Friday, March 9, 2012

Conservative Republicans: Listen to Rush Limbaugh, Please!

We liberals (I am one) have it all wrong. We want Rush Limbaugh to go away. He's so obnoxious, he's completely full of it, he's misogynist, he's over the top, and, let's face it, he constantly makes shit up. It pleases his audience, obviously, because he's got a substantial one.

If he's so full of crap, why do we want conservative Republicans to stop listening to him? I say, please, white Christian males (and occasional females), tea partiers, George W. dead-enders, Karl Rove fans, suckers for Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and so on, please, please get all your news and views from Rush.

And, while you're at it, watch only Fox News.

And go to church every Sunday, or, if you wish, twice every Sunday. Go to Bible studies on Wednesday evenings. Send your children to Bob Jones, or Liberty, or Oral Roberts universities. Please.

Or don't send them to college at all, as Rick Santorum suggests.

Let's get some sound bites from the font of wisdom Rush Limbaugh provides:

Limbaugh reports that first-time unemployment claims were up in February, which was true. They actually rose some 8,000 when they were expected to decline about 2,000. He uses this to illustrate how the media is in bed with Obama, since most media outlets reported that the trend was still good. What he didn't mention, which at the time of his broadcast was already known, was that 227,000 jobs were created during February, marking the sixth straight monthly increase and the best three-month stretch since 2006.

This is good, but not great, news. To hear Limbaugh tell it, we're in dire straights, and Obama's media hounds are slanting things his way as usual. Please, conservatives, listen to Limbaugh. That way you won't know what's actually happening. If ignorance and righteous anger gets you off, please indulge yourselves.

Now, what kind of guidance will our conservative brethren get from Fox News? How about this:

Here's the myth being promulgated: When insurance companies are required to include contraception with no co-pay in all insurance packages, as called for in the ACA healthcare act, it's not an entitlement. Not only do the companies and institutions that include these benefits in their employees' compensation packages pay for them the same as they always did -- with the employees inevitably earning them through their work -- but two facts are ignored. One, insurance companies save money in other women's healthcare areas by providing contraception -- a well-established fact -- but, two, religious organizations under Obama's regulations are not required to pay for the contraceptive services, the insurance companies are. And Georgetown University fits in this category. What's more, it's not an entitlement there, either. Students pay for their health packages through fees and tuition.

So, there is no entitlement involved. But if conservatives wish to think so, by all means, get your info from Fox News. Please.

Finally, just for fun:

Or this:

So, please, conservative Republicans, get your news and views from Fox and Rush. We'll be glad you did. But will you? (Click chart for larger view)

Worth thinking about, right?

Update. Now, I know I call my blog The American Human because I'm a humanist and an American. And, yes, I also know I have a hard time resisting snark because, well, I find conservative stances on public policy possess that special combination of funny and troublesome that makes clear-minded, analytical responses almost impossible. So I have to leave that to more sensible people like Paul Krugman and Steve Kornacki.

However, my main point underneath the snark should be clear: Let the conservative Republicans continue their support of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News at their peril. Why is it at their peril? The manipulated and misinformed lack that special quality in their speech that prevents them from ultimately winning in the sphere of public discourse: the ring of truth.

I, as a human, want all of my fellow man to succeed. But I, as a partisan, want my opponents to be what they are increasingly becoming: staggeringly bankrupt of real ideas and monumentally batshit crazy.

You've been advised, and forewarned.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to be getting to this a bit late..

    Interesting theory, giving Limbaugh enough rope and all--except he never seems to get to the end of it. Limbaugh is successful because he validates his listeners feelings and beliefs, honest emotions that liberals like you (OK, and me) ridicule. And like most liberals you underestimate the pent-up anger of those on the right: anger from a generation of middle class wealth transferred via entitlements; from jobs and education denied to those more qualified and awarded to those less so; anger born from a feeling that everything is stacked against you; anger passed from fathers to sons (and daughters). Even anger that in places has persisted from the Civil War. I grew up in such an environment. And so a man hears what he wants to hear... Psychologists know this--so do conservatives. It's a comfort (however small) to hear that you're not a bad person for feeling like you've been screwed--maybe you have.

    Conservative politicians may outwardly chafe at Limbaugh's no limits trash talk, but he performs an important service for them, one they'll never publicly acknowledge: he exceeds the limits of politically correct discourse and so expands the boundaries of political orthodoxy, leaving the space vacated appear less outrageous, even possible. Once a politician has properly distanced himself from Limbaugh calling a government witness a whore, he may now able to ask: "But while we're on the subject, why do we pay for this?" Getting anywhere near this topic may not have been possible before.

    You correctly point out that contraceptive care is not an entitlement, but is, rather, paid for by the fees of those insured. But there isn't a lot of difference between being taxed to fund something you find abhorrent and being required to pay a fee to do the same thing. Liberals may not think these people smart enough to get the semantic or legal difference; but they are able to suss out for themselves the real difference--there isn't one.

    You also correctly point out that contraceptive care actually saves money on other treatments. However, one could easily say that using contraceptives for anything other than medical need invites moral hazard and could make necessary other, different treatments; e.g. a prescription for Amoxicillin--or an abortion.

    We have seen all to well how difficult sorting how best to live together can be when there are so many versions of 'the truth'. You have spent a whole column telling conservatives (who number exactly 0 among the half-dozen people reading this blog) that their beliefs are irrelevant and that they are not worthy to participate fully in this discussion and so the best thing for them is to listen to Rush and not burden themselves with this really difficult stuff.

    Calvin, you're a good writer and a really smart guy. Telling people their life's experience doesn't matter is so very yesterday's liberal. And anyway, it doesn't work. You can do better. We all need to do better.