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Friedersdorf on Limbaugh

Conor Friedersdorf, one of the sane conservative voices in the country, hammers Rush Limbaugh for his ridiculous statement about Obama sending troops to Uganda to “wipe out Christians” and points out that the real fault lies with those who continue to promote Limbaugh’s repulsive agenda.

Shame on him, but that isn’t where it ends. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush ought to be embarrassed that they invited Limbaugh to the White House.  The Claremont Institute, whose work I often respect, ought to be mortified that they sullied their Statesmanship Award by bestowing it upon Limbaugh. Shame on National Review for celebrating one of conservatism’s most controversial figures in a symposium that didn’t even acknowledge his many critics on the right. In it Heather Higgins remarked on “Rush’s long track record of accurate predictions and analyses,” Kathryn Jean Lopez commented on his “graciousness and humility,” Mary Matalin said “he epitomizes what we all aspire to be, both as citizens and individuals,” Andrew McCarthy claims his message is “always” delivered with “optimism, civility, and good humor,” and Jay Nordlinger asserted that “he is almost the antithesis of the modern American, in that he doesn’t whine.” Every last claim is too absurd to satire, let alone defend.

Shame on The Heritage Foundation for sponsoring Limbaugh’s radio show, and on the Media Research Center and Human Events for honoring Limbaugh’s excellence … and the list goes on, including the millions of people who support his radio show because they agree with Limbaugh’s ideology, even though they’d be outraged if a liberal trafficked in similarly poisonous rhetoric.

Many conservatives complain, with good reason, when they’re caricatured as racially insensitivepurveyors of white anxiety politics who traffic in absurd, paranoid attacks on their political opponents. Yet many of the most prominent brands in the conservative movement elevate a man guilty of those exact things as a “statesman” whose civility and humility ought to inspire us! In doing so, they’ve created a monster, one who knows that so long as his ratings stay high, he can say literally anything and be feted as an intellectual and moral role model. So the outrages arrive at predictable intervals. And Americans hear about them and think badly of the right. Movement conservatives, if you seek integrity in American life, if you seek civility, if you seek converts, tear down this man’s lies! He hasn’t any integrity or self respect left to lose. But you do.

Except they don’t. They don’t care that Limbaugh says dishonest and vile things on a daily basis; they only care that he has a large following of conservatives.

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    Shame on National Review for celebrating one of conservatism’s most controversial figures in a symposium that didn’t even acknowledge his many critics on the right. In it Heather Higgins remarked on “Rush’s long track record of accurate predictions and analyses,” Kathryn Jean Lopez commented on his “graciousness and humility,” Mary Matalin said “he epitomizes what we all aspire to be, both as citizens and individuals,” Andrew McCarthy claims his message is “always” delivered with “optimism, civility, and good humor,” and Jay Nordlinger asserted that “he is almost the antithesis of the modern American, in that he doesn’t whine.”

    I just threw up in my mouth.

    Every last claim is too absurd to satire, let alone defend.

    That relieves the nausea a little.

  2. jesse says

    “Many conservatives complain, with good reason, when they’re caricatured as racially insensitivepurveyors of white anxiety politics who traffic in absurd, paranoid attacks on their political opponents.”

    The problem is, if your leaders and representatives do this, it isn’t a caricature anymore.

    It isn’t just Rush Limbaugh. It’s the slate of GOP hopefuls for president. It’s the “intellectuals” like Bill Kristol. It’s the fact that the “Southern Strategy” wasn’t invented by a bunch of magical fucking gremlins who took over the RNC and made them into pod people.

    And no, the fact that Steele, or Malkin, or Cain exist does not erase this reality.

    Can Democrats be racist? Hell yeah, and they were, too. But one huge difference is that, jerk that he could be, Lyndon Johnson made a principled decision to support the Civil Rights Act. (He was also more of a New Deal guy than many give him credit for). He could have had the support of all the Southern Dems and said “screw this.” But he didn’t. He knew that the South would go GOP after that, if the Republicans took the opportunity to ally themselves with the bigots.

    Has the left been violent? Yup. The Weathermen existed. But they weren’t actively supported by the local Democratic Club. Ask Joe Arpaio about the Minutemen at the border sometime. And I am sorry, I can’t recall a period when say, “Abortion Alternative” clinics were getting bombed but maybe I missed it.

  3. flatlander100 says

    I just went over to RedState and read the comment thread on Friedersdorf’s post calling Rush out for claiming the IRA is a Christian group. The entire comment thread ignores that and discusses only the wisdom [or lack thereof] of his sending troops to become involved. Friedersdorff’s post regarding the “troops to kill Christians” nonsense is all but entirely ignored.

  4. says

    ‘Andrew McCarthy claims his message is “always” delivered with “optimism, civility, and good humor.”’
    This is the first I heard of Andrew McCarthy. Who is he, Michelle Bachmann in drag?
    Nothing else explains his utterly delusional statement.

  5. Michael Heath says

    Conor Friedersdorf and Andrew Sullivan both need to get over the fact that what they justifiably despise about contemporaneous American conservatism is a likely result of the evolution of conservatism given the very mindset attendant of those attracted to conservatism, especially its converts and most politically active participants. [Exceptions would be those born or drifted into the tribe who don't care enough about politics to benchmark its attributes vs. other movements.]

  6. roggg says

    his message is “always” delivered with “optimism, civility, and good humor,”

    Somebody actually said that?

    Bwahahahaha!

    John Stewart…You’re fired. We don’t need you anymore.

  7. says

    Exactly right Mr. Heath. Bad ideas, like good ideas tend to coalesce. Also the authoritarian intolerance for dissent among the ranks makes for stronger wagon circling. Frightened xenophobes tend to seek each other out (and under a more formal aegis) than do more socially liberal minded folks do

  8. eric says

    Poor Friedersdorf. Someone needs to tell him that speaking truth to power doesn’t work when it’s insanity-fueled power.

  9. Michael Heath says

    eric says:

    Poor Friedersdorf. Someone needs to tell him that speaking truth to power doesn’t work when it’s insanity-fueled power.

    I’ve read Mr. Friedersdorf enough when he guest-blogs at Andrew Sullivan’s blog to confidently presume he’s seasoned enough to know his and Sullivan’s brand of conservatism is no longer political influential within partisan politics. Both have far more in common with American liberals than they do with the mainstream conservative movement.

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