Friday, February 13, 2009

Out on a Limbaugh

An article from a few days back speculates that the ascent of Obama is also good news for Rush Limbaugh, who now has a new enemy, new battles to fight, new victories to win. Well, while it's true that El Rushbo thrives on adversity – he cut his talk-radio teeth on Clinton & Co., after all – he can't really be at the head of an anti-Obama movement until there is one (or until he starts one), and there are no signs of that happening as yet. After all, Obama just pointed out that "national unity" is our top priority -- which means no arguing allowed with things like the bailout, economic stimulus package, war on terror, war on drugs, war on hate, war on Iraq, war on Afghanistan, ad infinitum. First one to write a song called "Der Obama's Face" gets "extraordinary rendition" to Saudi Arabia!

And even in the event of rising opposition to Obama, is Limbaugh really going to be the opposition leader of choice, given that he is an unrepentant and unreconstructed supporter of Bush's disastrous foreign policy and of the bogus “War on Terror?” Oh sure, he was totally against John McCain and even proposed that people vote for Obama in the Democratic primaries as a way of keeping Hillary out of the halls of power. So give him 1 ½ points for those achievements. But as the “last man standing” -- as he describes himself – he's starting to look about as ridiculous as those Japanese soldiers who were still holed up in caves in the South Pacific decades after the end of World War II. Japan had to send an official military representative down there to order those clowns to leave their caves and go home. Who's going to tell Limbaugh that it's over – for the Republicans, for what he calls “conservatism”, and for all the other “values” that he has been – delusionally, in many cases – preaching for all these years? Oh sure, he's hoping Obama will screw up the way Clinton did, and that will be his main chance. Well, it could be... but again, although I agree with Limbaugh on many issues, if I found myself agreeing with him on everything I'd start to worry. His quest for “American values” that have not actually been seen for generations seems like a snipe hunt led by Don Quixote. No, this is not the country it used to be... but the “used to be” part isn't the Reagan administration, but some time before the Spanish-American War (if not the Civil War). The first good bite out of the America that was -- or should have been -- came at the hands of Honest Abe Lincoln. A bit later we had additional bites taken by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR (the biggest bite of all to date -- but wait until Obama gets up to speed), LBJ, and Bush II. So by the time Obama came along, the American colossus already looked like a gigantic hunk of Swiss cheese -- with just a few more holes than it had when Rush entered upon the airwaves. But he's in denial about this, as about so many other things.

The good news – at least from the point of view of pure entertainment – is that there is apparently a plot afoot in the Obama camp to revive the “Fairness Doctrine”, which will pit it (the administration) squarely against Rush and all of his millions of fans. Now that ought to be “TV worth watching”, as the PBS ads say.

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