Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Miserable Lives

If only.    If only Rush Limbaugh were accurate, we'd have a president demanding a fair share for the 90% of the American people who aren't ultra-wealthy.

Rush wants his followers to believe that President Obama is a racist Socialist rather than the pragmatic centrist he has governed as.      Tuesday, he played a clip of Obama promising

In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we're gonna take steps on our own to keep this economy moving.  Because we've got a choice right now.  We can either settle for a country where a few people are doing very well and everybody else is having to just struggle to get by, or we can build an economy where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody's doing their fair share, and everybody is taking responsibility.  And everybody's playing by the same set of rules.  And that's the economy that I want.

Rush, who hears what he wants to hear, responded

Yeah, in a few months, pal, what you want isn't gonna matter.  That's the economy you want?  Who are you?  That's the economy you want?  Where everybody's equal?  And you get to define equal?  Don't forget what I told you yesterday, quoting Tocqueville.  Americans in the early 1800s fought the perils of equality, not the perils of inequality.  They fought the perils of equality. 

Everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does his/her fair share, everybody takes responsibility, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.      That sounds like equal opportunity, no matter the outcome, fair or unfair; and a summary of a center/right, free-market perspective.

But we are dealing with a bloviator from the far-right who is offended- offended- by the idea that everyone should get a fair chance, play by the same rules, and take responsibility.

Media Matters for America calls Limbaugh out for arguing that medical costs play virtually no role in bankruptcies.     In the video (way below) from the Media Matters website, Limbaugh plays a clip from Obama, then comments    

What a cloudy, gray, raw, overcast October day this guy presents us. "You're willing to put in the work. The idea is you ought to be able to raise a family and own a home, not go bankrupt 'cause you get sick." And I ask again: Who the hell does? How often does it happen that people go bankrupt from getting sick in this country? I'm sorry, this offends me. We have the best health care system the world has ever seen. It does not drive everybody into bankruptcy. No, but he wants you to think it will! He wants you so afraid of getting sick, so afraid of having to go to the hospital!

In a study published in 2007 in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers observed "Using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5000, or 10% of pretax family income."       Limbaugh, though no doubt unaware of this study, couldn't possibly believe "This constant portrayal of health care as something that can cause you financial meltdown.  To how many people does that actually happen?  The percentage is so small you couldn't calculate it."    

A day without a flat-out lie from Rush Limbaugh, like a day without time, is impossible to imagine.     But it isn't every day (only most days) that Limbaugh demonstrates his utter contempt for average Americans, as he did yesterday:    

Obama will save you. And you'll have your little 1800-square-foot house, your 2.8 kids, a white picket fence, a dog, a couple of electric cars -- 48,000 hour charge the damn thing so it's able to drive 40 miles. They really want you on a mass transit, stupid little bus going to your mass job where you're nothing but a number.

A moment later- perhaps concerned that his sycophants haven't gotten his message- Limbaugh stated

So "hope" equals a nine-to-five job. You get home on some form of mass transit. When you have to go to the grocery store, you get in your little electric car or whatever. Your house looks like everybody else's house. It's where everybody else's house happens to be.

So now we know.    If you own a little bit of the American dream- a house of modest size, raise children, own a dog, work hard 40 hours a week providing for your family- you are worthless in Rush's world.      You're not someone who lives in a 24,000 square feet mansion, with five other buildings for guests, on your private estate (Limbaugh compound, below).     You may not be as lucky as individuals like Rush, able to separate yourself from the rest of the middle-class and (horrors!) have to live "where everybody else's house happens to be."      

The elitism characterizing this guy may be unparalleled in American society.


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