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June 05, 2009

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zero

it's significant that people like rush are entertainers when they get blasted but are the authority when not taking heat. as time has passed (rush has been "big" now for about 20 years) he has gotten more overblown and overbearing. as much as i find him distasteful, i feel very sorry for him.

Brad A.

Sorry Chuck, but I don't see Rush's statement as saying what Schultz alleges - I think in both cases ideology drives interpretation. Rush is good at sounding smart and well read while remaining largely ignorant of the nuances of things, and he's made his living on unsubstantiated hyperbole and less than half of any given story.

But Schultz simply doesn't make his case. Just because Rush thinks Obama's policies - which he criticizes at least halfway in an economic vein - will destroy the country at a greater rate than Al Qaeda will does not in any way "align" Obama with Al Qaeda. Surely we can all reason better than that. Schultz is simply doing what Rush does: taking a single statement out of context and reframing it according to prior personal opinion.

Let's stop giving credence to such nonsense from either side, please.

don woolley

I can't stand Rush Limbaugh, but I completely agree with Brad A.

chuck

I hear you, but it is hard for me to imagine a context in which the quoted sentence is acceptable, since you know, minimally, that Rush intends to create this impression. Anyway, reasonable folks can disagree on such matters:)

Brad A.

I don't think Rush does, Chuck. I'm not defending him at all, but I can't stand partisan alarmism from either side.

Rush is simply making a "With friends like these, who needs enemies..." comment. That doesn't make it acceptable, but there is no reason at all to suppose he is trying to paint Obama as a terrorist or in sympathy with terrorists; rather, Rush is MUCH more likely to oppose Obama on conservative ideological grounds (mostly economic, and with no shortage of ammo from Rush's perspective) and I seriously doubt he'd try this move, since it wouldn't get much traction outside the fringe of his own audience.

Again, I think Rush is extremely mistaken on many things, but I don't like lending credence to the sort of reduction Schultz makes. It's just a liberal Rush-ism.

zero

it's doubtful that rush cares that what he says doesn't get any traction from anyone outside the fringe of his own audience.

Brad A.

Honestly, zero, I think that's a misreading of Rush. I was referring to the "fringe" of his audience, not his audience as a whole as a fringe. I listened to him for a number of years before my theopolitical shift, so I'm pretty confident Rush is smarter than that, in a strategic sense.

He can be almost completely wrong, which I think he is, and he can deliberately paint things in misleading and hyperbolic ways, which I think he does, but I don't think for a moment he'd attempt to paint a POTUS with a 65% approval rating as a terrorist. Schultz provides no context for the quote, and taken as it is, it doesn't say at all what Schultz insinuates. I just don't buy it. If the context proves Schultz's point, then by all means, let's consider it. That Schultz doesn't provide the context doesn't speak well of his assertion. It just makes him look like Rush does most of the time.

zero

i think he does mean it, brad. it's very difficult to perform that well over so many years when it's not one's perspective. however he might have begun about 20 years ago, he's evolved into one bigoted dude who seems very full of hatred. he and those like him are extremely dangerous. let's say he really doesn't believe what he spews. what's so frightening is that his listeners take him very seriously and are like minded. there's trouble brewing in that dynamic. the shooting at the holocaust museum today? that didn't come from nothing. nor did the murder of dr tiller or the shooting at the recruiting center. hate follows hate. this has just begun, i fear.

Brad A.

zero, again, I don't think this is an accurate reading of him or his audience. There are fringe characters everywhere, regardless of the figure around whom they congregate. I don't think the extreme members, empirically speaking, are the correct measure of the message.

What he "spews" is often ridiculous, often vitriolic, and more often than not incorrect. He has a knack for taking factual information and data and presenting it in a convincing form. Usually that data is itself mostly accurate, but is only one part of the overall picture; he fails to take into account other data that mitigates against or trumps his own. That's his MO, and it's the reason he is so convincing to many.

Very many of his listeners are yuppies, viewed as upstanding members of their communities and even churches (unfortunately), people who in other aspects of their lives are fairly respectable by cultural standards, even though I think their politics is wrong and, if Christian, their theology is quite off. Only a few are the fringe type you cite; generalizing about them in the way you have above is rather erroneous. And many of his listeners also really do think of him as an entertainer, and don't take him much more seriously than that.

Again, I think he's dead wrong most of the time, and I can't stand listening to his one-sided, short-sided, ill-informed rhetoric. But I'm also able to recognize that it's much more mainstream than liberals would like to believe. That may not bode well for the mainstream, but there it is. Frankly, I'm not any more impressed with the other side, either. Anyway, my original point, a rather minor one, is that Schultz was just flat wrong, and we shouldn't legitimize his conclusion if we're thinking critically.

zero

if even one person takes rush seriously and then acts on their own hatred and bigotry fueled by rush (and others)by harming anyone, that's too many. this is too serious for people to think about rush "reasonably" because reason can and does cause people to dismiss that which should not be dismissed.

this link is to an article in which a democrat (i assume) takes the position that it's elected democrats, not rush and republicans, that are keeping a progressive agenda from being enacted. he's onto something.
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/140570/stop_being_distracted_by_loudmouths_like_limbaugh%3A_the_real_problem_is_lousy_democrats_like_evan_bayh_and_ben_nelson/

zero

this is off topic but timely and i just want to say it. watching the citizens of iran protect what appears to be a fixed election has been a thrill. not people getting hurt or dying, definitely. however, these people are standing up for their rights, that their vote counts. they are expressing democracy. i wish americans had been so forceful about protecting their rights when the results of both the 2000 and 2004 elections were announced.

don woolley

where's chuck?

zero

good question, don! i've been wondering myself.
maybe vacation? come back, mr chuch!!!!!

Watchman

Rush Limbaugh is to conservative politics as Howard "the Scream" Dean is to liberal politics. The lesser of two evils. Rush seems to have been around a bit longer than Dean, there is something to say for that.

anonymous

I stumbled on your site today and I just wanted to thank you for all of your thoughtful insights. What drew me to Christ was his compassion. With the new unapologetic religious "right" movement I haven't felt like I belong in Church anymore. It's really quite sad. Thanks for giving me some courage to continue to follow my heart.

zero

welcome, anonymous. this is a nice bunch of people here.

Rich

Indeed Zero! I look forward to the conversation resuming at some point!

zero

me too, rich. i miss my friends.

jerry

Hello zero and my other old friends! Hope all is well you all. mr. chuch must be very busy again!

Blessings.

zero

hhhiiiiii jerry! i'm glad i peeked in today cause here you are! no doubt mr chuch is very busy or he'd be here. we are very patient persons, are we not? =]

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