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March 11, 2009

Limbaugh and the GOP

I am disappointed to see columnist Jonah Goldberg come to Rush Limbaugh’s defense (3/5, Opinion, “Rush to judge Rush doesn’t advance debate”).

Limbaugh is popular because he can make outrageous remarks and get by with it. Some agree with what he says but are not comfortable expressing the same opinion out loud, so Limbaugh has become their voice.

Mr. Goldberg’s reasoning that he also wants President Obama’s programs to fail, but of course he wants to see the stock market come back, doesn’t make a lot of sense. President Obama inherited this economy and debt, which took the former president eight years to produce. But the Republicans have jumped in with criticism after only a few weeks of Obama’s inauguration. When recovery comes, it will mean that Obama was on the right track, but the Republicans aren’t being shy about letting everyone know they don’t want him to succeed.

Limbaugh’s rhetoric is what freedom of speech is about, and we are so lucky to be Americans, but he is a negative force at this most difficult time for our country and the economy.

Barbara Pfaff
Gladstone

Jonah Goldberg was right. Conservatives need another William F. Buckley Jr. Rather than the incendiary bombs of a Rush Limbaugh, conservatism needs an intellectual undergirding. Bill Buckley was respected because even if you disagreed, he made you think and improve your ideas.

I believe, however, as much as conservatives need a Buckley, they really need a Margaret Chase Smith. In 1950, she was the first Republican to stand up to Joseph McCarthy. She stressed she wanted Republican victory, but “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to potential victory on the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.”

We need a strong two-party system in this country. Hopefully, there is a present-day Margaret Chase Smith with the courage to speak for principles and ideas, unafraid of the emperor of dittoheads.

“No” is not a solution to the nation’s problems.

Bond Faulwell
Overland Park

Let me get this straight. The Republican Party, the party that has sold itself for years as the only one that can keep us safe from foreign interests, terrorists and economic meltdown, is now the party that doesn’t have the guts to stand up to a radio personality?

That’s just pathetic.

Bud Simpson
Kansas City

Comments

jeanette

Thank you, engineer. You said it all much more eloquently.

beaker

I prefer Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. They are real journalists.

solomon

Roger and Engineer,

he has every right to have a program. I just think its sad that so many people listen to his divisive rantings. As far as his being a junkie and a hypocrite, to be anti-drug on air while being addicted to illegal drugs makes those words accurate.

The part about him being a gas bag is my opinion.

Engineer

It's not that simple for them, Roger. They don't want him to be ON a station. They are all for free speech, but.....

Roger Lambert

Let's see, on this single thread Rush has been called a gas-bag, a flaming Nazi, unfair and unbalanced, a junkie, divisive, a drug dealer, slothful and indolent, a hypocrite, a racist, bloated and sweaty, and a fart.

Indeed, a very high-minded critique of El Rushbo. Unspecific and unconvincing, perhaps, but very colorful and comprehensive nonetheless.

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem. If you don't like him, change the station.

Engineer

LeftyGuy & solomon
A number of years ago there were some academic studies about "call-in radio" audiences. After the first few they stopped, possibly because the studies all showed that the audience on the average were better educated and more affluent than the average American. I have enjoyed Rush since I first heard him many years ago. In those days he was about the only voice to be heard in opposition to the slick biased lies being put out by such as Dan Rather, who while pretending to be impartial, was a very left leaning individual. When I first heard Rush, I found he agreed with many of my ideas. Preconceived? My ideas are the basis of my reading and thinking about what I have read. If that makes them preconceived, so be it. Rush is an admitted conservative and I, also, am an admitted fiscal conservative. As to Obama, My sincerest hopes are that he fails in his efforts to change this country into a mostly socialistic state. As to Nazi's, remember that the party's real name translates into the German National Socialist Party.

solomon

challie,

Don't be so naive as to think that only Democrats think Rush is a bag of hot gas. Not all people with conservative values buy into his divisive soap boxing and cherry picked callers.

BTW, what Rush is saying does not take courage, speaking crap to folks who volunteer to listen is not courageous.

chalveyob

51% of Democrats polled said they wanted George Bush to fail, Carville even admitted he did as well. I am sure the morons attacking Rush aren't in that 51%. You people are pathetic hypocrites, Rush just had the courage to say Obama's policies are terrible for the country, and he wants him to fail.

solomon

hey LG, I think both left and right are off base but I love a good cigar and don't consider it appropriate to include it as one of Rush's faults.

The hypocrisy about drugs I do consider a valid criticism. People who defend him say he was abusing RX drugs. That is a flat out lie. If you don't buy them at a pharmacy using a prescription from a Doctor you are using illegal drugs.

Casady

Well Jeanette, while I doubt I represent a voice of reason in your opinion, I certainly don't consider Rush Limbaugh a nut job. Since you are a fan of the show, you are obviously subject to your own conservative bias. You seem like an honest person so let me ask you an honest question? Do you consider Rush Limbaugh to be "fair and balanced" for lack of a better term? I've come across many conservatives who consider blantantly conservative programs to be fair and balanced. Same goes for the left.

The bottom line is Rush Limbaugh spins the crap out of not so political issues and makes them political in a very divisive manner. I don't think that is good for any of us.

solomon

jeanette,

I don't think his entire audience is like him, I just think it is sad that anyone would listen to his divisiveness. He preached divisiveness when Bush the Elder was in office. He preached divisiveness when Clinton was in office. He preached divisiveness when W. was in office. He is still spewing divisiveness 20 years in. You say don't judge him by 4 minute bytes. What's 4 minutes a day of indoctrination over 2 decades? Tell us jeanette, if you are a regular listener, when was the last time you listened to his program that he was not on a divisive track at some point during the show?

Does he sometimes say things that will make sense? Sure he does, there are many conservative goals that make sense. A stopped clock appears to be correct twice a day.

LeftyGuy

Looking at Limbaugh gives an unattractive view. Here's what we see:

He's a junkie. Look at his drug use.
He may be a drug dealer. Why all the narcotics purchases?
He's slothful and indolent. Ask his ex-wives.
He's a racist.
He's bloated and sweaty.
He likes to smoke cigars, go on Viagra tours, play the bigshot.

In short, he's a self-indulgent lout who appeals to poorly educated admirers. What's most interesting is that the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower is afraid of this drug-addled slob.

jeanette

All of you, of course, have a right to your opinion of Rush, but if you are getting that opinion from 3 or 4 minute sound bites of his show or what you hear and see in the mainstream media, you have formed an opinion without all the facts. And if you assume that because you think Rush is an insane, nutjob, that his whole audience is the same, you are sorely mistaken.

solomon

I would not call him a Nazi. He is good old fashioned American flatulence.

Jim

Still my favorite Limbaugh joke:

Q: What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg?

A: One's a flaming Nazi gasbag and the other is a dirigible.

Jim

I'd forgotten about that Medicare bill.

solomon

Although Roger puts forth a good argument, the other side of the coin is that there are a large(yet thank god a minority) who would spend hours a day and week listening to someone spew divisiveness, hurl terms like "racist", "hatemonger" and 'stalinist" about this administration and preach that people who don't believe as he does is somehow un-American. It is a sad fact that these people have enjoyed this gas bag for two decades through all his ups and downs and hypocrisies.

jeanette

No, there was very little Rush backed about Bush's economic policy. He was very vocally against the Kennedy-McCain bill for prescription drugs. He thought it was too much money and would not makes things better which it didn't. I know you probably won't believe this, but he had a lot of callers telling him to back off Bush because he was being too vocal. He was completely against the very first stimulus package Bush signed and the money he spent for rebate checks.
You're right that the Republican Congress rubberstamped everything, but they weren't a conservative Congress. One of the worst is Kit Bond who fought pork all the time until he wanted to bring it here. 40% of the earmarks in the omnibus bill are by Republicans.
The Congress is filled with hypocritical Republicans.

Jim

"And for all of you who think he was in lockstep with Bush, you are sorely mistaken."

Other than Harriet Meiers, immigration and Dubai Ports, I'm at a loss as to what Rush has publicly criticized Bush on. I'll admit I'm not a regular 3-hour a day listener, but I have for years listened a few times a week to see what he's talking about.

Limbaugh spent 8 years backing Bush on his foreign policy and domestic policy, and especially his economic policy. If Bush spent 8 years betraying Conservative principles, Limbaugh would have been all over him for that, wouldn't he? Don't forget, the GOP-controlled Congress also rubber-stamped all that spending. I don't know that he spent a lot of time calling them out on it at the time. I could be wrong, but I'm willing to bet I'm right.

It's easy for him to say the GOP spent to much now. But was he saying it when it mattered?

jeanette

Well said, Roger.

 
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