro" song he plays on his radio show.

As Rush Limbaugh ascended his throne as the voice of the conservative movement and his listenership increased, his followers delighted in their newly found freedom and proudly proclaimed themselves as “dittoheads,” agreeing with everything he said not just regardless of the naked racism, homophobia, sexism, and intolerance being communicated, but because of it. Many uncivil tongues were freed to spout hate and intolerance, to whine and finger-point when things did not go their way, to paint themselves as victims and to vilify and attack anyone that disagreed.

While pretending to be a patriot, Limbaugh reveled in questioning the patriotism of soldiers who served their country (though he never did) and dared to come home and air their concerns about war. He childishly attempted to accuse actor Michael J. Fox of “shamelessly” faking symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that were actually side effects of the medication that he was taking to combat the disease. Fox’s crime? He disagreed with Limbaugh on a topic of which Limbaugh has neither knowledge nor experience-stem-cell research—and had the nerve to speak out in favor of it. In short, Limbaugh has gradually become the bully that he accused the “liberal elite” of being when he started out. And while doing so, he emboldened all of his dittohead followers to speak their minds without filter as well.

Now that there is no true leader in the Republican Party, some have pointed to Limbaugh as the titular head. Though he has officially rejected the title, he is nonetheless reveling in the power of the role. The recent proof of his role was a steady stream of politicians that rushed to apologize to him for saying anything with which he disagreed. The list includes Congressmen Todd Tiahrt and Phil Gingrey and even the figurehead of the Republican Party, Michael Steele.

This phenomenon became so ridiculous that Democrats created a website where you could create your own apology to Rush using a form letter:

There is no denying that Limbaugh has become the standard to which all other talk radio and right-wing talkers measure themselves. According to Wikipedia,

As of 2006, Arbitron ratings indicated that The Rush Limbaugh Show had a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States.
According to a 2001 article in U.S. News & World Report, Limbaugh had an eight-year contract, at the rate of $31.25 million a year. On July 2, 2008, Matt Drudge reported that Limbaugh signed a contract extension through 2016 that is worth over $400 million, breaking records for any broadcast medium — television or radio. In 2007, Limbaugh earned $33 million.

So Rush is King and has inspired such imitators as Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. They spout the distributed talking points from the conservative propaganda machine and disrupt political discourse on important issues like healthcare, as we have all witnessed this summer. And they reap millions of dollars in reward.

Limbaugh boldly and unabashedly encouraged his followers to interfere in Democratic Caucuses in the 2008 Presidential election in order to disrupt the political process, because the Republican Party employing conservative policies had made such a complete mess out of the country that the only way Republicans had a chance to win was to interfere with Democratic political process. And Limbaugh faces no consequences while he laughs up his sleeve all the way to the bank. From Wikipedia:

In an attempt to undermine the Democratic campaigns, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to vote for whoever was behind in the vote, an effort dubbed "Operation Chaos". In Ohio, Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton. In Ohio, voters changing their registration must attest that they support the principles of the party to which they switch. About 16,000 Ohio Republicans switched parties for the election. The Ohio Attorney General's office stated that it would be hard to prove any voter's fraudulent intent. Limbaugh said that there is nothing wrong with Republicans voting in Democratic primaries, as Democrats were able to vote for John McCain in Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, and other states. Limbaugh has said that "The dream end of [Operation Chaos] is that this keeps up to the Convention, and that we have a recreation of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fire, and literal riots and all of that, that is the objective here."

Fraud, lies, deceit, disruption, intolerance, and an anything-goes-fratboy mentality rules the Limbaugh mob. He is unapologetic about it. He wants to sew chaos and despair, then turn around and blame anyone that is not part of the conservative elite for the consequences. He has stated that he has no interest in seeing government succeed in anything and has shown over and over again that he is willing to label anyone that disagrees with his views as “Socialist,” “Fascist,” or “Marxist” regardless of any evidence to the contrary and regardless of whatever consequences this labeling might bring.

The state of civility in America has decayed considerably since the rise of Limbaugh and his hateful brand of talk radio. It was the conservative movement’s complaint in the 1980’s that there was no respect in public discourse and in society, no tolerance for their religious views, a growing decay and disrespect for authority and decency. The rise of Limbaugh and his ilk has seen discourse, tolerance, respect and common courtesy degrade to nothingness. And Limbaugh’s latest race-baiting tactic is to twist a story of simple bullying into a racist attack against a white child:

It's Obama's America, is it not? Obama's America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up ..."

NO, this is Limbaugh’s America where it doesn’t matter how many white kids are the target of white bullies, but if a black kid is the bully, it’s reverse racism.

In his book, The Culture of Complaint, author Robert Hughes posits that "The fraying of America" has come about as a result of excessive polarization and politicization.” He also states “…during the Reagan years conservatives managed to conflate all government intervention in economics with creeping Marxism. Over the past fifteen years, conservatives have succeeded, virtually unopposed, in depicting as left wing, agendas that, in a saner polity, would be regarded as ideologically neutral.”

The conservative machine, lead by it’s propaganda minister Rush Limbaugh, has implemented its strategy of smear tactics, fear tactics and disruptions over and over again, destroying civil discourse and ratcheting up hysteria to a dangerous new level, making it absolutely impossible for American society to function together.

Divide and conquer, slash and burn, lie and smear. This is Limbaugh’s America.

This is Limbaugh’s America where it is perfectly fine for him or one of his minions to bully anyone that disagrees with lockstep conservative ideology, because somehow THEY are the ones that are the victims of oppression.

This is Limbaugh’s America where there is no discussion of the FACT that conservative policy destroyed our economy by allowing runaway capitalism tantamount to gambling, but it is somehow Obama’s “Socialist” policies that have destroyed our economy.

This is Limbaugh’s America where a confused woman stands up at a political rally and is vaguely sure that somehow Obama is somehow not one of us, an Arab or something, she just isn’t sure, but not one of us.

This is Limbaugh’s America where a physically disabled woman is shouted down at a Town Hall Meeting while she practically begs for some relief from the greedy corporate healthcare system that is beggaring her just because she had the misfortune to become ill.

This is Limbaugh’s America where you can’t even have civil public discourse about a vital issue like healthcare reform without name-calling and threats of violence. He has his dittoheads so convinced that they are the oppressed minority about to be interred in a camp or killed by some mythical “Socialist” government that they are packing guns to attend Town Hall Meetings with the President and are busily organizing for some coming revolution.

This is Limbaugh’s America, where a large percentage of the populace is somehow convinced that the media in this country is run by Liberals who are out to destroy our economy and turn the country into a giant Marxist commune. It matters not that conservatives have publicly outed this notion as a lie:
William Kristol (influential Conservative and editor of Weekly Standard) in 1995

“I admit it…The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.”
Brent Bozell (head of the right-wing “Media Research Center”)
"…In his lecture to the Heritage Foundation in 1992, Bozell admitted…The “monopoly” liberals held in the media had been “broken” by the “conservative network.”…“We have learned that many in the media are quite open to the conservative perspective if it is presented properly. We provide journalists with the conservative argument on a given issue, lead them to the organization expert in it, and recommend qualified spokesmen…It is amazing how very receptive some journalists are to this assistance…”

This is Limbaugh’s America much more so than it is Obama’s. Rush knows this but it does not serve his interests to admit it. It serves his financial, political, egotistical and personal interests to continue to sew fear, distrust, and hate by smearing and lying and spreading conservative propaganda and whipping people into a hysterical frenzy. Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly and other Fox News disinformationists would not have a podium had he not paved the way. THIS is Limbaugh’s America and he does NOT get to stand aside and pretend that the toxic seed that he helped to sow and its resultant poisoned harvest belongs to anyone else.

Lest you accuse me of being overly biased about the hate speech of Rush Limbaugh and the affect that this hate speech is having on our society, please take a moment to visit the extremely reasonable blog of a self-proclaimed conservative on the very same subject:

Finally, one of the reasons that people can be convinced that Limbaugh has any credibility at all is because of the utility of call screeners on talk radio. The call screeners on talk radio now exist to weed out any caller that might have a reasonable argument against any idea that the Host of the show is propagating. Here is an instance where the call screeners on Limbaugh’s show obviously dropped the ball. And, you will notice, that when they realized they had dropped the ball, they then dropped the call, enabling Limbaugh to label and name-call, which is the only recourse of someone without a real defense. Watch:

Rush gets Served

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I found this blog from a link on the E&P Pub containing a press release from the Head Moron of the Republican Party in Florida wherein he decries the use of tax dollars by President Obama to indoctrinate the nation’s children to Socialism.

You might be asking yourself, “WHAT THE F---?!”

This latest hysterical fit is the right’s reaction to a planned televised national address to students by President Obama on September 8. From the US Department of Education’s website:

President Obama announced that on September 8 — the first day of school for many children across America — he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.

Obama-The New Red Menace (even though he looks more like Arnold Schwartzenegger from Predator)

That is some radical stuff. I can certainly see why Republicans would have a problem with the message. The idea that ANYONE, let alone our children, would take responsibility for their own learning, rather than being spoon-fed what authoritarian demagogues want them to know, is very radical. And we can all see where that “shared responsibility and commitment” stuff is going—we are all going to end up paying for someone else’s kids to be educated! Horrors!! There is no collective good in having educated children; it’s just another liberal boondoggle.

I am of course, being facetious, but Jim Greer, on the other hand, takes the hysteria to a level that I couldn’t even imagine. Check it out:

For Immediate Release Contact: Katie Gordon
September 1, 2009 (850) 339-7087
Greer Condemns Obama’s Attempt to Indoctrinate Students
Tallahassee – Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer today released the following statement condemning President Obama’s use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.

“While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President’s agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President’s initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates.

“Public schools can’t teach children to speak out in support of the sanctity of human life or traditional marriage. President Obama and the Democrats wouldn’t dream of allowing prayer in school. Christmas Parties are now Holiday Parties. But, the Democrats have no problem going against the majority of American people and usurping the rights of parents by sending Pied Piper Obama into the American classroom.

The Democrats have clearly lost the battle to maintain control of the message this summer, so now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves.

Irony, thy name is Jim Greer.

O Where to Begin!

Obama’s Socialist Agenda: What socialist agenda? It was during the Bush regime that banks were bailed out by the American middle class after they had been allowed to thoroughly rape the American middle class for at least six years. If Obama were truly a socialist, he would have insisted that the government take control of those banks, fired the inept and corrupt leadership that gambled away the middle class retirement funds they were given charge over and put an end to this capitalist chicanery once and for all. But that’s NOT EVEN CLOSE to what he actually did. And lest you hypocrites and deniers forget, it was because of YOUR PARTY’S INEPT LEADERSHIP that Obama was forced to come to the aid of the automobile manufacturers, this country’s last large manufacturing employers, in order to save hundreds of thousands of jobs. There was NO BAILOUT, there was a LOAN, that is being PAID BACK. I know that it is tough for you to understand these technical financial terms, Mr. Greer. It is obvious that nobody in your party has CLUE ONE about banking and finance.

Using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda: Even if he WAS preaching liberal propaganda to children, which he is not, why is it that your side has no problem using their children to spread conservative theocratic propaganda? When I see people marching against the freedom of choice, I notice they always bring their children and have them hold the most heinous gory signs. When I witness “Teabagger Rallys” I always see children holding signs with religious and anti-government propaganda slogans. Know what I don’t see? Children being subjected to adult debate on the LEFT side of the argument. Liberals aren’t the ones that believe in indoctrination of children; that would be your side, Mr. Greer.

Obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President’s initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates: How funny that you would bring this up since it is the EXACT SAME argument that is used by Liberals to argue against prayer in school. Yet you are still advocating the forcing of your religious beliefs on my child, who must agree and go along with your religious indoctrination or be ostracized by his teacher and classmates. I guess it’s okay when it’s in the name of God. HOWEVER, there is a serious flaw in your argument in that Obama is not asking children to recite a mantra or slogan everyday before class begins in order to brainwash them into submission, he is simply addressing them and asking them to listen. Listening: A difficult concept for a conservative, I realize, but not a radical one.

Pied Piper Obama: I bet you didn’t mean to sound so desperately hysterical when you included this little gem in your “statement.” But that is exactly what you have done by utilizing this phrase. What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid your children might hear what Obama says about education, personal responsibility and community service and THINK FOR THEMSELVES about how they fit in to the bigger picture? Or do you seriously believe that Obama is going to hypnotize them into seeing things his way VIA MONITOR???

President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves. Isn’t that why your conservative brethren home school their children, in order to indoctrinate them into your belief system before they are exposed to dangerous ideas like thinking for themselves? How telling, Mr. Greer that you would include this final salvo. It illuminates for all to see not only the fact that you and your ilk are ruled by fear and endlessly frustrated that you can’t rule the rest of us with fear, but the methods that your side uses to brain wash its youth in order to continue to breed more fearful, ignorant, intolerant, unhappy conservative generations.

So President Obama plans to address the nation’s school children via internet and urge them to take seriously their own responsibility to get an education and the possible rewards of getting an education and THIS IS SOCIALISM?

Obama plans to challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. Hard work, goal-setting and personal responsibility—the prime tenets of Socialism.

Obama plans to address the shared responsibility and commitment of students, parents and educators to make sure that every child receives the best education possible. Team work - another Socialist philosophy.

Obama wants our children to be able to compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives. Global competition, Good jobs, Rewarding and Productive lives—Common Socialist buzz words.

Will one of you right-wing nut jobs out there please leave your definition of Socialism in the comment section below so that the rest of us can try to understand why you think that everything Obama does is Socialist? (Because knowledge and understanding are two of the many evil tenets of the Liberal philosophy)

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