Tuesday, May 22, 2012

By The Man Who Previously Never Hated His Country

Has someone hacked Rush Limbaugh's website?    Last November 30, Limbaugh went off on a common theme of his, that Barack Obama doesn't believe in American exceptionalism and doesn't love his country.    He declared, according to what we are led to believe is a transcript of the major segments of his program

You talk about American exceptionalism, in one sense, the term doesn't mean we're better.That's how people like Obama look at it. "I'm sure the British think they're exceptional, too." Look, small mind, that's not what American exceptionalism means.American exceptionalism is not a braggadocious term.  American exceptionalism is not a superiorist term.  American exceptionalism is an acknowledgement that this country was an exception to the way people lived, to the way people were forced to live...

But it has never occurred to me to hate the country! It has just never occurred to me. But you take a guy like Obama and half of his administration if not all of it, and they run around and they look at America as exceptionally evil. They think that America became what it became by virtue of crime. We stole all the stuff that we have.

Limbaugh was talking about a President who wants nothing so much as to get along with his political enemies, although he has noted he would like to be a transformative president a la Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6), himself a Republican.     And about a senator who thrilled the delegates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention- and a national audience- by remarking (transcript here)

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. 
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

Rush Limbaugh, however, claims "It has never occurred to me to hate the country!"   Except that, well, now it has.     Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has decided to renounce his U.S. citizenship, apparently in order to avoid paying $67-$100 million in post-IPO taxes.   Democratic Senators Schumer and Casey have proposed legislation which would tax Saverin and others similarly situated at the capital gains tax rate of 30% and ban them permanently from the U.S.A.    On Friday, Limbaugh reacted by telling his audience

The people who are saying Eduardo Saverin doesn't have the right to do this, he's shirking his responsibility as a citizen, this is a cowardly thing to do.  Well, I left New York state for the same reason.  Now, I didn't have to renounce citizenship, but I left New York state for the same reason. I moved to a state with no state income tax.  I'm sure that people think that I am not a patriotic New Yorker.  I spent eight years there.  I paid my dues, and they still follow me.  Every year I get audited under the premise I'm lying to them about the number of days every year I live and work in New York, which are zero.  I have to prove it 14 different ways every day of the year, where I am, where I say I was.  And I can tell you, I left New York for tax reasons.  I'm the first one to admit it, and I'm not the only one.  Talk to Trump.Trump will tell you he knows a lot of other people have done it, too. 

So if it's a more favorable tax haven that you can find elsewhere and you go there, why is it automatically that you are unpatriotic?  Why is it automatically that you are a coward, that you are not paying your fair share?  It's this whole class envy thing rearing its head again.So I just wanted to throw it out there.

Remarkably, Rush Limbaugh is comparing the decision by Eduardo Saverin to renounce his American citizenship to avoid unfavorable taxation to his own decision to move from New York State to Florida to avoid unfavorable taxation.     Limbaugh turned thumbs down on a state moving, as millions of Americans do every year, from one to another.    He did not renounce, reject, or repudiate citizenship.   Saverin is repudiating citizenship.

Eduardo Saverin can choose to be a citizen of Singapore, the United States, or whatever country he meets the eligibility requirement of.    But renouncing citizenship hardly makes one a patriot of the country he is repudiating.    And when defended by someone who had maintained it "has never occurred to me to hate this country," we have a classic case of dishonesty or someone who recently developed a distaste for nation.
If he believes that turning thumbs down on the U.S.A. is equivalent to turning thumbs down on New York State, Rush Limbaugh has an odd concept of American exceptionalism, especially compared to someone from whom we learned

My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.

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