Not His Favorite Country
It's said to be comforting to know that some things never change.
Americans hoping their nation would emerge from the economic cataclysm unequaled since the Great Depression were startled to learn Rush Limbaugh on January 16, 2009 had declared "I don't care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it."
Buddy and political ally Sean Hannity, eager for Limbaugh to pull himself out of the hole he had dugged himself, interviewed Rush, who nevertheless asserted "I shamelessly say, No, I want him to fail, if his agenda is a far-left collectivism.”
This desire was expressed before the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States but after Limbaugh predicted that the new President would have, in his view, a far-left collectivist agenda, which Rush has continually accused Obama of, in new and ever-creative terms. It marks him as someone who not only believes that Obama's policies will fail and hopes that their failure can be attributed to their ideological content, but also someone who wishes that the President actually does fail (notwithstanding the rationalization in Rush's authorized biography). Limbaugh believes that Obama, who clearly has governed as a centrist pragmatist, is a far-left Socialist Marxist who deserves to fail, notwithstanding the devastating impact it would have on the nation.
So perhaps it was no surprise when on Pearl Harbor Day, Rush Limbaugh agreed with one of his callers, an immigrant from Jamaica, assuring her "You hate what the country has become. Okay. Okay. A lot of us do."
The $50 million talk-show host did not profess to hate the direction the country is going in, nor the direction he believes President Obama is taking us, nor what the U.S.A. may become in some far-flung future if trends continue. No, he hates the United States for what it "has become"- and what it "has become" is what it is.
The sudden, rapid, and disturbing ascent of Newt Gingrich among Republican voters has as its parallel in the world of right-wing talk radio the continued and unprecedented popularity of a guy who really doesn't like his country.