And the world is better for it.
Today, millions of Tweeters and bloggers are jotting down their loathing for the fat, hate-radio icon, so I’ll keep this brief and personal.
I can’t say I remember exactly how I felt when Rush Limbaugh first cast his shadow over my life, but I know it was about thirty years ago, and I’m pretty sure I thought something like “Can he say that? That’s not true.”
Rush is one of those pioneer conservatives who managed to turn the truth into an opinion. He existed to do one thing, and one thing only: demonize liberals.
In fact, in the early 1990’s, Rush had been so successful in demonizing the word “liberal” that we liberals had to start calling ourselves “progressives” instead.
I remember he had a television show for a while, but I don’t think it lasted very long because it quickly reached a point where he wouldn’t let anybody on who disagreed with him, and after that he just wanted the spotlight all to himself.
Though I didn’t have cable television, I somehow managed to see the episode where he implied that Chelsea Clinton was the new White House dog. I was stunned by the cruelty. At first, Rush tried to pass it off as a technical glitch, but later he actually bragged about it.
There finally came a time where Rush couldn’t have guests, and he couldn’t have an audience either, due to the disruptions of the protestors.
I distinctly remember watching one of his final television episodes. When Rush finished his opening monologue and cut to commercial, I remember seeing the camera cut from Rush at his desk and pan to the audience, and there was nothing to see but a studio filled with empty seats.
Rush was very proud of being able to say anything he wanted, mainly because he knew he’d get away with it, primarily because it was exactly what all rich, white men thought. It was also what poor white men thought, but that wasn’t a crucial matter, really, except in terms of ratings.
If Rush had ever turned coat and started waylaying on the rich in the same way he constantly attacked liberals, his career would have ended quickly.
Then there was the time when I was watching Rush with a gay conservative Republican friend—a demographic that completely baffles me—and while he was defending Rush and saying he was just joking around, Rush reminisced about the time a group of gay men infiltrated his audience and in the midst of the show, stood up and turned their backs on him.
Typical Rush, like a playground bully pantomiming his victims, Rush stood up, turned his back to the camera, and started waving his ass around. “See, for homosexuals, this is a compliment.”
Examples of Rush’s outrageous behavior are legion. I’m sure it could fill a book. 800 pages, abridged. But of all his nastiness, the slight I remember most came on the day that Jerry Garcia died. Jerry, of the Grateful Dead. A beautiful man. Humble, unassuming. He spent his life being happy by playing his guitar to make others happy.
Yet, never passing up an opportunity to shit on the artistic liberals, Rush opined, “When you strip it all away, Jerry Garcia destroyed his life on drugs. And yet he’s being honored, like some godlike figure. Our priorities are out of whack, folks.
“He’s just another dead doper. And a dirt bag.”
I’ve heard that Rush’s radio show was so popular that you couldn’t go anywhere in the United States without hearing it. And I’m not so sure that popular is the right word here, unless you consider propaganda to be popular. Widespread would be more apt.
In one of his final affronts to decency, Rush popularized—if he didn’t indeed invent—the malicious “Joe & the Hoe” slur during the 2020 elections. It spread widely, thanks to Rush’s market share.
But that’s about enough of Rushie poo. About 700 words too much, really.
Rush was an asshole. That’s all anybody really needs to know. And now the fat fascist fucker is dead. Party time.
In closing I want to point out that the following test is 99% accurate regarding a person’s character:
If they eulogize Rush Limbaugh, they’re probably assholes.