Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 12, 2009

'REPARATIONS'.... Over the weekend, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, launched into a nutty tirade. Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh managed to make it even more offensive.

Sessions insisted that President Obama is deliberately trying to increase unemployment and weaken Wall Street as part of a "divide and conquer" strategy to consolidate power. Sessions, who recently said he'd like to see the GOP emulate the insurgency tactics of the Taliban, added that the president intends to "inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it."

As truly nutty as this is, Limbaugh's version is actually more nauseating.

"The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's quote, 'rightful owners.' Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on."

Kevin Drum replied, "Limbaugh's message could hardly have been more obvious if he'd donned blackface and performed a soft-shoe in his studio." Andrew Sullivan added, "I guess no one ever accused Limbaugh of keeping his racism under wraps."

Quite right. The "substance" of Limbaugh's argument is obviously insane, but the racism of his attack is hardly subtle. It's almost hard to believe -- the nation's leading conservative argued, in all seriousness, that the president of the United States is trying to destroy the economy, on purpose, as part of a "forced reparations" campaign.

I realize several far-right voices get angry over what they consider "cheap liberal accusations of 'racism,'" which they consider common. But if conservatives would express at least a modicum of disgust for tirades like Limbaugh's, instead of ignoring his frequent race-driven tirades, it'd do wonders for the discourse.

Steve Benen 2:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

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Comments

As I commented at Kevin's blog, calling Rush Limbaugh a "racist" is pretty feeble.

Rush Limbaugh is no mere "racist".

Rush Limbaugh is a virulent bigot, a malicious liar and a vicious hate-monger. He deliberately and knowingly peddles inflammatory lies and hatred -- hatred of blacks, hatred of Latinos, hatred of women, and above all hatred of "liberals" -- to his audience of weak-minded, ignorant, mean-spirited Ditto-Heads.

And he does those things for money.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 12, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Rush wants you to know that the media only supports Obama because they want to see a black man succeed even though he's in over his dead.

Wait ... that was his commentary on Donovan McNabb. Sorry.

Posted by: TR on May 12, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

That "quote 'rightful owners'" is a doozy. Can anyone identify it as an actual quote?

Posted by: MattF on May 12, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yes, Rush Limbaugh is proud to be paid to spout bigotry and lies. He doesn't care, the Greenback is his god.

Of course, Mr. Limbaugh is also ignoring that the entire financial disaster is a result of Bush's horrible policies. Selective dishonesty is no problem for a man with no ethics.

Posted by: freelunch on May 12, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love for Rush to shut his trap. Or at least stick to the rational arguments that he could make if not for his grandstanding.

Mock Rush all you want, but Obama will be in a precarious position during the mid-terms if/when the American populace grows tired of governemnt spending increases, government programs and finally - trying to resurrect Hillarycare. Obama is already bumping up our national debt to new heights. How he will pay for another round of spending and government programs without big tax hikes on the upper-middle and middle classes is unknown.

But go ahead, focus on the delivery and not the message.

Posted by: McGruber on May 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

What's so great about Rush these days is the negative polarization he's achieving. Every time he yacks it up he fires up a bigger chunk of foes than friends.

And remember, Wanda Sykes is the real incendiary.

Posted by: angler on May 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh keeps on talking because he's very glib and making money off his nonsense.

Steele keeps on talking because he's a simpleton who doesn't know any better.

Cheney keeps on talking because he's a coward and damaged goods.

Bush is the only one making sense right now, and that's because he's not talking.

This is so-o-o much fun, watching these people get the public disdain they deserve, and doing so because they're incapable of shutting up.

I don't get angry over Rush. In fact, it's freaking delightful watching the damage he brings to the GOP.

Dear Rush - please don't stop!

Posted by: JJC on May 12, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

McG, I'd be happy to focus on the message if a coherent one could be articulated. (And, no, "resurrect Hillarycare" does not count for a coherent message.)

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on May 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

The reason the "cheap liberal accusations of racism" are so cheap is that the market is glutted with examples of right-wing racism.

If Rash and the other right-wing rentboys would stop manufacturing material for them, I guarantee the price of liberal accusations of racism would go through the roof. Liberals wouldn't be able to afford them any more. So the wingnuts wouldn't have to hear them any more.

Thus worketh the invisible hand of the market.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on May 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Keep something in mind here: Limbaugh is merely reflecting the attitudes of his listening audience. I doubt he believes a word of what he's saying at this point. He's simply striving to be worth his 400 million dollar contract...and the way he does it is by parroting the most vile attitudes of his dittohead base.

Trust me, he didn't think this stuff up on his own. He probably has subscriptions to every right-wing publication there is..or, if he doesn't, he turns his listeners' e-mails into on-air rants. In fact, I'd bet money that's exactly where this latest rant started: as a conflation of crazy e-mails from his crazy listeners.

I'm fairly certain Coulter has been a parody troll for years, and Limbaugh is well down that road by now. I suspect he doesn't believe a word of this crap. Not that this makes him any less accountable for the results of it. But never make the mistake that Limbaugh is so stupid he actually believes what he's saying.

Posted by: LL on May 12, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

If one were to believe in reincarnation, Father Coughlin has returned. . .

Posted by: DAY on May 12, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

..Obama will be in a precarious position during the mid-terms if/when the American populace grows tired of governemnt spending increases, government programs and finally - trying to resurrect Hillarycare.

I take it you believe that this will magically benefit the Repubs...how???

Exactly WHAT are they offering as a plausible alternative? More of the unbridled greed and corruption that got us here?

Just saying NO doesn't sound like much of a governing philosophy to attract converts.

Posted by: afguy on May 12, 2009 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

When will someone on the right condemn Limbaugh's "thinly veiled" bigoted comments? Don't they merit repudiation?

Oh, wait, duh. IOKIYAR. What was I thinking?

The longer he spouts off unrepudiated, the more he welds the anchor chain around the GOP's neck.

Posted by: Michael Carpet on May 12, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

McG, t'would be a shame if you're correct and people held the debt against Obama. Yep, it jumped a long long ways on his watch. For two reasons: (1) it take a heck of a lot of stimulus to fix what BushCo broke over 8 years; and (2) what you see is what more honest accounting looks like - the numbers wouldn't have appeared to jump had BushCo more honestly accounted during their tenure. Obama is essentially getting penalized for his honesty (or, efforts at increased honesty, watered down by a weak Congress).

Posted by: zeitgeist on May 12, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

When your audience for Rush exceeds 20,000,000 per week, insanity becomes a viable political position. And Rush is more of a cross between a carnival con man and a preacher selling comfort and calm assuredness to believers not unlike a Ted Haggard sort of person. And he gets paid handsomely ($40,000,000 a year) to provide a large teat to those who need to be constantly reassured and comforted that they are right and they've got El Rushbo to stand up for them. In my neighborhood (Seattle) I can listen to El Rushbo or one his replicants from the Limbaugh clone army on two FM channels 7 days a week. There are a lot of unweaned minds out there.

Posted by: mickster on May 12, 2009 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be the first to admit that the GOP, as an organization, sucks right now. It should be quite easy to get their shit together against Obama and Biden in the White House, plus Pelosi and Reid in Congress.

And it should be quite easy to put up an alternative to Obama:

1. The economy is turning around on its own. No need to spend trillions to "boost" the economy.

2. Stop spending like drunken sailors and mortgaging our future. Even the Obama adminstration is having trouble finding money to pay for its programs without raising taxes.

Focusing on spending and taxes alone should go along ways to getting the GOP some seats back in Congress. If Obama has to raise taxes to pay for his programs (and I think he will), then the GOP's job will be all that much easier.

Of course, that's if the GOP can get their shit together. Evidentally, that's a lot to ask these days...

Posted by: McGruber on May 12, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

McGruber wrote: "But go ahead, focus on the delivery and not the message."

OK, let's focus on your message which consists entirely of slavish regurgitation of the most idiotic drivel ever spoon-fed by the fake, phony, corporate-sponsored, so-called "conservative" propaganda machine to weak-minded, ignorant, mean-spirited Ditto-Heads.

You can't even handle the normal "right wing" talking points, so for you they've got "Right Wing Talking Points For Dummies".

"Hillarycare". Yeah, right.

Dumbass.

Don't you even know that Hillary Clinton is now the Secretary Of State, and the corporate-sponsored "right wing" script now says you are supposed to attack her "liberal" foreign policy and not a medical insurance proposal that she was involved with over 15 years ago?

I swear, Ditto-Heads don't come any stupider than you, because any Ditto-Heads who are stupider than you must die pretty quickly because they would be too stupid to feed themselves.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limbaugh is a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 12, 2009 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

LOL, HillaryCare.

Guy, it's 2009.

Posted by: Elbows on May 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

JJC @ 2:28

It is amazingly scary to think that GW Bush is
the one with sense to keep his mouth shut.

We might have to give him credit for reining
in the insanity spewing from Cheney.
(i.e. he kept us from bombing Iran)

Now my head is about to explode.

Posted by: catclub on May 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Many of them do profess disgust, bewilderment and embarrassment for Limbaugh. It's just that in the next news cycle they have to take it all back and apologize profusely.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 12, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

We all know Rush is a racist, the surprise is that The Republican Party actively seeks to tether itself to this fool.

Posted by: msw on May 12, 2009 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's quote, 'rightful owners.' Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on."


Does this mean Paleface is going home and taking everyone he brought over with him?

If so, Epic Win for us NDNZ!

Posted by: Crazy Horse on May 12, 2009 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

I welcome McGruber. I've been bored of Al for 3-4 years, now, and am happy to find new trolls to poke at.

Posted by: Tyro on May 12, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

OK. I guess labelling it HillaryCare dates me somewhat.

But the fact remains, a Democrat president is trying to establish a national healthcare system.

Obama must really believe his hype because the last time I checked, no one really bought the Clinton-style national health care plan.

And I doubt many people will now, either. Especially when Obamba can't find the money to pay for it.

Posted by: McGruber on May 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

There is a sizable chunk of the white trash Confederacy left in this country.

For them --- just heard a friend of a friend the other day say "Obama's giving it all away to the dark people" -- blacks and Hispanics are inferior beings.

You will hear this too coming from their mouths: "He's giving it all away to the bankers". You may without much fear of mistranslating their words take "bankers" to mean "Jew".

The Republican Party is the vanguard of the resurgent racism and anti-Semitism stalking the land.

Posted by: John Thullen on May 12, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

"But the fact remains, a Democrat president is trying to establish a national healthcare system."

1.) The use of "Democrat president" is telling.
2.) By God, I hope he is trying to "establish a national healthcare system." It would beat what we have now, hand's down. Please, give us the horror that is the French national health care system!

Posted by: Michael Carpet on May 12, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Rush believes his own drivel these days. He looks way too much like a puppet on a string.

McG., in case you haven't checked the polls, more people want nationalized healthcare than do not. What Obama is proposing isn't the same as what Clinton proposed.

2009. You can't just throw out 'Hillary', 'healthcare' and expect people to freak out. Remember, more people approve of socialism than they do of capitalism. Ok, so most people don't know what socialism actually is--this still says a lot about how dissatisfied people are with the status quo.

Back to Rush. Clear Channel is crumbling. I hope like hell that the tide takes Rush out with it.

P.S. Rush is the worst kind of whore who will say anything you want him to say if you pay him enough. I bet you could get him to say Obama is the best thing since sliced bread if you paid him (Rush) five-hundred mill to say so.

Posted by: asiangrrlMN on May 12, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

AsiangrrlMN: Can't argue with your main point, but it wouldn't take $500 million -- if you listen to Jesse Ventura (on Larry King via Youtube), it would take a waterboard and an hour, and Rush would say anything you want. And it wouldn't be torture ...

Posted by: Michael Carpet on May 12, 2009 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK


freelunch: Mr. Limbaugh is also ignoring that the entire financial disaster is a result of Bush's horrible policies.


um....rush signed a record-breaking 400-million dollar 10-year contract last year...

just months before the party..

who's ideology he spouts daily...

lost massively..

again...

Posted by: mr. irony on May 12, 2009 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Cape Girardeau, MO, Rush's hometown, is the gateway to the Bootheel cotton country. Culturally, it has more in common with Mississippi than with St. Louis or Kansas City. The Limbaughs, long influential in the Missouri GOP, are one of Cape Girardeau's wealthiest families, perhaps the wealthiest. Rush Limbaugh is the racist scion of plantation owners, Strom Thurmond born two generations too late. That's all you need to know.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 12, 2009 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Add Sessions to my list of pathetic Republican spoiled bullies. (See my comment on the previous Inhofe post.)

Posted by: Carol A on May 12, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

The anal landscape that makes up Rush Limbaugh's reality is unbecoming for anyone. He is the only human I know who actually likes living with his head up his ass! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on May 12, 2009 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Al Sharpton made sure that Don Imus lost his job for his "racist" remarks. Where has he been while Rush has gotten pay raises for the same thing? It's always disgusted me that he mocks blacks (and yes, everyone else except most Republicans) on a daily basis on air. He wears his bigotry proudly. And everyone lets him get away with it.

Posted by: Schtick on May 12, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

McGurk, you're claiming both a) that the economy is getting better on its own and b) what Obama is doing is ruining the economy.
I bet you bet on both red and black at the roulette table, just so you can say you always win.

Absolutely everything good that happens is because of Republican principles and absolutely everything bad that happens is because of the actions of Democrats.
Victory!

Posted by: pbg on May 12, 2009 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh is doing nothing less than calling for a race war and the assassination of the President.

This pt needs to be made over and over and over again until his supporters are forced to either explicitly agree with his lunacy or denounce him.

Posted by: Disputo on May 12, 2009 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get angry over Rush. In fact, it's freaking delightful watching the damage he brings to the GOP. Dear Rush - please don't stop!

I'd agree with you, except that it has obviously gotten to the point where Rush is going to inspire one or more of his listeners to violence.

Posted by: Disputo on May 12, 2009 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

"it has obviously gotten to the point where Rush is going to inspire one or more of his listeners to violence."
Posted by: Disputo on May 12, 2009 at 8:58 PM

"...is going to..."???

You did hear about the psycho cop-killer in PA, no?
I can't say that he was a Rush-listener per se, but there is zero question that he was motivated by the same wingnut lies that Rush parrots daily: Obama's coming for yer gunz; Obama's giving away all your money to welfare leeches; Obama's going to send real Merkins to FEMA re-education camps; Obama's selling us all out to the Mooslims & the Messkins; etcetcetc

And then there was the Unitarian church killer, who wrote a note explicitly copping to a "hate crime" (his own words), and claiming that murdering liberals was a patriotic sacrifice on his part.

The pundits who have been warning us that we're overdue for some suicide bombers are almost certainly correct -- but it won't be Muslim extremists when it happens. I'm betting not more than 6 months, 7 1/2 (Christmas) tops, til the first; any takers?

Posted by: smartalek on May 13, 2009 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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