Saturday, January 30, 2016

Today In Republican Detachment Disorder News: Boss Limbaugh


In his article in The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan's former protege -- Young Conor Friedersdorf -- makes the following case:
Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Know He's Part of the Establishment
A portrait of a man who is unaware of his role in the system that he savages
Actually, that's not quite true. What Young Conor Friedersdorf actually does is reprint (with attribution) much of this by Damon Linker in The Week, bulk it up with many examples of Rush Limbaugh bragging about his close, personal relationship with virtually every power player in the GOP,  nod and say "Yup".

Unfortunately, Young Conor did not get around to mentioning the fact that twenty-one years ago the Republican Party was throwing Rush Limbaugh parades and designating him the "The Majority Maker" of their movement (from the NYT):
Republicans Get a Pep Talk From Rush Limbaugh
Published: December 12, 1994

BALTIMORE, Dec. 10— To all the advice for the new Republicans coming to Congress, add this from Rush Limbaugh: A hostile press corps lurks inside the Beltway.

"You will never ever be their friends," the talk-show host warned most of the 73 Republican freshmen at a dinner here tonight. "They don't want to be your friends. Some female reporter will come up to one of you and start batting her eyes and ask you to go to lunch. And you'll think, 'Wow! I'm only a freshman. Cokie Roberts wants to take me to lunch. I've really made it!' " The audience laughed.

"Seriously," he added. "Don't fall for this. This is not the time to get moderate. This is not the time to start trying to be liked."

The freshman class, which included not a single "femi-Nazi," one of Mr. Limbaugh's favorite epithets for supporters of women's rights, whooped and applauded, proving itself one big fan club of the man it believes was primarily responsible for the Republican avalanche in November.

Mr. Limbaugh was made an honorary member of the class as its members tonight finished a three-day orientation here sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and Empower America, two conservative Washington research organizations.

Barbara Cubin, an incoming freshman from Wyoming, told Mr. Limbaugh that because 74 percent of the nation's newspapers had endorsed Democrats, "talk radio, with you in the lead, is what turned the tide." On behalf of the women in the class, she gave him a plaque that said, "Rush Was Right." He also received a pin like the ones the freshmen wore, saying, "Majority Maker."

"Rush is as responsible for what happened here as much as anyone," said Vin Weber, a former Representative from Minnesota, now of Empower America. Citing a poll taken after the election by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, Mr. Weber said that people who listened to 10 hours or more a week of talk radio voted Republican by a 3-to-1 margin. "Those are the people who elected the new Congress," he said.
And what was the mindset of the incoming Republican party way back in those good old days?  Back when when Very Young Conor was spending his mornings damp with Clearasil and pubescent Libertarian fervor, waiting by the mail box to see if he would get in to Pomona State?  Back when Young David Brooks -- 

-- was busy unpacking boxes and setting up shop as the senior editor of his pal Bill Kristol's brand-new neocon whorehouse, The Weekly Standard?
In closing, [Rush Limbaugh] asked his audience to "leave some liberals alive" as artifacts so that "we can show our children what they were."

William J. Bennett, the former Education Secretary, who also spoke tonight, offered the freshmen some advice, too. He told them to be on the offense all the time, because if they were not, they would be on the defense. "There is no dead time in this town," he said of Washington.

In the spirit of the incoming Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the two offered reading lists. Mr. Limbaugh suggested "The Road to Serfdom," a 1944 best-seller by Friederich von Hayek warning of the dangers of socialism. Mr. Bennett recommended the Federalist Papers.
My point being, it was all there from the very beginning.  The eliminationist rhetoric and loathing of uppity women (and minorities.)  The unswerving certainty that nearly-omnipotent Damn Dirty Hippie Commies were tirelessly plotting to enslave and destroy us all.  Faith in a potato bug named Frank Luntz.  Eternal hostility to the idea of moderation and compromise.  Unshakable, dogmatic belief in an Imaginary Librul Media Conspiracy.  Absolute conviction that every word they heard vomiting out of Hate Radio was the unvarnished truth.  Bill Bennett, for God's sake.  Newt Fucking Gingrich.  And of course, Boss Limbaugh.

All of it, right there, plain as day for anyone to see for decades now.   And you know who has been talking about it -- talking about the  fact of Rush Limbaugh's dominant influence over the Republican Party base and all the rest -- for decades now?

Those Damn Dirty Hippie Commies.

In fact, this has all been part of the common Liberal vocabulary for most of my adult life, long before I started blogging.  If you're interested, here's a link to me talking about it seven years ago.  I chose this example from among many because I posted it two days after Barack Obama 2009 inauguration, when Boss Limbaugh announced to his vast audience of bigots and imbeciles that he was the last, true Republican and that his mission was to make sure President Obama failed.
Limbaugh: I'm happy to be the last man standing. I'm honored to be the last man standing. Yeah, I'm the true maverick. I can do more than four words. I could say I hope he fails and I could do a brief explanation of why. You know, I want to win. If my party doesn't, I do. If my party has sacrificed the whole concept of victory, sorry, I'm now the Republican in name only, and they are the sellouts.
On that day, about week before I lost the last full-time job I will probably ever have and became just one more "middle-aged guy wiped out by the Great Recession and rendered permanently unemployable" statistic, I thought it was important to remind my readers just how long it had already been since the Party of Lincoln was hollowed out and taken over by a mob of destructive, fact-averse goons and treasonous plutocrats.

So here we are, seven years and several hundred resumes later, still underemployed, and still the media is playing this preposterous, toxic game of Both Siderist "Let's pretend!" and the one thing on which all Republican elites can agree is that the collapse of the GOP must have been the fault of some other group of Republican elites.

Or, as I rendered it graphically five years ago back in 2011:

Or as I put it ten years ago, after one of  David Brooks' many, many, many New York Times columns wondering aloud if there might just be something, y'know. slightly amiss but certainly easily repaired going on under the hood of his Republican Party...
These are the same people who have told us to our faces for three decades that Government Is The Problem. That everything from health to food to oil to torture to coal mines needs to be completely deregulated. That Social Security needs to be eliminated.

That government must be annihilated.

So, BoBo, why in the fuck would a party of looters be interested in oiling the hinges on the vault door?

But that isn’t what’s interesting here.

What’s interesting is, yet again, the Dog that Didn’t Bark in the Night.

What BoBo is NOT suggesting.

The farrago of moral decomposition and indefensibly wretched excess that is the woof and warp of the GOP has been allowed to metastasize to such a scope and scale and worm into the belly of the body politic to a deeper level than the likes of Jim Wright and Dan Rostenkowski ever fucking dreamed of for one reason.

Because your criminals hide behind Christ, Bobo.

It is no accident that shoulder-to-shoulder with a mob-wannabe thug like Abramoff stood pillars of the Christian Right like Tom DeLay and Ralph “Satan’s Babyfaced Fingerfood” Reed.

In the past, Democrats -- like anyone else -- can and have become corrupt, and can and have been punished for it.


The thing that makes the Republican Party different is not the rot in their hearts – which is capacious – and their seething hatred of the Brown Poor – which they rationalize away into the mists of market theory.

No what makes them worse – lethally worse – is their Fundamentalist Ideology. 
Because when you are lining your pockets with House postage stamps, you’re just a crook and we’re all sinners here. But when you believe that God Has Chosen Your Party…you can justify any excesses.

When you have grown besotted on the grotesque perversion of the teachings of Jesus that is Conservative Christian Fundamentalism – when you cast yourself as the righteous Christian Soldiers at war with the Evil Liberal Humanists – then all things are permitted.

When you wrap your dick in the Flag and the Bible, then you can fuck anyone and anything any way you like because you believe that God is on your side.

You can justify an illegal war.

You can justify torture.

You can justify murder.

You can justify shredding the Constitution.

You can justify demanding your fucktard superstition trump science.

You can justify impeaching my President for trivia and letting your President skate over treason.

You can justify blaming Columbine on condoms and teaching evolution.

You can justify bombing Family Planning Clinics.

You can justify lynching.

You can justify blaming 9/11 on gays and feminists and the ACLU.

You can justify blaming hurricanes on liberals.

You can justify assassination.

You can justify calling liberal judges a greater threat to America than Nazis and terrorists.

You can justify turning women back into the reproductive chattel of men.

And having swallowed all of those camels, you certainly won’t strain at a few gnats like graft, corruption, extortion, blackmail and all the rest…because all of these things are simply means to the ends of the Greater Glory of the Prince of Peace!

And your Party is the one that is so fucking Blessed and Highly Favored in His eyes, right?

Mr. Brooks, these people are the problem and these people run your party. And what the fuck kind of congenital cerebral malfunction do you have that you cannot see that?

Because one cannot help but also notice the glaring omission from your shopping list. No mention made of that one reform that would actually, structurally alter the carcinoma-based DNA from which the Modern GOP has been bred.

And it’s so easy.

Just dump the bigots, Bobo.

And tell the racists to hit the fucking bricks.

Stop the clown car and kick the science-hating, gay-bashing Christopaths to the curb.

Oh, but then you’d lose, wouldn’t you?

That’s the real dirty little secret behind all of this.

You know that if you really, actually flushed the scum of the Earth your Southern Strategists have so carefully cultivated down the drain, the Republican Party wouldn’t win another election – anywhere – for another generation.

And your Party of God and Used Car Salesmen cannot accept that, which is why you will always have Abramoffs and DeLays and Ralph Reeds hag-riding the GOP.

You know it and, more importantly, they know it, which is why they own you.

They are the emergent and inevitable result of the hate-driven moral absolutism, racism and pathologically perverted variant of Christianity that is the bedrock of the Modern GOP. And as long as they are allowed to remain as the pillar of your Party, it will always end in tears…
And so, looping back at last to Young Conor Friedersdorf's headline -- 
Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Know He's Part of the Establishment
A portrait of a man who is unaware of his role in the system that he savages
-- let me finish by saying, Jesus Christ with white sidewall tires, what a fucking ridiculous thing to say.  No, Conor, it is not that Boss Limbaugh "doesn't know" or is "unaware" of his place in the Great Wingnut Food Chain.  It is simply that, like every other member of the GOP Establishment from David Brooks to David Frum to Tucker Carlson, Boss Limbaugh is a stone liar and calculating con man who wants to walk away from the havoc and misery he helped created, unscathed, with his wealth and influence intact. 

And I know I have said this before, and you will no doubt hear me say it again, but at this point it is well beyond frustrating to see Republican Detachment Disorder carriers in mainstream media and in the Beltway Republican elite -- highly paid hacks who have mocked and ignored us Dirty Hippies all along -- once again oh-so-slowly-and-grudgingly arrive at a place where we Dirty Hippies have been all along...

...while continuing to mock and ignore us.  


Potomacker said...

The human mind has a measurable capacity to protect the ego; ergo, it follows that the bigger the ego, the more forces can be rallied to protect it.
I think there's also the possibility that the larger the generation, the larger their egos.

waldo said...

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. Edward Bernays.

That quote does explain it all, no?

And let's not forget ..."Victims don’t fall for the trick because they’re naive, or greedy, or foolish. In most cases, it’s not a personality trait that is to blame, but a state of mind. We are all most likely to be conned when we’re emotionally vulnerable and lonely. It’s when we’re most desperate that we’re most grateful for the kind stranger who shows up with the easy solution, and most likely to quash the inner voice whispering that things are too good to be true."

Of course, the Christopaths (love that word) and the ammosexuals don't need much conning.

Add that to "Most con artists have a distinct psychological profile, including the so-called “dark triad” traits of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism" plus 'a grandiose sense of self and feeling of invulnerability' and you have the ideal conditions for a proliferation of mercenary fraudsters that don't care about anything except themselves, the power they wield and the number of people they can manipulate to the negative.

Gotta say DG, glad you're on our side.

Jimbo said...

As I've said before the modern GOP is a hodge-podge of contradictions: what the plutocrats mean by "freedom" is npt what the gun-fondlers mean by freedom and not what the Christopaths mean by freedom. For plutocrats, freedom means the complete elimination of all financial and economic, health, safety and environmental regulations. For the gun-fondlers, freedom means eliminating all regulations on buying and using firearms so that they can intimidate or kill other members of society they don't like. And for Christopaths, freedom means freedom to impose as many regulations, laws and other restrictions on women, minorities and other people that don't believe in their brutal, anti-Christian ideology. No presidential candidate can possibly embrace all of these positions much less persuade the rest of the country these are "good" for the country. And now the whole mess i just falling apart because of these contradictions.

Anonymous said...

Twenty-one years ago young Conor was still wearing swaddling clothes.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Because when you are lining your pockets with House postage stamps, you’re just a crook and we’re all sinners here. But when you believe that God Has Chosen Your Party…you can justify any excesses.

Or, to quote the gentleman from Magdalen and Magdalene Colleges:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Green Eagle said...

It goes back to the dawn of the Limbaugh era? Try reading the Republican party's national platform from 1952- immediately after two decades in which the Democrats saved the country from a depression and fought a World War:

In fact the rot in the Republican party goes back to the Taft administration. Teddy Roosevelt was the last Republican President who was in any way an admirable person. Every Republican who came after him was a corrupt liar, suckering the rubes into supporting their own destruction.

Neo Tuxedo said...

@Green Eagle, I'd give Eisenhower credit for, even if nothing else, understanding that the people who wanted to destroy Social Security were vicious idiots and that letting them run the Republican Party would be bad for it and for America.

Matt said...

What's interesting is that Conor wrote a similar article nearly 6 years ago:

How often can you be surprised by the obvious?