Day 1 On Rush's Bus
Is Rush Limbaugh crying out for help? Is he saying "look at me, I'm a bigot. Help me"? Nah, it's just part of his extreme right-wing bag of goodies. From Thursday's program:
RUSH: Have you ever noticed when we end up talking about race it's always a bunch of liberals that are responsible for it, liberals in the media, liberals in the Democrat Party. This morning on MSNBC, The Daily Rundown, the cohost F. Chuck Todd interviewed former Democrat Congressman Martin Frost who's now some wealthy rich lobbyist. He does some commentating on TV. F. Chuck said, "Some speculation that Pelosi is trying to end the fight." This between Steny Hoyer and Clyburn, Hoyer wanting Clyburn to go back to the back of the bus, leadership battle here. "Clyburn has no interest in going down to the next leadership spot." He wants the whole shebang. "They are talking about creating a new spot, is that the right thing?" Here's Martin Frost, a former Democrat from Texas.
FROST: Here's the thing. The top two leadership positions get a car, a driver. They get more staff. They get security. They get an office in the Capitol.
TODD: When it was the three in the majority, did Clyburn also have all that?
FROST: Yes, he had all that. When you're in the minority caucus chair doesn't carry any of the stroke or the perks that it carries even in the majority.
RUSH: Do you believe what we have here today to start? We got quarterbacks crying in Miami. We got television people on the air in Philadelphia trying to say that the head coach of the Redskins is a racist, and now we've got the Democrats worried that Clyburn's getting the shaft because he's not gonna have a car; he's not gonna have a driver; he's not gonna have security; he's not gonna have any of the stroke or the perks. That's what this is all about. So last night on PBS, the Tavis Smiley Show, Tavis is interviewing the Washington Post congressional correspondent Paul Kane. You all know Paul. (interruption) You don't know Paul? Fine. So nobody else does either. "You start to hear footsteps of a brown-black coalition that might be lining up behind Jim Clyburn. I only raise that because I am wondering how that might fracture or splintered the Democratic Party in the House, quite frankly, along racial lines."
KANE: Barack Obama is starting off his reelection campaign now. He needs to reenergize the African-American vote. All of those first time black voters from 2008, he needs to get that group of people back behind him 110%. He does not want to begin that by kicking the highest ranking black congressman ever out of leadership. That's just a recipe for disaster.
RUSH: What's Obama got to do with it? Obama's gone. You know, we're gonna extend the Bush tax cuts to everybody here, where's Obama? Axelrod is out there saying, "Hey, you know what? We have to deal with the reality that is." This means, folks, don't tell me we can't secure a veto of health care. I'll get to this in more detail in just a second, but now Obama's gotta get involved to save Clyburn? Obama's gotta get involved because the white Democrats in the House are gonna throw Clyburn overboard, take away his car, take away his driver, take away his perks, take away his stroke, take away his whatever, and put him to the back of the bus? And Tavis Smiley is in on this now? Last night Tavis Smiley responded to Paul Kane. He said this.
SMILEY: It's amazing what happens when black and brown people after years of not having any power start to demand some respect; all hell seems to break loose.
RUSH: In the Democrat Party. So there you have it. All hell breaking loose in the Democrat Party because now black and brown people, "Tonight we on the inside, we wanna get in there." You have the current white leadership responsible for the biggest shellacking in the history of the Democrat Party, well, since the thirties. You got Pelosi throwing a party to celebrate this yesterday afternoon. Pelosi threw a party at 3:30 to celebrate the achievements. The white racist leadership of the Democrat Party is trying to ace out Clyburn. Tavis Smiley says, "That's what happens when black and brown people after years of not having any power --" now, Clyburn has had power. Clyburn has had power, but they want to take it away from him here. Tavis Smiley is not down with this. Clyburn starts to demand respect and all hell seems to break loose in the Democrat Party. Hey, I have a suggestion. You know, I like to mediate these things. I like to bring people together. I like to unify people. I don't like seeing this kind of strife. Clyburn's worried about not having the car. Clyburn's worried about not having the perk of a big office, driver, and so forth. The way this can all be worked out, Clyburn's new position: Driving Miss Nancy. He gets to keep the car. He gets to go everywhere she goes, parties and everything else. He's not in the back of the bus. He's in the driver's seat, and she's in the back of the car being chauffeured. Solved problem.
Former U.S. Representative Martin Frost says "Here's the thing. The top two leadership positions get a car, a driver. They get more staff. They get security. They get an office in the Capitol...... When you're in the minority caucus chair doesn't carry any of the stroke or the perks that it carries even in the majority."
Clyburn's worried about not having the car. Clyburn's worried about not having the perk of a big office, driver, and so forth. The way this can all be worked out, Clyburn's new position: Driving Miss Nancy. He gets to keep the car. He gets to go everywhere she goes, parties and everything else. He's not in the back of the bus.
What does an interest in the perks of a position have to do with "driving Miss Nancy" or being "in the back of the bus?" No one suggested Representative Clyburn chaffeur Nancy Pelosi or that he should be "in the back of the bus" or anywhere else on a bus- or in the back of anything. It did, however, give Rush an excuse, with no evidence, to refer to "the white racist leadership of the Democrat Party." (Psychological projection, anybody?)
Equally appalling- to no one but myself- is Limbaugh's remark "You have the current white leadership responsible for the biggest shellacking." 'Twas a time- really, there was- when conservatives, including Rush, would blame liberals for allegedly attributing everything to race. The left probably invoked race as a motivation too often- but at least the action being criticized invariably had at least a small racial component, however indirect.
Here, there is none- none whatsoever. The mainstream media is incessantly preaching to the Democratic Party that it must move toward the center, and the Party has responded (sensibly or not) by refusing to throw the least liberal of its leadership team, Representative Hoyer, out of that leadership. Notwithstanding the Party's sensitivity to the plea that it reassess its liberal bent- and Hoyer's superior status (Majority Leader) to that of Clyburn (Majority Whip)- the Democrats are trying to find a way to keep both individuals in a position of leadership. And that is..... white racism?
A reference to "Driving Miss Nancy" and to the black Majority Whip as "not in the back of the bus" no doubt is in keeping with a guy who would say "Obama is 'uppity', but not as a black." But then that is a component of racial stereotyping and prejudice- repetition, repetition, repetition.
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