So Tell Us Who You Are, Rush

Obama Administration

I’m reading an article about Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC convention speech, which I didn’t have the stomach to watch on television. So did he really say this —

We believe that the preamble of the Constitution contains an inarguable truth, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom — and the pursuit of happiness,” he said, pausing several times for enthusiastic applause.

And, of course, the preamble of the Constitution says no such thing. He’s mixing up the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence, and garbling the quote at bit, at that. But I’m willing to assume that Rush misspoke in the excitement of the moment and really does know the difference between the two.

This was the part I found more interesting —

“We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are, because we make the mistake of assuming that people know. What they know is largely incorrect, based on the way we’re portrayed in pop culture, in the drive-by media, by the Democrat party,” the conservative talk show host told a mostly young crowd of energized supporters.

So who are you, Rush?

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be.

We liberals want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be, too, which is why we support universal health care, unions and fair labor laws; good public schools; regulations to keep the economy stable and not a series of roller-coaster boom-and-bust cycles. So, Rush, exactly what have conservatives done to enable people be the best they choose to be?

(Cricket chirps)

OK, let’s go on.

We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

And, of course, we liberals can sincerely say the same thing. So what is it that distinguishes conservatism from liberalism? What is the essence of conservative philosophy, the foundation upon which conservative policies are built?

I’m not going to post it, but here’s a YouTube snip of Rush’s speech in which he says “Let me tell you who we conservatives are [dramatic pause]. We love people.”

OK, I’m sorry I didn’t warn you about that one. I’ll pause for a moment until you stop gagging.

I found a transcript. If your stomach is still queasy, skip the quote between the asterisks.

* * *

We don’t hate anybody. We don’t — I mean, the racism in this country, if you ask me, I know many people in this audience — let me deal with this head on. You know what the cliche is, a conservative: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen of America, if you were paying attention, I know you were, the racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year.

* * *

Anyway, Rush goes on to say that conservatives believe people will be just fine if they didn’t have to deal with too much taxes, too much regulation and too much government.

And you know what? Surely there are parts of the world in which people don’t have to deal with taxes, regulation and government. I’m thinking of some lost tribe in the Amazon jungle, but maybe there are other places without taxes, regulation and government, and if Rush’s tribe wants to pack up and go there, I sure as hell will not stand in their way.

But instead they stay here, where they can enjoy a political and economic system enabled in part by taxes, regulation and government. And they bitch and moan about it and do whatever they can do to destroy it and turn the U.S. into some third-world sinkhole.

But one thing Rush cannot do, which is tell us who he is and who his followers are. They can’t tell us, because they honestly don’t know.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Steve from Canuckistan  •  Mar 1, 2009 @9:55 am

    The Democrats are painting Rush as the face of the GOP – a great strategy given how disliked he is among a majority of voters. It should be interesting when Al Franken finally takes his seat in the senate. Rush’s biggest heckler will be at the center of power and possibly casting deciding votes on Obama’s reform agenda. Franken should consider writing a sequel to his big fat idiot book with release date just before the 2010 mid-terms. That would be a hoot.

  2. Donnah  •  Mar 1, 2009 @10:05 am

    I confess, it was on CSPAN and I watched a bit of it, mostly because I think that it’s smart to know where the “other” side is coming from. That being said, I had to turn it off after a short while because watching Rush triggers a gag reflex as well as an urge to throw things at my television, which I cannot afford to replace at this time.

    The audience eats up this garbage as gospel, and that makes me mad. It tells me that there are many people out there who actually believe that the crap coming out of Limbaugh’s mouth (and Hannity and O’Reilly and Coulter’s) is true. They feed on that bile and feel empowered by it. But it’s all false. It’s pathetic cheerleading by one of the biggest hypocrites in the country.

    I suppose I should be heartened by displays like this, as it’s an indicator of the level of panic and disorganization on the Right. But it’s chilling to hear that forceful rhetoric being simultaneously spewed and gobbled up by fellow citizens. Scary.

  3. PurpleGirl  •  Mar 1, 2009 @11:00 am

    I did not read the speech… but based on your snippets I’d say he’s a lousy historian with a bad memory. (Or he has a very bad speechwriter who also doesn’t know his history.) The Declaration of Independence came first and the Constitution came some years later. He forgets the Articles of Confederation which came between the Declaration and the Constitution and whose failure lead to the more powerful federal structure of the Constitution. But then I think we’ve seen that the radical Republicans don’t like facts much.

    I agree with you that if they can find a place that has the conditions they want — low taxes, no regulations, etc. — they should move there and experience their wet dream for real. And we shouldn’t let them back in to our country when they find they aren’t on the top of the heap as they think they will be. (Think Lord of the Flies; somehow I don’t think they’ve read it.)

  4. A Canadian Reader  •  Mar 1, 2009 @11:43 am

    Limbaugh and company suffer from a mental disorder in the same family as anorexia. Just as the morbidly thin anorexic sees a grossly overweight person staring out at her from the mirror, conservatives look in the mirror and see love and open-mindedness when in fact they are full of hate and prejudice. Sadly for anorexics, many end up killing themselves. Conservatives, on the other hand, destroy what is best and most important in society as a whole. Frightening.

  5. jayskew  •  Mar 1, 2009 @12:43 pm

    Why would you assume Rush mispoke? “Conservatives” conflate the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution all the time, so they can claim the Constitution mentions God, which of course it doesn’t.

  6. jamie  •  Mar 1, 2009 @1:27 pm

    Back in the days of the Rights ascension, one of their favorite mantras was, America, Love it or Leave it. I didn’t think it was very palatable then and I don’t think we should use it now. Point out their idiocy to our hearts content, IMO there is an excess amount of that but banishment from the country goes a little overboard, don’t you think?

  7. maha  •  Mar 1, 2009 @1:42 pm

    Jamie — I’m not “banishing” anyone.

  8. Comrade Rutherford  •  Mar 1, 2009 @1:44 pm

    It makes no difference which documents Rush drew from. Conservatives, and the major media outlets, will never correct that record.

    In 1984 by George Orwell the lead character, Winston Smith’s job was to alter past newspapers to make them reflect the current policy of the government. Today Winston Smith is out of work because the news reporters would never dare to point out any inconsistencies or deviations from the historic record.

    For example, the historic record clearly indicates that Democrats in government are far more fiscally responsible than Republicans ever are. But that has NO effect on journalists today. The owners of the major media support the GOP simply because they are incredibly wealthy and don’t want to have to pay their fair share. They order their editors to make sure their view is given, and no other. So the journalists get their orders to make sure that ONLY the Republican side of the story is ever told.

    Winston Smith no longer has to alter the record of the past because no journalist will ever look at the record when writing their news stories. Context and historical background are denigrated as ‘liberal bias’ because they contradict the Republican fantasies of today.

  9. Diane  •  Mar 1, 2009 @2:07 pm

    Please!
    After 8 years of republicans telling us how great bush was and Everything he did was wonderful and for our protection now they claim we don’t know them?

    Well, they might say that and be a delusional as bush.
    what did they think this election was about and in 06?
    People repudiated the republican way of doing things.
    Republicans do themselves a big disfavor by not looking at the things that caused there demise.
    But honestly, Democrats did not hold them accountable so the lies continue. And continue.

  10. joanr16  •  Mar 1, 2009 @3:42 pm

    [T]he racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat [sic] primary last year.

    WTF? Does anyone know what the Scourge of Santo Domingo is talking about?

    Oh, wait, it’s Rush. He only ever speaks inflammatory lies.

    Point out their idiocy to our hearts content… but banishment from the country goes a little overboard….

    WTF? to this too.

  11. biggerbox  •  Mar 1, 2009 @4:21 pm

    Yes, that’s right, the man whose radio program was so popular it was credited with ‘saving’ AM radio, the one who is on the air 3 hours a day, says that the problem is that conservatives aren’t seen in the media, so America doesn’t know who they are.

    Riiight.

    And the man who used time on his ubiquitous radio program to air the song “Barack the Magic Negro” would have us believe that racism was only visible on the Democratic side in the last campaign?

    Riiight. Maybe it all makes sense if you’re on oxycodone.

    Still, I do believe him when he says he “loves people”.

    In the Dominican Republic with Viagra, in fact.

    If CPAC wants the world to know that Rush Limbaugh is the personification of Republican values, more power to them, I say. More, please.

  12. earthling  •  Mar 1, 2009 @4:35 pm

    “I agree with you that if they can find a place that has the conditions they want — low taxes, no regulations, etc. — they should move there and experience their wet dream for real.”

    Well, there was always Pinochet’s Chile (brought to you largely by the US of A no less).

  13. Dave S  •  Mar 1, 2009 @6:02 pm

    Take that bone out of your nose and call me back. Rush Limbaugh as “Jeff Christie” responding to a black caller, 1970’s.

    The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies. Rush Limbaugh, January 1993.

    Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson? Rush Limbaugh, reported July 2000.

    Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it. Rush Limbaugh, January 2007.

    …[T]he racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat [sic] primary last year. Rush Limbaugh, CPAC.

    Right. Depends on your definition of racism, I guess.

    Screw the world. Do you really think we ought to govern ourselves based on what the world thinks of us? Rush Limbaugh, April 2008.

    Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society. Rush Limbaugh, unsourced.

    (On Jerry Garcia’s death) Just another dead doper. And a dirt bag. Rush Limbaugh, unsourced.

    Kurt Cobain died of a drug-induced suicide, I just — he was a worthless shred of human debris. Rush Limbaugh, unsourced.

    Let me tell you who we conservatives are [dramatic pause]. We love people. Rush Limbaugh, CPAC.

    Right. Depends on your definition of people, I guess.

    (All quotes from Wikiquotes.)

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 1, 2009 @6:06 pm

    Read about the similarities between Rush and Father Coughlin. They are rather frightening:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin

    These CPAC meetings sound like the beginnings of an American National Socialism – of couse they’ll call it something else…

  15. Pat  •  Mar 1, 2009 @6:13 pm

    Our minds have all been numbed. Including those writing the most passionately negative blogs about Limbaugh. It is way past time to wake up from the slumber and smeell the dirty socks regarding this clown.

    Limbaugh is given a pass by ALL MEDIA, both progressive, maintream and the bloggingg community on the left.

    Limbaugh steadfastly refuses to debate anyone. Won’t do it. His public speaking appearances are relatively rare and at about the frequency of a Vulcan’s mating cycle (7 years if I remember from the original Star Trek).

    This big, fat, bombastic blowhard drug addict RUNS from debate.

    Convensional wisdom on him is not wise and it is way too conventional. Some do not call him out because they think that it might be “giving him attention.”

    THAT DIDN”T WORK.

    He needs to be called out and shown for the coward that he is.

    It is way past time to finish this cretin off by showing him for who he really is.

    Hell, Anne Coulter even debated Al Franken here in LA. She has more huevos than Limbaugh.

  16. Swami  •  Mar 1, 2009 @7:09 pm

    Great comments! .. I can feel the love being showered on El Rushbo.

    I share the same sentiment as Donnah commented on. When they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find the cream of their crop..We have to know they are in trouble. Supposedly the CPAC agenda was to lay a new foundation on which to politically move forward with, but their line-up of talent guarantees that they can’t or won’t change in order to rebuild their party…the circus continues. I think maybe Palin had enough sense to stay away so as to improve her chances for 2012.

  17. Ken Lovell  •  Mar 1, 2009 @7:42 pm

    Thing is, countries already exist where there are very low taxes and minimal regulation and small government. You can find them in Africa and South America and that old US colony Douglas Macarthur returned to. So it’s not as if we don’t have lots of empirical data to turn to if we want to know how countries function with the characteristics conservatives say they want. I can’t understand why the Limbaughs of this world aren’t challenged more often to explain if that is their vision for the USA.

  18. erinyes  •  Mar 1, 2009 @7:50 pm

    If only all my enemies were as rediculous as limbaugh…..

  19. joanr16  •  Mar 1, 2009 @9:17 pm

    Dave S, thanks for the summary of foul Rushisms. What a nasty piece of work he is.

    Some lefty with a few extra bucks in the bank should run a billboard campaign of Rush hate-isms in those parts of the country where souls might still be saved. 1st District Nebraska, where I live, would be a good place to start.

  20. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 1, 2009 @10:28 pm

    Yes, Rush is a ‘comedian.’
    I know you’ll all kill me for this, but, Hitler in Munich in the early ’20’s was a joke and laughed at, too. Mussolini was a joke in early Italy. Lenin was considered a nothing, a clown who’s time had passed, if there was such a time.
    We are in perilous times.
    We must not take the idiotic statement’s of those on the right and laugh. We must take them seriously and be ready to challenge each and every point, each and every time.

    We can all laugh later…

  21. Porlock Junior  •  Mar 1, 2009 @11:48 pm

    Years ago I had occasion to work with a Marketing VP, quite sharp in his field, which none of my colleagues were, who was a real Taxpayers Association type. Loved to drop his remark, whenever the occasion offered, that some people think that a bunch of other people have a right to take away the money you earn, but Not Him. Considerably later, I realized the essential truth about this, much along the lines Maha suggests but more grandiose.

    “Since people started living in cities, there have been classes of people who traditionally do not have to pay taxes to keep the civilization going: Kings, High Priests, highwaymen, barbarians, and the destitute. Which do you aspire to?”

    Not that there’s much doubt about the answer: the third or fourth, according to personal preference. But the list is both insulting enough and accurate enough to be useful. The Objectivists, of course, will particularly appreciate the High Priests there.

  22. wok3  •  Mar 2, 2009 @3:54 am

    Even if Rush would agree to a debate, there would be little point to it. Their political idealogy is held just as tightly as their religious beliefs. To think that they are unable to see empirical data misses the point. They do not WANT to see what the facts truly are, the reality that they already believe is all that matters.

  23. erinyes  •  Mar 2, 2009 @5:35 am

    ‘Gulag, Diderot may have been on to something…..

  24. Diane  •  Mar 2, 2009 @8:27 am

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    This is what the Preamble of the constitution states.
    So, rush is a liar, and I bet nobody clapping realized that he had lied about this.
    Blessing of liberty does not equate blessings of God.

  25. chrome agnomen  •  Mar 2, 2009 @10:08 am

    not only will i not get in rush’s way should he choose to head for the shangri-la of no taxes, gov regulation, or liberals, but i will personally raise funds to ease his transition

  26. fred  •  Mar 2, 2009 @11:48 am

    Russ Limbaugh is now leader of the GOP. What a shambles. The whole world is laughing even harder now at the republicrats/evangelicrats/conservatives than they did when Bush was in office. The wonderful fact though is that Pres Obama and the vast majority of AMERICANS now know that we have been raped and pillaged by the GOP and financial services who funded their elections. The next step is to get us out of the hole then send to the culprits to the brig. CHANGE has come to AMERICA! We will be great again in about 12 months time.

  27. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Mar 2, 2009 @12:34 pm

    Sorry, Rush, you don’t get to claim that you folks got to run the country entirely for 6 years, and have a lot of control over it for two more, and claim people don’t know who you are. They *saw* who you were, and rejected it.

  28. doesntmatter  •  Mar 3, 2009 @4:17 pm

    You people confuse “Conservatives” with “Republicans”. True Conservatism has been diluted buy a push toward Moderation and Centralism. There hasn’t been a true Conservative in office since Reagan. Also, no Republican is pushing for a complete elimination of taxes, just a realization to the fact that overly punishing producers will not promote prosperity for anyone. And to think you guys actually believe that the Media is in the tank for the Republicans, and you can say that with a straight face. Liberal lies and agendas have been spewing from television and newspapers for years. This is why we are in this mess in the first place. The American people we lied to and led to believe that the current economic crisis was Republican made and that the Democrats could fix it. Bailouts do not fix the underlying cause. We were warned when Clinton was in office that government interference in home mortgages would lead to this, but everyone forgot about it. Talk about ignoring history; Liberal policies have failed time and time again. Capitalism has an excellent track record for providing opportunity and freedom to it’s participants. We did not grow to the World’s leading superpower by emulating the rest of the world. And by the way, “regulations to keep the economy stable and not a series of roller-coaster boom-and-bust cycles” really means “government control” which of course refers to socialism (the “everyone fails” philosophy). You people need to grow up and realize that competition breeds growth and advancement, not everyone can win. If some aren’t left behind, no one goes anywhere. If you force everyone to have an equal outcome, failure is the only outcome obtainable. This is not a “cruel” philosophy, it is just reality. Everyone is created equal and has the potential to make their lives better through hard work and sacrifice. Some of course start out in better circumstances, but someone in their family at one time or another worked very hard to provide these circumstances. People should never be encouraged to give up and accept they have no other alternative than to rely on the government to provide to them what others have worked hard to get. This Country’s history is built on success stories of people striving to make something of themselves no matter what the circumstances. The main point is that the Republican Party has been changing for the worse and Conservatism needs to retake the reigns. Conservatives believe in believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Conservatives believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Individuals, not government, should be empowered to solve problems. Have you guys ever wondered why the Constitution explicitly states what the government can do as opposed to what it can’t do? The things that government shouldn’t be allowed to do are to great to list. Because, the Founders believed that government wasn’t the answer for everything and needed to limited else it would take over and abuse its power. Unfortunately, Democrats and the Media believe that they know better and have ignored this document for years. Government Regulations are ruining the economy and this Country and Government Control is ultimately going to destroy the “Hope” that you guy claim to revere.

  29. NuthnFiner  •  Mar 3, 2009 @5:06 pm

    Doesntmatter, are you really serious, or just playing commentator like Rush does in order to incite a response from people.

    You claim conservatives want limited government (only those powers enumerated in the Constitution) and individual freedom, but that stops when gay people want to have the equal access and protections of marriage.

    You talk about some businesses and people needing to fail, but your standard bearer, George Bush, and the other Conservatives went right along with (even insisted on) the government bailout of certain Wall Street firms.

    You want lower taxes, but only on the wealthiest (you know, those least able to support the “limited” government you want {snark}).

    You throw back to the Clinton era where you claim all of today’s problems started. As I recall, Clinton was hamstrung by having a Republican Congress for most of that time. Lump that on top of the fact that, if the Clinton Administration is the root of all evil, Conservatives, under Bush and a very Conservative Congress had eight years to fix things…why didn’t you?

    Your response will certainly be that your point is those were Republicans…not Conservatives…but Doesntmatter, not a single one of those “Republicans” got elected by receiving the majority of the “Progressive” vote…they all got elected by the Conservative vote. So, sorry, that kinda blows your hypothesis out of the water. Conservative does equal Republican.

  30. Swami  •  Mar 3, 2009 @5:18 pm

    Individuals, not government, should be empowered to solve problems.

    Ok, I’ll take credit default swaps.. and I’ll get on it right away,chief! It shouldn’t me more than a couple of hours to untangle that mess. On second thought, maybe I’ll team up with Jesus and the two of us can get it solved.

  31. joanr16  •  Mar 3, 2009 @6:07 pm

    Liberal lies and agendas have been spewing from television and newspapers for years.

    That’s your money quote right there. I refuse to waste my time trying to explain reality to a delusional person.

    It would be interesting, though, to drop “doesntmatter” into an Iraqi neighborhood bloodied by sectarian violence, in order to experience firsthand the crimes that the “liberal” media let Bush get away with.

  32. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 3, 2009 @6:18 pm

    doesnmatter,
    Wow, that was illuminating. I could have gotten the same order of warmed over BS by listening to your leader Rush. Except maybe he might have had a funny line, or two…
    And, it apparently does matter when you chase the right-wing Kool-Aid with straight corn alcohol from the heartland. What was your major in college? Gibberish?

    Please do come back if you ever have an original idea. We’ll be glad to listen. Until then, troll alway…

  33. melbradley  •  Mar 3, 2009 @8:38 pm

    woah. Doesntmatter has such totally original ideas. There’s nothing in that post we have heard before, in oh, forty years. Original thought. woah….;)

  34. moonbat  •  Mar 3, 2009 @9:52 pm

    Doesntmatter – learn the value of white space when you write. I’m not about to waste my brain trying to penetrate an expression stream that’s a jillion words long, and not broken up into discrete. coherent ideas using the normal conventions of paragraphs and white space. Learn the value and impact of silence – white space – between your thoughts, as you put them down into written words.

    I only got a few sentences deep. I suggest you rethink the whole “liberal media” cliche, for cliche and meaningless is what it’s become. How do you expect anyone to take your rant seriously in the face of: Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, The New York Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, nearly all of AM radio, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter… etc etc etc, ad nauseum. You want lies? How about all this media that whitewashed Bush’s lies when he lied his way into Iraq? The WMDs? Where were they?

    You need to get out into the real world a bit more, and unplug your mind from the right wing sewer. And ideally you should learn how to better present your ideas in writing.

  35. uncledad  •  Mar 4, 2009 @12:17 am

    doesntmatter

    enough said!!

  36. LTanner  •  Mar 4, 2009 @9:34 am

    I have always considered myself to be liberal minded. I have supported Democrat representative my whole life. I have begun to question their motives over the last 3 or 4 years. I began to realize that alot of the policies that I believed in were already starting to be implemented in one way or another. I started comparing the poor of today with the poor during my Parents’ and Grandparents’ generations. I started to see that the big difference is the complacency, the utter lack of the desire of self improvement. We have started giving people a reason not to succeed and it doesn’t seem right. I then started to look at liberal policies that have been tried around the world. The history is astounding; they have never worked! I see know that I had become that which I most feared, a “Conformist”. I had bought into all of the Propaganda fed to me while I was attending college and yes, the Media. I had tried to distance myself from my Parents’ generation so much that I never thought through or thoroughly researched any of my beliefs. Thankfully, I have begun to “open my eyes” and the recent abuse of power on display only reaffirms my awakening. I sincerely hope that others will also see that we have been and are being lied to by those that we trust and should question everyone’s motives. We need to start thinking for ourselves and remember why, when creating this country, we gave people power over the government.