Friday, February 05, 2010

Gambling A Moral Virtue To Rush Limbaugh

Conservative syndicated columnist George F. Will, before he lost his mind, wrote on May 8, 1989 ("In the Grip of Gambling")

Aggressive government marketing of gambling gives a legitimizing imprimatur to the pursuit of wealth without work (which) repudiates an idea once important to this republic's sense of virtue. The idea is that citizens are distinguished more by the moral worth of the way they make money than by how much money they make.

No one can accuse President Obama of "aggressive government marketing of gambling." In February of last year, the President remarked

We’re going to do something to strengthen the banking system. You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime. There's got to be some accountability and some responsibility.

The President returned to the subject a few days ago at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, commenting

When times are tough, you tighten your belts...You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Representative Shelley Berkley, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid weren't amused. And barely had Obama finished prostrating himself for his comment, Rush Limbaugh chimed in:

And everybody says I shouldn't say it but I gotta tell you the way it is, this president is a real slow learner. There's politics in everything Obama does. He was off the teleprompter yesterday, at least for that comment, or maybe -- I don't know if he was. But could it be -- you tell me -- because I don't understand this. He's gotta have something in for Las Vegas. Maybe he lost a bunch of money there. Maybe got rolled by a hooker there. I don't know what it is, something happened.

Limbaugh, suggesting the President may have gotten "rolled by a hooker there," obviously is implying that Obama frequented (frequents?) prostitutes. But let's not get sidetracked. Rush added

Las Vegas is the seat, you know, like Hong Kong is big capitalism in China. Las Vegas is capitalism on steroids in the United States. That could be why he doesn't like it.

It's ironic, perhaps, that Limbaugh refers to Las Vegas approvingly as "capitalism on steroids in the United States" (insert Oxycontin joke here.) America's major financial institutions gamble with the money of their middle-class customers, and Rush pronounces his blessing. Las Vegas is ground-zero of America's gambling culture, and Rush praises it. And Limbaugh does both for the same reason: he believes, as Will would have described it, that citizens are distinguished more by how much money they make than by the moral worth of the way they make money.

next up: Rush says something curious about gambling and Obama.

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