Finally, Too Far?
I've held off on commenting here on Rush Limbaugh's latest outrageous, over-the-top, disgusting episode. I wasn't merely being cautious, waiting to see how it would all play out. It was also a matter of seeing how well other bloggers and even some Beltway pundits covered the issue. Very few of even the most rabid conservatives have actually defended Limbaugh. Yes, some issued rather tepid comments ("inappropriate" comes to mind), but many expressed outright outrage. I didn't expect that.
I also didn't expect his sponsors to walk away (the last I checked, twelve have done so), nor did I expect any local stations to cancel Limbaugh's show (one has) over the nasty insults he directed towards Ms. Fluke. And I certainly didn't expect Rush to actually apologize for his behavior. Yet all of this has happened. The furor was that great.
How did it come to this point? For years, Limbaugh has been deriding women, gays, people of color, Muslims, and any other group that is not white, male, privileged, and suffering from testosterone poisoning. In the past, when his transgression was serious enough to cause some poor Republican to object, Rush has raised such a clamor within the party faithful that it was the Republican who had to apologize.
I think the times have begun to change, and I think David Horsey's cartoon and column really expressed well what is going on.
I’d like to state right here that I try to be mostly wry and analytical when I’m writing about the world of politics, so here’s my wry analysis: The childless, four-times-married Rush Limbaugh is a loathsome, misogynistic pig. ...
Limbaugh has led the way in destroying civility in politics. It’s bad enough that his overbearing pseudo-patriotism has been emulated by other right-wing radio and TV commentators; worse is the fact he has become the oracle of the dominant wing of the Republican Party. Gone are the days when William F. Buckley spoke for conservatism in an eloquent, reasoned voice or when Ronald Reagan could share a drink and trade jokes with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill. It is now cool for conservatives to talk trash and act like 14-year-old louts harassing the gay kid in class. ...
Rush Limbaugh puts the vile in juvenile. He puts the men in mendacity. He puts the repugnant in Republican. He is an arrogant thug. He is what’s wrong with American politics.
Why, yes. Yes, that gets it nicely. Except like Joe McCarthy he finally went just a little too far at a time when the 99% are beginning to feel their oats and are willing to march, write, email, and boycott.
So, is Limbaugh finished? I doubt it. Things will simmer down a little and even if he loses this radio gig, he'll still make plenty of money in speaking engagements and will no doubt be invited to appear on Fox. But now it will be different.
At least I hope so.