Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who He Is

You may have not thought it possible. Maybe you would have thought anyone experienced in communicating with the public would have the common sense, if not to believe it, at least to acknowledge that our nation needs more and better: a) engineers, to help bring about critical technological improvement, in development and application of alternative energy sources and otherwise; b)scientists, to find cures for diseases which contribute to life expectancy in the U.S.A., which lags behind that in approximately 30 countries; c)doctors, to apply those cures to patients, to have more time to counsel and comfort ill and healthy patients, and to have the knowledge and patience to apply principles of prevention to prevent disease; and teachers, to encourage students in pursuit of those critical careers, and to provide a sufficient pool of educators to stock schools in poor, underserved towns and cities across the nation so that even these children have a chance in society.

So what does Rush Limbaugh, supporter of taxpayer-paid bonuses for AIG executives, believe- and is brazen enough to admit he believes- is an occupation we should steer young people into? Check this out- extraordinary even for the standards of the de facto Republican party chairman:

OBAMA: We need young people instead of the, you know, a smart kid coming out of school, instead of wanting to be an investment banker, we need them to decide they want to be an engineer, want to be a scientist, they want to be a doctor or a teacher, and if we're rewarding those kinds of things that actually contribute to making things and -- and making people's lives better, that's going to put our economy on solid footing, we won't have this bubble and bust economy that we've gotten so caught up in for the last several years.

RUSH: Now, this is part of his existence. His wife said the same thing in Zanesville, Ohio, back during the campaign: Don't be a lawyer, don't be an investment banker, stay as a nurse or what have you. So here is the president of the United States on The Tonight Show, which, you know, the audience of that show, what would you want to guess the average IQ of the audience of The Tonight Show is? "Don't be an investment banker," do not do that, you will destroy America. It's none of his damn business what you want to do with your life! It's none of his business! Unless he's paying your education, unless he's your father, and even then, it's your life, and you can do with it what you want. Of all the occupations, "Don't be an investment banker." Why? Who's he targeting?

You read that right- an investment banker! What this nation needs is not more engineers, scientists, doctors, or teachers, but investment bankers!

Now, it's fine to be an investment banker or to take up any legal vocation or occupation. President Obama is not blocking admission to the field of investment banking, even though there is no dearth of investment bankers in the United States. Nor was the prevailing economic catastrophe caused by a lack of financial wizards, for whom personal assets in the millions were insufficient, and who belong to a field with individuals willing to gamble with the money of their fellow Americans (whom they clearly never thought of in that context) to assume even more capital and power.

It's a reminder that Limbaugh, back when cellular phones were generally limited to the wealthy and drug pushers, would proudly ask his engineer to push calls from people with cell phones to the top of the list because they were likely wealthy Republicans (though now that we know of Rush's fondness for Oxycontin, maybe it was the other group he was favoring). And it's more evidence to us, that beyond those items which characterize many radio talk-show hosts- the right-wing politics, extreme partisanship, and and deft ability to avoid detail or facts- what Rush Limbaugh is all about is elitism.

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