Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Racially-Welcoming Rush Limbaugh

Imagine:

* You play on a softball team and have gotten two hits in your last twenty at-bats. Would you describe someone who has gotten seven hits in his last twenty at-bats as a "lame hitter?"

* You are an avid atheist. Would you refer to an individual who prays daily, attends church weekly, and professes a strong religious faith as a "heathen?"

* You are 5 foot, 10 inch tall man and weigh 350 pounds. Would you call someone who is 6 foot, 1 inch tall and weighing 170 pounds "fat?"

Apparently, Rush Limbaugh would. In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black (now, weren't those analogies better than a tired cliche?), on September 7 the engineer played a clip from ABC's This Week with Krugman commenting

Obama has had no vision. He has not articulated a philosophy. What is Obama's philosophy of government? He wobbles between sounding kind of like a -- a liberal, then he says, well, the conservatives have some points, too. He concedes the message. There's never been anything like what Reagan did, which is to say, we've been on the wrong track, we're going to follow a very different track, that's going to change things, you need to, you know, support us in this.

Krugman clearly is correct. If Rush had any evidence refuting the Nobel Prize-winning economist, presumably he would have mentioned it. Instead, a few minutes later, Limbaugh went another way, reaching into his bag full of race-mongering:

Okay, so we have a white guy here, Paul Krugman, who says that Obama, a black guy, is a bad communicator who lacks vision. Why don't we just drop the niceties here, just call him stupid. Krugman just called Obama stupid. A white guy just called a black guy stupid. Can we therefore read between the lines and say that Krugman is racist? The reason I ask is that any other criticism of Obama is said to be racist, is it not? I think this is a vicious racist attack on Obama by an elite white columnist for the New York Times. They have a couple black columnists. One's run on Saturday when nobody reads the paper. Well, nobody reads anyway but I mean fewer people on Saturday. So I mean is it fair to say that a bunch of white racists are now getting on Obama's case from the left?

Lest you think Limbaugh was merely (clumsily) trying to make a case of differential treatment of conservatives and liberals, his next remark should be disabusing:

Krugman, racist anger at Obama. This is a sad thing because many people hoped that the election of 2008 would mark the end of the angry white voter, but today we got Richard Cohen all ticked off in the Washington Post. We got Paul Krugman, New York Times, all ticked off, the angry white male, these guys, every time we think we've gotten rid of them, they just pop back up. Well, we've had an angry black president for a long time.

Obviously, Krugman did not mention race, did not infer anything about race, said nothing that bears on Obama's race, and did not come within a continent of calling- or implying in any way- that Barack Obama is stupid. (Perhaps Rush thinks that anything negative about a black person must be due to his race.)

Limbaugh frequently makes things up, so that is not noteworthy. But we might recall that the man leveling an absurd charge of racism on August 20, 2008 (video from The Young Turks, below) claimed then that the media refused to criticize Barack Obama and contended

Obama's patriotism is not being attacked in an ad. McCain's just out there saying he's putting his own personal political ambition ahead of the country's. It's -- you know, it's just -- it's just we can't hit the girl. I don't care how far feminism's saying, you can't hit the girl, and you can't -- you can't criticize the little black man-child. You just can't do it, 'cause it's just not right. It's not fair. He's such a victim.

The little black man-child. It was not the only time that Rush Limbaugh has characterized Barack Obama as the "man-child"- and he did so on September 7, maintaining

So here is our dummkopf little imam child president, Barack Obama, railing against the rich. (imitating Obama) "America wasn't built by greed and recklessness, greed, if you're waiting for trickle down, well, you're gonna be waiting..."

Media Matters presents here a compendium of racially-tinged remarks by Rush Limbaugh- as of October 13, 2009. It would be nice to report that Limbaugh about that time got religion and toned down his rhetoric of bias and hate. Alas, it would be nice but, as widely recognized, it would be untrue.





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