Saturday, August 27, 2011

#238: Rush Limbaugh

A short entry like this can obviously not do full justice to the epicenter of lunatic wingnuttery that is Rush “not a martyr” Limbaugh, so we’ll confine ourselves to a short list of randomly selected highlights.

One of the claims that best characterizes Rush “big, fat idiot” Limbaugh, is the reason he gives for not accepting man-made global warming – this is in response to a caller asking “Your belief in God, how does that tell you that global warming is a hoax?”: “I just intellectually cannot accept the fact that a loving God which has created all this beauty and has blessed this country – I cannot believe that a God like that – would punish the human being he created for progress, for improving the quality of his life.” This is an interesting take on the problem of evil. God punishing Haitians with an earthquake killing half a million people – not a counterexample to God’s love; punishing Western countries’ progress with no concern for the environment – inconsistent with God’s goodness. I think, however, that this belief excellently illustrates Limbaugh’s general pathologically narcissistic way of thinking. (Concerning climate change, he also said that the “alleged” scientific consensus “is just a bunch of scientists organized around a political proposition. You can't have consensus in science”. Anyone who fails to recognize the idiocy of that statement should at least read this). He has blamed Al Gore and environmentalists for the BP oil spill as well. The logic is unidentifiable.
Since he rejects manmade global warming, he also attempted to cover his back by claiming that the July 2011 heatwave itself was a government conspiracy to justify global warming.
By spring 2009, Limbaugh seemed to have become de facto leader of the GOP. Following Limbaugh’s claim that he was “wanting Obama to fail”, Limbaugh demanded apologies from Eric Cantor and Michael Steele for saying Limbaugh's comments were unacceptable. Both apologized.
Limbaugh is generally more well-known for his rank dishonesty and ignorance than for his lunacy, though there are good examples of the latter. Examples of the former are his commitment to family values while being caught returning from the Dominican Republic with a mislabeled bottle of Viagra, his calling – as a chickenhawk – soldiers who spoke out against the Iraq War "phony soldiers” while himself avoiding the draft in 1969 due to an “anal cyst” (lasting for years and years, apparently), and his promise to to leave the country if the Obama-driven health care bill passed: “I'll go to Costa Rica for healthcare.” (Costa Rica has universal health care). More on Rush and health care here, and this one is to the point as well. His claim that Obama created the recession as a payback for racism is a clear example of lunacy however, as is his denial of global warming mentioned above. And of course there is his claim that the Obama administration, always busy trying to undermine the country, was emphasizing the Aug. 2 date for raising the debt limit because Ramadan begins on Aug. 1.
Limbaugh is critical of feminism, maintaining that “[F]eminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society”. He also popularized the term "feminazi", referring to feminists "to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur”; more here. And according to Limbaugh “the only thing cruel about the death penalty is last-minute stays.” On the Abu Ghraib scandal, he said that “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation ... And we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release?”. And he has asserted that African-Americans are “left behind” socially because they have been systematically trained from childhood to hate America by figures such as Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and the Obamas. To top it off, he recently argued against paying repairs to American natives by claiming that the natives were the real killers and real beneficiaries of the settlement of North America. His brand of Barton-style revisionism is insane in its combination of ignorance and bigotry.
More here. Some of the falsehoods peddled in his book “The Way Things Ought to Be” are listed here (and a good, but too polite discussion, can be found here). Pat Boone has compared Rush Limbaugh to Thomas Paine, but Boone is not generally recognized for his mental abilities. His take on the Holocaust is also worth a read. Limbaugh is also sympathetic to creationism, by the way.
For an extraordinary display of delusional projection, see him accuse Shephard Smith of cowardice and everyone for tribalism and attempting to divide the country. This degree of serious lack of self-awareness verges on (ok, crosses the border to) clinical mental illness.
Rush’s slightly dumber younger brother David is a columnist for WorldNetDaily, and shares his brother’s views, though lacks Rush’s affability and diplomatic skills. He is also more oriented towards standard religious fundamentalist themes.
Diagnosis: His martyr and persecution complex is intense, and Limbaugh lives it out through an unsophisticated combination of bigotry and ignorance. The very epitome of a delusional wingnut, this crank has, of course, far, far too much influence. He is a really contemptible being.


  1. Just thought I'd drop to a note to say I read everyone of these posts with enjoyment. Nuttery is an amazing American specialty.

  2. Thank you. It should be mentioned that there are plenty of nutters elsewhere as well, though Europeans tend to go for relativism, woo and conspiracy theories rather than religious fundamentalism. Anyway, here's Limbaugh's endorsement of the Lord's Resistance Army.

  3. The brouhaha over Limbaugh the piece of shit he really is in relation to Sandra Fluke's testimony before Congress received quite a bit of attention, ending with Limbaugh issuing a classic notpology concerning his choice of words (and not for the content of his claims). True to form, ultraloon Bryan Fischer, who makes Limbaugh appear almost sympathetic by comparison (but then, Fischer makes even Fred Phelps seem halfway hinged), doubled down on the crazy, claiming Limbaugh was a victim of secular sharia laws and secular-fundamentalist persecution. No, it makes absolutely no sense, but you didn't expect that from Fischer, did you? After all, Fischer is known for being more like a machine packing unbridled hate into bundles and issuing them in something that resembles grammatical sentences - what he does can hardly be counted as thinking if "thinking" is taken to imply some kind (any kind) of rationally governed information processing.

  4. And here are 53 attacks Limbaugh has not apologized for.

  5. Oh, you dastardly Rush Limbaugh critics; try to make sense of what I'm saying here.

  6. Here's Rush trying to set a new record for dumbest statement.

  7. Limbaugh repeats his nonsense linking marriage equality to pedophilia.

  8. Limbaugh has also deduced his way to the real culprit behind the Boston bombings: College professor.

    Here he tries his hand at that thoughtcode decoding stuff.

  9. These reason are the exactly why I started a petition to remove his oversized bust from my state capitol, MO!

  10. Keeping track of the antics of Rush Limbaugh requires more resources than we can allot to it, but at least we can bring readers interested some highlights. Here, for instance, is a discussion of his attempt to claim that polar vortices are a “hoax” created by the left – the cold temperatures some people were experiencing last winter were “all part of the liberal media’s agenda,” said Limbaugh. It is hard to discern any particularly coherent thought behind that piece of outrage. Limbaugh, however, sees conspiracies everywhere, it seems. When President Obama said in an interview that his family might live in Washington DC for a couple years after he leaves the White House so his daughter could graduate from the school she’s been at for many years, Limbaugh wasn’t fooled: Obama’s real motives were wicked, and conspiratorial. Similarly, when the WHO released a report that contained an error, and later corrected it, Limbaugh refused to accept the correction; the choice of what to believe seemed rather arbitrary, but at least it bolstered Limbaugh’s already firm conviction that the WHO and the UN and everyone else are in a conspiracy against conservatives in the US.

    And then there are the anti-gay efforts, of course. Limbaugh is no exception there. According to Limbaugh Michael Sam coming out as gay is evidence that straight people are “under assault” by gay people. One sometimes has to wonder whether Limbaugh isn’t just an elaborate parody of rightwing pundits created by the left.

  11. I suspect that Limbaugh, like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity, doesn't believe much of what he babbles about. He has found a profitable niche pandering to the rubes and is exploiting it. That is more contemptible then if he actually believed it.