Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rush to the Rescue!

A Dittohead, because I couldn't bear another pic of Limbaugh.I'm going to quote Rush Limbaugh here a couple of times, but trust me: this entry is not about Rush Limbaugh. It's about the gullibility of those millions that listen to him daily, that drink in his every word (Rush-Ade), believing that his is the voice of Zeus, and, therefore, infallible.

I have a theory, as to why, but I'll save that for later. First, let me introduce the quotes and get that over with. The quotes are disgusting enough in their own right, so, to use them as teasers, only serves to make them more disgusting. By now, you've probably heard them. They have been used several times as lead-ins on cable news programs, with the hosts wide-eyed with disbelief at the utter insanity tucked away in the words.

Rush is many things, but he's not insane, not in the classical sense. Nutty, perhaps, but he's been a nutbar almost from the beginning, his audience growing exponentially, as the number of radio stations that picked him up grew, all wishing to cash in on the Rush phenomenon that was sweeping the nation.

Words have consequences. But don't tell that to this conservative "entertainer":

"The amount of seepage, seepage is what it is, not a gusher, but seepage. Throughout the world oil from subterranean deposits leaks out and it never reaches the surface because it's eaten up and destroyed by the ocean. So let's not panic here, folks. If there's plumes of oil ten miles wide under there it's probably not going to be nearly as bad as all the doomsayers say. It never is as bad as the doomsayers say, is it? Global warming is not as bad as they say. In fact, it's a hoax. So why not have a little common sense, a little reason attached to this, but you can't do that because then you stall the advancement of the left's agenda, then you have Juan Williams, "Oh, yeah, well, let's just go pour some oil in there, let's do that, yeah, ocean will take care of it," and these guys said, "Who said that?" Nobody is saying that. Nobody, not one person that I know of has ever said let's just go dump some oil in the ocean. So it's just fascinating to watch this. And again, the environmentalist wackos, I think this oil spill is a lot on you. I really do."

You see where he's going with this, right? He's shifting the blame for this environmental disaster, this oil-rig explosion that killed 11, sinking the oil platform, and with it, not the future of British Petroleum, but the efforts of "environmentalists" who have fought long against such risky and potentially disastrous enterprises.

Here's Rush's other inane quote:


"When do we ask the Sierra Club to pick up the tab for this leak? Everybody's focus is on BP and Halliburton and Transocean. Let me connect the dots here for you. The greeniacs have been driving our oil producers off the land from offshore to way offshore to way, way, way out there offshore, from low risk to high risk, to higher risk. We are now forced to drill. One mile under sea, that's 5,000 feet. Obviously it's going to be a much more expensive problematic proposition to get oil from that depth than elsewhere and yet that is what has been forced on everybody here."

That's it. I promise. No more Rush Limbaugh quotes, at least for this blog entry. I'm not sure if I can take more.

With his words above, Rush is laying the groundwork for future discussions of who's to blame for this impending ecological disaster. Note, it's not BP, Halliburton, or Transocean who are at fault, it's those pesky "environmental wackos," the Sierra Club by name. He's saying, essentially, if you're going to be mad at anybody, don't go after those poor souls who're actually responsible for this disaster, go after those "wackos" who petitioned the government to stop oil drilling on land, and forced the oil industry to do what they clearly didn't want to do--risk life, and capital drilling in inhospitable environs, miles out into the Gulf, and a mile down--to extract the lifeblood of this economy: Oil! Oil! Oil!

I'm not going to link to articles detailing the severity and magnitude of this oil spill, and who's to blame for the growing threat in the Gulf to coastal wetlands, fisheries, aquatic wildlife, tourism, and the livelihoods of thousands--having an economic impact in the billions of dollars, not only to locals, but to the nation.

Yet, is it not conservatives, and Republicans in particular, who wax eloquently about personal responsibility? And, yet, we have Rush Limbaugh flouting this major tenet of conservatism, and the battle cry of Republicanism.

We know why Rush is protecting Big Oil, we have only to look at his garish Internet site, and its naked appeal for his slavish listeners to buy something, to understand why.

But why do people listen to Rush's insanity? And this is not the first time he's said something this close to the edge. Why are millions tuned in to his daily claptrap, believing that, if Rush says it's so, it must be so? They aren't called "dittoheads" for nothing. If you've ever listened to his show (I did when he first appeared on the airwaves.), you know Rush rarely allows on the air a listener who disagrees with his position. From time to time, a few deceivers get through, but his scrupulous screening process is designed to keep undesirables out, and dittoheads in--Rush doesn't handle dissent very well.

As I was saying: The callers who do manage an audience with Rush invariably begin their spiel with a "ditto, Rush" before proceeding.

I'm no psychologist, but I'd like to take a stab as to why. But before I do, I'm going to break a promise. I'm going to quote Rush one last time. It's not a quote, exactly, but a description of The Rush Limbaugh Show. It's a short one, so I'll need only feel a small pang of contrition for breaking a vow. I wanted you to read how Rush describes himself, and his show. Don't read this just after eating, or on an empty stomach. Let your food settle, first.

"The Rush Limbaugh Show is the most listened to radio talk show in America, broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide. It is hosted by America's Anchorman, Rush Limbaugh, also known as: America's Truth Detector; the Doctor of Democracy; the Most Dangerous Man in America; the All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Everything Maha Rushie; defender of motherhood, protector of fatherhood and an all-around good guy.

"There is a 'consensus' among the American people, who have made this the most listened to program, that it is also the most accurate, most right, and most correct.

"People who disagree with this are Rush Deniers."


This statement is as bloated as Rush, but offers important insight into the man, and how he sees him role as a "radio entertainer." I use the term, "radio entertainer," facetiously, because Rush is no "entertainer," as many on the Right would have us believe. A rabble-rouser, to be sure. An opportunist, undeniably. A self-serving, money-focused, take-no-prisoners showman, indubitably.

I confess, I have a penchant: I exalt rationality, introspection, and critical thinking, and abhor groupthink, and mass appeal. In addition, I avoid organizations built around personalities who surround themselves with cultish-like followers who express an "obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to, or veneration for, a person, principle, or thing."

From Rush, his followers can expect certain predictable, but indispensable outputs: a daily dose of confirmations, a daily dose of reinforcements, and a daily dose of acceptance of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that differ dramatically from the mainstream, but which he enthrones.

Rush gives his slavish listeners all they need to maintain their narrow worldview. Rush reinforces bigotry. Rush confirms biases. And Rush tolerates and accepts irrationality. Rush reinforces these things with the sheen of respectability, a respectability that comes from having a nationwide, radio talk show, and an army of "dittoheads" that generally agrees with his harebrained positions, beliefs, and attitudes--and his demonization of all things liberal, and progressive.

Rush gets paid amply to give legitimacy to bigotry, biases, and irrationality, and then call it conservatism.

To call Obama's presidency a regime, with the connotations that that word elicits, and have it "dittoed" by millions of Americans, seemingly without thinking about the implications of such usage, gives this country a black eye, mocks our democracy, and calls into question the inviolability of our constitution.

5 comments:

msladydeborah said...

I'm old enough to realize that the dumbing down of America has already happened. Critical thinking is at a dangerous all time low.

Rush knows that as long as he expresses these types of opinions he will get the attention of the nation. No matter what type of political brand we are attached to.

What I find interesting about the vocal opposition to the current situation in this nation is the fact that so many Baby Boomer aged White males are leading the charge.
It is like they have been laying in the cut for this very moment to arrive. Just so they can express these views and keep their version of the "Melting Pot" stirred up with misconceptions and misinformation.

Black Diaspora said...

msladydeborah said... "Critical thinking is at a dangerous all time low."

Dangerously true, I'm afraid.

And indoctrination of the nation's youth is also at an all time high.

Consider Texas recent move to redact textbooks for political expediency.

"Rush knows that as long as he expresses these types of opinions he will get the attention of the nation. No matter what type of political brand we are attached to."

Rush gets paid amply to give legitimacy to bigotry, and to call it conservatism, as well as harry those on the Left.

He and his ilk must be yucking it up when they gather for one of their backroom meetings, strategizing what they'll do next to rake in the bucks by catering to wingnuts, and slamming liberals.

And they call Jesse and Al con artists!

Yes, I believe they conspire to form a united front against the opposition, and to evaluate the success of previous campaigns, and to formulate new ones.

"It is like they have been laying in the cut for this very moment to arrive. Just so they can express these views and keep their version of the "Melting Pot" stirred up with misconceptions and misinformation."

Rand Paul is the latest in this group to show his true intent. I've said all along that the Tea Party movement is nothing more than a reactionary movement.

Rand's having to backtrack some from a previous position (perceived flaws in the Civil Rights' Act), learning a bitter truth about politics in the process--if you wishes to remain electable, you have to fool the people all the time.

c.c. said...

Blogger msladydeborah said...

I'm old enough to realize that the dumbing down of America has already happened. Critical thinking is at a dangerous all time low.

Rush knows that as long as he expresses these types of opinions he will get the attention of the nation. No matter what type of political brand we are attached to.

What I find interesting about the vocal opposition to the current situation in this nation is the fact that so many Baby Boomer aged White males are leading the charge
________________
I agree, and it seems that the white male target audience is afraid, and it seems to me that Rush appeals to that fear and plays it.
___________
Black Diaspora, it must be coincidence, I was just listening today! to Rush vomiting out his putridity, today he was saying, "Obama is not post-racial America, Obama is post-America." Wow, I couldn't believe my ears, but I think that is also part of his appeal, the pure shock value of his nonsense.

Sadly, I kind of think that America has far too many "dittoheads", and, with all our positive possibilities, it's a shame.

Black Diaspora said...

c.c. said... "Sadly, I kind of think that America has far too many "dittoheads", and, with all our positive possibilities, it's a shame."

Who is Rush talking to, and who is listening, when he upchucks such a statement as, "Obama is not post-racial America, Obama is post-America"?

Here's my take: Of course, Rush is doing whatever he can to overthrow liberals, and bring back to the throne Republicans.

But I think he has another agenda: He's telling all Americans, white, black, brown, yellow, or what have you, not to allow someone of an ethnicity other than white to win the highest office (unless he's one of us, a Republican), or they'll meet with a similar fate--a congress that is obstructionist, and a president that we'll do whatever is in our power to cause to "fail."

Of course, congress has had it's obstructionist moments, but, since Obama took office, we're seeing more filibusters than ever before in congressional history.

This is racial and political. And it's a shame!

"Sadly, I kind of think that America has far too many "dittoheads", and, with all our positive possibilities, it's a shame."

It's sad, as you say, and a shame. Politics, since the election of Barack Obama, has become so divisive, and so polarizing, and this division and polarization aided and abetted by so many voices on the right, that one of two things are in play: Republicans want power at all cost, even if that means the destruction of this nation, or they're trying to beat back the tide of ethnic power and influence that's growing, as their numbers grow.

We're seeing the latter in states like Arizona, where ethnic profiling has become law, and ethnic studies are under fire.

This meme that Obama is destroying America is going to gain strength, once this congress begins to take up immigration reform.

c.c. said...

"This meme that Obama is destroying America is going to gain strength, once this congress begins to take up immigration reform."

Just imagine, health care for all, with out the existing condition clause, caused some people to cry !Our Constitution! Even though the biggest factor in bankruptcy for your average family of all ethnicity is health care costs.

You are right, who knows how bad this might get.